Is GDAX better than Coinbase? This is one question that gets asked a lot and I’ll be answering it in this post. I wouldn’t say that either exchange is really better than the other, because it depends on your situation and what you are looking for. Personally I use GDAX instead of Coinbase because the fees that you get charged are much lower, but there are a few upsides to using Coinbase which many people might prefer.
I will be going over the main differences between the two exchanges and what I would recommend using based on what you are looking for.
2 Exchanges 1 Company
What you might or might not already now is that both Coinbase and GDAX are owned by the same company… The main company being Coinbase. Coinbase was the original cryptocurrency exchange founded back in 2012 and GDAX is a separate cryptocurrency exchange that was created by Coinbase later on.
The big difference between the two exchanges is that Coinbase is more for the casual cryptocurrency buyer, it is very easy to use, well laid out, but charges higher fees. GDAX on the other hand is more for the professional cryptocurrency purchasers, whether it be large institutional buyers, day traders, etc. GDAX has many of the same features as Coinbase but is lacking in some areas, yet is better in some areas.
If you don’t want to read this entire post then what you should take away from it is this: Coinbase is better if you are a complete newbie and one things to be as easy and straightforward as possible. GDAX is better if you are experienced, and/or just want to save money on the fees and aren’t afraid of the process being a tad more complicated.
What Both Exchanges Do
Both Coinbase and GDAX allow users to purchase cryptocurrencies with regular old money, such as USD and EUR. Additionally they allow users to sell cryptocurrencies back into regular old money, which they then can have transferred to their bank account. Both of these exchanges are like an in and out for cryptocurrency users. They are safe easy ways to buy into the cryptocurrency market and to sell out.
On both of these exchanges they offer the same cryptocurrencies for purchase. As I am writing this the following cryptocurrencies are available…
- Bitcoin Cash
So if you want to purchase any of these cryptocurrencies with fiat money (USD and EUR) you are able to do so as well as sell any of these cryptocurrencies back into fiat money.
And since both of these exchanges are owned by the Coinbase company, there is really no difference when it comes to trust. If you trust one exchange then you pretty much have to trust the other. The end going along with this I would say that both exchanges are some of the most trusted on the market. They have been around for a while and one thing that I think makes a big difference is that they have their headquarters in San Francisco California, which means they are subject to US laws and regulation, which they are compliant with.
Why You Should Use One or The Other
People Who Should Use Coinbase
I pretty much only recommend people to use the Coinbase exchange if they are brand-new the cryptocurrency. Why? Just because it is more user-friendly.
Buying cryptocurrency on Coinbase is as easy as going to the buy/sell menu, clicking on a cryptocurrency you want to purchase, choosing your payment method, entering the amount you want to spend or purchase, and clicking by. Of course you have to create your account and get it verified along with your payment method before you can do this, but the point is it is very simple and straightforward…
One feature that users really like about Coinbase is the ability to use a credit/debit card. When you purchase through the exchange with a credit/debit card you get your cryptocurrency available to you instantly. This is easy, convenient, and fast which is something everyone should like.
The downside to using Coinbase is mainly the high fees. If you are going to purchase with a credit/debit card you are going to get hammered with the fees, in many cases paying around 3.99%. And if you purchase cryptocurrencies through Coinbase with a bank transfer you are still going to get hit pretty hard with what is usually a 1.49% fee. These will vary a bit depending on where you live and some other factor is but overall the fees on Coinbase are very high, which is the price that comes with the user-friendliness of the exchange.
Another downside is that it just doesn’t offer the trading tools necessary for serious traders. On Coinbase you are presented with a very basic price chart for each cryptocurrency. It shows you the trend in price over time but other than that there isn’t much to it.
People Who Should Use GDAX
people who should use GDAX instead of Coinbase or those that are either looking to pay minimal fees, to be able to make more advanced trades, to better be able to analyze the market, etc. GDAX was created for the more professional cryptocurrency buyers/sellers, but you certainly don’t have to be a professional to use this exchange.
When it comes to buying cryptocurrencies on GDAX with fiat money you don’t have as many options. You do not have the option of being able to purchase with a credit/debit card. Instead what you have to do is either a bank transfer or a wire transfer. And when selling it’s the same type of deal.
But for me and many others it is definitely worth it. GDAX only charges a 0.3% fee at most… Much of the time you don’t get charged at all. This has to do with how their fee structure works, with “makers” and “takers” but I’m not going to get into that here. The point is the fees or so so so much less and if you are a big buyer/seller you can save a ton of money using GDAX instead of Coinbase.
Another upside to using GDAX is that the trading platform is more advanced and you can do more with it. You can see from the chart below that there is a lot more to it. You can better see what’s going on just by looking at the price chart, you have the order book that you can look at to really narrow and at what price you want to buy/sell at, you have some overlay tolls available to you that you can do a little bit of technical analysis with, and you have the ability to make limit orders as well as stop limits.
Is One Better Than The Other?
No one isn’t better than the other, it just all depends on where you are coming from and what you are looking for. For the majority of people out there I would recommend using GDAX just because of the amount of money you can save. It’s a tad more complicated to use because of the additional features and not being able to purchase with a credit/debit card, but I really don’t think that’s too much of a downside… And too many buyers/sellers it is an upside.
I mean it is somewhat of a bummer that you cannot use a credit/debit card to purchase on GDAX, but the additional features that make it a bit more complicated are also what make it better for many. These additional features are what allow users to make lower-cost buys and higher sells, which is what everyone wants.
Creating an Account
Whether you want to use Coinbase or GDAX you are going to have to create a Coinbase account first, since this is the company behind both of them. Then if you want to use Coinbase you are all set and ready to go, and if you want to use GDAX you will simply go to GDAX.com and login with your Coinbase account information.
If you do plan on creating an account and using one of these exchanges I would appreciate it if you used my referral link below. This will not only help support this website but you can also receive $10 in free bitcoin when you make your first $100 purchase on Coinbase… If you use Coinbase that is. But either way since you have to create a Coinbase account first you can use my referral link.
Create Your Account Here: Coinbase.com/Join
And as always, leave any questions and comments below. I will get back to you as soon as I can 🙂