Bitfinex and Coinbase are leading cryptocurrency exchanges worldwide. Coinbase has a daily spot trading volume of over $5 billion, which is the fifth-highest in the world. Bitfinex is also a popular exchange, with a 24h spot trading volume of over $1 billion.
Both Bitfinex and Coinbase offer top-notch features and functionalities. If you’re having a hard time choosing between Bitfinex and Coinbase, you’re at the right place. Here is a comprehensive comparison between these exchanges.
Bitfinex vs. Coinbase: Supported Cryptocurrencies
Bitfinex and Coinbase both support multiple cryptocurrencies and crypto products. Let’s compare the two exchanges based on the cryptos they support.
Bitfinex supports over 70 cryptocurrencies. These include popular names like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, etc., as well as new names like BMI, VELO, and IQX. You can trade crypto against USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, BTC, ETH, USDT, EOS, XCHF, CNHT, EURT, and XAUT.
Bitfinex provides various crypto products, like MIM, derivatives, lending, and securities. It also has staking, borrowing, Lending Pro, and other lending products.
Coinbase supports around 100 cryptocurrencies. It was initially a Bitcoin exchange, but later, it added other cryptos and financial products. Today, you can find a wide range of cryptocurrencies on Coinbase.
Please note that Coinbase is essentially a crypto portfolio management solution, and hence, it doesn’t have derivatives and other advanced trading products. However, Coinbase has a Pro version that provides advanced trading platform features.
Verdict: It’s a tie, as both the exchanges support multiple cryptocurrencies.
Coinbase vs. Bitfinex Trading Fees
Bitfinex and Coinbase follow a tiered fee structure, where your trading fee depends on your last 30d trading volume. Let’s compare the fee schedules of the two exchanges.
Bitfinex has a tiered fee structure, and there are a whopping 16 trading fee tiers. Users with a 30d trading volume of under $500k are in the first tier and have a market maker/taker fee of 0.10%/0.20%. Similarly, traders with a volume of over $30 billion are in the final tier, and the fee for them is 0.00%/0.055%.
This fee is for spot trading. For derivatives trading, you have seven tiers. Users with under $2 million trading volume are in the first tier, and the fee for them is 0.02%/0.065%. Users with a trading volume of over $3 billion are in the final tier, and their fee is –0.01%(rebate)/0.035%.
Additionally, there are fees for borrowing, margin trading funding, and OTC desk. Bitfinex doesn’t charge a deposit fee on cryptocurrency deposits. However, there is a 0.100% bank wire fee if you deposit crypto using a bank wire. For withdrawals, there are withdrawal fees depending on the cryptocurrency you withdraw.
Coinbase has two versions: Coinbase and Coinbase Pro. The two versions have different fee structures. Coinbase charges a fee for cryptocurrency transactions. There is no fixed fee, and the price you pay will depend on when you place an order. There are transaction fees that you should be aware of.
Coinbase Pro has a tiered fee structure like Bitfinex. It has 11 trading fee tiers. Users with a 30d trading volume of up to $10k are in the first tier, and their market maker/taker fee is 0.50%/0.50%. Users with a volume of over $1 billion are in the final tier, and the fee for them is 0.00%/0.04%.
Coinbase doesn’t support derivatives trading, and hence, there is no separate fee schedule for that.
Verdict: It’s a tie, as both exchanges have a similar fee structure.
Account Funding Methods
Bitfinex and Coinbase accept cryptocurrency and fiat currency payments. Let’s dig into the funding methods accepted by the two exchanges.
Bitfinex allows you to fund your wallet with cryptocurrencies and stablecoins. You can also buy crypto using fiat currencies. The fiat currencies supported by Bitfinex are USD, EUR, GBP, CNH, and JPY. You can add funds to your account via bank transfer as well as credit/debit cards.
Coinbase lets you fund your account using cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, and fiat currencies. The available fiat currency deposit methods depend on the country you are in and the currency you want to deposit. For US customers, the following payment methods are available:
- Bank account (ACH) transfer
- Instant cashout
- Debit or credit card
- Wire transfer
- Apple Pay
- Google Pay
Verdict: It’s a tie, as both the exchanges accept fiat currencies. You can fund your account using cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, and fiat currencies.
Opening Account & Account Limits
Opening an account is easy on both Bitfinex and Coinbase. Let’s look at their account opening processes, along with their KYC requirements.
Bitfinex lets you open an account in a few easy steps. All you need to do is visit the website homepage and click on Sign Up. A registration form will appear. Enter the required data in the form and confirm your account. You’re now ready to buy and sell crypto.
Bitfinex doesn’t have mandatory KYC requirements. There are four verification levels: Basic, Basic Plus, Intermediate, and Full. There are no withdrawal limits for unverified users. However, verifying your account will provide access to derivatives trading, lending products, fiat transfers, and other helpful features.
