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Compare the 3 Best Coinbase Alternatives (What You Need to Know in 2024)

The uncertainty surrounding compliance and regulatory problems for Coinbase is intensifying. Bitcoin-only Swan is one of the most popular Coinbase alternatives for buying Bitcoin in May of 2024. Learn why!

Drew
Matt Ruby
Drew and Matt Ruby
May 3, 2024May 3, 202413 min read13 minutes read

The sudden collapse of FTX, previously a leading crypto exchange, has led some to question if Coinbase is the best platform for buying and trading Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Coinbase is currently facing regulatory actions from the SEC and other lawsuits. The exchange also suffers from data breaches, dissatisfied customers, high costs, outages, and technical glitches.

Many of the tokens sold there are iffy gambles, and some are even outright scams. The future of these tokens is uncertain, so Coinbase’s support of these assets is questionable.

NOTE: (We recommend sticking with Bitcoin, a well-established, widely accepted digital asset in good standing with the U.S. government, and using Bitcoin-only companies.)

In this article, we will examine three alternatives that can replace Coinbase as the place you buy and sell crypto. 

Quick Summary

Swan

Swan Pros

  • Start buying in minutes

  • No fees on your first $10,000

  • Friendly expert service

  • Full suite of Bitcoin financial services

  • World-class Bitcoin Education

  • Rated 4.8/5 on the App Store

Swan Cons

  • Does not offer non-Bitcoin currencies

According to our analysis of customer reviews on TrustPilot, we found that:

Why Customers Like Swan

  • Customer service: Quick assistance from real humans

  • Bitcoin-only: No altcoins offered

  • Values: The company aligns with the Bitcoin community

  • Education: Offers robust educational materials about Bitcoin

  • IRA: Retirement offerings

  • Price: Significant savings on fees compared to other platforms (no fees on your first $10,000)

  • Interface: Straightforward, clean, uncluttered, and to the point.  

What Customers Dislike About Swan

  • Timing: Recurring buys can be confusing to some

  • Strict process: Non-US residents report signup can be complex

  • Limited options: Bitcoin-only

Swan let’s you start buying Bitcoin in minutes with no fees on your first $10,000, provides friendly, expert service, and offers world-class Bitcoin education.

Uphold Pros

  • Trade in just one step between any supported asset.

  • Flexible experience with a broad range of assets.

  • Publishes assets and liabilities every 30 seconds at the site.

Uphold Cons

  • Users report face scans required for transactions.

  • Unpredictable processing times. 

  • Customer support is provided by automated bots.

Fees

In the U.S., U.K., and most of Europe, fees are typically:

  • Stablecoins: 0.25%

  • Major market FX: 0.25%

  • BTC, ETH: 1.4% — 1.6%

  • Altcoins: 1.9% — 2.5%

  • Precious metals: 1.9% — 2.5%

The complete fee schedule is available on Uphold’s website.

According to our analysis of customer reviews on TrustPilot, we found that:

Customers like Uphold for:

  • Refunds: Offers cash back

  • Interface: The interface is simple but detailed

  • Security: Customers generally feel safe

  • Email support: Prompt email replies

Customers dislike Uphold because:

  • Account restrictions: Customers report issues with this

  • Fees: High fees upon withdrawals reported

  • Cooling period: Not always able to access funds

Uphold solves the following problem:

The platform to discover new tokens early. Brings you choices faster than any other regulated platform in the U.S. Connected to 28 underlying trading venues, including Centralized and Decentralized Exchanges, Layer 2 Networks, and Rollups.

Bitstamp Pros

  • Industry-leading security

  • Transparency through internal and external audits

  • Global presence 

  • Holds 50 licenses and registrations in key global jurisdictions

Bitstamp Cons

  • A short list of coins supported for staking

  • No margin trading or lending features

  • Some customers have complained about additional fees

  • Fees: 1% — 1.5%

According to our analysis of customer reviews on TrustPilot, we found that:

Customers like Bitstamp for:

  • Ease of Trading: Intuitive interface with instant deposit options

  • Institutional-grade security: 95% of assets stored safely offline

  • Encryption: Highly encrypted personal data

  • Proven Reliability: Serving customers since 2011

  • Customer support: Live support offered.

  • Industry-leading uptime: Solid platform that rarely goes down

  • APIs: Set up your own trading interface or deploy your algorithmic strategy

Customers dislike Bitstamp because:

  • Restricted access to funds: Reports of the exchange failing to credit deposits.

  • Delayed transactions: Slow processing can change transaction price

  • Video chat: Video call required to withdraw money

  • Issues withdrawing funds: A range of issues reported withdrawing cash

Bitstamp solves the following problem:

Buy and trade with ease on a trusted crypto exchange. Designed for simplicity, Bitstamp helps customers “feel good about crypto.”

Let’s dive deeper…

Swan focuses on Bitcoin because it believes Bitcoin is better money that will improve the world. With Swan, you can buy Bitcoin instantly with your bank account or bank wires and sign up for recurring purchases so you can “set it and forget it.” Customers can also withdraw Bitcoin to self-custody for free.

