Exodus vs. Coinbase

Beginners should head to Coinbase before trading on Exodus

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Exodus and Coinbase are cryptocurrency exchanges offering digital wallets, staking, and a variety of cryptocurrencies. Exodus was founded in 2015 with headquarters in Nebraska, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved its offering of Class A common stock in April 2021 (OTCBB: EXOD). Coinbase launched in 2012 and was previously headquartered in California. However, in 2020, it announced Coinbase would be a remote-first company and plans to close its San Francisco headquarters by 2022. It went public via a direct listing in April 2021 (Nasdaq: COIN). 

Coinbase is a centralized exchange, meaning it monitors transactions and secures assets on your behalf. In contrast, Exodus is a decentralized, or distributed, exchange. In this case, it provides the platform but doesn’t track your trading. Instead, it supports peer-to-peer (P2P) trading. The crypto platforms differ in their approach to fees and features. Coinbase remains an excellent choice for beginners or people wanting a traditional brokerage experience. On the other hand, Exodus offers more coins and control over assets. 

We reviewed both cryptocurrency exchanges by looking at supported currencies, platform features, fees, and security. We also assessed the mobile applications and each exchange overall for ease of use and accessibility.

Exodus


Exodus

 Exodus

  • Fees: Variable spread and network fees
  • Currencies: 138 
  • Security: Users are responsible for safely storing their crypto, as Exodus doesn’t hold funds or require personal information for accounts
  • Wallet: Hot software wallet and integrates with Trezor Model T and Trezor One 
  • Transactions Supported: P2P crypto-to-crypto trades
  • Max. Trading Amount: Unlimited 
  • Apps: Mobile: Android and iOS
    Desktop: Windows, Mac, and Linux 
Pros
  • Total control over your crypto assets

  • Integration with Trezor hardware

  • Earn rewards for staking

Cons
  • Network fees may be higher than Coinbase

  • Can’t withdraw to a fiat currency

  • No advanced buying and selling options

Coinbase


Coinbase

Coinbase

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  • Fees: $0.99 to $2.99 plus 0.50% spread per trade, 3.99% for credit card purchases
  • Currencies: 66 
  • Security: FDIC-insured USD balances up to $250,000, two-step verification, cold storage, bug bounty program, and insurance against theft 
  • Wallet: Web-based hot wallet software and optional Coinbase hot wallet
  • Transactions Supported: Buy, sell, withdraw, send, and receive 
  • Max. Trading Amount: Limits vary based on your payment method and region
  • Apps: Mobile: Android and iOS
    Desktop: None
Pros
  • Can buy crypto using USD or another fiat currency

  • Several buying and selling transaction types

  • Earn rewards for staking and learning about crypto

Cons
  • Higher fees than other centralized exchanges

  • Advanced features require using Coinbase Pro

  • Less control over assets that remain on the exchange

At a Glance

  Exodus Coinbase 
Fees Variable spread and network fees $0.99 to $2.99 plus 0.50% spread per trade, 3.99% for credit card purchases
Currencies  138  66 
Security  Users are responsible for safely storing their crypto, as Exodus doesn’t hold funds or require personal information for accounts  FDIC-insured USD balances up to $250,000, two-step verification, cold storage, bug bounty program, and insurance against theft 
Wallet  Hot software wallet and integrates with Trezor Model T and Trezor One  Web-based hot wallet software and optional Coinbase hot wallet 
Transactions Supported  P2P crypto-to-crypto trades  Buy, sell, withdraw, send, and receive 
Max. Trading Amount  Unlimited  Limits vary based on your payment method and region 
Apps  Mobile: Android and iOS
Desktop: Windows, Mac, and Linux 
Mobile: Android and iOS
Desktop: None 

Exodus vs. Coinbase: Features

Exodus and Coinbase have hot wallets, incorporated cryptocurrency exchanges, and support staking. However, the platforms offer different features that may sway users toward one exchange or the other. 

First, Exodus is a distributed exchange that doesn’t accept fiat currencies, such as USD cash deposits from a bank account. Instead, users swap crypto via peer-to-peer trading. Moreover, it’s app-based, meaning users must download a desktop or mobile app to use the exchange. This differs from Coinbase, where investors can trade via a web browser or a mobile app.

Exodus offers several features for investors, including:

  • Hot wallet: The Exodus digital wallet earns a top spot as a beginner-friendly Bitcoin wallet. It’s free to use, and investors control their private keys. 
  • Staking: Exodus lets investors stake seven coins and earn rewards. Altcoin staking options include Algorand (ALGO), Cosmos (ATOM), Neo (NEO), VeChain (VET), Cardano (ADA), Tezos (XTZ), and Ontology (ONT). Estimated annual percentage rates (APR) range from 1.24% to 13.88%.
  • Trezor partnership: Trezor Model T and Trezor One users can pair their hardware wallets to Exodus to quickly transfer funds between their Trezor wallet and the Exodus exchange. 
  • Compound finance: Deposit Dai (DAI) into something similar to a crypto savings account to earn a variable interest rate of around 3.74%.

