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What should you use to buy crypto?

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Over the past few years, the growing popularity of cryptocurrency has paved the way for a multi-trillion dollar industry. For this reason, there is now a wide range of platforms that you can use to buy, sell, and store your cryptocurrency. Coinbase and eToro are two top cryptocurrency exchanges. But which one to choose when buying crypto?

Here, we’ll go over the pros and cons of both platforms so you can decide which is right for you. Let’s start with the crypto exchange that came first: Coinbase.


What is Coinbase?


coinbase website behind magnifying glass
Image Credit: marcoverch/Flickr

Coinbase was originally founded in June 2012 by Brian Armstrong, a former Airbnb engineer. Armstrong partnered with Fred Ehrsam, a former Goldman Sachs trader, in his venture to make Coinbase a success. The platform started out as a service that allowed Bitcoin purchases to take place via wire transfer, but has since grown and developed into the most popular decentralized exchange in the United States.

Coinbase is available in several different countries, including the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Singapore, and a range of European countries.

Coinbase supports a variety of different cryptocurrencies, from the biggest names in the market like Bitcoin and Ethereum, to stablecoins like Tether and USD Coin, and some lesser-known cryptos like NuCypher and Pawtocol. With over 160 coins supported in total, you won’t be short of choices when buying or selling crypto on Coinbase.

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The platform is also a great choice for those who value security above all else, and here’s why.

Coinbase Security Features

Coinbase offers a range of features that ensure your funds will remain safe and untouched by unauthorized parties. You can use two-factor authentication to add security to your login process and use Coinbase’s Vault feature to make your crypto transactions more secure by using additional verification steps.

In addition to this, Coinbase works with the FDC to ensure that all US wallets on the platform are insured for up to $250,000 in losses in the event of funds being stolen via hacking (although this insurance does not cover not unauthorized access to your account due to loss of your login credentials).

Coinbase also stores over 98% of cryptocurrency on its platform in cold storage. This means that almost all of its keys are stored using physical devices that are not connected to the internet. Without an Internet connection, it is much more difficult for cybercriminals to steal private keys.

With all of these excellent security features, you can rest easy knowing that your precious crypto funds are as safe as possible.

There are also two versions of Coinbase that you can use depending on your level of experience and your needs. You have standard Coinbase, which most users join, or Coinbase Pro, another type of Coinbase account for those who trade very regularly and have more experience in the industry.

Coinbase Pro also offers a feature that whitelists crypto wallet addresses in your address book to prevent your funds from going elsewhere.

Coinbase Pro offers more detailed charts and more advanced trading features, although you can do a lot with just a standard Coinbase account. See our article on Coinbase and Coinbase Pro to determine if you need a Pro account.

Coinbase and Coinbase Pro have different fee structures, so let’s discuss how each account type will charge you.

Coinbase Fees

A standard Coinbase account does not charge any maker fees, which makes sense as makers are favored over takers on crypto exchanges as they provide liquidity to the platform. But support fees of 1.49%, as well as spread fees of 0.5% for fiat transactions and 1% for crypto transactions, still apply.

On the other hand, Coinbase Pro uses the maker-taker fee system to charge users. But there are no set maker and taker fees at all levels. Instead, these fees change based on the amount of money moved in a transaction. For any transaction below $10,000, Coinbase Pro charges a 0.4% maker and 0.6% taker fee.

After that, the fee decreases with each amount increment. Unfortunately, you’ll need to complete a trade worth more than $300 million to avoid maker fees, and taker fees are applied regardless of the amount.

Coinbase and Coinbase Pro do not charge fees for withdrawals and deposits.

Overall, Coinbase is a secure and diverse platform suitable for both crypto novices and professionals. Although its fees can sometimes be a little high (especially on a standard account), the security features and wide range of coins and tokens on offer make it a great option for all your crypto needs.

Now, let’s dive into eToro and see what it can offer you.

What is eToro?


etoro green poster
Image Credit: Web Summit/Flickr

Unlike Coinbase, eToro started out as a social trading and multi-asset brokerage company for traditional currencies like the British pound or US dollar. The company was founded in 2007, and it wasn’t until seven years later, in 2014, that eToro launched the cryptocurrency section of its exchange. But eToro’s crypto exchange is only available in 45 US states, so it’s considerably less accessible than Coinbase in terms of location.


If you live in New York, Nevada, Minnesota, Hawaii, or Tennessee, you will not be able to access eToro’s crypto exchange.

Also, eToro does not support as many cryptocurrencies as Coinbase. Of course, Coinbase is a crypto-only exchange, while eToro made a name for itself using traditional currencies, and its crypto exchange only came later. It is therefore not surprising that eToro only supports 59 coins instead of the 160 supported by Coinbase. But eToro still supports many of the most popular coins on the market.

eToroX, like Coinbase Pro, also offers a whitelist feature to protect your crypto. So what security features does eToro offer and do they match Coinbase? Let’s find out.

eToro Security Features

Like Coinbase, eToro offers two-factor authentication for the login process to minimize the risk of anyone accessing your account without your permission. Additionally, eToro keeps funds on its trading platform in cold storage, although all funds held using the eToro Money crypto wallet are kept in hot storage, so keep that in mind.


Like Coinbase, eToro offers two versions of trading for users based on their experience level: eToro and eToroX. The latter supports stablecoins in its trading pairs more than fiat currencies, and comes with a wallet that supports deposits in a total of eleven cryptos, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin. The platform also supports twelve stablecoins.

Now let’s move on to eToro’s pricing structure.

eToro Fees

eToro fees do not operate on a maker-taker structure. Instead, eToro charges a spread fee, which essentially makes up for the lack of maker and taker fees. Currently, eToro charges a 0.75% spread fee for cryptocurrency transactions. Although this is more expensive than the Coinbase Pro fee, it is actually cheaper than the spread fee charged when using a standard Coinbase account. Additionally, eToro does not charge any fees for withdrawals and deposits.

Of course, if you live outside of the US, eToro’s cryptocurrency exchange isn’t an option for you, but you can try Coinbase instead. However, it’s definitely a solid option if you live in one of the 45 states where eToro’s crypto exchange is available, and the platform supports all the coins you want to trade.

Below is a more concise overview of the two platforms, including their fees, security features, and availability.

Coinbase eToro
Number of Cryptos Supported 160+ 59
Availablity United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Singapore, all European countries (except Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Serbia, Ukraine, Montenegro, Russia, Germany, Moldova) 45 US states (excluding Tennessee, Hawaii, New York, Nevada, Minnesota)
Security functions Two-factor authentication, vaults, cold storage, insurance of US wallets up to $250,000, whitelisting (on Coinbase Pro) Two-factor authentication, cold storage of trading funds (not wallet funds), whitelisting (on eToroX)
Costs Coinbase: 1.49% taker fee 0.5% taker fee for fiat transactions, 1% for crypto transactions Coinbase Pro: 0.5% maker fee, 0.5% taker fee 0.75% spread fee (no maker/taker)

Clear winner between the two crypto exchanges

Although Coinbase and eToro have their pros and cons, Coinbase is clearly our winner for buying cryptocurrency. The platform supports a huge range of cryptos, prioritizes security, and is available in many countries around the world. In short, it is more accessible and has a richer cryptocurrency ecosystem for all your buying, selling, staking, and storage needs.


coinbase website behind magnifying glass

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