Coinbase Review in 2021 – All the Information You Need

Coinbase is a leading cryptocurrency exchange based in the US. In this Coinbase review, we will cover all you need to know about Coinbase in this review in order to make a decision whether you should use this platform for trading cryptocurrencies.

A Quick Understanding On the Background of Coinbase

Coinbase is one of the oldest exchanges around, established in 2012 by founders Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam. Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Coinbase started off with a radical idea that anybody should be given the ability to access Bitcoin easily and securely, from any place. Therefore, it all started with offering Bitcoin brokerage services, while expanding along the way to where Coinbase is today.

Today, over 35 million verified users across more than 100 countries trust Coinbase as their preferred crypto exchange to store, buy and sell digital currencies. Coinbase has expanded their digital currency availability beyond bitcoin to many others, as explored in the section below. The total amount of assets on Coinbase is worth more than $25 billion, while the total volume traded comes up to over $320 billion today.

Coinbase is definitely a safe and reliable trading platform as they are backed by trusted investors. These include Rabbit Capital, the NYSE and Andreessen Horowitz.

Cryptocurrencies Available

There is a wide range of cryptocurrencies available on the Coinbase platform for you to trade. Currently, the available crypto include:

Bitcoin (BTC) Ethereum (ETH) Litecoin (LTC) Bitcoin Cash (BCH) XRP (XRP) Chainlink (LINK)Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision (BSV) EOS (EOS) Tezos (XTZ) Dash (DASH) Ethereum Classic (ETC) USD Coin (USDC) Steller Lumens (XLM) Cosmos (ATOM) Algorand (ALGO) Maker (MKR) Celo (CGLD) Compound (COMP) Zcash (ZEC) Basic Attention Token (BAT) OMG Network (OMG) Dai (DAI) Band Protocol (BAND) 0x (ZRX) Kyber Network (KNC) Augur (REP) Orchid (OXT)

Apart from these, Coinbase is planning to add even more cryptocurrencies in the future.

The Services Offered by Coinbase

Coinbase Brokerage Services

The main service by Coinbase is the brokerage services for buying and selling cryptocurrency. Trading on this platform is a very easy process, which makes it suitable for beginners. Not only can you access this through the web, but on your mobile Android and iOS devices as well. However, note that Coinbase only offers browser-based services and not any downloadable trading software. This is also the same for Coinbase Pro.

Coinbase offers a user interface that provides great ease of use. Hence, it is a great user-friendly place to start for those newly acquainted to the cryptocurrency space. The interface is clean and straightforward which allows users to easily get a handle on what is going on and how things work. The dashboard is simple, simplifying the tools for you to monitor your coins.

In this coinbase review, we’d like you to know that it has a variety of features which makes it one of the best places to start trading. For example, while many traditional cryptocurrency exchanges do not accept fiat, Coinbase accepts a wide range of fiat currency in exchange for the cryptocurrencies that they offer. Currently, the fiat currencies accepted are USD, EUR and GBP.

The “Instant Exchange” feature offered by Coinbase enables customers who want to send money in Bitcoin to transact with their fiat currency. This is an efficient solution because customers will not need to go through the hassle of buying Bitcoin with their fiat, then only sending it out. Instead, they can do so in one instant action and do it seamlessly. Hence, the name “Instant Exchange”. Besides, there will be no extra charges incurred for you to enjoy this service by Coinbase!

Besides, for companies who want to start accepting digital currency, Coinbase has been one of the recommended platforms due to the user-friendliness it offers. Overall, Coinbase is a good place to start off for individuals and companies who are beginning to explore the world of crypto. However, once you are comfortable with the platform, it is recommended to graduate to more professional services. Perhaps you can then checkout Coinbase Pro.

Coinbase Pro

While Coinbase makes the trading user experience very easy for beginners, Coinbase Pro offers a larger and more robust charting and trading experience, more geared towards experienced traders. You cannot have a complete Coinbase review without including the Pro version for your reference.

With Coinbase Pro, users can enjoy the options of margin trading and more advanced charting capabilities. Besides, while regular Coinbase allows market orders, Coinbase Pro allows you to place either market orders, limit orders or stop orders with lower commission fees.

