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FTX and Coinbase are two of the best crypto exchange platforms in the world, offering their userbases with a vast selection of crypto, intuitive mobile apps, advanced trading platforms, NFT marketplaces, and financial management products. However, the platforms are targeted toward different audiences. In this comparison review, we assess the similarities and differences between FTX and Coinbase and evaluate which is the better option for crypto investors.
UPDATE 12/30/2022: FTX has filed for bankruptcy and is no longer available to use. Therefore, Coinbase wins this exchange comparison by default. Here's a list of other alternatives to FTX to consider.
FTX vs. Coinbase: A Quick Overview
FTX and Coinbase are well-established cryptocurrency exchanges that offer world-class crypto products and services including advanced trading platforms where investors and traders can access hundreds of popular cryptocurrencies and trading pairs.
To begin with, FTX is a world-leading crypto leverage trading platform that was designed for advanced traders. The popular exchange provides users with access to cutting-edge features, particularly around its derivatives, options, leveraged token, and volatility product markets. Due to its significant liquidity, FTX offers much lower trading fees across a wide selection of cryptocurrencies and trading pairs.
On the other hand, Coinbase caters to beginners by offering a simple trading experience and built-in user education on the platform. The features of Coinbase are well-rounded and everyday investors will find something to their liking.
|Promotion||$5 BTC bonus (USA only)||5% off trading fees|
|Fiat Currency||USD, GBP, EUR, CAD, SGD, NZD & AUD||Crypto & 13 fiat currencies|
|Max. Trading Fee||0.5%||0.02% (maker), 0.07% (taker)|
|Markets||Spot||Spot, futures, leveraged tokens, options, volatility contracts|
|Savings Account Interest||Yes||N/A|
|US Residents Allowed||Yes||Yes|
|Review||Read our full Coinbase review||Read our full FTX review|
In-Depth Comparison: FTX vs Coinbase
FTX is a leading crypto derivatives trading platform that caters to advanced traders. It was built in 2019 by billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried as a platform “for traders, by traders.”. FTX has quickly become one of the best cryptocurrency exchanges for derivatives trading where up to 125x leverage can be applied to long and short positions. With some of the most advanced trading tools in the market, FTX is a leading platform in crypto trading for experienced and professional traders.
- Huge selection of advanced trading tools and features for a variety of derivatives markets.
- Significant liquidity and very low maker (0.02%) and taker (0.07%) fees.
- Very stable trading platform, even during volatile markets.
- Simple-to-use NFT marketplace.
- Only has up to 10x leverage for spot trading.
- No live customer support options (email only).
- Beginners may be overwhelmed by the interface and its features.
Coinbase is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States (US) transacting billions in daily trading volume, and servicing over 90 million customers from around the globe. Coinbase is designed with beginners in mind, with a simple user interface and mobile app, as well as built-in user education.
Coinbase is a reliable place for new and long-term investors to buy Bitcoin and 250 altcoins with its simply designed user interface and intuitive apps for iOS and Android mobile devices. The built-in educational videos that teach new users about different crypto projects highlight the exchange's efforts to bridge the knowledge gap amongst new or novice crypto enthusiasts. Coinbase charges higher fees than most other exchanges, but its advanced trading platform, Coinbase Pro, offers reasonable trading fees and some useful tools.
- Highly regulated crypto exchange available in most countries (including U.S.).
- Beginners will benefit from the simple interface and intuitive apps for iOS and Android mobile devices.
- Excellent educational videos and resources are available.
- Deep liquidity for spot trading.
- High fees (0.5%) for trading on the standard platform.
- No access to derivatives or margin trading.
FTX vs. Coinbase: Supported Countries
FTX and Coinbase are available worldwide, with customers in over 150 countries around the globe. Due to local regulatory reasons, FTX is not able to provide derivatives trading markets in certain countries, such as the United States, Canada, China, and Singapore. However, FTX is licensed to provide limited services to USA residents including spot trading through its sister exchange, FTX.US.
