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BeginnerIntermediateAdvanced

Looking for applications that help you trade, manage your portfolio and keep track of your spendings? To cover the entire spectrum of trading, with stocks and one hand to cryptocurrencies on the other, try out options like Coinbase or Cash App.

Not only digital platforms for trading, but these platforms equip you with wallets, VISA debit card services, and more. Here, we present a comparison between these two rising Fintech stars so that you can choose the one that fits the best to your needs.

Coinbase Overview

Founded in 2012, Coinbase is one of the most well-known exchanges globally to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. Its digital currency wallet is widely popular as well. Moreover, Coinbase has also come up with a Coinbase card, a visa debit card funded by your Coinbase balance.

Coinbase was founded by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam. To date, it has raised total funding amounting to more than $847 million. Some of Coinbase’s most prominent investors include Abacus, ZestMoney, Horizon Blockchain Games, Blade, Coinbase CBT, Alchemy Insights, Securitize, et al. Reflecting its growth potential and the strong foundation Coinbase stands upon, it has, till date, acquired 15 organizations. The most recent acquisition was Bison Trails on Jan 19, 2021.

As a platform facilitating the procurement and sale of a wide variety of digital assets, Coinbase has registered a quarterly trade volume of $335 billion. Its services are available in more than 100 countries, and, as per the latest available numbers, it has more than 56 million verified users. Leveraging the Coinbase wallet, apart from storing all your digital assets in one place, you can use all your favorite decentralized apps and pay directly to friends rather than cryptic addresses. The Coinbase card enables you to make crypto as spendable as the money in your bank. You can use it in millions of locations worldwide to pay contactless, with a PIN, or withdrawing cash from any ATM.

Coinbase Logo

Coinbase

  • User-friendly
  • Great customer service
  • Low services fees
  • Diverse and consistently updated choice of coins
Funding Methods Debit & Credit Bank, PayPal, ACH, Bank Transfer
Cryptocurrencies 40+
Countries 100+

Coinbase Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Coinbase offers portfolio management and investment scheduling services.

  • To enhance security, Coinbase provides the facility to store your funds in a vault with time-delayed withdrawals.

  • While Coinbase maintains the majority of its digital assets in secure offline storage, the cryptos in its servers get thorough insurance coverage.

  • By learning how specific digital assets and crypto protocols work, users can earn up to $36 worth of crypto.

  • Coinbase protects its wallet keys with Secure Enclaves and the Biometric Authentication technology.

Cons

  • The accounts remain under monitoring and users don’t stay anonymous.

  • There are reports of delays in deposits and withdrawals and slow support.

  • Being a non-custodial wallet, the onus of remembering and safeguarding the private key is entirely on the user.

CashApp Overview

Developed initially to make peer-to-peer payments seamless, Cash App, over the years, has emerged as a multi-purpose application with more than 30 million monthly active users.

With Cash App’s payment service, you can send and receive money with anyone. Moreover, you can donate to a cause or tip professionals. To carry out these activities, all you need is to enter a $cashtag, phone number, or scan the payee’s QR code. Cash App also offers banking services through which you can receive your paycheck, tax returns, and other direct deposits up to two days early. To avail of these services, all you need to do is use your cash app routing and account number. The Cash card of Cash App is a free and customizable debit card letting you pay online and in stores.

Apart from its payment and banking services, the Cash App also helps you invest in stocks. Irrespective of whether you are an expert or beginner at trading, you can start investing with as little as $1. Cash App also positions itself as one of the fastest ways to convert dollars to Bitcoin. In six steps, you can buy bitcoin using your USD balance.

In terms of its ownership and funding, the service and platform of Cash App come entirely under the corporate umbrella of Square, Inc. Square was founded by Buzz Andersen, Jack Dorsey, and Jim McKelvey. Jack Dorsey also serves as the current CEO of Twitter. Square is registered in the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker NYSE: SQ. To date, it has made a total of 19 acquisitions, with the most recent one that of Tidal, acquired on March 4, 2021, for a price of $297 million.

Cash App Logo

Cash App

  • One of the simplest ways to buy Bitcoin
  • Owned by financial stalwart Square
  • You can withdraw your Bitcoin to a personal wallet, unlike competing apps
  • Really simple sign-up process
  • Reliable and trustworthy
Cryptocurrencies Supported Bitcoin only
Fees ~1.75%

Cash App Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Cash App follows PCI-DSS level 1 certification with its Bitcoin balance securely stored in the platform’s offline system.

  • Cash App offers you the scope of investing in stocks with as little as $1.

  • Using Cash App, you can instantly send Bitcoin to any $Cashtag for free.

  • Withdrawal of Bitcoin requires a bare minimum balance of 0.0001 bitcoin.

  • Transfers take between 30-40 minutes, much faster compared to many of its competitors.

