Coinbase vs CEX.IO Comparison

Popular Article
DAOs EcoSapiens
ReFi landscape
DAOs EcoSapiens

Regenerative Finance 101: A Guide to Crypto’s ReFi Movement

Coinbase and CEX.IO are two well developed long-standing cryptocurrency exchange platforms. They look to provide well-rounded solutions for new users to enter and trade within the industry.

In this Coinbase vs CEX.IO comparison, you’ll find an in-depth view of the offered features, how they compare, and which service best suits your needs.


coinbase wallet review logo


Coinbase Review

CEX.IO Review

Site Type Easy Buy/Sell Methods Cryptocurrency Exchange
Beginner Friendly
Mobile App
Buy/Deposit Methods Credit Card, Debit Card, Bank Transfer, Cryptocurrency Credit Card, Debit Card Bank Transfer
Sell/Withdrawal Methods PayPal, Bank Transfer, Cryptocurrency Bank Transfer, Cryptocurrency
Available Cryptocurrencies Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Dash, Zcash
Company Launch 2012 2013
Location San Francisco, CA, USA London, United Kingdom
Community Trust Great Great
Security Great Great
Customer Support Good Good
Verification Required Yes Yes
Fees Medium Low/Medium
Site Visit Coinbase Visit CEX.IO

Coinbase vs CEX.IO, How do they compare?

There are a number of reasons why you might consider using either service.

If you’re just looking to get started, both have easy buy options. The ease of use is where Coinbase shines. However, if you want a more elegant solution to step up your trading needs, CEX.IO is a better choice.  Coinbase really makes it easy for the first time user while CEX.IO add in some more advanced features to take advantage of.

CEX.IO is a company with deep roots in the industry and they’ve focused on creating an exchange loaded with features for the intermediate investor. The easy buy and sell options will appeal to cryptocurrency newcomers, and allows for the purchase of currency from the company directly and sell it back to them. This is a tidy option if you don’t want to spend time learning to trade on the market. It costs a premium in the form of fees compared to standard market rates but this is pretty standard across the industry, especially when using a credit or debit card.  

More knowledgeable users get on well with the CEX.IO platform. You can trade multiple cryptocurrencies on the open markets. This is useful for those wanting to execute high-volume trades with lower fees. There are even a margin trading features to help maximize (or minimize..) profits.

CEX.IO Market Trading

Coinbase is a similar platform to CEX.IO but offers less advanced features. The Coinbase team has developed one of the most recognizable brands in the blockchain industry thanks to their user-friendly design.

The service makes buying and selling Bitcoin and Ethereum a cinch. You can whip up an account and order your cryptocurrency almost instantaneously. Similar to CEX.IO, you can purchase using a credit card for a higher fee. It’s recommended you take the time to do a bank transfer for cheaper rates.

There is no open market trading available directly through Coinbase. You need to work with the sister company GDAX for more advanced features. Beginners might like this as it poses less intimidating options from within the platform.

Coinnbase homepage


Customer Support

Customer support can be a bit hit and miss across the cryptocurrency industry as a whole. For most exchanges, you can find both glowing reports and damning reviews. This can often be due to the userbase not understanding cryptocurrencies and the amount of support required is overwhelming, or simply just the mark of a developing industry.

CEX.IO generally provide support over email. Their team is usually prompt in replying to any queries and the service runs smoothly. The FAQ and help centre is particularly pleasing as many companies just pay lip service to the area. There is a wealth of helpful information including helpful guides to subjects like margin trading.

CEX.IO Margin Trading

Coinbase has a pretty convenient customer service operation too. You’ll need to contact the company via email. Response times are anywhere between 24 to 72 hours depending on the nature of your query. The website is relatively helpful with a decent support centre and a few introductory guides. The homepage feels aimed at new cryptocurrency buyers. It’s simple and straightforward, limiting the margin of error significantly when compared to more robust exchanges. 

Both Companies are Trusted in the Industry

Coinbase was launched in 2012 and has seen plenty of ups and downs in the industry from its San Francisco home. It is a really well-known name and probably one of the first places new users find when looking buy Bitcoin. The company responds to and works within regulations that are creeping into cryptocurrency. Notable backers of the company include Reddit Co-Founder, Alexis Ohanian, and Bank Of Tokyo.

CEX.IO has been in operation since 2013. It spawned out of the first ever cloud mining service to create a trusted exchange. Originally it ran both features, but in recent years they have dropped cloud mining to focus on the exchange. Using London as a base, it is a fully registered legal company that provides cryptocurrency trading for users across the globe. Naturally, it is particularly convenient for European users.


It’s no secret there is a history of security issues with cryptocurrency, especially when it comes to massive piles Bitcoin. Both of these companies have been around for a few years which is always a nice factor. They have both had plenty of experience in building a secure platform.

CEX.IO is not as open with their security methods as other companies. Many exchanges, including Coinbase, take pride in telling you how safe your funds will be. CEX.IO uses cold storage, meaning your funds would be stored offline and away from hackers. Two-factor authentication is also in operation which stops your account being accessed with just a single password. This is a particular feature I always look for and should really be a standard feature with any financial account. It would be nice to access more information on the CEX.IO security, if just for peace of mind.

Coinbase uses notable security methods and is very upfront about how your funds are kept safe. They also use two-factor authentication on every account. The bulk of funds are in cold storage spread between vaults and safety deposit boxes around the world. Any online funds are insured by a Lloyds of London syndicate, a reassuring touch.


Fees can vary dramatically from company to company. It is important to pay attention to how you are buying cryptocurrency as some methods can be painfully expensive.

CEX.IO offers various ways to do business. You can use the easy buy and sell feature but this has a 7% markup on market prices. If you choose to pay with a credit card you will be hit with another 3.5% fee. Expensive yes, but it’s not unusual to see upwards of a 10% fee from companies when you buy with a credit card.

You are able to deposit funds via a bank transfer which is far more cost-effective, especially if you are trading on the exchange for a 0.2% fee. It might take a little longer to set up but it will save you a fair few quid on large orders.

Coinbase gives clear information on fees for the user. Credit Card purchases run a cost of 3.99% and buy transactions have a 1.49% fee. Free bank transfer deposits will help to rid those pesky credit card fees.

Cryptocurrencies Supported

Both companies offer an adequate range of cryptocurrencies to buy and sell. Coinbase supports the buy, sell, and storage of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.

CEO.IX has a slightly more expanded range to trade. You can pick from Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash Ethereum, Dash and Zcash. The omission of Litecoin can be a little frustrating.

Coinbase vs CEO.IX Comparison Summary

So, all in all, there are some very similar offerings from the two platforms. Both have an appeal for new users to get hold of various currencies almost instantly.

CEX.IO is clearly a little more feature rich and suits people looking to do a bit more than just buy to hold. The trading options are decent and you can work with low fees if you are willing to use the trading exchange.

Coinbase is super easy to understand for new buyers and is a simple option if you want to start building a cryptocurrency portfolio. The user-friendly interface of Coinbase simply is yet to be beaten by any platform out there.

Europeans might prefer CEX.IO as they make it painless for Euro bank account holders whilst North Americans might be happier with the US-based Coinbase.

Legal Disclaimer

CoinCentral’s owners, writers, and/or guest post authors may or may not have a vested interest in any of the above projects and businesses. None of the content on CoinCentral is investment advice nor is it a replacement for advice from a certified financial planner.