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Exodus and Coinbase are cryptocurrency exchanges that offer 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 went public via a direct listing in April 2021 (Nasdaq: COIN).
Coinbase is a centralized exchange. It's headquartered in San Francisco, but it considers itself to be a "remote first" company and 95% of its employees have had the option to work from home since 2021. Coinbase monitors transactions and secures assets on your behalf. It remains an excellent choice for beginners or people who prefer a traditional brokerage experience. Exodus offers more coins and control over assets.
Exodus gives you options. It supports peer-to-peer (P2P) trading in the form of a decentralized exchange, but it also connects you to a centralized exchange if you prefer to buy crypto there. The crypto platforms differ in their approach to fees and features.
We've reviewed both cryptocurrency exchanges by looking at supported currencies, platform features, fees, and security. We've also assessed the mobile applications and each exchange overall for ease of use and accessibility.
Unlike traditional brokerage firms, cryptocurrency exchanges are not members of the Securities Investor Protection Corp. (SIPC). Investors with cryptocurrency assets commingled on a custodial cryptocurrency exchange could potentially lose their funds as unsecured creditors unless user terms specify otherwise.
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.
- Fees: Variable spread and network fees
- Currencies: 260+
- Security: Users play a big role in safely storing their crypto, as Exodus doesn’t hold funds or require personal information for accounts. The platform also takes measures to be secure.
- Wallet: Hot software wallet and integrates with Trezor Model T and Trezor One
- Transactions Supported: P2P crypto-to-crypto trades, connect to exchange to buy crypto, buy crypto in app
- Max. Trading Amount: Unlimited
- Apps: Mobile: Android and iOS
Desktop: Windows, Mac, and Linux
Total control over your crypto assets
Integration with Trezor hardware
Earn rewards for staking
No phone support
Can’t withdraw to a fiat currency
Less educational resources compared to Coinbase
- Fees: Maker-taker exchange fees as high as 0.60% and other fees for various transactions calculated at time of transaction.
- Currencies: 250+
- 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, account level, and region
- Apps: Mobile: Android and iOS (both Coinbase and Coinbase Wallet)
Desktop: Coinbase Wallet available as a Chrome extension
Can buy crypto using USD or another fiat currency
Several buying and selling transaction types
Earn rewards for staking and learning about crypto
Higher fees than other centralized exchanges
Advanced features require using Coinbase Pro
Less control over assets that remain on the exchange
At a Glance
|Fees||Variable spread and network fees||Maker-taker exchange fees as high as 0.60% plus other fees calculated at transaction times|
|Security||Users are responsible for safely storing their crypto, as Exodus doesn’t hold funds or require personal information for accounts. Exodus takes many measures to secure the platform too.||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 crypto, connect to exchanges||Buy, sell, withdraw, send, and receive|
|Max. Trading Amount||Unlimited||Limits vary based on your payment method, account level, and region|
|Apps||Mobile: Android and iOS Desktop: Windows, Mac, and Linux||Mobile: Android and iOS (both Coinbase and Coinbase Wallet)
Desktop: Coinbase Wallet available as a Chrome extension
New and Notable
Exodus now offers FTX integration, Exodus Bitcoin Lightning, and NFT integration. You can learn more about these product additions by reading our full Exodus review.
Exodus vs. Coinbase: Features
Exodus and Coinbase have hot wallets, incorporated cryptocurrency exchanges, and support staking. But the platforms offer different features that may sway users toward one exchange or the other.
Exodus is primarily a distributed exchange, but it does allow you to connect to a centralized exchange if you prefer that option. It doesn’t accept fiat currencies, such as USD cash deposits from a bank account. But you can directly purchase crypto using fiat currencies in the app.
The core function of Exodus is users swapping crypto via peer-to-peer trading. It’s app-based, so 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), Solana (SOL), VeChain (VET), Cardano (ADA), Tezos (XTZ), and Ontology (ONT). Annual percentage rates (APR) range from 1.00% to 21.20% as of March 12, 2023, but can change at any time.
- Trezor partnership: Trezor Model T and Trezor One users can pair their hardware wallets to Exodus. They can then transfer assets between the hardware wallet and the Exodus hot wallet. Exodus can also be used as an interface to manage assets on the hardware wallet.
- Compound finance: Deposit Dai (DAI) into something similar to a crypto savings account to earn a variable interest rate of around 3.26%.
New and Notable
Recent improvements from Exodus include integration with FTX, Exodus Bitcoin Lightening, and non-fungible tokens (NFTS).
Coinbase is a centralized exchange accepting many fiat currencies for deposit and purchases, 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 6% APR for staking five coins: XTZ, ATOM, Cardano (ADA), Solana (SOL) and Ethereum (ETH).
- Coinbase Learning Rewards: Watch videos and read guides about blockchain and cryptocurrencies to earn free altcoins.
- 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 and charting.
