which one is better for beginners

  • I used Coinbase and FTX.US, the two largest exchanges to buy crypto.
  • Overall, Coinbase is a better option if you are new to crypto and want something beginner-friendly.
  • This article is part of “Master Your Crypto,” a series by Insider designed to help investors improve their skills and knowledge of cryptocurrencies.

There are a lot of big fish swimming in the fast-moving crypto sea – and the two biggest exchanges are Coinbase and FTX.

The former was founded in 2012 by CEO Brian Armstrong and has since become a favorite place for many users to buy and sell virtual coins. FTX, meanwhile, stood out in 2020 to become the world’s second largest centralized exchange in terms of market share, surpassing Coinbase in May.

Note: FTX’s US branch, ftx.us, offers a slimmed-down version of what’s available from FTX in other countries.

How do the two platforms compare? And if you’re just getting into the crypto waters, which one should you choose? It depends on your level of experience – and how willing you are to bear the fees.

FTX has NFTs, but only offers 27 different coins. Coinbase has over 150.

coinbase ftx apps

Coinbase vs FTX.US, which defaults to Night Mode.

Coinbase; ftx; insider


I first used coinbase to buy crypto for the first time in March and eventually ended up buying an NFT. But I’ve never used FTX.

After I downloaded the app, it connected to my gmail to create a new account very easily.

I originally bought Ethereum on Coinbase, so I thought it would be a good idea to switch it up and buy Bitcoin on FTX. Coinbase has solidified itself as a beginner-friendly crypto exchange, so I was curious to see if FTX was geared towards similar or more experienced users.

Right off the bat, I noticed that FTX has the option to buy and sell NFTs on top of crypto. This is a discrepancy among crypto exchanges, although Coinbase is preparing to launch its own NFT marketplace later this year.

Additionally, FTX offers more types of trading, including margin lending, where you borrow money from the platform through an automated system so that you can invest more – with significant risk.

ftx.us nfts

Some NFTs that are available for purchase on FTX.US.

ftx; insider


FTX offered me 27 coins to buy – Coinbase offers five times that amount, with over 150 cryptocurrencies available to trade. There were also some popular coins including Cardano and Polkadot which Coinbase offers which FTX does not.

Of course, they both had bitcoin, so I set out to diversify my portfolio.

I typed in my legal name, birthday, home address, Social Security number, phone number, and debit card information. It was pain free.

There was a limit of $2,000 I could deposit every 7 days, probably since I was a new user. On Coinbase, there was a weekly limit of $7,500 when using a credit card and $300 with a debit card.

I deposited $60, incurring a $2.04 card processing fee, and then quickly and easily bought $60 worth of bitcoin – or .00197 at the time.

And just to refresh my memory – and to check for any updates – I bought $20 more of Ethereum on Coinbase. When you take a screenshot of your assets on the Coinbase app, a banner pops up asking if you want to share your portfolio on social media.

coinbase ftx apps

My holdings are displayed on Coinbase on the left and FTX.US on the right.

Coinbase; ftx; insider


Coinbase is more established, has more to offer, and is better for newbies

FTX is a good option for experienced crypto traders who buy and sell more on a daily and weekly basis due to the low trading fees. The Motley Fool reported that to buy $1,000 of bitcoin, you would pay just $4 on FTX and $14.90 on Coinbase.

Overall, if you are looking for an exchange to satisfy your crypto curiosity and trade major coins, Coinbase and its user-friendliness may be a better choice.

It has more cryptocurrencies available, not many including FTX, and has been around eight years longer than its competitors.

The crypto space is still trying to address fraud and security kinks that have kept some users from trusting them in the same way they trust the traditional financial system. These concerns may be another reason to stick with the most established player of the two: Coinbase.

The purpose of this article is to provide generalized information designed to educate a broad section of the public; It does not provide personal investment, legal, or other business and professional advice. Before taking any action, you should always consult your own financial, legal, tax, investment, or other professional for advice on matters affecting you and/or your business.

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