Those who use Coinbase Pro will be able to use tools like charts with exponentially moving averages, and as short-term as a one-minute candle and line chart. The two overlays and indicators currently available are the EMA (12) and EMA (26).

Overall, Coinbase Pro is the recommended choice for those interested in actively trading to enjoy more features and lower trading fees. Regular Coinbase is more suited for beginners as it is very easy to use when it comes to buying, storing and moving cryptocurrencies.

Coinbase Wallet

Coinbase mobile wallet was launched back in 2018 for both Android and iOS devices. This one by Coinbase has been known to be one of the safest ones available to store your crypto in. This is thanks to multiple security measures taken by Coinbase including the 2-factor authentication, multiple signatures, and more. The wallet by Coinbase also has a clean track record of never being hacked or breached before.

What else is clean is the interface and design. Coinbase wallet offers a very sleek design, adding to its simplicity aspect of it. This makes it a crypto wallet that is easy and enjoyable to use.

However, as with every crypto wallet, there is sure to be room for improvement. One of the things that Coinbase can look into is to increase the number of crypto coins they support on the wallet. This is because at the current time of writing, the wallet supports a small number of 8 crypto coins. This includes all ERC-20 tokens. If you are a trader who likes to experiment around, this may limit your options. However, if you are just trying it out, or a traditional trader, we think it would suffice for now.

To finish off this segment of the Coinbase review, we have to talk about the pricing. Well, the wallet is completely free for you to use! Using coinbase wallet for free here means to store crypto coins and transfer them around without any charges. Besides, registration is also free so there is no downloading fee and such. However, of course, there is a catch – exchanges and further transferring fees are applicable. This can range from as low as 1.49% up to 3.99% which is considerably quite decent.

Security

Coinbase deems that security is one of the reasons why you should choose them, as they are one of the most trusted cryptocurrency platforms. In this section of the Coinbase review, we will review whether this is really so.

Secure Storage

Well, although there will never be any online cryptocurrency exchange which can guarantee 100% security, we can say that Coinbase is one of the safer ones. Keeping above 98% of their assets in an offline cold storage, this ensures that Coinbase will not be hacked as the offline cold storage cannot be accessed by hackers. Offline storage provides an important security measure against any theft or loss. Coinbase distributes the bitcoin of users geographically in safe vaults and deposit boxes worldwide.

As above 98% of customer funds are stored offline, this means that only about 1% of the remaining assets will be in their secure online servers. This is necessary in order to serve the liquidity needs of customers. However there is nothing to worry about this 1% as it is heavily insured.

Protected by Insurance

Coinbase ensures that the total commercial criminal insurance over the assets on their platform is greater than the total value of cryptocurrency maintained in the online storage. Their insurance policy insures them against any theft of cryptocurrency resulting from hacking, fraudulent transfer, security breach or employee theft.

However, it is also the responsibility of customers to create strong passwords and to maintain control over all login credentials used to access Coinbase and Coinbase Pro. Any losses which result from unauthorized access to your account will unfortunately not be covered by Coinbase.

Industry Best Practices

Apart from secure storage of your coins and insurance protection, Coinbase also takes careful measures to ensure that the best industry practices are carried out to ensure that your bitcoin is as safe as possible. This includes having their website traffic run totally over encrypted SSL (https), and having Coinbase wallets stored using the AES-256 encryption for high security.

Organization

In terms of their organization, all Coinbase employees are required to pass criminal background checks as part of their hiring process. This is a precautionary measure to minimize the risk of any employee theft. Besides, all Coinbase employees must encrypt all hard drives, use strong passwords as well as ensure screen locking. Separate passwords and two-step verification are also used for each device and service.

Application

Coinbase takes steps to prevent mass-assignment vulnerabilities. A mass assignment is basically a computer vulnerability whereby an active record pattern in a web application is abused to modify data which users should not be allowed access to. Coinbase prevents this by whitelisting attributes on all their models.

Coinbase also prevents cross-site request forgery (CSRF) attacks. This is a type of malicious exploit of a website where unauthorized commands or requests are submitted from a user which the web application trusts. Coinbase prevents this by using SQL injection filters to carry out the verification of the authenticity of POST, DELETE and PUT requests.

