Choosing a cryptocurrency exchange can feel like a massive decision. After all, you want to ensure you're getting the best trading deals possible and have ample coin selection. It's also important to keep your digital assets secure and to have the trading tools you need to succeed.FTX and Coinbase are two of the most popular global exchanges out there. But depending on how you trade and where you live, one company might be superior to the other.
Our FTX vs. Coinbase review is covering the major differences between these exchanges, including fees, trading options, security, and more. By the end, you should have a better understanding of each exchange so you can decide where to start investing in crypto.
The Short Version
- FTX.US has low trading fees but limited crypto support
- Coinbase is more beginner-friendly overall
- FTX.com and FTX.US support more advanced trading options
- Coinbase has slightly better crypto rewards but both platforms aren't great for staking
In contrast, U.S. customers use FTX.US, which supports about 20 cryptos but also has low trading fees.
Coinbase supports 150+ cryptocurrencies and lets you trade starting with just $2. It doesn't have different versions for international versus U.S. users like FTX. However, there's Coinbase and Coinbase Pro, with the latter catering to more active traders who want lower fees.
Unique Features of FTX & Coinbase
- More Advanced Trading Options: FTX.US and FTX.com let you trade on margin and trade futures. In comparison, Coinbase Pro has more limited options for margin trading.
- NFT Marketplace: FTX.US customers can buy, sell, and mint NFTs to diversify their portfolio of digital assets. Currently, Coinbase's NFT marketplace is still in Beta.
- Low Trading Fees: FTX.US has some of the lowest trading fees out of all exchanges.
- Advanced Trading Tools: If you actively trade and want more tools for technical analysis, both FTX.com and FTX.US are excellent choices.
- Commission-Free Stock Trading: In July 2022, FTX opened up stock trading to all its U.S. customers. You can now trade crypto and hundreds of stocks and ETFs through the FTX Pro app.
- Incredibly Beginner-Friendly: Coinbase is one of the best exchanges if you're new to crypto and need a helping hand.
- Crypto Rewards Card: The Coinbase card lets you earn up to 4% back in crypto for your spending. Just note that FTX has a rewards card in the works.
- Free Crypto Rewards: Earn small amounts of free crypto by completing Coinbase Earn lessons.
FTX vs. Coinbase: Supported Cryptocurrencies
If you're an international customer, FTX.com has more crypto availability than Coinbase. But if you're a U.S. investor, Coinbase has over five times the number of cryptos as FTX.US.
However, all three options let you invest in major cryptos like:
FTX.com and Coinbase have plenty of altcoins and stablecoins as well, although FTX.com supports more assets overall than Coinbase.
Winner: FTX.com is best for international users but Coinbase has more support for U.S. customers.
FTX vs. Coinbase: Fees
Trading fees can make or break an exchange. After all, if high fees eat into every trade, you're going to have lower returns. Furthermore, active trading becomes less appealing if you're constantly getting dinged.
FTX.com and FTX.US both take the edge over Coinbase in terms of fees. This is especially true for FTX.US where taker fees start at 0.20% and maker fees start at 0.10%.
In contrast, regular spot trading on Coinbase can cost 0.50% to 3.99% depending on your payment method plus $0.99 to $2.99 depending on your trade amount. As for Coinbase Pro, which is being replaced by Coinbase Advanced Trade in 2022, maker fees start at 0.40% and taker fees start at 0.60% which is significantly higher than FTX.US.
Coinbase Pro fees are more similar to FTX.com fees. But for U.S. customers, the clear winner is FTX.US. And now that FTX Pro offers commission-free stock trading like many leading online brokers, it has even more competitive pricing over Coinbase.
Winner: FTX.US has the lowest fees and is far more affordable than Coinbase.
FTX vs. Coinbase: Usability
Both Coinbase and FTX are easy-to-use exchanges that cater to beginner crypto traders.
With FTX, you can use its intuitive mobile app to start trading. Both versions also have a relatively straightforward exchange for spot trading but also offer more advanced charting tools to help with technical analysis.
As for Coinbase, the basic version of the exchange is one of the most intuitive ones out there. Spot trading is simple, and Coinbase has plenty of guides and educational resources to help beginners. And if you need more trading tools, you can upgrade to the free Coinbase Pro platform.
