Coinbase Review 2021 – The Most Reliable Crypto Exchange?

BrokerCoinbase
Web Addresshttps://www.coinbase.com/
Founded 2012
HeadquartersSan Francisco, CA
Customer Service+1 (888) 908–7930
Support TypeEmail
LanguagesEN
Minimum Deposit€ 2
LeverageNo
Demo AccountNo
Payment Methods depositBank transfer, Credit card
RegulatedYes
Mobile ApplicationYes
Tablet ApplicationYes
Overall Rating4.6 / 5

Summary

The cryptocurrency market has experienced tremendous growth over the decade. It attracts more and more followers.It is becoming more than urgent to put in place a secure and regulated environment for the exchange of cryptocurrencies. When it comes to cryptocurrency exchange platforms some have made significant efforts to keep their clients’ transactions and funds safe. The most notable is Coinbase.

Coinbase is among the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the industry. It was launched in 2012 and is headquartered in San Francisco, United States. Coinbase also has offices in New York and Tokyo. The platform is now adopted by more than 12 million users and offers its services in more than 35 countries. It is the broker who has contributed the most to democratizing the purchase of cryptocurrencies, in particular by making it possible to buy these virtual currencies with his bank card. 

We conducted our tests on Coinbase by going through their various offers as well as their exchange platform. We have also been in contact with Coinbase customer support to assess the quality of their support and responsiveness. 

We conclude that Coinbase is a reliable platform. If you want to buy your first cryptocurrencies with your credit card or bank account, Coinbase is the ideal platform for you.

Opening an Account

A quick account opening with verification measures to stay compliant.

Coinbase wants to democratize access to cryptocurrencies. In order to facilitate access, opening an account on their platform is therefore very easy and streamlined. To get started, the platform will only request your name and email address. Then you will choose a strong password to protect your account.

The platform will then send you a confirmation email to the address you provided. After confirming your email, you will choose the type of account you want to use, namely the individual account or the business account. The platform requires, as an additional security measure, that you provide your phone number. This phone number will also be used for two-factor authentication if this feature is enabled on your account.

After these steps, you will need to add a payment method. Coinbase accepts credit card and wire transfer purchases. The chosen method will also be verified by a small debit from the bank account of which you have provided the details. The same principle applies to the cards you added. Coinbase will take a small charge from the card, you check the amount taken from your account statement, and then you enter that amount back on the Coinbase platform. 

Deposit and Withdrawal

Coinbase makes it easier to acquire cryptocurrencies with bank transfers and card deposits.

Bank transfers take 1 to 3 days if your bank is in the SEPA zone. While transfers from the United States can take up to 5 days. However, all credit card transactions are instant. 

Once your Coinbase account is credited, everything will be ready for your first cryptocurrency purchase. For this you will need to go to the purchase page to view the trading terminal. Select the cryptocurrency of your choice as well as the desired amount then confirm the transaction. Cryptocurrencies purchased will be allocated to the dedicated wallet. 

As far as withdrawals go, Coinbase accepts PayPal wallet (in addition to the methods already mentioned). Depending on your country of residence you can either only withdraw your funds to PayPal, or also sell your cryptocurrencies through this channel. You have in the table below the summary of PayPal authorizations according to the geographical area.

AreasFiat CoinsPayPal Withdrawal PayPal Sale
United StatesUSDUSDN / A
EuropeEUREURNone
United KingdomGBP and EURand GBP EURN / A
CanadaN / AN / ACAD

Note that while it is possible to make withdrawals through PayPal, Coinbase does not accept purchases or deposits through this channel. If you don’t see the PayPal withdrawal option on your dashboard, it’s because this feature is not yet available in your country.

Coinbase has now implemented a near instant payment system for bank transfers from the UK. If you live there or have a UK bank account, you can use this payment method, it will allow you to quickly convert your currencies into cryptocurrencies. Plus, withdrawals are just as quick.

Account Limits

It is important to note that Coinbase limits the volume of transactions depending on your country and the payment method used. Credit card transactions are generally more limited. You can still contact Coinbase support to get your transaction limits increased. This may require additional checks. You can see your limits from your dashboard. 

If you use the platform from Europe, your account is limited to $ 30,000 or around € 26,800, even after all identity checks. US traders, on the other hand, benefit from a weekly volume of $ 50,000. 

Fees

Coinbase’s fees are overall less competitive than their competitors.

Coinbase does not charge a fee when depositing your funds on the platform (your bank does charge transaction fees, however). As long as you don’t buy cryptocurrency, you won’t be charged any fees. Coinbase lets you hold your funds in fiats for free on its platform.

On the other hand, you will pay fees when you buy cryptocurrency. They are 1.49% of the amount of your purchase for bank transfers. These fees apply to both your purchases and the resale of your coins. For direct card purchases (without prior deposit) there is a charge of 3.99% for the transaction. 

