Since the title of this article caught your attention, it may be safe to assume that you are already familiar with "cryptocurrency." Digital, faster, cheaper and unregulated, it’s the perfect next step for the digital revolution.

With the value of Bitcoin, Ethereum and even Dogecoin skyrocketing and potentially earning you big bucks, more and more people are looking to invest in cryptocurrency. In fact, it has become a viable investment option for millions of Americans as evidenced by the astronomical surge of Bitcoin's price this year

The Importance of Crypto Exchanges

If you are familiar with cryptocurrency or have looked it up, then you might have come across Coinbase. Founded in 2012, Coinbase is currently the leading crypto exchange platform in the U.S. and has positioned itself as one of the most-trusted cryptocurrency platforms for newcomers. It offers advanced security measures, a user-friendly interface and strict regulatory compliance.

However, Coinbase may easily be confused with Coinbase Pro. Here, we provide answers to the top questions concerning Coinbase Pro -- fees, advantages over Coinbase and most importantly, if it’s worth it.

Coinbase vs. Coinbase Pro

pro2 Coinbase Pro is geared more towards professionals and experienced traders. Photo: pro.coinbase.com

So what is Coinbase? It’s one of the most recognized and trusted digital currency exchange companies in the industry. Interestingly, this platform provides two ways to join the cryptocurrency market depending on the type of trader/investor you are.

Coinbase's platform makes it incredibly easy to purchase your first Bitcoin and other supported cryptocurrencies. It is a great way to get started on buying and trading.

Meanwhile, Coinbase Pro -- formerly known as GDAX (Global Digital Asset Exchange) is better suited for advanced traders who can appreciate the additional data it provides. More importantly, this platform offers lower trading fees compared to Coinbase.

Coinbase Pro does offer the same ease of use, great liquidity and solid security as Coinbase.

Here's a more detailed look at the main differences between the two:

Design and Usability

pro1 Coinbase Pro's UI is clean, intuitive and easy to digest. Photo: pro.coinbase.com

Coinbase offers an exceptionally straightforward and beginner-friendly interface. However, this simplicity may turn off experienced investors as it does not offer much information and features. In addition, you can only buy or sell as per the offered fees and price.

Coinbase Pro, on the other hand, provides a wealth of information that is very appealing for more advanced traders. Its user interface also offers a hassle-free experience. Neat and intuitive, it’s perfect for those who want to do more than purchase coins. Depositing and withdrawing are easy and straightforward while placing an order whenever you trade gives you three options -- market order, a limit order and a stop order.

For institutional investors, there's Coinbase Prime. Its features include margin finance, execution algorithms, access via professional third-party platforms, high-touch execution OTC, dedicated institutional coverage and much more.

The majority of Coinbase Pro's desktop features are also available in its mobile app for iOS and Android. These include live updates to charts, prices and even placing limits and market orders.

Fees

pro5 Here's a breakdown of Coinbase Pro's fees. Photo: pro.coinbase.com

Despite being beginner-friendly, Coinbase fees can be higher than Coinbase Pro. This makes the latter more appealing to serious cryptocurrency investors. There's also the incentive that the more you trade through Coinbase Pro, the less fees you'll have to pay.

Coinbase Pro uses a maker-taker fee model, which lets you pay between 0.00 to 0.50% for each transaction depending on the number of transactions you made in a month. If you’re a taker (meaning you immediately fill a market price order), this system can be appealing as it lets you take advantage of volume-based discounts. However, maker fees are still lower than taker fees.

Deposits and withdrawals are both free of charge if the user is transferring cryptocurrency or making an ACH deposit or withdrawal. Otherwise, Coinbase Pro charges users with the appropriate fees. 

Learn more about Coinbase Pro's fees here

Trading and APIs

pro3 A quick look at Coinbase Pro's mobile app for iOS devices. Photo: pro.coinbase.com

Another trading advantage that Coinbase Pro offers is it allows margin trading of up to 3x on USD pairs (on BTC/USD and ETH/USD pairs, up to $10,000) or 2x for BTC/EUR pair up to 3,000 EUR, and for LTC/USD pair up to $500.

This allows you to borrow funds from a lender to trade, which then increases potential buying power while allowing lenders to earn interest based on market demand. Coinbase Pro has access to 29 types of cryptocurrencies (more than Coinbase) and 57 markets making it a really rich platform.

You can also make investing or trading easier by obtaining Coinbase Pro API keys. This lets you link your account with other apps such as the Crypto Pro portfolio tracker. Doing so allows you to import data and view real-time portfolio statistics.

For a more detailed explanation of Coinbase Pro's APIs, click here

Safety and Security

pro4 For institutions, Coinbase Pro also offers Coinbase Prime, specifically catered for them. Photo: pro.coinbase.com

Just like Coinbase, Coinbase Pro is fully licensed and regulated in the U.S. and other supported countries, which means it complies with The Bank Secrecy Act, The USA Patriot Act and other money transmission laws.

Security is one of its strongest points. Only 2% of its customers’ cryptocurrency funds are held online, and these are insured in case of loss. Additionally, all U.S. dollar deposits are covered by FDIC insurance up to $250,000. Euro deposits, on the other hand, are held in customer-owned custodial accounts so Coinbase Pro can’t seize these if ever the exchange collapses.

The exchange also has a registered BitLicense with the New York Department of Financial Services, and is required to submit annual financial audits.

Coinbase Pro adopts multiple security measures like:

  • Two-factor authentication for all accounts
  • SSL cryptographic protocol encryption on all web traffic
  • Cold storage for 98% of all crypto assets
  • AES-256 encryption on all wallets and wallet keys

Verdict: Is Coinbase Pro better than Coinbase?

Coinbase owns Coinbase Pro and neither charge investors for signing up on the platform. Both offer similar features such as topnotch security, clean and intuitive UI and ease of liquidity.

Coinbase Pro offers more features and is ideal for advanced traders. It’s also a wise choice for users who want to avoid higher fees unlike Coinbase, and do more than just purchase cryptocurrency. Despite its more complex features, it’s still easy to use, learn and explore. Users who will make the switch from Coinbase to Coinbase Pro won’t have difficulty adjusting.

Putting all these into consideration, Coinbase Pro shows why it's one of the best cryptocurrency exchange platforms in the industry. We highly recommend it for traders who want to do more with crypto.

You may sign up on Coinbase Pro by clicking here