Binance vs. Coinbase

Coinbase is the winner due to customer satisfaction and regulatory history

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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.

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.

Unlike traditional brokerage firms, cryptocurrency exchanges are not members of the Securities Investor Protection Corp. (SIPC). Therefore, unless user terms specify otherwise, investors with cryptocurrency assets commingled on a custodial cryptocurrency exchange could potentially lose their funds as unsecured creditors.

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 Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies nor can the accuracy or timeliness of the information be guaranteed.

Binance


Binance

 Binance

  • Main platform features: Low fees, comprehensive charting options, and hundreds of cryptocurrencies
  • Fees: 0.10% spot-trading fees, 4.5% for debit card purchases
  • Number of cryptocurrencies supported: More than 600 for global traders on Binance, and more than 100 for U.S. investors on Binance.US
  • Security features: Two-factor authentication (2FA)verification, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)-insured United States dollars (USD) balances for Binance.US, device management, address whitelisting, cold storage
  • 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
  • Maximum trading amount: Limits differ based on the cryptocurrency purchased
Pros
  • Over 600 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

  • In regulatory trouble in several countries and under investigation in U.S.

Coinbase


Coinbase

Coinbase

  • Main platform features: Intuitive, beginner-friendly platform offering basic transactions, a digital wallet, and withdrawals to PayPal
  • Fees: Fees are not disclosed on the website. Coinbase notes that all fees "are calculated at the time you place your order and may be determined by a combination of factors, including the selected payment method, the size of the order, and market conditions such as volatility and liquidity"
  • Number of cryptocurrencies supported: 179
  • Security features: 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: Buy, sell, send, receive, and exchange
  • Maximum trading amount: Limits vary based on your payment method and region
Pros
  • Extremely user-friendly platform

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

  • Multiple ways to purchase cryptocurrency

Cons
  • Limited advanced options for expert traders

  • Fewer transaction types than other platforms

At a Glance

Cryptocurrency 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 0.10% spot-trading fees, 4.5% debit card purchases Not disclosed
Number of cryptocurrencies supported Over 700 for global traders on Binance. Over 100 available for U.S. investors on Binance.US 179
Security features 2FA verification, FDIC-insured USD balances for Binance.US, 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 the following:

  • Advanced charting with many different options for adding indicators and overlays
  • Public application programming interface (API) keys for integrating other software tools
  • 7 order 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 46 states can use Binance.US, excluding Hawaii, New York, Texas, and Vermont

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 newsletter showcasing the latest cryptocurrency news
  • The optional Coinbase Pro platform with advanced charting features, including the ability to track exponential moving averages
  • Can earn cryptocurrency by watching short videos 

Binance vs. Coinbase: Supported Currencies

Binance is well-known for its massive altcoin list, with more than 600 choices available to non-U.S. users. However, the Binance.US exchange supports just over 100 coins. Coinbase offers 179 trading currencies.

Coinbase also supports fiat currencies, including USD, British pound sterling (GBP), and euro (EUR), whereas Binance supports many more fiat currencies, such as USD, EUR, Australian dollar (AUD), GBP, Hong Kong dollar (HKD), and Indian rupee (INR). Binance and Coinbase both offer many cryptocurrency pairs, but the number may vary based on your location. 

The currencies each firm offers vary. For example, the following cryptocurrencies are on Binance but not Coinbase: vechain (VET), harmony (ONE), vethor token (VTHO), and qtum (QTUM). However, 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 that went public on April 14, 2021, via a direct listing, and is backed by banks like J.P. Morgan.

Unlike Coinbase, Binance was first established in China before moving to Japan, and the Binance.US platform is headquartered in Palo Alto, California. Binance isn’t consistently regulated around the world, but its Binance.US exchange stays within U.S. regulations. Note that Binance is currently under U.S. regulatory investigation.

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. Both Coinbase and Binance require users to verify identity with a photograph. 

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 does not disclose its fees online.

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. High-volume traders can also level up for very important person (VIP) discounts

Fees Binance Coinbase
Bank account Free outside of the U.S. Not disclosed
Wallet N/A Not disclosed
Debit/credit cards 4.5% Not disclosed
Automated clearinghouse (ACH) transfer Free Not disclosed
Wire transfer Free Not disclosed
Cryptocurrency conversion Not disclosed Not disclosed
Purchases Not disclosed Not disclosed
Trades Not disclosed Not disclosed
Other fees 0.50% instant buy and sell fee Not disclosed

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 who want 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 cryptocurrency lingo and investing options, whereas Coinbase is built for convenient, easy trading.

Both exchanges provide mobile apps with varying functionalities.

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

Coinbase wins for ease of use, and also has better customer service options, including live chat, phone support, and the option to submit a ticket. In contrast, Binance offers live chat, an option to submit a ticket, or support through a Twitter help account. Binance does not advertise a phone support option.

Frequently Asked Questions

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 the version of the exchange available to users in the United States does not include all the features that the full site includes.

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, each requiring a photo ID verification.

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 Cryptocurrency 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 experienced account takeovers in the year ending April 2021, 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. 

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 600 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.

Investing in cryptocurrencies and other Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or other ICOs. Since each individual's situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein.

Article Sources
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  1. Bloomberg. "US Probes Binance Over Token That Is Now World’s Fifth Largest."

  2. CNBC. "Hackers Steal Over $40 Million Worth of Bitcoin From One of the World’s Largest Cryptocurrency Exchanges."

  3. The New York Times. "Coinbase Users Say Crypto Start-Up Ignored Their Pleas for Help."