Binance vs. Coinbase: Which Should You Choose? – Investopedia

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Binance and Coinbase are two cryptocurrency platforms with very different approaches. Coinbase is a U.S.-based exchange designed for beginners with a simple interface and limited transaction types. Binance has a steep learning curve, supports advanced users, and provides international traders with hundreds of currency trading options.  
Although the Binance platform is user-friendly and offers three levels organized according to trading experience, it isn’t nearly as easy to use as Coinbase is. The Binance.US version is less robust with limited options and higher fees. But, you can’t beat the low cost of Binance versus Coinbase’s high prices.
We put Binance and Coinbase side-by-side to review the overall price for various transaction types, accepted fiat currencies, and available altcoin for trading purposes. We also explored ease of use for web and mobile applications, security protocols, standout features, and customer service.
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.
 Binance
Over 500 cryptocurrencies for trade
One of the cheapest platforms to use
Massive selection of transaction types
U.S. customers can’t use the Binance platform, and the Binance.US exchange is very limited
It can be overwhelming, even for experienced users
No built-in digital wallet
In regulatory trouble in several countries and under investigation in U.S.
Coinbase
Get $10 of BTC by signing up with promo code: INVESTO10.
Extremely user-friendly platform
Well-known and trusted by U.S. regulators
Multiple ways to purchase cryptocurrency
Expensive fees for transactions and payment methods
Limited advanced options for expert traders
Fewer transaction types than other platforms
Since the platforms are meant for different types of people, you’ll notice vast differences in their feature sets. However, both provide mobile applications with watch lists or live price tracking. But the similarities stop there. 
With Binance, you’ll get the following:
Furthermore, U.S. customers can’t pay via credit card or complete margin trades, whereas Coinbase supports credit card payments, and you can make margin trades on Coinbase Pro. 
In comparison to Binance, Coinbase offers more features for U.S. residents but fewer options for international traders. The features include:
Binance is well-known for its massive altcoin list, with more than 500 choices available to non-U.S. users. However, the Binance.US exchange supports only 80 coins. Coinbase offers 107 trading currencies on its regular platform and 57 on the Coinbase Pro exchange.
Coinbase also supports fiat currencies, including USD, British pound sterling (GBP), and euro (EUR), whereas Binance supports 18 fiat currencies, such as USD, EUR, Australian dollar (AUD), GBP, Hong Kong dollar (HKD), and Indian rupee (INR). Depending on your location, Binance offers 50 to 591 cryptocurrency pairs, while Coinbase supports 107 for users in the United States. 
The following cryptocurrencies are on Binance but not Coinbase: vechain (VET), harmony (ONE), vethor token (VTHO), dogecoin (DOGE), and qtum (QTUM). On Coinbase, you’ll find wrapped bitcoin (WBTC), aave (AAVE), sushiswap (SUSHI), and celo (CGLD). Both platforms support popular and up-and-coming currencies such as:
Although both platforms are considered secure, Coinbase has a better overall reputation. Founded in 2012, Coinbase is a U.S.-based exchange which went public on April 14, 2021 via a direct listing and backed by banks like J.P. Morgan.
Unlike Coinbase, Binance was first established in China before moving to Japan, and the Binance.US platform operates out of San Francisco, California. Binance isn’t regulated, so it initially banned all U.S. residents from accessing the platform. However, its new Binance.US exchange stays within U.S. regulations. Note that Binance is currently under U.S. regulatory investigation.
Both cryptocurrency exchanges provide two-factor authentication (2FA) via the Google Authenticator app or short message service (SMS), but U.S. users report some problems with the Binance.US and Google authentication process. While Coinbase requests identification verification from all users via a photo or government-issued ID, Binance only requires this of the U.S.-based users or those wanting to invest and trade larger amounts. 
Binance security features also include address whitelisting, device management, and the ability to restrict device access. Like Coinbase, all USD balances are insured up to $250,000 by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and held in custodial bank accounts.
Coinbase security features consist of fingerprint biometric access for its digital wallet, and 98% of cryptocurrency funds are stored in air-gapped cold storage via vaults and safe deposit boxes. Coinbase has an insurance policy to cover the 2% of funds kept in hot storage, but it only covers security breaches on their end, not ones due to a user security problem. 
Binance fees are some of the lowest in the industry, whereas Coinbase’s prices are some of the highest. Although U.S.-based users will pay slightly more on Binance.US, it’s still much cheaper than using Coinbase.