Coinbase is a centralized exchange accepting more than 20 fiat currencies, including USD, EUR, and GBP. Users can transfer funds via the Automated Clearing House Network (ACH), debit or credit card, wire transfer, or PayPal. Like Exodus, Coinbase supports peer-to-peer trading. 

Coinbase also offers: 

  • Staking: Coinbase users can earn up to 5% APR for staking four coins: ALGO, XTZ, ATOM, and Ethereum (ETH). 
  • Coinbase Earn: Watch videos and read guides about blockchain and cryptocurrencies to earn free altcoins
  • Interest accounts: Get on the waitlist to sign up for an interest-bearing account, earning up to 4% interest on USD Coin (USDC).
  • Web and hot wallets: Coinbase users can store their currencies in the Coinbase web wallet or select the Coinbase wallet, a standalone digital wallet that lets users store crypto assets outside the exchange. 
  • Coinbase Pro: Advanced users can upgrade to the Coinbase Pro platform for free. It offers extra trading options, lower fees, and charting. 

Exodus vs. Coinbase: Currencies

Exodus supports 138 altcoins, whereas Coinbase offers 66. Both platforms give access to well-known coins, such as:

  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ether (ETH)
  • Ethereum Classic (ETC)
  • Lumen (XLM)
  • Loom Network (LOOM)
  • Graph (GRT)
  • Aave (AAVE)
  • Dogecoin (DOGE)
  • Polkadot (DOT)

Additionally, each exchange supports stablecoins, like Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC). But, Exodus also offers Gemini dollar (GUSB), TrueUSD (TUSD), and Paxos (PAX). If you’re looking for specific coins, you’ll find a few offered on each platform that aren't found on the other. 

For instance, Exodus supports Chainlink (LINK), Binance Coin (BNB), PAX Gold (PAXG), adToken (ADT), and Ripple (XRP). Meanwhile, Coinbase offers Amp (AMP), Ampleforth Governance Token (FORTH), Ankr (ANKR), Balancer (BAL), BarnBridge (BOND), and SKALE (SKL). Again, Exodus doesn’t support fiat currencies, whereas Coinbase supports more than 20 fiat currencies.  

Exodus vs. Coinbase: Security

Both Exodus and Coinbase are very secure. However, differences exist due to the nature of their exchanges and wallets. Coinbase users must sign up for an account and complete a verification process. As a broker, Coinbase keeps insurance on funds in hot storage, stores 98% offline in cold storage, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insures USD funds. Furthermore, Coinbase is the custodian of your web wallet, meaning they hold your private keys. If you opt for the standalone wallet, you are the custodian, and the private keys reside on your device. 

In contrast, Exodus provides a crypto-to-crypto platform for P2P trades. Users maintain full control over their funds. As an investor, it’s your sole responsibility to ensure your computer or mobile device, hot wallet, and cold wallet are secure. The Exodus wallet is a non-custodial wallet where users retain ownership of their private keys. However, both Exodus and Coinbase wallets are closed source, so it’s not open for people to inspect the code for vulnerabilities. 

While anyone can store funds in a hardware wallet, the Exodus-Trezor partnership makes it easier to do so on the Exodus exchange, giving Exodus an edge for security and privacy. 

Exodus vs. Coinbase: Price

As a decentralized exchange, Exodus doesn’t charge any fees for sending or receiving crypto. Nor does it retain any fees associated with the withdrawal of funds. However, it’s not free and can, at times, result in prices higher than seen with Coinbase, which has some of the highest fees in the industry. 

Transaction fees on Exodus go to the network (to the people who mine the crypto). Therefore, more crowded and busier networks charge higher fees. The transaction amount also depends on the number of previously recorded deposits. In addition, you’ll pay a spread of up to 4% on transactions. Once you initiate a transaction, the network fee will be listed at the bottom of the app before you click “Send.” 

In contrast, Coinbase has a set fee list. Fees vary by payment method and amount, and there are flat fees and convenience fees. For example, if you want to buy $100 of Bitcoin and pay by credit card, you’ll pay a fee of 3.99%. But, if you use funds in your Coinbase account, you’ll pay a convenience fee of $2.99. Both methods incur charges associated with the spread of roughly 0.50%. Regardless of the payment method, if you want to withdraw money to your Coinbase USD wallet or bank account, Coinbase charges 1.49%. Exodus doesn’t support crypto to fiat withdrawals, and they suggest Coinbase as an alternative to convert and withdraw your funds. 

Exodus vs. Coinbase: Ease of Use

Coinbase is known as an “on-ramp” for new investors, offering a user-friendly platform accessible via a web browser or mobile app. Traders can exchange various fiat funds using several different methods then buy or sell on the exchange. 

Exodus isn’t available through a web browser. To get started, users must download the desktop app and open a software wallet. Moreover, investors need to own cryptocurrency to exchange on the platform. People often buy crypto via Coinbase, Kraken, or Gemini first and then make transactions through Exodus. Although Exodus is easy to use, complete investing beginners or those who aren’t comfortable with technology will face a slight learning curve. 

