Since Cash App, owned by Square, which is backed by one of the most famous bitcoin backers and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, announced that it will support bitcoin purchases through its app, Coinbase had to step up its game as the playing field became much more serious.
Especially since Cash App marketed itself as a commission-free place to buy bitcoin (they charged a spread and made money that way), Coinbase lost a solid piece of the pie to the Square-owned app.
However, Cash App later changed their fee structure to be more transparent about the fees they charge and are still not available in all US states, which meant that Coinbase remained at the top of the food chain in the world of cryptocurrency exchanges.
Still, this duel is worth a deeper look and analysis, which is exactly what we will do here. So, let’s get the Coinbase vs Cash App comparison underway.
COINBASE VS CASH APP: OVERVIEW
Coinbase was launched in 2012 in San Francisco, California. As a company operating in the United States, Coinbase must comply with US laws and regulations, including state money transmission laws and regulations, the USA Patriot Act, the Bank Secrecy Act and is registered with FinCEN as a Money Services Business. These laws and regulations force accountability on Coinbase. This is something that may be lacking in some of its offshore competitors in other countries with less stringent regulations. It is widely regarded as one of the best cryptocurrency exchanges on the market.
Cash App is a peer-to-peer payment app formerly known as Square Cash. The app allows sending and receiving money easily. Customers can link the app to an existing bank account or spend money directly from Cash App with a dedicated debit card. Since January 2018, its customers can buy bitcoin through the app.
CASH APP VS COINBASE: FEES
Coinbase charges around 3.99% for credit/debit card purchases and 1.49% for bank transfer purchases.
Purchase method Coinbase fees
U.S. bank account 1.49% ($0.15 minimum)
Coinbase wallet (U.S. dollars) 1.49% 1.49% ($0.15 minimum)
Credit or debit card 3.99% 3.99% 3.99% 3.99% 3.99% 3.99% 3.99% 2.99
As for Cash App 2021’s bitcoin fees, there are no fees if you choose to deposit money from your bank via your standard deposit method. If you choose instant, you pay a 1.5% premium in fees.
Sending and receiving money: Free for personal use (2.75% fee for receiving business payments)
Withdrawal Fees: Free (for standard withdrawals) or 1.5% (for instant withdrawals)
Credit Card Fees: 3%.
Buying and selling Bitcoin: Square Cash App is now charging a 1.75 percent fee for bitcoin transactions, whether buying or selling. There are two types of fees the app will charge. First is a service fee for each transaction. And the second is a “volatility fee” that is based on price fluctuations on US exchanges.
The Cash app’s bitcoin fees versus Coinbase’s fees are lower, meaning it’s cheaper to buy bitcoin and crypto on the Cash app.
Coinbase does not clearly define limits for new users on its site. Instead, limits can vary by country, account verification, purchase history and account age. To request higher limits you will need to verify your identity. Once you do so, a fully verified US resident can make transactions of up to $50,000 per week, while verified EU customers can have a maximum of $30,000 in their account at any one time. You can check your limits through your account.
Cash App allows you to send up to $250 within any 7-day period and receive up to $1,000 within any 30-day period. You can increase these limits by verifying your identity using your full name, date of birth and the last 4 digits of your SSN.
You can buy and deposit up to $10,000 in bitcoin in any 7-day period, while bitcoin withdrawal limits are $2,000/day and $5,000/week.
Coinbase serves customers in the following countries:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States.
Cash App is not available to the international community and only works in the US, Canada and the UK. Cash App is not available to the international community and only works in the US, Canada and the UK.
Currently, the currencies listed in its non-Pro interface include Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, USD Coin, XRP, Stellar, Zcash, 0x, Litecoin and the Basic Care Token.
You can only buy bitcoin through the Cash application.
DEPOSIT AND WITHDRAWAL METHODS
Coinbase offers 3 payment methods: debit card, bank account or bank transfer.
As for withdrawal methods, you have an additional way to get your money from Coinbase using PayPal.
Bitcoin or bank transfer: the Square Cash app integrates with all major banks, allowing you to transfer money directly to and from your bank account. You can choose a standard deposit or withdrawal, which is free and takes up to three days, or charge an additional 1.5% fee for an instant deposit or withdrawal.
Coinbase’s customer support is handled via email and, in our personal experiences, we have generally received responses from support within 24-72 hours. They also have an extensive FAQ for general questions.
