7 Best Coinbase Alternatives in 2019 (That are Safe)

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Many people are looking for Coinbase alternatives to benefit from lower fees, better customer support, and more coins.

Although Coinbase is among the most popular exchanges for beginners, its 1 out of 5 start review on Trustpilot paints a very clear picture of what these users think about it.

If you are on the same page as the 950+ people that rated Coinbase as “Bad” on Trustpilot, then this review of the best Coinbase alternatives is for you.

Top Coinbase Alternatives Compared

ExchangeVisitSimpleCoinsSafe
CoinmamaYES6YES
CEX YES9YES
ChangellyYES80YES
BitItYES15YES

Coinmama

Launched out of Israel in 2013, Coinmama has since served more than 1.5 million customers in its long history and will feel instantly familiar to anybody who has used Coinbase before.

PROS

  • Available in most countries
  • Super quick verification
  • Great customer support
CONS

  • Fees can be higher than Coinbase
  • Limited asset selection
  • No sell feature

Coinmama bills itself as the fastest and easiest way to purchase cryptocurrencies — a claim many would agree is fair, owing to the excellent reputation Coinmama has developed as a convenient platform to purchase cryptocurrencies with a debit/credit card.

instantly buy bitcoin coinmama

Coinmama aims to make itself as simple as possible, by cutting out all the fluff and omitting the trading platform and online wallet services offered by its competitors, as well as trimming the number of cryptocurrencies on sale to just three: Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Ripple (XRP).

Why is Coinmama a good Coinbase alternative?

Unfortunately, the great majority of Coinbase competitors have now introduced KYC for all cryptocurrency purchases, with Coinmama being no exception.

However, while many sites (Coinbase included) make this process needlessly difficult and drawn out, Coinmana sets itself apart.

coinmama identity verification

Coinmama simplifies the KYC process and gets it done quick (typically within an hour), and offers its users much better limits when verified, allowing level 3 verified users to purchase up to $1 million per month, compared to the maximum of $25,000 per day offered at Coinbase.

Similar to Coinbase, achieving the top level of verification requires more extensive verification, with an estimated 6-hour processing time.

Coinmama services are offered to customers in over 180 countries, and in the majority of US states — offering availability that is simply unmatched by Coinbase.

CEX

Launched back in 2013, CEX.io quickly became a popular name in cryptocurrency circles thanks to its partnership with the now-defunct Bitcoin mining pool known as GHASH.io — which at one point in time accounted for almost half of the Bitcoin hash rate!

PROS

  • Available in more than 220 countries
  • No withdrawal fees
  • Advanced trading features
CONS

  • Slightly fewer digital assets than Coinbase
  • Worse exchange rate than Coinbase
  • High fees on direct buys

Since then, CEX has built a name off its own back and has risen up to become one of the best known cryptocurrency exchange platforms around thanks to its global support and handy mobile app.

instantly buy bitcoin on cex

Currently, CEX features a respectable variety of cryptocurrencies that can be bought and sold on the platform, all of which are proven digital assets with a strong team, community and market.

In total, the following nine digital assets are available on the platform: Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Coin (BCH), Bitcoin Gold (BTC), Dash (DASH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP), Stellar Lumens (XLM) and Zcash (ZEC).

supported coins cex.io

Besides its list of high-quality cryptocurrencies for trading, CEX also benefits from being available to the great majority of countries, with just a few countries lacking support, including Iran, Turkey, and Vietnam.

However, it should be noted that unlike Coinbase, CEX is not available in much of the United States, owing to regulatory challenges.

Why is CEX a good Coinbase alternative?

In addition to CEX’s highly intuitive way for quickly buying Bitcoin (which we showed you in a screenshot above), the exchange also has built in margin trading feature allows both bullish and bearish traders to profit on Bitcoin price movements.

Margin trading cex

This process has been simplified to such a degree that even new traders can quickly open long or short positions, while the trading fees for both margin and simple trades is kept surprisingly low at just 0.2%.

When you combine this with the fact that CEX supports simple fiat to cryptocurrency purchases through VISA and Mastercard, you have a platform that genuinely caters to all.

cex credit card payment

This system is further bolstered by the guarantee that CEX will fill your order at the best rate when the order is submitted, meaning you may receive more cryptocurrency than you initially ordered at no additional cost should the price fluctuate.

Lastly, if you have ever had an issue at Coinbase, you will likely have experienced the nightmare that is Coinbase customer support.

Thankfully, CEX have recognized the importance of great customer support and offer 24/7 live chat support to get any and all issues resolved right away — not several days later as is common at Coinbase.

Changelly

Founded in 2013, Changelly was launched as an alternative to cryptocurrency trading platforms such as Bitstamp, Kraken and Mt. Gox, in an attempt to make buying and selling cryptocurrency accessible to retail investors.

