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eToro vs Coinbase: Which is Best for Crypto Beginners in 2024

Quick Summary

eToro offers lower fees and a user-friendly interface, ideal for beginners. Its standout feature, copy trading, lets users mimic successful traders easily. While eToro excels in ease and cost, Coinbase remains a reliable choice for those seeking a well-established cryptocurrency trading platform.

Page Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Head to head Comparison Table
  3. Supported Cryptocurrencies and Investment Options
  4. Fees
  5. User Reviews
  6. Platform Features & Usability
  7. Key Considerations for UK Investors
  8. Verdict: Who Should Choose eToro or Coinbase?
  9. Key Takeaways
  10. Frequently Asked Questions

Introduction

The cryptocurrency market has exploded in popularity, attracting a new wave of investors. But for beginners, navigating the world of digital assets can be overwhelming. Choosing the right platform to buy and sell crypto is crucial, especially in the UK where regulations and tax implications differ slightly from other regions. This Etoro vs Coinbase guide will compare the two leading crypto exchanges, focusing on which platform best suits the needs of beginner investors in the UK.

eToro Pros and Cons

Etoro logo green
4.7/5

Coinbase Pros and Cons

coinbase logo in blue
4.5/5

Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong. Take 2 mins to learn more.

Head to Head Comparison Table

Demo Image
Investing Options
Spread Betting, CFDs, Stocks, ETFs, Crypto
Buy, sell, and trade Cryptocurrencies
FCA Regulated
Founded
2007
2012
Cryptocurrencies
80+
250+
Crypto Staking
Beginner Friendly
Trust Pilot
4.2/5
4.1/5
ISA Account
Mobile App
Inactivity Fee
12 Months
Monthly Fee
Base Fiat
£ $ €
£ $ €
Min Deposit
£10
Relative to method
Fractional Shares
Demo Account
Active Users
20,000,000+
1,000,000+
Investor Protection
FSCS (up to £85,000)
SIPC insurance protects USD cash holdings up to $250,000
Available in UK

Supported Cryptocurrencies and Investment Options

Understanding the available cryptocurrencies and investment options on each platform is crucial for UK beginner investors. Here’s a breakdown:

Number of Supported Cryptocurrencies

Coinbase: Offers a comprehensive selection exceeding 250 cryptocurrencies, providing in-depth exploration of higher and low cap crypto for investors. You can explore the full list of supported cryptocurrencies on Coinbase here.

eToro: Provides a curated selection of approximately 80 popular cryptocurrencies. While seemingly limited compared to Coinbase, this selection offers a more manageable starting point for beginners. Focusing on established tokens helps mitigate potential risks associated with lesser-known cryptocurrencies. Explore the full list of supported cryptocurrencies on eToro here

Availability of Stocks, ETFs, and Commodities

Diversifying your portfolio beyond cryptocurrencies can be a prudent strategy. Here’s a comparison of investment options:

Coinbase: Primarily focuses on cryptocurrencies, with limited access to stock trading features in some regions.

eToro: Expands your investment horizons by offering stocks, ETFs, and even commodities alongside cryptocurrencies. This diversification can be beneficial for building a balanced portfolio, particularly for those seeking a holistic investment approach. However, if your sole focus is on pure cryptocurrency investing, Coinbase’s narrower selection might be sufficient.

Etoro mobile screengrab demonstrating the crypto interface
Etoro Mobile Crypto Screengrab
Screenshot of a cryptocurrency trading app displaying top assets over 24 hours with performance percentages and prices in GBP, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and USDC
Coinbase Mobile Screengrab

Fees Comparison

Trading Fees Explained:

eToro: Employs a spread fee for buying and selling cryptocurrencies. The spread represents the difference between the buy and sell price offered by eToro. This fee structure can be more transparent for beginners compared to percentage-based fees.

Coinbase: Uses a percentage-based fee structure for trading cryptocurrencies. The exact fee may vary depending on your transaction size and chosen payment method (higher fees for debit/credit cards). While potentially lower for large transactions, this structure can be less transparent for beginners.

Deposit and Withdrawal Fees:

eToro: Deposits are generally free, although fees may apply for certain payment methods (check their website for current details). Withdrawals typically incur a $5 flat fee.

