How Coinbase Challenges the Great Canadian Crypto Consolidation

Coinbase logo next to a hand, phone and coins spinging out of it

    In collaboration with Coinbase

    Canada’s monopoly addiction is a problem for crypto traders. WonderFi, Bitbuy’s parent company, has been on a shopping spree, snatching up platforms like Coinsquare, Coinberry, CoinSmart, and Bitvo. Then, Binance and CEX.io peaced-out in response to increased regulatory demands. That leaves Canucks with limited options and a lackluster experience. But in the throws of the Great Canadian crypto consolidation, one platform is doubling down on our freedom of choice. 

    Coinbase is a refreshing escape from the lookalikes, offering advanced trading tools, robust security features, and one of the largest coin selections above the 49th parallel. While the higher fees seem like a major drawback, a closer look says you get what you pay for. Here’s how Coinbase provides a lifeline in a shrinking local crypto market. 

    The Power of Diversity

    Pick any Canadian-based crypto platform, and you’ll get access to maybe 70 coins at best. So if you’re an altcoin enthusiast or hoping to snag the next Pepecoin, you’re SOL (no, that’s not short for Solana). 

    Coinbase outshines its Canadian competitors by offering us almost 200 cryptocurrencies to choose from. That’s not just a number, it’s a swagger that’s hard to ignore. Here, we have the power to break out of the Bitcoin bubble, dabble in altcoins, or go full-throttle into emerging digital assets. 

    On top of that, Coinbase conducts a comprehensive due diligence process that includes detailed legal, security, and compliance checks before a coin is listed.

    Earning Trust Through Compliance

    After a string of crypto scandals and bankruptcies, the Feds cracked down on crypto platforms – and rightly so. But instead of committing to an honest relationship built on trust, Binance ditched us in favour of ‘pick me’ countries with lower standards.

    Yet Coinbase, the second largest platform in the world by trading volume, stepped up to put a ring on it. Their commitment to regulatory compliance is, quite frankly, a breath of fresh air. By proactively working to align with FINTRAC, the Canadian Securities Administrators, and the Ontario Securities Commission, Coinbase is setting the standard for what a responsible crypto platform should be.  

    Rigorous Security

    If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that digital threats loom large and security isn’t just a feature — it’s a linchpin. Coinbase understands this and has implemented state-of-the-art security measures that give Fort Knox vibes.

    A significant portion of digital assets on Coinbase are stored in secure offline storage to protect them from online breaches, and with Coinbase Vaults you can add an extra layer of protection with time-delayed withdrawals and multiple approvers. 

    Plus, cryptocurrencies that are held in custody are required to be segregated under applicable insolvency law. That means if Coinbase goes belly-up, your digital assets cannot be used to pay their creditors. 

    Coinbase also offers a non-custodial wallet, called Coinbase Wallet1. You don’t even need to be a Coinbase user to access it. Simply download the app and create your own self-custody wallet. After all, not your keys – not your crypto. 

    Catering to Every Trader

    Now that Binance has left for greyer pastures, crypto traders have been struggling to find a worthy substitute. Most Canadian-based platforms are limited in terms of advanced charting tools and trading functions. It honestly feels like a choice between Coke or Pepsi, when what you really want is a flight of a craft-brewed IPA. That leaves the advanced traders frustrated and even the newbies eventually outgrow their platform.  

    For those dipping their toes into crypto, Coinbase offers a simple and uncomplicated starting point. I’ve used the basic platform myself and found it to be a masterclass in user-friendliness, striking the right balance between simplicity and functionality.

    As you climb up the experience ladder, your needs evolve – and so does Coinbase. The Coinbase Advanced platform is designed for experienced traders who crave more sophisticated trading tools. Here, you’ll enjoy advanced charting options, detailed analytical tools, and a competitive fee structure tailored to high-volume trading. This is where serious traders can strategize, analyze, and execute trades with precision and agility.

    Finally, Coinbase One offers an exclusive, top-tier experience for the seasoned crypto trader. This subscription-based service is the epitome of premium, providing perks like zero trading fees, better staking rewards, enhanced customer support, and additional tools and insights reserved for the most discerning traders. It’s a testament to Coinbase’s commitment to serving the full range of crypto enthusiasts, from casual to the most dedicated traders.

    Paying for Premium

    Now, let’s chat about the elephant in the room. The fees on Coinbase are some of the highest in Canada. But those fees are easily justified when you realize how Coinbase differentiates itself from the crypto brat-pack.

