Binance and Coinbase are the two largest cryptocurrency exchanges available today. They both give users access to buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrency.
Coinbase was one of the earliest crypto exchanges on the market, started in 2012 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam. It is a U.S.-based, regulated exchange that offers access to some of the top cryptocurrencies on the market today. With an easy-to-use app and the ability to buy crypto with your bank account or credit card, Coinbase has positioned itself as one of the top exchanges in the world.
Binance is a relative newcomer to the cryptocurrency space, founded in 2017 by Changpeng Zhao. It has quickly grown to be the largest exchange in the world by volume and offers users access to hundreds of cryptocurrencies. Binance is available in more than 180 countries worldwide, though they did have to spin off a separate entity, Binance US, specifically for United States users.
The biggest difference between the two platforms is the available cryptocurrencies. Coinbase has a strict vetting process for which crypto it will support and currently offers over 40 of them. Binance, on the other hand, has opened its exchange to over 500 cryptocurrencies (and counting).
We’ve reviewed both platforms based on their supported currencies, security, fees, features, and more so you can decide which option is right for you.
As of August 2021, Binance.US tells The Balance that it is no longer allowing trades on its platform. Additionally, the parent company, Binance, has faced regulatory action in several countries around the world.
Binance vs. Coinbase: At a Glance
Binance is not available to U.S. residents as of March 2021. However, there is a separate platform, Binance.US, that can be used by U.S. residents, but with limited currency options and higher fees.
|Features||Multiple trading interfaces; Multiple order types, including derivatives and futures; API keys; Low per-trade fees||Simple interface; Buy, sell, and exchange; Price quoted in USD|
|Fees||Maximum 0.10% purchase and trading fees (discounts available) Additional ~2% fee for credit card purchases Deposit and withdrawal fees vary by currency No fees for USD deposit or withdrawal||0.50% per trade; Additional 1.49% for bank account or Coinbase Wallet purchases; Additional 3.99% for credit card purchases|
|Cryptocurrencies supported||Over 500 cryptocurrencies||44 cryptocurrencies|
|Security features||2FA via SMS or Google Authenticator app; Device-level restrictions; U2F security via hardware key; Whitelisting pre-approved addresses||2FA via SMS or Google Authenticator app; Cold storage and multi-signature wallets; USD balances FDIC insured up to $250k; KYC and anti-money laundering protections|
|Types of transactions||Buy, sell, trade, deposit, withdraw; Stop order; Limit order; Margin, options, and futures trading||Buy, sell, exchange, send, receive|
Binance vs. Coinbase: Ease of Use
Binance is a jack-of-all-trades, giving users everything crypto-related in one platform. Binance makes it simple for beginners to sign up and start trading, but advanced users can also get as technical as they want with Binance’s advanced charting, trades, and custom API keys.
To sign up for Binance, simply create a free account using your email address and a password. Once you verify your email address, you can secure your account with two-factor authentication and connect your bank account or credit card. From there, you can start buying crypto right away.
Coinbase offers a simple interface for buying, selling, and trading cryptocurrency. You can also use their mobile app on both iOS and Android for access on-the-go.
Coinbase makes it easy to get started with a simple sign-up form and verification process. You can sign up for a free account with your email address, then verify your identity with a government-issued photo ID. This is done via the Coinbase app by taking a picture of your ID or you can manually upload it on the web version of Coinbase.
Once verified, you can connect a bank account or credit card to immediately begin purchasing crypto.
Binance vs. Coinbase: Security
Binance and Coinbase offer robust security settings to protect your digital assets. Here are a few of the security options available on each platform:
Binance Security Features
Trust Wallet partnership: Binance does not have its own digital wallet, but partners with Trust Wallet, a leader in the digital wallet space with over five million users. Trust Wallet secures your assets with a PIN, biometric access, encrypted key as well as a 12-word recovery phrase.
Whitelisting crypto addresses: Binance offers address whitelisting, which is the ability to restrict access to addresses that can withdraw your cryptocurrency. These addresses are saved in your address book, blocking any other addresses from accessing your funds.
Two-factor authentication: Binance also offers two-factor authentication (2FA) via SMS or the Google Authenticator app.
