Coinbase Review: The Complete Guide to the World’s Most Popular Cryptocurrency Exchange

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Coinbase has solidified its status as one of the world’s leading bitcoin exchanges. Read our review and in-depth study below.

With the rise in interest and investment in cryptocurrencies over the last few years, the need for safe and secure exchanges to allow crypto purchases has grown in importance.

Coinbase is one of the most popular exchanges currently available.

Coinbase was founded in 2012 in San Francisco and now operates in 32 countries, with over 12 million clients who have exchanged over $40 billion in digital currencies.

By 2013, Coinbase has become the most well-funded Bitcoin business as well as the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. Unlike other exchanges that require users to trade on a market, Coinbase allows customers to trade their cryptocurrency at a fixed price based on its market value, allowing users to buy cryptocurrencies faster than on other exchanges.

Coinbase is one of the most user-friendly exchanges for buying Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with fiat money via a bank transfer, credit card, debit card, or even PayPal.

Continue reading for the rest of our review.

Coinbase Fees

Depending on your payment method, Coinbase charges fees ranging from 1.49 percent to 3.99 percent, with credit card transactions resulting in the highest fees.

Coinbase costs are generally cheaper than those charged by Coinmama or CEX, who operate on a similar business model.

Coinbase allows users to purchase Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, as well as a variety of other cryptocurrencies, with more being introduced on a regular basis.

Coinbase also runs the Coinbase Pro exchange, which is geared for more experienced traders.

How to Create a Coinbase Account

You can purchase cryptocurrency with Coinbase by following the steps outlined below.

  1. Signing up — All you need is your name, email address, and password to create a Coinbase account.
  2. Account Type – You will be required to validate your email address upon request. You will be forwarded to the startup page after completing the form, where you will be asked to confirm whether you want to create an individual or company account.
  3. Verify your Phone Number – Verifying your phone number is the next step. The purpose of this is to develop a form of 2-factor identification in order to keep your account safe. Other 2-factor identification approaches, such as those listed below, are also available.
  4. Set up a Payment Method — As previously indicated, Coinbase offers two payment options: bank transfer and credit card. Coinbase will frequently set up one or two modest transactions to and from your account in order to authenticate your account for bank transfers. A screenshot of the credit card is required for credit cards. Bank transfers in the United States can take up to 5 days to complete, but SEPA transfers in the EU can take as little as 1-3 days, while credit and debit card transactions are fast. Coinbase also allows customers to link their Paypal accounts to the platform, however this can only be utilized for cryptocurrency sales revenues.
  5. Purchase Cryptocurrency – You can purchase cryptocurrency once you have funds in your account. It’s critical to make sure you’re on the correct tab of your account before making a currency buy. Coinbase informs you of the service charge and the amount of cryptocurrency being acquired in the transaction before you finalize the transaction. The quantity of cryptocurrency you ordered will be credited to the appropriate Coinbase wallet after confirmation is received.

Is Coinbase a secure platform?

One of the common misconceptions about cryptocurrencies among newbies is that it is still a dangerous investment. Although it is true that there have been challenges in the past with cryptocurrency exchanges (such as Mt. Gox),

Coinbase is regarded as one of the most secure services accessible today. First and foremost, because Coinbase is situated in the United States, it must adhere to all applicable state and federal laws. This contrasts with some of their competitors who operate in nations where such platforms may be subject to fewer laws.

Following the collapse of Mt Gox, Coinbase actively pursued discussions with regulators to ensure that they were providing an open and innovative financial system, and the regulation of Coinbase is seen by some to have restored confidence in cryptocurrencies (although other commentators have complained that Coinbase operates more like a bank, which, within the community, is against the fundamental nature of a decentralised cryptocurrency).

Coinbase has also secured funding from a number of high-profile investors, including the Bank of Tokyo and BBVA, bolstering its legitimacy.

Coinbase is open about their storage procedures when it comes to money. Coinbase separates customer cash from company operational funds, noting on their website that any funds held on behalf of customers are held in custodial bank accounts, with neither Coinbase nor its creditors having any rights or entitlements to such assets in the case of insolvency.

Coinbase claims that 98 percent of its customers’ cryptocurrency cash are housed offline, in vaults and safety deposit boxes around the world, using hardware wallets and paper wallets.

