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7 Best Coinbase Alternatives 2023 (What to Look For)

Coinbase and Swan Bitcoin are two popular services people use for buying Bitcoin. Which one is better?

Nov 15, 2023November 15, 202318 min read18 minutes read

Coinbase, facing potential regulatory challenges and uncertainties—most recently, a Wells’ Notice by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)—has led many crypto investors to seek alternatives. Additional concerns include Coinbase’s high costs, frequent outages, and unstable trading behaviors. Luckily, numerous Coinbase alternatives in the crypto market offer security and ease of use.

Don’t have much time and just want to check out the list of the best Coinbase Alternatives?

No problem, here they are:

Top Coinbase Alternatives

  1. Swan Bitcoin — Fees 0.99%, Trustpilot ratings 4.6 out of 5 stars

  2. Uphold — Fees 1.8%, Trustpilot ratings 3.4 out of 5 stars 

  3. iTrustCapital - Fees 1%, mainly for IRA only, TrustPilot ratings 4.5 out of 5 stars

  4. Kraken — Complex fee structure, Trustpilot ratings 2.5 out of 5 stars

  5. Binance - Current legal trouble, Trustpilot ratings 2.5 out of 5 stars

  6. Robinhood - Current trouble w/SEC about fees, Trustpilot ratings 1.3 out of 5 stars

  7. Bitstamp - Complex fees, Trustpilot ratings 1.7 out of 5 stars

1. Swan Bitcoin

Swan Bitcoin is a US-based company founded in 2019 by Cory Klippsten, Yan Pritzker, and Brady Swenson. Swan has made it easy for anyone to invest in Bitcoin from the get-go. The user-friendly and intuitive platform simplifies investing in, storing, and learning about Bitcoin.

One of Swan’s key features that makes it the best Coinbase alternative is its ability to automate Bitcoin purchases at regular intervals, helping create a disciplined, low-time preference investment strategy to build wealth over time. 

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 charges a 0.99% fee on all Bitcoin buys, that’s all. No deposit fees, no withdrawal fees, no hidden fees. 

Key Features
  • Enhanced Knowledge Base: Swan’s knowledge base includes comprehensive educational resources, in-depth market analysis, and up-to-date information on Bitcoin and other related cryptocurrencies.

  • Unparalleled Expertise in Bitcoin: Whether understanding technical aspects, market trends, or potential risks, Swan’s experts work round the clock to guide you every step of the way.

  • Advisor Services: Besides its expert team, Swan now offers Swan Advisor Services to help financial advisors integrate Bitcoin into their clients' investment portfolios seamlessly.

  • Personalized Consultation: Investors get advice and strategic recommendations tailored to their financial goals and risk tolerance, ensuring Bitcoin becomes an accessible and beneficial asset.

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

2. Uphold

Uphold offers a seamless and user-friendly experience for accessing and transacting a variety of cryptocurrencies, including popular options like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Ripple (XRP), among others. It also supports traditional fiat currencies like the US dollar, Euro, and British pound, allowing users to easily convert between cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies.


Uphold charges between 1.5% to 1.8% for trading Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Additionally, they charge 3.99% fee per credit card deposit and a 2.49% fee per debit card deposit.

Complete fee schedule is available on their website. 

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

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

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

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

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

3. iTrustCapital

iTrustCapital is a cryptocurrency investment platform for investors to buy and sell crypto and hold digital assets in their individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and 401(k) accounts. 


iTrustCapital charges 1% Transaction Fee for the buying and/or selling of cryptocurrencies. 

Key Features
  • IRA and 401(k) Accounts: Specializes in cryptocurrency investment options in tax-advantaged retirement accounts. Users can invest in digital assets while enjoying the potential tax benefits of retirement accounts.

  • Diverse Cryptocurrency Selection: Offers a range of popular cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP), and more. 

  • Secure Storage: Employs institutional-grade security measures to protect users' digital assets. iTrustCapital partners with BitGo, a reputable custodian, to store cryptocurrencies in offline wallets to protect against hacking and theft.

  • Seamless Trading: Offers a simple and intuitive interface for trading cryptocurrencies. Users can easily buy, sell, and trade assets within their IRA or 401(k) accounts.

4. Kraken

Kraken is one of the world’s largest and most well-established cryptocurrency exchanges. It provides a user-friendly interface and a robust trading platform for beginners and experienced cryptocurrency traders.

Kraken allows users to trade a wide range of cryptocurrencies as an exchange. It also supports trading pairs with fiat currencies, such as USD, EUR, CAD, JPY, and GBP, for easy conversion between cryptocurrencies and traditional money.


