The cryptocurrency universe is one that expands at breakneck speeds and despite its tendency for volatility, the industry continues to attract massive investments from all corners of the planet, with people lured-in by the prospects of making multiples of their investment in a very short period of time.  Despite its tremendous progress in entrenching itself firmly at the center of mainstream modern life, cryptocurrency trading is still a business that is fraught with potential dangers especially for the newbie who is not familiar with the suspect names in the industry.

Exchanges which are the go-to places where most people acquire their crypto assets have always been under the spotlight since the famous Mt Gox crash which had over 850,000 Bitcoins stolen by hackers, and most recently amplified by the two exchanges from South Korea and Japan respectively also suffering similar fates with the latter losing over half a billion dollars worth of cryptocurrencies. This makes finding the right exchange to trade with a highly crucial decision, and as far as a great track record is concerned as well as having a close to stellar reputation, one could safely say that Coinbase and GDAX (which are both owned by the same parent company) are among the top exchanges in the world. And in this piece we get to familiarize ourselves with both.

Coinbase

Coinbase is the household name when it comes to the cryptocurrency business as it is among the most recognizable and frequently labeled as the most reputable exchange in the world. Coinbase is among the earliest players in the cryptocurrency exchange field, and it was created mainly with the function of serving as the most easily navigable exchange in the business tailored for use by those with little or no previous experience or knowledge of cryptocurrencies.

Coinbase has a great user interface that has won it acclaim across the industry. It is also one of the very few exchanges with a stellar record when it comes to securing its customers’ assets. Coinbase is known to take very stringent measures in storing its cryptocurrency holdings as it is said to keep all its assets in completely offline vaults that are beyond the reach of hackers and other online criminals. This is one of the reasons why the exchange’s wallet is among the most popular hosted wallets only second to blockchain.info’s own wallet app. 

If you are a first time trader trying to buy your Bitcoin for the purpose of storing or making your purchases with it, then Coinbase will certainly be among the exchanges you will find most suitable for your need as a newcomer. The exchange has a number of payment options with which its clients conduct their transactions. With the biggest point of attraction apart from security of course, being the ability of the user to buy their cryptocurrencies instantly with the use of credit or debit cards. Coinbase takes the time to verify the identity of its customers before allowing any considerable volume purchases using credit cards however, and such transactions come with a fee of about 3.75% which is not the lowest in the industry. If there is any drawback when it comes to Coinbase, it probably is that it is still limited in coverage to about 33 countries of the world, mostly US, Canada and EU countries.

Pros

  • Great user interface, ideal for beginners.
  • Stellar track record for secure transactions
  • Flexible payment options like Credit Cards

Cons

  • Not a worldwide service at the moment

Coinbase Pro

Coinbase Pro, previously called GDAX, is the sister exchange to Coinbase as they are both owned by the same parent company. Coinbase Pro is an exchange just like Coinbase is a fully registered and insured exchange based in the US, but whose services are tailored mostly for those that are already very familiar with the industry and those who are not just looking to buy and store like Coinbase , i.e. those who are looking to trade and profit. Coinbase Pro is a very versatile exchange that trades in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and a few other cryptocurrencies as well as the US dollar and Euro fiat currencies.

Coinbase Pro has an information-rich interface which seeks to provide the hardcore cryptocurrency trader with the one-stop shop where they can trade and exchange one crypto asset to another or a crypto asset against fiat money. The traders’ exchange is also known for its strict security measures and has so far remained unscathed from any hacking attacks that have plagued other exchanges. With charts, trade numbers as well as tools like stop loss and other automated trading tools, Coinbase Pro offers its user with a highly equipped ecosystem with which they can use to make their trading activities highly profitable. One of the greatest points of attraction of Coinbase Pro is its exceptionally low transaction fees which stand at barely 0.25% less than one-tenth of that of Coinbase, and its biggest drawback if any is the fact that the first time trader will find it quite challenging to find their ways around.

Pros

  • Highly intuitive interface with rich information for the hardcore trader
  • Top notch security with a close to perfect track record.
  • Quick withdrawal options
  • Greatly attractive transaction fees.

Cons

  • Not newbie-friendly
  • No credit card support, as only bank transfers and cryptocurrency deposits are accepted

Conclusion

As far as reputation is concerned there is nothing to pick apart between Coinbase and Coinbase Pro as they both highly reputable, and proven to be secure exchanges. Therefore the crux of the issue between the two remains the kind of use the customer wants to put the exchange to. If you are a newbie who is just trying to buy cryptocurrencies for day to day use or long-term storage, then Coinbase will be perfect for you, however if you are one who wants to also take part as a day trader trying to profit from the market’s every move, the Coinbase Pro is the platform for you, especially if you are a big volume trader.

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