Coinbase vs. Robinhood

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Contributor, Benzinga
March 25, 2024

Coinbase vs Robinhood? Coinbase is the go-to platform for crypto-dedicated investors while Robinhood suits investors who want to blend investments in major cryptos with stock trading.

The rapidly expanding crypto community has triggered a corresponding surge in the number of cryptocurrency exchanges and brokers over the past decade. Amid the hundreds of options out there, Coinbase and Robinhood have made their mark as popular and user-friendly platforms for trading crypto. But which of them should you go for to optimize your strategies and results?

This Coinbase vs. Robinood comparison explores their different services and offerings to help you decide on the best crypto broker for your specific preferences and goals. 

Disclosure: eToro supports the following currencies: BTC, ADA, DASH, DOGE, EOS, ETH, LTC, NEO, XLM, XTZ, TRX, ZEC. eToro USA LLC; Investments are subject to market risk, including the possible loss of principal. T&Cs apply. *The bonus is available to Benzinga readers in the US for open states only. Served by eToro USA LLC.

​​Coinbase vs. Robinhood: At a Glance

​​Coinbase vs. Robinhood: Overview

Coinbase and Robinhood are two prominent platforms in the financial technology sector, each with a unique approach to granting access to different financial markets.

What is Coinbase?

Coinbase is a top platform for trading cryptocurrencies, where people can easily buy, sell and store various digital currencies. It was started in June 2012 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam. 

Coinbase's goal is to create a financial system that's open to everyone around the globe. They want to be the go-to brand worldwide for helping folks convert digital money into their local currency and back again.

What is Robinhood?

Robinhood is a financial services company that made a name for itself by introducing commission-free trading of stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) through its mobile app. It was set up in 2013 by Vladimir Tenev and Baiju Bhatt. 

Robinhood's primary mission is to make finance accessible to everyone by providing an easy-to-use platform where users can invest in the stock market without needing a minimum account balance or paying commissions. Over time, it has also added cryptocurrency trading to its list of services.

Coinbase vs. Robinhood: Key Features

Coinbase focuses on providing a comprehensive crypto ecosystem with educational support, while Robinhood emphasizes easy access to the market with no commissions and additional financial products like stocks and options.

​​Coinbase Features

  • Intuitive trading platform: Coinbase shines with a user-friendly platform equally suitable for beginners and active traders. Users can simply and securely trade various cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin, among others.
  • Coinbase Prime: Tailored for sophisticated investors and institutions, Coinbase Prime is a full-service prime brokerage platform that integrates trading, financing and custody services to manage crypto investments effectively
  • Visa debit card: Provides a Visa debit card to spend your cryptocurrency easily.
  • Coinbase wallet: A personal, separate crypto wallet to store digital assets. This wallet gives users control over their crypto, allowing them to engage with decentralized finance (DeFi), buy and sell NFTs and more.
  • Staking: Users can earn rewards by staking their cryptocurrencies.
  • Educational resources: Offers educational courses and quizzes about crypto that reward users with small amounts of crypto.
  • Advanced trading tools: Designed for the advanced trader, these tools include real-time order books, deep liquidity and advanced charting capabilities for a comprehensive trading experience.

Robinhood Features

  • Commission-free trading: Robinhood allows users to trade stocks and ETFs without paying any commission, although additional fees may apply.
  • Interest on uninvested cash: Users can earn interest on cash that's not currently invested, with higher rates available for Gold subscribers.
  • 24/5 trading: The platform enables trading at any time, day or night, from Monday to Friday, providing 24-hour trading opportunities.
  • Fractional shares: Users have the option to buy and sell fractional shares of stocks and ETFs, allowing for smaller investments.
  • Stock lending: Robinhood offers a stock lending program that allows users to participate and earn extra income.
  • Investment options: Robinhood provides access to a wide range of investment choices including stocks, ETFs, options and certain over-the-counter (OTC) securities.
  • Cryptocurrency services: Users can trade various cryptocurrencies on the platform.
  • Cash management: The platform includes a spending account and a cash card for everyday transactions.
  • Retirement accounts: Robinhood offers retirement account options, allowing users to plan for the future.

Coinbase vs. Robinhood: Supported Cryptocurrencies

Coinbase boasts an extensive range of supported cryptocurrencies. As of March 2024, Coinbase Prime accommodates over 260 digital assets and facilitates trading across 300 different trading pairs. Users can securely custody more than 425 digital assets spanning 38 different chains. The platform's general user-friendly interface also supports a broad spectrum of cryptocurrencies, including major ones like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and numerous ERC-20 tokens.

