- In late May 2018, Coinbase announced that its Global Digital Asset Exchange (GDAX) would soon be re-branded to become Coinbase Pro
- Like GDAX, Coinbase Pro will strive to create a simple but effective trading platform where users can buy and sell Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and later in the year, Ethereum Classic
- Officially launching on June 29th, one fundamental difference between Coinbase Pro and GDAX, is that the new platform is designed to entice more retail investors into the Coinbase ecosystem, which we look at in this Coinbase Pro review
- Coinbase is generally considered to be one of the best cryptocurrency exchanges
What is Coinbase Pro?
As of June 29th, 2018 the Coinbase-operated GDAX (Global Digital Asset Exchange) trading platform will be no more. Instead, GDAX will be re-branded and relaunched as Coinbase Pro, a newer, slicker, more intuitive trading platform.
Coinbase Pro is simply an improved version of and replacement for GDAX.com. Overall, it seems to be a positive change as we discuss in detail in this review of Coinbase Pro.
Coinbase Pro vs Coinbase (GDAX vs Coinbase)
For those who aren’t familiar, GDAX was Coinbase’s exchange trading platform. The main advantage of using GDAX as opposed to Coinbase itself was that the fees were much lower and charts and trading tools were provided.
These lower fees and same tools and charts are still in Coinbase Pro, but some changes have been made, which we detail below.
Coinbase Pro Review
At first glance, Coinbase Pro is mostly just a sleeker version of GDAX.
The same graphs and charts exist. These are just much more visually sophisticated.
Much more importantly, Coinbase Pro retains the same preferable fees over Coinbase, as GDAX does presently. You can save significantly on trading fees by using Coinbase Pro to trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum Classic.
- On Coinbase, a 1.49% fee applies to transactions
- On GDAX (soon to be Coinbase Pro), fees start at 0% for makers (creators of trades which result in increased market liquidity) and 0.25% for takers (takers being the buyers of assets like ETH and Bitcoin etc.)
- Coinbase Pro insures all users up to $250,000 should digital currency ever be lost or stolen from Coinbase Pro user wallets
Under the hood, though, there are some user interface changes which many GDAX users will no doubt welcome.
- A new ‘My Wallets’ overview allows traders to view a consolidated portfolio of all assets stored and registered with the Coinbase Pro order book – a feature that wasn’t available on GDAX
- Coinbase Pro has worked to simplify the exchange’s deposit and withdrawal processes
- As well as being visually more appealing and intuitive, new trading charts allow Coinbase Pro users to scroll and view historical cryptocurrency market price data more easily
Why Has Coinbase Decided to Re-Brand GDAX as Coinbase Pro?
Coinbase Pro is the result of an effort by Coinbase, to position itself as the preferred cryptocurrency exchange for both novice and professional traders.
When GDAX was originally launched it was called the Coinbase Exchange. It was re-branded in May of 2016 to GDAX, or Global Digital Asset Exchange. This change was to signal Coinbase’s intention to add more assets to the exchange (make it more global).
Over the last couple years, however, as people have become familiar with the Coinbase brand, more people have begun to question “who is GDAX?” and “how is it affiliated with Coinbase?” Because of this, the company has decided to bring everything back under the Coinbase brand.
Now that Coinbase has arguably the best brand and is generally considered one of the best bitcoin exchanges, they have decided to bring GDAX back under the Coinbase brand label. This is represented by the various services of the company such as Coinbase Consumer (main version), Coinbase Prime (platform for institutional clients), Coinbase Custody (digital currency custody solutions for institutions) and now, Coinbase Pro.
In addition, Coinbase Pro is launching in anticipation of increased institutional investor interest in cryptocurrency expected later this year.
Should You Use Coinbase Pro?
Anyone planning to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, or Bitcoin Cash (and soon Ethereum Classic) with a view to trading assets, would be wise to consider using Coinbase Pro. This is thanks to the fact that Coinbase makes it easy for verified users in 32 countries to buy and sell digital assets via verified bank transfer.
Coinbase Pro Benefits:
- Low trading fees
- Great for beginners – simple and user-friendly interface
- Creating an account and easy and quick
- Most security among cryptocurrency exchanges – assets are insured and, if you are based in the U.S., are even FDIC insured up to $250,000, a security feature not available at any other exchange
- 98% of crypto assets are stored offline in cold wallets, protecting them from theft
- Coinbase has established the most respected brand in the industry and has done the most to comply with regulators, helping to ensure that you too stay nice and legal
- You can fund your Coinbase Pro account with your Coinbase account, which can be funded with bank transfer, credit card, SEPA or cryptcurrencies
Coinbase Pro Negatives:
- Limited number of available cryptocurrencies (currently only four, with a fifth – Ethereum Classic ETC – to be added soon)
On Binance you can trade hundreds of altcoins, but must fund your account with cryptocurrency as no fiat currency is supported. To do so, first buy bitcoin on Coinbase and then transfer it over to Binance.
What if You are Already a GDAX User?
For anyone who uses GDAX already, there is nothing you need to do. There is no formal signup process to Coinbase Pro. As of June 29th, user accounts will be updated automatically.
Hopefully this Coinbase Pro review will help prepare you for the transition.
How to Set Up A Coinbase Pro Account
- New traders will be required to first register with Coinbase.
- Once registered with Coinbase, you simply go to pro.coinbase.com and sign in with your Coinbase login credentials.
- If you already own cryptocurrency, you can simple send the bitcoin or altcoins to your Coinbase Pro wallets (under “My Wallets”)
- If you don’t already own cryptocurrency, you can buy some on Coinbase and transfer them over to Coinbase Pro. See our guide on how to buy bitcoin on Coinbase for a step-by-step guide on how to do this quickly and easily.
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Richard has developed and ran multiple online websites and communities with tens of millions of monthly visitors. He first discovered bitcoin and blockchain in 2012 and has been helping to educate others on its potential since then. Richard is very passionate about the crypto community. Read his inspiring story into cryptocurrency here.