Coinbase Pro has lower fees than regular Coinbase, but trades generally take longer to complete. So for people who aren’t day-trading crypto, Coinbase Pro is probably a better idea.
Just like Coinbase, Coinbase Pro allows customers to deposit directly from their bank account via a secure app provided by their bank. This means that Coinbase Pro never receives your banking information, keeping that information private.
Coinbase Pro Review: A Complete Guide
Coinbase Pro, formerly known as GDAX, is the professional trader component of Coinbase. They bill themselves as being “the most trusted platform for trading cryptocurrency,” which may very well be true as they have never been hacked.
To this end, Coinbase Pro also employs very sound security practices and has a stellar reputation for taking good care of its customers. In addition, the company is insured and backed by some of the largest investors in the trading industry, including the New York Stock Exchange, Andreessen Horowitz, and Union Square Ventures.
However, with peace of mind comes a price, as Coinbase Pro’s trading fees are significantly higher than most other cryptocurrency trading platforms. The exchange is also a bit lacking in terms of withdrawal processing speed, but for those who value security and dependability, there’s probably no better exchange in this regard.
It helps to already have a Coinbase account set up before using Coinbase Pro. Then, you can easily link the accounts via email address, but this is not mandatory.
Why Choose Coinbase Pro?
For those who want to trade on the safest, most secure, and well-regulated cryptocurrency exchange the industry has to offer, there’s no other choice than Coinbase Pro. Coinbase started on a mission to provide regular users with an easy way to safely buy cryptocurrency, carrying over this ethos to Coinbase Pro.
They offer several of the market’s most popular coins and a customer base of several million regular users, a great deal of liquidity — meaning it is easy to buy and sell coins quickly, at fair prices.
Cryptocurrencies can be securely traded, stored on, or transferred from the site. Moreover, with customer deposits insured up to (at least) $200,000, you’ll never have to worry about your coins suddenly disappearing from within the system.
How Coinbase Pro Was Established
Initially launched as Coinbase Exchange in 2015, Coinbase Pro was born out of Coinbase’s desire to provide its customers with a trading solution in which they could buy and sell coins from each other in a manner more flexible than they previously allowed. In addition, with exchange hackings continually rocking the world of cryptocurrency, Coinbase also wanted to introduce a safer, more secure trading experience that surpassed all others. Having never been hacked in almost five years of operation, Coinbase Pro has succeeded in that goal.
In May 2016, Coinbase Exchange was rebranded as GDAX (Global Digital Assets Exchange), adding support for Ethereum shortly after. In March 2017, Coinbase obtained the highly sought-after BitLicense issued by the state of New York, making them one of the first (and only) major cryptocurrency exchanges to do so.
In December 2017, they added support for Bitcoin Cash. GDAX was rebranded as Coinbase Pro in May 2018, subsequently adding over 20 new cryptocurrencies to their lineup over the following two years.
How to Register an Account on Coinbase Pro
The registration process for Coinbase Pro is relatively simple. Just visit their home page and click “Sign Up.”
New customers need to verify their email address and phone number. They will also ask for your full name and address, as well as some basic questions about your source of funds, profession, and how you plan to use their exchange.
Lastly, you will be asked to provide your date of birth and the last four digits of your SSN.
To get your Coinbase Pro account verified, you will be asked to upload a form of a government-issued ID to link a bank account, along with a picture of yourself (this step can be skipped, but you will need to finish it to perform any type of trading).
Types of accepted IDs include passport, state ID, driver’s license, and another official, government-issued photo ID. After you have sent a picture of your document and your selfie, you will be transferred to a screen that says, “We’re verifying your ID … We will email you once your verification has completed.” If the pictures are clear and readable by Coinbase Pro, this process takes as little as a few minutes. However, if they are unclear or there are other problems with your upload, it could take as long as 24 hours (or even a week in some cases).
If you already have a Coinbase account, you can instantly register for Coinbase Pro by connecting your account through your email address. Then, just click “Sign in” from the homepage and enter the same email and password you use for Coinbase.com. This saves a lot of time and hassle as it can sometimes take up to a week for the personal ID and banking method verification to complete.
