Binance vs. Coinbase

Binance is the clear winner unless you live in the United States

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Binance and Coinbase are two cryptocurrency platforms with very different approaches. Coinbase is a U.S.-based exchange designed for beginners with a simple interface and limited transaction types. Binance has a steep learning curve, supports advanced users, and provides international traders with hundreds of currency trading options.  

Although the Binance platform is user-friendly and offers three levels organized according to trading experience, it isn’t nearly as easy to use as Coinbase is. The Binance.US version is less robust with limited options and higher fees. But, you can’t beat the low cost of Binance versus Coinbase’s high prices.

We put Binance and Coinbase side-by-side to review the overall price for various transaction types, accepted fiat currencies, and available altcoin for trading purposes. We also explored ease of use for web and mobile applications, security protocols, standout features, and customer service.

Binance vs. Coinbase: Which Should You Choose?

Binance

Binance

 Binance

Pros
  • Over 500 cryptocurrencies for trade

  • One of the cheapest platforms to use

  • Massive selection of transaction types

Cons
  • U.S. customers can’t use the Binance platform, and the Binance.US exchange is very limited

  • It can be overwhelming, even for experienced users

  • No built-in digital wallet

Coinbase

Coinbase

 Coinbase

Pros
  • Extremely user-friendly platform

  • Well-known and trusted by U.S. regulators

  • Multiple ways to purchase cryptocurrency

Cons
  • Expensive fees for transactions and payment methods

  • Limited advanced options for expert traders

  • Fewer transaction types than other platforms

At a Glance

Crypto Exchange Platforms Binance Coinbase
Main platform features Low fees, comprehensive charting options, and hundreds of cryptocurrencies Intuitive, beginner-friendly platform offering basic transactions, a digital wallet, and withdrawals to PayPal
Fees 0.02% to 0.10% purchase and trading fees, 3% to 4.5% for debit card purchases, free Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) transfer, or $15 per U.S. wire transfer 0.50% per trade, 3.99% for credit card purchases, 1.49% for Coinbase wallet or bank account purchases, and wire transfers are $10 for deposit and $25 for withdrawal
Number of cryptocurrencies supported Over 500 for global traders and 52 available for U.S. investors 51
Security features 2FA verification, FDIC-insured USD balances, device management, address whitelisting, cold storage 2FA verification, insurance for hot storage if Coinbase is breached, biometric fingerprint logins, cold storage, FDIC-insured USD balances, AES-256 encryption for digital wallets
Types of transactions supported Limit order, market order, stop-limit order, trailing stop order, post only order, peer-to-peer trading, margin trading, one-cancels-the-other order, and more Buy, sell, send, receive, and exchange
Maximum trading amount Limits differ based on the cryptocurrency purchased Limits vary based on your payment method and region

Binance vs. Coinbase: Features

Since the platforms are meant for different types of people, you’ll notice vast differences in their feature sets. However, both provide mobile applications with watch lists or live price tracking. But the similarities stop there. 

With Binance, you’ll get:

  • A rewards center offering challenges and giveaways as a way to earn crypto
  • Advanced charting with hundreds of indicators and overlays
  • Public API keys for integrating other software tools
  • More than 13 transaction types on Binance 
  • The option to use the third-party digital wallet, Trust Wallet                                             
  • Users in over 180 countries can trade on Binance, but only 43 states can use Binance.US, excluding Connecticut, Hawaii, New York, Texas, Vermont, Idaho, and Louisiana

Furthermore, U.S. customers can’t pay via credit card or complete margin trades, whereas Coinbase supports credit card payments, and you can make margin trades on Coinbase Pro. 

