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If you want to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, or any other cryptocurrency, it’s important to have an account with a cryptocurrency exchange with pricing and features to meet your needs. Bitstamp and Coinbase are two such crypto exchanges where you can turn your U.S. dollars into dozens of supported digital currencies.
Coinbase is the largest player in the United States cryptocurrency markets, focusing on making trading easy and accessible, even to beginners with no background in crypto. Bitstamp features focus more on experienced and expert traders, with competitive fees and an advanced trading platform available.
We looked at features, pricing, available cryptocurrencies, and other key details to help you decide on Bitstamp vs. Coinbase. Keep reading to learn more.
Bitstamp vs. Coinbase: How Do They Compare?
Investing in cryptocurrencies, Decentralized Finance (DeFi), and other Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) is highly risky and speculative, and the markets can be extremely volatile. Consult with a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. This article is not a recommendation by The Balance or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies nor can the accuracy or timeliness of the information be guaranteed.
At a Glance
|Fees||Up to 0.50%||$0.99 to $2.99 + Spread (about 0.50%)|
|Security||Bank-level encryption||Bank-level encryption|
|Wallet||Included software wallet||Included software wallet|
|Transactions Supported||Market, Limit, Stop||Market (Limit and Stop on Coinbase Pro)|
|Max. Trading Amount||No limit||No limit|
Bitstamp vs. Coinbase: Ease of Use
For ease of use, it’s tough to beat Coinbase. Coinbase offers a simple platform that makes it extremely easy to buy cryptocurrency with a bank account, debit card, or PayPal account. If you’ve ever bought shares of stock using a brokerage app or website, it’s a similar, if not easier, overall experience.
Coinbase users who want lower fees and more trading tools can upgrade to Coinbase Pro, a more direct competitor of Bitstamp. As the name implies, it’s a more advanced trading platform. But anyone who has experience using active trading platforms at any type of brokerage should be able to navigate the options.
Bitstamp takes an approach that’s optimized for active traders and those with more market knowledge. Similar to Coinbase Pro, it features active trading and charting tools. Serious pros who want automated trading can take advantage of the Bitstamp API. While newer traders will likely do fine with the mobile app, the more advanced Tradeview web app may be intimidating to complete beginners.
Bitstamp vs. Coinbase: Security
Bitstamp and Coinbase are centralized exchanges that hold your dollars and crypto asset for you. When you buy a new currency on one of these platforms for the first time, they create a digital wallet to hold the currency on your behalf. These are online “hot wallets,” which means there is a slight chance they could be susceptible to hackers.
To ensure your accounts are safe, follow the same rules you would around passwords at any bank or investment brokerage. That includes unique, random passwords that you don’t use for any other website or app. As long as you do that, you have little to worry about with either of these platforms.
For the most secure cryptocurrency storage, you can use an external “cold storage” wallet, like a hardware or paper wallet with backups, if you lose your codes.
Bitstamp vs. Coinbase: Features
- Active trading platform: Active and expert traders will feel right at home in the web-based Tradeview app. Once logged in, you can manage your entire account, quickly enter trades, and monitor the markets from one tab.
- Low fees: If you fund your account with an ACH, you’ll likely only pay trading fees, which go up to 0.50% for trades under $10,000. Lower fees apply for larger transaction volumes.
- Business accounts: Professional and institutional traders can use Bitstamp for their trading needs, including the Bitstamp API.
- Simple beginner platform: The main Coinbase platform is quick and easy to use. Even if you’ve never bought cryptocurrency, Coinbase makes it very easy to buy and sell.
- Expert options on Coinbase Pro: Save on fees, view more advanced charts, and unlock limit and stop-loss orders with Coinbase Pro.
- Earn free crypto with Coinbase Earn: On the rewards section of Coinbase, you can earn free cryptocurrency by watching short videos teaching about newly launched coins.
- Crypto ecosystem: Coinbase is a major player in the overall cryptocurrency ecosystem and gives you additional tools, like a free software wallet app, to manage your coins even off of the main Coinbase exchanges.
Bitstamp vs. Coinbase: Currencies
As of July 2022, Coinbase supports over 100 currencies on its main platform while Bitstamp covers 54. That gives Coinbase users nearly twice as many coins to trade as Bitstamp users.
