The Great Bitcoin Bubble of 2017/2018 captured the attention of financial pundits and traders around the globe. People watched in a mix of shock and awe as the Bitcoin price skyrocketed to the moon, reaching $20,000 per coin.

During the epic blowing of the bubble, there were thousands of ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings). All this activity in the crypto ecosystem leads to the founding of dozens of cryptocurrency exchanges. Some of the projects managed to work out, while plenty more ended up in failure.

In the days leading up to the height of the mania, it seemed like everyone was talking about Bitcoin, even people that knew nothing about cryptos a few months earlier. While everyone was keen to get their hands on some BTC, very few people knew how to buy crypto online.

In this review, we’ll compare the best of the old school exchanges – Coinbase, against a new-school up-and-comer – CEX.io.

If you want to purchase crypto, then these two exchanges are some of the best in the world. Let’s unpack each of the offerings from the two exchanges in detail.

What Do You Need to Know about CEX.io?

CEX.io is another premium exchange based out of London, England. This exchange focuses on the European market, with the same ideology as Coinbase. CEX.io has the goal of making cryptocurrency readily available to everyone in Europe.

CEX.io started as a cloud mining operation and Bitcoin exchange but decided to drop the mining and focus on the exchange model in 2015. The CEX.io mining pool, otherwise known as Ghash.io, was one of the most prominent players in the mining market, owning over 40% of the total network hash power.

Today, CEX.io operates as a Bitcoin exchange only. This exchange started unregulated, but they decided to submit to the regulatory authorities as it began to formalize its business in the EU. CEX.io also allows for the easy purchase of cryptocurrency on its exchange using credit cards, SEPA, or wire transfers.

See full review of CEX.io

What Do You Need to Know about Coinbase?

Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam launched Coinbase in June 2012, right before the start of the second Bitcoin bubble that ended in the hack of MtGox. The duo saw a need for an easy method to purchase cryptocurrency and decided to build that type of user-friendly functionality into their exchange.

Today, Coinbase is one of the more established crypto exchanges, with a solid reputation. The primary difference between Coinbase and CEX.io is Coinbase is a regulated exchange. Coinbase is a US-facing exchange, meaning that it deals primarily in American, Canadian, and European markets.

Regulated exchanges must meet financial regulatory policies on all customer verification policies, known as KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (anti-money laundering) laws. Therefore, if you want to buy/sell or deposit/withdraw, then you’ll need to verify your identity with a photo ID and a proof of address.

Regulated exchanges are more trustworthy than unregulated exchanges, and Coinbase is yet to experience a hack.

See full review of Coinbase

go trade in cex.io
go trade in coinbase and receive 10$ in bitcoin

Cex.io Or Coinbase Market Is Bigger?

When we look at the offering from CEX.io and Coinbase, it’s remarkably similar in many aspects. CEX.io supports 80 markets, with crypto/crypto pairs and crypto/fiat pairs available. Coinbase only trades in 58 markets but also includes both crypto-to-crypto pairs and crypto-to-fiat pairs.

Financial authorities regulate both exchanges in their respective countries. However, liquidity is quite different between the two exchanges. CEX.io touts liquidity of more than $27-million, while Coinbase doesn’t feature on the top 50 exchanges by liquidity, according to CoinMarketCap.

Liquidity is a critical factor to consider when signing up for a crypto exchange. Exchanges with high liquidity make it easy to enter and exit trades. Therefore, you might get more slippage on your trades if you use Coinbase.

Volume is another consideration when selecting your exchange. Coinbase features in the top 50 of crypto exchanges with the highest volume, with an adjusted daily volume of 1,128-million.

CEX.io only features at number 122 on the list (please note this positioning changes all the time), with only $21,48-million in daily volume, that’s more than 5-times less volume than Coinbase. Coinbase is the more popular of the two exchanges.

Which One Is Cheaper? Cex.io Or Coinbase?

Both CEX.io and Coinbase have some of the highest fees in the industry. Both offer regulated platforms, and it seems like this is the excuse to charge exorbitant fees for everything you do on the platform.