Kraken has a complex fee structure which changes based on the volume and amount of trading you do on the exchange. On average Kraken Instant Buy charges a 0.9% flat fee for buying stablecoins and a 1.5% flat fee for all other cryptocurrencies.

Kraken also charges you between 10 cents and $35 withdrawal fees on fiat withdrawals, depending on the payment method chosen. is one of the world’s largest and most well-established cryptocurrency exchanges. It provides a user-friendly interface and a robust trading platform for beginners and experienced cryptocurrency traders.

To minimize fees on Kraken you need to use Kraken Pro which enables you to pay less based on higher volumes. Check out complete table of fees on their website. 

Key Features
  • Trading Options: Offers various trading options: spot trading, where users can buy and sell cryptocurrencies at current market prices; margin trading, for trading with borrowed funds; and futures trading, where users can speculate on cryptocurrency price movements.

  • Advanced Trading Tools: Charting tools, order types (such as market orders, limit orders, stop loss orders), and advanced regular trading like trailing stops help users execute their trading strategies effectively.

  • Security Measures: Keeps most cryptocurrency holdings in cold storage, staying offline and less vulnerable to hacking attempts. 

  • Fiat Currency Support: Users can deposit and withdraw supported fiat currencies and easily convert between cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies, facilitating seamless integration with the traditional financial system.

5. Binance

Founded by Changpeng Zhao in 2017, Binance is a pioneering cryptocurrency exchange that has quickly grown into one of the industry’s largest and most influential platforms. With its comprehensive range of features, user-friendly interface, and commitment to security, Binance has simplified trading digital assets.

UPDATE: On November 21st, 2023, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao"CZ” agreed to a settlement with U.S. federal prosecutors. The settlement requires Zhao to plead guilty to violating criminal U.S. anti-money-laundering laws. On the same day, CZ announced the news on Twitter:

As part of CZ’s plea, Zhao will be personally subjected to a $50 million fine. Additionally, Binance will be required to pay $4.3 billion in fines as part of the plea deal. CZ was released on $175M bond and is scheduled to be sentenced in February, 2024. The settlement will allow Binance to continue operating (for now).

Related Reading: Rising Eyebrows Since 2017

Binance has a complex fee structure which is based on the types of trades you’re doing. You’ll incur 0.1% trading fee, and Instant buy/sell will incur a 0.5% fee. Binance also has a number of hidden fees such as withdrawal fee which is different for every type of currency. For Bitcoin this fee is 0.0001 — 0.0005 of the amount you are withdrawing.  

The fees start to get more complex and higher once you start trading odd altcoins and cryptocurrencies. Trade fees start at a 0.6% taker and 0.4% maker fee for trading non Bitcoin crypto worth less than $10,000 in a 30-day period. 

Check out complete fee schedule on their website. 

Although Binance is the world’s most popular Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange in the world, there are many red flag sign it might be in trouble.

Key Features
  • Binance Futures: Trade digital asset derivatives with leverage.

  • Binance Launchpad: Participate in token sales and potentially invest in promising blockchain projects.

  • Binance Earn: Stake cryptocurrencies, participate in savings programs, or earn interest on the holdings.

  • Binance Coin (BNB): Use BNB to pay for trading fees, participate in token sales on Binance Launchpad, and enjoy additional benefits within the Binance ecosystem.

  • Binance Academy: Get resources, articles, and videos to understand blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies, and various aspects of the crypto industry.

  • Binance.US: Launched in September 2019 and headquartered in Florida, Binance.US was established to serve U.S. consumers and adhere to U.S. regulations.

NOTE: On October 16th, Binance.US announced it will no longer allow USD withdrawals. You can download the PDF version here. Does this mean Binance International might be in trouble?

6. Robinhood

Robinhood equips investors to safely navigate the cryptocurrency world with its user-friendly interface, commission-free trading, a wide range of supported cryptocurrencies, and robust security measures.


Instead of a commission fee on buying cryptocurrencies Robinhood use payment of order flow where it takes a share of your profit when you sell your assets or withdraw them. This is a controversial practice which Securities and Exchange Commission might take them away all together. There is also an additional instant withdrawals fee of 1.5% to a debit card or bank account. 

Key Features
  • Intuitive Interface: Novice and experienced traders alike can trade easily.

  • Zero Commission Trading: Trade commission-free, maximizing their investment returns and making the most of their cryptocurrency transactions.

  • Instant Deposits and Withdrawals: Take advantage of market opportunities by avoiding unnecessary waiting and depositing and withdrawing quickly according to market fluctuations.