Advanced verification: Binance advanced verification is required to unlock more access to the platform (larger deposit/withdrawal limits, etc.). It also makes sure no one else is using your identity to create a fake account. To complete advanced verification, you will need to upload a government-issued photo ID and a picture of yourself.
Device management: Binance allows you to review all the devices that have accessed your account, and restrict any that you don’t recognize.
Coinbase Security Features
Built-in wallet: Coinbase offers its own digital wallet for storing your cryptocurrency. It is protected with a password and biometric access controls. It also has an encrypted 12-word recovery phrase protecting your assets (similar to other digital wallets).
Two-factor authentication: Coinbase offers two-factor authentication via SMS or the Google Authenticator app. This helps secure access to your account by requiring a time-sensitive six-digit passcode.
Cold storage and crypto vaults: Coinbase is one of the only exchanges that keeps your assets in “cold storage” (e.g. not connected to the internet). They keep 98% of all crypto balances in cold storage, helping protect your assets from would-be online thieves.
Coinbase also offers a cryptocurrency vault, further securing your stored digital assets. These vaults are a way to prevent fraudulent withdrawals and can be set up to require multiple user approvals before funds are withdrawn. They are also time-locked, meaning that if all approvals for the transaction are not completed within 24 hours, the withdrawal is canceled.
FDIC Insurance (up to $250K): Coinbase is one of the only exchanges that offers FDIC insurance on USD (US Dollar) deposits. This insurance is similar to a traditional bank, insuring up to $250,000 of deposited USD funds.
Binance vs. Coinbase: Features
Both Binance and Coinbase allow users to buy and sell cryptocurrency with ease, but they both go about it in different ways. Here are a few of the unique features on each platform:
Binance Unique Features
User rewards: Binance frequently holds giveaways and challenges to increase user participation on their platform. Users can claim these prizes in the Binance rewards center. Binance also hosts crypto airdrops for currencies that are soon-to-be listed on their platform.
Binance Academy: Binance hosts its own free education platform called Binance Academy. From beginner crypto lessons to advanced tutorials on trading, Binance Academy is a one-stop-shop for all things crypto.
Huge variety of trade options: Binance offers one of the widest arrays of trade types on any exchange. Here is a quick list of just some of the trade options available:
- Limit order
- Market order
- Stop limit order
- Stop market order
- Trailing stop order
- Post only order
- One-cancels-the-other (OCO) orders
- Time in force limit orders
- Limit TP/SL order (strategy order)
- Margin trading
- Pool liquidity
- Peer-to-peer trading
- Guess the price battles
Advanced charting: Binance allows users to create advanced charting views with hundreds of overlays and indicators via the embedded TradingView charts.
API keys: Binance gives public access to their API keys, allowing third-party apps to integrate with Binance.
Coinbase Unique Features
Free education (+ free crypto): Coinbase offers short educational videos that walk users through different cryptocurrency projects. These videos can be viewed on the platform and mobile app and will reward users who watch them with a small amount of free cryptocurrency.
Newsfeed: Coinbase offers a built-in newsfeed to update its users on current crypto news and developments. The feed curates articles from the web to deliver important trends and changes in the cryptocurrency market.
Price alerts: Coinbase users can set up alerts about price changes in whichever cryptocurrencies they want to track. Using a watchlist of currencies, users can either view updates on the app or get notifications pushed to their mobile phones.
Binance vs. Coinbase: Currencies
Binance and Coinbase both offer access to the top cryptocurrencies on the market, but Binance supports more than 10 times the amount of currencies that Coinbase does. Coinbase supports 44 cryptocurrencies, while Binance has access to over 500.
Both platforms allow you to purchase cryptocurrency in dollar amounts, allowing you to buy fractions of coins. Coinbase has a $2 minimum order amount and Binance has a minimum order of $1.
While the list of supported currencies is too large to share here, both platforms support major currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Uniswap, Chainlink, and Compound.
Binance vs. Coinbase: Fees
The difference in fees between Binance and Coinbase is fairly significant. Overall, Binance charges much less for trading cryptocurrencies as well as funding your account.
Coinbase charges users an average flat fee of approximately 0.50% per transaction. Additionally, Coinbase also charges extra fees based on the account used in the transaction.
