Coinbase launches in Australia, but it’s less competitive than we hoped
Coinbase finally launches a fully-fledged product in Australia, but our analysis shows it's up against tough competition.
Coinbase officially launches its full-featured cryptocurrency exchange in Australia today.
Previously, Coinbase only offered Australians an instant buy/sell/swap service that required a credit or debit card and was accompanied by relatively high fees, making it a poor choice for most traders.
Today's launch changes all that, with the exchange bringing AUD deposits, spot markets, staking, 24/7 in-app customer support and a flagship feature called Advanced Trade.
Advanced Trade is described as a step up from the Coinbase Pro platform and offers advanced charting and technical analysis tools alongside earning options for coins such as UDSC, ETH, ALGO and DAI.
Coinbase Australia country director John O'Loghlen said, "With over 200 assets available on the Coinbase Exchange, Australian customers now have broader and seamless access to the crypto ecosystem."
While all this sounds impressive, O'Loghlen noted that "Australians were some of the world's earliest adopters of digital currencies and are savvy investors", which means we have already had access to high-quality crypto trading platforms for years.
In that time, foreign competitors such as Binance, Kraken, FTX and Crypto.com have had plenty of time to build a presence on our shores and tailor their products to Aussie users. Does Coinbase offer anything worth switching for?
How does Coinbase compare?
To help you decide, we've compared Coinbase with several similar exchanges on factors such as available coins, fees and earning options to give you a quick overview and help you make better sense of today's news.
|Exchange||Coins available||Spot fees||Staking or earning|
|Binance AU||368||0.1% maker|
A note on fees: Most platforms use a tiered system that reduces spot fees the more you trade. So the amount quoted above is the starting fee, which may reduce once a threshold amount of trading volume has been reached. Swyftx is an outlier here and charges a flat fee.
Based on the data above, Coinbase has a way to go if it plans to take on international competitors like Kraken and Binance who offer similar products, but with lower fees. Today's launch emphasised the strengths of the Advanced Trade platform. Coinbase could be pinning its hopes on the features being enough to persuade traders to make the switch despite lower fees being available elsewhere.
Chipping in locally
Coinbase's arrival in Australia is more than just the trading platform. The company made it crystal clear at today's launch that they are here to stay and have already started contributing to the local industry in a number of ways.
Coinbase has registered as a local entity and with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) to provide digital currency exchange services. It is a member of Blockchain Australia, Australia's peak industry body that helps advocate for blockchain technology and works closely with the government to do so. It has collaborated with RMIT's Blockchain Innovation Hub on exploring the potential of Web3 on the Australian economy and its investments.
Through its investment wing, Coinbase Ventures, the company has helped launch several successful Aussie crypto startups including wunderkinds Immutable X, Synthetix, Block Earner and Crypto Tax Calculator.
These steps towards integrating with the local industry are clearly a green flag and suggest that Coinbase may start to build future products and services with Australians front of mind.
Trying to get a handle on the markets? Cut through the noise with our overview of the best cryptos to buy right now, explore some strategies for how to trade crypto or see if there's a better platform for you with our guide to the best crypto exchanges.
James Edwards owns cryptocurrencies as of the publishing date.