Do you know the difference between Coinbase and Coinbase Pro? Which exchange is right for your needs? When you read this article, you will have all the information you need to make an informed decision on which exchange is better suited for you.
Founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam Coinbase is a Cryptocurrency exchange. The company is run from its headquarters which is located in San Francisco, California.
Coinbase is famously known for its wallet services and fiat-to-crypto exchange.
For most people, Coinbase is the best way to enter the crypto market as people often need to buy Bitcoin or Ether with their fiat currency before sending it to a crypto-to-crypto exchange (for example, sending Bitcoin from Coinbase to Binance).
Coinbase serves over 20 million customers around the world.
Core services of Coinbase
Coinbase has 2 core services: the simplified fiat-to-crypto exchange for novice retail traders and the advanced trading platform for professional traders.
The advanced trading platform is known as Coinbase Pro (formerly known as GDAX), while the basic exchange is simply known as Coinbase.
Coinbase Pro was founded as GDAX (Global Digital Asset Exchange) in 2016. It was rebranded to Coinbase Pro in May 2018.
There are several differences between Coinbase and Coinbase Pro, although both are run by the same company.
Difference between Coinbase and Coinbase Pro
Sign up process
Sign up on this cryptocurrency exchange is simple and easy. What is required are your name, email, and password.
For verification, a verification link will then be sent to the email address you entered during sign up. This link will verify the user’s email. After the email is verified, other details necessary for the operation of the account is requested.
These details include a phone number (for 2FA), address, a mode of identification (which could be either one of international passport, driver’s license, or a government-issued ID card), and a payment channel (such as debit card or credit card).
After a successful sign up on Coinbase, the user can buy and sell any of the available cryptocurrencies.
Signing up for Pro is not so different. An individual can only have one account on Coinbase. This means that users who already have a Coinbase account are required to login with the same email (for Coinbase) when registering for Coinbase Pro.
For those who do not have a Coinbase account, they will go through a similar process of account setup for Coinbase. However, Coinbase Pro will require new users to agree with the Coinbase Pro terms and conditions. Also, additional information may be required.
To use any of the Coinbase Services you must be at least 18 years of age.
Countries Coinbase supports
Coinbase supports the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies with fiat currencies in 33 countries which includes Singapore, Australia, Canada, USA, and 29 countries in Europe. However, wallet services with only send and receive functions are available in 190 countries worldwide.
Currently, Australia, Singapore, and Canada accounts are not enabled for fiat trading pairs.
Coinbase Pro is currently available in 32 countries including the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Singapore, and 27 European countries. There are no fiat trading pairs available for Australia, Singapore, and Canada accounts.
Hawaii is not supported by Coinbase Pro, although it is a US state.
Cryptocurrencies available on Coinbase
Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum Classic, Ripple (XRP), and the newly-added 0x are available cryptocurrencies on Coinbase.
The fiat currencies supported also include the US dollar, GB pounds, and euro. Coinbase expressed support for ERC-20 tokens on its platform earlier in 2018. Not too long later, they announced 5 cryptocurrencies they are considering to add on their platform (which included 2 ERC-20 tokens).
On Coinbase Pro, the 6 cryptocurrencies available on Coinbase are present. This includes the new addition, 0x, which was one of the cryptocurrencies previously announced for consideration on the platform.
Application Programming Interface (API). It is a pathway for programmers to interact with an application.
Coinbase and Coinbase Pro both allow APIs on their platforms. However, the capabilities of the Coinbase Pro API are better than the basic Coinbase, as users of Coinbase Pro API can build more efficient trading bots.
The prices of cryptocurrencies are openly displayed on Coinbase. Users can only buy and sell cryptocurrencies at the price displayed on the dashboard at that particular time. On Coinbase there are no options or flexibility around trading for users.
More trading features are available for traders on Coinbase Pro. Users with Coinbase accounts have their wallet balances integrated on Coinbase Pro for trading purposes. The trading options available on Coinbase Pro include market order, limit order, and stop order.
The market orders refer to orders that are made at the market price at a particular time. The market order is the option that allows the user to buy or sell instantly based on the current price displayed by the exchange.
The limit orders refer to orders that are made at the desired price of the customer but require a waiting period for the market conditions to come up to the price set by the customer.
The waiting period can be a few minutes, hours, days, or even months. For example, a user can set a limit buy order for Bitcoin at $6,100, when the current price is $6,500. Whenever the price hits that amount, the order is immediately filled.
The stop orders are orders that guard trades against losses or limit the losses on a particular trade.
For example, if a user has 1 Bitcoin currently priced at $6,500, a stop order can be made for $6,000. This means that if the value of Bitcoin drops to $6,000, the 1 Bitcoin is automatically sold at that price to avoid further losses as it falls lower.
The basic Coinbase platform is designed for retail users and novice traders or people who just want to buy and hold a cryptocurrency. It requires no trading experience. The interface is simple, as shown below.
The Coinbase Pro platform is for professional traders that want advanced trading features. Because of the availability of these features on Pro, the user interface is a bit complex. A sample of the user interface of Pro is shown below.
It is free to sign up on both Coinbase and Coinbase Pro. The variation in cost is, however, reflected in the fee structure.
A transaction fee of 1.49% is applied for buying and selling Cryptocurrencies on Coinbase exchange. This means if a user makes a buy order for $100, the total amount deducted will be $101.49.
Besides if a trader makes a sell order for $100 the total amount he receives will be $98.51. However, when the transaction is made from a credit or debit card, the fee is 3.99%. This credit/debit card transaction fee can be higher, based on the bank (or card provider) fees.
On Coinbase Pro, it is possible to have as low as 0% in fees. The chart below illustrates the fee structure for Pro.
|Pricing Tier||Taker Fee||Maker Fee|
|Up to $10k||0.50%||0.50%|
The taker in a transaction is a user that buys or sells with the market order. Taker in a transaction takes an order which is created by another user and therefore pays the fees. The maker is a user that buys or sells with the limit order.
The maker places the order and then waits for the market to reach the set price. Users who place a limit order-pay no commission upon order completion.
The two platforms are similar regarding the transaction speed. The time taken for deposits ranges from 1 to 5 business days depending on region and mode of deposit.
For example, it takes 3-5 business days to transfer from ACH bank in the US, while purchase through credit or debit cards is almost available immediately.
Details of the time taken for purchases for each region and withdrawals for each region are clearly expressed by Coinbase.
The difference between Coinbase and Coinbase Pro is that Coinbase is designed for users who are not interested in active Cryptocurrency trading or who are beginners. So this platform is good for beginners.
Coinbase Pro was created to meet the needs of the traders who are professionals and who want advanced features of reading. Thus this platform is better for advanced traders.
The fee charged by each platform is the most significant difference between the two.
As the fees charged by Coinbase are high, many Coinbase users embrace Coinbase Pro to make the fees significantly less or even 0%.
Coinbase is appropriate for learners and non-regular traders of Cryptocurrency, while Coinbase Pro is a better fit for professional and regular traders of Cryptocurrency.