In comparison to Binance, Coinbase offers more features for U.S. residents but fewer options for international traders. The features include:

  • A secure, standalone digital hot wallet that you can use with Coinbase and other exchanges
  • The ability to withdraw funds to your PayPal account
  • Available for use in over 100 countries and 49 states, with no trading allowed for residents of Hawaii
  • A newsfeed showcasing the latest cryptocurrency news
  • The optional Coinbase Pro platform with limited charting features, including the ability to track exponential moving averages
  • Can earn crypto by watching short videos 

Binance vs. Coinbase: Supported Currencies

Binance is well-known for its massive altcoin list, with more than 500 choices available to non-U.S. users. However, the Binance.US exchange only supports 52 coins. Coinbase offers 51 trading currencies on its regular platform and 57 on the Coinbase Pro exchange. Coinbase also supports fiat currencies, including USD, GBP, and EUR, whereas Binance supports 19 fiat currencies, such as USD, EUR, AUD, GBP, HKD, and INR. Depending on your location, Binance offers 50 to 591 cryptocurrency pairs, while Coinbase supports 51 for users in the United States. 

The following cryptocurrencies are on Binance but not Coinbase: BND, VeChain (VET), Harmony (ONE), VeThor Token (VTHO), Dogecoin (DOGE), QTUM, and Matic Network (MATIC). On Coinbase, you’ll find Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC), Aave (AAVE), SushiSwap (SUSHI), and Celo (CGLD). Both platforms support popular and up-and-coming currencies such as:

  • Dash (DASH)
  • Storj (STORJ)
  • Cosmos (ATOM)
  • Compound (COMP)
  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Cardano (ADA)

Binance vs. Coinbase: Security

Although both platforms are considered secure, Coinbase has a better overall reputation. Founded in 2012, Coinbase is a U.S.-based exchange set to go public via a direct listing and backed by banks like J.P. Morgan. 

Unlike Coinbase, Binance was first established in China before moving to Japan, and the Binance.US platform operates out of San Francisco, California. Binance isn’t regulated, so it initially banned all U.S. residents from accessing the platform. However, its new Binance.US exchange stays within U.S. regulations. 

Both cryptocurrency exchanges provide two-factor authentication (2FA) via the Google Authenticator app or short message service (SMS), but U.S. users report some problems with the Binance.US and Google authentication process. While Coinbase requests identification verification from all users via a photo or government-issued ID, Binance only requires this of the U.S.-based users or those wanting to invest and trade larger amounts. 

Binance security features also include address whitelisting, device management, and the ability to restrict device access. Like Coinbase, all USD balances are insured up to $250,000 by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and held in custodial bank accounts. 

Coinbase security features consist of fingerprint biometric access for its digital wallet, and 98% of cryptocurrency funds are stored in air-gapped cold storage via vaults and safe deposit boxes. Coinbase has an insurance policy to cover the 2% of funds kept in hot storage, but it only covers security breaches on their end, not ones due to a user security problem. 

Binance vs. Coinbase: Fees

Binance fees are some of the lowest in the industry, whereas Coinbase’s prices are some of the highest. Although U.S.-based users will pay slightly more on Binance.US, it’s still much cheaper than using Coinbase. 

On average, you’ll pay 0.50% per Coinbase transaction plus extra convenience charges based on your payment method, so you might pay up to 4% per transaction. Binance uses a maker-taker structure with the same fees for both makers and takers. The fee chart can be confusing for beginners but offers vastly lower charges, especially for high-volume traders. Binance users can lower costs by:

  • Purchasing Binance (BNB) tokens to pay fees with a 25% discount
  • Ability to refer friends to earn a discount on trading fees
  • High-volume traders can level up for very important person (VIP) discounts
Fees Binance Coinbase
Bank account Free outside of the U.S. 1.49%
Wallet N/A 1.49% 
Debit/credit cards 3% to 4.5% 3.99%
ACH transfer Free Free
Wire transfer $15 for U.S. customers $10 deposit, $25 withdrawal
Crypto conversion N/A 0.50% to 2%
Purchases 0.02% to 0.1% 0% to 0.50%
Trades 0.02% to 0.1% 0.50%
Other fees 0.50% instant buy and sell fee $0.99 to $2.99 based on the amount

Binance vs. Coinbase: Ease of Use

Binance and Coinbase are geared toward different types of users. Coinbase offers a simple platform for investors new to trading cryptocurrency, wanting fast, easy, and secure ways to trade. Binance’s platform is easy to use, but the sheer number of choices can be overwhelming to a new user. Binance is a better fit for people familiar with crypto lingo and investing options, whereas Coinbase is built for convenient, easy trading. 

