Coinbase vs GDAX

A lot of people remain confused about the Coinbase and GDAX platforms. Both projects are part of the same overarching team, yet they cater to very different types of traders and users. It is certainly possible to use both services as either a novice or professional trader. However, there are some subtle differences between both platforms which are worth highlighting.

2. Coinbase

Most Bitcoin users are all too familiar with the Coinbase platform. It is more than just an exchange, as Coinbase also provides merchant services and a Bitcoin wallet solution. Over the years, Coinbase has also expanded its presence around the world, allowing them to attract more customers in the process. Additionally, Coinbase was crowned the highest-funded Bitcoin startup back in 2013.

It quickly became evident providing a convenient gateway to buy and sell Bitcoin was not the only lucrative business model. Allowing merchants to accept Bitcoin and have payments (partially) converted to fiat currency for a small fee has been a high priority for the company as well. Moreover, the introduction of credit and debit card support has enabled Coinbase to strengthen its position on the market.

This pretty much sums up what Coinbase is all about. The company is designed for consumers to buy, sell, and store digital currencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum. It is a consumer-grade type platform that looks to make the onboarding process for cryptocurrency as straightforward as possible. The wallet service gives newcomers a convenient solution to keep their coins safe as well.


One could argue there is no need for an additional service by the same team because Coinbase is doing well. However, the launch of GDAX was a well-weighed decision. More specifically, Coinbase is an entry-level exchange, so to speak, which offers next to no appealing features for professional traders. GDAX, on the other hand, does exactly that, as it is designed for professionals looking to trade digital assets.

This latter part is quite worthy to take note of. Digital currencies and digital assets are not the same by any means. Additionally, GDAX does not provide an official wallet service, nor are they looking to introduce merchant services at this point. It is an entirely different business model from Coinbase, to say the least. Interestingly enough, GDAX also supports both Bitcoin and Ethereum, although additional assets will be listed in the coming years.

It is evident GDAX is designed to cater to sophisticated and professional traders. Anyone looking to just buy and sell Bitcoin and Ethereum can easily use either Coinbase or GDAX. Those who want convenience will choose Coinbase, as it provides an all-in-one solution, so to speak. It is good to see the owners of both platforms focus on different markets in this regard. Both services offer something valuable to the right group of people.

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  • Cameron Cowles
    • bahaha, yeah right. polo is not to be trusted.

      • NWBitcoin

        Let us not forget the flash crash of ETH at GDAX. No Exchange is immune. One comparison is ‘inferior’ meaning one is better than the other. And the other is ‘not to be trusted’ which is to say keep your money off there. I would say you take a certain risk where ever. Just be careful, you are in control.

  • Robert Dennis

    Gdax often significantly more expensive than other exchanges. If you look at the difference, you’ll see it is near enough 3.99% which is the same amount as they charge for debit card fees.