  • Real-Time Market Data and Alerts: Get real-time price data and customizable alerts for effective investment monitoring.

  • Robinhood Financial: Easily integrate with Robinhood Cryptocurrency Exchange and access both traditional stocks and cryptocurrencies within a single platform.

7. Bitstamp

With high liquidity and competitive trading fees, Bitstamp offers various order types, including market, limit, and stop orders, giving users greater control over their trading strategies. Bitstamp’s user-friendly interface and commitment to transparency and reliability have earned it the trust of many traders worldwide.


Bitstamp uses a complex maker-taker fee model to determine trading fees. The fees are calculated based on the current pricing tier you are in at the time of your order execution. Generally speaking you are paying between 1% — 1.5% in trading fees. You can check out their complete fee schedule table in their website

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: It helps seamlessly execute trades even during periods of high market volatility. 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, ensuring a secure trading environment.   

Why You Need a Coinbase Alternative

Although Coinbase is one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges and has established itself as a reputable platform, investors might consider alternatives for several reasons. The need for a Coinbase alternative stems from different preferences, and alternative platforms may offer unique features and utilities tailored to investors’ specific needs.  

Here are some reasons to start looking for a Coinbase alternative.

Regulatory Standing 

Coinbase received a Wells Notice on April 27, 2023. Wells' notice indicating that the SEC is investigating possible violations by Coinbase and may take legal action against the company has raised concerns and uncertainty among its customers.


Coinbase charges some of the highest fees in the cryptocurrency industry, especially for smaller transactions and retail investors. A variable fee is charged, ranging from 1% to 3.99%, depending on the size of the transaction and the payment method used.

“Coinbase generates most of its revenue through trading, listing, and custodial fees. Because of this, Coinbase is incentivized to list more cryptocurrencies, promote speculative trading, and discourage self-custody. To put this into perspective, in 2017 Coinbase only listed 4 coins: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Ethereum. Today, Coinbase has over 160 cryptocurrencies available to trade in the US.”

 — Sam Callahan, Swan Bitcoin 

Customer Service

Coinbase has a notorious reputation for its poor customer service. Many Coinbase users have reported issues with frozen or suspended accounts without explanation and no ability to receive personalized responses. Customers regularly complain about this on Twitter, Trustpilot, and forums like Reddit. It offers no live chat feature other than a bot with limited capabilities. Many users have to wait several days for answers if they receive them at all.

Coinbases Trustpilot Reviews

Coinbase’s Trustpilot rating is only 1.5 stars out of 5 out of nearly 8,500 reviews. 79% of these reviews get a 1-star rating, with several complaints about the lack of response from the platform.

Coinbase fares no better with the Better Business Bureau. The exchange has a near-worst possible score of 1.06 stars of 5-star rating.

Furthermore, the following ⚠️ CURRENT ALERTS FOR THIS BUSINESS message can be found on the company BBB page:

Technical and Security Issues

Coinbase is well-known for its fair share of:

In 2021, hackers stole crypto assets and user information from at least 6,000 Coinbase customers. In May 2023, a former product manager at Coinbase was sentenced to a two-year prison sentence for engaging in insider trading

Asset Choices

Bitcoin is the best performing asset the last 14 years. However, Coinbase still offers a vast range of cryptocurrencies for sale. The overwhelming majority of these listings underperform Bitcoin dramatically.

“Coinbase, for example, made an official recommendation of the following tokens to retail investors as ‘Top Picks, ’ each of which dramatically underperformed Bitcoin within weeks, with an average drawdown of -40.6%.” 

 — Sam Callahan, Swan Bitcoin 

In an announcement made on October 17th, Coinbase revealed that it had halted trading for 80 pairs not denominated in USD for specific supported assets on Coinbase Exchange, Advanced Trade, and Coinbase Prime. These pairs encompass a variety of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), stablecoins such as Tether (USDT), and conventional fiat currencies like the Euro.


Account Restrictions

Coinbase has been known to freeze or limit user accounts without warning, often causing user frustration and loss of funds. Several, possibly thousands of Coinbase users have complained that their accounts were blocked due to 'Regulatory Compliance' — halting customer funds. They are prompted with the following message:

Multiple class action lawsuits have been filed against Coinbase Global Inc., the cryptocurrency exchange, and its subsidiary Coinbase Inc. Some have been dismissed, but not all. The lawsuits claim that Coinbase fails to maintain adequate security measures for its customers' accounts and conducts business operations without the necessary registration as a broker-dealer.