You can contact their customer service through the app (tap your profile, then scroll down and tap Cash Support). The Cash app is not really famous for its stellar customer support. Many users complain that their accounts are deactivated for no apparent reason with no help from customer service to resolve the issue.
TRUST AND REPUTATION
Coinbase enjoys an excellent reputation and trust as a registered and regulated company with known VCs as investors, transparent team and an immaculate track record (with minor and anecdotal complaints from individual customers).
Coinbase is a San Francisco-based Bitcoin company, which means it is bound by US laws and regulations at both the federal and state level. Here are some of the regulatory bodies, laws and regulations that Coinbase complies with:
Complies with state money transmission laws and regulations.
Complies with the USA Patriot Act.
Complies with the Bank Secrecy Act.
It is registered with FinCEN as a money services business.
Cash App is licensed under state money transmitter licenses.
When using services such as ACH, they are governed by institutions that have supervisory, rule-writing and enforcement provisions surrounding the relevant laws. This would primarily include the Electronic Funds Transfer Act. EFTA is covered by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission.
Coinbase segregates customer funds from the company’s operating funds. These customer funds are held in custodial bank accounts. This means that they will not use your funds to operate their business. They also state: “Even if Coinbase were to become insolvent, the funds held in the escrow bank accounts could not be claimed by Coinbase or its creditors. The funds held in those accounts would be returnable to Coinbase’s customers”.
98% of customer cryptocurrency funds are stored in secure offline cold storage. These cryptocurrencies are held in multiple hardware wallets and paper wallets. Physical cryptocurrency wallets are stored in vaults and safes around the world. These measures protect customer funds from being lost or stolen by hackers.
The remaining portion of the cryptocurrency, which is stored online, is fully secured by a Lloyd’s of London syndicate.
The Cash app is highly secure, as it uses state-of-the-art security measures to prevent loss of data or funds. Some of the measures include: Security locks: PIN entry, Touch ID or Face ID verification protect payments. Encryption: PCI-DSS Level 1 certification means they protect all your data. Coin storage: your Bitcoin balance is securely stored in your offline system. Disable at any time: stop card spending instantly when you leave it somewhere. Account notification: push, email and text notifications alert you of any account usage.
Coinbase has experienced rapid growth and diversified into different sectors of the cryptocurrency world with most of its new services geared towards institutional clients. Those new services are Coinbase Custody, Coinbase Prime, Coinbase Staking.
In addition, Coinbase has its Coinbase Pro platform designed for day traders and its own wallet that is also a Web3.0 browser.
Cash App is primarily geared towards fiat money transactions, making them easy and instantaneous through a streamlined interface of its application. Bitcoin purchases are an additional service stacked on top of this core business.
COINBASE VS CASH APP: PROS AND CONS
Advantages of Coinbase
Easy to use
Accepts credit/debit cards
Cons of Coinbase
Slow customer service
Limited currencies available
Advantages of the Cash application
Free payment service (but they use higher spreads to earn money so you pay fees effectively)
Simple and streamlined interface and easy to set up
You can get a free debit card to spend the funds from the Cash app on the go
Mobile application for iOS and Android
Cons of the Cash app
Daily payment limits are low
Not as popular as competitors like Venmo
No international payments, only US compatible.
COINBASE VS CASH APP: FINAL VERDICT
So who wins the battle between Coinbase and Cash App?
In terms of fees, Cash App is cheaper.
In terms of supported currencies, a clear win for Coinbase.
In terms of regulatory compliance and licensing: Both are legitimate, regulated and transparent companies with well-established reputations.
In terms of customer service: Both are of similar quality so it’s a tie.
Deposit and withdrawal methods: Coinbase has more options, so it’s a win for them on this criterion.
When it comes to security in the Coinbase vs Cash App battle: Both are stellar in this aspect of their business: insured and regulated companies that leave no room for their customers to worry.
Trading features: neither aims to be a trading venue, so it is essentially a non-existent option on both platforms.
Overall reputation: another draw as both enjoy a fairly good reputation in the crypto community with sporadic complaints from individual customers.
If you don’t like either of these exchanges, here is a list of possible alternatives: Cex.io, Coinmama, Changelly, Bitpanda, Bitfinex, Kraken, Bittrex, Bitstamp.