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Coinbase vs Robinhood (2021): Which is the Better Crypto Exchange for Beginners?

With over 500 established cryptocurrency exchanges and many more entering the crypto trading space, it can be difficult to figure out which exchange to trade with.

Two names that have become well-known and trusted in the world of crypto trading are Coinbase and Robinhood. They both cater to beginners and offer easy-to-use trading interfaces, tight security, and competitive trading fees. Read our comparison below to help you decide which exchange to get your trading journey started with.

Coinbase vs Robinhood Comparison Chart

SiteCoinbaseRobinhood
 
PriceCheck at coinbase.comCheck at robinhood.com
Exchange TypeCrypto ExchangeCrypto Exchange + Traditional Stocks
Userbase30M+11M+
Beginner FriendlyYesYes
Sign-up ProcessEasyEasy
Has Been HackedNoYes
Trading FeesCoinbase: 1.49-3.99%
Coinbase Pro: 0.5%
0.1%
Deposit MethodsCryptocurrency, Wire TransferWire Transfer
Cryptocurrencies28 total7 total
Founded20122013

Overview

Both Coinbase and Robinhood focus on simplicity and ease-of-use when it comes to cryptocurrency trading.

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

Coinbase pioneered the idea of making cryptocurrency buying and selling easy for everyone. Their focus on ease-of-use for their customers since they were established in 2012 has helped them garner over 30 million users. They take pride in their seamless process for getting started and their tight security standards.

Robinhood was established in 2013 but only let its users invest in traditional stocks and ETFs. It was only recently that they launched cryptocurrency trading. Robinhood boasts a simplistic interface and commission-free trading.

Security

Coinbase has a better security track record and tighter security practices than Robinhood.

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

Coinbase prides itself in that they have never had a security breach in the 8 years that they have been in operation. Only 2% of all customer funds are stored in their online servers while the other 98% are AES-256 encrypted and copied to FIPS-140 USB drivers and paper backups that are kept in vaults around the world. This security practice is what has kept their customer’s funds safe for years. All accounts created on their website also use 2-step verification for even tighter security.

Robinhood doesn’t have the same security track record as Coinbase does, but they operate on the traditional financial system where transactions are easier to reverse. Their app also boasts security features such as password hashing using the BCrypt hashing algorithm, data encryption, and Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol.

Ease-of-Use

Robinhood is the better all-in-one platform for beginners who just want to get started trading, while Coinbase allows users to dive deeper into the world of cryptocurrencies.

Image shows beginner-friendly user interfaces of both Coinbase (left) and Robinhood (right)

Both Coinbase and Robinhood are very beginner-friendly cryptocurrency trading platforms. Their simplistic and easy-to-use trading interfaces are perfect for getting your first taste of cryptocurrency trading. From the sign-up process to making your first ever trade, Coinbase and Robinhood make it all as easy as using any other app on your smartphone.

Robinhood allows you to trade using cryptocurrency and other traditional stocks and ETF’s. This makes it the perfect all-in-one trading platform for anyone who wants to get some trading exposure. But for those who want to focus on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Coinbase will be better because they allow users to go deeper into cryptocurrency trading with 21 more cryptocurrencies than Robinhood.

Cryptocurrencies

Coinbase offers 4x more cryptocurrencies to trade with than Robinhood.

Shown are a few of the cryptocurrencies available on Coinbase

If you want to dive deep into cryptocurrency trading with many different currencies, Coinbase will be the better exchange to go with. You can trade with over 28 different cryptocurrencies on Coinbase while Robinhood only trades with 7 currencies.

However, if you’re only interested in trading Bitcoin, Robinhood might be the better option considering its lower fees.

Fees

Robinhood offers cheaper cryptocurrency trading than Coinbase.

Robinhood boasts commission-free trading on their website

Robinhood claims that they will not charge any fees for account opening, account maintenance, trades, and transfers now and forever. Although it is true that Robinhood doesn’t take a commission on their services, they pass regulatory, trading, and deposit fees from different organizations they work with to their members and customers. These organizations include the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and the American Depositary Receipt (ADR). You won’t notice these fees until you start buying Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. You will be spending approximately 0.1% more than the rates found on other exchanges because of these fees.

Coinbase, on the other hand, charges a commission of roughly 1.5%-3.99% on trades depending on the amount you’re trading. The fees are lower when you switch to Coinbase Pro and start making larger trades.

Robinhood is the winner when it comes to low-cost trading. The only time Coinbase Pro will be cheaper than Robinhood is when you start trading cryptocurrency in eight-digit figures every month.

Getting Started

Robinhood makes it easier for new customers to get started by only requiring their social security number for account verification.

Here’s a look at the sign-up pages of Coinbase (left) and Robinhood (right)

The sign-up process on both websites is pretty straightforward. You input your personal information and follow their verification process just like you would when you’re signing up for a new email account. Robinhood only requires your social security number for full verification while Coinbase requires a photo of you holding up your driver’s license or any government-issued ID. Coinbase allows you to create an account using only your phone number as verification but your account will have a $9,000 trade limit until you submit more verification documents.

Verdict

Robinhood is better for most beginners while Coinbase is better for those who are thinking about diving down deep into cryptocurrency trading.

Coinbase

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

Robinhood

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

Both Coinbase and Robinhood are great exchanges to get your cryptocurrency trading journey started with. They both make signing up and trading a breeze with their simple and easy-to-use interfaces. Coinbase does have the edge when it comes to security and a more complete cryptocurrency trading experience with its Pro version and 4x more currencies than Robinhood.

Robinhood, on the other hand, lets beginners trade at a lower cost. Being able to trade traditional stocks and cryptocurrencies in one app is also a great feature that you won’t find with Coinbase. For beginners who want to get their feet wet with trading, Robinhood is the better option.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ What is the main difference between Coinbase and Robinhood?

The main difference is that you can only trade cryptocurrencies with Coinbase while you can trade traditional stocks and ETA’s with Robinhood.

๐Ÿ“Œ What is the sign-up fee for Coinbase and Robinhood?

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

๐Ÿ“Œ Does Robinhood charge fees?

Robinhood offers commission-free investing. They do however pass some regulatory fees to their customers which will only show in the slightly higher prices when buying Bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies.

๐Ÿ“Œ How much does Coinbase Pro cost?

There are no fees for creating and maintaining a Coinbase Pro account.

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Manolo Martinez

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