PROS

  • Available worldwide
  • Low 0.5% trading fee
  • No forced KYC requirements
CONS

  • High fees on credit cards buys
  • No mobile app
  • Fewer support options than Coinbase

Featuring an extremely intuitive user interface, Changelly guides even the most inexperienced users through the simple exchange process, allowing users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies with just a few clicks.

changelly exchange

One of the main benefits of Changelly is its privacy, allowing the great majority of purchases to go through without any identity or KYC checks. Unlike many other platforms, Changelly instead opts for a risk-based approach, using an automated system to isolate the few potentially fraudulent transactions for further checks.

Changelly is also one of the few exchange platforms to maintain an excellent reputation on Trustpilot, scoring 7.6/10 — significantly higher than the paltry 1.6/10 managed by Coinbase.

changelly trust pilot

In its reviews, Changelly is frequently praised for its speed and customer service — two points Coinbase is often criticized on.

Why is Changelly a good Coinbase alternative?

Living up to its promise of making cryptocurrency trading as simple as possible, Changelly does not require much information when creating an account, making it a suitable choice for those looking to trade in a hurry.

Beyond its speed and simplicity, Changelly also offers a far greater asset selection over Coinbase, with dozens of high-quality cryptocurrencies, and hundreds of possible trade pairs available.

changelly coins

If you are somebody that likes to diversify your investments, then Changelly is an excellent choice to help do so.

Bitit

Easily the newest entry on this list, Bitit has only been around since 2015, but has managed to come a long way in a short space of time, growing into a platform that is arguably better than Coinbase — particularly for European users.

PROS

  • Excellent asset selection
  • Top notch customer support
  • Great variety of purchase methods
CONS

  • Purchase only, no ability to sell cryptocurrencies
  • 8.75% fee for voucher purchases
  • Forced KYC

Paris-based Bitit is one of the few online exchange platforms to exclusively focus on first-timers and casual investors, integrating with the leading OTC brokers to bring its customers a fair and easy on-ramp to cryptocurrency investments.

Why is Bitit a good Coinbase alternative?

One of the areas where Bitit shines best is its extensive digital asset selection, allowing users to purchase a whole host of high-quality digital assets with over a dozen fiat currencies.

bitit coins

Bitit is also one of the only platforms allowing users to buy BitTorrent (BTT) with fiat, demonstrating a clear focus on bringing its customers the most popular digital assets.

Fees are similar to Coinbase at around 3.9% using a VISA or Mastercard, but can be reduced to as low as 0.25% if paying using EUR balance in your Bitit wallet.

bit it payment options

In addition to this, Bitit allows users to purchase cryptocurrencies in over 100,000 stores worldwide with cash, as well as online through the use of Cashlib and Neosurf prepaid cards.

Local Bitcoins

Founded back in 2012, this Helsinki-based P2P exchange rapidly exploded in popularity, becoming one of the few platforms that allowed Bitcoin investors to buy and sell BTC with cash.

PROS

  • Trade Bitcoin for Cash
  • Low 1% escrow fee for sellers
  • Dozens of payment methods
CONS

  • Higher risk of being scammed
  • Markup can be high with certain payment methods
  • Only Bitcoin available for trade

Since then, the platform has undergone several improvements, and has expanded to cover several new regions and offer additional variety to its users.

localbitcoins

Unlike many the other platforms on this list that act as either a cryptocurrency brokerage or online trading platform, Local Bitcoins instead allows cryptocurrency buyers and sellers to transact through the website escrow system, which protects both buyers and sellers against fraud.

Why is Local Bitcoins a good Coinbase alternative?

In some cases, trading on Local Bitcoins can be an extremely cost effective way of selling or buying Bitcoin, particularly when it comes to dealing with smaller amounts.

Typically, larger exchange platforms and brokers such as Coinbase will charge several fees on each transaction, which can amount to more than 10% of the purchase amount for small trades.

On Local Bitcoins, the case couldn’t be more different, since sellers are charged a simple 1% flat fee on all completed trades, while buyers are not charged for purchases.

That being said, most buyers will add a markup to their sale price, which can be as low as just 3% when paying by secure payment methods, such as cash deposit and bank transfer. However, paying by methods such as PayPal can attract a markup of more than 10%, which is great for sellers, but no so great for buyers.

Overall, Local Bitcoins stays true to Bitcoin’s decentralized ethos by allowing people to conduct P2P trades without relying on brokers, while the huge forum community and help center behind the platform make it super accessible to both newbies and veterans alike.

Kraken

As one of the oldest options on our list, Kraken has had the time to build an excellent reputation in the crypto community and is widely considered to be one of the earliest forces involved in shaping the industry into what it has become today.

PROS

  • Much lower fees than Coinbase
  • Large variety of digital assets
  • Excellent trading features and volume
CONS

  • Can be complicated for new traders
  • Forced KYC for US customers
  • Poor customer support

Despite being initially targeted towards European cryptocurrency traders, Kraken has come a long way since being launched as the European alternative to Mt. Gox, rising up to become a platform that regularly clocks in over $100 million in daily trade volume.

Why is Kraken a good Coinbase alternative?

Besides its much more advanced trading features, Kraken also exceeds Coinbase in terms of asset number and variety, with more than double the number digital assets available.

kraken coinbase alternative

Among these assets are a healthy variety of well-established cryptocurrencies, plus several up-and-comers not available on Coinbase, such as Tezos (XTZ), Monero (XMR) and Stellar Lumens (XLM).

