Coinbase vs Coinbase Pro – Find out the difference

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As a newcomer to the cryptocurrency space, there’s a good chance that Coinbase will be one of the first crypto exchange introductions you’ll make. And you might have read that there is another exchange called Coinbase Pro?

  • You might be wondering if Coinbase Pro is cheaper than Coinbase?
  • Or what the difference is between Coinbase and Coinbase pro?

I will in this guide explain what separates them and for what purposes you would use on or the other.

Save on fees using Coinbase and Coinbase Pro together!

So in this article, I will explain the difference so that you can know which of Coinbase or Coinbase Pro that you should use.

Coinbase and Coinbase Pro Summary:

  • Coinbase – Perfect for beginners and when depositing and withdrawing funds from your bank account
  • Coinbase Pro – Perfect for experienced traders and using to buy crypto after depositing and sell crypto before withdrawing

I will talk about the difference and their unique and useful use cases. I have used them both interchangeably.

Coinbase is one of the most well-known brands in the cryptocurrency space. They were founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong a former IBM and Airbnb software engineer, and Coinbase caters often to the beginners in crypto.

That is because they were one of the first crypto exchanges that focused on creating the most user-friendly exchange possible.

Coinbase has succeeded in creating one of the easiest to use crypto exchanges in the world, with just a few clicks you are in and a proud owner of cryptocurrencies. It is that simple.

And then we have Coinbase Pro, which until May 2017 was named GDAX – Global Digital Asset Exchange (read more how GDAX became Coinbase Pro).

If Coinbase was the introductory crypto exchange for many then Coinbase Pro was the next step in the exchange journey many took after becoming more experienced with how crypto trading worked.

Coinbase Pro has all the trading features more experienced traders need and it has much lower fees compared to Coinbase.


Coinbase photo

Coinbase vs Coinbase Pro something for everyone

“Coinbase is for everyone, Coinbase Pro is for experts”

Brian Armstrong CEO of Coinbase

In December 2017 Brian Armstrong published a blog post which highlighted for every one the difference between the two crypto exchanges, and that the team had clear intentions of making both successful in the long term.

What is Coinbase?

On the hand you had Coinbase, with it’s easy to use the website, few available cryptocurrencies to trade and a Fiat gateway (a way to deposit Fiat money – USD, GBP, EUR). All the things are necessary to onboard the novice crypto traders.

What is Coinbase Pro?

And on the other hand you had Coinbase Pro. A place where most seasoned traders could conduct their trading with more advanced features, with setting your market orders, candlestick charts, depth charts, market data feeds and of course a much wider selection of available cryptocurrencies to trade.

Which Coinbase exchange should you use?

Coinbase or Coinbase Pro – which one should you choose?

Like I said earlier they both serve a purpose, buying and selling cryptocurrencies on Coinbase is super easy.

Why you should choose Coinbase Pro?

With just a few clicks you’re in and done. On Coinbase Pro the exchange looks a lot like most other well-known crypto exchanges, like Binance, Kucoin, and OKEx. It got all the tools and features necessary for most experienced traders to be content.

Why you should choose Coinbase?

But for a newcomer to the crypto trading space, it might look a bit too overwhelming if you are not used to it.

When you are still learning and you opt for a cleaner design and a more user-friendly look and feel we suggest you should go for Coinbase.

But when you get more experienced as you progress and learn how to trade then I suggest you move onto Coinbase Pro. Which for one has much smaller fees for trading, and of course a greater range of handy features.

Use both in combination!

What you can do and what many other cryptocurrency traders prefer to do is start using Coinbase to deposit and withdraw their cryptocurrencies to and from cash to your bank account.

And then if you feel more comfortable using a traditional crypto exchange all you have to do is transfer your funds (USD, GBP, EUR) to Coinbase Pro and buy Bitcoin, Ether (Ethereum) or Litecoin, etc.

Coinbase Pro trading view

Transferring funds between the two Coinbases exchanges is super simple

Lets say you deposit some USD, GBP or EUR to Coinbase via your bank account. And you prefer to use Coinbase Pro to buy your Bitcoins, Ether, Litecoins, etc.

This process is very easy to do and it takes less than 10 seconds.

If you want to deposit funds to Coinbase Pro from Coinbase

  1. Go to your wallet at Coinbase Pro
  2. Click on deposit
  3. Select the currency and the amount
  4. Done

If you want to withdraw funds from Coinbase Pro to Coinbase

  1. Go to your wallet at Coinbase Pro
  2. Click on withdraw
  3. Select the currency and the amount
  4. Done

It is that easy.

A cryptocurrency post on Reddit explains the usage and purpose of both exchanges very well:

Coinbase exists to lower the barrier of entry for new investors. For months I bought using Coinbase and accepted a $2.99 fee on $500. As I grew confident in trading, terminology, wallets, networks and such I eventually started using Coinbase Pro with limit orders. I for one see benefits to both and am thankful for the services”

Reddit user Dillydilly

I agree with Dillydilly, and so does thousands if not millions of other crypto users.