Robinhood, however, provides a more curated selection, though it includes many popular cryptocurrencies. It allows the trading of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Dogecoin (DOGE) and Litecoin (LTC), among others. As of the latest data, Robinhood supports the buying and selling of 15 cryptocurrencies and provides real-time market data for an additional 61.

Coinbase vs. Robinhood: Fees

Coinbase requires a minimum trade of $2 and charges trading and transaction fees that vary based on factors such as payment method, cryptocurrency type, transaction size and market conditions. The platform includes a spread in the quoted price for simple buy and sell orders, as well as in the exchange rate for conversions. Coinbase also provides staking rewards on a selection of coins and takes a commission from the rewards.

Robinhood sets a minimum trade requirement of $1 and does not charge any trading or transaction fees. However, Robinhood may earn revenue from market makers for routing orders to them. 

Coinbase vs. Robinhood: User Interface

Coinbase and Robinhood both prioritize user-friendliness, especially for beginners.

Coinbase offers a full-service crypto exchange experience through its website and mobile app. It provides easy navigation and includes educational resources, financial tools and a variety of features for trading and managing cryptocurrencies. The platform supports over 260 cryptocurrencies and more than 400 crypto-to-crypto trading pairs.

Robinhood is known for its simple and intuitive interface, making trading quick and easy. Its mobile app is particularly known for its user-friendly design, making it a preferred choice for those who primarily invest through mobile devices. Robinhood's interface provides access to charts, news and data both on its website and mobile app. While it may lack some of the advanced crypto-specific features of Coinbase, it serves as a functional platform for trading a limited set of cryptocurrencies alongside other asset classes like stocks and ETFs.

Coinbase vs. Robinhood: Security

While both platforms prioritize security, Coinbase provides a more comprehensive set of security features for cryptocurrency users.

Coinbase implements robust security measures, including two-step verification and cold storage for the bulk of customer funds. It also offers insurance for digital assets against certain types of losses and provides FDIC insurance for balances up to $250,000 per customer. Coinbase uses AES-256 encryption for digital wallets and allows users the option to store coins on the exchange as a hot wallet or create a non-custodial wallet.

Robinhood employs two-step verification and cold storage for customer funds. It also offers FDIC insurance for balances in U.S. dollars and SIPC coverage for ETFs, stocks and cash funds. However, unlike Coinbase, Robinhood does not provide insurance for crypto assets. Also, users cannot access private keys or secure their wallets in the same way as Coinbase, limiting some aspects of self-custody.

Coinbase vs. Robinhood: Customer Support

Customer support on both platforms has room for improvement in terms of response times and resolution effectiveness. 

Coinbase provides 24/7 customer support through various channels, including email, phone and a help center. Its phone service is direct, with a listed phone number for users to call. Still, the platform has faced criticism for delays in responding to support requests.

Robinhood also offers 24/7 customer support for logged-in customers via phone. However, users need to request a callback from the app, which some may find less convenient than having a direct phone line. Similar to Coinbase, Robinhood has received criticism for slow response times and unhelpful responses.

Disclosure: ²Sum of median estimated savings and rewards earned, per user in 2021 across multiple Coinbase programs (excluding sweepstakes). This amount includes fee waivers from Coinbase One (excluding the subscription cost), rewards from Coinbase Card, and staking rewards. ³Crypto rewards is an optional Coinbase offer. Upon purchase of USDC, you will be automatically opted in to rewards. If you’d like to opt out or learn more about rewards, you can click here. The rewards rate is subject to change and can vary by region. Customers will be able to see the latest applicable rates directly within their accounts

Choosing Your Crypto Companion: Robinhood vs. Coinbase 

Coinbase offers an extensive range of supported cryptocurrencies, robust security measures and a user-friendly interface tailored to beginners and seasoned traders. Robinhood distinguishes itself with commission-free trading across various financial markets, making it an excellent option for those seeking a diversified portfolio.

The decision between Coinbase and Robinhood hinges on individual preferences and trading objectives. Coinbase appeals to crypto-focused investors looking for a wide array of digital assets and advanced trading tools. Robinhood is ideal for traders seeking a straightforward, commission-free platform with access to broader financial markets.

Regardless of the choice, both platforms offer avenues for exploration and engagement in cryptocurrency trading, each with its unique approach and offerings.

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About Anna Yen

Anna Yen, CFA is an expert crypto writer with over two decades of professional finance and writing experience in roles within JPMorgan and UBS derivatives, asset management, crypto, and Family Money Map. She specializes in writing about alternative investment topics ranging from derivatives to cryptocurrencies. Her work has been published on sites like the crypto exchange Bybit. After six years of personal experience investing in crypto, she prefers BTC, ETH, and SOL.