Swan Pros

  • Start buying in minutes

  • No fees on your first $10,000

  • Friendly expert service

  • Full suite of Bitcoin financial services

  • World-class Bitcoin Education

  • Rated 4.8/5 on the App Store

Swan Cons

  • Does not offer non-Bitcoin currencies

Fees: 0.99%*
Custody Provider: BitGo Trust Company
Trustpilot Rating: 4.4/5 out of 1,033k reviews
Apple App Store: 4.8/5 out of 1.2k reviews
Google Play Store: 4.1/5 out of 530 reviews, 50,000+ downloads

What Customers Say About Swan on Trustpilot

“Everyone at Swan is so helpful! Whenever I have a question, I can be sure that they will respond to my emails promptly and personably.”

“Best Bitcoin-only financial services company. Truly unbelievable response time!” 

“Great company! I’ve been with them two years and the experience has been really good. They’ve offered webinars and other educational tools to familiarize customers with how to reach their financial goals. I also had very good support from customer service when conducting financial transactions. I received regular updates and was quite satisfied with the responsiveness of the staff.”

 — Sunny A.

More about Swan

Swan is a leading Bitcoin financial services company with more than 120,000 clients and 170 employees, operating globally. Established in 2019, Swan helps individuals and institutions to understand and invest in Bitcoin. The Swan app simplifies Bitcoin purchases with instant and recurring buys. Swan IRA provides a tax-advantaged solution for saving Bitcoin in retirement accounts.

For HNWIs and businesses, Swan Private provides white-glove service for large purchases, treasury solutions, and employee Bitcoin benefits. With Swan Vault, clients can easily custody their own Bitcoin with peace of mind. Financial advisors trust Swan Advisor for client Bitcoin allocations, backed by world-class custody and educational content.

Swan Managed Mining provides clients with fully segregated and dedicated mining operations, catering to their unique requirements, opportunities, and strategic advantages. Swan prides itself on exceptional client service, making Bitcoin accessible to all. For more information, please visit swan.com.

  • Swan $0 in fees on your next $10,000 investment: After that, a modest 0.99% fee is applied to all Bitcoin buys. No deposit fees, no withdrawal fees, and absolutely no hidden fees. 

  • Swan offers investors free withdrawals into self-custody of purchased Bitcoin with a secure, non-custodial Bitcoin wallet. This gives investors complete control over their digital assets and an added layer of security.

  • Swan’s knowledge base includes comprehensive educational resources, in-depth market analysis, and up-to-date information on Bitcoin and the crypto industry.

  • Swan’s experts work around the clock to guide you on the technical aspects, market trends, and potential risks of Bitcoin.

  • Swan Advisor Services helps financial advisors integrate Bitcoin into their clients' investment portfolios seamlessly. Investors get advice and strategic recommendations tailored to their financial goals and risk tolerance, ensuring Bitcoin is a beneficial asset.

  • Swan’s Specter Labs offers a range of safe and easy-to-use self-custody options for Bitcoiners who prefer direct control of their wealth.

  • Swan Support offers top-notch customer service.


Uphold bills itself as “the platform to discover important new tokens early.” The crypto broker is connected to 28 underlying trading venues, including centralized and decentralized exchanges, Layer 2 networks, and rollups. Uphold allows you to trade in just one step between any supported asset. It aims to quickly bring customers a variety of choices. Uphold serves over 10 million customers in more than 180 countries.

Uphold Pros

  • Trade in just one step between any supported asset.

  • Flexible experience with a broad range of assets.

  • Publishes assets and liabilities every 30 seconds at the site.

Uphold Cons

  • Users report face scans required for transactions.

  • Unpredictable processing times. 

  • Customer support is provided by automated bots.

Fees: 0.25% — 2.5%
Custody Provider: Uphold Vault
Trustpilot Rating: 3.3/5 out of 8,881 reviews
Apple App Store: 4.7/5 out of +50.6k reviews
Google Play Store: 4.4/5 out of +49.6k reviews, +5M downloads

What Customers Say About Uphold on Trustpilot

“Easy crypto trades. I’ve enjoyed using Uphold; its interface is simple but detailed.”

“Uphold is a great site for Bitcoin and other digital asset options. It is very secure.”

“Uphold seemed trustworthy at first with its smooth interface and great rates, but things quickly went downhill. They started requiring face scans for every transaction, and processing times became unpredictable.”

 — A M

More About Uphold

Uphold claims to offer a seamless and user-friendly experience for accessing and transacting a variety of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Ripple (XRP), among others.

It also supports traditional fiat currencies like the U.S. dollar, Euro, and British pound, allowing users to easily convert between cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies.

Fees

In the U.S., U.K., and most of Europe, fees are typically:

  • Stablecoins: 0.25%

  • Major market FX: 0.25%

  • BTC, ETH: 1.4% — 1.6%

  • Altcoins: 1.9% — 2.5%

  • Precious metals: 1.9% — 2.5%

The complete fee schedule is available on Uphold’s website.

Key Features
  • Provides seamless conversions between cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies for convenient and fast exchanges, allowing investors to manage their portfolios and benefit from price fluctuations.