Since Coinbase does not offer derivatives trading, the exchange is not subject to the same restriction as FTX. Coinbase possesses a massive user base of over 90 million customers across 200 countries around the globe. With FTX holding approximately 1 million customers as of 2022, Coinbase is by far the more popular and accessible crypto exchange in the world between the two.
FTX vs. Coinbase: Trading Volume & Liquidity
In terms of trading volume and liquidity, FTX and Coinbase are two of the top exchanges in the world with rankings of #2 and #3, respectively. At the time of writing, the average liquidity scores of 713 and 686 for FTX and Coinbase, respectively, means that users can place large orders and avoid excess slippage. This makes both platforms ideal for high-volume traders, crypto day traders and institutional clients.
FTX vs. Coinbase: Features, Products & Services
FTX and Coinbase offer solid trading platforms with a robust selection of cryptocurrencies on offer. Here is a comparison and overview of some of the common and unique features of both FTX and Coinbase.
Coinbase supports nearly 200 crypto assets listed across over 500 trading pairs, which is a great selection. Coinbase is steadily growing its offerings and offers deep liquidity on the most popular coins. Conversely, FTX offers a larger selection of coins with over 300 cryptocurrencies available for investors to trade. Both platforms support a handful of fiat currencies available to buy crypto, with FTX supporting 6 and Coinbase supporting 7.
For the derivatives exchange, FTX offers over 200 trading pairs, as well as tokenized stocks and volatility products. Coinbase does not offer any derivatives trading currently.
Overall, FTX offers more crypto and has a derivatives trading platform, while Coinbase does not. FTX also offers trading leveraged products and other assets outside of crypto.
Margin Trading (with Leverage)
FTX is one of the best leverage margin trading platforms in the world offering a range of markets including leveraged tokens, futures, options, MOVE contracts, and volatility products. FTX has recently added leveraged margin trading to its spot markets.
- Spot. Optional leverage up to 10x can be applied to over 240 trading pairs.
- Futures contracts. Stablecoin settled futures contracts that can be set for the current quarter, following quarter, or perpetually. A backstop liquidity provider is in place and over 250 trading pairs are supported with up to 125x leverage available.
- Leveraged tokens. Four leverage options to choose from such as Bull (3x), Bear (-3x), Hedge (-1x), and Half (1/2x).
- MOVE. Futures contracts represent the absolute value of the amount the price of a coin moves over a time period.
- Options. Similar to futures trading where the holder is not obligated to buy or sell at the future price.
On the other hand, Coinbase and Coinbase Pro do not offer any margin, derivatives or options markets to trade with leverage. Trading is limited to buying and selling on the spot market only which is not ideal for traders.
Coinbase simply does not offer leveraged trading currently, making FTX the clear winner. FTX is one of the best derivatives and margin trading platforms available, period. With cutting-edge features and unique leveraged products, FTX is one of our favorites for advanced and professional crypto traders.
Earning Yield on Crypto
FTX and Coinbase both offer financial products where investors can earn crypto interest on their holdings via a staking platform and interest-earning accounts. While FTX staking is limited to FTT tokens with a return of 8% APY, Coinbase offers ETH 2.0 staking, as well as interest directly deposited into user, accounts simply for holding certain tokens.
Coinbase focuses solely on ETH 2.0 staking, allowing users to deposit ETH into a staking contract and earn interest. The ETH is locked during the ETH 2.0 network upgrade process, so just make sure to note this before investing.
Users can also purchase a handful of other crypto assets including Tezos (XTZ), USDC, Algorand (ALGO), and Cosmos (ATOM). Interest rates aren’t particularly impressive when compared with the top platforms to earn crypto interest, but the interest is earned automatically after purchasing the coins.
While neither platform is one of the best ways to earn crypto interest, Coinbase at least offers a few options to earn yield, while FTX only supports its native token for staking.