Coinbase website get started / sign in

How to get started at Coinbase and Coinbase Pro

For Coinbase it is very simple, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Coinbase’s website
  2. Register an account as an individual and provide the necessary details
  3. Verify the email you get sent
  4. Deposit money via bank / wire transfer or pay with a card
  5. If you made a transfer from your bank it takes from 1-2 days usually and then you can buy – with a card it is instant and you will have the crypto in your wallet in seconds

See our full Coinbase guide here

Create an account with Coinbase screenshot

For Coinbase Pro it is similar and simple, enough follow these steps:

​To sign up and create your account with Coinbase Pro, follow these steps:

  1. Visit
  2. Click on the “Sign Up” button – if you are already a member of Coinbase all you need to do is sign in and authorise Coinbase Pro and then you are in and ready to trade
  3. If you are not a member then sign up, agree to the terms and verify the email that gets sent to you
  4. Verify your phone number
  5. You may be asked to verify your identity depending on the region you live in
  6. Now you are in and ready to trade
Sign up at Coinbase Pro screenshot

Cryptocurrencies available

For a long time on Coinbase there were only Bitcoin, and then Ethereum (Ether) and Litecoin available on both exchanges for users to trade.

Today there are over 15 supported coins and trading pairs at the Coinbase exchanges, with Bitcoin Cash, XRP (Ripple), XLM (Stellar), BAT (Basic Attention Token), EOS amongst others in the available selection for users to trade with, check the full cryptocurrency list.

Available trading pairs

There are three main fiat trading pairs at Coinbase Pro: USD, EUR and GBP. Some of the current trading pairs are Coinbase Pro are:

When you trade at Coinbase Pro to buy or sell cryptocurrencies like BTC or ETH you use these trading pairs.

Coinbase fees + Coinbase Pro fees

One of the main reasons to use Coinbase Pro is that you could get lower fees for buying cryptocurrencies compared to regular Coinbase.

How you do this is that you deposit funds from your bank account, and then you sign in to and you buy the cryptocurrencies there.

  • This also applies to when selling cryptocurrencies for USD, EUR, GBP

There are different fees on Coinbase and Coinbase Pro depending on how you buy or sell cryptocurrencies.

These are the current fees that apply for Coinbase:

  • For buying with a credit card or debit card: 3.99% for most countries
  • Bank transfers (ACH & wire transfers) to buy: Free,
  • ACH: Free,
  • Wire: $10
  • Standard buy/sell: 1.49% for most countries

For fees at Coinbase Pro there are maker and taker fees:

  • <$10K: 0.50% taker and maker fees
  • $10 – 50K: 0.35 taker and maker fees
  • $50 – 100K: 0.25% taker fee and 0.15 maker fee

That means that Coinbase fees are higher than Coinbase Pros. And you can save on fees using Coinbase Pro for example when trading cryptocurrencies.

Coinbase fees screenshot from website

Available countries

Coinbase is available in 100+ countries. So there is a good chance that Coinbase is available for you.

Find out more if your country is one of them. And what types of features are available for your country and payment methods.

Coinbase is still leading the way

Coinbase is still adding new cryptocurrencies to their exchanges, and they have also recently added Coinbase Learn where you can find useful guides and learn more about different cryptocurrencies and how they all work.

And as an incentive, Coinbase is giving out free coins to those who complete their learning lessons.

Coinbase has not always been perfect with previous user frustration pointed at their previously worse customer support, which now has improved a lot.

The main advantages

I hope that you now have found out more about the different Coinbase versions, and which of them might suit you better.

I believe that both of them will be around for a considerable time ahead, they are U.S based crypto exchanges and they are still one of the most well known and leading brand in the crypto space.

I will summarise the different advantages of the two versions and highlight their use cases.

Advantages Coinbase:

  • Super easy UX and with instant buy and sell features
  • Fiat onramp – depositing money from bank or buying via credit and debit card
  • Great security with no known attacks and an insurance fund up to $250,000 for every trader

Advantages Coinbase Pro:

  • Greater set of features, market orders, stop losses, trading charts, etc
  • Lower fees (they have maker and taker fees for trading check out the complete list of fees here)
  • Great security with no known attacks and an insurance fund up to $250,000 for every trader

Coinbase vs Coinbase Pro conclusion

Coinbase is a crypto powerhouse and they have done so much positive for crypto adoption.

They will for a long time be a household name in the cryptocurrency world. Some users might feel that they take out too high fees, but they forget that you as a user can use their Coinbase Pro exchange if they prefer.

But I think that Coinbase is a great example of a business that has understood its market and customer needs and matched that with two really good crypto exchanges. Each with their clear purpose and use case.

When you get more experienced with trading cryptos then I recommend having a look at more crypto exchanges that might interest you.

If you are new to this space I recommend you read our beginner’s guide to start investing in cryptocurrencies, it has all the information and tips you need to get started.

So when it comes to using either Coinbase or the expert version Coinbase Pro then there is something for every occasion. Or every type of crypto trader.

If you are a fan of Coinbase but you want to learn about other exchanges/brokers with similar features then you might find this alternative guide useful.

To answer the question:

  1. Start with Coinbase when you are learning, and use it to deposit and withdraw funds from and to your bank
  2. And move to Coinbase Pro when you are more experienced, and also when you have deposited funds and want to buy some BTC, ETH, LTC, etc

If you use this link to sign up for Coinbase you will get $10 worth of Bitcoin for free when buying for more than $100.

Other guides I recommend

  1. What is a crypto market cap – All you need to know!
  2. The best way to investing in cryptocurrency
  3. The top crypto exchanges right now
  4. 8 most popular privacy coins

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1 Comment
  1. This is a great article and ideal way for people to lower their fees and retain more of the crypto they buy. Can I re-publish this on (

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