Exodus vs. Coinbase: Mobile App

Both Coinbase and Exodus offer mobile apps. However, Coinbase also functions on a web browser, whereas Exodus users must download a desktop or mobile app to access the service. Their apps and wallets work on Android and iOS devices. Plus, the Exodus desktop app works on Linux, Windows, and Mac computers. 

The mobile apps from both companies are user-friendly, allowing investors to use the exchanges to make P2P trades or on the Coinbase app to buy and sell. But, the Exodus apps also integrate with Trezor hardware wallets, giving users additional control over their crypto assets.

Exodus vs. Coinbase: Access

Exodus is available for people in most areas to use. However, their website notes that residents of Iran, China, and the U.S. states of Alabama, Hawaii, Louisiana, New York, Oregon, and Washington may see a “Temporarily Unavailable” message when they try to trade on the platform. In these cases, trading is unavailable in those jurisdictions. 

On the other hand, Coinbase supports investors in more than 100 countries, including all U.S. states, except for Hawaii. 

Final Verdict

Exodus is a cryptocurrency wallet with an incorporated, decentralized cryptocurrency exchange. It offers 138 cryptocurrencies for crypto-to-crypto, peer-to-peer swaps. Users have total control over their assets. In comparison, Coinbase is a centralized cryptocurrency brokerage. It supports 66 altcoins and over 20 fiat funds. Coinbase users hold funds using hot wallet software, and Coinbase is the custodian. But, Coinbase investors can transfer funds to the standalone Coinbase wallet for additional control. 

Although Exodus is worth checking out and potentially using, investors must already have cryptocurrency to use Exodus. People often make initial fiat-to-crypto trades on the Coinbase platform, then move some crypto assets to the Exodus hot wallet. Ultimately, it’s about your comfort level with peer-to-peer trading on decentralized exchanges versus the convenience yet less control on a centralized exchange. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Exodus and Coinbase?

Exodus is a multi-currency wallet with a built-in decentralized exchange, whereas Coinbase is a centralized exchange offering a web wallet and a standalone wallet. Both support peer-to-peer crypto trading. The difference is that Coinbase is a cryptocurrency brokerage, so they vet users, require customer accounts, and are typically more selective about the cryptocurrencies offered. 

In contrast, Exodus doesn’t hold any investor assets. Instead, traders use the platform to swap cryptocurrencies from their Exodus hot wallet, Trezor Model T, or Trezor One device. This gives users more control over their cryptocurrencies, including the responsibility for security that comes with it. 

How Do Exodus and Coinbase Work?

Both Exodus and Coinbase let users purchase cryptocurrencies. Coinbase serves as a brokerage and offers advanced trading options, such as margin trading, on the Coinbase Pro platform. As a broker, Coinbase oversees transactions and charges fees to earn money. To use the exchange, users must create an account and go through an extensive verification process.

In contrast, Exodus is a distributed exchange, and Exodus provides the platform for users to initiate buy and sell transactions. Exodus earns money via a portion of the spread, but 100% of the transaction fees go to network miners. Exodus doesn’t require anyone to sign up. Instead, users download the app, secure their wallets, and use their crypto to begin trading. 

Is the Exodus Wallet Safer Than Coinbase?

The Exodus Wallet is safer than the Coinbase web wallet because the user holds their private keys and maintains complete control over their assets. On the other hand, Coinbase’s wallet is a custodial wallet, and they manage your private keys. If Coinbase is hacked, your funds may be affected, whereas if Exodus is hacked, your wallet isn’t impacted. 

However, it’s important to note that Coinbase also offers a standalone Coinbase Wallet. It’s a non-custodial wallet, giving you control over your assets and provides extra protection against a hack on the Coinbase site. 

Who Should Use Exodus vs. Coinbase?

In most cases, beginners will prefer the simplicity of a centralized platform, such as Coinbase. Once they purchase cryptocurrencies and learn how it works, then they may want to try a decentralized exchange, like Exodus. Active traders may also prefer Coinbase or Coinbase Pro because the network fees on Exodus may increase when investors make numerous transactions for the same currencies. 

If security and privacy are your top priorities, Exodus may be a better fit. Its partnership with Trezor and distributed exchange give users more control over their assets.

Methodology

We evaluated each platform based on general and unique features, such as rewards and staking. We also considered which currencies, stablecoins, and fiat were supported while reviewing the process of trading on the exchange. Since Exodus and Coinbase fee structures are difficult to compare, we explored the total cost of trading on each platform and how prices may vary by use case. Lastly, we examined security measures, ease of use, and accessibility to see how the platforms differed.

Article Sources

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  1. Global News Wire. "Exodus Receives SEC Qualification and Sets Time to Begin Offering Shares in Its Wallet." Accessed June 29, 2021.

  2. SF Gate. "Coinbase San Francisco Office Closure." Accessed June 29, 2021.

  3. Tampa Bay. "Coinbase Digital Currency Exchange Goes Public May Be Valued at 100 Billion." Accessed June 29, 2021.