As a matter of fact, Coinbase and GDAX are actually two separate yet connected products that come from the same company. These two platforms have become two of the most popular ways for people to trade cryptocurrencies. So, what are the differences between Coinbase vs GDAX? Continue reading below to see the detailed comparisons between the two platforms based on the ease of use, transfer methods, features, and fees.
The first thing that you need to know when choosing between Coinbase vs GDAX is that they are made for very different purposes. Coinbase is designed for easy cryptocurrency buying, selling, and storage. On the other hand, GDAX is a full-fledged cyptocurrency exchange.
Coinbase is a platform that serves the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies. Instead of trading on an exchange, which may be complicated and confusing for a beginner, you can buy and sell cryptocurrencies at set prices on this platform. Your funds and cryptocurrencies are stored in a secure online wallet. Most of the time, the prices on Coinbase are very close to the ones being traded on GDAX, so this is a very convenient choice if you just want a simple way to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. See also: Coinbase vs Bitstamp.
On the other hand, GDAX is a real cryptocurrency exchange where the users can trade cryptocurrencies. This platform is very similar to traditional stock and foreign exchanges. On this platform, you can make huge volumes of trades quickly. The pricing is based on a maker-taker scheme that is commonly applied on cryptocurrency exchanges. You can place various types of orders, including market orders, margin orders, limit orders, and stop orders.
Note that Coinbase and GDAX are two separate yet connected platforms. Having a Coinbase account does not make you able to trade on GDAX, and vice versa. However, you can transfer funds between your Coinbase and GDAX accounts in an instant. This is great if you are interested in using both platforms to take advantage of Coinbase’s transfer options while trading on GDAX.
Since the two platforms come from the same company, it is not surprising that they support similar cryptocurrencies. However, note that Coinbase and GDAX are viable options if you are interested in only the mainstream cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. These platforms only support those three cryptocurrencies. If you want to trade more obscure, less popular cryptocurrencies, you should look elsewhere.
In addition, GDAX also supports EUR and USD fiat currencies. As a result, you can trade your digital money directly for those fiat currencies. This allows you to save some time without having to wait for a conversion process.
Deposit and Withdrawal Methods
The next difference between Coinbase vs GDAX that you may need to consider is the transfer methods. Since Coinbase is designed to be as easy and simple as possible, it comes with several transfer options. To deposit your money into the online wallet, you can use a bank transfer, credit card, or cryptocurrency transfer. The provided options are great, as they give you some flexibility. Meanwhile, to withdraw your money from the online wallet, you can use a bank transfer, PayPal transfer, or crptocurrency transfer.
It is also important to point out that, on Coinbase, you can buy and lock the price even though the bank transfer hasn’t been completed. Coinbase will hold the money until the bank transfer is completed, but you will get it at the same price as the moment you bought it.
On the other hand, GDAX only supports bank transfers and cryptocurrency transfers for deposit and withdrawal. The limited options may be an issue for some people.
However, as mentioned above, you can transfer your money directly between Coinbase and GDAX accounts, so it is possible to deposit to your Coinbase account and then move the money to your GDAX account. The other way around, you can move your money from the GDAX account to the Coinbase account, and then make a PayPal withdrawal.
Note that, on GDAX, the money has to be in your account before you can make a purchase. Depending on the direction of the trade, there is a possibility that you will pay more money for the transfer and purchase.
Ease of Use
It should come with no surprise that Coinbase is the easiest platform to use if you just want to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. The interface is simple and intuitive. There are two tabs for “buy” and “sell”. On each tab, there are three buttons for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin along with their respective prices. You can enter the amount of money or cryptocurrency, and then click on the button to complete the transaction. You also have the option to repeat the transaction automatically on a daily, weekly, two-week, or monthly basis.
On the other hand, GDAX is more suitable for experienced traders who have enough knowledge about trading. The interface is quite complex, but all the windows and features are organized neatly. There are graphs showing the fluctuations of the cryptocurrencies along with other relevant information. For a beginner, the number of features may feel overwhelming. However, the advanced features are definitely useful for an experienced trader.
Finally, when choosing between Coinbase vs GDAX, you should consider the fees that will reduce your total profits. Of course, the convenience offered by Coinbase comes with an additional price. The fees on Coinbase are higher. When buying or selling via a bank transfer, the fee is 1.5%. Meanwhile, buying or selling via a credit card or PayPal has a fee of 4%. It should be noted that Coinbase’s fees are relatively lower compared to other platforms in the industry.
On the other hand, trading on GDAX shines when it comes to saving. The fees are much lower. Trading fees on GDAX are typically 0.25% or lower. The detailed fee structure is available on the official website. So, if you want to minimize your expenses and maximize your profit as much as possible, GDAX may be a better option.
|- A platform for buying and selling cryptocurrencies at set prices||- A crypto exchange for trading cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies|
|- The set prices are close to the ones being traded on GDAX||- The prices depend on a maker-taker scheme|
|- Simple and easy to use||- Has various advanced features, complex interface|
|- Supports bank transfer, credit card, PayPal, and crypto transfer||- Only supports bank transfer and crypto transfer|
|- 1.5% fee for bank transfer, 4% fee for credit card or PayPal||- Typically has 0.25% fee or lower|
For beginners, Coinbase is more recommended. It is easy and simple to use. It allows you to buy and sell cryptocurrencies through multiple transfer options. However, an experienced trader who wants to minimize expenses and maximize profits may prefer GDAX, which is a real crypto exchange with much lower fees.