It will also be necessary to take into account the spread which is generally 0.5%. It applies to your positions for purchase as well as for resale. The spread is variable and may possibly increase in the absence of liquidity in the markets. 

For your cryptocurrency transfers from your Coinbase wallet, the fees may vary depending on the conditions of the Blockchain. At the time of the transaction, the platform will inform you of all charges that will apply to it.  

Trading Platform

A simple platform suitable for beginners and advanced for cryptocurrency traders. 

Coinbase mainly offers two types of platforms, the simple platform and the advanced platform, Coinbase Pro.

Main – Beginner Platform

Coinbase Beginner Platform

Coinbase’s platform is quite basic, but very ergonomic and well designed. It is designed for beginners in the world of cryptocurrencies. The platform allows you to easily buy your cryptocurrencies with a few clicks. In the main part of the platform, you can follow the live prices of the main listed cryptocurrencies, as well as a basic chart of the cryptocurrency.

To buy a cryptocurrency, click on the Buy / Sell tab which is on the main menu of your dashboard. Then click on the cryptocurrency you want to buy. You give the amount in cryptocurrency or fiats. Then click Buy Now. The platform displays a final confirmation page that you validate. Coinbase will then automatically create an address where your coins will be stored.

Coinbase Pro

Coinbase Coinbase Pro

Coinbase has another platform with more advanced features – the Coinbase pro. This platform is trading oriented, unlike the main platform which is more intended for those who want to keep their cryptocurrencies over a long period. The costs for trading on Coinbase Pro are more advantageous. You can use your funds on Coinbase to trade on Coinbase Pro. If you are a trader, it would be a good idea to make a bank transfer on Coinbase and make your transactions on Coinbase Pro.

Coinbase Pro is a fairly intuitive platform, made up of several windows in which you have a good number of technical or quantitative analysis tools. On its main part, you can follow the real-time fluctuation of the cryptocurrency currency pair that interests you. Transaction volumes and the order book are also available. For your technical analyzes, it is possible to add technical indicators to the chart in order to better detect market dynamics. You can also scroll to the left to view the graphical history of cryptocurrency prices. 

Coinbase Custody 

Coinbase Custody is a cryptocurrency storage service that Coinbase offers to institutions. The minimum deposit for this service is $ 1 million in cryptocurrency. According to Coinbase, Custody’s goal is to make it easier for financial institutions to invest in cryptocurrencies as well as their adoption. Indeed, Coinbase offers them an offline storage solution in Cold Wallets. Coinbase Custody acts as a trust company and is regulated under New York banking laws. All funds from financial institutions are therefore segregated and insured. 

Custody now manages more than a billion dollars in cryptocurrency and more than 70 financial institutions trust them. This shows that cryptocurrencies are increasingly gaining the attention of fund managers across the world. 

Cryptocurrencies Available

An offer which was limited at the beginning, but which continues to grow richer.

Coinbase is adding more and more cryptocurrencies to its platform. An announcement is made on their site each time they add a new one. On another note, it is good to have in mind that the trading of certain virtual currencies can be momentarily suspended when liquidity runs out. On the other hand, the purchase of certain cryptocurrencies may be restricted in certain countries. Here is a summary of the cryptocurrencies you can buy from Coinbase in table form.

CryptocurrencySymbolsCryptocurrency Symbols
BitcoinBTCEtherETH
RippleXPRBitcoin CashBCH
EOSEOSLitecoinLTC
Stellar LumensXLMEther ClassicETC
ZcashZECBasic Attention TokenBAT
USD CoinUSDCAugurREP
0xZRXDaiDAI

Research

Coinbase is a good source of information and the platform allows you to automate your trading strategies.

Coinbase Research

Coinbase runs a very resourceful blog. You will find the latest news on the main platform such as the Pro platform. You will be able to follow the news of cryptocurrencies as well as the various innovations brought by the Blockchain. There are also more advanced and more security-focused articles. However, we found it unfortunate that these resources are only available in English.

For seasoned traders, Coinbase Pro has an API that allows you to develop trading robots. An entire section is dedicated to developers and you will find dedicated documentation there. 

Customer Support

A very detailed FAQ is available on the website, but customer support needs to be improved.

Coinbase offers customer support via email and an FAQ available on its site. The website is very well documented. There you will find almost all the information you will need in terms of platform functionality or services offered by Coinbase. If you have more specific questions related to your Coinbase account you can contact support using the dedicated form on the contact page. 

But before reaching Coinbase support, we recommend that you try the chatbot which is on the same page. This chat is available in 5 languages. We asked them a few questions in different languages related to Coinbase fees as part of our test. The answers turned out to be fair enough, and they were accompanied by links to relevant resources on the Coinbase FAQ. 

