While the standard Coinbase app is a great place for beginners, the fees are high and trading tools are lacking. If you are an experienced crypto trader looking for an exchange with deep liquidity, advanced trading tools, and a simple-to-use mobile app, Coinbase Pro may be a good fit.
Coinbase Pro is a cryptocurrency trading platform aimed at experienced traders that offers access to hundreds of cryptocurrency. With multiple order types, advanced charting, low fees, and a wide range of crypto trading pairs, Coinbase Pro helps high-volume traders keep costs low while providing the tools expected of a professional trading platform.
We’ve reviewed the Coinbase Pro platform and can help you evaluate the trading tools, security, fees, features, and everything else you need to know to decide if Coinbase Pro is for you.
What is Coinbase Pro?
Coinbase Pro is a cryptocurrency exchange based in the U.S. that is an offshoot of the Coinbase platform.
Read more: Coinbase review: still just for newbies?
Founded in 2015 by Coinbase founders Brian Armstrong and Fred Ersham, Coinbase Pro was known as the “Coinbase Exchange,” then later GDAX (for Global Digital Asset Exchange). In 2018, it was renamed Coinbase Pro, and has continued to add digital assets to the platform.
Coinbase Pro is an extension of Coinbase, and users can login to Coinbase Pro with the same login information as the main platform. But Coinbase Pro does have its own digital wallet and trading platform, and will occasionally carry cryptocurrencies that are not available on the main Coinbase platform.
Coinbase Pro is a decent exchange for advanced crypto traders looking to actively trade, but new investors may struggle to use the platform at all.
How does Coinbase Pro work?
You can sign up for a Coinbase Pro account using an email address and a password, which will be shared with the standard Coinbase platform.
After verifying your email address, you will need to enable two-factor authentication, as well as verify your identity to begin using the platform. This involves sharing the following information:
- Full name.
- Identification number (such as SSN).
- Picture of a photo ID (like your driver’s license).
Once you create an account and verify, you can fund it by depositing fiat currency (such as U.S. dollars) or cryptocurrency. To deposit fiat currency, you can use ACH or wire transfer, and to deposit crypto you will need to transfer it from your digital wallet directly to the Coinbase Pro wallet address listed.
Warning: Make sure to deposit to the exact address listed, as sending the wrong crypto to the wrong address will lose it forever.
Once your account is funded, you can begin trading. Coinbase Pro offers a wide selection of cryptocurrencies, with hundreds of trading pairs available.
Coinbase Pro fees
Coinbase Pro offers reasonable trading fees, and no fees for crypto deposits. Most fiat deposits are free, but there are fees associated with wire transfers.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the fees on Coinbase Pro:
|Wire transfer||$10 deposit, $25 withdrawal|
|Trading fees||0.00% - 0.60% (maker/taker)|
Coinbase Pro utilizes a maker-taker fee model, with maker fees being charged when your trade order is not matched immediately, and taker fees are charged when your order is matched against an order already on the order book.
Here are the basic fees for trading on Coinbase Pro. A full breakdown of Coinbase Pro trading fees can be found on the Coinbase Pro website.
|30-day trading volume||Taker fee||Maker fee|
|$0 - 10K||0.60%||0.40%|
|$10K - 50K||0.40%||0.25%|
|$50K - 100K||0.25%||0.15%|
|$100K - 1M||0.20%||0.10%|
|$1M - 20M||0.18%||0.08%|
|$20M - 100M||0.15%||0.05%|
|$100M - 300M||0.10%||0.02%|
|$300M - 500M||0.08%||0.00%|
Coinbase Pro features
Coinbase Pro is aimed at experienced traders, offering advanced trading features and low fees. Here are a few of the standout features of the platform:
Coinbase Pro trading platform
Coinbase Pro offers a streamlined trading platform for active crypto traders, with advanced charting, live order books, and multiple order types (market, limit, and stop-loss). There are over 160 crypto supported on the platform, and trading is done in pairs (such as USD – BTC).
Trading is fairly straightforward, as you can select which crypto pair you want to trade, set a limit or market order, and execute the trade. You can also add in 12- and 26-day moving average overlays to the chart, and switch between either candle or line charts. Overall, the platform offers just enough to appease experienced traders, but not all of the bells and whistles of some other advanced trading platforms (such as FTX.us).
Coinbase Pro offers access to over 160 cryptocurrencies, with more being added on a regular basis. While this isn’t the largest selection for a crypto exchange, it is more than exchanges like Gemini and FTX.us. The most popular cryptocurrencies are available, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, and Coinbase Pro also offers some “up-and-coming” crypto like ApeCoin (APE) and Avalanche (AVAX).
Read more: 8 alternatives to Bitcoin
In addition to the crypto selection, Coinbase Pro offers “trading pairs,” which are pairs of assets to trade against. This includes fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies, allowing users to swap between cryptocurrencies, foreign currencies, and loan currencies. There are hundreds of trading pairs available on the platform.
Coinbase Pro API
Coinbase Pro offers access to a public API, which allows users to connect to a third-party application, such as a trading bot. This access is designed for advanced traders who want to program their own trading tools, or simply to connect to other applications that use Coinbase Pro to execute trades.
