While there are quite a few differences between Coinbase and Robinhood, the main one is the number of available cryptocurrencies for purchase. Coinbase is a crypto-only platform that has access to over cryptocurrency options and adding more monthly , while Robinhood is a stock-first platform with access to only seven cryptocurrencies. Consult with a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. This article is not a recommendation by The Balance or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies nor can the accuracy or timeliness of the information be guaranteed.
Coinbase gives users a simple way to sign up, connect their financial accounts, and buy crypto via its app. You can register for Coinbase with an email address and password and, once signed up, you will need to verify your identity with a government-issued photo ID by uploading a picture of it to the app or website.
Once verified, you can connect a bank account or credit card to immediately begin purchasing crypto. Robinhood is equally simple to use. The user-friendly app allows users to quickly see the price of crypto, and place an order with a few clicks. To sign up for Robinhood, create a free account using your email address and a password. Once you verify your email address, secure your account with two-factor authentication.
To deposit funds, simply connect to a bank account and transfer funds. While deposited funds are available for purchasing crypto, they cannot be withdrawn until the transaction clears. This may take up to seven business days on either platform. Coinbase and Robinhood both offer robust security features, but Coinbase goes the extra mile to secure your crypto.
Here are a few of the security options available on each platform:. Two-factor authentication: Coinbase offers two-factor authentication 2FA via SMS or the Google Authenticator app, which both require a time-sensitive passcode to access your account.
Built-in wallet: The Coinbase digital wallet , a password-protected wallet that also uses an encrypted word recovery phase, allows users to withdraw their cryptocurrency from Coinbase. It also allows users to store and trade their crypto on decentralized exchanges. This helps protect your assets from online theft.
Coinbase also offers a cryptocurrency vault , further securing your stored digital assets. These vaults can be set up to require multiple user approvals before funds are withdrawn. Note, however, that this does not insure your cryptocurrency funds. SMS account recovery is disabled to avoid hacking via phone. Coinbase and Robinhood both allow users to buy crypto, but they are fundamentally different types of platforms.
Robinhood acts more as a broker for crypto purchases while Coinbase is a full exchange with far more capabilities. Here are a few of the unique features on each platform:. Trade or withdrawal crypto: Coinbase allows users to trade their crypto for another crypto directly on their platform.
It also allows users to withdraw their crypto to a digital wallet to use on decentralized applications and investing. News articles: Coinbase has a news feed built into their platform, keeping users updated on the world of crypto. These articles are specific to the crypto you are looking at within the app.
Price alerts: Coinbase allows you to create a watchlist of cryptocurrencies that will give you price alerts. When the price of a crypto goes up or down by a large percentage, the alert will be pushed to your mobile device, or show up in your Coinbase notifications. Built-in education: Coinbase has user education built into their platform and mobile app. These educational videos teach users about a certain cryptocurrency project and will even reward them with a small bonus amount of the currency.
Limit orders: Robinhood allows users to place a limit order on their crypto—an order placed to buy or sell a specified amount of crypto at a specified price or better. This gives investors more control over their orders. No-fee trades: Robinhood does not charge fees when buying or selling crypto.
While the purchase price may not be exact due to payment for order flow, no trade fees is a nice perk for investors. Robinhood offers a very limited selection of crypto, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin seven total crypto supported. Coinbase, on the other hand, offers over 50 of the top cryptocurrencies and is constantly adding to their listings. Both platforms allow you to purchase cryptocurrency in dollar amounts, so you can buy fractions of coins. Robinhood, on the other hand, measures its minimum purchase amount in the native token.
For example, the minimum Bitcoin purchase amount is 0. To explore more currencies on Robinhood, review their cryptocurrencies investing page. To view all the tradable assets on Coinbase, check their listing prices. And while this may technically be true, Robinhood was under scrutiny from the SEC for their practice of payment for order flow.
Essentially, all trades are brought to market makers to execute the trade, who pay Robinhood a fee, typically a percentage of the trade. The exact amount for crypto trades is not disclosed. Coinbase, on the other hand, charges a fee of up to 0. These fees are fairly high. Here is a breakdown of how Coinbase and Robinhood charge fees based on account type:.
Robinhood is the leader in no-fee trading but it does charge a payment for order flow, which may end up costing you more to buy your crypto through them, depending on the trade. The lack of transparency around these fees makes it difficult to compare fee structures between the two services. Overall, Coinbase is on the higher-end of fee structures for buying and selling crypto while Robinhood can be less expensive, depending on the trade.
Robinhood is only available in the United States. Coinbase is offered in 49 states in the U. Robinhood is available in 48 states. They are actively working to add the final two states of Nevada and Hawaii. Each country has its own regulations around cryptocurrency. Be sure to review your local guidelines before buying or selling crypto.
There are several similarities between Coinbase and Robinhood. For example, both are U. Although Robinhood offers no-fee trading, it does charge a payment for order flow, which might inflate the price of your crypto purchase. MarketWatch Picks has highlighted these products and services because we think readers will find them useful; the MarketWatch News staff is not involved in creating this content.
