Coinbase is ideal for anyone who wants to get into cryptocurrency trading quickly and easily. Their desktop website is easy to use, and they have well-designed apps available in both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
Advantages and disadvantages at a glance
Coinbase's website allows users to trade over 4500 different assets, making it one of the most comprehensive exchanges on the crypto market. With an investment amount of at least $2 (or converted into respective local currency), anyone can start trading cryptocurrencies.
When you sign up for the first time, you will receive a $10 incentive for your first $100 purchase of any cryptocurrency value on the platform. For every friend you refer who purchases at least $100 worth of digital assets in their account, you will receive $10 as a reward for your efforts.
There are only 42 regions plus Puerto Rico in the United States that have been licensed to use the platform so far. When buying virtual currencies, trading fees start at 0.5% for each transaction, but can go up to 3.99% if a credit card is used.
What types of traders does Coinbase support?
Coinbase has a variety of features that allow it to meet the needs of crypto investors of all experience levels. The platform may be suitable for those who have no experience with investing in cryptocurrencies.
It has an educational program that teaches beginners the basics of investing in crypto stocks. In addition, experienced traders can benefit from the Coinbase Pro account, which has more trading tools than the basic version.
The company Coinbase
Coinbase is a US-based cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam. It has evolved from just selling bitcoin to trading hundreds of other cryptocurrencies.
Coinbase is among the largest exchanges in the world, with a total volume of over $500 billion exchanged on the platform. Coinbase can be used to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, has an advanced trading platform called Coinbase Pro, and can also be used as a centralized wallet to store your funds.
The company Coinbase went public on April 2021. The company's goal is to make sending and receiving cryptocurrencies easy and secure for every user.
Coinbase compared to Coinbase Pro
Originally known as GDAX, Coinbase's trading platform was renamed “Coinbase Pro” in 2018 to separate it from the company's main platform. Coinbase Pro is available to any Coinbase customer, and you can log in with the same username and password that you use to access the Coinbase platform.
Coinbase Pro is for sophisticated traders who can handle the many buying and selling tools. Order books, transaction data and charting are tools that are updated in real time and made available to Pro version users. At the same time, Coinbase Pro's layout is incredibly user-friendly, allowing traders to get started with the platform right away.
Which cryptocurrencies are traded?
Coinbase's platform currently supports trading in over 130 cryptocurrencies (as of 2022). The availability of cryptocurrencies for buying, selling, depositing and withdrawing varies. Here are a few cryptocurrencies with high demand that you can trade on Coinbase:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Tether (USDT)
- Cardano (ADA)
- Solana (SOL)
- Polygon (MATIC)
- Chainlink (LINK)
- Polkadot (DOT)
- Dogecoin (DOGE)
- Uniswap (UNI)
Which countries can use Coinbase?
Coinbase is available in more than 100 countries worldwide, including North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa.
Core markets have a full platform, while other countries can simply exchange mainstream cryptocurrencies. Coinbase also offers brokerage services in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Singapore.
Coinbase's pricing structure is complicated and relies on two aspects:
- Coinbase charges a 0.5 percent spread on cryptocurrency trades and purchases. These rates may increase or decrease depending on price fluctuations.
- Coinbase charges a fee in addition to the purchase price. This cost can be a fixed rate or it can vary depending on the amount of cryptocurrency purchased and the payment method used.
If you purchase $100 worth of Bitcoin (or its equivalent in your local currency) through a US bank account or USD wallet, the flat fee is $2.99. The price structure is the same everywhere else in the world. In most cases, the different percentage fee is 1.49 percent of the total transaction, which equals $1.49. The total cost is $2.99. This is due to the fact that the flat fee is higher than the variable fee.
The cost of buying bitcoin with a debit card would be 3.99 percent because the variable percentage is higher than the flat rate.
Coinbase Pro's pricing system is more straightforward, as it depends on the monthly trading activity and the volatility of the assets at the time of purchase. If the coin is offered for purchase immediately, a Taker fee must be paid. If the sell order must be held until a buyer is found, an additional fee will be charged.
