If you’re looking to get into cryptocurrency trading, the first thing you’ll have to do is to get some crypto tokens. To get them, you could earn them by receiving payment in crypto for a good or service you provide. Or you could always buy some cryptocurrency using your fiat currency. There are several websites where you can do this and several payment methods. Two of the names that pop up more often when looking at sites to buy crypto tokens are Coinmama and Coinbase. In this article, we’ll do a Coinmama vs Coinbase comparison so you can decide which one is more convenient for you.
What is Coinbase?
Coinbase has been around for a while. It was founded in 2012 and is a cryptocurrency exchange service, based in San Francisco. It is one of the most well-known cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. It’s a custodial exchange, which means they provide crypto wallets for all their users and all tokens bought or traded are stored in those wallets until the user transfers them to their own personal wallets.
Coinbase is popular among novice crypto traders because, unlike many other exchanges, they offer a simple, easy-to-understand, beginner-friendly user interface.
Is Coinbase safe?
Like all custodial exchanges, which store millions of dollars worth of user’s crypto assets at any given time, Coinbase is a tempting target for hackers. But they have yet to suffer any significant hacks. They have implemented several important security measures. First of all, most funds are stored in offline encrypted wallets, and those wallets are distributed among several different places. For added security, two-factor authentication (2FA) is mandatory for all users. A few months ago, Coinbase reported that they had been targeted by hackers this past June, but the security team blocked the attempt without any crypto being stolen. Almost any Coinbase review you find will speak highly of their security.
All cryptocurrency purchases and sales require you to pay a fee. This is normal for every exchange. However, figuring out your transaction fee on Coinbase can be a little confusing for beginners. This is because Coinbase fees vary according to the amount of crypto you are buying and the payment method.
For example, if you are buying 100 USD worth of Bitcoin and paying with a US bank account, the fee would be 2.99 USD. But if you are paying with a credit card, then the fee would be 3.99 USD. This takes some getting used to.
What is Coinmama?
Coinmama is a web service that allows users to buy cryptocurrency. It is registered in Slovakia and started operations in 2013. Its initial intention was to allow users to purchase bitcoin easily and quickly. Other crypto tokens were added later. However, Coinmama isn’t a full crypto exchange. It allows neither trading of tokens nor withdrawing cryptocurrency into fiat currency.
Is Coinmama safe?
You might read a Coinmama review or two that state it’s not as safe as other cryptocurrency exchanges because it doesn’t allow for extra security features like 2-factor authentication (2FA) or e-mail authentication. While this was certainly true in the past, it is no longer the case. Currently, setting up 2FA is not only possible, but it’s actually mandatory. These and other measures make Coinmama just as safe as other crypto trading platforms.
Let’s get this out of the way right now: Trading on Coinmama is more expensive than many other sites. There are two different fees in play. First, Coinmama charges a 5.9% brokerage fee, which is already applied when the site shows you its trading prices.
On top of the brokerage fee, there is also a 5% fee for credit card processing. In the end, the price you pay on Coinmama when you buy cryptocurrencies will be 10.9% above the current market price. Other exchanges are well below that.
Now that we’ve met the two counterparts in this Coinmama vs Coinbase comparison, let’s put them head-to-head in different aspects and see which one will come out on top:
Coinmama VS Coinbase: Head-to-Head
Round 1: Type of service
Coinbase is a full cryptocurrency exchange that allows you to purchase crypto tokens with fiat currency, trade one kind of cryptocurrency for another, and withdraw crypto tokens into fiat currency. Purchased tokens are stored in Coinbase wallets until the user decides to transfer them into their personal wallets.
Coinmama isn’t technically a cryptocurrency exchange, but rather a brokerage service. When you buy bitcoin on Coinmama, you are actually buying the token from Coinmama itself rather than from another user. While this is generally faster, brokerage services are generally more expensive than exchanges. Purchased tokens are directly deposited into the user’s personal wallets. In this regard, Coinmama operates much like non-custodial exchanges such as Changelly.
What Coinmama doesn’t allow is trading crypto tokens or withdrawing crypto into fiat. The only thing you can do here is to buy cryptocurrencies with your credit card.
For offering a full range of trading services, this round goes to Coinbase.
Round 2: Security
Both platforms currently offer similar security measures and protocols. Both will require setting up 2FA before making your first purchase. Neither service has suffered any major hacks with cryptocurrency stolen from their users.
The second round in this head-to-head is a draw.
Round 3: Payment methods
Coinmama allows you to buy cryptocurrency with credit cards or in Euro via a SEPA transfer. Coinbase offers a much wider selection. Payments on Coinbase can be made with US bank accounts, credit cards, SEPA deposits, SWIFT, PayPal, and others.
