According to a report by Grand View Research, the global cryptocurrency market was worth an estimated $30.18 billion in 2021. The study further forecasts that the market will grow by a CAGR of 27.8% from 2022 to 2030. The driving factors for this growth include the increasing adoption of cryptocurrencies by institutional investors and the growing awareness of digital currencies.
As the market grows, so does the demand for reliable and safe cryptocurrency exchange platforms. One of the leading and most popular crypto exchange platforms is Coinbase. Founded in 2012, Coinbase allows users to buy, sell, and store digital assets such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and other altcoins. The platform has about 103 million verified users in over 100 countries and employs more than 4900 people.
Coinbase went public in 2021 through a direct listing. It trades on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol COIN. As of September 29, 2022, Coinbase had a market capitalization of $17.628 billion. In 2021, Coinbase’s revenue increased 513.66% to $7.839 billion, while its net income surged 2760.77% to $3.097 billion.
While Coinbase is a leader in the crypto exchange space, it does face competition from other platforms. This Coinbase competitors analysis will look at the competitive landscape of each Coinbase competitor by covering the financials, market share, and competitive advantages.
Bottom Line Up Front
The crypto-economy is highly competitive, with exchange platforms constantly vying for market share. Coinbase is the current leader in the space, with a market capitalization of $17.628 billion. Binance is Coinbase’s most formidable competitor, but other exchanges such as Kraken, Crypto.com, Robinhood, and Gemini are also trying to take a slice of the pie.
List of Coinbase Competitors
Coinbase Business Strategy and Revenue Model
Coinbase’s mission is to build a safe, easy-to-use, and trusted platform for buying and selling cryptocurrencies. The company established a solid user base by being one of the first exchanges since Bitcoin’s launch in 2009. When the popularity of Bitcoin and other digital assets started to gain traction in 2017, Coinbase had already established itself as the go-to platform for buying and selling cryptocurrencies.
However, the company still has some strategies it intends to execute to maintain its position as a top crypto exchange. These strategies are:
- Expand the breadth of its assets and further support native blockchain economies
- Add more users through education and awareness
- Drive deeper engagement with existing users
- Launch innovative products and build APIs for developers
The success of Coinbase’s future will largely depend on its ability to execute these strategies effectively.
The primary source of revenue for Coinbase is transaction fees that occur when a user buys or sells cryptocurrencies on the Coinbase platform. Other revenue sources include fees from credit card transactions, debit card transaction fees, crypto to fiat conversion, and commissions from customers who hold crypto after processing a transaction.
Coinbase Competitor Analysis
The crypto economy is a highly fragmented and intensely competitive market. Coinbase faces competition from large and established financial institutions to small early-stage startups. As a decentralized market, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for users. Different exchanges cater to different needs and offer a unique value proposition.
Below is an in-depth analysis of Coinbase’s main competitors:
Binance is a crypto-to-crypto exchange founded in 2017 by Changpeng Zhao. Because it operates decentralized, Binance doesn’t declare its headquarters. However, it does have offices in the Cayman Islands, Malta, Singapore, Tokyo, and the United States. Initially, its base of operations was in China but moved after the Chinese government cracked down on cryptocurrencies.
But even with its decentralized structure, Binance is one of the most compliant exchanges. It’s a Blockchain Transparency Institute (BTI) member and adheres to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) guidelines. Although crypto-to-crypto exchanges don’t fall under the same regulations as fiat-to-crypto exchanges, Binance still follows Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) policies.
Binance is the largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, with a $79.88 billion daily trading volume as of September 2022. The company employs more than 6,440 people and is available in 180 countries. Binance’s competition with Coinbase is two-fold. First, as a crypto-to-crypto exchange, it targets the same market. Second, it’s also one of the few exchanges compliant with regulations.
The company makes money from interest on its crypto holdings, fees from its broker program, spreads, margin fees, trading fees, and withdrawal fees. Given that it’s a crypto-to-crypto exchange, all its revenue comes from cryptocurrency transactions. While Binance doesn’t publicly disclose its financials, Bloomberg estimates it made at least $20 billion in 2021 revenues.
