Coinbase is used by over 13 million people and has a monopoly on cryptocurrency investment options. But, this is changing as more cryptocurrency exchanges, wallets, and apps are beginning to mimic what makes Coinbase so popular: the option to buy and exchange Bitcoin and altcoins using fiat (government currencies). This is good news for those looking for cheaper ways to transfer cryptocurrency without having to use a corporately-owned platform like Coinbase.
If you are looking for alternative ways to invest in the crypto market then try one of these exchanges.
As an Uphold member you can purchase and safely store Bitcoin and eight other altcoins acting as an online wallet. It provides a global payroll distribution option called Bitwage which transfers any currency for a low fee of less than 1%. By allowing free transfers to other members, Uphold eliminates the cost of international remittances. Use its investment tool called Heleum, an automated crypto tracker and planner.
- Over thirty types of currencies
- Use bank account or credit card to deposit funds
- No fees for member-to-member transfers
- Has a user-friendly app
- Acts as an exchange and a wallet
- Must be a member to use
- Lengthy verification process
- Poor customer service
- Exchange fees still high
- Account cannot be deleted and data is stored for 5 years
For beginners and for those who want to use one platform exclusively for buying, selling, and transferring cryptocurrency, an Uphold membership is a bargain. Just be aware that although they claim to have no fees, most of this applies to internal transactions. Look into the fine print before investing your time and money in Uphold.
Kraken has been around since 2011 and has gained its trust from many reputable sources like the Bloomberg Terminal. It offers trading in euros, U.S. and Canadian dollars, British pounds and Japanese yen. Although based in San Francisco, Kraken has the largest volume of euro-based cryptocurrency trading. The exchange is versatile as it includes over 14 cryptocurrencies with low trading fees based on trading coin volume.
- Widely used and trusted
- Holds coins in cold-storage (offline-line wallet)
- Conducts a proof-of-reserve audit for customer and third-party assurance
- Requires a lengthy verification process, which controls your deposit limit
- Reports of slow withdraw transactions
- Clams of poor customer service
The reputation and attention to security makes Kraken a worthy alternative to Coinbase. The main drawback is the processing time for creating an account and depositing/withdrawing funds as you can only do so via bank transfer.
Changelly makes coin-to-coin trading easy with quick registration using options like social media login. Plus, it allows unique trading pairs unlike Coinbase where bitcoin, ethereum, and litecoin must be used to buy other altcoins. The highlight of the platform is their flat commission rate of .5% for crypto-to-crypto trades; however, their fiat-to-crypto prices can get inflated as they use third parties to make these transactions.
- Can use credit/debit cards to buy crypto
- Many altcoin-pair trade options
- Only charges .5% commission fee
- Easy and quick transactions
- Users cannot delete their account
- Prices are not fixed during the transaction, which can lead to insufficient funds and lost money
- High fees for fiat deposits
The ease of use and quick transaction time without using another exchange makes Changelly a great alternative to Coinbase. Although they boast about a low flat fee of .5%, keep in mind this is only the commission rate for cryptocurrency trades. Buying bitcoin and altcoins with fiat may have higher fees. Also, there rate is not fixed, so you have to be sure that your network fee is covered; otherwise, you will lose your crpyto in the blockchain.
If you are new to cryto investing and want to use a bank-backed exchange, Gemini is one of the exchanges regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services under the mandatory Bitlicense. This makes your investment insured under standard banking regulations; however, it means it is susceptible to centralized practices of surveillance and government seizure. Another drawback is that they only support USD, bitcoin, ethereum, and Zcash.
- Quick customer service response time
- Low fees for high trading amounts
- Cold-stored funds
- Complicated interface
- High fees for low transaction amounts
- Regulated by the state of NY (pro or con)
- Limited currency options
- Not international friendly
Depending on your view of the NY banking operations, you can view Gemini as either a highly secured or a highly regulated exchange. Otherwise, it does provide experienced crypto investors with a low-fee way to buy, sell, and trade high values of bitcoin and ethereum. It is also a smart option for storing large sums of cryptocurrencies.
When deciding how to invest your money in cryptocurrency, it is important to know the most secure and cost effective way to buy, sell, and trade your bitcoins and altcoins. Many flock to Coinbase for its reputation as it used to be one of the only ways to buy bitcoin, but now that cryptocurrency has become more popular, there are many alternatives to Coinbase. These other options have lower fees and offer more altcoin buying options. Plus, some also act as a cold-storage wallet and a trading exchange. Just remember to not put all your coins in one place and know how each option charges you to deposit, trade, and sell cryptocurrencies.
You can learn more about how to choose a cryptocurrency exchange by reading our review of the Best Cryptocurrency Exchange Platforms of 2018.