In this quick guide, we’re going to have a look at some of the best Coinbase alternatives in 2020, including the best Coinbase alternatives in the United States, the best Coinbase alternatives with low trading fees, and of course, the best privacy-focused Coinbase alternatives that don’t require KYC verification.
Why switch from Coinbase?
No doubt, Coinbase has earned its place fair and square among the top cryptocurrency exchanges out there. Launched in 2012, the company has a robust track record in terms of security. It also has a very user-friendly interface and offers a range of payment options including bank transfers, credit cards, PayPal, and wire transfers, just to name a few.
Having said that, the exchange has its fair share of drawbacks too. For example, Coinbase is notorious for dropping services during times of extreme volatility. This became quite apparent during the 2017 crypto boom when Coinbase was down, on average, once every three days or so.
In fact, we don’t even have to go back to 2017 — Bitcoin’s recent surge in late-April 2020 also seems to have taken a toll on Coinbase. The exchange went through an unexpected downtime on April 30, shortly after the BTC price had hit a local high of $9,470. Not once, but twice within a couple of hours.
Besides that, many users have switched from Coinbase over the past few years citing one or more of the following reasons:
- The brand-value that Coinbase offers comes at an expense that must be borne by none else but the users themselves. It has one of the industry’s highest and most complicated spreads for crypto-to-crypto and fiat-to-crypto transactions.
- If you’re a privacy-focused trader, Coinbase’s ultra-strict verification and security measures will surely be a huge turn-off.
- If you want a wide range of tradeable coins at your disposal, Coinbase is probably not the best fit for you. The platform doesn’t offer much variety if you have a knack for trading lesser-known cryptocurrencies.
In This Article:
(In no particular order)
StormGain is a relatively new crypto exchange offering a diverse range of trading options. It has also established itself as a reliable privacy-focused Coinbase alternative that doesn’t ask for any sort of KYC verification. In fact, you can sign up using only your email.
StormGain is also an ideal destination for margin trading. With multipliers up to x200, the platform allows you to trade worth up to $200 for every $1 you have in your account.
Also, as BeInCrypto previously covered, StormGain is a perfect option for anyone looking for an alternative to Binance’s futures trading platform. The exchange offers several popular cryptocurrency futures products including perpetual futures contracts for Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) — all with a minimum of 50x leverage.
Another aspect that proves its worth as one of the best Coinbase alternatives around is its low fee structure.
- Supported cryptocurrencies: BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP, BCH, USDT.
- Fees: An average of just 0.15% commission for trades with a fixed swap rate.
StormGain also offers a dummy account with 50,000 USDT so you can practice trading on the platform without any risk whatsoever. As you can guess, that’s quite a handy feature for newbies with little or no experience in leveraged trading.
Pros of StormGain
- Privacy: StormGain doesn’t ask for any KYC verification and is counted among the best privacy-focused cryptocurrency exchanges.
- Low fees: Compared to Coinbase’s high trading fees, StormGain charges you the proverbial peanut.
- Easy funding: You can add balance to your StromGain account using debit and credit cards.
- Speed: Speedy execution of trades is one key benefit that’s guaranteed to grow on you once you start using StormGain.
- Newbie-friendly: A dummy account with 50,000 USDT as initial balance makes it easy for new users to get familiar with the platform without risking anything.
- Transparency: StormGain fetches you real-time trade data encompassing all key details such as transaction time, type, the assets traded, and so on.
- Risk management: StormGain also offers the latest trading signals and a host of other portfolio management tools for risk mitigation.
Cons of StormGain
- StormGain lacks the same level of brand awareness as Coinbase because it is a relatively new exchange. To compensate for that and build a trust-factor with users, the exchange has deployed a dedicated legal team that ensures full transparency and compliance with local laws.
- No crypto-to-fiat conversion means you can not directly withdraw USD or any other fiat into your account.
Just like CoinBase, Kraken has been around right since the early days of the Bitcoin movement. It was founded in 2011 and officially launched a couple of years later. And of course, Kraken also packs just as much punch as Coinbase, if not more, when it comes to brand recognition and reliability.
For all our American readers, Kraken is also one of the best Coinbase alternatives in the US.