Links in this content may result in us earning a commission, but our recommendations are independent of any compensation that we may receive. Learn more. A variety of reasons could be keeping would-be investors on the sidelines, including discomfort with the idea of investing in a relatively new asset class, warnings about fraud, hacks, or scams, and wild price moves in digital coins.
While Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade are among brokers that allow customers to trade bitcoin futures, they have yet to embrace trading the cryptocurrencies themselves. But it could be several months, at least, before that happens, he says. Among the relatively few options available to crypto investors who want access to a broad suite of assets, Robinhood, TradeStation and SoFi Invest may fit the bill.
Robinhood moved the needle for the entire stock trading industry by offering zero commission on trades — a policy which also applies to cryptocurrencies. Beyond cryptocurrencies, Robinhood supports buying and selling stocks, exchange-traded funds ETFs and options contracts. While trading is free, Robinhood makes money by routing orders to high-speed trading firms — a practice that came under scrutiny as the company prepared for its initial public offering IPO over the summer.
TradeStation offers direct trading of cryptocurrencies with its dedicated TradeStation Crypto platform. Only a handful of coins are available, including bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum, and litecoin. Tradestation does offer commission-free traders on some equities, equity options and futures trades.
An uninformed trade is a risky trade. Read up, do your research and equip yourself with the knowledge you need to navigate the market with confidence. Robinhood trades have been commission-free since its launch in Back then, no commission fees were a pretty big deal, giving Robinhood an economic edge over its competitors.
But today, many other trading platforms have dropped their commission fees, making it challenging for Robinhood to market itself as a low-cost alternative. That said, Robinhood has many competitors beat when it comes to per-contract fees for option trades. Robinhood offers a free stock when you sign up and link your bank account. Also, if you invite your friends to join, you could earn a reward stock.
The free tier provides some basic research to help you stay on top of the market, but seasoned investors and day traders might find it lackluster. IPO Access is a feature that allows traders to buy shares of companies at their IPO price before they go live on public exchanges. The Robinhood Cash Management account offers brokerage account holders the opportunity to earn interest on cash sitting in their account. As of March , Robinhood offers 0.
There are no associated maintenance fees, foreign transaction fees or account minimums. Robinhood was founded in with headquarters in Menlo Park, California. Robinhood may market itself as a commission-free platform, but it needs to earn money somehow, right? It is a business, after all. Robinhood profits from payment for order flow PFOF. This process allows brokerages to route customer orders to market makers for execution. These market makers then fill the order at a slightly better price than the investor was willing to pay and pockets the difference.
As compensation, brokerages like Robinhood receive a payment from the market maker as thanks for the order: payment for order flow. But some brokerages, like Public , have turned from the PFOF model in favor of alternative — arguably more transparent — profit-earning practices, like optional tipping from investors.
Many recent reviews mention outages associated with the recent surge in trading activity — in particular, the restrictions on trending shorted stocks, like GameStop and AMC. These outages locked Robinhood investors into unfavorable positions and left them unable to execute trades, ultimately culminating in the loss of capital. Has Robinhood put its outages behind it?
Overall, reviews of the Robinhood app are fairly positive. The app has 3. In March , the Robinhood trading platform experienced three major outages. The shortest outage lasted just under two hours, while the longest took 16 hours to resolve. In a blog post on its website, Robinhood founders Baiju Bhatt and Vlad Tenev explain that the outages were a combination of highly volatile market conditions and a record volume of trading action on the platform.
While the site has generally been stable since, it did have a short outage on June Its target audience includes first-time traders and cryptocurrency investors, offering accounts with no minimums, annual fees or inactivity fees. More experienced day traders may want to opt for a platform with more sophisticated research tools. We analyze top online trading platforms and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you.
These factors include fees, securities available for trade, customer support, customer feedback, platform resources and overall reliability. For a complete breakdown of how we score each category, read the full methodology of how we rate trading platforms. Shannon Terrell is an editor for Finder who has written over personal finance guides.
With a focus on investments and personal finance, she breaks down jargon-laden topics to help others make informed financial decisions. She studied communications and English literature at the University of Toronto. Click here to cancel reply.
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Robinhood review Trade stocks, options, ETFs and crypto through a simple interface with no commission fees. Shannon Terrell. Last Updated Apr 8, What I think of Robinhood Robinhood — despite the headlines — remains one of the most accessible and beginner-friendly trading platforms on the market.
What investments does Robinhood offer? Explore options trading with no per-contract fees. Buy and sell 17 different cryptocurrencies any time of day, including Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum. IPOs: Robinhood has also recently implemented a feature that lets users make offers for shares of select initial public offerings IPOs at IPO, before shares open for trading. Robinhood is best for beginners Robinhood is designed with the beginner in mind, with commission-free trades, a simple signup process and an intuitive interface.
Small-quantity investors. Cryptocurrency investors. Like I mentioned at the beginning of the breakdown, this is excellent if you only want to invest in cryptocurrencies. But if you want to actually use crypto outside of the Robinhood app? There is no ability for users to either deposit or withdraw bitcoin or altcoins from the app. They also have a respectable selection of altcoin investment options including:.