Furthermore, Coinbase claims that the remaining cryptocurrency held online is covered, and that consumers will be entitled to any funds lost as a result of this insurance coverage in the event of a hack.

Customers can use a 2-factor authentication method from Coinbase, which can be sent to their phone by SMS or using third-party apps like Google Authenticator or Duo.

Coinbase also alerts consumers when a new device or IP address attempts to access their account. Despite this, Coinbase does not assume any responsibility for monies lost if customer accounts are compromised. As a result, once you’ve purchased a cryptocurrency on the Coinbase exchange, it’s generally recommended that you keep it offline in a wallet that you control.

Coinbase Customer Support

Customers can contact Coinbase by email, and there is also a Knowledge Base and FAQs page available for them.

Customer service wait times may vary, with the recent surge in demand for the service causing some delays.

Typical response times, on the other hand, are between 24 and 72 hours. Some customers have voiced dissatisfaction with “programmed solutions” that do not fully address the problem.

Coinbase supports the following countries

Customers in the following countries can use Coinbase:

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, UK, and US.

Limits on Transactions

Transaction restrictions, as well as variances due to payment methods and verification status, differ from nation to country. A link on the account’s limits page allows you to view your restrictions. Users can also request for increased limitations on Coinbase, albeit these applications are not relevant to credit card transactions in general.

You must verify your identification to apply for higher limitations, and fully verified US residents can transact up to $50,000 each week, while fully verified European clients can only have $30,000 in their account at any given moment. Users can access their account to check their restrictions.

Using Cryptocurrency for Transactions

Coinbase makes it simple to store, send, and receive cryptocurrency:

To transmit or store crypto, go to your account’s Send tab, select the wallet from which you want to send coins, enter the amount and the recipient address’s public key, and click send.
To receive cryptocurrencies, go to the Accounts tab, choose the wallet to which you wish to send funds, and then click Receive. After you click receive, you’ll be given your account’s wallet address, which the sender can use to transmit the cryptocurrency to you.

Coinbase vs Coinbase Pro

To distinguish the ‘trading’ aspect of the exchange from the more casual consumer platform, Coinbase relaunched the exchange as GDAX in 2015 and subsequently as “Coinbase Pro” in 2018.

You can avoid Coinbase costs by using GDAX as your buying/trading platform and then submitting a bank transfer to Coinbase and then purchasing with Coinbase Pro.

Coinbase Pro is free for all Coinbase customers, and you may log in with the same credentials you use on the Coinbase website. Our Coinbase vs GDAX comparison piece has further information on the two exchanges.

Coinbase Pro is aimed for more experienced traders who want to learn more than simply the fundamentals of bitcoin market movements.

Real-time orderbooks, trading histories, and graphing tools are available. At the same time, the Coinbase Pro interface is extremely user-friendly, allowing traders to get started utilizing the platform straight immediately.

Accounts Observation

One of the concerns leveled at Coinbase by the online community is that it is known to watch where its customers send their cryptocurrency and may prohibit users from making certain transfers (for example for transactions with gambling sites or darknet purchases).

Coinbase is also embroiled in a legal battle with the IRS over orders to send over all of their customers’ financial information in response to a “John Doe” subpoena.

Downtime on Coinbase

Back in 2017, when the price of Bitcoin seemed to be soaring to new heights on a daily basis. There has been some outage for the site and the app during these periods of exceptionally high demand, preventing customers from trading or purchasing on the system. Unfortunately, these are part of the service’s growing pains as it expands at an unprecedented rate.

Coinbase has told its clients that it is trying to resolve the scaling issue – it isn’t a major issue at the moment, with only a few hours of outage in total, but we thought we’d bring it up. This appears to be a prevalent issue among a few exchanges, which are all straining under the weight of increased usage and new consumers interested in Cryptocurrencies.

Coinbase appears to have this problem under control for the time being, but we’ll have to wait and see if they’ve added enough capacity to handle the loads when the next bull run occurs.

Custody on Coinbase

Coinbase also offers institutional custody for bitcoin assets through their custody program, which has a $100,000 setup fee and a minimum holding of $10 million, indicating that it is aimed at banks, hedge funds, and other financial organizations.