FTX vs. Coinbase: Ease of Use
Since FTX and Coinbase are marketed toward different audiences, with a very different user interface. Coinbase offers a simplified trading platform, while FTX provides a state-of-the-art platform that is purely designed for pro-level traders.
Beginner and novice traders and crypto enthusiasts alike will find the Coinbase refreshingly simple to use. Instead of complicated-looking charting and an abundance of buttons and features, crypto newcomers will be welcomed with simple line charts and a basic order form where orders can be easily placed. Users can quickly buy, sell, or swap crypto, and even set up recurring purchases for regular investments into their favorite crypto.
Coinbase has a simple-to-use website and mobile app that will appeal to the majority of crypto investors. The straightforward navigation and process to buy and sell crypto make it ideal for beginners. On the other hand, FTX is geared towards serious traders and can be difficult to use for newer investors. This makes Coinbase a good alternative to FTX for beginners.
FTX vs. Coinbase: Trading Experience
Coinbase offers a separate trading platform, Coinbase Exchange, that provides a more advanced trading experience. With live order books, customizable watch lists, and advanced candlestick charting with overlays and technical indicators, experienced traders have all the tools they need to identify and execute trades. The order forms offer more flexibility, including the ability to place limit and stop-loss orders. The tools are fairly basic, and may not satisfy the most advanced crypto traders, but at least the fees are much lower on the advanced platform.
Alternately, FTX has a highly advanced trading platform that is powered by TradingView charts. This allows users the maximum amount of charting customization, with access to hundreds of technical indicators and overlays, as well as drawing tools and the ability to save settings. FTX also gives users a view of live order books, a list of executed trades, and a quick jump menu to view trading pairs.
From the same wallet, users can quickly access all the offered markets including, spot (and optional margin), futures, leveraged tokens, and volatility and prediction products. For more advanced trading, FTX also offers a fully-customizable trading interface with a drag-and-drop setup. And finally, there is a “Quant Zone” that allows users to create their own crypto trading bots and programs.
While Coinbase offers a straightforward trading interface for beginners and intermediate traders, FTX offers far more ways to chart cryptocurrencies with excellent features and is ideal for advanced and professional traders. The powerful TradingView charting package is integrated into the FTX interface, making charts ultimately customizable. This gives FTX users an edge and the ability to save certain views, which is ideal for active traders.
Mobile App For Android & iOS
Coinbase offers one of the best crypto apps for first-timer users with Android and iOS devices. Just like the desktop version, the mobile app provides everyday investors with the ability to trade crypto on the go, as well as soundly manage their portfolios.
Based on 700,000 customer reviews at the time of writing, the Coinbase Android app has a very good rating of 4.1/5.0, which indicates its high reliability and reputation. In terms of functionality, we found the app to be clean, responsive, and visually intuitive - three characteristics that favor crypto beginners.
The FTX app is also available on Android and iOS mobile devices and provides access to most features of the desktop platform. The Android app has a similar rating to Coinbase, 4.0/5.0 based on over 170,000 reviews. Based on our reviews, the FTX app was not as intuitive and responsive as the Coinbase app.
Whilst the FTX app offers access to advanced trading features and tools, it was not as responsive and intuitive compared to the Coinbase app. The learning curve for new crypto investors and enthusiasts on the Coinbase mobile app will be far shorter and is our pick for beginners.
Buying & Selling NFTs
FTX and Coinbase offer NFT marketplaces that allow users to buy and sell NFTs. Coinbase recently launched its marketplace but does not offer minting of NFTs just yet. In contrast, FTX has an NFT marketplace that lets users mint their own NFTs. However, both platforms are fairly new and only offer a limited selection of NFTs currently. Coinbase only supports Ethereum network NFTs currently, while FTX supports both Solana and Ethereum network NFTs. Coinbase is currently running a promotion and charging 0% fees for buying or selling an NFT, while FTX currently charges a 2% seller’s fee on trades.
