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Coinbase Vs Cash App (2021): Which Is The Better Exchange To Get Started Trading Cryptocurrency?

Since Bitcoin was first launched back in 2009, cryptocurrency has shot upward like a rocket. Today, millions of people from all walks of life are trading cryptocurrency. Exchanges such as Coinbase and Cash App have made it possible for anyone to quickly and easily get started trading with cryptocurrency. Today, we will compare Coinbase and Cash App to see which one is the better exchange to purchase your first-ever cryptocurrency with.

Coinbase vs Cash App Comparison Chart

SiteCoinbaseCash App
PriceCheck at coinbase.comCheck at cash.app
Exchange TypeCrypto ExchangeCrypto Exchange + Traditional Stocks + P2P payment service
Beginner FriendlyYesYes
Sign-up ProcessEasyEasy
Trading Fees1.49-3.99%1.75%
Deposit MethodsCredit/debit card, cryptocurrencyCredit/debit card, Bank deposit


Coinbase and Cash App both focus on ease-of-use when it comes to cryptocurrency trading.

Shown here are the Coinbase (left) and Cash App (right) website home pages

Coinbase was one of the first-ever crypto exchanges to develop a system and user interface that makes buying and selling cryptocurrencies easy for everyone. Since they were established in 2012, they have built a userbase of over 35 million people from seasoned traders to those just getting started in the world of cryptocurrency trading. With their focus on ease-of-use and a wide range of currencies, from Bitcoin to NuCypher, Coinbase is currently one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges, offering its services to over 100 countries around the world.

Cash App, formerly known as Square Cash, started off as a peer-to-peer payment app that makes sending and receiving money quick and easy. You are able to link your Cash App account to an existing bank account to transfer or withdraw funds. Cash App even offers a free Visa debit card that you can use to spend directly from your Cash App account when you buy groceries or other items in physical stores. In January 2018, Cash App enabled buying and selling of Bitcoin inside the app. Today, Cash App has over 30 million active users every month from the US, Canada, and the UK.


Coinbase and Cash App both implement state-of-the-art security protocols to give their customers peace of mind.

On their website, Coinbase gives visitors a clear summary of their security protocols

Coinbase takes pride in their claim of a clean record with no security breaches in their almost nine years of operation. This is thanks to their tight backend security protocols and two-step verification on the front end. 98% of customer funds are stored in AES-256 encrypted FIPS-140 physical drives with paper backups and are kept in vaults spread out around the world. Coinbase only keeps 2% of customer funds online to minimize the impact if ever hacking does occur. 

Cash App implements cutting edge security measures to ensure that funds and data are not lost or stolen. Just like Coinbase, Cash App also stores your funds offline to minimize the risk of hacking. They are PCI Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) Level 1 compliant, which means that all your information is encrypted and sent to their servers securely, whether you’re using a public or private network connection. Cash App also integrates effective security locks on the front end such as PIN entry, Touch ID, or Face ID verification.

Currency Markets

Coinbase allows you to trade with over 50 cryptocurrencies while Cash App lets you trade Bitcoin as well as traditional stocks and ETFs.

Preview of Coinbase (left) and Cash App (right)

When it comes to cryptocurrencies, Coinbase takes the lead with over 50 currencies including popular ones like Bitcoin, Etherum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Tether, and more. Cash App, on the other hand, only allows you to buy and sell Bitcoin. However, you are also able to trade traditional stocks and ETF’s inside Cash App just as quickly and easily as buying and selling Bitcoin.


Cash App is the cheaper exchange with no deposit & withdrawal fees and cheaper fees for smaller crypto trades.

Preview of Cash App website

Both Coinbase and Cash App are not ideal for day traders because of their transaction fees. With these exchanges, you’re better off buying lumps of shares and holding them for longer periods of time. 

Coinbase has the following crypto buying/selling transaction fees: 

  • Transactions below $10: 99 cents
  • Transactions between $10-$25: $1.49
  • Transactions between $25-$50 = $1.99
  • Transactions between $50-$200 = $2.99
  • Transactions above $200: 1.49% 

Cash App charges a 1.75% fee for Bitcoin transactions, whether that is buying or selling. This makes Cash App cheaper for smaller Bitcoin trades but more expensive for larger trades compared to Coinbase.

When it comes to funding your account, Cash App has the advantage. While Coinbase charges 3.99% for credit/debit card purchases and 1.49% for bank transfers, Cash App doesn’t charge any fees for standard deposits and withdrawals. You will only need to pay a 1.5% fee if you want your deposits or withdrawals to take effect instantly.

Getting Started

Coinbase and Cash App make it really easy for anyone to get started trading with cryptocurrency.

Shown are the Coinbase (left) and Cash App (right) sign in/signup pages

Coinbase and Cash App make it easy for you to get started. Once you get to their respective websites or mobile apps, you will go through a registration process that is pretty straightforward. To verify your account on Cash App, you will simply need to input your full name, date of birth, and address. If you want to receive a Cash App Cash Card, you will need to provide the last four digits of your SSN in addition to your personal information. 

To acquire full verification on Coinbase, you will need to upload a picture of yourself holding up your driver’s license or any government-issued ID. The verification process can take a couple of days to complete but you can get started using the app right away. Without full verification, your Coinbase account will have a $9,000 trade limit until your verification is complete.


Cash App is best for beginners who want lower fees and the option to trade with traditional stocks while Coinbase is best for those who really want to dive deep into cryptocurrency trading.


Best for beginners who want to dive deep into the world of cryptocurrencies.

Cash App

Best for beginners looking to trade Bitcoin and traditional stocks all in one place.

Both Coinbase and Cash App are great exchanges to get started trading cryptocurrency with. They both offer simple sign-up processes and verification and user-friendly interfaces. You’ll own your first ever cryptocurrency in no time with these apps. Coinbase does have the advantage when you want to strictly trade cryptocurrency. With over 50 different currencies to choose from, you will get to really dive deep into the world of crypto. 

Cash App, on the other hand, only has one cryptocurrency: Bitcoin. However, aside from trading Bitcoin, you also have the ability to invest in traditional stocks and ETFs and you can send and receive peer-to-peer payments all inside one app. Cash App also doesn’t have fees for deposits and withdrawals and the transaction fees on smaller Bitcoin trades are cheaper than that of Coinbase, making it the perfect app to purchase your first-ever cryptocurrency.


📌 Between Coinbase and Cash App, which has the better trading fees?

For trades below $200, Cash App is cheaper with a variable rate of 1.75%. Coinbase has fixed fees for transactions below $200 but has a rate of 1.49% for trades above $200.

📌 What is the main difference between Coinbase and Cash App?

On Coinbase, you can trade multiple cryptocurrencies while on Cash App, you’re only able to trade Bitcoin. However, with Cash App, you can also trade traditional stocks and use it as a peer-to-peer payment services.

📌 Is Cash App legit?

Yes, Cash App was developed by Square Inc., a multi-billion dollar San Francisco based finance company.

📌 What is the sign-up fee for Coinbase and Cash App?

Coinbase and Cash App do not charge a sign-up fee. You can create an account with either exchange completely free of charge.

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Manolo Martinez

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about music, film, and DIY projects.