I m bit suspicious about Coinbase service. It shows the current BTC is 16900 USD but in Bitfinex is 15 326 USD.

The worst part is I selected buy BTC from Coinbase its showing 17686.50 USD. How on earth such price variance?

I raised the complaint to Coinbase no answer from them, I felt bit dodgy about their service.

I felt discouraged to use mobile wallet they are not providing the correct exchange rate. Could someone can suggest me best way to buy BTC and move to other wallets?


With such volatility, all exchanges vary a great deal. At time of writing this answer, bitcoin price had jumped another 20% in less than a day and it wasn't too strange to see any two exchanges vary by $500 or more (Current source). Each exchange calculates their buy and sell prices a little differently.

True exchanges like Bitfinex all have different user bases in addition to variation in their buy/sell calculations. This means they may have slightly different supply and demand effects. None of the exchanges are centrally monitored, as with stock exchanges, so they must calculate buy and sell rates on their own.

Coinbase is not a true exchange. Your buy and sell orders are not filled by others buying and selling. Instead, you are buying and selling from Coinbase. Like any currency exchange you might find at banks or international airports, Coinbase offers a larger spread (the difference between buy and sell price) as part of their profit scheme. For the user, Coinbase offers value over true exchanges by filling any order immediately and simplifying the process.

  • +1 for the detailed information about true exchanges. For a moment I felt these exchanges are milking money from the investors. However, I've written script to scrawl in sites and get the price diff from different exchanges. Dec 7 '17 at 16:13
  • @lethal Cool! Are you willing to share it?
    – frеdsbend
    Dec 7 '17 at 17:08
  • @lethal I added a source discussing the massive variations as high as $2000.
    – frеdsbend
    Dec 7 '17 at 17:11
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    I would guess the quote that LethalProgrammer got was from GDAX, which is Coinbase's exchange. It is a high-volume exchange but for some reason its trades are at prices higher than those of other exchanges such as Bitfinex and Bitstamp. The high on GDAX this morning up to this writing was $19,697, and within 20-25 minutes it was back to a temporary low of $15,101 before trading at around $16,000-$17,000. Edit: Coinbase's quotes might be derived from GDAX but with a markup or markdown added. The typical bid-ask spread on GDAX 's order book is $0.01.
    – brec
    Dec 7 '17 at 17:14

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