Coinbase and Xapo are two of the most popular cryptocurrency platforms providing exchanges and wallets services. In this Coinbase vs. Xapo review, we’ll go over everything from the key features of each platform, which platform is easiest to get started on, and ultimately which one is best for you.
Coinbase vs XAPO: Key Information
|Site Type||Easy Buy/Sell Methods||Cryptocurrency Exchange|
|Buy/Deposit Methods||Credit Card, Debit Card, Bank Transfer||Credit Card, Debit Card Bank Transfer, Cash|
|Sell/Withdrawal Methods||PayPal, Bank Transfer, Cryptocurrency||Bank Transfer, Cryptocurrency|
|Available Cryptocurrencies||Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin||Bitcoin|
|Location||San Francisco, CA, USA||Hong Kong|
Comparing the Features of Coinbase and Xapo
You might just be starting out with Bitcoin or other digital currencies and you’re not sure where to start. Who can actually be trusted to deliver what you want in exchange for your traditional hard earned fiat mullah? Coinbase and Xapo have likely both popped up during your research with plenty of haters and celebrators for each company.
So which should you choose to get started?
Both companies offer very similar services as they strive to create a trusted platform that makes switching between fiat and cryptocurrencies simple and straightforward for new users. They want to help you bridge the gap between traditional finance and digital currency without risk.
The main difference between the two companies is the selection of cryptocurrencies you are able to buy and sell. Coinbase is one of the most famous names in the industry can get you started with digital currency in a matter of minutes. Not only can you buy and hold Bitcoin, you are also able to purchase Ethereum and Litecoin with the same ease.
Coinbase also allows you to purchase Bitcoin directly from them via a credit card which is useful if you are in a hurry, but watch out for the hefty fees with this method. European and UK customers can save up to 4% on fees by depositing money via bank transfer.
Xapo is a newcomer on the crypto exchange block. Their Bitcoin services are pretty simple for new users, but it’s worth noting you can’t directly purchase Bitcoins via a credit card. They only operate in Bitcoin which is a distinct frustration for anyone wanting to expand their range of cryptocurrencies.
Once you are fully verified you can work in multiple fiat currencies. You can seamlessly transfer between Bitcoin and all major currencies, USD, GBP, Euro etc. Perfect if you are using different fiat currencies because there is no need to select a ‘local’ currency and then be stuck with high fees for moving to another alternative.
You can easily include multiple fiat currency wallets and transfer instantaneously between them at competitive exchange rates whilst viewing your overall net worth. That means you could buy your Bitcoin in pounds before switching back to euros in just a couple of clicks.
Simplicity and trust are what drive both of these providers you can buy coins directly from Coinbase and Xapo so you don’t have to learn the ins and out of trading markets. You can also decide to store your private keys offline in cold storage for industry-leading standard security. Xapo keeps its cold storage locked away inside a Swiss mountain, which makes for a cool marketing story to show they are serious about the security of your Bitcoins.
As you would expect, companies that are aiming to make cryptocurrency user-friendly have really well-structured support for their customers. As a somewhat new concept to the wider world, Coinbase does an excellent job of making you feel at home.
You are pretty much walked through every step of the process from the moment you land on their website. They greet you with information about Bitcoin and genuinely want to make the experience painless.
Xapo does a respectable job at helping the customer but for me, there are still some questions unanswered. It’s 2017, it’s Bitcoin, so you’d assume you can expect to find everything you need online, right? Xapo looks to have a pretty extensive support center, however, most of it is hollow with little helpful information. They seem to be more interested in selling their Bitcoin debit card before you even have any Bitcoins.
When it comes to customer support after you’ve signed up, both platforms are lacking. This is largely due to the large influx of people into the cryptocurrency world, and it’s likely that both platforms will improve their customer service as time goes on.
Both Companies Are Trusted by the Community
Coinbase remains a longstanding name with within the cryptocurrency world having built its reputation as early adopters and is now starting to penetrate the wider public. Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam launched the company in the summer of 2012, originally providing an exchange for professional Bitcoin traders.
Xapo has scaled fast since its 2014 birth, particularly during 2017 when they cemented their place in the Bitcoin growth. The founder Wences Casares is now seen as a thought leader in the industry, even payment giants such as Paypal seek out his advice now.
Both companies have become big players in Bitcoin’s expansion providing consumers with different options. With Coinbase growing out of the US and Xapo building from Hong Kong, there are different business ideals on the table alongside worldwide banking options.
Safe and Secure
Security is a core component to any great exchange and wallet service. Coinbase and Xapo have some of the best security out there.
Coinbase combine their easy to use service with top-tier security. They use offline storage methods and 2-step authentication meaning your account can’t be accessed with just your regular password.
Xapo offers a little more flexibility in how you store your funds, allowing you to move between online and vault storage at your discretion. They focus on constantly pushing industry security methods. You’ll find access to various parts of your account needs 2-step authentication and an extra pin code. If you really want a next layer, you can even store your Bitcoins in a mountain.
As mentioned above, Coinbase offers instant credit card purchases but this comes with a 4% interest rate which becomes pretty chunky for large Bitcoin buys. You can deposit funds into their account to purchase cryptocurrency which removes this fee but all buy transactions are still subject to a 1.5% fee rate.
Xapo has varying costs depending on how you go about your business. You’ll need to deposit money into a Xapo fiat wallet to get started. This can be done by credit card but again will result in large fees. Bank transfers are available for minimal cost or you can use a local trusted Xapo teller with varying fees. Once you have your deposit loaded you can quickly buy Bitcoin for no fee at near market value.
Coinbase has the distinct advantage of providing Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum services. If you a looking to create a portfolio of strong digital currencies then that is really helpful. Xapo on the other hand only provides Bitcoin storage and exchanges. I found this frustrating when looking to either receive or buy Litecoin to complement current Bitcoin holdings. If they are serious about providing a complete cryptowallet option then more currencies would be a bonus.
Coinbase vs Xapo: Final Thoughts
There is a lot to like about both services and neither are severely lacking when it comes to getting your Bitcoin life off to a smooth start. Coinbase might just edge it for the absolute beginner who just wants to get some cryptocurrency and learn the ropes. Xapo takes pride in their security and, with a touch more effort, can reduce your fees quite dramatically. There is top quality security from both companies but Xapo feels like your account has its own personal bodyguard.
The major deciding factor might just be currency offerings. If you want multiple cryptocurrencies then Coinbase leaps off the page. For those wanting multiple fiat currency choices, Xapo is seamless.