Coinbase vs Cash App Which is Best for Buying Cryptocurrency?

When getting started with cryptocurrency, there is so much to learn. This guide will compare coinbase vs cash app so you can choose what's best for you.

Dean Fankhauser12 min read
Coinbase vs Cash App: Which is Best for Buying Cryptocurrency? | Bitcompare

To say we're living in exciting times is an understatement. Of course, between the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the rise of blockchain tech, and the increasing spread of cryptocurrencies, staying on the cutting edge of innovation is a challenge.

If you've heard even half the buzz out there about cryptos, you realize it's time to start using platforms like Coinbase and Cash App. But you likely also have concerns about scams and hacks that have left a bad taste in many crypto users' mouths.

How do you get the most out of cryptos without becoming another statistic? Comparing platforms like Coinbase vs. Cash App is an excellent place to start.

Here's our unbiased review comparing Cash App and Coinbase. We've filled it with the info you need to make a sounds decision about the best platform for you, so keep reading.


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About Coinbase

To date, Coinbase proves one of the most popular exchanges in the crypto world. It operates in 32 different nations with more than 12 million customers. All told, about $40 billion in digital currencies have been traded through the platform.

Coinbase started its operations with a goal. Their vision was to make digital currencies more accessible and approachable for everyone. Founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam, Coinbase was initially limited to being a Bitcoin brokerage service. A customer who was interested in purchasing Bitcoins could buy from them directly. With an increasing user base and popularity, Coinbase added additional services.

Within its first year of business, Coinbase became the highest funded Bitcoin startup in the crypto world. Why the extreme popularity and success? For starters, Coinbase doesn't make users trade on the market.

Instead, they trade their cryptos at a set price based on market value. This approach permits customers to purchase cryptos more rapidly than with "traditional" crypto exchanges.

As one of the easiest exchanges for buying cryptos such as Bitcoin, it also facilitates services such as:

  • Bank transfers
  • Debit cards
  • Credit cards
  • And even Paypal transactions

As you can see, even among the "disruptors" that make up the crypto world, there are next-level "disruptors" like Coinbase.

Coinbase Fees and Services

Now that we've briefly glanced at some of the major innovations for which Coinbase is known let's have a look at practical matters. For example, what do fees look like with Coinbase?

They range from 1.49 to 3.99%. What you ultimately pay, however, will depend on factors such as your method of payment. Also, credit card-style transactions will rack up rates at the higher end-of-the-scale.

That said, Coinbase keeps its rates lower than many of its competitors, such as CEX and Coinmama. No wonder the platform remains wildly popular!

Which coins does Coinbase support? They include everybody's favourites:

That said, Coinbase has been faithful about adding additional cryptos as its website continues to expand. These include lesser-known choices like ALGO, LOOM, and OMG. Here's the full breakdown of what Coinbase currently supports.

What else do you need to know about Coinbase's services? The platform operates the Coinbase Pro exchange, which provides the extra features that advanced traders expect.

As you can see, Coinbase goes out of its way to appeal to a broad swathe of crypto customers. They offer a somewhat customized experience by supporting a wide array of coins and providing premium services for the most advanced users.

How to Set Up a Coinbase Account

But how simple is it to create a Coinbase account? You can start trading within five simple steps.

First, create an account on Coinbase by providing your name, email address, and password. Next, you'll confirm your email address. After that, the site will redirect you to a startup page. Here, you'll decide between an individual or a business account.

Third, verify your phone number.

What's the reason for this? To facilitate two-factor identification and ensure your account remains secure. If you'd prefer to go another route, other two-factor identification methods are available.

Step four requires verifying your payment methods. You've got two choices through the platform, bank transfer and credit card.

How does Coinbase verify payment methods? For bank transfers, Coinbase sets up one or two small transactions to and from your account to verify its identity. For credit cards, you'll provide a screenshot of your card.

How long will bank transfers take once you've been verified? In the US, anywhere between four to five days. SEPA transfers in the EU require between one to three days.

Debit and credit card transactions prove instant. Coinbase also lets users link to their Paypal accounts. Why would you want to link to this account? Customers use it for the storage of their proceeds generated during cryptocurrency sales.

After this, you'll move onto step five, putting funds in your account and buying altcoins. Make sure you're on the right tab of your account to purchase the desired crypto.