The Coinbase Pro API connects to two main types of applications:
- Trading apps.
- Market data apps.
There are separate APIs for each of these use cases, and dozens of applications that can use them.
Coinbase Pro offers the same high level of security as Coinbase, with features such as two-factor authentication, $250k in FDIC insurance (on USD deposits), and cold storage of crypto assets. In addition, Coinbase Pro allows users to whitelist withdrawal wallet addresses, further securing funds. This stops any unauthorized withdrawals from your account.
Overall, Coinbase Pro is one of the most secure crypto exchanges available on the market.
My experience with Coinbase Pro
Coinbase Pro is my go-to platform for crypto trading. With low fees, a large crypto selection, and streamlined user interface, even an intermediate trader like myself can navigate the platform with ease.
I have personally traded multiple cryptocurrencies on the platform, utilizing limit orders to buy and sell at set prices. I have also heavily used the stop-loss feature to protect my profits. I have connected the API to third-party trading bots as well, experimenting with a few different applications to learn about grid bot trading.
Overall, Coinbase Pro is fairly intuitive for intermediate to advanced crypto traders, and offers a great selection of crypto that would satisfy most traders.
Who is Coinbase Pro best for?
Experienced crypto traders
Coinbase Pro, like its parent platform, is designed for advanced traders, through and through. With a huge selection of customizable trading tools, low trading fees, access to margin and derivatives trading, and even a bot programming platform, experienced crypto traders will feel right at home on this platform.
Coinbase Pro offers much lower fees than the standard Coinbase platform, and can save high-volume crypto traders a lot of money. It also offers very deep liquidity, as there are billions of dollars transacted on the platform daily, so users that want to execute larger trades will benefit from using Coinbase Pro.
Who shouldn’t use Coinbase Pro?
New crypto investors
While Coinbase Pro is a fairly intuitive platform overall, new investors may quickly feel overwhelmed with the detailed charts, live order books, and multiple trading order types. The trading pairs may also confuse users who simply want to buy crypto and hold it, instead of actively trading.
If you’re new to crypto, the standard Coinbase platform may be a better starting point, as it offers a simpler user experience, as well as user education to help you get better acquainted with crypto trading.
Pros & cons
- Advanced crypto trading tools. Advanced charts, live order books, and even API access make Coinbase Pro a great option for active traders.
- 160+ cryptocurrencies. A decent selection of crypto makes Coinbase Pro a good option for those looking to trade multiple cryptocurrencies.
- Low fees. Coinbase Pro charges lower fees than its standard platform, with high-volume traders benefitting the most.
- Too advanced for beginners. The amount of trading features is overwhelming, and new users may quickly run for the hills (or, you know, a simpler crypto exchange).
- No margin or futures trading. While Coinbase Pro is designed for advanced traders, if you are looking to trade on margin or trade crypt futures, you will not find those options on this platform.
Coinbase Pro vs. competitors
|Fees (maker/taker)||Up to 0.00%/0.60%, depending on 30-day trade volume||Up to 0.00%/0.40%, depending on 30-day trade volume||$0.99–$2.99, for orders below $200
1.49%–3.49% for trades over $200
|Trading options||Buy/sell, trading, API integration||Buy/sell, margin, futures/derivatives, lending, NFTs, interest accounts||Buy/sell, earn interest|
|Funding options||ACH, wire transfer, crypto deposit||Wire transfer, ACH, debit card, credit card, SEN, Signet, crypto deposit||Wire transfer, ACH, debit card, crypto deposit|
|Currency selection||160+ crypto, 3 fiat||25 crypto, 1 fiat||90+ crypto, 7 fiat|
|Verification process||2–3 minutes||Instant||2–3 minutes|
FTX.us is a cryptocurrency trading platform that is built “for traders, by traders,” aimed at U.S.-based investors. It offers a small selection of crypto to trade, but a wide selection of trading tools and features to satisfy the most advanced crypto traders. It is not for beginners, but offers margin and futures trading, advanced trading, and a quant zone (programmatic crypto trading), as well as an NFT marketplace.
FTX.us has very low trading fees, especially for high-volume traders. It also offers a lending platform, crypto loans, and even its own crypto debit card, allowing you to spend your crypto balance.
Gemini is an easy-to-use crypto exchange that focuses on security and a simplified user experience. It offers over 90 cryptocurrencies, an intuitive mobile app, and even insurance on crypto held in their digital wallet. Gemini also offers a crypto payment app that allows you to spend your crypto balance on everyday purchases.
Gemini does charge higher fees to casual investors on the platform who only want to purchase crypto, but makes it a very simple process. It also offers an advanced trading platform with reasonable fees, ideal for experienced traders. Overall, Gemini offers a simple and secure way to invest in crypto, and is ideal for beginners.
Coinbase Pro is a great option for active crypto traders who want a clean interface and access to some advanced tools for trading crypto. With advanced charting, live order books, and a decent selection of crypto, Coinbase Pro is widely used by many experienced crypto traders.
Overall, Coinbase Pro is an immensely popular crypto exchange for U.S. traders that helps lower fees while still providing the same security and protections as the main Coinbase platform. If you are looking to trade crypto regularly, it may be a great option for you.
Featured image: Koshiro K/Shutterstock.com