It’s important to note that most cryptocurrency trading takes place among the top two coins, Bitcoin and Ethereum. The currencies supported by these platforms are among the most popular of the thousands of different cryptocurrencies traded around the globe.
Bitstamp vs. Coinbase: Fees
When using a centralized crypto exchange like Bitstamp or Coinbase, plan on paying fees to the exchange when buying, selling, or trading crypto. That’s in addition to any network fees you may run into, which are fees paid to miners and others that make the infrastructure behind the cryptocurrency blockchains work.
With the standard Coinbase platform, you’ll pay $0.99 to $2.99 in fees for every trade. In addition, Coinbase takes a spread of about 0.50% between buying and selling prices as profit. Coinbase Pro doesn’t charge a transaction fee, just a fee of up to 0.50% per trade.
The fees at Bitstamp are similar to Coinbase Pro. You’ll pay at most 0.50% when your total trading volume is less than $10,000 per month. As you trade more, if you have deep pockets, you can qualify for lower fees.
Additional fees may come into play depending on how you fund your account.
|ACH Account Funding||Free||Free|
|Card Crypto Purchase||5%||3.99%|
|Instant Bank Purchase||N/A||1.49%|
Bitstamp vs. Coinbase: Mobile App
Bitstamp and Coinbase both offer mobile apps so you can manage your accounts and trade on the go. Downloading the apps for iOS or Android, you have access to do just about anything you could do using the web-based interface.
As with the web versions, you can pick the standard Coinbase app or opt for the Coinbase Pro app. Coinbase also has a cryptocurrency wallet app free to download.
Bitstamp’s mobile app doesn’t match the design of the web active trading platform. However, the features are similar enough that you should be fine to use Bitstamp when trading on the go.
Bitstamp vs. Coinbase: Access
Coinbase and Bitstamp offer versions for international users and those in the United States. Versions for the U.S. are more restricted due to stronger regulations. For example, you currently can’t trade XRP coin on either platform from the U.S., but you can if you’re located abroad.
In general, legal U.S. residents should have no problem signing up for either service. For tax reporting purposes, you may need to provide KYC information (Know Your Customer), including your contact information and Social Security number.
Coinbase is our overall winner as it offers top-notch platforms for both beginners and experts, with lower pricing available through Coinbase Pro. Advanced traders may eke out a better deal at Bitstamp, but they also have a shorter list of coins to trade.
While Bitstamp appears to do a fine job, particularly for advanced and business customers, Coinbase features a stronger overall offering and gets our recommendation between the two competing platforms.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Bitstamp and Coinbase?
Bitstamp and Coinbase are cryptocurrency exchanges. These trading platforms enable you to buy, sell, and trade supported cryptocurrencies. With an account at one of these exchanges, you can access a wide range of cryptocurrency products, including popular coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
How Do Bitstamp and Coinbase Work?
Bitstamp and Coinbase are centralized cryptocurrency exchanges that enable you to buy and sell, trading with other members of the same platforms. These are different from decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges, where all transactions occur in a completely open marketplace. Instead, Coinbase and Bitstamp operate their own marketplaces, though prices should generally follow prices in the open market.
Can You Transfer Crypto From Bitstamp to Coinbase?
Bitstamp and Coinbase both provide you with cryptocurrency wallets for each currency you hold. If you want to send from Bitstamp to Coinbase, or vice versa, you can use your account credentials and digital wallet address. Take extreme care when sending cryptocurrency between exchanges or wallets, as errors cannot be fixed once the transaction is sent to the blockchain.
Who Should Use Bitstamp vs. Coinbase?
Coinbase is ideal for newer cryptocurrency buyers and traders who want a simple and straightforward interface and user experience. Bitstamp, like Coinbase Pro, is best for intermediate to expert crypto enthusiasts, investors, and traders who want lower fees and more robust trading platforms.
To evaluate Bitstamp vs. Coinbase, we looked at exchange features, trade types, pricing, available cryptocurrencies, customer support, security, and other details. Based on our evaluation, either may be a good fit for the needs of various cryptocurrency traders and investors.