Beyond this, Kraken is also much better suited for professional traders, who will appreciate the lower trading fees available on the platform and significantly higher investment limits.

With just 0.16% charged on market maker orders, and 0.26% charged on market takers, Kraken gives traders the ability to squeeze much more value out of their assets than platforms like Coinbase.

buy bitcoin on kraken

Kraken also makes this deal even sweeter if you are a high volume trader, reducing its fees down to as low as 0% and 0.10% for maker/taker orders respectively.

When you combine this with the drastically higher investment limits Kraken offers over Coinbase it becomes clear that Kraken is the better choice for regular and higher volume traders.

Bitcoin ATMs

In response to the rapidly growing interest in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, several tech-savvy companies decided to meet a previously unmet need in the market — making Bitcoin accessible to all.

PROS

  • Helps push cryptocurrency adoption
  • Fewer KYC restrictions, if any.
  • Buy cryptocurrency with debit/credit cards
CONS

  • High maintenance costs can drive up exchange rates
  • Not available in many places
  • Restricted asset selection

Bitcoin ATMs are similar to a regular cash ATM, but rather than dispensing cash, instead allows customers to purchase Bitcoin using their regular credit or debit card.

bitcoin atm

In addition to this, some Bitcoin ATMs also allow customers to sell their BTC directly at the terminal, receiving cash in return.

Since the introduction of the first Bitcoin ATM in late 2013, the industry has exploded with innovation, with ever more complicated and featureful ATMs being unleashed.

bitcoin atm altcoins

Now, it is possible to buy much more than just Bitcoin from an ATM, and with more than 3,600 ATMs available across the globe, getting your hands on some BTC couldn’t be more convenient.

Why are Bitcoin ATMs a good Coinbase alternative?

Undoubtedly, among the great benefits of using a Bitcoin ATM are the security and convenience they offer. If you are fortunate enough to live close to a Bitcoin ATM, then you are one of the lucky minority that can access perhaps the simplest method of purchasing cryptocurrencies.

bitcoin atm location

Bitcoin ATMs also benefit from blistering speed, allowing you to purchase and receive your cryptocurrency in a matter of minutes, if not seconds.

When you combine this with the fact that some of these machines require no identification or personal details, it becomes clear that ATMs are a crucial step towards mainstream adoption.

Since there are no intermediaries when dealing through a Bitcoin ATM, customers also benefit from unparalleled security as no financial information is ever stored in a way that is vulnerable to theft.

Because of this, Bitcoin ATMs are an excellent choice for both the privacy-oriented and security conscious individual.

Why you should look for Coinbase Alternatives

When it comes to selecting an ideal cryptocurrency exchange, few happen to stumble upon the absolute best exchange for them first time round.

delete coinbase

Unfortunately, this means that the great majority of both new cryptocurrency investors, and experienced traders get access to fewer useful features, or are charged much more than they might otherwise be had they found the right exchange.

Due to its huge presence in the cryptocurrency community, Coinbase in particular finds itself the first stop for the bulk of cryptocurrency investors, many of which are looking to purchase cryptocurrency for the first time.

However, despite its relatively user-friendly interface, Coinbase is rarely the best choice as an exchange, mainly due to its complicated and often extortionate fee schedule that can leave many people feeling short-changed.

coinbase fees

In addition to this, the despite vowing to step up its customer service almost yearly since its launch, Coinbase has so far failed to deliver on its promises, gaining it a terrible reputation for customer support — not something anybody would expect from self professed “easiest on-ramp To the Bitcoin world.”

coinbase customer support

For many customers, searching for an alternative to Coinbase may come out of necessity, rather than choice, since the platform’s overly restrictive asset selection and limited number of supported countries make it a no-go for many people.

What to watch out for in a Coinbase Alternative

Although it is plainly apparent that Coinbase is lacking in many respects, finding a suitable platform to move to can be easier said than done. Beyond this, there are also many sites like Coinbase that are even worse, making finding an alternative somewhat of a minefield.

While we can’t fault the security Coinbase offers, not every alternative exchange has the security features needed to keep your funds safe. Because of this, we recommend avoiding exchanges that have a history of being breached and/or do not store the great bulk (98%+) of user funds in secure cold storage.

Beyond this, excellent client-side security features are something to look out for, with two-factor authentication and email-verification options recommended as the bare minimum.

Particularly in the case of new traders or investors, usability may be a primary concern since nobody likes to be dazzled with an endless array of tools that you’ll never use. Because of this, we recommend checking out alternatives that best match your experience level.

If you are an absolute beginner, then a brokerage type platform might suit you best, whereas experienced traders will likely be best served by a full-featured exchange, with more complex order types, such as margin trading and contingent orders.

This also extends to the asset selection on offer — simple exchanges tend to offer a select few high-quality digital assets for trade — which while this may be sufficient for the casual investor, anybody looking to diversify or maximize their opportunities may feel overly restricted, hence why it’s always a good idea to begin at an exchange that provides room for personal growth.

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