- Supported cryptocurrencies: BTC, BCH, DASH, ETH, ETC, EOS, GNO, ICN, LTC, MLN, REP, XDG, USDT, XLM, XMR, XRP, and ZEC.
- Fees: Maker fee us fixed at 0.16%, taker fee at 0.26%.
Kraken also has a pretty robust margin trading platform with leverage up to 5x. The rollover fee is pretty decent at 0.02% per four hours.
A neat track record on the security front is another feat Kraken shares with Coinbase. Speaking of which, Kraken claims to have 95% of the total assets in its possession in air-gapped, and geographically distributed offline cold storage.
Other important security features include mandatory email confirmation for withdrawals, 2FA, no phone or SMS-based account recovery options, as well as global settings time lock, among others.
Pros of Kraken
- Global availability: Kraken doesn’t impose any location-based restrictions.
- High-leverage for futures trading: Futures contracts on the platform support leverages up to 50x.
- Security: Kraken has an outstanding track record in terms of security.
- Fiat support: Kraken supports USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, JPY, and CHF for both deposit and withdrawal.
Cons of Kraken
- Unlike, say, StormGain, Kraken isn’t counted among the most privacy-focused cryptocurrency exchanges.
- While debatable, some users complain about unwarranted delays during verification and deposits.
- For an exchange of its stature, Kraken could surely improve its help desk.
With one of the highest average daily trading volumes in the industry, Hong Kong-based Bitfinex can rightfully claim its spot among the best Coinbase alternatives in 2020. Its popularity stems from a variety of underlying perks for users, the foremost among which is its feature-rich trading venue.
The platform is designed such that it has something for all kinds of users. Newbies, for example, will find the interface a lot simpler than some other alternatives whereas, the more experienced traders get a whole range of tools to execute their strategies including advanced order types.
For margin traders, Bitfinex offers leverage up to 5x through its homegrown, peer-to-peer margin funding channels.
- Supported cryptocurrencies: BTC, BCH, BTG, DASH, EOS, ETC, ETH, FUN, LTC, NEO, OMG, QTUM, REP, USDT, XLM, XMR, XRP, and ZEC, among others.
- Fees: 0.1% and 0.2% for maker and taker fees respectively.
With that kind of a fee-structure, Bitfinex is, for sure, one of the best Coinbase alternatives with low trading fees
Bitfinex allows you to deposit funds using fiats such as the USD, EUR, GBP, and JPY. The platform, however, has somewhat of a dark past. A major security breached took place in Aug 2016 that saw Bitfinex losing hefty funds to unknown hackers.
Following the mishap, Bitfinex tightened its security to such an extent the more privacy-oriented users started to complain about the lack of transparency in the way the exchange handles users’ privacy. Bitfinex is also mired in another major controversy involving its previously undisclosed association with Tether Ltd.
Pros of Bitfinex
- Reasonable fees: Unlike Coinbase, Bitfinex doesn’t have that tendency to make you scorn over high trading or withdrawal fees.
- Brand value: Bitfinex is right there at the top along with the likes of Coinbase, Binance, and Kraken.
- Order types: The platform offers a wide range of order types to choose from.
- Liquidity: Due to its high liquidity, you can easily buy or sell your digital assets on Bitfinex without any undue delays.
- Reliability: Despite all the controversy at the time, Bitfinex displayed good ethical values by refunding all users affected by the infamous 2016 hack.
Cons of Bitfinex
- Lack of transparency has been a major issue with Bitfinex. The questionable relationship with Tether, for example, has kept many users on their toes during all these years.
- The lack of transparency also makes it harder for us to assess the level of privacy you get while using Bifinex.
CEX.io is another early-mover that has been around since 2013. It’s a UK-based global exchange serving cryptocurrency traders in almost every country. With over a million users worldwide, CEX.io brings you a distinctively user-friendly combination of web and mobile apps.
You can register on the platform using only your email ID. However, because CEX.io is a crypto-cum-fiat exchange, you will require abiding by a relatively stringent set of KYC and AML (anti-money laundering) regulations. On that count, it is not nearly as privacy-friendly as alternatives such as ByBit or StormGain.