Coinbase also provides a seamless account opening process. Go to the Coinbase homepage, where you’ll find an option to enter your email and sign up. Enter your email and click on Get Started.
Please note that Coinbase has mandatory KYC requirements. You’ll need to confirm your identity to use any of its services.
Verdict: Bitfinex is the winner, as it allows you to use its platform and trade crypto without verifying your identity.
Ease Of Use & Interface
The platforms provided by both Bitfinex and Coinbase are easy-to-use and powerful. Let’s compare the trading platforms provided by the two exchanges.
Bitfinex has one of the most robust trading terminals in the crypto world. It has a full-fledged charting system powered by TradingView. You get access to all the TradingView features, including multiple timeframes, chart types, indicators, and drawing tools. A lot of customization options are also available.
The left side of the terminal has Tickers, where you can see all the pairs available for trading. Below the Tickers is the order form, where you can place the following orders: limit, market, stop limit, trailing stop, fill or kill, and immediate or cancel.
Other sections available on the Bitfinex trading terminal are Balances, Positions, Orders, Order History, Depth Chart, Order Book, and Liquidations.
Bitfinex also has a mobile app available for iOS and Android users.
Coinbase has two versions, as discussed. The basic version is simple and beginner-friendly. It lets you buy and sell crypto in a few clicks. Coinbase Pro is more feature-rich and ideal for advanced traders.
Pro Coinbase terminal is a lot like the Kraken trading platform. It has a proprietary charting system that has fewer features than TradingView but gets the job done. You get two chart types — candlesticks and lines. Multiple timeframes are available, though the available timeframes are from 1 minute to 1 day.
Coinbase Pro has only one indicator: Exponential Moving Average. It has two pre-built EMAs of 12 and 26 values. No other indicators are available.
The left side of the chart has the Order Book, where you can see live trades in real-time. Next to the Order Book is the Order Form, where you can place orders. Below the chart, there is a depth chart.
Verdict: It’s a tie. Bitfinex has an advanced platform and is ideal for experienced traders. Coinbase has a simpler platform and is better for new users.
Security is one of the most important factors to consider before choosing a cryptocurrency exchange. Let’s draw a head-to-head comparison between the security of the two exchanges.
Bitfinex implements all the security features needed to provide a safe trading experience to its users. Here’s a quick overview of all the security measures taken by Bitfinex.
- Two-factor authentication (2FA)
- Universal 2nd Factor (U2F)
- Advanced API
- Advanced verification tools
- Withdrawals protection
- Email encryption
- Multi-signature cold storage wallets
- Top-notch system security and DDoS protection
That said, Bitfinex was hacked twice in 2015 and 2016. The Bitfinex Bitcoin hack gained a lot of attention, as the losses were significant.
Coinbase is one of the most secure cryptocurrency exchanges out there. Based in San Francisco and regulated by the US SEC, Coinbase complies with all the local, state, and national security guidelines.
For starters, it saves 98% of its users’ funds in multi-signature cold storage wallets. Other security features include two-factor authentication, SSL encryption, IP allow listing, and mandatory KYC verification.
However, Coinbase was also hacked once when the hackers drained accounts of 6,000 users.
Verdict: Coinbase has a slight edge here, as it is a US-based company that complies with strict security regulations.
Customer support is another important factor to consider when looking for a cryptocurrency exchange. Let’s compare the customer support offered by the two exchanges.
Bitfinex has a help center where you’ll find answers to all common questions and queries. If you still need a hand, you can reach the Bitfinex support team on live chat and email. The live chat is accessible from the website homepage. To send an email, go to the contact section and raise a ticket.
Coinbase also has a comprehensive help center that provides self-help materials. If you need further help, you can use the Coinbase virtual assistant or send them an email. However, the response times with Coinbase are high.
- Is Bitfinex a safe exchange?
Yes, Bitfinex is a safe cryptocurrency exchange. It takes all the measures needed to provide safe trading and investing experience to its users. It also has KYC requirements for users who want to use advanced features like derivatives and fiat deposits. Hence, you can use this exchange with confidence.
- Is Coinbase a safe exchange?
Coinbase is one of the safest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. It is based in the US and has mandatory KYC requirements for all its users. In addition, it takes all the industry-standard security measures like cold storage wallets, two-factor authentication, etc., to provide a safe trading experience to everyone.
Both Coinbase and Bitfinex are fantastic cryptocurrency exchanges; however, they are different from each other.
Bitfinex is better suited for experienced traders. It supports derivatives and other crypto products that are ideal for advanced trading.
Coinbase, on the other hand, is ideal for beginner users. It’s great if you are looking for a credible platform to buy and hold cryptocurrencies. However, it has a pro version that lets you trade cryptos as well.
Overall, both exchanges are good, and you can choose the one that fits your requirements.
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