Coinmama VS Coinbase Round 3 goes to Coinbase, hands down.
Round 4: Ease of use and speed
Coinbase is famous for being easier on the novice crypto trader than many other exchanges, with a simple, easy-to-understand user interface. It is one of the more beginner-friendly exchanges out there.
But Coinmama is on a whole other level of ease. A big part of this ease of use is the fact that on Coinmama you can do one thing, and one thing only. And this one thing is presented in a way that is easy to understand and follow.
Regarding the speed of the transactions, Coinmama does have an edge on Coinbase, because of its brokerage nature. Since you are buying your cryptocurrency directly from Coinmama itself, your tokens will be sent to your wallet the instant your payment comes through. Coinbase trades are by no means slow. They’re just not quite as fast.
This round ends with a slight advantage for Coinmama.
Round 5: Anonymity
Some people wish to buy, trade and sell cryptocurrency anonymously. While most of them want anonymity for legitimate security reasons, there are many with more questionable motives.
If you are one of those people who need anonymous trading, then you are flat out of luck here. In compliance with current anti-money-laundering policies, both Coinmama and Coinbase adhere to strict KYC (Know Your Customer) regulations. Both will require you to verify your identity via a government-issued ID document before you start buying. So, in both cases, anonymous trading is no.
This round ends in a draw.
Round 6: Availability
Users from about 190 countries are free to create accounts on Coinbase. However, for most of those countries, Coinbase offers only wallet services. Access to buying, trading and withdrawing crypto is currently limited to about 30 countries.
Coinmama is available in about 190 countries worldwide.
This round easily goes to Coinmama.
Round 7: Tokens listed
While neither one of these services offer a particularly large selection of cryptocurrencies (there are, after all, thousands of them out there), there is a difference.
Coinmama lets you buy eight different tokens: Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Ripple (XRP), Qtum (QTUM) and Cardano (ADA). But after buying one token, you won’t be able to trade it for another one on Coinmama.
Coinbase lists 18 different tokens and several of them can be purchased directly with your credit card or any other of the payment methods you can use. After the purchase, one token can be easily traded for another.
Because they list more tokens for direct purchase and offer to trade for others, Coinbase takes this round.
Round 8: Fees
As stated above, Coinmama charges a 5.9% trading fee and an additional 5% for credit card processing (this last fee won’t apply if you’re paying with a SEPA transfer), for a total of 10.9% above market value. That’s very high.
Fees on Coinbase aren’t the easiest to understand because they depend on the country where you live, the token you are buying and the payment method. But they are generally way below the ones on Coinmama. This round goes to Coinbase.
Round 9: Mobile apps
Lots of people like to buy, trade and sell cryptocurrencies on the go, so mobile apps are a pretty big advantage for them.
Coinmama is web-only. Coinbase has a well-designed, easy-to-use mobile app for both Android and iOS devices. This round goes to Coinbase by default.
Round 10: Customer support
Customer support is still a big problem in the crypto trading world in general. Many sites offer no customer support at all.
Both websites provide guides and how-tos for the transactions you can perform. Coinbase’s guides are especially useful.
Both Coinmama and Coinbase offer customer support. In both cases, the better option is e-mail support, as telephone support is, at best, spotty. Coinmama typically replies e-mails within 24 hours, while Coinbase is a little slower, taking 24-72 hours to reply.
So Coinbase has better guides on the website, but Coinmama has faster e-mail responses. Let’s call this final round a draw.
Coinmama VS Coinbase: In conclusion…
First, let’s tally up our head-to-head:
|1: Type of service||X|
|3: Payment methods||X|
|4: Ease and speed||X|
|7: Tokens listed||X|
|9: Mobile apps||X|
|10: Customer support||X|
Coinbase takes five rounds, while Coinmama takes two and three rounds are a draw. With these results, it would seem like a no-brainer to choose Coinbase. And in many cases, it would be a more convenient choice. But let’s remember the availability issue. If you live outside the countries that are allowed to buy crypto, then you would need to use Coinmama or some other site.
In the end, both Coinmama and Coinbase offer a fast, easy way to purchase cryptocurrency. Either one is a fine choice to be your doorway into the crypto world. If this Coinmama VS Coinbase comparison guide was helpful, or if you have any questions, please leave your comments below!
Jesus Cedeño is a certified doctor turned cryptocurrency expert, writer, and investor who lives in New York City. Jesús specializes in cryptocurrency product reviews, tutorials & technical analysis. Follow him on LinkedIn to stay up to date on his latest work on blockchain, decentralization and crypto investments.