Coinbase Pro allows crypto/fiat trading for customers in the U.S., U.K., and most European countries. European countries are limited in fiat/crypto trading, but trading USDC/crypto pairings can easily overcome this barrier. Crypto/crypto trading is allowed in several additional countries; you can find the complete list here. For those in the U.S., residents from every state are allowed to register except Hawaii.
Funding Your Coinbase Pro Account
If you already have a Coinbase account, funding your account is relatively easy as you can transfer funds directly from Coinbase.com. Otherwise, the most common ways to make a fiat deposit are through bank transfer (ACH, SEPA, and wire deposits are allowed). Fiat currencies supported by Coinbase Pro include USD, EUR, and GBP.
After connecting your bank account or another payment method, you can make deposits from the Trade screen by clicking on “Deposit” under Wallet Balance. Then, select the currency you wish to deposit, your bank account under From, specify the amount you want to deposit and click “Deposit.” ACH deposits usually take between 5-10 business days, while wire transfers are typically available after one business day.
You can make crypto deposits in 3 ways:
- Crypto Address: transfer funds from an address outside of Coinbase. It will take three confirmations before the funds appear in your trading account.
- Coinbase Pro Portfolio: transfer funds from your Coinbase Pro Portfolio to your trading account (instant).
- Coinbase.com: transfer funds directly from the balances in your Coinbase account (instant).
There are no fees for depositing cryptocurrencies or fiat via ACH or SEPA deposit, but there is a $10 deposit fee for wire transfers.
Trading on Coinbase Pro
Coinbase Pro’s trading screen is limited in information and functionality compared to many other crypto trading platforms. Charts can be displayed in line or candle format. The candles represent one minute to one day, and you can select two different moving average overlays (12 and 26 days). There are three basic types of orders: Market, Limit, and Stop.
- Market Order: Place this type of order if you want to buy/sell coins at the current market price.
- Stop Order: Place this type of order if you want to buy/sell coins at a specific price, including prices beyond the stop price.
- Limit Order: Place this type of order if you want to buy/sell coins at precisely a specific price.
In addition to using the search function to find the coin you wish to trade, coin pairings are divided into six categories: All, USD, USDC, BTC, DAI, and ETH. This means that all other coins are paired with one or more of these selections.
This section contains all the information about your open orders and your order history. It is divided into three tabs: Open, Filled, and Fees. This is the easiest way to keep track of your orders (rather than by viewing them from the trading screen) and will let you know exactly how much you’ve paid in fees in the last 30 days. The Fees tab will also show you your current fee tier is — the more trades you make in 30 days, the lower fees you will have to pay on each future trade.
This section allows you to see the current contents of your Coinbase Pro portfolio. You will need to transfer coins in and out of your portfolio to your trading account to use them to make trades (this is quite simple and can be done with the click of a button). In addition to your default portfolio, it is also possible to create custom portfolios in case you want to run multiple portfolios under the same account.
This section allows you to instantly convert deposited USD (and other fiat currencies) into USD Coin (USDC), an Ethereum-based stablecoin that can quickly be withdrawn. There are also several USDC-based pairings from which to choose. In addition to withdrawing coins off the exchange from the Trading screen, you can also remove any coin from your Portfolio to an external platform, as well.
At present, margin trading is unavailable on Coinbase Pro, but there is a waitlist you can join, which you can find in your user profile’s “Margin” tab. Click “Join Waitlist,” and you will be notified by Coinbase Pro when their margin trading feature has been implemented (they are rolling it out region-by-region through the course of 2020).
According to the information in the tab, it would appear that margin trading will allow users to borrow up to $10,000 and 3x leverage for their trades.
Overview of Supported Coins
Coinbase Pro carries all of the coins supported by Coinbase.com and then some. Here is a complete list of the cryptocurrencies currently being backed by Coinbase Pro, in alphabetical order:
- 0x (ZRX)
- Algorand (ALGO)
- Augur (REP)
- Basic Attention Token (BAT)
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Chainlink (LINK)
- Civic (CVC)
- Compound (COMP)
- Cosmos (ATOM)
- Dai (DAI)
- Dash (DASH)
- Decentraland (MANA)
- district0x (DNT)
- EOS (EOS)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Ethereum Classic (ETC)
- Golem (GNT)
- Kyber Network (KNC)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Loom Network (LOOM)
- Maker (MKR)
- OMG Network (OMG)
- Orchid (OXT)
- Ripple (XRP)
- Stellar (XLM)
- Tezos (XTZ)
- Zcash (ZEC)
In all, Coinbase Pro currently offers 67 different coin pairings. Of course, BTC/USD is the dominant pairing in terms of trading volume, followed by KNC/USD, ETH/USD, and COMP/USD. At the other end of the spectrum, the coin pairings with the least volume are CVC/USDC, GNT/USDC, DNT/USDC, and MANA/USDC.
