Last Updated: January 12, 2023
Wondering which exchange is better for your next crypto trade? In need of a comparison of Robinhood vs Coinbase? We’ve got you covered!
Keep on reading to get the answers you’ve been looking for.
Let’s take a quick look at the basics before going any further.
|Account types:||Individual, Business and Developer||Instant, Gold, Cash|
|Deposits:||ACH, Wire deposit, Debit Card, Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal||Bank transfer|
|Number of cryptocurrencies:||100+||7|
|Trading fees:||Maker-Taker fee 0.00%-0.50% based on pricing tier + additional fees||$0|
|Minimum trade:||$2||$0 ($1 for crypto)|
|App:||Android, iOS||Android, iOS|
|Customer support:||Support ticket, Live Chat, phone||Email, Live Chat, social media, phone|
|Countries it operates in:||100+||Only the US|
|Excluded US states:||Hawaii, Indiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Utah, Wisconsin, Wyoming||Hawaii and Nevada for crypto|
Coinbase vs Robinhood: Account Requirements
To create an account on Coinbase you need to provide basic information, like your name, e-mail address and place of residence. Then you proceed with the verification process, which requires proof of identity. Documents that can serve this purpose are valid government-issued ID cards, Drivers Licenses, or Passports (for non-US citizens). Apart from these, Coinbase will ask you to submit the last four digits of your Social Security Number.
Notably, Coinbase recommends you sign up for an account through its web platform instead of the mobile app.
Robinhood has the same requirements as Coinbase. But since it only accepts US citizens and US visa holders, it also asks users to provide a valid US residential address and submit proof of it.
Needless to say, account holders must be at least 18 years old on either Robinhood or Coinbase.
Ease of Use
Robinhood puts an emphasis on the simplistic user interface and design. Due to this, the platform caters to beginner investors. However, Robinhood is very often criticized for its overly-simplified interface and set of features. The result might be an exchange platform lacking functionality compared to competitors’ solutions.
Coinbase is easy-to-use and beginner-friendly as well. The interface is intuitive, and users should not have any issues navigating their way around it. Even though it accommodates beginner investors, the set of features and order types are not too simplified. And if someone feels like the platform is too simple for them, they should check out the advanced version – Coinbase Pro.
Now, when it comes to buying crypto on Robinhood vs Coinbase, there are some distinctive features to consider.
Features unique to Coinbase
Coinbase users can:
- Borrow: get a loan by using Bitcoins as collateral. The maximum of the loan one can get is 40% of the collateral worth.
- Coinbase Earn: learn about new cryptocurrencies by watching short videos and earn some by completing short quizzes.
Features unique to Robinhood
Robinhood users benefit from:
- Buying fractions of a coin: Robinhood users are not obliged to buy whole coins. Instead, they can place an order to buy only a fraction of a digital currency.
- 24/7 crypto trading: even though traditional brokers operate only during market hours, this does not apply to crypto trading. Users can trade virtual currencies 24h a day on Robinhood.
The main difference between Robinhood and Coinbase is that the first one is an online brokerage company, while the latter is a crypto exchange platform. Due to this, the available products on the platforms differ.
Like any other crypto exchange, Coinbase enables users to trade with cryptocurrencies. Robinhood has other products available as well. Apart from being able to exchange crypto, Robinhood users have access to:
Unfortunately, those who expect to find more advanced trading features on Robinhood will be disappointed. Unlike most other online brokers, Robinhood does not support mutual funds or Forex. Among the other things Robinhood is lacking are screeners (stock, ETF) or financial tools and calculators. But what you can find on Robinhood are penny stocks. Also, trading on a margin is available on the separate Robinhood Gold platform (for a fee of $5 per month).
The main Coinbase platform doesn’t support margin trading. Though at one point this was available on the more advanced platform, Coinbase Pro no longer supports such trades either.
Coinbase vs Robinhood for crypto
Considering that Coinbase is a crypto-only platform, it has more than 100 crypto coins. Robinhood, on the other hand, has only seven. However, Robinhood charges no fees to trade digital coins. Crypto trading on Coinbase is more expensive compared to Robinhood.
Coinbase charges its trading fees following the maker-taker model. They range from 0.00% to 0.50%. On top of the trading fees, users are charged a Miner Fee and a spread. The Coinbase bid-ask spread is around 0.50%. This is not the only downside Coinbase has when it comes to pricing. Fees are not clearly stated on the website. It’s virtually impossible to know how much you will be charged before you decide to make a trade. All fees are displayed on the transaction page, though.
Robinhood did not choose the name for its platform without a reason. When it first appeared, the broker was a pioneer in commission-free trading. This means that you will not pay any commission fees for your Robinhood account. This applies to the Robinhood crypto fees as well. However, you will need to pay the regulatory fees, which are usually fractions of a dollar.
To make sure accounts are secure on its platform, Coinbase encrypts all traffic. It also has rate limits on some sensitive operations, like attempts to log into the account. Accessing the account will require a 2FA. Furthermore, the platform checks whether passwords are strong enough and uses hashing mechanisms when storing them. Finally, 98% of crypto is stored cold (offline).
Is it more secure to buy crypto on Robinhood or Coinbase?
