Coinbase Pro Quick Overview
When most people think of making a Bitcoin purchase, the first platform that comes to mind is usually Coinbase. Founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam, Coinbase has grown to be one of the most popular Bitcoin exchanges in the world. However, the company has grown so much and is now listed on NASDAQ, giving the need for a rebrand of its GDAX trading platform to Coinbase Pro.
Simply put, Coinbase Pro is the professional trading branch, while Coinbase is the simplified consumer version. For professional traders, the Coinbase Pro platform offers a host of advantages that you simply won’t find with Coinbase.
On Coinbase Pro, you can buy/sell Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) with fiat currencies. To set up an account on Coinbase Pro, you will need to provide your name, email address, password, location, and phone number after which you will be required to upload a copy of your driver’s license or passport before being allowed to deposit any money.
Coinbase Pro also lets you access crypto resources like charts, news, and technical analysis tools through third-party sites like TradingView so you can follow or engage with other traders.
- Superior option for experienced crypto traders
- Dramatically lower trading fees
- More powerful platform for trading
- Same diverse selection of coins as regular Coinbase
Pros and Cons of Coinbase Pro
- Fully regulated with exceptionally solid security measures
- Wide range of supported cryptocurrencies
- Intuitive Android & IOS mobile app
- Low to zero fees for large-scale transitions
- Can be overwhelming for complete beginners
- Does not directly support most local payment methods
- Sub-optimal customer service
Kraken Quick Overview
Kraken is a cryptocurrency exchange platform based in San Francisco, California. For years, it has served as one of the leading platforms for bitcoin trading, with a daily volume ranging from $1 billion to $10 billion. In terms of security and reliability, Kraken is ranked at the top and has been operating since 2011. Kraken also has its proprietary currency called Kraken, which you can use to pay for trades on the site at a discounted price.
Kraken’s trading interface comes with advanced order types such as stop-loss orders which helps traders automate their trades to close out positions once the price drops below a pre-specified value.
Kraken also has paper trading, which allows users to simulate trades and test strategies before risking real money. Paper trading is practice trading where you get to try out new settings without losing real money.
- Trustworthy exchange
- Supports many different funding options
- Accepts users from across the globe
- High trading volume
Kraken Pros & Cons
- Tried and tested crypto exchange with exceptional security
- Offers a variety of payment options
- Supports a variety of popular tokens to trade
- Reliable customer support
- Restricted access to some U.S. states
- Does not support credit or debit card purchases
- Account verification takes up to 5 days
Kraken vs Coinbase Pro at a Glance
Coinbase Pro is beginner-friendly and also provides advanced trading features. Thanks to its intuitive user interface, it’s very easy to use for beginners as well as professional traders. To make the learning process easier, Coinbase Pro offers educational resources to users who want to trade responsibly and smartly.
The beginner educational resources come in the form of articles on how to buy, sell and store cryptocurrencies safely as well as understand important cryptocurrency terms or walk through buying your first crypto assets on the platform.
Similarly, Kraken offers a plethora of features that novice traders will find easy to use and master. The most popular feature is Kraken’s Margin Trading which essentially gives you loaned money to trade with by using the balance in your accounts as collateral.
This takes the pressure off of you when trading since you can start small and grow your account size as you gain experience without risking too much capital. It also helps with leverage, so if the market moves against you, your margin balance goes down, and you automatically close out your position at a low price (again, without risking too much capital).
Adding to the beginner-friendly margin trading feature Kraken also offers a user-friendly interface with plenty of charts and graphs for visualizing data. They also offer paper trading where novice users can practice their moves before putting their money on the line.
The biggest advantage for beginners is Kraken’s support staff. They have a team of professional traders who are ready to answer your questions and help you get started with your trading journey.
Trust & Security
Coinbase Pro offers a highly secure, trusted platform to store and trade cryptocurrencies. To protect your assets from unauthorized access, the exchange uses offline cold storage as well as other security measures like 2-Factor Authentication (2FA) for added user security. In addition to this, Coinbase Pro also has regular audits by independent 3rd party auditing firms, which ensure that the platform complies with the existing regulations.
Kraken takes security just as seriously as Coinbase Pro. Some of their top security features include the Two Factor Authentication (2FA) access requirement to accounts on the exchange. They also conduct Proof of Reserves Audits where they use auditors to prove that the amount of coins in their reserves matches the balance held on their books.
Cold Storage is another security feature on Kraken as it holds more than 80% of customer USD funds in cold storage and reserves the remaining as a safety net. Kraken also deploys a custom-built matching engine built on computers that they designed themselves and runs an operating system optimized for high performance.
When it comes to fees, Kraken takes the win with slightly lesser fees that range between 0% and 0.26%, while Coinbase Pro fees range between 0% to 0.5%. Overall, both platforms offer competitive fee structures that reward market makers who generate higher trading volumes per month.
Of the two exchanges, Coinbase Pro supports more cryptocurrencies at 110 cryptocurrencies, including the following:
- Shiba Inu
Kraken supports 97 tokens, including the following:
- Tether USDT
Kraken and Coinbase Pro have a lot in common, and it’s difficult to distinguish any outstanding features on either platform.
For instance, while Kraken promises 95% cold storage of crypto assets stored in its platform, Coinbase Pro offers pretty much the same secure storage set at 98% of offline crypto custody in cold storage vaults.
What makes Coinbase Pro slightly superior however is the fact that it is affiliated to Coinbase which comes with FDIC insurance of up to $250,000. However, this cover does not extend to crypto funds on Coinbase Pro. It only covers your fiat deposits.
Kraken is not in any way FDIC insured; however, they have several hundred million worth of Bitcoin in their insurance fund.
CryptoVantage Verdict: A Virtual Stalemate
When it’s all said and done, both Kraken and Coinbase Pro emerge as some of the biggest and most reliable crypto trading platforms we have today.
Each platform comes with its own set of pros and cons that make it suitable for specific trading purposes.
If you are looking for an exchange that will let you practice your trades, check out Kraken. It’s also slightly cheaper when it comes to fees and customer support generally gets better reviews although your mileage will vary.
Meanwhile Coinbase Pro is a cheaper alternative to Coinbase lovers. Many prefer the simplified Coinbase Pro interface.
In the end the exchanges are too similar to declare an outright winner. They both emphasize security and earn top marks in that regard.