If you’re thinking about buying, selling, or trading crypto, you need someone to broker the deal. A crypto exchange handles that for you, think of it as a mix between a broker and a money sending service.

When you sign up for an exchange, you need to know what’s in store for your trading career. There are hundreds of exchanges, and each of them has different specialties serving a specific niche within the crypto community.

Some exchanges act like stock exchanges, allowing traders to play in markets like BTC/USD, like forex trading. Other exchanges work solely as brokers, providing a platform to buy currency, but no access to active markets to trade pairs. These exchanges are useful for purchasing crypto to transact with online, or store in wallets as investments.

Your choice of exchange needs to reflect your needs. Your geographic location is one of the most significant issues affecting trading in cryptocurrency. Governments around the world have mixed feelings about crypto. China bans it outright, Japan hassles exchanges, and the US tracks its citizen’s use of the asset class for taxation purposes.

Some exchanges won’t work with Americans or Europeans, while others only allow customers from developed nations. Before you fund your first trading account, you need to find an exchange that matches the regulatory requirements for your country.

In this review, we’ll look at Coinbase and Bitpanda, two of the biggest exchanges in the cryptosphere.

What Do You Need to Know About Bitpanda?

Bitpanda is a European-based crypto exchange registered in Vienna, Austria. The founders of the company wanted to make crypto more accessible to anyone living in the Eurozone. Bitpanda acts like a broker, buying and selling various cryptocurrencies from customers.

Bitpanda doesn’t offer a marketable exchange for traders but first focuses on putting crypto into the digital wallets of European customers. Bitpanda offers one of the most affordable fee structures for purchasing crypto in the EU. Previously registered as “Coinimal,” the company now operates as Bitpanda, with over 900,000 users on the platform.

See full review of Bitpanda

What Do You Need to Know About Coinbase?

Coinbase has a similar business model to Bitpanda. Coinbase is the biggest US-facing regulated exchange. Coinbase also has the goal of making it easy for Americans to buy and sell crypto on its platform.

Coinbase acts as a broker, buying and selling crypto for customers. However, if you want to trade, you’ll have to open an account on Coinbase Pro, where you’ll have access to plenty of crypto markets and trading tools to help you launch your trading career.

Coinbase is a regulated exchange compliant with the SEC and American financial regulatory authorities. As a result, Bitpanda is one of the few platforms where Americans can deposit and withdraw funds in US Dollars. Coinbase targets American clients, but they do accept customers from selected other countries. Coinbase is one of the few original exchanges that have yet to experience any hack and loss of funds.

See full review of Coinbase

Bitpanda Or Coinbase Market Is Bigger?

Both Coinbase and Bitpanda serve the same market. They’re interested in providing crypto to people that are looking to “HODL,” or hold onto the currency. These individuals might want crypto to complete transactions with retailers online or send money across borders with lower fees than the banks offer.

However, they’re not dealing with traders that actively place orders on the open crypto markets. Still, the distinction between the two is most apparent in the demographic markets that the platforms serve.

Coinbase targets the American market, offering its services in all the states that permit crypto transactions. Bitpanda focuses on the European market and accepts payments in Euros, as well as SEPS transfers.

Both Bitpanda and Coinbase are well-established exchanges, and they have a solid reputation, with no history of hacks.

Is There An Advantage For Bitpanda vs The Coinbase Giant?

As mentioned, you’ll need to use either the Bitpanda Global or Coinbase Pro platforms to access trading markets with crypto-to-crypto and crypto-to-fiat pairs. However, both exchanges rank high in the exchange list, featuring in the top half.

However, you can’t compare the volume and liquidity of the top crypto exchanges to what you get on Coinbase Pro and Bitpanda Global. These platforms don’t have the kind of market share or product range that makes them a super-attractive exchange.

Traders are looking for low fees and variety when trading, and Bitpanda Global and Coinbase Pro rank poorly on that scale compared to others. We think that Bitpanda and Coinbase need to stick to their primary business model and keep the brokerage moving crypto to the hands of people that need it for transactions or investments, rather than trading.

