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 gives you options. It supports peer-to-peer (P2P) trading in the form of a decentralized exchange, but 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. 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.

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.

Exodus


  • Fees: Variable spread and network fees
  • Currencies: 235+
  • Security: Users play a big role for 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 
Pros
  • Total control over your crypto assets

  • Integration with Trezor hardware

  • Earn rewards for staking

Cons
  • No phone support

  • Can’t withdraw to a fiat currency

  • Less educational resources compared to Coinbase

Coinbase


Coinbase

Coinbase

  • Fees: Maker-taker exchange fees as high as 0.60% and other fees for various transactions calculated at time of transaction.
  • Currencies: 215+
  • 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
    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 Maker-taker exchange fees as high as 0.60% plus other fees calculated at transaction times
Currencies  235+ 215+ 
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 Desktop: None 

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. However, the platforms offer different features that may sway users toward one exchange or the other. 

First, Exodus is primarily a distributed exchange, but does allow you to connect to a centralized one if you prefer that option. It doesn’t accept fiat currencies, such as USD cash deposits from a bank account. However, you can directly purchase crypto using fiat currencies in the app. The core function of Exodus, though, is users swapping 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), Solana (SOL), VeChain (VET), Cardano (ADA), Tezos (XTZ), and Ontology (ONT). Annual percentage rates (APR) range from 1.01% to 20.95% as of August 30, 3022, but can change at anytime.
  • Trezor partnership: Trezor Model T and Trezor One users can pair their hardware wallets to Exodus. Then, they can transfer assets between the hardware wallet and Exodus hot wallet. Additionally, Exodus can 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 5.75% APR for staking six coins: ALGO, 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 235 cryptocurrencies, whereas Coinbase offers over 215. Both platforms give access to well-known coins, such as:

  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ether (ETH)
  • Ethereum Classic (ETC)
  • Stellar (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 (GUSD), TrueUSD (TUSD), and Paxos (USDP). 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 Binance Coin (BNB), PAX Gold (PAXG), adToken (ADT), and Ripple (XRP). Meanwhile, 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. Whereas Coinbase supports many major fiat currencies for holding and purchasing. Exodus doesn’t support crypto to fiat withdrawals, and they suggest Coinbase as one alternative to convert and withdraw your funds. 

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. 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. You have a lot 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. Exodus of course takes measures to insure the platform is secure against hackers and cyber attacks. However, users must adopt safe practices to protect their wallet and private keys. Coinbase is entirely closed source so people cannot check the code for vulnerabilities. Exodus uses some open source pieces, but is largely closed source as well.

While anyone can store funds in a hardware wallet, the Exodus-Trezor partnership makes it easier to do so on Exodus, giving 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). Therefore, more crowded and busier networks can charge higher fees. The transaction amount also depends on the number of previously recorded deposits. In addition, you’ll pay a spread on transactions. Once you initiate a transaction, the network fee will be listed at the bottom of the app before you click “Send.” 

Coinbase doesn't publish many of their fees online. They say 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 they do 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, 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 or mobile app and create a software wallet. Although Exodus is easy to use, complete crypto beginners or those who aren’t comfortable with technology will face a slight learning curve. It is definitely more complicated to use than Coinbase.

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 can be used worldwide although some governments or countries may restrict, block, or regulate it.

On the other hand, Coinbase supports users 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 and offers the ability to connect to a centralized one as well. It offers over 235 cryptocurrencies for storage and crypto-to-crypto, peer-to-peer swaps. Users have total control over their assets and private keys. In comparison, Coinbase is a centralized cryptocurrency brokerage. It supports over 215 cryptocurrencies and many fiat currencies as well. 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 generally must already have cryptocurrency to use Exodus. Although, they are now offering a direct purchase option. 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. Additionally, Coinbase is a bit more user friendly overall and offers superior educational opportunities for beginners.

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. Furthermore, Coinbase Pro offers charting and other features more suited to active traders.

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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