The waiting time for a response by email can vary from a few hours to 3 days depending on the request for the service. Nonetheless, we have seen testimonials on Reddit from disgruntled customers who have waited much longer for their request to be processed.

Coinbase is also known to follow the actions of their customers, that is to say that they know where they are spending their cryptocurrency and can therefore block certain transactions. These restrictions may concern transactions for example to sites that are not recommended. Some customers have complained about this behavior from Coinbase, but it should be taken into account that this is a regulated platform and required to follow certain guidelines and compliance. In addition, these measures further protect customers and the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Training

In depth training on certain cryptocurrencies and a reward for those registered.

Coinbase stands out for its training in cryptocurrencies and the fact that the platform rewards those who follow it. The section dedicated to training is called Coinbase Earn. The goal of the latter is to democratize Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies in particular, by allowing everyone to benefit from it, whatever the amount of money they have. Coinbase considers that what hinders the investment of followers in new cryptocurrencies is the lack of knowledge. 

Coinbase Earn’s mission is therefore to make you discover altcoins. How does it work? What are their goals? So many questions that are clarified through the various training courses. Coinbase Earn allows you to earn cryptocurrency by following the training which consists of videos and quizzes. It is therefore another way to earn cryptocurrency, different from buying or mining. 

On Coinbase Earn, there are currently 5 cryptocurrency that you can train on and earn coins on: EOS, Stellar Lumens, Zcash, Basic Attention Token and 0x. Note, however, that all of these resources are only available in English.

Security

Coinbase is a regulated cryptocurrency exchange. They have taken several measures to secure their clients’ funds.

When you start to get interested in cryptocurrency, your first and foremost concern is security. This is justified because the market is volatile. Especially since cryptocurrency exchange platforms are constantly under assault by hackers. Unprecedented hacks have also led to the collapse of certain platforms such as Mt Gox. 

Security of the Platform

Technically, Coinbase has taken precautions by implementing certain security measures. Regarding the cryptocurrencies of its customers, the platform claims that 98% of cryptocurrencies are stored in offline wallets (hard wallets) which are in turn stored in secure vaults. Another protective measure is added to this: these safes are not all kept in the same place, but on the contrary are scattered all over the world. It is important to store the coins offline as this will make them inaccessible to hackers who need the internet to access electronic wallets.

However, the remaining 2% of cryptocurrencies are not immune. Coinbase then insured them. Therefore, if a hack occurs and these cryptocurrencies were to disappear, the funds will still be restored to the affected customer accounts. On Coinbase, your cryptocurrencies are therefore in a safe place.

Despite all these measures, Coinbase declines all responsibility when you suffer a loss of your funds or your cryptocurrencies if a third party accesses your account. The platform believes that it has taken sufficient security measures to prevent you from this eventuality.

This is because Coinbase has implemented two-factor authentication to increase the security of customer accounts. In addition to your password, a code is generated each time you log into the platform. You can receive this code by SMS, or by the Google authentication tool. You also always receive notification emails when someone (it could be yourself) logs into your account using a new device, different from the one you normally use.  

Regulation

Coinbase is one of the few cryptocurrency exchange platforms to benefit from serious regulatory oversight by reputable organizations. Being based in the United States, they comply with regulations established by the United States financial market regulatory authorities. From this point of view, Coinbase stands out from many of its competitors, which have based their headquarters in countries where market regulation is weak or non-existent.

Coinbase has indeed registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), an office of the United States Department of the Treasury. This requires them to comply with customer protection systems and regulated financial services conduct. Coinbase is also authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom, which further strengthens its status and the confidence of cryptocurrency enthusiasts in this cryptocurrency exchange. 

This strategy that Coinbase has of getting close to regulators is not always to the taste of purist cryptocurrency enthusiasts. This is because the basic idea of ​​cryptocurrencies was to create a decentralized financial environment that was devoid of any government control.

Before closing this chapter, let us emphasize that Coinbase has also forged partnerships with many financial institutions, the most notable being its merger with the Bank of Tokyo, which financed its activities. 

Conclusion

Remember that trading cryptocurrencies is a risky activity. In addition to market volatility, transfers of these virtual currencies do not always go smoothly. Coinbase does a great job with cybersecurity. They use two-factor authentication and their clients’ cryptocurrencies are stored in offline wallets. 

Coinbase is one of the most regulated cryptocurrency platforms and they do great work protecting their customers. The platform has contributed a lot to the democratization of cryptocurrencies. It is simple and accessible to all beginners, who will easily become familiar with it. The main platform may not be suitable for seasoned traders, but they will be able to feel comfortable on Coinbase Pro. 

FAQs

Can I buy Bitcoin on Coinbase?

You can buy Bitcoin on Coinbase.

Where is Coinbase located?

Coinbase is based in San Francisco, United States.

Is Coinbase a safe platform?

Coinbase is a regulated platform and several financial institutions trust them.

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