  • You can deposit your paycheck directly to Cash App and the Cash App cash cards offer an ATM-withdrawal facility.

  • With Cash App’ cash boost scheme, you are eligible to receive instant discounts at your favorite merchants.

Cons

  • The application is still limited in features, especially when it comes to crypto trading.

  • Cash App’s international payments facility is only available in the UK, outside of the US.

  • Cash App funds are not FDIC-insured despite being issued by FDIC-insured Sutton Bank.

  • There is a limit on Bitcoin deposits. You can deposit up to $10,000 worth of Bitcoin in any seven days.

Beginner Friendliness

Coinbase is beginner-friendly in many ways. It incentivizes users to learn about new coins and protocols. For instance, learning how NuCypher works makes you eligible to earn NU coins worth US$3. There are several other digital assets and protocols that you can learn to earn up to $36. Some of these assets and protocols include The Graph (GRT), Celo, Compound, Stellar Lumens, Universal Market Access, Numeraire, Filecoin, Band Protocol, etc. For new users, Coinbase also offers investment scheduling services. Leveraging this service, you can invest in cryptocurrency gradually over time by scheduling your buys daily, weekly, and monthly.

Meanwhile Cash App is good for beginners as it allows newly initiated, conservative investors to start trading with as little as $1. It’s also easy for beginners to buy Bitcoin with Cash App as all it takes is six clicks on the app to convert USD into Bitcoin.

Sign Up Process

To sign up for Coinbase, you need to follow the standard industry protocols. You should be at least 18 years of age and hold a government-issued photo-id. To execute the process, you need a computer or smartphone connected to the internet and a phone number connected to your smartphone.

You can sign up for Cash App using the app on your smartphone or the website on your desktop. All you need to do for signing up is enter your email address or phone number and then type the code that will be sent to your email or phone. To connect the application with your bank, you need to enter your debit card information. After typing your full name, you can decide on your $cashtag, a unique username people can use to send money to you.

Trust and Security

Coinbase ensures a high level of security for its customers’ funds. It deploys all its digital currency through a combination of online “hot storage” and offline “cold” storage where 98% or more of customers’ digital currency remains in the cold storage. The remaining part stays in secure hot servers, ready to serve the urgent liquidity needs. The trust of its users in Coinbase’s service reflects in its user base of more than 56 million spread across more than 100 countries.

Cash App’s PIN entry, touch ID, and face ID verification protect payments. It follows the best-in-class PCI-DSS level 1 certification. The balance of the platform is securely stored offline. The app provides push, email, and text notifications to alert you of account usage. You can choose to pause card spending instantly if you feel so.

Fees

The Coinbase USD Wallet and Hosted Cryptocurrency Wallet Service is available free of charge. To facilitate buy or sell transactions, the platform charges a spread of about one-half of one percent (0.50%). It also charges a Coinbase Fee (in addition to the spread), which is the greater of (a) a flat fee or (b) a variable percentage fee determined by region. For transactions worth between less than or equal to $10 to less than or equal to $200, the fee falls anywhere between $0.99 and $2.99.

Cash App charges two types of fees on Bitcoin transactions. The first one is a service fee for each transaction and, depending on market activity, an additional fee determined by price volatility across US exchanges. Cash App charges 3% of the transaction to send money via linked credit card.

Available Cryptocurrencies

Including all the regions of US, EU, UK, and CA/SG and the services of both Coinbase and Coinbase Pro, the total number of currencies available on the platform is 57 for now.

Cash App only supports Bitcoin. It does not support any other type of cryptocurrency, including BCH or BSV.

Stand Out Features

Coinbase offers all three services of trade, wallet, and card together. You can earn while using Coinbase to learn about the market. You can also do portfolio management and schedule your crypto investments for daily, weekly, or monthly intervals.

Cash App offers entry into the stock trading market with funds as little as $1. Buying Bitcoin is fast and convenient with the app. It also offers a free, customizable debit card that fetches instant discounts.

Verdict: Coinbase Offers a More Feature-Rich Experience

Both Coinbase and Cash App offer a seamless trading experience. However, if you aim to leverage the crypto market, Coinbase is a much better option. It equips you with a wide range of crypto assets for trading, compared to Cash App’s Bitcoin-centric service. Moreover, with Coinbase, you get a wallet and card service that make your crypto holdings useful for the real world.

Cash App comes in handy when you target the entire trading ecosystem, including the most popular and valued digital asset, Bitcoin. You can use Cash App for banking, payments, stock trading with as little as $1, and a superfast Bitcoin service.

Arthur Crowson

About the Author

Arthur Crowson

Arthur Crowson is an award-winning writer and editor who hails from the Pacific Northwest. His career began in traditional news media but he transitioned to online media in the mid-2000s and has written extensively about the online poker boom and the rise of cryptocurrency.