After starting its operations in 2016, GDAX received a mixed response from users. The founders of Coinbase aimed to launch GDAX as a dedicated platform for seasonal traders and expert users. The interface of GDAX is not as simple as many other cryptocurrency exchanges out there however this has not put users off as it continues to build a stellar reputation. Another positive GDAX has is that it provides a seamless and smooth transfer of accounts from Coinbase. If you are an existing Coinbase customer, you can easily move your account to GDAX.
Account transfer might be smooth, but you will still need to transfer your cryptocurrency from one wallet to another to trade on GDAX. If you have been using coinbase for a long time, getting used to GDAX would be an easy task for you. However, if you are a newbie, GDAX might pose a few extra issues with its interface being fairly complex.
GDAX has limited support worldwide. It is not available in all countries, only the USA, UK, Singapore, Canada, Australia and Europe. It has an option for USA, UK and European customers to trade using their government issued currency, but this luxury isn't available to the customers from Canada, Australia and Singapore. GDAX allows only three Fiat currencies namely - the US Dollar, the Euro and the British Pound.
Despite being a sister company of Coinbase, GDAX offers very low fees on transactions and trading. Ranging from 0.1% to 0.25%, the fees of GDAX are dramatically lower than that of Coinbase, which can charge between 1.5% to 4% and higher, especially when using a credit card or debit card for payments.
Sailing into the success-boat of Coinbase has made it easier for GDAX to receive a warm welcome from the users who wanted a platform with more flexibility and lower transaction fees. GDAX also gives its users a chance to diversify their crypto-portfolio. Apart from Bitcoin, it also has Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) in which the customers can trade.
ADVANTAGES OF GDAX
GDAX has many advantages over other cryptocurrency or bitcoin exchanges
- The biggest advantage it has is an easy migration from Coinbase. Those that have been trading cryptocurrency the past few years have more than likely been the customer of Coinbase.
- Coinbase was originally dedicated strictly to trading Bitcoin since 2012, until it launched ETH, BTC & LTC. GDAX has always allowed its users to trade other currencies as well. Currently it has the same 4 currencies as Coinbase - Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin and Litecoin.
- GDAX can be seem as a traders dream because they allow marginal trading, unlike other cryptocurrency exchanges that do not. This means that you don't need to put the full size of the trade down whilst still gaining the maximum profits. The flip side being that you will realise the maximum losses as well.
- This cryptocurrency exchange has one of the lowest fee structures. It charges between 0.1% to 0.25% for transactions. Like Poloniex, it follows a maker-taker model, but it has zero maker fees. That means, someone who wants to 'buy' a crypto-asset does not need to pay any additional fees, which is amazing! But the taker (seller) has to pay certain fees. The fees vary from currency to currency, and also on the volume to be traded. If you are trading high volume, your fees will be lower.
- GDAX's interface, and model resonates completely with experienced trading platforms. Those who want to take their trading game a notch higher, must use GDAX for its information-rich interface.
- It allows customers to deposit three different currencies - USD, Euro and Pound Sterling. Users can make the deposits using either bank transfers or credit/debit cards.
- GDAX supports Bitcoin hard-fork, that is why they have listed Bitcoin Cash on their network.
- They have robust and safe security features. They allow 2FA (two factor authentication), which acts as an extra layer of security to your funds.
- So far, GDAX has no history of being hacked or its security being compromised, which although is never a guarantee of safety, it certainly does give you more confidence investing in this exchange.
- GDAX has a history of undergoing financial audits and regular IT security to stay away from any controversies related to financial management.
- They have stored their 98% of the cryptocurrency in cold-storage (offline wallets), which means only a marginal amount is available online. Hence, even if it gets hacked, they will hardly lose anything.
DISADVANTAGES OF GDAX
There might be many upsides of GDAX, but let's not ignore the downsides either. There are potential disadvantages that GDAX has, and some of them are -
- The biggest downside of GDAX is its limited availability. It is not available worldwide, and only operates in the USA, Singapore, Australia, Canada, UK and Europe.
- The second disadvantage is that it does not allow the government issued currencies of all countries to be deposited in the user accounts. Only USD, Euro and Pound Sterling are allowed. The citizens of Australia, Canada and Singapore are only allowed to trade in cryptocurrencies, or they must deposit USD, Euro or Pound Sterling if they wish to trade using Fiat currencies.
- GDAX only allows USA, UK and European citizens to trade in all the cryptocurrencies available on their network. Citizens of Singapore, Canada and Australia only have Ethereum and Litecoin available for trading. This limits their customers greatly, as the citizens of these three countries cannot even use their government issued currency to buy any crypto-asset. Moreover, GDAX also lacks worldwide support right now, which makes it a very limited and restricted network.
- The interface of GDAX is not meant for newbies and beginners. It is only for seasonal traders and those who have been trading for a long time. Those who have been using coinbase and trading cryptocurrencies for years, will rejoice in the fresh outlook that GDAX provides, but those who are just entering into the cryptocurrency world, should first get some experience with easier interfaces. Confusing interfaces can often cause unwanted financial loss.
- GDAX has a history of crashes and network maintenance issues. Back in December 2017, when the Bitcoin price was at its all-time high (ATH), GDAX and Coinbase, both crashed because of high traffic influx. GDAX needs to learn to manage traffic in peak hours to avoid these issues again.
- It has no application for iOS or Android, but it does provide API support for third-party applications.