Usually, new members have to wait up to 24 hours as part of the ID verification process, following which they are allowed to deposit funds and trade.
- Supported cryptocurrencies: BTC, ETH, BCH, BTG, XRP, LTC, XLM, DASH, TRX, BTT, MHC, ONT, ONG, ADA, NEO, GAS, BAT, ATOM, XTX, MATIC.
- Fees: Depending on the volume of your transaction, you will require paying 0.10% to 0.40% per month.
The transaction fees are typically calculated using BTC rather than a set fiat amount. This can come handy when you are making high-volume transactions. However, some users complain about high fees on the fiat currency they pay for a service, although it is only applicable to the brokerage services.
Supported fiat currencies include USD, GBP, EUR, and RUB. There are multiple transaction methods such as credit and debit card transfers, SEPA-based Wire transfers, and domestic bank transfers (ACH).
Pros of CEX.io
- Fees: Low maker and taker fees
- Availability: CEX.io is available across almost all regions and countries.
- Brand value: One of the oldest and most trusted platforms.
- Listings: CEX.io has a wide range of coins and tokens listed.
- Brokerage services: CEX.io offers brokerage services for new users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies relatively simply.
Cons of CEX.io
- You should always be careful about hidden charges while using their brokerage services. It can be expensive at times.
- The verification process is rather extensive and might tick you off if you’re looking for better privacy.
- The GBP market is not as liquid as you might expect. +
Coinmama made its debut in 2013 as an Israel-based cryptocurrency exchange and brokerage service that has since switched to Slovakia. If speed and simplicity are what you’re after, then Coinmama can definitely deliver as a top Coinbase alternative on both counts.
In fact, you will easily notice how faster the whole process is when you compare it to Coinbase.
It currently serves more than 2 million traders across 188 countries. Coinmama’s brokerage services allow you to purchase Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies using your credit card, or through SEPA transfer and Swift.
You do need to undergo an ID verification for legal and regulatory compliance. However, the verification process doesn’t usually take more than 15 to 30 minutes.
- Supported cryptocurrencies: BTC, ETH, BCH, LTC, XRP, ADA, QTUM, and ETC.
- Fees: The fee you need to pay is calculated from the TradeBlock XBX index and it is inclusive of the brokerage service fee of 5.9% If you’re paying through credit card, additional processing might be applicable. Deposits by bank transfers are currently free.
Supported fiats include USD, GBP, EUR, AUD, and CAD. It is worth noting here that Coinmama suffered a massive security breach in Feb 2019 that saw about 450,000 user emails and passwords being compromised. To its credit, the company handled the breach relatively well and altered all affected users promptly. Other than that, Coinmama’s security measures seem pretty adequate.
While Coinmama offers is operational in the US, it is not yet available in several states. Additionally, the exchange has so far refrained from offering services in several countries. So you might want to have a quick look at its availability in your country/region.
Pros of Coinmama
- Simplicity: Easy account creation and verification.
- Speed: Verification can take as little as 15 minutes and orders are executed much faster than most of its rivals.
- Demo account: Coinmama’s demo trading account is perfect for newbies to practice trading without any real-world risks.
- Customer support: The 24/7 help desk is usually pretty helpful, if not the best.
Cons of Coinmama
- Fees: Coinmama fees can be slightly on the higher side, although note that it includes the brokerage fee. If you have the option to use SWIFT or SEPA transfer, maybe you should stick to that only to avoid paying any additional charges in credit card transactions.
- The limited number of digital assets on the platform can be a bit of a bummer.
Compared to the likes of Coinbase or Kraken, Hong Kong-based KuCoin is relatively new to the scene, having been around only since Aug 2017 — almost coinciding with the peak of the so-called crypto boom that brought along the heyday of the entire asset class.
However, it has already marked its presence among the top cryptocurrency exchanges around. One of the foremost factors working in favor of KuCoin’s rapid ascension to the top is its sound technological infrastructure, coupled with a feature-rich trading platform that appeals to inexperienced and advanced traders alike.
It’s one of the best Coinbase alternatives today if you’re interested in trading lesser-known digital assets, and not just the big ones. In fact, KuKoin lists more than 150 digital assets on its trading platform.
