Coinbase has a problem. In fact it has several, including celebrity users disgruntled with its poor customer service and a scandal over its development of chain analysis software for US government agencies, both of which have occurred in the past month.
Regular users of the crypto brokerage and exchange have a more pressing concern, however: when they badly need to access their account, they can’t.
The San Francisco-headquartered exchange has gained a reputation for going offline during times of peak volatility. Just as volume is rocketing across global exchanges, Coinbase is nowhere to be seen.
Its latest outage occurred on June 1, just as bitcoin was soaring past $10k, and there was a similar incident in March when BTC plummeted during a series of cascading liquidations on the futures market.
For traders seeking a trading venue that can take the strain, here are five robust Coinbase alternatives.
1. bitFlyer USA
bitFlyer USA is now doing in the States what its parent exchange has done in Japan: provided retail customers with a dependable platform for trading cryptocurrencies like BTC, ETH, and LTC.
Licensed, and appropriately regulated to operate in numerous US states, bitFlyer enables traders to buy and sell digital currencies for US dollars safely, with low fees and latency. It’s reliable, too, with a trading engine that keeps ticking over, even when the markets turn choppy.
bitFlyer’s Lightning Pro exchange, meanwhile, provides even faster order execution and an advanced interface for experienced traders.
Bybit has a number of advantages over Coinbase, including the provision of leveraged trading of its BTC, ETH, EOS, and XRP contracts.
For Coinbase users frustrated at being unable to trade during peak times, however, Bybit’s best feature has to be its trading engine which can handle 100,000 transactions per second, matching each trade within 10 microseconds.
On Black Thursday, March 13, when BitMEX’s exchange went down, Bybit kept on trucking, winning a slew of new signups in the aftermath.
The only exchange that can lay a glove on Binance in terms of volume and global reach, Huobi is a powerhouse. The exchange dominates the Asian market and also has a foothold in Europe and the US.
Spot and margin trading are complemented by an OTC desk and institutional arm for high volume traders. There’s a reason why you rarely hear traders complaining about Huobi when bitcoin’s on a bull run: because the exchange just works.
US traders seeking a direct alternative to Coinbase should look no further than Kraken. Despite being headquartered in the same state as Coinbase, California’s Kraken is cut from a very different cloth, despite being subject to the same regulations.
You wouldn’t catch CEO Jesse Powell selling chain analysis software to the DEA for one thing; Kraken is a more privacy-oriented platform. In terms of uptime, Kraken also performs admirably.
Following the bull run of 2017, when every major exchange struggled with the unprecedented demand, Kraken upgraded its trading engine and has been ticking over smoothly ever since.
BitMax is another popular exchange within the Asian and European markets that’s modeled on the Binance model, including a native token for discounted fees, margin trading, and staking.
There’s a lot more altcoins to trade than on Coinbase, even if the liquidity on smaller cap coins can sometimes lead a little to be desired. An efficient trading engine ensures orders are rapidly executed and performance remains stable during peak times.
If you’re a Coinbase regular who’s grown frustrated at the sporadic outages, don’t prolong your suffering: take your coins to a more reliable exchange that won’t start to groan when the going gets tough.
Most exchanges suffer performance issues from time to time. Frequent outages, however, should not be tolerated. With more crypto exchanges today than ever, you’ve no excuse for now withdrawing your coins from Coinbase and seeking your fortune elsewhere.