Bitstamp vs Coinbase – Which One Should You Use? As two of the largest and most-used cryptocurrency exchanges, both Bitstamp and Coinbase are good choices. If you’re getting into crypto for the first time, or if you’re interested in switching to a new exchange. Let’s take a look at the main features of each, followed by a few of the key differences to help you make up your mind.
Bitstamp is a European cryptocurrency exchange, which was founded in 2011 by two Slovenian business partners. Now in Luxembourg, they are now one of Europe’s largest exchanges.
Bitstamp offers a good range of trading pairs but has a particularly large trading volume on the XRP / USD paid, as it isn’t supported on a lot of other exchanges – including Coinbase. Other popular pairs are ETH / USD, BTC / EUR, and XRP / EUR. There are another 9 options, for a total of 13 trading pairs. There are plenty of analytical graph options on their desktop offering, but the overall outlook can be a bit off-putting for beginners. However, the live view is extremely good for active traders.
Coinbase has been running since 2012 and is fully compliant with all US trading laws. This, combined with its immaculate security record, makes it one of the most trusted exchanges in the world. The company was also set up by two business partners, but in Singapore, where it still operates.
Coinbase focuses on having a diverse offering, with 32 countries and all the fiat currencies associated with those countries available. This is because Coinbase is a broker rather than a traditional exchange – more on that later. The other key feature that makes Coinbase so accessible is that it offers the best iOS and Android app versions of its interface that you could ever hope to find. This, along with its focus on an easy-to-use environment, makes it the most used exchange for first-timers in the world.
Bitstamp vs Coinbase
Availability and Ease of Use
The first thing to look at is ease of use. Now, Coinbase is a clear winner here if you’re a beginner, as it is extremely user-friendly. Bitstamp assumes a slightly better base layer of knowledge, so is usually used more by those with a bit more experience. In addition, Coinbase is available in 21 countries as opposed to Bitstamp’s 28. So while you are likely to have the choice of both in your country, Coinbase is slightly more widely used. Of course, with Bitstamp being based in Europe, it offers preferential fee rates for users in EU countries. So that is worth considering when making your choice.
There are a few things to consider here: what cryptocurrencies are supported, the flexibility of trade and use of fiat currency. In terms of support, Coinbase offers Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and Litecoin. Bitstamp offers the Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin, but if you’re interested in Ripple, only Bitstamp offers XRP.
You can deposit and withdraw US dollars and Euros with Bitstamp and then trade between USD and Bitcoin. However, Coinbase is actually a broker, so you can exchange between any of the supported currencies and the fiat currencies that are available in any of the 32 supported countries.
Finally, Coinbase supports PayPal, wire transfers and all major credit and debit cards. Where Bitstamp only offers credit cards or wire transfers. As Coinbase operates closely with US banks, it is able to offer a much wider variety than Bitstamp, making it a better choice in terms of flexibility overall.
Now, while Bitstamp’s wire transfer option isn’t exactly speedy, with an average wait time of 3-5 days, it is undoubtedly a cheap option, with fees of only 0.05%, compared with Coinbase’s 1.49%. However, their credit card fees are much more expensive, at 5%, where Coinbase only charge 3.99%. Of course, if you are a European resident, then both exchanges offer SEPA for free, so this is the clear and obvious choice in that situation.
In terms of security, no exchange has a better reputation than Coinbase. Not only do they have robust anti-money laundering regulations in place, but they have also never suffered a hack to date. Bitstamp has had to overcome significant security issues in contrast, with several high-profile hacks chequering their past. However, they have significantly improved their security, increased their cold storage ratio to 98%, and are now one of the safest exchanges out there.
If something goes wrong, you’re going to need a little bit of help from customer service. Both exchanges are excellent in this regard, with Bitstamp often offering 1-hour response times. Coinbase’s policies state that they will respond within 24 hours, which is a bit slower.
However, they also offer the option to have a live chat with customer support and also have a phone support option. This makes them the most diverse exchange of the two in terms of customer service. However, the reputation of both is excellent; there are very few complaints that you can find online which their customer service teams haven’t been able to satisfactorily resolve.
Overall, it is difficult to look past Coinbase as the preferred option. It is more flexible, offers better wire transfer fees, more payment options and has the best security record of any major exchange in the world. If you’re an EU citizen, then Bitstamp is a very strong option. However, for users in Asia, America and other locations outside the EU, Coinbase is a clear winner.