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Coinbase Crypto Exchange Review

In this post we give a non biased review of the Crypto Exchange Coinbase and share details about features, fees and an overview of their site.

Disclaimer: Under NO circumstance should this review be interpreted as a recommendation to trade or an endorsement of a trading platform, supplier or of a specific cryptocurrency.

This post was last updated on:15 June 2020

Coinbase crypto exchange review - logo

QUICK FACTS – Coinbase Crypto Exchange

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Founded

Type: Trading platform/crypto exchange

Founder: Brian Armstrong

Headquarters: San Francisco, California

Coinbase Crypto Exchange Review:

Overview of Coinbase

Coinbase is a digital cryptocurrency exchange with its headquarters in San Francisco, California. One of the first crypto exchanges that started off in 2012 and deals with some of the top cryptocurrencies. Amongst these one may find, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Ripple, Tezos and many others. It has fiat currency options in around 32 countries whilst it operates in 190 countries for transactions and digital storage all over the world.

Coinbase is one of the world’s largest Bitcoin currency exchanges and is probably also one of the most widely used cryptocurrency exchanges. It has quite a solid reputation having been founded eight years ago so there is quite a lot of experience behind the outfit.

> Sign Up to Coinbase here

Go to Coinbase now

Crypto Exchange Bonuses: Sign up bonus

Coinbase is rather parsimonious on offers and so far I’ve only managed to find two. If you recommend a customer, you are rewarded EUR 8 in funds which can be used towards your account. You can also earn up to $166 worth of crypto when trying out the new account

Trading on crypto exchange: Coinbase

Coinbase offers 18 Markets, to mention the core cryptocurrencies for example: Bitcoin/BTC, Ethereum/ETH, Litecoin/LTC, Ripple/XRP,Dash/DASH, Bitcoin Cash/BCH, Stellar/XLM, Ethereum Classic, NEO, EOS, ADA and Zcash; with more available in the near future.

If you want to start trading cryptocurrencies, Coinbase is a good place to start out. If you’re a newbie, Coinbase actually allows you to skip through the rather complex technology that’s usually associated with digital currencies. The trading platform is relatively simple to use and allows you to take advantage of certain situations such as excess volatility. However, it’s not recommended to get into complex trades if you’re a beginner.

Coinbase offers margin trading where you can borrow money from your broker to perform more trades. Margin trading enhances your leverage and buying power. This could enable you to amass large profits but one has to be careful with margin trading as you could lose all your money very easily. Coinbase fees have also been cut on margin trading recently. Although a minimum of $5,000,000 is required which is invested on a discretionary basis.

How to place a Trade

To buy and trade cryptocurrency on Coinbase you just need to follow the next steps:

  1. Login to your Coinbase account
  2. Select the digital asset you wish to trade
  3. In the pop up menu enter amount that you want to purchase
  4. enter your card details on the interface (if you don’t already have a balance in your account) and
  5. confirm via the ‘BUY’ button.

Fees

Coinbase’s fee structure is slightly tricky to understand at first so it’s important for everything to be clear.

When one buys Bitcoin from Coinbase the price you pay consists of the following:

The market price on Coinbase Pro +0.5% Transaction fee – A flat fee for transactions below $200 or a percentage of the transaction (the greater of the two). 

Most transaction fees are 1.49% for standard buy and 3.99% for credit card buys. Depositing money is free via ACH transfer but otherwise costs $10.

Admittedly, these are some of the lowest fees around.

Withdrawal on Coinbase

For a Coinbase Pro account, this limit is $10,000/day. You can also request an increase to your limit if you are a PRO customer but this is not in place for normal users. 

Withdrawals are usually instant from Coinbase. Still, it may take up to 3 days for your bank to process such a transfer (this is for fiat). Cryptocurrency withdrawals are generally much more efficient and should arrive within an hour or so. 

Coinbase can delay cryptocurrency transactions if there is a slight suspicion that you did not authorize the transaction. You have two options, either wait for a 72 hour period or you can accelerate the withdrawal by verifying your identity once again.

User Experience on Coinbase

Navigation

It is quite easy to navigate around the site and everything is pretty clearly explained. 

Charts

Charts are quite basic with no real options for dark or light displays. They can also be viewed on mobile but are not customisable. They are quite easy to use however and do not have many complexities. 

This is the Bitcoin/USD chart on Coinbase

Coinbase exchange review - charts

Offerings/Markets 

Coinbase lists a considerable number of markets with all the Top 10 cryptocurrencies offered against USD. They offer trading on Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, TEZOS, Litecoin, EOS, Stellar Lumens, Chainlink, Ethereum Classic, Basic AttentionToken ZCash and ATOM.  

Other products

Coinbase offers a fully fledged wallet and for PRO customers also offers custody and venture services. 

Coinbase offers a unique solution for securing larger amounts of bitcoin. Bitcoin stored in a Vault account can be protected by multiple approvers. If a user adds two approvers to his vault, both must confirm that the withdrawal is valid before it processes.

All withdrawals from Vaults take 48-hours to process. The time delay provides a safety net:

If you see a withdrawal was requested that you did not make, the withdrawal may be cancelled.

Like the regular Coinbase wallet, you must trust Coinbase to secure vault funds. Vault accounts can also be shut down by Coinbase at any time.

Mobile Experience 

Coinbase transfers well onto mobile and is quite easy to use. There does not seem to be much difference between the normal site and the mobile site. The mobile app is obviously available on Google Play and Apple Store

Security

Coinbase offers normal 2 Factor authentication through email and mobile. 

Governance

Coinbase is located in San Francisco, California (repetitive already mentioned before) and has approximately 1200 employees as of end 2019. The Coinbase wallet is extremely secure and easy to use. It was one of the first cryptocurrency exchanges to receive a license from the Securities and Exchange Commission (repetitive already mentioned before) .

The actual governance model is not disclosed but Coinbase Custody offers institutions “a regulated and trusted partner to help them store their crypto assets”. Coinbase claim to have scaled to more than 60 clients and $600 million in assets under custody.

Support & Social

Coinbase has a dedicated support channel with a section of the website completely dedicated to this:

https://help.coinbase.com/

A number of video tutorials are also available on the website especially for Coinbase Earn:

https://www.coinbase.com/earn

There are also a number of Telegram Channels with the most prominent being one dedicated to Coinbase Earn

https://t.me/CoinbaseEarnPayments

Crypto Exchange: Our Rating of Coinbase

To sum up, Coinbase is quite a good exchange although it does have some work to do regarding usability and trust. Amongst the positive aspects of the exchange, one may find high liquidity and buying limits, the instant buy option which is available with a debit card and the fact that it is relatively easy for newcomers to acquire Bitcoin. On the negative side, purchases made via bank transfer can take up to 5 days to complete. Coinbase may also track how and where you spend your cryptocurrency. Fees are relatively low when compared to other exchanges and the mobile version is quite easy to use. Don’t forget to mention that certain banks block payments to Coinbase.

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