With Coinbase Pro, all deposits and withdrawals must be made through one of your linked bank accounts. There are still costs for transfers. Compared to Coinbase's 4% taxes, Coinbase Pro may be of interest to large investors.
Deposits and withdrawals (FIAT)
While deposits and withdrawals of fiat currencies from the DACH region are free of charge, there are fees of $10 and $25 for deposits and withdrawals of USD via wire transfer. SEPA deposits and withdrawals are almost free and cost €0.15 per transaction. Swift deposits in GBP are free, but withdrawals cost £1.
If you want to withdraw money from Coinbase, you have several options:
- To your current account (in DACH area immediate payment or bank transfer)
- About your debit card
- About your PayPal account
Duration of a deposit or withdrawal
Withdrawals from Coinbase are usually fast, however, your bank may take up to three days to complete the transfer. Depositing via credit card is the fastest way to get FIAT money into your Coinbase account.
Platform and services
Coinbase offers a wallet service that is available as a mobile app on Google Play or the Apple Store, as well as an online app via Chrome. The Coinbase wallet supports over 500 tokens as well as NFTs and DEX access. In addition, staking services are provided to each Coinbase account.
Coinbase also offers a Visa debit card for its customers. Coinbase card reviews often highlight the card's minimal cost, added benefits, and flexibility. In addition, Coinbase offers a digital payment solution for businesses called “Coinbase Commerce.” Several financial products are available, including futures and margin trading.
The regular Coinbase platform and Coinbase Pro are the two trading platforms offered by Coinbase. The original platform allows the purchase of cryptocurrencies with USD. Coinbase Pro, formerly known as GDAX, offers users graphics and data, simple and sophisticated order types (market, limit, and stop), and the ability to perform crypto transactions. Coinbase Pro may seem intimidating for cryptocurrency newbies, but it makes it possible to trade cryptocurrencies cheaply.
Assessment of the complexity of Coinbase
Coinbase is ideal for anyone who wants to get into cryptocurrency trading quickly and easily. Their desktop website is easy to use, and they have well-designed apps available in both the App Store and Google Play Store.
Despite its widespread use by retail investors and large institutions, the Coinbase interface can be difficult to understand for those unfamiliar with how cryptocurrencies work.
Android / IOS-App
The Coinbase app is available for free download for both Apple and Android smartphones. Coinbase now has a Coinbase Pro app for Apple and Android devices that is equally robust and user-friendly.
Options to earn
The exchange offers the Coinbase Earn learning platform to create an open financial system and make blockchain technologies more accessible to people.
Users who have been verified can earn Bitcoin by completing a number of educational activities such as watching lectures and completing questionnaires.
In addition, users can earn points by referring friends who can also participate in the courses.
The Coinbase wallet is an independent software that you can use to store (or keep) your cryptocurrency. If you want to buy cryptocurrencies on a decentralized market, you can do so with your Coinbase wallet. Coinbase Wallet is a user-owned virtual currency wallet and dApp launcher.
You don't need a Coinbase account to use the Coinbase Wallet app, which helps you manage your private keys and store your assets on your devices. Coinbase users can effortlessly move money between their wallets and Coinbase accounts.
The Coinbase wallet is also connected to a variety of dApps, allowing users to participate in online games, marketplaces, and decentralized financial companies (DeFi).
With Coinbase Card, you can spend your Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies instantly. It can be used internationally for contactless withdrawals, PIN withdrawals and ATM withdrawals.
The Coinbase Card is directly connected to one of the most important trading platforms in the UK and the EU. The card is now available in the U.S. and U.K., with European uptake expected soon.
The Visa debit card is linked to Coinbase customers' cryptocurrency accounts, giving them quick access to a variety of cryptocurrencies for spending. When you use the card, Coinbase immediately exchanges the cryptocurrency into fiat currency, which you can then use to pay for anything you want to buy.
Coinbase is a well-known exchange and for good reason. It is one of the few cryptocurrency exchanges that has not been compromised yet. Their security is above industry standards, with numerous safeguards to protect users' funds.