Coinbase charges you 3.99% for purchases using your credit or debit card, and 1.49% for purchases using bank transfers

CEX.io was one of the most expensive exchanges in terms of fee structure. However, after hundreds of complaints from customers, the exchange dropped the fees a bit. CEX.io charges 2.99% for purchases using your credit or debit card, which is more than a 30% saving on fees over GDAX.

Bank transfers are also significantly cheaper, costing you 0.3% + a $25 flat service charge. SEPA transfers incur no fees for your crypto purchases.

When it comes to trading fees, CEX.io utilizes a maker/taker model, with a 0.16% fee if you’re adding liquidity to the market (selling on the ask), and a 0.25% fee for taking liquidity (selling on the bid).

Coinbase offers you three payment methods using debit or credit cards, as well as bank or wire transfer. When you withdraw from the platform, you have the same three options, plus you can arrange a payout to your PayPal account.

With CEX.io, you get all the same deposit options, as well as SEPA transfers for EU residents.

Is Cex.io More User Friendly Than Coinbase?

When it comes to comparing the platforms, Coinbase is possibly the most user-friendly of all crypto exchanges. The dashboard has a minimalist design, and its clean and easy to navigate. It’s easy to fund either platform, and both exchanges offer fast deposits.

When setting up your account on Coinbase, you have the option of going to the Pro version. If you’re a heavy trader or an institutional trader, and you’re looking for advanced trading tools and a few more pairs to trade, then the Pro platform is a great option.

Verified US clients on Coinbase can transact for amounts of $50,000 per week and verified EU clients can have a maximum of $30,000 in their account at any time. Verified accounts on CEX.io can purchase a maximum of $10,000 worth of crypto per day and up to $100,000 per month.

GDAX offers you Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum Classic, Ripple, USD Coin, Zcash, Stellar, 0x, Litecoin, and the BAT token.

CEO.IX has a few more options, with Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, XLM, XRP, BTG, LTC, Tron, BTT, MCH, ATOM, BAT, Zcash, and Dash all available

Coinbase serves the following countries.

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States.

CEX.io is available in more than 220 countries. However, the following countries don’t have access to the platform. Afghanistan, Burundi, Bosnia and Herzegovina, DRC, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Eritrea, Cuba, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Iran, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, Lebanon, Laos, Liberia, Libya, North Korea, Nigeria, São Tomé and Príncipe, South Sudan, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Tanzania, Uganda, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.

Due to financial regulations and restrictions, United States residents and citizens may not open accounts or trade on the CEX.io exchange.

Can We Trade Via Mobile In Cex.io And Coinbase?

Both CEX.io and Coinbase offer mobile trading apps available for download on iOS and Android devices. Buy and sell crypto and trade your account live from your mobile device of choice. The interface on both apps is clean and useful, but we think that the CEX.io app offers you more functionality than the Coinbase variant.

Cex.io Or Coinbase Has Better Support?

Coinbase customer support is adequate. They offer email ticket systems, as well as a comprehensive archive of articles and FAQs to help you sort out minor issues with your account and platform. If you have a serious support question, then make use of the live chat to talk to a representative.

CEX.io has a help center on the website with FAQ and articles to help you work your way through minor problems. However, there’s no live chat, and you’ll need to direct your support queries via email. In most cases, the support team will get back to you within 24 to 48-hours.

go trade in cex.io

The CEX.io Yes / No

  • User-friendly

  • Regulated exchange

  • Established

  • Accepts credit cards for deposit

  • Affordable fee structure

  • Focuses on the European market

  • Customer support is weak

go trade in coinbase and receive 10$ in bitcoin

The Coinbase Yes / No

  • Solid reputation

  • No previous hacks

  • FDIC insured

  • User-friendly

  • Accepts credit cards for deposits

  • Regulated exchange

  • High fees

  • Limited crypto selection

  • Reports to the IRS

The Verdict By Bitcoin Tester

Coinbase and CEX.io are both outstanding exchanges. So, which one is better? If you live in the US, then you’ll have to go with Coinbase, as CEX.io don’t accept Americans on the platform. However, Europeans will benefit more from using the CEX.io platform. The transfer costs for funding your account are cheaper, especially with credit cards.

CEX.io also has a better offering of cryptos, and more markets to trade. Overall, we think that Coinbase might be a safer option, but CEX.io offers traders excellent value if you live outside of the US.