Authentication

Coinbase checks through password creation and password resets to ensure that the users’ passwords are strong. This is to prevent any unauthorized access into their accounts. Do not worry because all passwords stored in the Coinbase database will be hashed. This basically means that it will be turned into an encrypted representation of itself. Besides, Coinbase has biometric fingerprint logins and a two-step verification to enhance their security as well.

Overall, we would say that Coinbase indeed offers solid security compared to a number of other leading exchanges. If you are interested to safely get started in digital currency investment, Coinbase is a great pick. That said, you should also take the initiative to learn about proper crypto security and storage.

Customer Support

While Coinbase has come a long way, the customer service is an area where it can actually improve on. There is truly a lot to like about Coinbase, but unfortunately the customer service is really average. You are able to reach the Coinbase support team by sending an email via the contract form, calling their hotline or contacting them through social media. However, they can improve much on their response time.

In this Coinbase review, we would be fairly frank on how we felt – it’s decent, not great but it can sufficiently resolve your issue within expected timeframe. For more basic support on issues you may be facing, you can search it up on their Help page. This includes issues pertaining to managing your account, privacy and security, and others which you can access here.

Fees

In this meantime, we landed on this section of the Coinbase review. Allow us to review the fee system of Coinbase for you. Generally, the fee system is pretty complex, and trading fees can be quite expensive compared to their competitors if you are not using Coinbase Pro.

Fee for Coinbase Wallet

Coinbase offers both the USD and Hosted Cryptocurrency Wallet at no cost at all. You got that right, it is totally free for you to use these crypto wallets. This means that Coinbase will store your money and cryptocurrency for you. If you would like to transfer cryptocurrencies from one Coinbase to another, there will be no transferring fee. However, Coinbase will charge a certain fee based on the estimate of network transaction fees which will be disclosed to you at the time of transaction.

Fee for Buy and Sell Transactions

Users will be charged variable spreads on their purchases and trades. According to Coinbase, the fees are about 0.50% for cryptocurrency purchases and cryptocurrency sales. However, this can be brought lower or higher based on market fluctuations in the price of cryptocurrencies.

Coinbase Fee

It is important to note that the Coinbase fee structure has an additional “Coinbase Fee”. However, do not be alarmed as this is not a duplication of fees, but rather it is the greater of (a) a flat fee, or (b) a variable fee dependent on the value of your purchase, region of purchase, and type of payment (debit or credit card).

Flat Fee

Total Transaction Amount  Flat Fee
$10 $0.99
> $10 but $25 $1.25
> $25 but $50 $1.99
> $50 but $200 $2.99

Variable Fee

Payment Methods Fee
Bank Account  1.49%
Coinbase Wallet (US) 1.49%
Debit/ Credit Card  3.99%
Cryptocurrency Conversion 2.00%
ACH Transfer Free of charge
Wire Transfer $10/ $25 outgoing 

As seen in the tables above, the flat fee is dependent on the total amount of cryptocurrency that you transact, whereas the variable fee depends on the payment methods of your choice.

Take note that the fees mentioned above are according to that of the United States. The Coinbase fees will in fact differ based on the country and region you are in, but for this review purpose, we will stick to the US.

The flat and variable fees can be better understood with an example. In a real life example, if you are a bitcoin buyer wanting to purchase $100 worth of bitcoin by paying with your bank account, the flat fee would be calculated as $2.99. However, the variable fee would be 1.49% of the total transaction, which comes up to $1.49. In this case, the flat fee, $2.99 is greater than the variable fee, $1.49. Therefore, the Coinbase fee will be the greater of the two – the flat fee. Thus, you will need to pay $2.99. However, if the buyer wants to pay with a Debit Card, the variable fee would be the greater of the two, and hence he will have to pay $3.99.

To find out more regarding the Coinbase pricing and fees, feel free to head over to the official website and give it a read.

Coinbase Pro Fees

The fees for Coinbase Pro are less complicated and also cheaper. The fees follow a tier system as seen below.