Despite the fact that the program is still in its early stages, they have already attracted their first client and accepted their first deposit. Custody services allow large financial institutions to deposit their assets in a secure and guaranteed manner. This service, which is the first of its kind, may pave the way for broader institutional acceptance of cryptocurrencies.

Coinbase also offers a custody service for financial institutions, where it segregates and keeps digital assets in trust for its customers. Coinbase Custody is a fiduciary under New York State Banking Law and operates as a separate, independently financed entity to Coinbase Inc.

It’s also fully insured, regulatory compliant, and subject to regular external financial and security audits. It’s SOC 2 Type I certified, with SOC 2 Type II and SOC 1 Type II certifications on the way.

For institutional investors, Coinbase simplifies the process of purchasing and securely keeping large amounts of cryptocurrency. There is currently a $10,000 setup charge, and clients must maintain a minimum holding balance of $1,000,000.

Coinbase and Paradex

Coinbase just announced the acquisition of Paradex, a decentralized Ethereum ERC-20 token exchange. They hope to incorporate some of this into their products and make a wide range of tokens tradeable on their Coinbase Pro platform.

This is wonderful news for their consumers, as well as any holders of the currencies that will be published, as it will dramatically boost the exposure of these assets to a larger audience.

Instant UK Bank Purchases

Coinbase recently introduced quick UK bank account purchases, allowing you to link any UK bank and make near-immediate purchases of their supported currencies.

Coinbase is also one of the fastest and most efficient ways to convert your cryptocurrencies back to currency because you can deposit and withdraw to your bank.

Prior to this stage, the procedure took much longer and entailed foreign bank transfers as well as higher fees for cryptocurrency conversion. If you live in the United Kingdom, this is a big advantage of utilizing Coinbase as your fiat on- and off-ramp.

To access the new UK Bank account option, go to your account settings page and choose “Link a New Account.”

Coinbase Bundle

The “Coinbase Bundle” is another new addition to the Coinbase platform. The bundle is a convenient method to purchase all five cryptocurrencies they now have available ( BTC, ETH, LTC, BCH, ETC).

You’ll find the option to purchase the Coinbase bundle within your account; simply input the amount you’d like to spend, and it’ll be split amongst the coins as follows:

Bitcoin has a 75.2 percent market cap.
Ethereum has a 15.58 percent market cap.
6.11 percentage point Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is a cryptocurrency that
Litecoin has a 2.33 percent market cap.
Ethereum Classic has a 0.78 percent market cap.
This is a simple method to learn about the coins that are now accessible on Coinbase.

Staking on Coinbase

The custody service also allows asset holders to “stake” their tokens, and the team has announced Tezos (XTZ) staking for their clients. Staking allows institutions to securely participate in Proof-of-Stake (PoS) based projects that reward parties for staking their assets to help secure the blockchain network.

Client funds are housed in segregated cold storage, and Coinbase Custody manages its own nodes and validators, as well as first-class, institutional-grade security and infrastructure. Coinbase Custody will shortly provide governance support for the Maker (MKR) protocol, with Maker and Tezos voting coming in Q2, 2019.

Characteristics:

Security — For all client funds, Coinbase Custody uses 100 percent offline, segregated storage and publishes all bond requirements for its stakers.
Coinbase Custody is a fiduciary and qualified custodian that provides staking services to its clients as a non-discretionary fiduciary activity.
Simple deposit, withdrawal, reporting, and consensus functions are available across all assets on Coinbase Custody.

OTC Trading

Coinbase Custody is also integrated with Coinbase’s OTC market, allowing clients to access immediate and anonymous liquidity. In March, the Custody team completed its first OTC deal straight from cold storage, and the OTC desk is agency-only, with all counterparties subject to stringent KYC and AML procedures.

However, because Coinbase acts as an intermediary, the anonymity of the people involved is kept while settlement is guaranteed.

Before moving funds, Custody clients can use the OTC desk to price and confirm deals, and the OTC and Custody client care teams collaborate to make the process as simple as possible. Any client who wants to start a position can buy OTC and settle assets into Custody.

Characteristics:

Online funds can be traded quickly.
The OTC desk for agencies only enables anonymous access to trusted counterparties.
From risk pricing through transaction settlement, the OTC and Custody client support teams deliver a smooth experience.