However, the fact that FTX is moving into stock trading alongside crypto trading is massive. It's the first major broker to dip its toes into both waters, and this adds an incredible amount of versatility to the platform that Coinbase doesn't come close to matching.
Winner: Coinbase takes the slight edge and is our favorite exchange for completely new traders.
FTX vs. Coinbase: Crypto Rewards
Unfortunately, FTX.US doesn't offer staking rewards or lending. In contrast, FTX.com lets you stake four different assets: FTT, Serum, Solana, and RAY.
As for Coinbase, you can stake six different assets currently for up to 5% APY. It also has a crypto rewards debit card that pays up to 4% back in crypto for everyday spending. Plus, users earn small amounts of free crypto by completing short educational Coinbase Earn lessons.
Honestly, both FTX and Coinbase are lackluster on the crypto rewards front compared to the competition. For example, companies like Nexo and BlockFi let you earn higher interest rates with more cryptocurrencies through lending. BlockFi also has a better crypto rewards credit card, and Nexo has some of the highest interest rates out there.
FTX vs. Coinbase: Supported Countries
FTX.com is available in over 200 countries, while Coinbase is in over 100. However, FTX.US does feel like a “lite” version of the main exchange to some extent.
Ultimately, U.S. customers have more options with Coinbase than FTX.US. But for international support, FTX.com is the clear winner.
Winner: FTX.com is available in more countries.
FTX vs. Coinbase: Customer Support
Customer support is another important factor to consider when choosing an exchange. If you have trouble with your crypto wallet or making a trade, it's important to have readily available support to help solve your issues.
Both FTX.com and FTX.US let you reach customer support by submitting a ticket. As for Coinbase, you can also submit a ticket or use live messaging through your web browser. Coinbase also has four different customer support helplines if you need to speak to someone.
Winner: Coinbase has more customer support options than FTX.
FTX vs. Coinbase: Insurance & Security
One final aspect of FTX and Coinbase to consider are insurance policies and security.
Crypto is still a somewhat unregulated industry, and most exchanges lack the level of protection you get from your bank. This means falling victim to a crypto scam or losing access to your account can mean that you lose everything.
FTX.com doesn't have information regarding a digital asset insurance policy. As for FTX.US, your U.S. dollars are held in FDIC-insured partner banks. The exchange also works with BitGo Trust which provides up to $100 million in digital asset insurance.
Coinbase customers also get FDIC-insurance on cash balances. It also carries crime insurance that helps protect digital assets against theft and loss.
Additionally, FTX.com, FTX.US, and Coinbase all offer account security features like two-factor authentication and wallet whitelisting.
However, if you lose access to your account or fall for a scam, it's highly unlikely any exchange will cover your losses. This is why taking account security into your own hands is important, so never share your keys with anyone. And if you're not actively trading, consider moving your crypto to a hardware wallet like Ledger or Trezor or a software wallet like Exodus.
Winner: Coinbase and FTX.US have similar insurance and security policies, while FTX.com doesn't have much information on insurance.
Pros and Cons of FTX
- FTX.US has very low trading fees
- Trade on margin or trade futures which isn't possible with most exchanges
- Advanced trading tools for more experienced traders
- Comprehensive NFT marketplace
- You can also trade stocks and ETFs without paying commissions
- FTX.US supports far fewer cryptos than FTX.com
- Both platforms are slightly less beginner-friendly than Coinbase
- Lackluster staking and passive income options
- Fewer customer support options than Coinbase
Pros and Cons of Coinbase
- Beginner-friendly exchange that lets you start trading with just $2
- Coinbase Pro/Advanced Trade is available for more experienced traders
- Free crypto rewards are available
- Variety of customer support options
- Higher trading fees than FTX.US
- Slightly less crypto support than FTX.com
- Like FTX.com, Coinbase doesn't have the most competitive staking rates
The Bottom Line
Choosing a winner in the Coinbase vs. FTX debate ultimately depends on where you live, how you trade, and what features you value most.
For U.S. customers, Coinbase is far more robust than FTX.US. You get significantly more crypto support, an easier trading interface, and a variety of rewards. The trade-off is that FTX.US has lower fees.
As for international customers, the decision is trickier. Fees are similar between FTX.com and Coinbase Advanced Trade, as is crypto support. More advanced traders will likely prefer FTX.com, especially for futures and margin trading. But for ease-of-use, Coinbase is definitely the winner.