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The 5 Best Coinbase Alternatives

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Image Credit: dennizn/DepositPhotos

Coinbase is one of the most well-known crypto on-ramps, but it isn’t the only option. If you want to buy crypto with fiat currency, keep reading. We’re going to introduce you to five of the best Coinbase alternatives.

Coinbase Features

The basic version of Coinbase lets you instantly buy Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin by linking your debit or credit card account with the app. The service is available in 32 countries, most of which are in Europe and North America.

It charges a spread of about 1.5 percent and an additional “Coinbase Fee” of up to $2.99, depending on the value of the transaction.

Coinbase is fully insured for the entire value of Bitcoin on its servers and offers features such as reoccurring buying (for dollar cost averaging), a portfolio management dashboard, and an app for Android and iOS.

The company also offers Coinbase Pro. It is a Global Digital Asset Exchange (GDAX) that lets users trade more than 20 different tokens.

Coinbase Alternatives

So, which are the best alternative apps like Coinbase?

1. Coinmama

Israeli firm Coinmama is way ahead of Coinbase when it comes to the number of countries it supports. At the time of writing, there are more than 190. If you live in one of the countries that’s a notable absentee from Coinbase’s list of 32—including New Zealand, Brazil, Argentina, Turkey, India, Hong Kong, and Taiwan—it is worth checking out.

The company also offers more coins to its retail customers. You can buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Cardano, Qtum, and Ethereum Classic, all without needing to look at a FOREX trading screen.

Like Coinbase, Coinmama lets you buy crypto with either a debit or credit card. Both types of card carry a five percent processing fee. The trading fee is 5.9 percent.

2. Changelly

If you don’t have trading knowledge and you’re uncomfortable using traditional platforms, it can be hard to gain exposure to some of the more diverse coins out there.

That’s where Changelly can help. It’s a perfect alternative to Coinbase for anyone who wants to buy mid-cap altcoins without worrying about dealing with a FOREX platform. Some of the lesser-known altcoins that Changelly supports include Factom, Expanse, Gulden, Lisk, DigitalNote, and NuBits.

You can buy crypto on Changelly using any fiat currency in the world, though the money will be first converted into either euros or dollars.

The most significant drawback of Changelly is the selling process. You can only use the platform to sell your crypto tokens for other cryptocurrencies; you cannot sell your crypto for fiat currency. Changelly has fixed transaction fees of 0.5 percent.

Most countries are supported, but in the United States, there are some hoops to jump through. Your first transaction can be worth a maximum of $50. You then have to wait four days, and you can make a transaction of $100. After a further seven days, you can make $500, and thereafter, there are no limits.

3. Local Bitcoins

Finnish company Local Bitcoins is the best alternative to Coinbase for anyone who would prefer to use a decentralized service rather than a centralized one. It has been around since 2012 and has forged a solid reputation.

The entire exchange is peer-to-peer (P2P). You can find people in your country or city who are selling coins, then complete a transaction entirely offline (for example, you can make a deposit in the seller’s bank account with Local Bitcoins acting as escrow).

Because it is decentralized, there are a few things you need to watch out for when you use the app. Firstly, pay close attention to the fees. Local Bitcoins has no control over the costs of each transaction—the seller can set the amount.

Secondly, make sure you are buying Bitcoins from a seller with a high reputation. Failure to do could lead to extensive delays in getting your hands on your crypto.

4. Abra

Abra is a mobile app that’s quickly become a major player in the world of Coinbase alternatives.

The app not only lets you invest in more than 30 of the most popular cryptocurrencies in the world, but it also offers access to stocks, equity funds, and crypto index trackers.

If you choose to use Abra, make sure you have robust crypto security policies in place. Like hardware wallets, you will receive a seed phrase when you set up the app for the first time. Anyone who knows the seed phrase will be able to restore your wallet on their own device and access your funds.

You can buy crypto using a Visa or Mastercard, but you’ll be charged a commission of four percent. There is a limit of $20,000 per day.

Abra only supports withdrawals in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin. You can also withdraw in fiat directly to your bank account.

5. Robinhood

Anyone who invests in the equity markets will be familiar with Robinhood. The app has made a name for itself by offering commission-free stock trading, making it instantly popular with millennials and other low net-worth individuals.

In 2018, the company launched a crypto division. Like its equity trading services, crypto trading on Robinhood is commission-free. And while there are question marks around whether crypto trading on Robinhood really costs nothing, it’s still an excellent on-ramp for anyone who wants to buy their first Bitcoins.

The downside of crypto trading on Robinhood is withdrawals. At the time of writing, you cannot withdraw your crypto assets to your own wallet. Many critics would argue that if you don’t own the private keys, you don’t own the tokens.

The Best Coinbase Alternative

Coinbase has earned its position as the market leader thanks to a mix of being early to market, offering services for both beginner and experienced crypto users, and its availability in the United States.

Each of the services we’ve looked at will appeal to a different subset of users. The most similar Coinbase app on the list is Coinmama, but you should check them all out to see which fits your needs most accurately.

And if you would like to learn more, check out our article on whether Coinbase is a safe place to buy crypto.

Dan Price
Dan has a background in both finance and technology. Previously, he worked for more than five years as a private financial consultant, advising clients on single investments, fund portfolios, long-term savings, and more. Dan holds professional qualifications from the UK's Chartered Insurance Institute, including a Certificate in Discretionary Investment Management and a Diploma in Financial Planning. Dan also writes for Blocks Decoded's sister publication, MakeUseOf. He started at the company in 2014 and has gone on to hold several key positions in the organization. In mid-2017, Dan finally started to invest in crypto. He is a firm advocate of index tracking funds and automated portfolio balancing. He's currently using the Crypto20 token and Hodlbot for exposure to the top 50 coins.
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