Customers in the United States are a bit spoiled when it comes to buying Bitcoin these days. Various exchanges allow for quick and easy conversion from fiat to digital currency, and both Circle and Coinbase are two of the main sources where people buy Bitcoin. Every single one of these platforms has its advantages and drawbacks.
Also read: What are Bitcoin Debit Cards
Circle – Variety of Payment Methods And Low Fees
There are a few defining factors which separate exchanges from one another, and Circle is one of those platforms where low fees are a main point of focus. Anyone registering for Circle can use their account free of charge, even when it comes to adding fiat currency funds to the account balance.
This brings us to another area where Circle sets itself apart from Coinbase, as the exchange platform accepts wire transfers as well as credit and debit card transactions to add funds to the account balance. While there are various reasons as to why a combination of Bitcoin and reversible payment methods can be a very bad idea, Circle is willing to take a gamble, as users can even buy Bitcoin with their credit card without having to verify their identity, although a maximum purchasing limit will be imposed.
Remaining on the topic of the Circle account services for a minute, users can both send and receive money to and from friends directly with a debit or credit card. Do keep in mind a third-party fee will be added to the credit card transfer, as Circle is not processing these transactions themselves. Additionally, mobile devices can be used to send and receive funds, as the Circle app is available to both Android and iOS devices.
International users have access to the services provided by Circle as well, although there are some differences compared to their US counterparts. Some countries will not be able to use existing debit or credit cards with the platform, as they are not officially supported by any means. More global support is on the company’s to-do list, but it will take some time until this type of functionality becomes available. Wire transfers will work without a problem although they are rather expensive and can take several business days to complete.
Coinbase – Less Payment Options And High Fees
Coinbase is a well-known name in the world of Bitcoin and digital currency, as the company offers a variety of services. First and foremost, there is the exchange platform, which is also directly linked to their Bitcoin wallet service. As a result, it is completely free to use their online platform, as long as transfers take place in Bitcoin rather than fiat currency.
Converting Bitcoin to a local currency with Coinbase is among the list of possibilities, but there is a 1% fee associated with this process. Similarly, there is a 1% fee when buying Bitcoin from the company, and additional bank fees might become applicable, depending on the user’s location.
Speaking of supported payment methods, Coinbase customers are limited to bank account transfers only. A small list of countries is supported unless the user has access to a US-based account, which should always work. Additional payment options may be introduced in the future, although credit card transactions are already available to US customers who have linked and verified their bank account.
All in all, both platforms have their advantages and drawbacks when it comes to buying and selling Bitcoin. For smaller amounts, Circle seems to be a clear winner wit their zero-fees schedule. Larger amounts may work in favor of Coinbase although it will depend on where the user is located. More thorough reviews of both platforms will be coming in the next few weeks.
Images courtesy of Circle, Coinbase, Shutterstock