Swan, Your Best Practice Alternative to Coinbase

What makes Swan the best alternative to Coinbase

No Regulatory Hassles

Swan Bitcoin focuses on recurring Bitcoin purchases for long-term investments, emphasizing simplicity and regulatory clarity. The SEC has publicly stated that Bitcoin isn’t a security and doesn’t fall under the SEC’s regulatory mandate.

By focusing on this single asset class, Swan offers its clients a secure and hassle-free solution for accumulating Bitcoin while avoiding the complexities and regulatory challenges associated with the broader range of cryptocurrencies, trading options, and crypto exchanges that the SEC classifies as illegal securities offerings.

** UPDATE: It was reported on July 31st, ahead of initiating legal proceedings against the exchange, the US SEC instructed Coinbase to halt trading in all cryptocurrencies except for Bitcoin. This move indicates the agency’s intention to exert regulatory jurisdiction over a broader section of the market.

According to Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, the SEC provided this recommendation before taking legal action against the company, which is listed on Nasdaq, for its failure to register as a broker.

Related Reading: Is Coinbase Safe? What 8727 Trustpilot Reviews Tell Us
Low and Transparent Fees

Swan’s exclusive focus on Bitcoin allows it to cut costs and pass on the savings in lower fees, making it a great Coinbase alternative for users who prioritize low fees and wish to focus on Bitcoin-only. There are no inactivity fees, withdrawal fees, overdraft fees, custody fees**, or fiat withdrawal fees involved. 

Swan also doesn’t charge a spread to its customers. Unlike Coinbase, which has to operate and maintain validation software and hardware for each supported coin, Swan only has to manage Bitcoin nodes, which are straightforward and inexpensive to operate. This dramatically reduces the hardware, software, and staff costs required to support multiple coins.

** There are no monthly fees for Swan entities or personal accounts. However, IRA accounts will incur a small monthly fee of $20 until your account reaches $100,000. If your account exceeds $100,000, an annual fee of 0.25% is deducted from your linked bank account.

Exceptional Customer Service

Swan uses a chatbot feature and instantly connects users to a Swan representative. This functionality allows users to engage in real-time conversations, enabling swift access to assistance and support.

Better Asset Choices

Being a Bitcoin-only company, Swan avoids the risks of volatile cryptocurrencies. By focusing solely on Bitcoin, Swan mitigates the potential uncertainty and unpredictability of investing in other highly volatile and multiple digital assets. Users get a more stable and secure investment experience while minimizing the risks of speculating on multiple cryptocurrencies.

Fewer Account Restrictions

Unlike Coinbase, Swan has a few account restrictions. It has a transparent framework openly available to the public

Swan Bitcoin IRA 

Swan recently launched a Bitcoin IRA product, offering its customer base a tax-deferred or tax-free solution. Swan offers self-managed Traditional or Roth IRAs, with Bitcoin held in a legal, regulated trust account maintained by a qualified and authorized custodian. Qualified custodians ensure asset protection, regulatory compliance, and independent oversight to prevent fraud and unauthorized use of funds.

Other Primary Swan Services

If you’re a high net-worth individual, family office, or corporation looking to buy $100,000 or more worth of Bitcoin, you can sign up with Swan Private for customized services.

Swan Vault and custody solutions is your reliable partner for everything related to Bitcoin. With an unparalleled commitment to security and professionalism, Swan offers robust custody services, ensuring the safe storage of your Bitcoin assets.

Seamless self-custody with support from Swan:

  • Best-in-class user experience for secure self-custody

  • Secure key backup to minimize the risk of loss

  • Concierge onboarding available

  • Inheritance planning for Swan Private clients

  • Built on Bitcoin Core and Specter, a fully open-source stack

Get Priority Access

Swan Force is another Swan entity to earn Bitcoin Cash by helping other users and businesses engage with the Bitcoin ecosystem.

Swan’s advantage is its lower fees, user-friendly experience, superior customer service, and Bitcoin-only focus. It has the best combination of fees and services and a sustainable business model with very low overhead costs and much lower regulatory risks. 

Swan encourages the self-custody of Bitcoin through free withdrawals so that users can remove counterparty risks from even Swan and their custodians. 

Coinbase’s fundamental difference is that it offers access to more digital asset options. But, if you take a closer look, as we shared with you above—there is no strong case for buying these altcoins over Bitcoin. 

If you care about customer service, education, and integrity and want a committed team of experts in your corner, available to help you whenever you need it, Swan Bitcoin is the best option to buy and hold Bitcoin. 

So, if you are looking for the best Coinbase alternative, look no further; Swan is your best bet. Start securing your Bitcoin future with Swan today. 



Drew is a Research Analyst for Swan Bitcoin. He is dedicated to helping onboard the next 10 million Bitcoiners.

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