All cryptocurrencies in Coinbase's online wallets are insured, and 98 percent of user assets are stored in highly encrypted cold wallets. The exchange manages wallets and private keys using conventional and proven AES-256 encryption on air-protected servers.
There is also a long-standing bug bounty program that helps the security team identify potential vulnerabilities. Coinbase users are vulnerable to fraud and theft, but security breaches are almost always caused by the users themselves. Coinbase is one of the most reliable exchanges, but customers should generally exercise caution when trading cryptocurrencies.
Set up an account
Getting started with Coinbase is easy. The website asks for a lot of information, such as your legal name, home address, date of birth, the last four digits of your social security number or official ID, and how you plan to use Coinbase.
After you confirm your identity, your account will be activated and the next step before you start trading is to link your payment details. You connect your bank account for transactions and you can buy, sell, deposit and withdraw from Coinbase to your bank account. Transactions usually take 4-5 business days.
What laws apply to Coinbase?
Coinbase is currently headquartered in the United States and operates under the name Coinbase, Inc. . It is registered with FinCEN as a money services business and required to comply with consumer protection laws.
Coinbase is subject to the Bank Secrecy Act, which forces the exchange to retain currency data for up to five years, and the infamous USA Patriot Act. Coinbase, Inc. is registered in several states in the United States.
As can be seen from the Trustpilot rating of 1.3 stars, Coinbase's customer service needs improvement. Customer complaints range from delayed customer service to exorbitant transaction fees, with 91 percent of comments being negative. Coinbase does not offer live phone help or 24-hour chat. Users who have problems are advised to contact customer service by email only.
The exchange is aware of its poor image in terms of customer service and has just published an update on its initiatives to improve customer service. The planned tripling of customer service staff and the introduction of live messaging are expected to improve the customer experience.
Coinbase is an example of a company that uses social proof as a marketing strategy to build trust and increase adoption of its products. Coinbase has been using this strategy since the company was founded in 2012 and has been very successful with it.
For example, the number of coins the average user owns is displayed on the homepage and in the app. This way, new users see that other people have already invested in cryptocurrencies and decide to invest themselves.
They also display customer reviews and ratings on their website so potential customers can see what other people are saying about them.
With all the pros and cons of Coinbase, we will explore some of the best alternatives to Coinbase here.
The first alternative is Binance. It is a crypto exchange that was launched in 2017 and has become one of the largest exchanges in the world. The company was founded in 2017 by Changpeng Zhao with the intention of providing financial services to the crypto industry and building a world-class crypto exchange. Binance offers trading in many digital assets and has its own coin called Binance Coin (BNB).
The second alternative is Bitfinex. It was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in Hong Kong. It was already hacked once in 2016, but has since recovered. Bitfinex offers a range of trading pairs, including BTC/USD, ETH/USD, LTC/USD and many more. It is also one of the few exchanges that offer multiple cryptocurrencies for trading against USD.
The third alternative is Kraken. Kraken is a cryptocurrency exchange that offers both fiat currency trading and cryptocurrency-to-cryptocurrency trading. It has been in operation since 2011 and is based in San Francisco, California. Kraken was the first bitcoin exchange to display trading prices and volumes on the Bloomberg terminal. Kraken also offers margin trading, OTC trading and various advanced order types such as stop loss orders. Kraken also offers margin trading, which allows traders to trade with up to 3 times leverage on some digital currencies.
Ratings from rating portals
We did not come across many positive customer reviews. Unfortunately, it seems that Coinbase has fallen short of expectations lately. However, most of the reviews are related to Coinbase's poor customer support.
On most review portals, such as Trust Pilot, Coinbase's average rating is two stars, which is extremely disappointing considering the size of the company.
Conclusion: Is Coinbase recommendable?
Although Coinbase is not ideal, it offers clients (especially newcomers to cryptocurrency) a functional and user-friendly facility for buying and selling cryptocurrencies.
Regardless of the security standards mentioned earlier, it is always recommended to move any cryptocurrency purchased through Coinbase to private wallets that give you full access to the private key of your asset.
All in all, Coinbase offers a good introduction to the world of cryptocurrencies without making you feel like you're entering a completely new universe.