Both Bitpanda and Coinbase are among the few leading crypto exchanges to experience a hack of any kind yet. There were reports of attempted hacks on Coinbase in late 2019, but the company thwarted the hack before the cybercriminals got access to any sensitive data.

Both Bitpanda and Coin base run tight ships when it comes to security. They both use SSL certificates and keep the bulk of the coins in cold storage away from the brokerage hot wallet.

One note about Coinbase is that because it’s a US-facing exchange, it works with the IRS. If you’re an American citizen trading with Coinbase, make sure you’re taking care of your tax liability. Many crypto traders lost their shirts in the market, only to find out they had a huge tax bill with the IRS on top of their losses.

Fortunately, there’s no trading on these platforms, and now leveraged trading products available with Bitpanda or Coinbase.

Which One Is Cheaper? Bitpanda Or Coinbase?

Coinbase trading fees are somewhat high, at 1.49%. They also charge a 3.99% surcharge for depositing using a credit card. Bitpanda also offers a 1.49% charge for buying and a 1.29% fee for selling.

Is Bitpanda More User Friendly Than Coinbase?

Bitpanda and Coinbase act as brokerages buying and selling crypto from the retail market. There is no trading platform available to provide you a market to interact with other traders. As a result, Bitpanda and Coinbase charge a premium above the spot rate, known as the spread.

Bitpanda offers a brokerage service that enables its customers to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. This model means Bitpanda supplies you with the coins directly, unlike a trading platform where you interact with other traders.

Bitpanda provides a bunch of other crypto services for European residents. If you want to start trading with Bitpanda, you’ll have to use the Bitpanda Global platform.

Coinbase has all the same functionality, but it offers Coinbase Pro, which is its trading platform. Coinbase accepts debit and credit card payments, as well as bank transfer and PayPal payments. Bitpanda has a wider variety of payment options, including bank transfer, SEPA, credit and debit cards, Neteller, PaySafe Cards, Skrill, iDeal, PayU, Yandex, and Ukash.

Coinbase only provides access to the top cryptos with the best volumes and liquidity. As a result, they limit you to purchases of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin.

Bitpanda supports several assets with more than ten cryptos, including all the big names and others like Zcash.

Can We Trade Via Mobile In Bitpanda And Coinbase?

Coinbase and Bitpanda both have mobile apps available for download on Android and iOS devices. Both apps have a user-friendly interface with a clean dashboard. You can buy and sell coins through the app and check on the prices of your favorite cryptos in real-time.

Bitpanda Or Coinbase Has Better Support?

Both Bitpanda and Coinbase only offer you support via email ticketing. You should receive a reply in 24 to 48-hours. Since neither of these platforms of trading of markets, they don’t seem to invest in live chat facilities.

Both Bitpanda and Coinbase have excellent knowledge databases allowing you to search through troubleshooting articles and FAQ.

The Bitpanda Yes / No

  • A low-cost alternative for buying crypto

  • Low fees in Europe

  • No previous hacks

  • User-friendly interface

  • Fees somewhat less transparent

  • A limited selection of altcoins

The Coinbase Yes / No

  • US-facing exchange

  • Easy to buy and sell crypto

  • Accepts wire and bank transfer, as well as credit cards

  • User-friendly interface

  • Holds a New York BitLicense

  • No previous hacks

  • Only a few crypto options for the big names

  • High trading fees and credit card fees

The Verdict By Bitcoin Tester

Both Coinbase and Bitpanda serve the same function – putting crypto into the digital wallets of newcomers to the currency, and those that want to “HODL” their crypto. If you’re looking for a trading platform to play in crypto pairs or crypto/fiat pairs, then these platforms don’t offer you that kind of functionality.

Coinbase Pro is a good platform for traders. Still, it also has limited trading pairs and functionality, and we think other platforms like Kraken offer a better selection of trading tools and technical indicators. Still, Coinbase is a good choice for your big cryptos like BTC, BCH, ETH, and XRP.

Bitpanda is a bot opaque on their fee structure, which is some cause for concern. However, it’s the best option for a crypto broker in Europe. Coinbase is an above-the-board exchange and a good choice for any US passport holder looking to get their feet wet in the crypto market.