GDAX vs Coinbase – Which Is Better?

GDAX vs CoinbaseGDAX and Coinbase are two of the most popular and trusted cryptocurrency exchanges in the US. They are particularly popular because they both make it very easy and safe to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, & Litecoin with your bank account, through a wire transfer, and/or with your credit/debit card.

But which should you choose? They are both good but who wins the battle of GDAX vs Coinbase? Well the answer to this depends on your particular situation. They are both good but different and in this short post I’ll be comparing and contrasting the two so that you can see which you should use…. because it does make a big difference.

A Little Background on The Two

GDAX and Coinbase are both actually owned and operated by the same company, which is Coinbase. So when it comes to trustworthiness the same goes for both of them. And trustworthiness is one of the main reasons I recommend both exchanges.

Coinbase is based in San Francisco, USA. This is something I am mentioning because this means that they are subject to rules and regulations of the US, which are much more strict than some other countries where exchanges are operated out of. This gives customers some protection against fraud and misconduct.

In addition to being subject to regulation by the US government, Coinbase also has an insurance policy that protects customer funds up to $250,000 by the FDIC (if you live in the US). Now this only protects deposited USD funds, not cryptocurrencies that are held on the exchange, but its better than nothing. Something else that is nice is that they claim to only hold about 2% of all customer funds online, which means that if they were hacked there wouldn’t be much cryptocurrency lost.

But anyways… I wouldn’t worry about them being hacked. They were founded in 2011 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam and have been operating nicely since. Something else worth mentioning is that Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin, was actually the chief engineer there for a couple of years.

What GDAX & Coinbase Offer

Neither GDAX nor Coinbase have much to offer in the way of coins. As of right now they only give you the ability to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin. I’m sure they will add more as time goes on but as of now this is all they have.

So whats the point of using either of these places? Well, like I mentioned earlier, you can easily buy through either of these places with regular old money. If you live in the US you can pay in USD, in Europe you can pay in Euro’s and I believe you can even pay in Pounds if you live in GB.

On the other side of things you can also use GDAX and Coinbase to cash out your cryptocurrencies back into fiat money in your bank account.

These are 2 of the very few services that will transact between cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies and that is what makes them so special, along with being some of the more trusted exchanges in the industry.

Whats The Difference Between The Two?

Coinbase is a more user friendly exchange and is made more for newbies that are looking to get started in the crypto space. They make things extremely simple and straightforward so that anyone can hop on there and buy crypto pretty easily. You pretty much just click on the Buy/Sell menu button and put in how much you want to buy. GDAX on the other hand is more for professional traders or people exchanging large amounts of money. This exchange provides a better look at what is going on in the market as far as price goes, but isn’t quite as user friendly. Here you can set limit orders rather than just buy at the current market price.

The charts that are provided between the two are also very different. GDAX offers a more in-depth and informative chart while Coinbase’s is very basic and doesn’t show much. GDAX also gives you the ability to look at the order book so that you can see buys and sells that are coming through the exchange in real time, which can help you predict the price short-term.

One of the major differences between the two are the fees that they charge. Coinbase charges much higher fees than GDAX. This comes with the territory. Users pay the price for everything being so simple.

Coinbase charges a 1.49% fee for cryptocurrency bought with a linked bank account and 2.99% for crypto bought with a credit/debit card. GDAX only charges a maximum of 0.3% and 0% on many transactions. However, GDAX does not give users the ability to purchase with a credit/debit card as Coinbase does, which many users seem to like.

Another big difference is the transactions speed. You can go onto Coinbase and literally buy Bitcoin instantly with your credit/debit card or with a linked bank account. With GDAX you cannot do this. You will first have to deposit funds in your account which takes several days. Then after your account is funded you can make instant transactions.

Which Exchange Should You Use?

It really just depends on your situation. If you are new to cryptocurrency and not too computer savvy then you might want to use Coinbase and just deal with the higher fees. But of course GDAX would be the better option for most people simply due to the lesser fees.

Both exchanges are run by the same company, both exchanges offer the ability to buy/sell the same cryptocurrencies, both exchanges have the same insurance policy, and so on. They are extremely similar. The only upside to using Coinbase is that it is more user friendly for the most part. If you can deal with the slightly more complex nature of GDAX then its definitely the way to go.

How To Sign Up for GDAX & Coinbase

Since they are both owned by Coinbase the signup process is the same. What you are going to have to do is create a Coinbase account. Even if you go to the “Create an Account” link on GDAX you will get redirected to Coinbase to create your account.

If you want to get $10 free worth of Bitcoin in your account you can join with my referral link here: I will also get $10 of Bitcoin in my account for referring you as a bonus.

Buying Cryptocurrency

Before you can buy any crypo you are first going to have to hook up your payment method, no matter if you use Coinbase or GDAX.

So if you are using Coinbase you will go to Settings, then click on Linked Accounts, then click Link a New Account.

Then there will be a verification process that you have to go through to verify that you do own the bank account or the credit/debit card that you are connecting to it. After that is said and done you will be able to buy the different cryptocurrencies instantly.

For GDAX you will first have to deposit funds into your account before buying anything, as I’ve mentioned. To do this you can use a bank account, wire transfer, money in your Coinbase account if you have any, or you can send bitcoins from another account if able to.

If you have a bank account connected to a Coinbase account already then it will automatically be connected to your GDAX account. All you will have to do is deposit funds. And if you want to add a new bank account you will be redirected to Coinbase to add a new account.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about anything here please leave them in the comment section below and I’ll get back to you soon 🙂

About the author

Mr Hodl

Hi, My name is Kyle but as the creator of this site I go by "Mr Hodl". After my first encounter with Bitcoin back in 2015 and becoming increasingly intrigued with the new emerging world of cryptocurrency, I thought it would be a good idea to create this site to provide guidance to others who are involved or looking to get into it. I hope you find my site helpful and thank you for stopping by!

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