Coinbase refers to the cryptocurrency company based in San Francisco, CA that provides an online exchange for purchasing Bitcoin, Ether, and Litecoin using your country's fiat currency, such as US Dollars or British Pounds. Bitcoin, abbreviated BTC, remains the most popular cryptocurrency with an aggregate market cap of more than $250 billion.
While there are now many options for purchasing Bitcoin, there are fewer options for people looking to buy Bitcoin with fiat currency like US Dollars, British Pounds, or Euros. Coinbase was one of the original companies that allowed this, and made it easy by letting customers use their bank account or credit and debit cards to make purchases. Coinbase serves 32 countries around the world, and is FDIC insured for US dollars.
If you sign up for Coinbase with this link, you will get $10 in free Bitcoin once you buy or sell $100 worth of Bitcoin in Coinbase. (Note: Wirefly will also receive $10 in Bitcoin)
However, many people want an alternative to Coinbase for a variety of reasons such as: Coinbase's website and app goes down sometimes, their country is not serviced by Coinbase, or they don't like the amount of fees that Coinbase charges. However, there are now a handful of great Coinbase alternatives.
The best Coinbase alternatives
CEX.IO, the United Kingdom-based exchange commenced operations in 2013 and supports trading of BTC and ETH. CEX is becoming extremely popular in the cryptocurrency industry, and is becoming known as the top alternative to Coinbase. In addition, CEX.IO operates in 99% of countries globally, and continually adds more countries.
CEX.IO has a very clean interface and is easy to use.
Great features of CEX.IO include the following:
It supports wire transfers for the US Dollar, Euro, UK Sterling Pound, and Russian Ruble.
The exchange offers a mobile application along with two-factor authentication for security.
It purchases BTC and ETH with credit or debit cards.
CEX provides 24/7 client support.
CEX prioritizes security of funds using the 2-FA validation procedure together with Short Messaging Service (SMS) and calls for additional protection.
BlockFi allows you to earn interest at up to 8.6% on your cryptocurrency. BlockFi also lets you borrow cash and buy or sell crypto like Bitcoin, Ethereum, USDC, GUSD, PAX, PAXG, USDT, and Litecoin. BlockFi operates with state of the art security, and uses renowned custodians like Gemini. BlockFi is backed by prominent investors such as Winklevoss Capital, SoFi, Coinbase Ventures, and more. BlockFi's native iOS app works very well and is easy to use.
Kraken launched its operations from San Francisco (USA) in 2011 and considered one of the largest BTC exchanges worldwide. It also built a name as among the most significant Euro-to-Crypto exchanges globally. Aside from BTC, Kraken trades ETH, LTC, DASH, XRP, XMR, and ten other virtual currencies. Users can purchase the different cryptocurrencies through the USD, GBP, EUR, CAD, or JPY using wire transfer or Single Euro Payments Area or SEPA.
SEPA means the payment integration program of the European Union to simplify bank transfers in EURO denomination. SEPA consists of 28 member-nations of the EU, the four member-states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), San Marion, and Monaco. The EFTA members include Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein.
Kraken does not support the purchase of virtual currencies with credit or debit cards. Significant features of Kraken include:
Two-factor verification for security
Emails support Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) and GNU Privacy Guard (GPG) signing and encryption
Produce a master key to recover accounts
PGP refers to an encryption program offering cryptographic privacy with data authentication for communications. PGP functions consist of signing, encrypting, and decrypting content, email messages, files, directories, and disk partitioning. On the other hand, GPG means implementation of public key cryptography to protect sending of information between multiple parties.
It takes some time to verify Kraken accounts using three levels. Users need the patience to go through all the phases. Follow the proper steps, so the entire process becomes efficient.
United States-based Gemini grew into one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. It complies accordingly with the New York State Department of Financial Services or NYSDFS. Some industry stakeholders describe Gemini as a next-generation digital asset system designed for investors and enterprises. The exchange operates three order-matching engines consisting of ETH/BTC, BTC/USD, and ETH/USD in 46 states of the USA, Washington (District of Columbia), Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom, Canada, Singapore, South Korea, and Hong Kong.
Gemini backs USD wire transfers from various banks located in all its areas of operation. It does not impose fees for withdrawals and wire deposits although international banks may require payments to convert currencies. It offers institutional accounts for larger trading deals in addition to personal accounts. Beginners will surely find the platform easy to navigate.
Gemini was founded by the Winklevoss twins, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.
LocalBitcoins is a cryptocurrency exchange operating from Helsinki in Finland since 2012. LocalBitcoins, or LBC, functions as peer to peer (P2P) and not the usual centralized exchange making it one of the best in this category. LBC maintains many traders in over 15, 000 urban centers all over the world. The marketplace offers an online venue for sellers and buyers to carry out offline trade transactions.
Customers can pay in cash or remit money through PayPal, SEPA, direct bank deposits, or wire transfers depending on the sellers' preferences. LBC will only require them to register their valid email addresses and verify identities to enhance trust among the traders. The company gets fees set by the traders acting as escrow manager for them. LBC always urges buyers to verify the sellers' credentials and reputation before transacting business with them.
A Bitcoin ATM is just what it sounds like: a physical machine you walk up to in order to buy Bitcoins. While not as convenient as a website, Bitcoin ATMs provide a workable alternative to Coinbase as well as centralized exchanges. Nevertheless, cryptocurrency Automated Teller Machines have not taken off except for a few countries with BTC machines. In this case, users only need fiat cash such as USD, EUR, or GBP. The Bitcoin kiosk connects to the Internet that allows inserting paper bills for BTC in the form of a public paper receipt or transfer of money to a public key on the platform called Blockchain.
A BTC ATM screen shows the QR Code that they can scan with the digital currency wallet. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released an advisory notifying the public of higher transaction fees. Meanwhile, media reports confirmed charges as high as seven percent and exchange rates $50 more than regular figures.
Mycelium Local Trader
Mycelium Local Trader refers to the LocalBitcoins-like service built into the Mycelium mobile application. The app makes use of the mobile phone's Global Positioning System (GPS) location for more natural connection with other traders. It also makes a list of sellers on the app as well. Traders can meet personally to exchange cash with the digital currency or vice-versa. Both buyers and sellers prescribe the fees while the exchange functions as the intermediary.
The trader utilizes the users' private keys for registration and confirmation with the facility's servers. Mycelium Local Trader retains information such as addresses, nicknames, trade histories, and sold orders with listed locations. To guarantee confidentiality, Local Trader employs a position with the network address as a basis or an estimate close to the address. Users can update the location by changing it manually from the Change Location selection or menu.
Local Trader logs all actions involving the server plus the trader's nickname and exact time to debug. It deletes the logs after several days. The exchange keeps trades permanently in the Chain. Local Trader encrypts all chats using the BTC keys made accessible only to the persons involved in the conversations. Mycelium servers obtain encrypted text together with time stamps.
Of course, users will make their own choices at the end. People who do not want Coinbase or do not have access to it can select other platforms freely. They can look at other means by comparing features, benefits, customer reviews, and prices. The advantages and accessibility will always remain as the bottom line of cryptocurrency users.
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