Coinbase: Offers free deposits via bank transfers. However, using other payment methods may incur fees. Withdrawal fees vary depending on the chosen cryptocurrency and withdrawal method (typically a flat fee + network fee).

FeatureeToroCoinbase
Trading FeesSpread-based (variable)Percentage-based (variable)
Deposit FeesGenerally free (may vary depending on method)Free for bank transfers (fees for other methods)
Withdrawal FeesVariable (typically $5 flat fee)Variable (typically a flat fee + network fee)
Inactive Account Fee$10 per month after 1 year of inactivityNone
Margin Trading Fees (if applicable)Variable spreads and overnight feesVariable interest rates
Conversion Fees (for non-USD deposits/withdrawals)0.50%1-4% (depending on payment method)
Crypto Transfer Fees (for transferring crypto out of the platform)Blockchain network fees + 2% minimum fee (capped at $25)Network fees only

Remember: This table provides a general overview.  For the most up-to- date fee information, consult the platform’s official websites.

User Reviews

Understanding user experiences can be invaluable when choosing a crypto exchange platform. Here’s a breakdown of what users are saying about eToro and Coinbase:

Positive Reviews: Many users praise eToro’s user-friendly interface, strong educational resources, and innovative features like social trading. Beginners appreciate the platform’s guidance and clear explanations.

Negative Reviews: Some users express concerns about eToro’s limited customer support options and the fact that crypto holdings are not directly stored in user wallets. Additionally, fees associated with non-crypto investments might be a deterrent for some.

Positive Reviews: Coinbase is often lauded for its clean interface, ease of use, and strong reputation. Beginners appreciate the straightforward buying and selling process.

Negative Reviews: Some users criticize Coinbase’s higher fees compared to some competitors. Additionally, limited customer support options and occasional technical issues have been reported.

Platform Features & Usability

User experience is crucial, especially for beginner investors. Let’s compare how eToro and Coinbase fare in terms of user-friendliness for UK crypto beginners:

User Interface Design and Navigation

Coinbase: Known for its clean and user-friendly interface, perfect for beginners. The buying and selling process is straightforward, with clear menus and easy navigation.

eToro: While still user-friendly, eToro offers a slightly more complex interface with additional features like social trading. However, its intuitive design caters well to beginners, with clear instructions and guidance throughout the platform.

Mobile App Functionality

Coinbase: Offers a well-designed mobile app that mirrors the functionality of the web platform. This allows for convenient crypto management on the go.

eToro: Also provides a user-friendly mobile app with all the core functionalities of the web platform, ensuring seamless crypto management from your smartphone.

Educational Resources and Support

Coinbase: Offers a decent library of educational resources, including articles, videos, and FAQs, to help beginners understand cryptocurrencies and the platform. However, in-depth educational resources might be limited.

eToro: Provides a range of educational resources, including webinars, guides, and glossaries, to equip beginners with a solid foundation in cryptocurrencies and trading strategies. Their customer support is also known for being responsive and helpful.

Key Takeaways

Both eToro and Coinbase offer user-friendly platforms. Coinbase excels in its clean and straightforward interface, while eToro provides a more comprehensive educational suite for beginners.

Remember: Consider your preferred learning style when choosing a platform. If you value clear visuals and easy navigation, Coinbase might be a good fit. If you prefer in-depth educational resources and guidance, eToro could be a better option.

Key Considerations for UK Investors

Before diving deeper into user experience, let’s revisit two crucial factors specifically relevant to UK crypto investors:

Regulations and Licensing

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulates cryptocurrency activities in the UK. It’s essential to choose a platform registered with the FCA for added security and peace of mind. Both eToro and Coinbase are registered with the FCA, ensuring they adhere to strict anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) regulations.

Tax Implications for Crypto Trading in the UK

Profits from crypto trading in the UK may be subject to Capital Gains Tax (CGT) if they exceed your annual allowance.  Unlike some countries, the UK doesn’t have a specific tax for crypto holdings. However, it’s important to be aware of potential tax liabilities when making investment decisions.

Remember: Consulting with a qualified tax advisor is recommended for personalized tax advice regarding crypto investments in the UK.

Verdict: Who Should Choose eToro or Coinbase?