Binance doesn’t have the same financial backing as Coinbase. However, it has grown significantly and challenged Coinbase’s position as the top crypto exchange. One of the main competitive advantages Binance has over Coinbase is its extensive feature set. In addition to margin and spot trading, Binance offers derivatives trading, staking, lending, and other services. The company is constantly innovating and introducing new products to attract users.
Kraken is a San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange and bank founded in 2011 by Jesse Powell. The Kraken platform allows users to buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and others. It also offers an Over-The-Counter (OTC) desk for large trades and margin trading.
Kraken has more than six million clients worldwide, is available in 190 countries, and employs more than 3,330 people. The company is one of the few exchanges registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) as a Money Services Business (MSB). The company is also a member of the Blockchain Transparency Institute (BTI) and adheres to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) guidelines.
Kraken and Coinbase are direct competitors as US-based, fiat-to-crypto exchanges. While it doesn’t have the same brand recognition or user base, Kraken is a well-established exchange with a good reputation. In 2021, the CEO announced plans to take Kraken public through a direct listing on a US stock exchange. However, its $10 billion valuation wasn’t high enough, and the listing never happened.
According to Crunchbase, Kraken’s funding totals $132.6 million after 15 rounds from 43 investors. The last funding was an undisclosed venture round led by 2B Global Capital and Venture Garage. Kraken hopes to raise more money to invest in expansion and product development and eventually go public.
The company makes money from transaction fees, margin interest, and staking rewards. Kraken doesn’t offer a native cryptocurrency, but it does have a loyalty program called Kraken Rewards. Users can earn points by trading on the platform or staking certain cryptocurrencies. Unlike Coinbase, which offers a tiered fee structure based on trade volume, Kraken has a flat-fee schedule.
Crypto.com is a Singapore-based cryptocurrency company founded in 2016 by Kris Marszalek, Rafal Wiśniewski, and Gary Or. The company offers a mobile app, MCO Visa card, and wallet that allows users to buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and others. Initially, the company was called Monaco and rebranded to Crypto.com in 2018.
In an exclusive revelation to Axios, Crypto.com exceeded the 50 million mark users by May 2022. The company is on track to end 2022 with more than 100 million users if the brand recognition from the 2022 World Cup and Formula One sponsorship and adoption of its products continue at the same pace. According to its CEO, Kris Marszalek, Crypto.com employs more than 4,000 people.
Coinbase competes with Crypto.com in two main ways. First, both companies allow users to buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrencies. Second, both companies offer a debit card that somebody can use to spend cryptocurrency funds. The MCO Visa card is one of Crypto.com’s most popular products. It allows users to spend their cryptocurrency funds anywhere that accepts Visa, with no conversion fees. The card also offers cashback rewards in the form of cryptocurrency.
Crypto.com doesn’t intend to take in any funding or plans to go public. The CEO wants to take the company public only when it can withstand the pressures and volatility of the crypto markets. In the meantime, Crypto.com’s focus is on expanding its user base and product offerings. The company makes money from transaction fees, interest on loans, and staking rewards.
Robinhood is a US-based commission-free stock brokerage founded in 2013 by Vlad Tenev and Baiju Bhatt. The company allows users to buy and sell stocks, options, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies with no commission fees. In March 2021, Robinhood launched a cash management account that offers a higher interest rate than most traditional banks. The account doesn’t have fees and allows users to spend and save money with a Robinhood debit card.
As a FINRA-licensed broker-dealer and SEC-registered investment adviser, Robinhood is a regulated financial company. Throughout its eight-year history, Robinhood has raised $6.2 billion after 27 rounds from 79 investors, according to Crunchbase. The early adopter of commission-free trading filed to go public on July 1, 2021, and went public on July 29, 2021, in an IPO that valued the company at $32 billion.
One of Robinhood’s main competitors is Coinbase, allowing users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. Unlike Robinhood, Coinbase doesn’t offer a commission-free trading structure. Instead, it charges a flat or variable percentage fee based on the amount of money traded. Coinbase also provides a debit card, which allows users to spend their cryptocurrency funds anywhere that accepts Visa. However, Robinhood’s cash management account may be more attractive for users looking for a higher interest rate.
