Where to buy, sell and exchange Bitcoin and cryptocurrency.
Coinbase vs Bittrex Global
We compare these two popular exchanges to see how they differ on features, fees, security and customer support.
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Buying and selling cryptocurrencies usually require two things: a cryptocurrency wallet and a cryptocurrency exchange. When searching for a cryptocurrency exchange, any list would not be complete without mentioning two of the most popular: Coinbase and Bittrex Global.
While both Coinbase and Bittrex Global draw a lot of attention and share many similar features, each one targets a slightly different audience.
Coinbase targets those first jumping into the world of cryptocurrency investments. It can be an ideal platform for building an initial crypto portfolio. With 56 million registered users and a trading volume well over $300 billion per quarter, Coinbase has made cryptocurrency investing easy. But that ease can come with a high price tag. Coinbase charges comparatively high fees, which makes the platform less appealing to traders who execute multiple trades on a daily basis. That's where Bittrex Global shines.
When actively trading, the fees on Bittrex Global are low. The platform also boasts a broader range of cryptocurrencies, with over 200 supported. Although more applicable to frequent traders, Bittrex Global can be hard for newcomers to navigate. With advanced trading options, the exchange targets the more experienced cryptocurrency trading community.
In this guide, we will run through the key differences between the two exchanges, including features, fees, security and regulation.
At a glance: Bittrex Global vs Coinbase
- Crypto-to-crypto exchange: Trade cryptocurrencies on over 700 crypto pairs.
- Fiat support: Purchase cryptocurrencies directly with fiat deposits – either USD or EUR.
- API keys: API keys can be used to integrate Bittrex Global with third-party applications, such as portfolio management apps.
- Bittrex wallet: Cryptocurrencies can be stored in the Bittrex cold (offline) storage system.
- Referral: The exchange offers the Bittrex Global Referral Program for users.
- Token submissions: Anyone can apply to list a token on Bittrex Global
- Instant buy: Buy cryptocurrency instantly with a card.
- Recurring buy: Automate regular cryptocurrency purchases.
- Staking: Earn interest on cryptocurrency funds.
- Coinbase Earn: Get paid for learning about cryptocurrency.
- Coinbase wallet: A secure non-custodial wallet that can securely store digital assets.
- Coinbase Pro: An advanced trading platform for experienced crypto traders.
Trading fees for buy/sell orders are structured in a "maker" (adding liquidity) and "taker" (removing liquidity) system. This fee varies depending on the 30-day trading volume.
Fees start at 0.75% for those trading less than $5,000 in a month. Fees can be reduced to a maximum of 0.05% for traders with a volume over $100M.
Bittrex Global charges nothing for fiat or cryptocurrency deposits.
Withdrawal fees depend on the cryptocurrency or fiat currency used. The exact fee is always visible before the withdrawal.
A 3% charge is incurred on accepted credit card transactions.
Trading fees on Coinbase are a combination of the spread, which is on average 0.5%, and a Coinbase fee which is the higher of either a flat fee or variable fee that changes based on location, product and payment method.
The flat fee varies between $0.99 and $2.99 for purchases between $1 and $200.
Variable fees are calculated as a percentage of the trade and vary based on the above criteria. They are further outlined on Coinbase's fee page.
Purchases made with debit or credit cards incur a 4% charge.
Crypto-to-crypto transactions are charged 2%
- Bank transfer
- Credit card
- Debit card
- Debit card
Coinbase commands one of the largest daily trading volumes of any exchange. According to the exchange aggregator CoinGecko, at the time of writing, Coinbase ranks second based upon daily trading volume and security. For Q1 2021, the exchange reportedly reached a $331 billion trading volume. With some of the highest volumes of any exchange, the liquidity on all markets should be more than adequate to execute transactions with minimal slippage.
Although very competitive, trading volumes on Bittrex Global are slightly less. According to CoinGecko, Bittrex Global ranks 24th based upon daily trading volume and security. Even with smaller trading volumes, Bittrex Global should still offer high enough liquidity for minimal slippage on exchanges.
Both Coinbase and Bittrex Global regard security as a priority and follow many of the same basic security procedures. As the platforms are constantly connected to the Internet, there is an inherent risk of online vulnerability. However, to limit exposure, each platform has implemented a strong set of security features to secure cryptocurrency holdings.
Bittrex Global was founded by 3 former Microsoft employees who focused on a security-first approach. One of the first measures implemented was comprehensive identity checks. While Coinbase also implements identity checks, Bittrex Global checks are detailed and are implemented to deter fraudulent behaviour on the platform. While Bittrex supports users from around the world, Bittrex does not allow users from certain countries, citing security reasons. These include Belarus, North Korea, Nicaragua, Ukraine and a few others.
Both Bittrex Global and Coinbase allow users to whitelist cryptocurrency wallet addresses, which means only specific wallets can receive cryptocurrencies from an account. They also implement 2-factor authentication (2FA), which involves inputting a time-sensitive 6-digit code from a third-party app, such as Google Authenticator. Bittrex also requires an email verification every time a user logs in from a new IP address.
Coinbase claims to store 98% of cryptocurrency holdings offline in cold storage facilities. The storage should help to mitigate the effects of any security breach. Thanks to US regulation, Coinbase also offers users the opportunity to gain FDIC insurance on fiat deposits up to $250,000.
In comparison, Bittrex Global opts for an elastic, multi-stage wallet approach. The exchange keeps 90% of assets in cold storage and moves the remainder between hot and cold wallets as needed. To date, Bittrex is the only major exchange that hasn't lost any investor funds to an outside hack.
Bittrex originally began in the US, with the US branch of the company headquartered in Seattle. Bittrex Global was developed at a later stage to offer services to global customers. Bittrex Global is now headquartered in Liechtenstein and complies with all EU guidelines and regulatory requirements. The two branches of the company share assets and liquidity.
Coinbase is a US-based cryptocurrency exchange that complies with all US regulatory requirements. It is registered as a Money Services Business with FinCEN. Internationally, the exchange complies with all policies and regulations from the jurisdictions that it operates within.
Shares in Coinbase can be traded on the Nasdaq exchange. The company successfully launched an initial public offering (IPO) in April 2021. The stock reference price was initially set at $250 a share.
Coinbase and Bittrex Global offer useful platforms for purchasing and exchanging cryptocurrencies; however, the two clearly target a different consumer base.
With its user-friendly interface, Coinbase remains one of the best platforms for those new to the cryptocurrency industry. As it functions as both a broker and an exchange, it's easy to build a small portfolio and gain knowledge of cryptocurrency basics. While applicable for beginners, Coinbase's fee structure can discourage investors who want to actively trade crypto or who want access to the hundreds of altcoins available on the market.
Bittrex Global can certainly be used by beginners, but the fee structure and the wide range of trading pairs are clearly geared for more active cryptocurrency investors. While the advanced features can be overwhelming, the high importance of security means the exchange offers a safe platform to develop and grow cryptocurrency portfolios.
If you're looking to learn more about crypto, diversify your portfolio or take a more relaxed approach, then Coinbase is the platform for you. If you want to max out your crypto holdings and pursue more obscure altcoins, Bittrex provides all you need and more.
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