Before confirming a transaction, Coinbase provides you with a detailed snapshot of the service fee and the amount of cryptocurrency purchased during the transaction. Check this snapshot carefully for errors before proceeding.

What happens to the amount of cryptocurrency you purchase? It gets credited to the relevant Coinbase wallet. Voilà, you've set up and started transacting from your Coinbase account!

For more information about Coinbase, check out our comprehensive Coinbase Review: What You Need to Know Before Using it.

About Cash App

You may already be using Cash App. After all, it's a popular choice for facilitating payroll, especially since so many of us now work from home. This platform is a peer-to-peer payment option created by Square in 2013.

Available on both iOS and Android, it's easy to use. More than 30 million people rely on it for a wide range of transactions. It's even ranked as the No. 1 app in the App Store for finance.

Besides getting paid a cinch, Cash App also handles everything from restaurant transactions to settling up personal debts. You could use it to buy an item at a garage if you're low on cash.

All you need to pay someone is an email address. It's that simple!

Cash App has four primary functionalities. They include:

  • Sending money
  • Receiving money
  • Mobile banking
  • Investing

In a short time, Cash App has grown from a peer-to-peer payment facilitator into a credible alternative to the traditional banking system. It has become one of the top choices for the users in the United States and the United Kingdom, who want to send, spend or invest their funds from the comfort of their mobile applications.

It combines the best of both the traditional financial services and the alternative domain of digital currencies.

Apart from its transactional services, Cash App also offers investing services to its users. Using Cash App, you can invest in stocks and Bitcoin for as little as $1.

Cash App Fees and Services

A cryptocurrency buyer interested in purchasing cryptocurrencies from Coinbase and Cash App will have to shell out both the spread and a service fee. Both of them charge a spread and a service fee for buying and selling cryptocurrencies.

The spread for buying and selling cryptocurrencies on Coinbase is 0.5% to 1.0%, whereas, on Cash App, the spread is between 1% to 4%.

As we had described in the beginning, Cash App did not charge any service fees in the beginning. But they introduced it in the later part of 2019. Cash App charges a fee of 1.76% on crypto purchases.

In terms of service fees, Coinbase charges something which it calls the Coinbase fees. It either consists of a flat fee or a variable percentage fee, depending on the customer's region, payment type, and product feature.

When it comes to the fees for depositing fiat currency to Coinbase, it differs by the payment mode (Debit Card, Credit Card, Wire Transfer, etc), and your location. The fees on debit card purchases on Coinbase is 3.99% in the United States, Australia, Canada, Europe, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.

ACH transfers are available to Coinbase users in the US for free, whereas, wire transfer fees are $10 and outgoing wire transfer fees are $25. In Europe, the fees charged for instant card withdrawal is 2% of any transaction, with a minimum fee of €0.55. In the United States, Coinbase charges a fee of 1.5% on any instant card withdrawal transaction, with a minimum fee of $0.55.

The fees for buying and selling cryptocurrencies are laid out in detail by Coinbase, but Cash App has not provided much information about it.

Cash App Bitcoin Brokerage Service 

The crypto-services of Cash App offer one of the quickest ways to buy and sell Bitcoins. While purchasing and selling Bitcoins through your Cash App, it takes care of the security compliance needs, as well as that of your taxation needs.

To make Bitcoin withdrawals, using your Cash App, you need to have a balance of at least 0.0001 bitcoin. Transfers to external wallets, apart from the Cash App one, may take 30 to 40 minutes or longer. The limit of Bitcoin deposits is fixed at $10,000 worth of Bitcoin for any subsequent 7-day period. Using Cash App, you can schedule your daily, weekly, or bi-weekly Bitcoin purchases beforehand.

The Bitcoin brokerage service of Cash App is also a PCI Data Security Standard or PCI-DSS Level 1 compliant. You also don't have to worry about the 1099-B form if you are buying and selling Bitcoins on Cash App. For the total volume of Bitcoin sold during a tax year, the Cash App application also provides you with a 1099-B form by February 15th of the following year.

Coinbase vs. Cash App: Safety and Security

How do these two platforms compare when it comes to safety concerns? Coinbase has a reputation for being one of the most secure crypto platforms on the market.

Because it's US-based, Coinbase must comply with strict regulations at the state and federal levels. This is ultimately a good thing for customers.

What's more, Coinbase goes the extra mile when it comes to ensuring users feel comfortable with its security features. The company has actively pursued conversations with regulators to guarantee they're providing the most open and innovative financial system possible.

