Both eToro and Coinbase are huge hubs for cryptocurrency traders. Coinbase is the largest exchange holder of bitcoin and exchange for bitcoin with 35 million users across 100 countries. eToro is the world’s largest “social trading” platform with millions of users in about 170 countries. They are meant to offer different experiences — eToro focuses on creating a social experience around trading while Coinbase focuses on providing a full suite of convenient investment services.
Despite their distinct functionalities, there is overlap between the platforms in terms of providing an exchange for crypto trading. Both platforms are good for beginners, but there are some fundamental differences that you should know about before committing to one.
eToro vs. Coinbase: Fees
Coinbase and eToro work off very different fee schedules. eToro uses a variable spread that comes out to paying a practical maximum in the range of 3.5% for less popular alt coins. You’ll pay in the range of 0.70%–2% to buy top coins like bitcoin or ether. You also pay a flat fee of $25 to withdraw money from eToro.
The 1.49% fixed rate of Coinbase seems like an easy win for Coinbase. But that 1.49% rate is contingent on placement in certain countries — the rate can be as high as 3.99%. You also pay a nominal fee for single euro payments area (SEPA) withdrawals and a wire transfer fee of $25. You get the lowest trading fees through Coinbase Pro, which come out to 0.25% for market takers (traders who want immediate order fills) and 0.15% for market makers (traders who wait on takers to meet a specific price). If you trade at a high volume, you can get these fees reduced.
Better platform: eToro. When you compare all of the fees you’ll incur for trading crypto on both platforms, eToro comes out ahead. You may feel as though you are paying more on eToro because the variable spread means paying an immediate premium to get into a market. However, the slow drip of Coinbase eventually leaves you paying more.
eToro vs. Coinbase: Coin Selection
If you are looking for a variety of products to trade, eToro is the obvious winner. Coinbase wants to focus on the exchange of crypto and fiat currencies, so it doesn’t even try to touch the commodities, stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that eToro offers for your portfolio. If you’re focused on cryptocurrencies specifically, the race is a bit closer. Coinbase has partial or full support for 32 cryptocurrencies. eToro supports 16.
You will find the most popular crypto — Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Ripple (XRP) — on both platforms. If you want to move into the up-and-coming alt coins like Zilliqa (ZIL) or Basic Attention Token (BAT), Coinbase is where you need to be. Both platforms are relatively conservative in their selection of supported crypto.
Better platform: Coinbase. It’s in the name — this platform is built to be a base for coins. Those coins may only comprise the more popular selection of crypto, but it beats eToro so far. If you are more familiar with the forex currency pairing trading format, eToro gives you this feature with BTC/EUR and other pair trades.
eToro vs. Coinbase: Customer Support
The divergent priorities of eToro and Coinbase show themselves most obviously in the way each platform deploys its customer service offering. Coinbase has a multilayered customer service experience that begins with its online support portal. The FAQ is thorough, and its automated chatbot is adequate, though not cutting edge, when answering tougher questions. If the bot can’t handle the heat, Coinbase has old school phone and email support available.
As a streamlined social trading platform, eToro just isn’t prioritizing this kind of service. You’re expected to come into the platform with a basic understanding of how an exchange works. The eToro help center answers basic questions, but it isn’t meant to completely hold your hand. If you can’t get your question answered here, you can start a ticket. Don’t expect an immediate response. You may find a more efficient route to an answer is to ask the community. It is a social trading platform, after all.
Better platform: Coinbase. Customer support is a huge reason that the centralized crypto exchange like Coinbase continues to take liquidity from more anonymous but less well-serviced decentralized exchanges. If you are a beginner in crypto, you probably want the exchange to hold your hand a bit. This is what the Coinbase platform is built around — mass adoption through accessibility. As a result, Coinbase invests in a full-service customer support platform while eToro leaves this feature less filled out.
eToro vs. Coinbase: Ease of Use
The Coinbase user interface is straightforward and intuitive. If you are coming here from Yahoo! Finance or any other popular financial interface, you’ll feel right at home. You can tell that Coinbase is meant for casual traders, and this becomes even more evident after exploring the tiered structure of Coinbase and Coinbase Pro. Pro is obviously meant for traders with experience, and its p2p platform appeals to early adopters of crypto who are used to trading in these kinds of rooms.
Signing up with eToro is as simple as entering a little personal information and verifying your identity. Most traders will be able to create their account in as little as 10 minutes. It does, however, sacrifice a bit of accessibility to bring more educated traders a wider variety of trading products. eToro is still easy to use, but you need to have a basic education of how forex and leverage work for best results. It is also quite easy to trade a larger position than you intended if you don’t know what you are doing. eToro’s platform is easy for beginners to navigate, with simple order placement and up-to-the-minute pricing information.
Better platform: eToro. The platform is created for active traders while Coinbase geared toward casual investors.
eToro vs. Coinbase: Accounts and Features
To appeal to educated traders, eToro combines a wide variety of trade options with sophisticated integration of external crypto wallets. eToro also allows leveraged trading outside of the U.S. Of course, the famous CopyTrading feature is what separates this platform from all other competition. CopyTrading allows any user to copy any other trader, participating in the leader’s wins and losses — except in the U.S.
Coinbase does offer a signaling tool that gives anonymized data of top performers, but that is hardly the transparent, open platform eToro offers. eToro users go into the platform looking to be copied. Coinbase is actually facing scrutiny because it is allegedly releasing data without the consent of the top traders who are being monitored.
Coinbase limits its trading options to keep things simple, but it is expanding. Since February 2020, Coinbase Pro customers can trade with leverage on USD quoted books.
Better platform: eToro. If you are looking for a complete trading toolset, it is hard for Coinbase to beat eToro and remain accessible to the casual trader. However, Coinbase is beginning to branch out its Coinbase Pro feature set to model more sophisticated platforms.
Overall Winner: eToro
The platform you choose depends on the type of investor you are. Coinbase may be better for onboarding the complete beginner, but the CopyTrade feature of eToro is tough to beat with any traditional feature set. If you’re not copying, however, you will definitely find Coinbase features easier to access.
If you are trading securities, eToro is your only choice for market access. If you are trading crypto, Coinbase provides wider access to the market. With the addition of margin trading in Coinbase Pro, you have the same basic functionality in this market as eToro provides.
All else being equal, Coinbase is better for beginners. eToro is better for copiers or educated traders who want a more powerful experience.