If we talk about popular cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinbase and Bittrex immediately come to mind. These two U.S.-based exchanges are both widely used but serve very different purposes: Coinbase is a fiat exchange, where users can transfer fiat currencies to be traded for cryptocurrencies; Bittrex is a crypto-only exchange, where cryptocurrencies can be traded with each other.
In this Bittrex vs Coinbase comparison, we’ll go beyond this main difference between the two platforms and learn more about what makes them so popular.
This article will cover:
- Bittrex vs Coinbase: Side-by-Side Comparison
- Exchanges Background Information
- Are They Safe?
- Platform Interface and Features
- Trading Fees
- Coinbase vs Bittrex: Summary
|Buy/Deposit Methods||Cryptocurrency||Debit & Credit Cards,
Bank Transfers, Cryptocurrency
|Sell/Withdrawal Methods||Cryptocurrency||PayPal, Bank Transfers, Cryptocurrency|
|Purchase Fees||0.25%||~1.49 % via bank transfer
|Supported Cryptocurrencies||190+||Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash|
|Location||Seattle, WA, USA||San Francisco, California, USA|
|Review & User Guide||Bittrex Review|
Founded in 2012 and operating out of San Francisco, CA, Coinbase is considered by many as the most beginner-friendly fiat-to-cryptocurrency exchange in the industry. Operating in 32 countries with a user base of 10M+ users, Coinbase is valued at over 1.5 billion USD and is the top platform for buying and selling the most popular cryptocurrencies.
Bittrex was founded in 2014 by Bill Shihara, Richie Lai and Rami Kawach and incorporated in Seattle, Washington. It is widely regarded as a secure exchange and, thanks in part to its strong reputation, is regularly in the top 10 cryptocurrency exchanges in terms of daily trade volume. At time of writing, Bittrex is the world’s 7th largest exchange.
If you are in doubt about which platform to go for, you should base your decision on other factors than security, as both exchanges take that matter very seriously.
Coinbase’s reputation as a credible and safe platform is derived from a few factors:
- Being a US-based company, Coinbase fully complies with a number of important financial services and consumer protection laws such as The Bank Secrecy Act and The USA Patriot Act
- Coinbase is backed by globally renowned investors and funds such as Y Combinator, Alexis Ohanian, Bank of Tokyo and Blockchain Capital to name a few.
- The safety measures adopted by Coinbase have become industry standards: company funds are separated from customer funds; 98% of customers’ cryptocurrency funds are secured in offline cold storage and the remaining 2% is fully insured; and USD balances are insured by the FDIC for up to 250,000 USD.
Furthermore, Coinbase offers 2-Factor Authentication, fund storage in the “Coinbase Vault” – offering features such as time delayed withdrawals – and required verification for new devices.
Although Bittrex can’t beat Coinbase when it comes to safety, the platform is very secure in its own right.
The Seattle-based company fully complies with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations. Security features for user accounts include 2-Factor Authentication, IP whitelisting and cryptocurrency address whitelisting for withdrawals.
As stated above, Coinbase and Bittrex are two very different platforms, which is reflected in their features and user interfaces.
Coinbase has clearly been designed with beginners in mind. The interface is very clear and straightforward. It lacks some of the advanced features of other platforms, but it makes it incredibly easy for users to get started buying and selling cryptocurrencies using fiat. On top of that, the platform also offers a user-friendly mobile app.
Bittrex caters to more advanced users and traders but still manages to keep the interface clean and intuitive.
This is definitely one of the biggest differences between the two exchanges. Coinbase only supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin. Bittrex, on the other hand, offers 190+ coins and tokens—one of the largest varieties in the industry.
Coinbase allows US citizens to connect and pay with debit card, bank account or wire transfer. For European citizens deposits and withdrawals can be carried out via bank account, while debit cards can be used for buying only.
PayPal was an option as well up until March 7th 2018, when Coinbase decided to halt support of the payment method to work out a more satisfying way to integrate it in the platform.
As a crypto-only exchange, Bittrex doesn’t need to be too concerned with payment methods. While this may seem like an advantage for the platform because it removes a few technical headaches, it is also a minus if seen from the perspective of new traders. It’d be very useful for newcomers to the crypto space to have a one-stop platform where they can arrive with fiat currency and start buying and selling a wide range of crypto, but Bittrex is not that platform. To be fair, this doesn’t currently exist from any major exchange.
If compared with other exchanges, both Coinbase and Bittrex can be considered somewhat pricey, each in its own way.
Speaking of high fees, Bittrex charges more than double the fee Binance offers its users: the first platform makes you pay 0.25% and the second only 0.1%.
It would be a mistake to compare Bittrex and Coinbase for the purpose of choosing which one you should use. If you are a beginner and are still figuring out the cryptocurrency space, Coinbase would be a good place to start. It is safe, easy to use and offers a handy mobile app.
If you are a trader and are looking for a secure and intuitive place to buy and sell many different currencies, then Bittrex could be your platform.
With that said, both exchanges can be used as compliments to each other. Coinbase offers an easy way to turn your fiat into crypto, and Bittrex offers you a wide range of alternative coins to trade amongst.
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