    For starters, name one Canadian exchange that offers more than 70 coins, staking rewards, an NFT marketplace, and industry-leading security on one platform that grows with you. I’ll wait.

    The fees on Coinbase are more like an investment in security, reliability, and in a platform that doesn’t skimp on quality. It’s the kind of experience that makes you feel like a VIP in a market where ‘just okay’ is the norm. But if you’re new here, the fee structure can be confusing. Let’s break it down: 

    Coinbase (Basic Platform): For the everyday user, converting fiat to crypto costs a 1.5% fee for orders over $200. For smaller orders, the fees are flat: $0.99 for orders under $10, $1.49 for under $25, $1.99 for under $50, and $2.99 for orders under $200. These fees, while seemingly small, can eat into your investment, especially if you’re a regular trader or working with limited funds.

    Coinbase Advanced2: For the more savvy traders, the fees are tiered based on a 30-day trading volume, with maker fees up to 0.4% and taker fees up to 0.6%. This can add up, especially for those who trade frequently or in large volumes.

    Coinbase One3: This is a subscription service that costs $29.99 per month. It offers no-fee trading, higher staking yields, pro-level analytics via Messari Pro, and 24/7 priority customer support.

    Deposit fees on CAD deposits are non-existent on Coinbase. As long as you have a Canadian bank account, you can effortlessly add funds to Coinbase through Interac e-Transfer. This method is free and nearly instant.

    The Answer to Canada’s Crypto Conundrum

    In the Canadian crypto market, options are dwindling and true competition is scarce. But Coinbase has stepped up to fill the Binance-shaped hole in our hearts with a richer, more diverse crypto experience. Offering nearly 200 cryptocurrencies, robust security measures, and a remarkably versatile platform, Coinbase provides a refreshing contrast to a bleak lack of choice in the Great White North. 

    Yes, the fees on Coinbase stand out – and not in a good way. But it’s a reflection of the value you receive. As we watch the Canadian crypto market consolidating into a few hands right before our eyes, this level of diversity is not just desirable – it’s essential.

    Content is for informational purposes and not investment advice. Investing in crypto comes with risk. Please carefully consider whether trading or holding cryptocurrencies is suitable for you given your financial situation.

    Coinbase Canada, Inc. has filed an application for registration in certain Canadian jurisdictions but has not yet obtained registration. Until such time as Coinbase Canada, Inc. obtains registration, it has agreed to abide by the terms of an undertaking available at the following link.

    1 Coinbase Wallet is a self-custody wallet providing software services subject to Coinbase Wallet Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Coinbase Wallet is distinct from Coinbase.com, and private keys for Coinbase Wallet are stored directly by the user and not by Coinbase. Fees may apply. You do not need a Coinbase.com account to use Coinbase Wallet.

    2 Coinbase offers simple and advanced trading in eligible jurisdictions. Advanced trading is for experienced traders and is subject to the Trading Rules. Fees on the two platforms vary. 

    3 Eligible users may sign up for Coinbase One which is an automatically renewing subscription requiring recurring payments. Coinbase may modify or suspend this program at any time upon notice.  A Coinbase One subscription does not apply to Advanced Trade, Coinbase Pro, or Coinbase Prime. Coinbase includes a spread in the price when you buy or sell cryptocurrencies or in the exchange rate when you convert cryptocurrencies. There’s a fee-free trading volume limit. When you trade over this limit, you’re responsible for paying regular trading fees. The limit can be found in your account settings. Staking is not available in all regions. The APY you receive depends on the rewards received from the network, which can change over time. Coinbase takes a commission on all rewards received, and the APY for our customers reflects this commission. Customers will be able to see the latest rate directly within their accounts.

    Heidi Unrau is a senior finance journalist at Hardbacon. She studied Economics at the University of Winnipeg, where she fell in love with all-things-finance. At 25, she kicked-off her financial career in retail banking as a teller. She quickly progressed to become a Credit Analyst and then Private Lender. This hands-on industry experience uniquely positions her to provide expert insight on loans, credit scores, credit cards, debt, and banking services. She has been featured in publications such as WealthRocket, Scary Mommy, Credello, and Plooto. When she's not chasing after her two little boys, you'll find her hiding in the car listening to the Freakonomics podcast, or binge-watching financial crime documentaries with a bowl of ice cream. Fun Fact: Heidi has lived in five different provinces across Canada and her blood type is coffee.