- >Best Crypto Exchanges 2021
- >Coinbase vs Voyager: Which is Best for Getting Started with Crypto?
Coinbase Quick Overview
There’s a good chance if you’ve ever heard about crypto or Bitcoin then you know about Coinbase. The USA-based company was one of the first legitimate exchanges to come to market in the very early stages of cryptocurrency. It has become one of the most well-regarded and popular exchanges in the world. Coinbase blazed the trail for many others and became the first US exchange to be listed on the stock market in 2021. To learn more about the exchange be sure to check out our in-depth Coinbase review.
- Great customer service
- Low services fees
- Diverse and consistently updated choice of coins
Coinbase Pros & Cons
Simple and easy to use interface
Arguably the most popular cryptocurrency exchange in the world
Diverse options for fiat deposits and withdrawals
Base version of the platform has higher fees than Pro version
Complaints about customer service
Voyager Quick Overview
Voyager is a full-suite cryptocurrency financial institution that is publicly traded on the Canadian Stock Exchange (CSE) and has its own proprietary crypto token called VGX. Voyager is a mobile-only platform with apps available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, and it currently supports more than 50 different digital assets for trading and other financial services.
One of the most popular functions of the app is the ability to earn a yield on your crypto holdings. For our full Voyager review click here.
- Mobile-only platform that offers lending, earning and an exchange
- Earn up to 10% on stablecoins or 7.25% on Bitcoin
- Publicly-traded company under the ticker VGX in Canada
- Proprietary VGX tokens offer higher interest rates
Voyager Pros & Cons
Earn up to 10% APR on stablecoins or 7.25% on Bitcoin
Trade between more than 50 different digital assets
Voyager is a publicly traded company in Canada
FDIC insured (does not apply to crypto holdings)
Not available in New York
Highest interest rates require users to hold proprietary VGX tokens
Fees hidden in the spread between buy and sell orders
Slow verification process and only available on mobile
Voyager vs Coinbase at a Glance
Whether you choose Voyager or Coinbase, both are great for beginners, really the only difference in choosing which to use is what you are planning to do with your crypto.
If you are looking to trade right away, then Coinbase is your best bet, because you can make a purchase up to $9,000 without verification, and you are able to swap directly between assets. If you are looking to hold your assets and earn interest then you will probably be better off with Voyager.
Trust & Security
Both Coinbase and Voyager are extremely secure platforms that offer FDIC insurance for US users and offer two-factor authentication. However, Coinbase keeps almost all of users’ funds in cold storage whereas Voyager makes no note of anything being stored in cold storage, which likely means it is all stored in hot wallets.
For this reason, Coinbase gets the advantage here, because in the event of a hack your funds are not accessible.
This is an interesting comparison because while the regular Coinbase platform does have fairly high fees, the Pro version has much lower fees compared to Voyager.
While even if you only use the regular Coinbase platform the fees are high, the one aspect of Coinbase compared to Voyager that is of note is that you can actually exchange one asset for another, whereas on Voyager you always have to convert to USD, and then buy whatever you want.
This can incur multiple potential spread losses as you are not able to simply swap Bitcoin for Ethereum for example, you have to sell you Bitcoin for USD and then use that USD for Ethereum, which depending on the speed of the transactions can cost you a lot if the underlying values change while you are executing your transactions.
Signing up for Coinbase is a somewhat easier process because you can purchase crypto without fully verifying your account, whereas you have to undergo the full Know Your Customer (KYC) identity verification process if you are using Voyager.
That being said, if you are ever going to access all of Coinbase’s features you will need to do the whole KYC process anyways, so the difference here is mostly negligible.
Coinbase and Voyager offer a similar number of cryptocurrencies, but Coinbase gets the edge here because they allow you to swap crypto for other crypto directly, whereas on Voyager you have to always swap back to USD before buying another asset.
Coinbase’s standout feature is the same as it has been since it launched, a simple brokerage service for buying and selling crypto, albeit with much higher fees than you would get through most other exchanges. You are paying for the ease of access.
Voyager’s main draw is that you are able to earn interest on your crypto holdings, and even receive higher rates if you hold their native VGX token. While the interest rates change monthly, there are few, if any options for beginners to earn interest on your crypto holdings with no lockup period.
CryptoVantage Verdict: Coinbase for Trading, Voyager for Holding
Overall, both Coinbase and Voyager are great options for any newcomer to the crypto space, but each has a clear advantage over the other, and therefore which is best for you depends on what you plan to do with your crypto.
If you are planning on trading crypto, then Coinbase is your better bet, as you can do direct swaps without having to constantly swap back to USD and risk spreads changing mid trade. If you are planning on holding you crypto and want to earn interest on it, then Voyager is the choice for you.