Robinhood encrypts all sensitive data stored on its platform and hashes passwords as well. As expected, the communication with the server is encrypted. The industry-standard 2FA is employed when accessing Robinhood accounts too. Cryptocurrencies are stored in a combination of hot and cold wallets (online and offline). However, the amount of those held in online wallets is minimal and enough to support daily trading activities.
Robinhood vs Coinbase: Mobile Apps
Coinbase has a mobile app available for Android and iOS mobile users. The application is more or less the same as the web platform. It enables users to buy and sell crypto, earn yield, and get the latest crypto news.
Robinhood has an Android and an iOS mobile app, apart from the web platform, as well. The mobile app was developed before the web platform, which is not usually the case. Mobile users get access to Robinhood’s Cash Management (which enables you to earn interest on cash swept within the Robinhood network), in addition to the trading tools and features.
Who delivers better customer service in the Robinhood vs Coinbase battle?
Robinhood’s customer service department is available 24/7. Users can get assistance by sending an email, through the Live Chat feature or by phone. While you cannot call customer service agents, you can request an agent to call you.
Coinbase is available for its clients 24/7 as well. Users who need assistance can direct their requests to the Live Chat available only on the web platform. Support agents can be reached by phone too (available 24/7 for US/International, and 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. GMT for UK/Ireland). While general inquiries can be answered on Twitter, too, social media cannot be used for any account-related questions.
Let’s wrap this up by deciding who’s better, Coinbase or Robinhood?
Who Is Coinbase Best For?
Coinbase is best for those who are just starting their crypto investing journey. This exchange has an extensive list of available crypto coins. Furthermore, you can find the answers to all your questions in its knowledge base. One downside is that the fee structure is complicated and not transparently advertised.
Coinbase Pros and Cons
+A selection of more than 100 cryptocurrencies
+Crypto is insured in case of platform breeches
+Access to educational materials
-Complex and non-transparent fee structure
-Higher fees when comparing Coinbase to Robinhood
Who Is Robinhood Best For?
Robinhood is best for novice investors who are more inclined to make trades using their mobile devices. By simplifying the trading experience, the platform caters to beginners who are not too familiar with the financial tools and jargon. Furthermore, it enables buying only a fraction of its product. This is another feature that will wow crypto newbies. The downside is that there are not enough educational materials to further accommodate these users.
Robinhood Pros and Cons
+Great mobile app
+Commission-free trading brokerage
+Fractions of crypto and shares available for purchase
-The Robinhood crypto list is very short
-Limited knowledge base
Which Is Better: Coinbase or Robinhood?
When it comes to crypto trading, Coinbase is definitely in the lead. It allows its users access to more virtual assets and trading features. Even though new users can be confused by its fees, they will be disclosed on the transaction page.
Robinhood, on the other hand, has lower crypto trading fees but a much shorter crypto-list as well. Its simple user interface may have been overly simplified to the point that most financial functionalities are missing. That being said, it is better for users who just want to experience crypto trading by buying a fraction of a coin. This is one thing to keep in mind when deciding between Coinbase vs Robinhood.
Coinbase Pro is the more advanced Coinbase counterpart. Fees on it are lower than on the original platform, so being a knowledgeable investor pays off. Robinhood is a mobile-first broker with a limited number of cryptocurrencies and features. So when comparing Coinbase Pro vs Robinhood, the former is the winner.
Robinhood supports the following crypto coins:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Dogecoin (DOGE)
- Bitcoin SV (BSV)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Ethereum Classic (ETC)
- Litecoin (LTC)
Unfortunately, there is no option for crypto transfer from Robinhood to Coinbase. Moving your digital assets will require you first to sell them for fiat and transfer the fiat to your bank account. Finally, use those assets to fund your Coinbase account. Keep in mind that selling crypto for profit is taxable.
If you choose to keep your crypto on Coinbase.com, then the platform stores those assets for you in custodial wallets. This means that you will need to go through KYC, and the keys are owned by a third party. Your funds are managed by this third party as well. If you decide to store your crypto in the Coinbase Wallet, then you are storing them in a non-custodial wallet. You are the keys’ owner and have full control over your assets.
Robinhood is a commission-free broker. This applies to trading crypto on Robinhood as well. While there are no crypto trading fees, users will need to pay an Order Flow Fee. This fee varies per trade.
To purchase coins on Coinbase, you will need to click on the Buy/Sell button in the upper right corner. Next, select the desired digital currency, enter the amount of local currency you want to spend, and choose your payment method. Once this is completed, select Preview Buy to review your order. If there are any mistakes, go back to correct them. If not, complete the process by selecting Buy Now.
Before being able to withdraw money from Coinbase, you need to link your bank account and verify it. To do so, start by adding a new payment method and selecting US Bank Accounts from the available options. Next, fill in your bank details and verify the account by sending a small deposit to it. The verification shouldn’t take longer than two business days. Once the account is verified, you can cash out.
The main difference is their “line of business”. Coinbase is a crypto exchange platform, while Robinhood is a broker. As such, Coinbase has a wider list of available cryptocurrencies. Robinhood, on the other hand, has other products, not only crypto. Furthermore, while Coinbase is available internationally, Robinhood can only be used by US citizens. Find out even more details in our full Coinbase vs Robinhood comparison review.