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Home » Shakepay VS Coinbase: Side-By-Side Comparison

Shakepay VS Coinbase: Side-By-Side Comparison

Shakepay or Coinbase?

These platforms have been around before Bitcoin was popular. Today, they both offer crypto-fiat services to millions of active users. And they’re both known for one thing: to make crypto accessible to the masses.

It’s not hard to find a good crypto exchange. If you go to the Top 10 most traded platforms, you can pick a random one and still get great services. But what about the best place to buy cryptocurrency?

Let’s find out in this comparison.

Shakepay VS Coinbase

Shakepay launched in 2015 as a Montreal-based startup. But they didn’t want to be “just another exchange,” so they chose an unconventional selling point. To create the easiest app to buy Bitcoin and Ethereum exclusively.

Coinbase launched in 2012 as a US-based exchange. It’s the largest exchange in America in 2021. Over the years, they’ve added more services besides trading, attracting more and more users.

One wants to help the masses buy Bitcoin-Ethereum. The other wants to make accessible every trend in blockchain, let that be DeFi, NFTs, or crypto cards. So without comparing anything, you can already see their goals are different.

The question is, which one is better for your goals?

Apps and Accessibility

Shakepay is mobile-focused, so you’ll need a phone for both the mobile and desktop versions. When you sign up on the website, you need to verify your Canadian phone number. Or you can’t access the features.

Even with Canadian ID documents, you’ll need the number. Which might be troublesome if you live abroad.

Coinbase is available in most countries, Canada included. When you sign up, you select your nationality and upload documents for that country. After a few business days, your account becomes verified and active.

As regulated exchanges, both companies require KYC verification. 

Both platforms have mobile apps: 

  • ShakePay: rated 4.5 stars on Android and IOS
  • Coinbase: 4.4 on Android, 4.7 on IOS
  • Coinbase Pro: 4.0 on Android, 4.7 on IOS
  • Coinbase Wallet: 3.8 on Android, 4.6 on IOS

One thing they both share in the complaints is customer support quality.

Features and Services

What can you do after the full registration?

ShakePay is brief and simple:

  • Deposit CAD
  • Buy Bitcoin or Ethereum
  • Sell Bitcoin or Ethereum

Note that you can’t swap Bitcoin for Ethereum. You’ll need to sell for CAD to buy the other, which doubles the fee.

What makes it beginner-friendly is that it’s designed around a single feature. And the only app that comes close to ShakePay is Bread Wallet (BRD):

Also available in Canada (CAD supported).

Now, Coinbase is an all-in-one crypto platform. So besides exchange trading, you’ll find all features imaginable. And if it’s not on Coinbase, you can be sure they’ll add it soon:

Regardless of the exchange, you get many reasons to use the platform.

One of which is the coin selection.

Currencies Supported

In ShakePay, you can only trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Canadian dollars. They’ve also made it clear not to add any coins soon. Including fiat currencies.

In Coinbase, you get 1000s of coins in theory, depending on what service you use.

How does it work?

Besides trading, Coinbase can also track tokens like CoinMarketCap and CoinGecko. Most coins you see are tradeable with WEB3 wallets. As for the actual exchange, only 100–200 are available.

Despite 1000s of choices, note that Coinbase won’t include some coins that conflict with their conditions (BNB, LUNA, maybe ADA).

In, you get ~100 tradable assets. If you want better fees and advanced orders, you’d use Coinbase Pro Instead. And if you want to trade non-tradable coins, you use Coinbase Wallet, either the browser extension or the app.

This wallet only supports ERC-20 tokens. And the Ethereum network has $100+ transaction fees. Which makes the app useless for small traders (at least in 2021).

Fees are <$0.15 on Binance Smart Chain. But because Coinbase doesn’t support competitors, that’s not going to happen.

Limits and Fees

How much can you do with a fully verified account, and what does it cost you?

Note: Some exchanges allow trading just by linking your email address. Not on ShakePay and Coinbase. They both require phone and ID verification.

Since price is the top comparison factor, here’s everything you need to know:

  • CoinBase charges 4% in total while ShakePay charges 1.43%.
  • The market standard is 1% in fees and 2% in spread (hidden fees), 3% in total.
  • Transaction fees in Coinbase go below 0.50%, but you’ll pay up to $3 for orders under $200
  • Millionaire traders can cut 90% of fees in Coinbase. Whereas in ShakePay, everyone pays the same.
  • ShakePay has a higher spread %. If you bought and sold at the same price, you’d lose 2.54% on ShakePay and 1.20% on Coinbase. Not including fees.
  • Coinbase discounts apply on fees for US clients, but that’s not the case.

Surprisingly, Coinbase will save you more money (the Pro version especially). Yet, you’ll find lower fees on countless competitors.

When trading on Coinbase, your order limits range from 0.000016BTC to 230 BTC. There’s no limit to how many orders you can create. In the case of ShakePay, you can sell as much as you can buy.

Deposits and Withdrawals

For deposits, these are your options:

  • On Shakepay: e-Transfers (5 CAD minimum), wire transfers (5,000 CAD), Bitcoin, and Ethereum.
  • On Coinbase: Bank transfers (no minimum specified), wire transfers ($10 minimum), and credit/debit cards

Both platforms have zero fees when sending to other accounts on the exchange. When sending from one Shakepay to another, you can also send Canadian dollars. In Coinbase, only crypto.

Deposits are free on Shakepay while Coinbase charges up to 4% (except 1.48% for bank transfers). 

As for withdrawals, Shakepay offers the same methods with different limits. $5K per day for e-transfer withdrawals ($10K for deposits), minimum amounts for crypto withdrawals (0.0001 BTC and 0.05 ETH).

Everything else is unlimited.