Setting up your account is done via their app, but they do request a little more information than the other providers in this article. For one, they require a Social Security Number. This is because of the stringent regulations they must comply with as a platform that sells traditional investment vehicles such as stocks.
As an incentive, Robinhood offers free stocks to new users that sign up up via an invitation from existing users. You can get this offer by using my referral link below. The real genius of cryptocurrencies is the ability to freely use them as you wish in the real world, and Coinbase makes this possible. Buying and selling is a simple process with both their mobile app and desktop website.
They even have a training section that allows new users to earn free crypto by competing learning exercises. You can see the full list of supported Coinbase cryptos here. On top of this you receive access to their enterprise trading platform Coinbase Pro.
You can set up a Coinbase account on both their desktop platform or on mobile via their app. There are options to create an account without giving up much personal information, but if you do so you will likely have very low purchase limits. This is because Coinbase restricts new accounts to prevent money laundering. Basically, the more information you can provide, the higher your purchase limits will be.
Coinbase is also known to increase limits based on the age of your account and activity level. Similar to Robinhood, Coinbase offers an incentive when you sign up via an invitation. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to via [email protected] or postersofcrypto on Twitter.
Coinbase vs Robinhood Buying Summary Coinbase allows you to both store and export cryptocurrencies. Robinhood is only for trading, you do not have access to the coins. Robinhood offers 7 possible cryptos to buy and sell. Coinbase offers
As an incentive, Robinhood offers free stocks to new users that sign up up via an invitation from existing users. You can get this offer by using my referral link below. The real genius of cryptocurrencies is the ability to freely use them as you wish in the real world, and Coinbase makes this possible. Buying and selling is a simple process with both their mobile app and desktop website. They even have a training section that allows new users to earn free crypto by competing learning exercises.
You can see the full list of supported Coinbase cryptos here. On top of this you receive access to their enterprise trading platform Coinbase Pro. You can set up a Coinbase account on both their desktop platform or on mobile via their app.
There are options to create an account without giving up much personal information, but if you do so you will likely have very low purchase limits. This is because Coinbase restricts new accounts to prevent money laundering. Basically, the more information you can provide, the higher your purchase limits will be. Coinbase is also known to increase limits based on the age of your account and activity level. Similar to Robinhood, Coinbase offers an incentive when you sign up via an invitation.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to via [email protected] or postersofcrypto on Twitter. Coinbase vs Robinhood Buying Summary Coinbase allows you to both store and export cryptocurrencies. Robinhood is only for trading, you do not have access to the coins. Robinhood offers 7 possible cryptos to buy and sell. Coinbase offers Coinbase charges fees, while Robinhood offers free trading. You can also jump to those sections using the following links: The Case for Robinhood The Case for Coinbase Please Note — I received no payment from the service providers listed to be featured in this blog.
Your Cart. Robinhood offers commission-free cryptocurrency investing for users who live in 46 out of 50 states and Washington, D. The seven cryptocurrencies currently available for trading include Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. Robinhood could be a great way to get into crypto, as it allows cryptocurrency trades to be placed in very small quantities while most other cryptocurrency-friendly platforms require minimums in order to trade.
A stock option gives an investor the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell a stock at an agreed upon price and date. There are two types of options: puts, which is a bet that a stock will fall; and calls, which is a bet that a stock will rise. On Robinhood, there are no commissions to buy and sell options and no monthly fee. To start trading options, follow these steps:. Robinhood has three main ways it makes money.
The first is by collecting rebates from market makers, who are the entities that execute your trades on the exchanges. A standard Robinhood account is free, but Robinhood offers an upgrade to a premium trading platform called Robinhood Gold. Additionally, if Robinhood approves your account for margin trading, you will be able to trade on margin with Gold. This means you can borrow money from Robinhood to pay for higher-value investments, with the securities in your account acting as collateral for the loan.
Robinhood is not a bank, but it offers a Cash Management service that comes with a debit card, allowing you to use Robinhood for everyday transactions. Yes, Robinhood is safe Robinhood has been in the news a lot lately, and the subject of many complaints and several lawsuits. In December , the Securities and Exchange Commission SEC charged Robinhood with misleading customers by executing their trades at higher prices than its competitors.
That same month, Massachusetts filed a complaint against Robinhood, accusing it of aggressively marketing to often inexperienced investors and encouraging frequent trading by making its app gamelike. A large portion of the Reddit users who drove up the price of GameStop are Millennials and Robinhood is their trading platform of choice.
All communication with Robinhood Support is done over email. There are two ways to close your Robinhood account. First, you can sell all of your Robinhood assets and transfer the balance of your Robinhood account to your bank via ACH.
Then follow these steps in the app to deactivate your account:. Second, you may transfer all of your assets in Robinhood to another brokerage. Jonathan Lesser is a writer and editor covering cryptocurrency and personal finance. View all articles by Jonathan here. Tom's Guide Tom's Guide.