- Supported cryptocurrencies: ACT, BTC, BCH, BTG, CAT, DASH, ELF, EOS, ETC, ETH, FOTA, LTC, NEO, OMG, PURA, TEL, TTY, QTUM, XMR, and XRP, to name a few.
- Fees: KuCoin doesn’t levy any deposit charges, but there is a small withdrawal fee which varies depending on the asset/currency you’re withdrawing. As for trading fee, you only have to pay 0.1% while trading in any of its 400+ altcoin trading pairs.
So, as you can see, KuCoin is also a top Coinbase alternative with low trading fees. Starting June 2019, the exchange has been offering USD deposit and withdrawal services to boost liquidity.
KuCoin also has a robust security infrastructure to provide traders with both digital and financial security. The exchange is often touted as the only exchange offering “bank-level asset security” armed with sophisticated multilayer encryption, micro-withdrawal wallets, dynamic multifactor authentication, and a dedicated risk-control unit.
KuCoin also has a stand-alone derivative trading platform called KuMEX that offers leveraged positions of up to 100x.
Pros of KuCoin
- Fees: KuCoin charges one of the lowest trading fees among the big cryptocurrency exchanges. No deposit fee required.
- Brand value: Despite being young, KuCoin has proved its worth as a trusted alternative to the big guns.
- Democratic values: KuCoin is often called the “people’s exchange” as it engages the community and urges users to vote for projects and coins to be listed.
- Wide range of trading options: KuCoin has listed more than 400 trading pairs to choose from.
- Fiat support: Traders in over 100 countries can purchase select digital assets with USD and EUR.
Cons of KuCoin
- No fiat trading pairs.
- No native support for leveraged trading (KuMex is a separate entity).
- The mandatory KYC/AML requirements can be a turn off for some users.
As you probably know, Gemini is a cryptocurrency exchange co-founded by the Winklevoss twins, the same venture capitalists and serial entrepreneurs who had previously claimed to be the real brains behind Facebook. It is currently one of the best Coinbase alternatives in the US.
In fact, Gemini is a regulated cryptocurrency exchange having full compliance with the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS). This definitely adds to the platform’s trustworthiness — especially to those new to digital assets trading.
Gemini is a global exchange with an active presence in a few dozen countries. Here’s an up-to-date list of the countries and US states that the exchange currently operates in.
Gemini lets you deposit and withdraw funds using BTC, ETH, and US Dollars. Available payment methods include credit and debit cards (Visa, MasterCard, and American Express), as well as bank transfers.
- Supported cryptocurrencies: Gemini lets you buy and sell BTC, ETH, BCH, LTC, and Zcash using USD and EUR through wire transfers. Additionally, it also lets you store several other tokens and coins.
- Fees: Gemini primarily charges two types of fees — A dynamic maker-taker fee, and a transfer fee. The latter charged when you move funds into or out of your Gemini account. Other charges are applicable too, depending on your trading volume and account activities. You can check their trade fee schedule here. (Frankly, it can be a little complicated if you’re a new user.)
Gemini also has a separate desk for institutional traders interested in high-volume trading.
As for security, Gemini has a neat track record in terms of both digital and financial security. The exchange also signed up with the insurance services of Aon and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in October 2018 to provide an added layer of trust.
Pros of Gemini
- Trust factor: Gemini is a fully-regulated exchange.
- Security: It has a robust security protocol to protect users’ accounts and funds.
- Insurance: All USD accounts are insured by the FDIC.
- Customer support: Quick and efficient multi-channel help desks — professional and high-end services
- Fees: Low fees for exchanging assets.
Cons of Gemini
- Being a fully regulated platform, Gemini has to ensure that it is as compliant with local laws as possible. As a result, you have to submit a lot of information while signing up.
- You can buy only a select few cryptocurrencies.
- While the fees are relatively low, the fee structure itself is very complicated.
So, that was BeInCrypto’s quick guide on best Coinbase alternatives in 2020. We have deliberately left Binance, BitMEX, and the likes to avoid redundancy.
As always, do your homework properly before switching to a new trading platform. Consult a trained professional if need be. Meanwhile, if you have any feedback or suggestion, feel free to reach out to BeInCrypto using our social media channels over at Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Telegram.