Pricing Tiers ($)  Taker Fee(%) Maker Fee 
<10k 0.50 0.50
10-50k 0.35 0.35
50-100k 0.25 0.15
100k-1m 0.20 0.10
1-10m 0.18 0.08
10-50m 0.15 0.05
50-100m 0.10 0.00
100-300m 0.07 0.00
300-500m 0.06 0.00
500m-1b 0.05 0.00
1b+ 0.04 0.00

How To Get Started with Coinbase

We figured this is one of the most important parts of a coinbase review because some might struggle to set up their Coinbase account. So here’s the essential things to know.

Meet the Requirements

To get started, be sure that you meet and prepare for all the requirements on Coinbase. This includes:

  • Being at least 18 years of age (with proof)
  • A photo ID issued by the government (passport cards not acceptable)
  • A smartphone or computer which has internet connection
  • A phone number connected to your smartphone (to receive SMS from Coinbase)
  • Updated latest version of web browser, or latest Coinbase App version and updated phone operating system

As long as you have met the requirements, you can move on to create a Coinbase account easily.

Create an Account

It is a very easy process to sign up for Coinbase. If you are using a computer, log on to https://www.coinbase.com while if you are using a mobile device, download and open the Coinbase app on your device to get started. Note that it is not recommended to access Coinbase through a browser on mobile devices because you will not get the optimal experience.

Start by clicking on “Get started”! Then. you just need to enter your full name and email address, then create a strong password for your account. You should be sure to store your password in a secure place so you do not lose it. Coinbase will also ask for your state of which you need to provide proof.

Next, once you have read the Privacy Policy and Users Agreement, you can click to “Create Account”! You will then be asked to verify your email address and provide your phone number. Coinbase will use the number given later on for the sending of two-step verification codes.

Link Your Payment Method

The payment methods made available will differ based on which country you are a resident of. For purposes of this Coinbase Review, we will be explaining the payment methods available in the US. As seen in this table below, there are several types that you can choose from to link to your account. Please take note that Coinbase no longer supports the linking of Credit cards but the other options as seen below are available.

Bank Account

If this is your preferred method, simply visit the page for Payment Methods > Link a New Account > Bank Account then select “Continue”. You will then be given a choice of which bank you would like to link to, followed by entering your bank’s login credentials. It is as simple as that and your account would have already been instantly linked and available for use.

Debit Card

Similar to your Credit card, Debit cards (both Visa and MasterCard) are accepted when using Coinbase. To add your card, simply visit the page for Payment Methods > Link a New Account > Debit Card then provide the information on your card.
Two small temporary debits will be applied to your card for setting up purposes, so do not be alarmed. You will need to go to your card online banking statement to find those two amounts, and enter those on Coinbase to complete the verification and adding of your card.

Bank Wire

If you wish to deposit using bank wire, you just need to simply go to the tab Portfolio > USD wallet > Deposit > Wire Transfer, then use the info displayed to initiate a wire transfer which is denominated in USD from your bank’s account. The same is for the withdrawal process, but tap on the “Withdraw” button instead of “Deposit”. Typically, wired funds appear in your account within 2 to 3 business days.

However, take note that Coinbase will only accept wires if the conditions are met, which are:

  • Name on bank wire matches legal name of Coinbase account
  • The wire is sent from a US-based bank
  • You can only own one personal Coinbase account

Start To Buy and Sell

Buy

To buy crypto, simply go to the “Buys” page and select the crypto you wish to buy and enter in the amount. Then, select the wallet you wish for your funds to be deposited into and choose your preferred payment method. Once you have confirmed that everything is correct, just click “Buy” and that’s you’re all set to buy crypto!

Sell

Coinbase only allows users to sell directly into the Coinbase fiat wallet. However, the good news is that there are no limits to how much crypto you can sell or “cash out” to your wallet. To sell crypto, just click Trade > Sell. Then, choose the crypto you want to sell, select your USD wallet and click “Withdraw”.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is Coinbase safe to use?
According to plentiful reviews you can find, you’d know coinbase is definitely a crypto exchange that is safe to use. In order to operate in the 30 states in the US alone, Coinbase holds over 40 different licenses! This is to make sure that their practices are legal and this provides assurance to us customers that Coinbase is handling our money with high integrity. If you are interested about their licenses and policies before you use Coinbase, feel free to read more on their official website.

 

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