  • Investors can safely store their cryptocurrencies and digital assets in a digital wallet protected by multi-factor authentication and encryption.

  • Uphold members can easily send and receive cryptocurrencies or fiat currencies to and from other Uphold users worldwide without delays or transaction fees.

  • Users can fractionally own cryptocurrencies, stocks, commodities, and real estate and diversify their investments through a single platform.

  • They also get prepaid debit cards to spend cryptocurrencies at any location that accepts regular debit or credit card purchases.

Security, transparency, and regulation are the pillars on which Bitstamp has made crypto securely accessible to over 4 million customers globally. It is Europe’s biggest exchange by trading volume and offers trading of BTC, ETH, LTC, SOL, ADA, DOT (and more than 70 other assets). The exchange is a pioneer in crypto security and regulation, having developed things like cold storage of assets, multi-sig wallets, and SegWit implementation. 

Bitstamp Pros

  • Industry-leading security

  • Transparency through internal and external audits

  • Global presence 

  • Holds 50 licenses and registrations in key global jurisdictions

Bitstamp Cons

  • A short list of coins supported for staking

  • No margin trading or lending features

  • Some customers have complained about additional fees

Fees: 1% — 1.5%
Custody Provider: BitGo
Trustpilot Rating: 2.1/5 out of 831 reviews
Apple Store App: 4.7/5 out of 195 reviews
Google Play Store: 4.3/5 out of 392 reviews, +10,000 downloads

What Customers Say About Bitstamp on Trustpilot

“After 2 months of trading experience at Bitstamp, I have the following to say: It is the best so far in the world of crypto and blockchain.”

“I wrote to support, then opened a ticket, then asked again several times but, till now, I received no response or resolution.”

“Customer service is of Zero Help — All they say is you must wait for complaints department to answer — and you can’t talk to the complaints department!”

“I uncovered a range of issues with this platform that pertain to registering external bank accounts and withdrawing cash in a variety of currencies.”

More About Bitstamp

Bitstamp’s user-friendly interface and commitment to transparency and reliability have earned it the trust of many traders worldwide. It’s also been a leader in the security industry since its founding. All funds and crypto on Bitstamp are backed 100% and ready to be withdrawn anytime. External parties review its financial controls annually and are subject to regular internal audit reviews.

Fees

Bitstamp uses a complex maker-taker fee model to determine trading fees. The fees are calculated based on your current pricing tier at the time of an order’s execution. Generally speaking, customers pay between 1 — 1.5% in trading fees.

Key Features
  • Trust and security 

  • Bitstamp is one of the first cryptocurrency exchanges to receive a BitLicense, ensuring compliance with strict regulatory standards.

  • Liquidity and competitive fees

  • Bitstamp’s trading fees decrease as trading volume increases, making it attractive for traders of all levels.

  • Global accessibility.

  • Bitstamp’s services are available to users worldwide for international cryptocurrency trading. It also offers multilingual customer support so users can get help in their preferred language.

  • Industry-leading compliance.

  • Bitstamp adheres to Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) procedures to ensure a secure trading environment.   

Final tips

Here are a few tips for picking the suitable Coinbase alternative:

  • Determine your specific needs and goals: If you only want to buy/sell Bitcoin, you don’t need a platform that offers dozens of tokens. 

  • Examine fees: You save money with every trade when fees are lower.

  • Consider feedback from other users and industry experts: It’s always nice to hear what others say about businesses on sites like G2, Capterra, and Trustpilot. 

  • Consider sustainability: You want to ensure the company you use is trustworthy and will be around for a long while.

Swan is a leading Bitcoin financial services company with more than 120,000 clients and 170 employees, operating globally. Established in 2019, Swan helps individuals and institutions to understand and invest in Bitcoin. The Swan app simplifies Bitcoin purchases with instant and recurring buys. Swan IRA provides a tax-advantaged solution for saving Bitcoin in retirement accounts.

For HNWIs and businesses, Swan Private provides white-glove service for large purchases, treasury solutions, and employee Bitcoin benefits. With Swan Vault, clients can easily custody their own Bitcoin with peace of mind. Financial advisors trust Swan Advisor for client Bitcoin allocations, backed by world-class custody and educational content.

Swan Managed Mining provides clients with fully segregated and dedicated mining operations, catering to their unique requirements, opportunities, and strategic advantages. Swan prides itself on exceptional client service, making Bitcoin accessible to all. For more information, please visit swan.com.

Drew

Drew

Drew, a class of 2013 Bitcoiner, is a Research Analyst for Swan Bitcoin.

He has worked in institutional VC/PE, FinTech, and DLT consulting for over six years. He also brings over twelve years of experience working with national nonprofits and start-ups in education and software development in several leadership roles.

Matt Ruby

Matt Ruby

Matt Ruby is a seasoned content writer helping educate million worldwide about Bitcoin for Swan. Matt work with tech companies to create words, videos, and other content that makes them seem human. He specializes in taking boring/drab tech topics and making them interesting, educational, funny, and accessible to regular people.

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