Both exchanges provide mobile apps with varying functionalities. For instance, the Binance and Coinbase apps rate 4.7 out of 5 stars on Apple's App Store. However, the Binance app receives poor ratings for Android users, with only 2.1 out of 5 stars on Google Play, with many users saying the application works much better on iPhones. 

Binance provides the Binance Academy, similar to Gemini’s Cryptopedia, where users can access tutorials or helpful articles similar to cryptocurrency trading courses. Both platforms offer a blog and knowledge base, but Coinbase also lets users earn crypto for watching videos for beginners. 

Although Coinbase wins for ease of use, the customer service options are less user-friendly. You can only reach Coinbase via email or a help ticket. In contrast, Binance offers live chat, responds on Twitter, or you can email them for help. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Are Binance and Coinbase?

Coinbase is a U.S.-regulated cryptocurrency exchange that allows users to buy, sell, send, receive, and exchange altcoins via a web browser or mobile app. Binance is also an exchange, but it has one the highest crypto volumes and isn’t considered U.S.-regulated, which is why not all functions and coins are available to U.S.-based users. 

Binance supports many more advanced transaction types, such as limit orders, stop-limit orders, market orders, post-only orders, and peer-to-peer trading. However, U.S. residents have fewer options. 

How Do Binance and Coinbase Work?

Both platforms function as an online brokerage for cryptocurrencies. Users deposit fiat funds to buy, sell, or trade digital currencies. The signup process is similar for both, but international Binance users won’t need to show a photo ID to verify their account. However, Binance.US requires a photo ID. 

You’ll create an account in both cases, verify your email, and add funds from an acceptable method. Once you’re ready to make a trade, you head to the exchange platform, create an order for the desired altcoin, and follow the on-screen steps. The exchanges store the cryptocurrency until you move it to a digital Bitcoin wallet, trade it, or withdraw it. 

Is It Safe to Hold Crypto in the Binance or Coinbase Exchanges?

Although Binance and Coinbase are among the best crypto exchanges, users are encouraged to store funds in a hardware wallet for long-term savings. Any currencies held online may be a target of hackers, and most exchanges have experienced breaches, including Binance in 2019. Although Coinbase told The New York Times that it's never been hacked and “only 0.004% of its users had experienced 'account takeovers' in the past year,” mistakes can happen on your end, putting your coins at risk. 

Both Binance and Coinbase insure their hot storage, but it may be safer to use your own cold storage via a hardware wallet. A hardware wallet is a device that isn’t connected to the internet, and you’ll need to plug it into your computer to access your digital currency. 

Who Should Use Binance or Coinbase?

Coinbase is perfect for beginners who prioritize convenience and security. The user-friendly platform is very easy for nearly anyone to use, and when you open the application, you’ll see a clean interface with minimal options. As a trusted, U.S.-based exchange, it’s a good fit for users wary about buying or trading cryptocurrency. However, you pay a higher price for convenient deposit and withdrawal options. 

Binance is suitable for experienced investors wanting advanced trading options and plenty of analytics to back up their strategy decisions. Novice users will experience a learning curve, but once you learn your way around, it gets easier. With low fees, over 500 cryptocurrencies, and availability in more than 180 countries, Binance is an excellent choice for non-U.S. residents wanting a sophisticated platform. 

How We Evaluated Binance vs. Coinbase

We examined Coinbase and Binance by looking at the fee structures, cost, and how easy it is to understand. Although we looked mainly at Binance, we also evaluated Binance.US features applicable to U.S. residents. We considered the website and mobile app functionality, availability of knowledge bases, and access to customer service. Our fee and feature charts give a side-by-side view of security, transaction types, fiat currencies accepted, payment methods, and cryptocurrencies.

Article Sources

Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. CNBC. "Hackers Steal Over $40 Million Worth of Bitcoin From One of the World’s Largest Cryptocurrency Exchanges." Accessed April 5, 2021.

  2. The New York Times. "Coinbase Users Say Crypto Start-Up Ignored Their Pleas for Help." Accessed April 5, 2021.