Exodus vs. Coinbase: Currencies
Exodus supports over 260 cryptocurrencies. Coinbase offers over 250. Both platforms give access to well-known coins, such as:
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Ethereum Classic (ETC)
- Stellar (XLM)
- Loom Network (LOOM)
- Graph (GRT)
- Aave (AAVE)
- Dogecoin (DOGE)
- Polkadot (DOT)
Each exchange also supports stablecoins like Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC). However, the platforms have slightly different options — if you’re looking for specific coins, you’ll find a few offered on each platform that aren't found on the other.
Exodus supports Binance Coin (BNB), PAX Gold (PAXG), adToken (ADT), and Ripple (XRP). Coinbase offers BarnBridge (BOND), and SKALE (SKL). Again, Exodus doesn’t support fiat currency deposits, but you can buy crypto using fiat currency in the app. Coinbase supports many major fiat currencies for holding and purchasing, but Exodus doesn’t support crypto to fiat withdrawals. It suggests Coinbase as one alternative to convert and withdraw your funds.
Exodus vs. Coinbase: Security
Both Exodus and Coinbase are very secure, but differences exist due to the nature of their exchanges and wallets.
Coinbase users must sign up for an account and complete a verification process. Coinbase keeps insurance on funds in hot storage, stores 98% offline in cold storage, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insures USD funds. Coinbase is the custodian of your web wallet, so it holds your private keys. The private keys reside on your device if you opt for the standalone wallet and you're the custodian.
In contrast, Exodus provides a crypto-to-crypto platform for P2P trades. Users maintain full control over their funds. You have a lot of responsibility to ensure that 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.
Exodus does take measures to ensure that the platform is secure against hackers and cyber attacks, but users must adopt safe practices to protect their wallet and private keys. Coinbase is an entirely closed source so people can't check the code for vulnerabilities. Exodus uses some open source pieces, but it's largely a closed source as well.
Anyone can store funds in a hardware wallet, but the Exodus-Trezor partnership makes it easier to do so on Exodus. This gives Exodus an edge for security and privacy.
Exodus vs. Coinbase: Fees
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. Transaction fees on Exodus go to the network (to the people who mine the crypto), so more crowded and busier networks can charge higher fees. The transaction amount also depends on the number of previously recorded deposits.
You’ll additionally pay a spread on transactions. The network fee will be listed at the bottom of the app after you initiate a transaction and before you click “Send."
Coinbase doesn't publish many of their fees online. It says that fees will be calculated and shown at the time of transaction. Fees for purchasing crypto as well as using different payment and funding methods will apply. The one fee schedule it does post is their maker-taker fees for trades on the exchange. Those can be as high as 0.60%.
Exodus vs. Coinbase: Ease of Use
Coinbase is known as an “on-ramp” for new investors. It offers 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. Users must download the desktop or mobile app to get started and create a software wallet. Exodus is easy to use, but complete crypto beginners or those who aren’t comfortable with technology will face a slight learning curve. It's definitely more complicated to use than Coinbase.
Exodus vs. Coinbase: Mobile App
Both Coinbase and Exodus offer mobile apps, but Coinbase also functions on a web browser. Exodus users must download a desktop or mobile app to access the service. Its apps and wallets work on Android and iOS devices. The Exodus desktop app also 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 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 can be used worldwide, although some governments or countries may restrict, block, or regulate it.
Coinbase supports users in more than 100 countries, including all U.S. states except for Hawaii.
Exodus is a cryptocurrency wallet with an incorporated, decentralized cryptocurrency exchange. It offers the ability to connect to a centralized exchange as well. Users have total control over their assets and private keys.
Coinbase is a centralized cryptocurrency brokerage. Its 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.
Exodus is worth checking out and potentially using, but investors generally must already have cryptocurrency to use it. But Exodus is offering a direct purchase option.
It ultimately comes down to your comfort level with peer-to-peer trading on decentralized exchanges versus the convenience (but less control) of a centralized exchange. Coinbase is also a bit more user-friendly overall and it offers superior educational opportunities for beginners.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Are Exodus and Coinbase?
Exodus is a multi-currency wallet with a built-in decentralized exchange. 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 it vets users, requires customer accounts, and is typically more selective about the cryptocurrencies offered.
Exodus doesn’t hold any investor assets. Traders instead 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. Users must create an account and go through an extensive verification process to use the exchange.
Exodus is a distributed exchange and it 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. Users instead 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. Coinbase’s wallet is a custodial wallet, and it manages your private keys. Your funds may be affected if Coinbase is hacked, whereas your wallet isn't impacted if Exodus is hacked.
But it’s important to note that Coinbase also offers a standalone Coinbase Wallet. It’s a non-custodial wallet that gives 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 like Coinbase. They may then want to try a decentralized exchange like Exodus after they purchase cryptocurrencies and learn how it all works. Active traders may also prefer Coinbase or Coinbase Pro because the network fees on Exodus can increase when investors make numerous transactions for the same currencies. Coinbase Pro also offers charting and other features that are more suited to active traders.
Exodus may be a better fit if security and privacy are your top priorities. Its partnership with Trezor and a distributed exchange give users more control over their assets.
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. Exodus and Coinbase fee structures are difficult to compare, so we explored the total cost of trading on each platform and how prices may vary by use case. Finally, we examined security measures, ease of use, and accessibility to see how the platforms differed.
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