Now that we’ve comprehensively compared eToro and Coinbase, it’s time to help you pick the platform that best aligns with your crypto investment goals in the UK:

Best for Beginners

Both platforms offer user-friendly interfaces, but for beginners, Coinbase might have a slight edge. Its clean and straightforward design makes buying and selling cryptocurrencies a breeze. Additionally, Coinbase’s reputation and FCA regulation can provide peace of mind for new investors.

However, if you value in-depth educational resources and guidance, eToro could be a compelling option. Their extensive library of tutorials, webinars, and glossaries can equip you with a solid foundation in cryptocurrencies before you start investing.

Best for Experienced Traders

While both platforms cater to beginners, Coinbase might be less suitable for experienced traders. Its limited selection of cryptocurrencies and lack of advanced trading features could be restrictive for seasoned investors.

eToro, on the other hand, offers a wider range of cryptocurrencies and features like margin trading (use with caution) that might appeal to experienced traders. However, their fee structure might not be the most cost-effective for frequent trading.

Best for Social Trading and Copy Trading

eToro shines in this category. Their innovative social trading features allow you to observe and potentially copy the investment strategies of experienced traders. This can be a valuable learning tool, particularly for beginners venturing into the crypto market.

Coinbase does not currently offer social or copy trading functionalities.

Best for Low-Cost Crypto Investing

Transaction fees can significantly impact your returns. Here’s a breakdown:

Coinbase: May have higher fees, especially for smaller transactions and those using debit/credit cards. Using the Coinbase Pro version will significantly lower fees but increase the complexity of the trading interface.

eToro: Employs a spread-based fee structure, which can be more transparent but might not always be the most cost-effective option.

For frequent, low-volume trading, Coinbase might incur higher fees. However, for larger transactions, eToro’s spread could be less favorable.

Key Takeaways for UK Investors

Best for Beginners:

  1. Coinbase (slight edge): Clean interface, easy buying/selling, FCA regulation.
  2. eToro (strong contender): Educational resources, guidance, user-friendly platform.

 

Best for Experienced Traders:

  1. Coinbase (less suitable): Limited crypto selection, basic features.
  2. eToro (better option): Wider crypto range, features like margin trading (use with caution).

 

Best for Social Trading and Copy Trading:

  1. eToro: Dedicated social trading features, copy experienced traders.
  2. Coinbase: No social/copy trading functionalities.

 

Best for Low-Cost Crypto Investing:

  1. Coinbase (for larger transactions): Percentage-based fees might be lower.
  2. eToro (for infrequent trading): Spread-based fees can be less transparent.

Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong. Take 2 mins to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Both eToro (FCA) and Coinbase (FCA) are registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the regulatory body overseeing crypto activities in the UK. This provides a level of security and ensures adherence to anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) regulations.

Coinbase might have a slight edge for beginners due to its clean and straightforward interface. However, eToro’s extensive educational resources and user-friendly platform can also be very beginner-friendly.

Coinbase boasts a vast library of over 250 cryptocurrencies, while eToro offers a curated selection of around 80 popular options. If you prioritize a wider range, Coinbase might be the better choice.

Social and copy trading features are not currently available on Coinbase. However, eToro excels in this area, allowing you to observe and potentially copy the trades of experienced investors, which can be a valuable learning tool for beginners.

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Coinbase might be more cost-effective for larger transactions due to its percentage-based fees. However, eToro’s spread-based fees can be more transparent and potentially favorable for infrequent trading. Always consider the total fees associated with your investment activity before making a decision.

References

About eToro: https://www.etoro.com/about/

Commission & Fees: https://www.etoro.com/trading/fees/

Coinbase:

Coinbase Fees, https://help.coinbase.com/en/coinbase/trading-and-funding/pricing-and-fees/fees

Additional Resources:

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA): https://www.fca.org.uk/

Trustpilot: Coinbase User Reviews [https://www.trustpilot.com/review/coinbase.com]

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Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong. Take 2 mins to learn more.

Adam is a career sales professional with extensive knowledge in sales, marketing and negotiation. His passion is trading and investment. His goal with The Investors Centre is to to create a resource hub for would-be investors, making investing journey as efficient and enjoyable as possible. His investment strategies have been forged through extensive research and hands on experience. His portfolio consists of Bonds, Funds, Stocks and higher market-cap Crypto assets.

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