While both NFT marketplaces are fairly new, FTX offers more NFTs on their platform, supporting multiple blockchains, that lets users mint NFTs. That being said, Coinbase is quickly ramping up its marketplace and will add improvements over time.
FTX vs. Coinbase: Trading Fees
FTX offers a tiered fee structure that starts from 0.02% and 0.07% for maker and taker orders, respectively. Apart from its world-class spot and derivatives trading markets, FTX is also well-known for its very low trading fees which can be reduced depending on the 30-day trading volume or by holding the platform's native token, FTT.
Coinbase has multiple fee structures, with its standard platform charging very high fees (up to 3% or more), while the maker fees and taker fees on Coinbase Exchange start at 0.4% and 0.6%, respectively. Similar to FTX, discounts on trading fees can be obtained for high-volume traders.
|Market||Coinbase Fees||FTX Fees|
|Spot trading||Standard: 1.49% - 4.5%, Advanced: From 0.6% / 0.4%||From 0.02% (maker) / 0.07% (taker)|
|Leverage trading||Not available||From 0.02% (maker) / 0.07% (taker)|
For derivatives trading, FTX follows the same fee structure as spot trades, offering 0.02% (maker) and 0.07% (taker). There is also up to a 60% discount to FTX Token (FTT) holders, including maker rebates as low as -0.0030%.
As for withdrawal fees, both Coinbase and FTX do not charge any additional fees when it comes to crypto. For example, an individual can transfer from Coinbase to FTX and incur no additional costs. The only fee payable is the blockchain fee to the miners and stakers.
While Coinbase is a great platform, the fees are high for users of the standard platform. To save money, users can use the “Advanced Trade” feature, but the fees are still 10x higher than FTX. In comparison, FTX offers the lowest fees around, with discounts available for FTT token holders, and rebates available for the highest volume traders.
FTX vs. Coinbase: Security
Both FTX and Coinbase offer some of the best crypto wallet and account security in the industry by implementing best practices to protect user data and funds. Neither platform has experienced a hack of their infrastructure or user data that has resulted in the loss or theft of digital assets.
FTX and Coinbase both require Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) for accounts, offer whitelisting of withdrawal addresses, and both keep a majority of crypto in offline cold storage. All user data is protected via SSL data encryption, and both operate with geographically distributed architecture, avoiding a single point of failure. In case of a breach, both carry insurance against loss of user assets, with FTX carrying a backstop fund of about $200 million, and Coinbase carrying crime insurance.
FTX and Coinbase are two of the most secure crypto exchanges on the planet. With bank-grade security, insurance against theft, FDIC insurance on USD cash balances, and very secure data infrastructure, these platforms both are top-notch in the security department. However, Coinbase wallet is the more established in the industry that has been tried and tested through a number of ups and downs.
FTX vs. Coinbase: Comparison Scores
To conclude our comparison of which exchange is better between FTX and Coinbase, each crypto exchange has been scored using simple evaluation criteria as shown below.
|Earning Interest on Crypto||Coinbase|
|Ease of Use||Coinbase|
Final Verdict: FTX or Coinbase?
In terms of trading volume, liquidity, and popularity, FTX and Coinbase are two of the largest exchanges in the crypto space. Both exchanges provide their customers with a set of high-quality crypto products and services. However, choosing between the two depends on the user's level of experience and trading or investment goals.
Advanced and professional traders who need access to an ecosystem of world-class derivatives trading markets will find FTX to be a highly appealing alternative to Coinbase. All the features that traders will need are provided - low trading fees, a feature-rich and well-designed charting interface, a wide variety of markets, and exhaustive lists of trading pairs.
Coinbase's reputation as a beginner-friendly crypto exchange is often the reason why the platform is the default choice for beginners starting out. The crypto buying process and portfolio management features are streamlined and easy to perform due to the simplicity of the interface. Coinbase is hands-down one of the easiest exchanges to use in the crypto market, just be prepared to pay high fees.