Crypto trading platforms these days are a dime a dozen. That means that it can be tough to decide which trading platform is ideal for you. A good place to start is usually with long-standing, established companies. Two of these exchanges are Bitfinex vs Coinbase, and in this article, we will give you a comprehensive review of the pros and cons of these two companies. This will be a good jumping-off point to help you decide what you need in exchange.
If you’re a run-of-the-mill customer intending to invest a small amount of money into crypto, the Bitfinex might not be the right fit for you. The company was founded in Hong Kong in 2012 and is owned by iFinex, Inc. Recently the company made the big decision to stop servicing the United States, although they continue to be one of the largest platforms in terms of volume, handling an average of 2 billion dollars per day.
With a required minimum investment of $10,000, this is the exchange for large institutional or retail investors and not the average Joe. The UI is not particularly user-friendly, as it meant more for experts than learners. But, since it’s not so beginner-friendly, the services available are very comprehensive.
Create your FREE Bitfinex trading account HERE.
The rigorous verification process can also be a huge roadblock with Bitfinex, as there can be a waiting time of up to 8 weeks! This verification process is only necessary, however, if you need to do an initial bank wire of fiat currency into the platform. As long as your trading solely in crypto, you’re good to go.
They do, however, keep all fees below 0.2 percent which is a huge bonus, especially since you’ll be trading in such large volumes.
There are a few things Bitfinex does very well, which is why it manages to trade in such large volumes and pull in customers from all over the world. On the other hand, there are downsides to the platform.
Here are some key features that might sway you in their direction, or put you off.
Is Bitfinex Safe?
Of course, as a crypto trader, one of the first features of an exchange platform you should be looking into is security, and many exchanges make it a top priority, especially if they’re handling large amounts of money every single day. Bitfinex is no exception.
Want to compare Bitfinex and Bittrex? Check out our comprehensive Bittrex vs Bitfinex guide.
By using popular security techniques of the biggest payers, Bitfinex opts to hold around 95% of its funds into cold storage. The company closely monitors changes in account activity by using verification tools, while reinforcing the accounts with 2FA, encryption, and PGP that assist this process.
Bitfinex does allow fiat deposits at the current time, this includes the Euro, US dollar, GBP, as well as JPY. And a stable coin (tether coin (USDT)). Although they don’t accept credit card deposits, bank transfers are available. You will have to go through the verification process if you want to deposit or withdraw in any fiat currency though.
In terms of available cryptocurrencies the platform carries, you can find a wide array of options with around 70 market pairs. Ethereum Classic, Monero, Bitcoin Cash, and EOS are some available coins, but there are also countless others.
Bitfinex provides a pretty comprehensive FAQ section that will help you navigate the site, and clear up some issues you might run into. And, unlike its Coinbase counterpart, Bitfinex has a decent reputation for its customer support.
It’s 24/7, and most queries are cleared up within 12 hours, although they have definitely been known to take longer. Since the world of crypto is ever-evolving, it might pay to check the site on a regular basis to check which coins may have been added or removed.
Functional User Experience
Since most of Bitfinex’s customer base is on a pretty professional level, its important that the platform is super functional to cater to its users. Bitfinex does this well, giving the user multiple tabs with different features that can be easily customized.
With advanced charting tools and a trading view chart incorporated into the site, there are mobile apps available on IOS and Android, making it accessible on the go. If we’re comparing Bitfinex vs Coinbase, we would easily say that Bitfinex offers a far superior UX, which is a bit harder to understand and get used to it.
There are a few things, good and bad, that you need to consider before deciding to trust Coinbase with your business. As a huge cryptocurrency exchange, it’s no surprise that they deal with millions of customers all over the world.
With customers from 42 different countries, Coinbase supports debit, credit, and bank accounts for buying and selling currencies.
Create your FREE Coinbase trading account HERE.
They also have a very fair rate. The fees for credit card services are higher than bank transfer (3.99% vs 1.499%), but this option does make buying crypto more accessible. The user interface of the site is very straightforward and easy to familiarize yourself with as a new customer.
However, it might pay to keep in mind that if you have an issue with the platform, there is pretty poor customer service at your disposal.
When comparing Coinbase vs Bitfinex, there are definitely somethings that Coinbase gets right. One of these features is the user-friendliness of their site, as well as catering towards beginners.
Although the fees are generally not considered as low as Bitfinex, they are still reasonable. Read on to find out some of the best and worst features of this crypto brokerage service.
User-Friendly Brokerage Service
Coinbase is a brokerage service for selling and buying crypto and new crypto traders know the platform as an easy to obtain your first Bitcoin. This highly structured system is great for a beginner, however, this makes the platform a bit limited.
Learn more: How to securely store your Bitcoins?
And, one of the complaints Coinbase tends to get is that users have little control of their funds. The platform doesn’t provide any private keys, seed phrases, and a user doesn’t really have access to their own coins. This is a major downside for a more serious trader.
However, Coinbase has taken this complaint to heart, and the launch of Coinbase pro seems to have alleviated the issues of Coinbase. This trading platform is a bit different from the original company, tailored to experienced users, it offers a range of advanced options for trading with even lower fees than its counterpart.
Coinbase also offers its own wallet for storing your funds. Available for download on both android and IOS, the wallet is also built to be user-friendly and easy to use.
Learn more: How to use a Coinbase wallet
At one point the company decided to transition away from wallet services, and only offered their exchange service. Luckily, however, this was not received well and the company transitioned back to being both an exchange while also offering a wallet.
One of the great Coinbase features is their acceptance of credit card payments. This opens up the market to a whole new range of customers.
However, there is a price to pay for accessibility. When paying with a credit card for transactions above $200, the fee is around 3.99% of the total transaction. This is a lot if you compare it to 1.49% of a standard transaction. Under the $200 you would pay only a flat fee.
However, the fee structure isn’t that straight forward and is complicated to explain, so its best to make sure you take a look at the website before making any transactions.
Bitfinex vs Coinbase – Which Trading Platform is a Winner?
It is difficult to compare the Bitfinex vs Coinbase when they both clearly display such different strengths. In general, Coinbase is a more suitable option for beginners who want to trade in lower volumes, where Bitfinex is for large volume trading. Bitfinex has lower fees, but a more complicated User interface that could be difficult to navigate as an inexperienced crypto trader.
Both platforms offer great security and reputations that precede them, so you probably don’t have to worry too much about the safety of your funds. When it comes down to it, your personal preference, experience level, and intended trading volume will help you make a good decision.