Coinbase vs Changelly Comparison

Coinbase vs Changelly

Coinbase and Changelly are two established cryptocurrency exchanges that provide different services for the blockchain community. Coinbase is primarily used as an “on-ramp” to convert fiat currency (e.g. dollars) to blockchain assets while most investors use Changelly to convert one cryptocurrency for another.

In this “Coinbase vs Changelly” review, I provide an overview of each exchange so you can easily pick which one best suits you.

We’ll go over:

Coinbase vs Changelly: Key Information

Exchange

coinbase wallet review logo

Reviews

Coinbase Review

Review Coming Soon
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, Cryptocurrency
Sell/Withdrawal Methods PayPal, Bank Transfer, Cryptocurrency Cryptocurrency
Available Cryptocurrencies Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, +69 more coins
Company Launch 2012 2013
Location San Francisco, CA, USA Prague, Czech Republic
Community Trust Great Good
Security Great Great
Customer Support Good Average
Verification Required Yes No
Fees Medium High
Site Visit Coinbase

Visit Changelly

Funding Methods

On Coinbase, you can fund your account in several ways including bank transfers, credit cards, debit cards, and bank wires. You can also fund your account with cryptocurrency (specifically Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin) but can’t exchange between them. To do this, you would need to first sell one cryptocurrency for fiat before buying another. This doubles the number of fees you pay because the process is counted as two transactions in Coinbase.

There’s no wallet on Changelly, so there’s technically no account for you to fund. Instead, you use a debit or credit card to purchase cryptocurrency and send it to a wallet outside of the Changelly system. Changelly also has an extensive list of cryptocurrencies that you can use to fund this purchase providing an easy way to exchange blockchain assets.

Because of the drastically different funding structures, I recommend Coinbase to purchase cryptocurrency and Changelly to switch between them.

Interface

Coinbase was designed with the beginner investor in mind. You can easily purchase and sell Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum with just a few clicks from their website or mobile app. Coinbase also includes a sleek dashboard to track the performance of the coins in your portfolio.

Coinbase exchange dashboard

 

Changelly also has a simple interface that you’ll have no problem using regardless of your experience level. You just select which two currencies you’d like to exchange, the amount of the currency you’re exchanging from, and which wallet to send the currency your final currency.

Changelly bitcoin interface

Even though Changelly’s exchange process was straightforward, I experienced several technical issues while using the platform. The site crashed multiple times, and several buttons wouldn’t work unless I reloaded the page. Once the Changelly team fixes these issues, the platform will be a great way for new investors to begin swapping blockchain assets.

Trading Fees

Coinbase’s easy-to-use interface comes at a price with higher trading fees than most other popular exchanges.

Coinbase charges an exchange fee when both buying and selling cryptocurrency. These fees start at 1.49% for standard buys/sells from a bank account or Coinbase wallet. The maximum fee is 3.99% for debit or credit card purchases.

Changelly only charges a 0.5% exchange fee for each trade, but poor exchange rates on the platform cause you to pay hidden fees. The exchange rates on Changelly are often at a worse rate than what’d you find on other exchange platforms (sometimes up to 50% worse).

Below is a screenshot from coinmarketcap.com, one of the most trusted sites on market information.  At the time of this writing, it lists the price of Bitcoin at $5337.69.

coinmarketcap interface

 

Using Changelly’s exchange calculator, $5338 will buy you ~.866 Bitcoin. That’s a little more than 13% shy of a full Bitcoin – much more than the 0.5% fee that they advertise.

Changelly interface

Available Cryptocurrencies

You can purchase Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum on Coinbase. There have been rumors that more coins will be added soon, but they haven’t been confirmed by the company.

Changelly supports numerous coins and pairings including:

  • Bitcoin
  • Bitcoin Cash
  • Dash
  • Dogecoin
  • Ethereum
  • Ethereum Classic
  • Factom
  • Golem
  • Lisk
  • Litecoin
  • Monero
  • Nem
  • NEO
  • Ripple
  • 58 more coins

Investors who value coin selection should choose Changelly, but I recommend you stick to Coinbase if Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin investing is your goal.

Transfer Limits

Changelly limits the amount you can exchange during your first week of making trades. US, Canadian, and Australian citizens are restricted to $50 for their first transaction. If making another purchase within 4 days, you’re limited to $100. At 7 days, your limit is $500. Beyond that, you’re free to exchange with no limit.

The transfer limit on Coinbase varies from person to person and is determined by your buying history, account age, and level of verification. As a verified U.S. account, you should be able to get weekly limits of at least:

  • $5,000 for bank account purchases
  • $50 for credit and debit card purchases

Purchases made using a credit card, debit card, or the USD wallet on Coinbase are completed instantly. Bank transfers typically took 3-5 business days, but Coinbase recently announced that users can now make these purchases instantly as well. You can expect to receive withdrawals in 2-4 business days.

Company Trust

Coinbase is located in Silicon Valley and has been exchanging funds since 2012. Boasting $20 billion of digital access exchanges across 10 million accounts, Coinbase is one of the most reputable platforms in the industry. Coinbase also has buy-in from several notable investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, and the New York Stock Exchange.

Changelly was created in 2013 by the team who made MinerGate, a bitcoin mining pool. Since its release in 2015, Changelly has grown its user base to over 500,000 traders. Before this review, I hadn’t heard much about the exchange. However, they do have notable partnerships with Coinomi and Jaxx wallet. Even with these established partners, Changelly doesn’t have the trust of some of the community because of the hidden fees/exchange rates I outlined above.

Fund Security

You should feel confident that your funds will be safe when using either of these exchanges.

Coinbase holds all U.S. dollar deposits in banks that are insured up to $250,000 per depositor. Over 98% of digital assets are kept offline on encrypted USB drives that are held in safety deposit boxes across the world alongside paper back-ups. This ensures that a malicious attack on the exchange won’t affect the majority of funds, and those that would be affected are fully insured by Coinbase.

Changelly doesn’t provide as much detail about their security policies as Coinbase does. Your funds aren’t likely to be stolen due to an attack on the exchange, though, because the platform has no storage of deposits and the transactions are instantaneous. Changelly also uses 2-factor authentication to further protect your account.

Customer Support

Coinbase has a robust support system containing an FAQ library, customer support bot, and email ticketing process to resolve complex issues. Most support tickets are answered within 1-3 business days.

Getting to customer support on Changelly isn’t intuitive. On some pages, clicking “Support” navigates you back to the homepage, and on other pages, a buggy pop-up window appears where you can enter your issue. There’s also an FAQ section on their website that answers most of the questions a beginner investor would have about their exchange.

Conclusion

Coinbase is a great platform to begin investing in blockchain assets. It’s easy-to-use interface, in-depth customer support, and simple funding process are perfect for the cryptocurrency noobie.

Changelly has the advantage if your objective is to invest in a wide range of coins. Once the issues with their customer support and website are ironed out, I have no doubt that the platform will rise in popularity. 

(See CoinCentral’s Full List of Crypto Exchange Reviews)

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Steven Buchko

Steven is a cryptocurrency writer at Coin Central and a blockchain investor. He is also the co-founder of Coin Clear, a mobile app that helps you invest your spare change into cryptocurrency.