The USDC Stablecoin

Coinbase also supports the USDC (USD Coin) currency, an ERC-20 token and “stablecoin” with a price tied to the US Dollar. As a result, coin holders will always be able to redeem 1 USD Coin for $1.00, shielding them from the volatility of digital assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

USDC is issued by Centre, a consortium that holds US$1.00 for each USDC, with the funds maintained in a bank account that is constantly monitored and audited. Stablecoins are issued by regulated and licensed financial institutions that hold full reserves of the equivalent fiat currency. These issuers are required to declare their USD reserve holdings on a monthly basis, with Grant Thornton LLP generating these reports.

As a result, USDC is fully transparent, and the project complies with US money transmission laws. The CENTRE open source technology project received early stage financial contributions from Circle and Coinbase, which aided its development, and it continues to be in charge of governing the currency and connecting its growing user base and network of various stakeholders.

USDC may be traded on popular exchanges including as Binance, Bitfinex, Kucoin, OKEx, and Poloniex, in addition to Coinbase and Coinbase Pro. It also works with a number of wallets and may be used on decentralized systems including Bitpay, BlockFi, Dharma, Nexo, Melonport, and Loom as an ERC-20 token.

Coinbase Learn & Earn free crypto

The Coinbase Earn learning portal, which allows users to earn cryptocurrencies while learning about them, is part of the exchange’s objective to create an open financial system and make blockchain technology more accessible.

Coinbase Earn attempts to encourage users to learn more about a digital asset and its underlying technology by providing easy-to-digest educational information.

Verified users can earn cryptocurrency by completing a series of educational tasks such as watching movies and taking quizzes, and the program is open to everyone in the world who qualifies.

Users are rewarded for sharing their unique referral links and asking other qualified friends to finish the classes in addition to watching tutorials and answering quiz questions.

Courses on digital currencies like Stellar Lumens (XLM), Zcash (ZEC), Basic Attention Token (BAT), and 0x (ZRX) are now available, with more currencies planned to be added in the future.

Coinbase Wallet app

The Coinbase Wallet is a non-custodial digital currency wallet and decentralized app (dApp) browser that is owned by the user.

Private keys (which represent ownership of a digital item) are saved locally on your device rather than on a central exchange. This gives customers autonomy over their money, and they don’t need a Coinbase Consumer account to utilize the wallet.

Both iOS and Android users can use the wallet, which can be downloaded from the Apple and Google Play app stores.

Users may link their Coinbase.com accounts to the Coinbase Wallet app after downloading it, and then move crypto to the wallet app with a few clicks at any time.

Users can manage prominent cryptocurrencies like as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and all ERC-20 tokens, including the USDC stable currency, with the wallet’s multi-coin compatibility.

Furthermore, the wallet supports the storage of digital collectibles, including all ERC-721 collectibles as well as unique digital characters and creations.

The Coinbase Wallet also interfaces with a variety of dApps, allowing users to participate in online games, marketplaces, and decentralized finance (DeFi) projects like Augur, as well as trade on decentralized exchanges and relayers like Kyber Network, Paradex, and Radar Relay.

Users’ keys are safeguarded with Secure Enclave and biometric authentication technology, and each user is alone responsible for (and has sole knowledge of and access to) his or her private keys.

How to use the Coinbase Wallet App

Download the app for iOS or Android.
Connect your Coinbase.com account by selecting “Connect to Coinbase” from the Settings menu or clicking “Connect Now” in the notification.
Once your account is linked, you can transfer funds at any time from the Settings menu, and you can also unlink your account from the Settings menu if necessary.

Coinbase Visa Debit Card

The Coinbase Card, which was just unveiled, allows Coinbase customers in the United Kingdom to conveniently spend bitcoins both in-store and online.

Customers can use their card at any location that is part of the Visa network, and they can make payments using contactless, Chip and PIN technology, as well as cash withdrawals from approved ATMs.

Customers’ crypto account balances on Coinbase are connected to the Visa debit card, providing them direct access to spending a range of cryptocurrencies. When they use the card, Coinbase promptly converts the crypto to fiat cash, currently GBP, which is then used to execute a purchase.

The Coinbase Card is the first debit card in the UK and EU that connects directly to a large cryptocurrency exchange. The card is presently accessible in the UK, with plans to expand to additional European nations in the coming months.

