Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, in general, have captured the attention of a lot of people from different countries all over the globe. Undoubtedly, at first, it was quite difficult to purchase any cryptocurrency. However, it is no longer the case as many trading platforms have emerged making it easy for the people interested in crypto buying and selling.
There are several ways to seamlessly purchase Bitcoin. In this article, we will be reviewing two platforms – Paxful and Coinbase, comparing them for important features like ease of use, countries covered, exchange fees, etc.
Founded in June 2012 and headquartered in San Francisco, Coinbase refers to itself as both a crypto wallet and a platform. Coinbase is well-known among merchants and personal users for enabling smooth transactions with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), etc. According to statistics, the platform boasts of over 30 million users with more than $150 billion in traded assets. It has also raised a whopping $217 million from investors. You can also simply refer to Coinbase as a broker that assists its users with every transaction.
Formerly known as EasyBitz, Paxful was founded by Ray Youssef and Artur Schaback in 2014. The peer-to-peer (P2P) platform is majorly focused on making it easy to trade Bitcoin. It also aims to ensure that its users retain total control of their assets at all times, while also envisioning transactions without borders. Besides, Paxful has dedicated 24/7 customer support.
While Coinbase offers more of a broker-styled service, Paxful is a P2P marketplace. Simply put, it brings buyers and sellers together on its platform. Though quite different, both platforms have their advantages depending on what users want.
Ease of use
Both platforms are unique in the services they offer.
Paxful, as earlier stated, is a P2P marketplace serving as a link between buyers and sellers on the globe. To make use of the platform, customers simply need to select their payment options and the amount of Bitcoin they wish to buy. Next, they will be directed to a list of several other feasible users. Since the platform currently boasts of about 50,000 users, locating a suitable match is fairly easy. Bitcoin payment can easily be made via several options. Some of them include bank transfers, PayPal, gift cards (Amazon, iTunes), Western Union, etc. Users enjoy a great deal of anonymity on Paxful, which is simply non-existent on Coinbase. The platform also recently started offering gold trading options using Bitcoin.
Coinbase, on the other hand, holds a special appeal to customers wanting to carry out transactions using conventional methods. It prides itself on being the most secure crypto exchanges available today. Every single transaction on the platform first needs approval from a broker. Users also enjoy several payment methods but not as much as Paxful. The most popular acceptable payment methods available on the platform include bank transfer, debit card SEPA transfer, and Interac Online.
Despite its not so numerous payment methods, Coinbase is quite easy to understand and use. Hence, it is mostly recommended for beginners. However, its regulatory constraints might prove to be quite restrictive for general customers. Users need to go through a lot of checks and identity verification processes. They also need to deposit a fixed amount of funds before they can actually make use of the platform. Unlike Paxful where users can instantly carry out transactions.
Altcoins available for trading
Both platforms accept a wide range of altcoins. Interested users can purchase Bitcoin on Paxful using popular altcoins like Ripple’s XRP, Ethereum, Litecoin (LTC), Tether USDT, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Stellar (XLM). Other altcoins available on the platform include Bitcoin Gold, Bitshares, Dogecoin, EOS, Ethereum Classic, VeChain VET, IOTA-MIOTA, NameCon, Nano, NEM, QTUM. TrueUSD, Tron, WavesCoin, PeerCoin, SiaCoin, SteemCoin, Stratis are also available on Paxful.
Coinbase, on the other hand, offers trading involving altcoins like Cosmos (ATOM), Algo, EOS, LTC, BAT, BCH, BSV, LINK, LOOM, DNT, DASH, DAI, USDC, XLM, OMG. OXT, REP. XTZ, ZEC, ZRX, MKR, MANA, KNC altcoins are also available on the platform.
Users looking to purchase Bitcoin on Paxful can do so at zero charges. However other services on Paxful come at rates mainly determined by several factors such as trading pair, verification status, order size, and payment methods.
To sell Bitcoin, the P2P platform charges 0.5% for payments made with bank transfers, 1% for credit/debit cards, digital currencies, online wallets, and cash. Apart from this, the changes are 3% for all gift cards excluding iTunes and Google Pay for which it levies a fee of 5%.
The platform also charges a fee to send out Bitcoin from a Paxful wallet to an external wallet. The fees include:
- $0 -$9.99 for 0.0001 BTC
- $10 -$19.99 for 0.0002 BTC
- $20+ for 0.0005 BTC
However, sending out Bitcoin to another Paxful wallet is free for up to five 5 transactions in a month. After which a $1 fee or 1% of the amount sent is charged depending on which is bigger.
Coinbase, on the other hand, charges a flat fee of 1.49% for every crypto purchase or sale. However, for purchases made with a credit card, the few stands at 3.99%. Users in the SEPA, are charged €0.15 and $10 for Euro and USD withdrawals respectively. USD bank deposits are however free. Pricing is thus slightly better on Coinbase as compared to Paxful.
Coinbase is currently available in about 30 countries all over the globe. Including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Monaco, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, etc.
Paxful has a wider coverage area. Users can avail of its services in most countries with a few exceptions like Iran, Iraq, Burundi, Cuba, Yemen, Somalia, Lebanon, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, etc.
Paxful is known to be a little less restricting. Although standard KYC/AML requirements are mandatory, users, however, may opt to not fulfill these requirements. Without proper identification on the platform, they can still make use of its services with some restrictions. Paxful thus allows a certain degree of usage for its unverified customers whereby services accessible to them are “subject to a trade and wallet limit”.
Coinbase, on the other hand, puts in a great deal of effort to reduce any form of irregularities. To achieve this the platform complies with all AML/KYC requirements ensuring its users are duly identified.
Both platforms over time have proven to be reliable and efficient. While Coinbase might be cheaper, it is slightly restrictive and does not offer any form of anonymity to its users. However, what it loses in terms of privacy, it makes up for with security and safety on its platform.
However, it is also important to remember one of the crucial founding principles of Bitcoin. It is anonymity. So, when users are trading Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency in a global platform, expecting anonymity while conducting transactions is quite reasonable. And this is where Paxful score points over Coinbase. So, for users who want their transactions hassle-free and fast in a platform with worldwide coverage and offering the choice of hundreds of payment methods, Paxful leads the way.
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