On Coinbase, you get low minimum limits on both fiat and crypto, which vary with every coin. You can use VISA and bank transfers as a US customer only. The rest of the users only have PayPal for withdrawal (with its fees).

Let’s not forget about reliability. When selling or withdrawing crypto, you’re more likely to find issues on Coinbase. Because, unlike ShakePay, they need more liquidity to supply dozens of coins.

During sharp price moves, orders may delay, and withdrawals may be temporarily unavailable. Not to mention account freezes. So if you want to trade during spikes, ShakePay wins. 

Platform and Wallet Security

Because Coinbase and Shakepay are centralized. Which means they’re responsible for your money. Unlike (cold) wallet apps, these will store most coins in hot wallets to help the platform’s liquidity.

What happens when there’s a low supply? You may be unable to sell or withdraw until liquidity recovers hours later. Decentralized exchanges have the same problem.

Assuming the exchanges are safe and liquid, you still need to follow their rules. Or else, the platform’s algorithm can flag your account (sometimes by mistake) and lock the funds. 

But which one is safer?

Chances are Coinbase has better security. But because it’s popular worldwide, it’s also the most targeted. Since Coinbase has been attacked multiple times, security is higher than ever.

Or you can go under the radar with Shakepay. Which has never been attacked. 

Both platforms can refund on these conditions. If there’s an attack, you won’t notice unless you check the news. Your portfolio should be the same.

Customer Support

Few exchanges do well at customer support, and these two are no exception. Coinbase has the excuse of managing over 100 countries. But the Canada-only exchange doesn’t get any better.

After all, the priority of these companies is to attract users. Customer service is a hard selling point. No one cares because users already assume things will go smoothly. 

And when they don’t, you find yourself weeks waiting for a human response. Back and forth with automatic emails. So unless you follow up with relentless commitment, don’t expect much support.

HOWEVER, Shakepay has one service only (unlike Coinbase). So if it goes wrong, the entire platform is unusable. That’s why Coinbase “wins” this round.

Referral Programs

If you were to refer a friend, Shakepay is easier to promote. Sure, Coinbase has many features and is the most popular. But when you sign up in Shakepay, you can get free Bitcoin every day!

Regardless of features, users find it easier to register and use Shakepay daily. Like all exchanges, you both get a cash bonus when your friend trades the first $100.

Remember, you can send crypto to others for free using Shakepay Friends. So they don’t need to invest as long as you can lend them a few bucks.

When your friend verifies the account, you both unlock the Shaking Sats program. It’s a time-limited daily bonus for both of you to earn Bitcoin (in Satoshis). The longer you keep the login streak, the more you can earn (from 0.07 to 0.70 CAD).

You could also get high rewards on Coinbase a few years ago. Now that it’s the largest US exchange, most of those programs have closed. The most you can get now is $10-$20 as a login bonus.

Shakepay will do the same eventually, so take advantage while you can.

Pros and Cons

Pros of Shakepay:

  • Beginner-friendly. All you can do is buy or sell Bitcoin or Ethereum. So there’s no way to get lost with features.
  • Supports Canadian dollars. You don’t need to hold crypto. You can keep the portfolio in CAD, rather than some stablecoin like USDT.
  • Flexible payment methods. Shakepay doesn’t charge for deposits or withdrawals, most of which are instant.
  • One-of-a-kind referral program. You can’t find any major exchange giving away crypto as ShakePay does. Whether you like the app or not, it’s worth signing up for the rewards at least.
  • Safer. There’s no way to use (nor attack) the platform unless you live in Canada and verify the account. And ShakePay isn’t even 1/10th as popular as Coinbase. The safest hot wallet so far.

Pros of Coinbase:

  • Lots of crypto products. You can be part of most crypto trends without leaving Coinbase. 
  • Advanced trading features. Besides buy/sell, you can place recurrent, limit, and stop orders.
  • Worldwide availability. If you live in Canada as a foreigner, Coinbase still allows verification from 100+ countries.
  • Increasing token selection. The exchange hasn’t stopped adding coins since 2012. So while it’s not as much as Binance, it’s only a matter of time before it lists 200–300 tokens.
  • All-round platform. Both beginners and professionals will find it useful.

Cons of Shakepay:

  • Fixed fees. You can’t save on fees with larger orders.
  • No coin variety. Shakepay doesn’t plan to add more coins.
  • Minimalistic. You can only buy/sell two coins (not even swap them)
  • High crypto minimums. 0.05ETH is over 250 CAD, not including $100 on network fees.
  • Canada exclusive. Not all Canadian citizens can access Shakepay. You need a Canadian phone number specifically.

Cons of Coinbase:

  • Higher fees. Small retail investors lose more on fees than on coin price.
  • US Priority Only. Canadians get the same priority as every non-US customer.
  • Confusing Structure. Coinbase is more popular than Coinbase Pro, yet only the latter has competitive rates. Why use the former in the first place?
  • Questionably reliable. If you trust Coinbase during critical price moves, you’ll be disappointed. You’re more likely to lock your funds on account suspensions than cyberattacks.
  • Limited payment methods. If you’re non-US and can’t accept PayPal, you can’t withdraw fiat. You’ll need to send crypto somewhere else.

The Verdict

When it comes to user experience, ShakePay appeals more to beginners. It offers an attractive referral program, simple crypto purchases, and high platform security. Canadians get free payment options and lower transaction fees.

If you want to step up your game, Coinbase wins in features and currency options. Verified traders can enjoy these services in most countries, saving on fees as they trade more volume. Unfortunately, the company size affects its security and customer support.

Thus, the best platform depends on how you weigh these factors. Shakepay is the best for first-timers, while Coinbase fits better for intermediate-advanced traders. If we have to generalize (Shakepay isn’t really an exchange), Coinbase is the best overall.