GDAX vs Coinbase

Coinbase is one of the most popular Bitcoin brokers – in fact, its user base has surpassed that of stock brokerage Charles Schwab. Coinbase’s popularity skyrocketed in 2017, along with the price of Bitcoin.

GDAX – also owned by Coinbase – has also seen a similar amount of growth.


GDAX's trading interface.

As the media began covering Bitcoin’s significant price increase, more and more first time buyers were looking to acquire cryptocurrency. Evidently, most of them chose to use Coinbase. They generated over $1 billion in revenue last year.

But, the question of whether to use GDAX or Coinbase is confusing for many new users.

What is the difference between Coinbase and GDAX?

Credit Card Fees
Bank Fees1.49%0.0% - 0.25%
Easy to Use
Coinbase Review GDAX Review
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Buying cryptocurrency is confusing, especially if it’s your first time.

Coinbase is designed for ease of use, targeting first time buyers. Their simplistic platform makes it easy for anyone to buy or sell Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and BCH, regardless of their prior experience.

GDAX is for more advanced users. It has features like bid ask spreads, price charts, order books, market orders, limit orders, and stop limits can be overwhelming to take in all at once for new buyers.

Coinbase users can buy or sell using a bank transfer, credit card or debit card, while enjoying high liquidity. The website doesn’t display fancy price charts, nor does it show any form of order book. The only options available to Coinbase users are to buy and sell.


Coinbase has a simple and easy to understand interface.

GDAX only allows you deposit using ACH bank transfer (USA), SEPA transfer (Europe), or wire transfer.

Coinbase’s basic buying platform is perfect for the Bitcoin buying beginner – however, its simplicity comes at a cost.

Coinbase vs GDAX Fees

When compared to GDAX, Coinbase’s fees are pretty hefty. They charge a 3.99% fee on credit/debit card transfers and a 1.49% fee on bank transfers.

GDAX, on the other hand, charges significantly less than Coinbase. If you play your cards right, you won’t have to pay a cent – that’s right, zero trading fees.

Believe it or not, GDAX is owned by Coinbase, though GDAX and Coinbase don’t have much in common. GDAX is geared towards more advanced traders, who enjoy instant transactions and plenty of volume, as GDAX is one of the most popular exchange platforms.

GDAX charges 0.1% to 0.25% for taker trades, and no fees at all for maker trades. As long as you place limit orders, you won’t have to worry about paying a fee. What’s more, if you have a Coinbase account, you already have a GDAX account. Simply log in to GDAX with your Coinbase credentials. Better still, you can transfer funds instantly between Coinbase and GDAX.

Coinbase vs GDAX Price

Coinbase’s price is based on the GDAX price, but is usually somewhat higher. This means Coinbase has somewhat of a hidden premium.

For example, as I write this the price on GDAX is $8917.16 but the price on Coinbase is $8,962.35. So Coinbase has marked up its prices somewhat.

GDAX vs Coinbase Liquidity

As far as GDAX’s liquidity goes, you won’t have to worry. Deposits of USD, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and BCH to your GDAX wallet are unlimited. Individuals can withdraw up to $10,000 per day and businesses can withdraw up to $50,000 per day. Higher withdrawal limits can be made available to you upon request.

GDAX vs Coinbase User Interface

Coinbase has one of the nicest user interfaces of any crypto app. It’s super simple to use.


Coinbase has a simple and easy to understand interface. Simply enter the amount of coin you want to buy and it displays the fees, delivery time and amount clearly.

For an orderbook exchange, GDAX’s interface is very clean. But for users who don’t know how to use orderbook exchanges it may be confusing.


GDAX's interface is much more confusing. There is an orderbook, different order types and fancy price charts. This is confusing for a lot of new users.

Supported Countries

GDAX and Coinbase support almost the same countries.

Both GDAX and Coinbase support the following countries:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United States.

Customers from Singapore, Canada and Australia can only use Coinbase, but are not able to use GDAX.

Mobile Use

Coinbase has mobile apps for Android and iOS.

There is no mobile app for GDAX, although the mobile version of the site works quite well on tablets and smartphones.

Withdrawal Fees

Coinbase makes you pay the standard Bitcoin transaction fee, which is usually about $0.10.

GDAX has no withdrawal fees and pays the Bitcoin, ether and litecoin transaction fees for you.


If you’re new to trading and you are just looking to acquire cryptocurrency, Coinbase is probably the best option for you.

However, if you have some prior experience with trading, or you are willing to learn, you can dodge some hefty fees by using GDAX instead.

For more info, check out our full Coinbase review or full GDAX review.