Robinhood vs Coinbase

17 Jan, 2019 at 12:16pm

Robinhood vs Coinbase

Compared to Coinbase that has been around since 2012, Robinhood is the new kid on the block that announced its extension into the world of cryptocurrencies at the beginning of 2018. Even though Robinhood has certain benefits, it doesn’t stand a chance when pitted against Coinbase. Several reasons for this supremacy of Coinbase over Robinhood will be covered throughout this article.

Easiest Use

Let’s start with the basics which will be deciding on what platform is easier to use. Choosing a winner in this category was difficult as both platforms have an extremely easy way of use. Coinbase is designed to cater to the newcomers who wish to dabble in cryptocurrencies, while Robinhood’s app can achieve the same with its minimalistic design. This segment is essential mainly because of accessibility issues. Robinhood is a mobile-app-only platform, whereas you can use Coinbase on either your mobile phone or your computer. This is just the beginning of the limitations imposed by Robinhood.

Accessibility is also crucial when you are deciding on who can use the platform. While Coinbase is recognized worldwide, Robinhood is strictly just for the US-only market, meaning that you have to be a US resident to be able to use this application. As if that were not enough, the application is not even accessible in every US state. Of course, you could try going for a workaround and getting yourself a VPN; however, not only may it result in your account getting suspended, but it can be illegal as well. With that said, it is evident that Coinbase is our pick when it comes to the choice of the platform that is easier to use.


Almost everyone’s top priority when determining which exchange market to use are the fees. As far as Coinbase is concerned, they charge a 1.49% fee for every bank transfer, while the credit or debit card transfers come with a 3.99% fee. With Robinhood, there are no fees included whatsoever. However, although not the cheapest, Coinbase is still one of the best exchange markets around, and the reason for it can be found here, in an article we’ve previously covered. In case you are wondering why paying fees is potentially better than paying no fees, the same process of reasoning can be implemented in this scenario.

Namely, the way in which the two platforms operate is very different. Coinbase is an exchange market, whereas Robinhood acts more as an investment tool. While Coinbase buys and sells their cryptocurrency from their users directly, Robinhood’s app serves as a way to broker a deal between the buyer and the seller. 

To simplify, whenever you are buying bitcoin on Coinbase, you are paying a 1.49% or 3.99% fee that is added to the real price of bitcoin, the BPI. However, when buying on Robinhood, you are buying from other traders that can potentially inflate the price to the point that it would be cheaper to pay the fee on Coinbase. In addition, as long as everyone is trying to make a profit, it can take days, weeks, or even a year before you will be able to buy or sell your cryptocurrency on Robinhood at the desired price.

When you put it all on paper, it seems that Coinbase has still been a better option, regardless of the fees you have to pay.

Security and Utility

When comparing Coinbase to Robinhood, security and utility are closely related criteria. As a company that has been in the crypto business for a while, Coinbase is one of the safest platforms currently available on the market. They operate in the United States, so they are required to comply with many US regulations and laws. On top of that, they are backed by many reputable investors. 

Furthermore, 98% of the cryptocurrency funds are deposited and kept in offline storages, many of them being material cryptocurrency wallets that are kept in vaults around the globe. Needless to say, your funds are secure with Coinbase. However, when it comes to secure access, their platform offers multiple two-factor authentications, such as SMS text or Google Authenticator.

In terms of security, Robinhood does a similar job. As is the case with Coinbase, this application also has its investments secured; however, Robinhood Crypto isn’t a member of SIPC (Securities Investor Protection Corporation) or FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority). Concerning secure access, the Robinhood mobile app has some more options to choose from, such as face ID, touch ID, a custom PIN code or two-factor authentication.

Since both platforms seem secure and protected, when determining the one that prevails, we would have to compare the options they offer us in terms of funds security. The best option you can use for the storage of your cryptocurrency of choice is a hardware wallet. If you are new to the world of virtual currencies, you can check out our guide and properly inform yourself about the best hardware wallet for storing your funds. Therefore, as both platforms are similar in terms of security, the most significant difference comes in the form of utility. 

With Coinbase, you have your coins at your disposal, whether you wish to move them to another platform, purchase Altcoins or store them in a hardware wallet. This is not the case with Robinhood, as the coins that you possess are not yours technically. You only have their value safely stored on your mobile device, and the only thing you can do with that value is to buy/sell more currency or withdraw it to your bank account and convert it to a fiat currency.

This means that Robinhood’s users currently have no option to store their funds on a hardware wallet. For anyone that takes his or her investments seriously and works with more substantial sums, that security option, or rather lack of it, may seem like a definite no go.

Robinhood vs Coinbase Final Thoughts

Even though the platform with no fees seems quite appealing, in our opinion, Coinbase still pulls ahead. However, Robinhood is not far behind since the new platform is continuously expanding and adding new features. Currently, Coinbase stands tall and averages around 14 million users, while Robinhood is at “only” 4 million. As we have already said, Coinbase has been in the business since 2012, while Robinhood has been operating for less than a year with astonishing progress in such a short period of time. 

It would come as no surprise if Robinhood’s rapid growth poses a potential threat to Coinbase. If they expand their coin offering and their market across US borders, change a thing or two and slightly improve their way of operating, who knows, they just might as well become the next go-to cryptocurrency platform.

Want to try out a different exchange like Binance? Find out how to transfer from Coinbase to BInance with our article, here.

Photo Credits - CNBC, Steemit, Buy Bitcoin Worldwide


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About the Author


CEO at HIREQUARTERS and an entrepreneur interested in the technology and blockchain industry.

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