Spending Limits

  • Fee for issuing a plastic card: £4.95
  • Domestic Cash Withdrawal Fee (applies to ATM and Over-the-Counter “OTC”):
  • Monthly payments of up to £200: Free
  • Any monthly payment of more than £200: 1% of the amount withdrawn from an ATM (per transaction)
  • Up to £200 or currency equivalent every month: International Cash Withdrawal Fee (applies to both ATM and Over the Counter “OTC” withdrawals): Free
  • Any monthly payment of more than £200 (or the equivalent in another currency): 2% of the amount withdrawn from an ATM (per transaction)
  • Free Domestic Purchase Transaction
  • POS transaction value Intra-EEA Purchase Transaction Fee: 0.20 percent
  • 3.00 percent of the POS transaction’s value is charged as an international purchase transaction fee (per transaction)
  • £4.95 for a replacement card (per Card issued)
  • £20.00 chargeback processing fee
  • Liquidation fees for cryptocurrencies are 2.49 percent of the transaction value.

Coinbase Card customers are currently required to stick to a daily spending restriction of £10,000, as well as a monthly purchase limit of £20,000 and a yearly purchase limit of £50,000.

A daily ATM withdrawal restriction of £500 is also in place, and consumers can modify their daily spending limitations by contacting cardsupport@coinbase.com.

The Cardholder Agreement, which can be found in the Coinbase Card App Setting, has a detailed list of fees and limits.

Customers may use the Coinbase Card app to check their accounts on the move and choose which of their crypto wallets will be used to fund their card transactions.

The software also includes quick receipts, transaction summaries, and spending categories, and it is accessible in both iOS and Android versions. It can be downloaded from the Apple and Google Play app stores.

Coinbase is removing the £4.95 card issuance charge for the first 1,000 customers who sign up for the waitlist to celebrate the debut of its crypto debit card.

Customers may download the iOS and Android app and join their Coinbase account. Any crypto balances kept on Coinbase will be instantly available to spend via the virtual card, with the Coinbase Card arriving in the mail later.

Coinbase Security

Coinbase continues to take customer data security seriously, employing a variety of security procedures to protect sensitive information. Passwords and OAuth tokens, for example, are encrypted using AES-256 on their servers, and all data is encrypted using SSL to prevent other parties from monitoring connections.

Furthermore, all personal data is handled securely and in line with all applicable regulations by Coinbase and its partners, including the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation; more information is available in Coinbase’s Privacy Policy.

Furthermore, the Coinbase Card is completely regulated and issued by Paysafe Financial Services Limited, which is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to issue electronic money and payment instruments under the Electronic Money Regulations 2011 (FRN: 900015).

After being ordered, cards take 5 to 7 business days to arrive, with cards arriving during the week in the afternoons. Cards ordered after this time are usually shipped the next business day.

Further development

The exchange has also recently revealed new advances in its expansion goals, with clients in Latin America and Asia now having more access to the Coinbase service.

Users in over 53 countries across four continents can now purchase, store, trade, send, and receive cryptocurrencies on Coinbase.com and Coinbase Pro, thanks to the addition of around 11 new nations across both regions.

Customers from Asian cities such as Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, South Korea, and the Philippines, as well as residents of Latin American countries such as Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru, as well as New Zealanders from Oceania, have all been welcomed into the fold.

Coinbase Pro:

  • Outstanding Reputation
  • Insured by the FDIC
  • Very Secure and Easy to Use
  • Credit and debit cards are accepted.

Coinbase Cons:

  • Customer service is slow
  • Only a few currencies available

Conclusion

Coinbase provides clients (especially newbies to cryptocurrencies) with a practical and easy-to-use service for buying and trading cryptocurrency, despite its flaws.

Regardless of the security levels stated above, as with any online exchange, it is always recommended that any cryptocurrency purchased through Coinbase be transferred to personal wallets, enabling you full access to the private key to your coin.

Overall, it’s a nice introduction to cryptocurrency that allows people to dangle their toes in the water without feeling like they’re entering a strange new universe.

In 2020, we updated this assessment to include all of Coinbase’s new options and features.

They’re just getting better, and they’re still the safest and most straightforward method for newbies to enter into cryptocurrencies. They have deservedly acquired the title of industry leader.

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