The two companies also differ in how they make money. Robinhood makes money from the interest it earns on the cash and securities in user accounts. It also charges fees for certain premium features, such as margin trading and extended hours trading. Coinbase, on the other hand, relies mainly on transaction fees.
In FY 2021, Robinhood had $1.82 billion in net revenues, up from $959 million in FY 2020. The company also reported a net loss of $3.69 billion in 2021, compared to a net income of $7 million in 2020. Financially, Coinbase has better standings, reporting $7.839 billion in revenue in 2021 and a profit of $3.097 billion.
Gemini is a US-based digital asset exchange and custodian founded in 2013 by brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. The company was the first Ethereum exchange in the US and is now one of the largest bitcoin exchanges by volume. Gemini allows users to buy, sell, and store cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, ether, Zcash, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The company also offers a cryptocurrency trading app, Gemini Mobile, which allows users to buy, sell, and store cryptocurrencies on the go.
Gemini is a regulated financial institution and is subject to the capital reserve requirements, cybersecurity requirements, and banking compliance standards of the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS). The company is also a registered broker-dealer with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Coinbase and Gemini are digital asset exchanges allowing users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. However, the two companies differ in their focus. Coinbase is primarily a cryptocurrency exchange, while Gemini offers a broader range of services, including a mobile app, custody, and trading. Both platforms allow users to trade non-fungible tokens (NFTs), digital assets you can’t exchange for other assets.
Coinbase enjoys its first-mover advantage in the cryptocurrency exchange and has built a large customer base. While Gemini is a relatively new entrant, it has quickly gained popularity due to its focus on compliance and security. The company has also partnered with major institutions such as Samsung and Microsoft.
In 2021, Gemini raised $400 million, leading to its parent company Gemini Space Station LLC, becoming a unicorn with a valuation of $7 billion. According to Crunchbase, Gemini has raised $423.9 million from 21 investors. While it doesn’t have as strong of financials as Coinbase, Gemini has the potential to become a major competitor in the digital asset exchange space.
Coinbase SWOT Analysis
Below is a sneak peek at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) confronting Coinbase.
- First-mover advantage in the cryptocurrency exchange space
- Strong brand recognition
- Extensive experience in compliance and security
- Large customer base
- Expertise in digital asset custody
- Strong leadership team
- Partnerships with major institutions
- Dependence on the cryptocurrency market
- Accusations of insider trading
- Lack of transparency
- Partnerships with traditional financial institutions
- The launch of new products and services
- Use of cryptocurrency in e-commerce
- Entering new markets
- Intense competition from other digital asset exchanges
- Regulatory changes
- Theft and hacking
- Technological advancements
Coinbase Competitors Analysis (FAQs)
Question: Who is Coinbase’s biggest competitor?
Answer: Binance is Coinbase’s biggest competitor. Binance is a digital asset exchange with over 200 different cryptocurrencies listed on its platform. The company was founded in 2017 and has quickly grown to become one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges by volume. Other major Coinbase competitors include Kraken, Crypto.com, Robinhood, and Gemini.
Question: Why is Coinbase so popular?
Answer: Coinbase is popular because it is one of the most user-friendly exchanges and allows users to buy, sell, or store cryptocurrencies. The company also has a strong focus on security and has implemented multiple layers of security to protect user funds. Its first-mover advantage and regulatory compliance have also helped it attract users.
Question: What is the biggest Blockchain company?
Answer: Coinbase is the biggest Blockchain company. Coinbase is a digital asset exchange allowing users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. In 2021, Coinbase had $7.839 billion in revenue and boasted 103 million verified users. However, Binance is the largest cryptocurrency exchange by trade volume.
Coinbase is the largest Blockchain company and has a strong focus on security. It enjoys a first-mover advantage in the cryptocurrency exchange and has built a large customer base. However, it faces intense competition from other digital asset exchanges. Regulatory changes and technological advancements are also threats to Coinbase’s dominance in the industry.
Binance is a leading competitor to Coinbase and is the largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume. Other major exchanges like Kraken, Crypto.com, Robinhood, and Gemini are viable alternatives to Coinbase. All these exchanges offer a similar range of services and have their strengths and weaknesses.
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