Keen to trade crypto? Or just buy and hold. We’ve got you covered. Here’s a comparison of eToro vs Coinbase.
If you’re in a bit of a hurry and just want to get started, eToro wins this. We rate it 5 stars and Coinbase 4 stars. eToro is quite a bit cheaper, a better platform (website and app) to use, and much better customer service. Here’s where to get started with eToro¹.
Let’s dive into the details if you’re after the full comparison.
eToro vs Coinbase
Let’s first run through both platforms, so we’re on the same page.
eToro is a very popular trading platform. It’s used by beginners all the way to professional traders. It’s loved because it’s social too, so you can follow and interact with other traders, and best of all, copy the pro’s! Pretty handy when you’re new to crypto and trading in general.
eToro isn’t just crypto, there’s a huge range of investment options: stocks and shares (small portions of the ownership of a company), funds (groups of shares), commodities (like silver and gold) and currencies (such as Pounds (GBP) and Dollars (USD)).
eToro is commission free too, that means there’s no fees to buy and sell investments (although it’s not completely fee free). However, with crypto, it has its own fees, and it’s 1% of how much you buy or sell.
It’s a great all-round trading platform. Read our eToro review to learn more.
Coinbase is a crypto exchange, and one of the biggest in the world. It’s super popular.
It’s easy to use with a mobile app and website to buy crypto, and there’s also a version for professionals, simply called ‘Coinbase Pro’, with more advanced features, but is fairly complicated.
You’ll pay a fee every time you want to buy or sell a coin (we’ll cover fees below), but overall it’s more expensive than eToro. In fact, it’s the most expensive place to buy crypto.
That’s a brief overview, a place to buy and sell crypto (and hold). Pretty simple right? Check out our Coinbase review to learn more.
eToro vs Coinbase: costs
Let’s dive straight into the important stuff, the costs.
Fees are really important when it comes to trading crypto, as you’ll be paying them every time you buy or sell a coin, so they add up pretty quickly – unless you’re just buying to hold long term (a great strategy).
With eToro, it’s super simple, you’ll pay 1% of the amount you are buying, every time you buy a coin, and 1% every time you sell a coin. Simple. This is automatically included in the price when you buy and sell to make it even easier.
With Coinbase, you’ll pay quite a bit more. It’s 1.49% of the amount you’re buying or selling, as a transaction fee, and then there's a hidden fee of 0.5% added to the price when you buy or sell, called a spread fee, so in total to make a purchase, you’ll be paying 1.99%.
And if you pay with a credit or debit card, it goes up to 3.99% in total. However, it is super easy to use, you are effectively paying for the convenience.
Coinbase is without a doubt, the most expensive place to buy crypto. However, you can reduce these fees by using the advanced trading platform, Coinbase Pro. There, fees start at 0.6%, and reduce with more volume (cash) you trade, although it can be complicated to use if you aren’t a pro crypto trader.
Although eToro isn’t the cheapest option out there, it’s cheaper than Coinbase for those just getting started. For cheaper fees in general, you may want to try a more advanced crypto exchange in future when your trading career takes off! You can find these with our best crypto exchanges UK.
eToro vs Coinbase: range of coins
There’s actually 100,000s of coins out there, and new ones popping up daily, but with most crypto exchanges, they’ll only list the most popular ones, and ones they believe are trustworthy.
So with eToro, they list 78 of the most popular coins. That’s all the major coins such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, but also lots of alt coins (alternative coins), such as SHIB (Shiba Inu), XRP and DOGE. New ones are added routinely after they are assessed.
With Coinbase, there’s quite a few more. 222 in fact, with new ones also added routinely. Again, there’s the major coins, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, and the main difference is more lesser-known altcoins.
eToro vs Coinbase: crypto wallets
With both platforms, you can open your own wallet. This is unique to crypto, where it’s effectively your own storage space on the blockchain (the crypto network).
With a wallet, your coins are yours, and you control them completely. Rather than having a crypto exchange hold onto them for you (if the platform gets hacked, your coins are still safe as you own them in your wallet).
You can then use your wallet to interact with the blockchain and apps that run on it, for instance decentralised exchanges (which is where you swap coins directly from your wallet), and holding NFTs (Non-fungible tokens, currently art is popular as NFTs).
eToro’s wallet is okay, and is available on both Apple and Google mobiles, using the same login as eToro (which is very handy). It’s rated 2.3 stars on the Apple app store, and 3.1 on the Google Play store. Not the greatest ratings.
There’s no fees to send and receive transactions once coins are in your wallet, except from the network fees, which you’ll pay with all wallets. There is a 2% fee to send crypto from the eToro trading app to your wallet however, and is capped at $100.
The wallet is primarily on the Ethereum network, but you can also open an XRP (Ripple) wallet and XLM (Stellar) wallet, which are different networks (blockchains).
It’s still being developed and fairly basic, you can only store 8 cryptocurrencies, and you can’t currently store NFTs or interact with apps. Think of it as a safe you own, storing coins under your control, rather than storing your coins on an exchange (where they’re not technically yours).
With Coinbase, it’s a bit more advanced, you can use it to interact with apps, and buy and trade NFTs. Plus, you can store and trade every coin on the Ethereum network (called ERC-20 coins).
The Coinbase wallet has got pretty much everything you need, and would currently want from a wallet. It’s one of the best out there. It’s rated 4.1 on the Google Play store and 4.4 on the Apple app store.
eToro vs Coinbase: customer reviews
To get a good understanding of the customer service, let’s see what the customers are really saying on Trustpilot, a popular review website.
eToro has a rating of 4.3 out of 5, that’s an excellent score, and from a huge 17,000 reviews. That’s pretty great, and very popular.
The reviews are mostly about the platform experience in general, and the social trading (copying and following other traders).
With Coinbase, they have a rating of just 1.6 out of 5 from over 7,000 reviews. That’s really bad.
Customers are having bad experiences with the customer support, complaining about the expensive fees, and lots of issues with ID verification and closing accounts. Not great.
The overall winner
So, who wins? eToro or Coinbase?
We’re giving it to eToro.
Overall eToro is cheaper to trade, with lower fees than Coinbase, and is a really great trading platform in general – you can trade much more than just crypto, there’s stocks and shares, funds, foreign exchange and commodities.
With Coinbase, it’s pretty simple, you choose your coin and buy it, which is great, but if you’re looking to do more than just hold coins, such as trade, you’ll have to use the professional version which is more complicated to use.
When it comes to wallets however, Coinbase is much better. However you don’t have to use a wallet with the same place you trade. The most popular wallet is MetaMask, which is an extension on the Chrome browser, and it’s free.
And finally, and very important to us, the customer reviews for Coinbase are very bad. They are not treating customers very well at all, perhaps they’ve gotten too big for their own good. That’s a big red flag for us. eToro on the other hand, has got one of the best ratings you can get (excellent).
So overall, if you’re looking for a place to get started with crypto, or just looking for a new place to trade, we recommend checking out eToro¹. It’s one of the best out there.