Here is a breakdown of how Coinbase charges fees based on account type:
|US Bank Account||1.49%|
|Coinbase USD Wallet||1.49%|
|Credit/Debit Card Buy||3.99%|
|Instant Card Withdrawal||Up to 1.5% of any transaction and a minimum fee of $0.55|
|USD Deposit Method||Free|
|Wire Transfer||$10 ($25 outgoing)|
As you can see, purchasing cryptocurrency on Coinbase could cost about 4% in fees per transaction. If you purchase and sell a cryptocurrency on the same day using a credit card, this can cost up to 9% of the total price.
Coinbase is best for buy and hold investors who want to purchase a currency and hold it for the long term.
Binance offers much lower fees per transaction, as well as incentivizing high-volume traders with their fee structure. While they use a maker-taker fee structure, both the maker and taker fees are identical.
When users place an order at the market price that gets filled immediately, they are considered a “taker” and are charged the taker fee. When users place an order that is not immediately matched, it is placed in the order book (until a match is found), and they are considered a “maker” and are charged a maker fee when the trade executes.
Here is a breakdown of the Binance fee structure:
|Level||30d Trade Volume (BTC)||&/or||BNB Balance||Maker / Taker||Maker / TakerBNB 25% off||Maker / TakerBNB x Referral 25% off x Kickback 20%|
|VIP 0||< 50 BTC||or||≥ 0 BNB||0.1000% / 0.1000%||0.0750% / 0.0750%||0.0600% /0.0600%|
|VIP 1||≥ 50 BTC||&||≥ 50 BNB||0.0900% / 0.1000%||0.0675% / 0.0750%||0.0540% /0.0600%|
|VIP 2||≥ 500 BTC||&||≥ 200 BNB||0.0800% / 0.1000%||0.0600% / 0.0750%||0.0480% /0.0600%|
|VIP 3||≥ 1,500 BTC||&||≥ 500 BNB||0.0700% / 0.1000%||0.0525% / 0.0750%||0.0420% /0.0600%|
|VIP 4||≥ 4,500 BTC||&||≥ 1,000 BNB||0.0700% / 0.0900%||0.0525% / 0.0675%||0.0420% /0.0540%|
|VIP 5||≥ 10,000 BTC||&||≥ 2,000 BNB||0.0600% / 0.0800%||0.0450% / 0.0600%||0.0360% /0.0480%|
|VIP 6||≥ 20,000 BTC||&||≥ 3,500 BNB||0.0500% / 0.0700%||0.0375% / 0.0525%||0.0300% /0.0420%|
|VIP 7||≥ 40,000 BTC||&||≥ 6,000 BNB||0.0400% / 0.0600%||0.0300% / 0.0450%||0.0240% /0.0360%|
|VIP 8||≥ 80,000 BTC||&||≥ 9,000 BNB||0.0300% / 0.0500%||0.0225% / 0.0375%||0.0180% /0.0300%|
|VIP 9||≥ 150,000 BTC||&||≥ 11,000 BNB||0.0200% / 0.0400%||0.0150% / 0.0300%||0.0120% /0.0240%|
It may look complicated, but essentially users are charged a 0.1% fee per transaction, with discounts for using the BNB token (Binance native token) to pay for these fees. These tokens can only be purchased on Binance.
The higher the trading volume (measured in Bitcoin amounts), the lower the fee becomes, all the way down to 0.02%.
Binance can lower your costs significantly, with an average of 0.1% fee per transaction (or less). If you are an active trader, Binance offers some of the lowest fee trades on the market.
Binance vs. Coinbase Fee Comparison Table
|Transaction||Binance Fee||Coinbase Fee|
|Buy/Sell with Bank Account||0.10%||1.99%|
|Buy/Sell with Wallet||0.10%||1.99%|
|Buy/Sell with Credit/Debit Card||1.10%–2.10%||4.49%|
|Instant Card Withdrawal||N/A||Up to 1.5%|
|Wire Transfer (USD)||Free||$10 ($25 outgoing)|
Binance vs. Coinbase: Access
Both Binance and Coinbase are available globally but not in all countries (as of March 2021).