On average, you’ll pay 0.50% per Coinbase transaction plus extra convenience charges based on your payment method, so you might pay up to 4% per transaction. Binance uses a maker-taker structure with the same fees for both makers and takers. The fee chart can be confusing for beginners but offers vastly lower charges, especially for high-volume traders. Binance users can lower costs by:
Binance and Coinbase are geared toward different types of users. Coinbase offers a simple platform for investors new to trading cryptocurrency who want fast, easy, and secure ways to trade. Binance’s platform is easy to use, but the sheer number of choices can be overwhelming to a new user. Binance is a better fit for people familiar with cryptocurrency lingo and investing options, whereas Coinbase is built for convenient, easy trading.
Both exchanges provide mobile apps with varying functionalities. For instance, the Binance and Coinbase apps rate 4.7 out of 5 stars on Apple's App Store. However, the Binance app receives poor ratings for Android users, with only 2.1 out of 5 stars on Google Play, with many users saying the application works much better on iPhones.
Binance provides the Binance Academy, similar to Gemini’s Cryptopedia, where users can access tutorials or helpful articles similar to cryptocurrency trading courses. Both platforms offer a blog and knowledge base, but Coinbase also lets users earn cryptocurrency for watching videos for beginners.
Although Coinbase wins for ease of use, the customer service options are less user-friendly. You can only reach Coinbase via email or a help ticket. In contrast, Binance offers live chat, responds on Twitter, or you can email them for help. 
Coinbase is a U.S.-regulated cryptocurrency exchange that allows users to buy, sell, send, receive, and exchange altcoins via a web browser or mobile app. Binance is also an exchange, but it has one the highest cryptocurrency volumes and isn’t considered U.S.-regulated, which is why not all functions and coins are available to U.S.-based users.
Binance supports many more advanced transaction types, such as limit orders, stop-limit orders, market orders, post-only orders, and peer-to-peer trading. However, U.S. residents have fewer options.
Both platforms function as an online brokerage for cryptocurrencies. Users deposit fiat funds to buy, sell, or trade digital currencies. The signup process is similar for both, but international Binance users won’t need to show a photo ID to verify their account. However, Binance.US requires a photo ID. 
You’ll create an account in both cases, verify your email, and add funds from an acceptable method. Once you’re ready to make a trade, you head to the exchange platform, create an order for the desired altcoin, and follow the on-screen steps. The exchanges store the cryptocurrency until you move it to a digital bitcoin wallet, trade it, or withdraw it.
Although Binance and Coinbase are among the best crypto exchanges, users are encouraged to store funds in a hardware wallet for long-term savings. Any currencies held online may be a target of hackers, and most exchanges have experienced breaches, including Binance in 2019.
Although Coinbase told The New York Times that it's never been hacked and only 0.004% of its users experienced account takeovers in the year ending April 2021, mistakes can happen on your end, putting your coins at risk. 
Both Binance and Coinbase insure their hot storage, but it may be safer to use your own cold storage via a hardware wallet. A hardware wallet is a device that isn’t connected to the internet, and you’ll need to plug it into your computer to access your digital currency.
Coinbase is perfect for beginners who prioritize convenience and security. The user-friendly platform is very easy for nearly anyone to use, and when you open the application, you’ll see a clean interface with minimal options. As a trusted, U.S.-based exchange, it’s a good fit for users wary about buying or trading cryptocurrency. However, you pay a higher price for convenient deposit and withdrawal options. 
Binance is suitable for experienced investors wanting advanced trading options and plenty of analytics to back up their strategy decisions. Novice users will experience a learning curve, but once you learn your way around, it gets easier. With low fees, over 500 cryptocurrencies, and availability in more than 180 countries, Binance is an excellent choice for non-U.S. residents wanting a sophisticated platform.
We examined Coinbase and Binance by looking at the fee structures, cost, and how easy it is to understand. Although we looked mainly at Binance, we also evaluated Binance.US features applicable to U.S. residents. We considered the website and mobile app functionality, availability of knowledge bases, and access to customer service. Our fee and feature charts give a side-by-side view of security, transaction types, fiat currencies accepted, payment methods, and cryptocurrencies.
Investing in cryptocurrencies and other Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or other ICOs. Since each individual's situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein.
Coinbase Global, Inc. "Form S-1 General form for registration of securities under the Securities Act of 1933."
Bloomberg. "Binance Faces Probe by U.S. Money-Laundering and Tax Sleuths."
Apple App Store. "Binance: Buy Bitcoin & Crypto."
Apple App Store. "Coinbase: Trade BTC, ETH, SHIB."
CryptoCompare. "CryptoCompare Exchange Review September 2021."
CNBC. "Hackers Steal Over $40 Million Worth of Bitcoin From One of the World’s Largest Cryptocurrency Exchanges."
The New York Times. "Coinbase Users Say Crypto Start-Up Ignored Their Pleas for Help."
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