Coinbase Pro Trading and Withdrawal Fees
Trading fees on Coinbase Pro are significantly higher than those on other cryptocurrency exchanges, and this aspect is probably their biggest weakness. For example, taker fees (buying/selling at the current market price) and Maker fees (placing orders at prices above or below current market price) are both 0.50%, which is high compared to many other top-tier exchanges that usually advertise fees between 0.10% and 0.25%.
Fees are discounted on a tiered structure for trading activity higher than $10,000: 0.35% for Maker/Taker fees up to $50,000, 0.25% Taker fees and 0.15% Maker fees up to $100,000, and 0.20% Taker fees and 0.10% Maker fees up to $1,000,000. There are additional discounts for trading activity beyond $1 million in size.
Simply click the “Withdraw” button from the Trade screen to make a withdrawal. There are no fees for withdrawing any funds back and forth from Coinbase and Coinbase Pro accounts or portfolios. In addition, there is no fee for withdrawing money to a bank account via ACH or SEPA transfer, but if you want to withdraw via wire transfer, you will be charged a $25 fee.
When withdrawing crypto to a wallet/address outside of Coinbase Pro, a transaction fee will be charged based on the estimate of the coin network’s average fees at the time of the transaction. All transaction fees are presented at the time of the withdrawal request.
Withdrawals are limited to $10,000 per day. If you want to increase your limits, you must submit a formal request to Coinbase Pro.
Making a Withdrawal
Withdrawals can be performed directly from the trading screen by clicking the “Withdraw” button under the Wallet Balance menu in the left panel. The withdrawal process is pretty much the same as the deposit: coins can be withdrawn to outside addresses, to your Coinbase Pro Portfolio, or your Coinbase.com account. In addition, there is no fee for withdrawing to a Coinbase-related account like with deposits.
Coinbase Pro Security
As mentioned previously, Coinbase Pro takes its security very seriously, and there isn’t a safer exchange for your funds.
Much like with Coinbase.com, Coinbase Pro also has an excellent customer support staff on hand that can help you to resolve security issues quickly. Phone support is also available (but only on weekdays). It is possible to have your account locked through phone support if you feel the account has been compromised.
Coinbase Pro Mobile App
Coinbase Pro does have an app for both Android and Apple iOS mobile devices. It allows you to do pretty much anything you could do with the desktop version of the exchange, including placing limit and market orders, reviewing your portfolio, and making fiat and crypto deposits/withdrawals.
While the app’s design is fine, many app users have reported frequent lag between when orders are typed and placed in the order book. Additionally, some users have reported that the app often crashes, making the trading experience frustrating. Therefore, it is not recommended to count on the app to conduct trades until you have determined how reliable it is on your own device.
Benefits of Coinbase Pro (over competitors)
- Excellent security, reliability, high degree of legal compliance.
- Simple, easy-to-use interface.
- Supports numerous fiat/crypto and crypto/crypto pairings.
- Free and instant transfer of assets to and from Coinbase-related accounts.
Limitations/Cons of Coinbase Pro
- High trading fees compared to competitors.
- Very limited degree of technical analysis indicators and chart customization options.
- Potential for your off-system coin movements to be tracked and/or shared with authorities.
- Not much liquidity for fiat pairings outside of USD.
Wrapping it up
In all, Coinbase Pro is a sleek, high-functioning exchange that both novice and experienced traders can use. There’s probably no way to get a sounder piece of mind when depositing your fiat currency or coins for cryptocurrency trading.
Though their trading fees are a bit high and their trading screen lacks some of the technical analysis tools you will frequently find at other exchanges, they make up for this by offering iron-clad safety measures and a decent degree of liquidity for several trading pairs. So if security is your #1 priority, Coinbase Pro should be your go-to exchange for trading, storing, and transferring coins.