Binance is available in over 180 countries worldwide, but they built a separate platform for U.S.-based users due to strict KYC (Know Your Customer) and anti-money laundering restrictions required by the United States.
Binance.US offers a limited selection of cryptocurrencies and trade options compared to their main platform. With no margin trading, limited crypto-to-crypto trading, higher deposit and buying fees, and no credit card purchases allowed, Binance US is not currently a great option for US residents at this time.
Coinbase is offered in 100 countries currently with its full platform available to United States residents as well.
When comparing Binance vs. Coinbase, there are many similarities. Both have access to similar currencies, both allow you to buy, sell, and trade your digital assets, and both offer user education for newcomers to the crypto space.
Coinbase is the simplest platform to use for beginners due to its minimalist design and fantastic mobile app. Buying and selling crypto on Coinbase only takes a few clicks, and your digital funds are safely stored at all times.
If you are NOT a U.S. resident and looking to go deeper into the crypto world, Binance is a great place to do so. With its wide array of trade options, easy-to-use platform, and access to over 500 cryptocurrencies, Binance is the top choice for most active traders.
No matter which platform you choose, understand that investing in cryptocurrencies is highly speculative, so never invest more than you are willing to lose.
Binance vs. Coinbase FAQ
What Are Binance and Coinbase?
Binance and Coinbase are cryptocurrency exchange platforms designed for buying, selling, and trading these currencies. Binance offers a wide range of trading tools for more advanced crypto traders while Coinbase is a great on-ramp for beginners to buy their first cryptocurrency.
Binance is the world’s largest exchange of crypto by volume, but not all of its features are available to US residents. Coinbase is a U.S.-regulated exchange with several consumer protections to help keep investors safe.
How Do Binance and Coinbase Work?
Binance is a cryptocurrency exchange that functions similarly to an online brokerage for buying, selling, and trading digital currencies. Users create an account and add funds via a standard financial account or credit card to purchase cryptocurrency. Users can then withdraw those currencies to their digital wallet, or use the Binance platform to trade them.
For example, when buying Ethereum (ETH), Binance would act as a broker for the transaction. You would create a Binance account, connect your bank account and submit an order to purchase ETH. You are exchanging U.S. Dollars for ETH, and Binance is storing that ETH for you until you decide to sell, trade, or withdraw it.
Coinbase functions the same way, allowing users to deposit fiat funds and exchange them into cryptocurrencies. The main difference is that Coinbase does not offer advanced trading options such as futures, options, and limit orders.
Should I Use the Coinbase Wallet?
The Coinbase Wallet is a secure digital wallet that allows you to hold your cryptocurrency in one place. It has multiple layers of protection, including biometric access controls and a 12-word recovery phrase.
Coinbase Wallet is a popular choice for exchanging crypto and can be used on many decentralized applications. If you are looking to trade cryptocurrency, or simply hold the keys to ones you already own, Coinbase Wallet is a secure way to store them.
Who Should Use Binance vs. Coinbase?
Binance is a solid platform for active crypto traders and beginners alike. They offer rock-bottom fees, a huge range of trading options, and user education to help users learn more about crypto. They also offer prizes and access to up-and-coming cryptocurrencies for more speculative investing.
Coinbase is ideal for beginner investors who are just getting started with cryptocurrency. With its easy onboard and intuitive interface, Coinbase makes it simple to buy your first digital currency. Add in their user education section and crypto bonuses, Coinbase is a fantastic place to get started.
How We Evaluated Binance vs. Coinbase
When reviewing Binance vs. Coinbase we compared each platform based on ease of use, fee structure, security, unique features, and support currencies. We also took into account the types of trades available on each platform and their relative cost to the wider cryptocurrency exchange market.
While Binance and Coinbase are both crypto exchanges, they offer very different user experiences. Binance offers more than almost any exchange on the market, with more features being added all the time. User education, beginner and advanced charting, tons of trade options and more make it a great value for crypto traders of all levels.
That being said, Binance only has limited availability in the United States, so it's not the best choice for U.S. residents. Coinbase is best suited for first-time crypto investors due to its simple interface and user education component. Their fees are much higher than other exchanges, so users may want to look elsewhere for high-volume trading.