Many experts today suggest Coinbase was the first platform to instil consumers with a sense of confidence following the disastrous Mt. Gox bankruptcy. Of course, Coinbase's approach comes with its detractors, too. Some critics argue that Coinbase is more like a bank than a decentralized cryptocurrency.

For those new to cryptos, however, added stability and structural organization will see you out of trouble.

As for Cash App? The company relies on cutting-edge encryption and fraud detection tech to protect your money. All information that you submit gets immediately encrypted and sent to servers. Whether you're using a public or private Wi-Fi connection.

The app also takes verification very seriously. You can keep your account safer by enabling the app's Security Lock and adding a passcode. You should also allow notifications via text so you know about it right away when something fishy appears.

That said, it's hard to beat Coinbase's stellar security rating.

Supported Countries

Coinbase is available in 100 countries. It includes countries in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa. Coinbase is one of the truly global behemoths in the crypto space that offers its products and services throughout the entire world. In comparison, Cash App only serves two countries at the moment. These countries are the United States and the United Kingdom.

Supported Cryptocurrencies 

Coinbase outdoes Cash App in terms of the number of cryptocurrencies available for buying and selling. The number of cryptocurrencies that Coinbase supports stands at 50, including the leading cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. On the other hand, Cash App only supports Bitcoin.

Coinbase Card vs Cash App Card

Coinbase card is a crypto debit card, powered by Visa. It is connected to your Coinbase account, and hence, the Coinbase card is funded by your Coinbase balance. Owning a Coinbase card has enabled Coinbase users to spend their crypto easily around the world. A user who owns a Coinbase card will receive instant notifications, transaction receipts, and spending summaries from Coinbase.

Depending on your location (US or EU/UK Region), the fees and associated costs on your Coinbase card will vary. A user in the EU & UK market will have to pay €4.95/£4.95 as a fee for plastic card issuance. There is no fee on domestic & international cash withdrawal up to £200 / 200 € per month for Coinbase cardholders in the EU & UK regions.

If the amount withdrawn is more than £200 / 200 € per month, the cardholder will have to pay 1.00% of the value of ATM withdrawal for domestic cash withdrawals. For international cash withdrawals in the EU/UK regions, the cold holders will have to pay 2.00% of the total amount withdrawn if the amount exceeds £200 / 200 € per month. For crypto liquidation, Coinbase cardholders in the EU/UK will have to pay 2.49% of the transaction as a fee.

In the United States, residents of all states, other than Hawaii, are eligible for a Coinbase card. They must also have an active Coinbase account. All US-based Coinbase cardholders can also earn up to 4% back in crypto rewards.

Cash App offers a free customizable debit card, which is connected to the Cash App balance of the user. You can use it at any place that accepts Visa cards. It supports both online and offline stores. A user must be 18 years or older to apply for the debit card offered by Cash App.

You can also add the Cash App card to your Google Pay or Apple Pay by adding the card details. If you use the Cash App card at any ATM, you will be charged only $2 by Cash App.

The issue with a Cash App card is that the crypto enthusiasts won't be thrilled to have it as it isn't a crypto debit card. Also, the Cash App card is only available in the US now.

Compare with the best crypto debit card alternatives

VisaUp to 4% XLM, 1% BTC
Visa1–5% CRO, free Spotify & Netflix
Visa / Mastercard0.5%–1.5% BTC
VisaUp to 8% BNB
Mastercard2% crypto, 1% cash

Cash App vs. Coinbase: The Takeaway

We are in the end game now. So, which is better than the other? That depends upon several factors. When it comes to fees, Cash Apps is better than Coinbase. But in terms of the number of supported countries, supported cryptocurrencies, types of deposit & withdrawal methods, and extensive features of debit cards, Coinbase is better than Cash App.

When it comes to safety and security, both Coinbase and Cash App have ensured that their products and services are highly secured. Coinbase regularly engages with regulators to ensure that they comply with all the stringent security-related measures.

Even with all the pros of Cash App, we will have to select Coinbase as the winner. Purely based on the head-to-head comparison between Coinbase and Cash App, there is not even an iota of doubt that Coinbase is miles ahead of Cash App.

The gap between Coinbase and Cash App is likely to widen even further in the crypto world, as there have been no official plans from Cash App to add more cryptocurrencies to its crypto brokerage so far.

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