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Coinbase vs. Gate.io: What Works Better For Canadians in 2024

Oleg Galeev

Last updated December 27, 2023

This comparison examines Coinbase and Gate.io, two popular crypto exchanges, from the perspective of a Canadian user. While Coinbase is appreciated for its user-friendly interface and robust security measures, Gate.io is recognized for its extensive altcoin offerings, although its interface may not be as beginner-friendly.

Description

Founded in 2012, Coinbase is a US-based cryptocurrency exchange with a simple interface making it a popular choice for Canadians looking to start their crypto journey. However, more Canadians are starting using local exchanges e.g. Bitbuy. Coinbase has 56 million users and became the first cryptocurrency exchange to have an Initial Public Offering.

Launched in 2013, Gate.io is one of the top cryptocurrency exchanges in the world with $12 billion+ daily trading volume. However, Canada is on the list of disallowed countries under Gate.io terms same as the US and many other counties. Because of this, they can randomly block your account at any time so we WOULD NOT recommend using it. If you are looking for a similar exchange, we would recommend using Bitget instead or checking our list of the best crypto exchanges in Canada

Coins

50+ including BTC, ETH, XRP, LTC

1000+

Fees

Extremely High
3.99% buy fee
0.50% fee per trade

  • Free crypto deposits 
  • Some free crypto withdrawals minus network fees
  • Other various crypto withdrawal fees
  • 0.2%/0.2% maker/taker fees
  • 0.15%/1.5% maker/taker fees when paid in GT
  • Lower trading fees when holding 100+ GT or 0.05+ BTC
  • $30 + 3.5% bank transfer for up to $2,000 (USD only)
  • Various third-party fees for card payments

Pros

  • Simple and easy interface
  • Good for beginners
  • Secure exchange with cold storage
  • The most popular coins offered
  • Users can set up automatic recurring buys
  • Learn to earn crypto program
  • Thousands of altcoins available to trade
  • Advanced trading features and tools
  • Unique features
  • Comprehensive help and data available
  • Low trading fees
  • Get additional benefits by holding GateToken
  • OTC Desk
  • NFT marketplace

Cons

  • High fees
  • Fewer coins than Binance
  • Complaints of bad customer support
  • No Interac e-Transfer
  • Not allowed in Canada
  • CAD bank accounts not supported
  • Must use third-party for card purchases
  • Some trading options not available to Canadians
  • Not beginner-friendly
  • Bad app reviews

Account Limits

High limit. Purchase limit depends on account age and other factors

No major limits

Methods to buy

Debit card

  • Credit/debit card using third-party service
  • USD bank transfer to OTC desk
  • Crypto deposits

Security

2FA, coins held in cold storage with multi-signature wallets, KYC verification process

  • Hot and cold storage to keep customer funds safe
  • 2FA

Mobile and Desktop Trading

Both Coinbase and Gate.io offer mobile apps and desktop platforms for crypto trading. Coinbase has a higher rating with a 4.7-star on the Apple App Store and a 4.1-star on Google Play. Its desktop platform is user-friendly and mirrors the mobile app's functionality. On the other hand, Gate.io's mobile app receives lower ratings, with a 4.3-star rating on Google Play  and 4.0 on the Apple App Store. Both the mobile and desktop interfaces for Gate.io are advanced and might be challenging for beginners.

Coinbase

Coinbase app offers a clean white background with simple text. It's user-friendly and easy to navigate.

Coinbases’s app is almost identical to its desktop platform making it easy to trade crypto wherever you are. Safely store your debit card information and you can buy and sell top cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether in just a few clicks. On the Apple App Store, Coinbase has a 4.7-star rating with 1.3 million ratings. On Google Play it has a 4.3-star rating with 453,000 ratings.

Reviewing Coinbase desktop version

Coinbase desktop interface

Coinbase main screen with features

Coinbase portfolio

Coinbase mobile app

Coinbase app interface

Made an order with Coinbase app

Coinbase app interface while trading

Gate.io App

Gate.io’s iOS app has a 2.5-star rating from 700 reviews and a 2.5-star rating from 10,000 reviews on Google Play. It is quite low, we would recommend using a desktop app. Many reviewers have said that they cannot log in, that the 2FA does not work, you are often sent to blank pages and overall a bad user interface. We never had such issues though. 

Gate.io desktop app interface

Gate.io desktop app interface

Screenshot of “big data” market tracker on Gate.io

Gate.io data screen

Gate.io mobile app screenshot (main page)

Gate.io mobile app screenshot (main page)

Gate.io mobile interface

Gate.io mobile interface

Security Compliance

Coinbase uses its own digital wallet for storing your cryptocurrency.

Coinbase keeps 98% of its cryptocurrency in cold storage. This makes it hard for thieves to steal crypto assets if the exchange is hacked. Cold storage is the most secure way to store cryptocurrency, so the fact that Coinbase does this is a huge plus.

Gate.io is quite a reputable exchange. Forbes Advisor gave it a 4.5-star rating and named it one of the best crypto exchanges. Gate.io utilizes hot and cold storage to keep customer funds safe. On its website, Gate.io says it is the first exchange to invest millions in security and law funds. They also claim to be fully compliant and certain features such as futures trading is not available to Canadians because of regulationsThey can block your account at any time.

Coinbase is considered one of the safest crypto exchanges, holding 98% of assets in cold storage. Gate.io also maintains a high level of security, utilizing a combination of hot and cold storage for customer funds.

Regulatory Compliance

Coinbase is a US-based cryptocurrency exchange, however, no restrictions for Canadians. Canadian residents can use Coinbase to their full capacity.

Gate.io is not compliant crypto exchange in Canada.

Coinbase, as a public company, is heavily regulated, fully compliant with US laws, and registered as a Money Services Business with FinCEN. However, it's not explicitly stated how they comply with Canadian regulations. Gate.io claims to be fully compliant but has a list of disallowed countries that includes Canada. 

Customer support

Coinbase customer support is very slow. It took them 4 days to address our request to a real person. Even though they offer 24/7 support and a live chat option, the quality of the support is bad due to a very high volume.

There is a helpful help centre and blog on the Gate.io website which teaches you how to use their many features. They also have a live chat function and you can submit a support request when you’re logged in. Unfortunately, Gate.io has many bad reviews on Trustpilot with people complaining that they are unable to withdraw or that customer service is slow or does not respond. 

Both exchanges have customer support, including live chat and email. Coinbase also offers 24/7 phone support. However, Coinbase's customer support has received several complaints about slow response times. Similarly, Gate.io has been criticized for slow or unresponsive customer service.

Conclusion

While both exchanges offer valuable features, Coinbase emerges as the preferred choice for Canadian users due to its user-friendly interface, strong security measures, and greater reputation. Gate.io, although it has a vast array of altcoins and interesting features, suffers from lower user ratings, a more complicated interface, and potential compliance issues in Canada.

We recommend choosing Coinbase over Gate.io for your cryptocurrency trading needs. By opting for Coinbase through our referral link, you support us in conducting comprehensive independent analyses of crypto trading options for Canadians.

If you find that neither Coinbase nor Gate.io meets your requirements, we encourage you to explore our monthly-updated list of the best exchanges for Canadians to trade crypto. This list provides a range of alternative options that may better suit your specific needs and preferences.

Author

Oleg is a Canadian citizen & crypto expert who has been trading since 2016. He started out with Coinbase, Kraken and Peer-to-Peer exchanges. After some time, centralized exchanges started charging crazy fees to their users.

He decided to review different crypto exchanges that operate in Canada and start a Youtube channel in order to educate Canadians on what kinds of things are going inside each one while giving them unbiased advice. On top of that, Oleg also has experience with NFT, airdrops, and crypto staking and he is constantly checking on new crypto assets.

His writing has been featured in popular Canadian media sources such as Toronto Sun and Ottawa Citizen.