Coinbase is the world’s largest bitcoin exchange. It offers bitcoin and ethereum trading with low fees, and the interface is very friendly and intuitive. The platform is often recommended for newcomers. Why? We write this Coinbase review to give you a summary of the pros and cons so you can decide whether Coinbase is a cryptocurrency exchange for you or not.
If you are new in the crypto space and thinking about investing in bitcoin, Coinbase offers the easiest way to buy your first bitcoin. One of the reasons why Coinbase is so popular is because of its extensive deposit solutions. It partners with many banks and payment services so you can deposit fiat via EFT payments, ACH / SWIFT / SEPA transfers or credit cards and PayPal.
If you signup with our Coinbase link and deposit $100 you will get an extra $10 in Bitcoin.
Table of Contents
- 1 Coinbase History
- 2 Coinbase Review: Should You Choose It or Not
- 3 6 Reasons Why to Choose Coinbase
- 4 5 Reasons Why Not to Choose Coinbase
- 5 The Easiest Way to Buy Bitcoin
- 6 Supported Cryptocurrencies
- 7 Coinbase Wallet
- 8 Payment Methods
- 9 Coinbase Fees
- 10 Coinbase KYC
- 11 Complaints and Negative Reviews
- 12 Coinbase vs. Other Exchanges
- 13 Coinbase Review Summary: Is the Coinbase Exchange For You?
Coinbase was founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam as part of Ycombinator. It is one of the oldest crypto exchanges on the market. Originally it was set up as a Bitcoin brokerage service selling BTC directly to customers.
Coinbase is now a fully regulated and licensed cryptocurrency exchange based in the U.S. The company raised hundreds of millions from angel investors.
Coinbase has more than 43 million users with total volume trading $455B. It supports more than 100 countries.
Coinbase has announced plans to go public in 2021 —but it will eschew the traditional initial public offering (IPO) process of hiring investment banks to drum up interest and finance the deal.
Coinbase Review: Should You Choose It or Not
Coinbase runs its business in a good way. They provide a user-friendly platform that allows newcomers to dive into crypto investing very easily. With a deep review, you can find that Coinbase will not be the crypto exchange that you stay with while investing regularly or a bigger amount of money. It is great for you to start with crypto investing, that’s for sure.
6 Reasons Why to Choose Coinbase
- A wide variety of fiat deposit and withdrawal options (incl. credit cards).
- Insured Bitcoin deposit.
- Online and mobile wallet services.
- 2FA and multi-signature security option to prevent unauthorized manipulation of funds.
- Instant transfers between Coinbase users.
- A friendly and intuitive user interface.
Indeed, many more pros put sunshine on Coinbase exchange, e.g., intuitive mobile app. But those listed above are the most valuable for users.
Earn Crypto Bonus
Discover how specific cryptocurrencies work — and get a bit of each crypto to try out for yourself. How does it work?
Coinbase created educational videos to teach you about different cryptocurrencies. Watch videos and after that complete a simple quiz testing. You’ll receive crypto in your Coinbase wallet for every quiz you complete.
Earn opportunities are only available for a limited time. There are available the following cryptocurrencies for the quiz earning:
- Nuypher (NU)
- The Graph (GRT)
- Celo (CGLD)
- Compound (COMP)
- Stellar Lumens (XML)
- Filecoin (FL)
- Band Protocol (BAND)
- Algorand (ALGO)
- Maker (MRK)
- Kyber Network (KNC)
- Orchid (OXT)
- Tezos (XTZ)
- Dai (DAI)
- EOS (EOS)
- Zcash (ZEC)
- Basic Attention Token (BAT)
- Ox (ZRX)
This is a great opportunity for you to earn some cryptocurrencies without investing any money. Sign up with our Coinbase link and start today.
5 Reasons Why Not to Choose Coinbase
Our Coinbase review is not only about telling you the advantages of the service, we share the pros and cons as well. Based on our and other advanced users’ experience, here are the major disadvantages of Coinbase:
- Coinbase accounts are monitored and you don’t stay anonymous.
- Slow support.
- Funds can be delayed (deposits and withdrawals) for three days.
- Not many supported cryptocurrencies.
- The company is all about business.
We are not saying that you should or shouldn’t use Coinbase. Make sure that your decision is based on enough valuable information.
Don’t forget; there isn’t any best cryptocurrency exchange in the world. You need to realize what needs you have and choose the exchange that fits your needs.
Here are our detailed thoughts on Coinbase.
The Easiest Way to Buy Bitcoin
Coinbase, which bills itself as “the easiest place to buy bitcoin,” was founded in June 2012 and today it is supported in more than 32 countries. According to its website, Coinbase has 10+ million users and has traded more than 58 billion USD.
Coinbase is one of the very few cryptocurrency exchanges that offer both a desktop version and a mobile application for its users. You can take advantage of it and buy or sell your crypto assets whether you like. You can easily manage your portfolio, and with great visualization and data reports, you don’t need any Excel spreadsheet. It is simply great.
Coinbase is one of the very few cryptocurrency exchanges that accept credit cards.
Bitcoin is the world’s most widely used alternative currency with a total market cap of over $150 billion. No surprise that Coinbase supported a long time just bitcoin. Quite recently with the boom of altcoins in 2017, they decided to add few other popular cryptocurrencies. That being said, they don’t focus on adding as many altcoins as possible (like other cryptocurrency exchanges, e.g., Binance) but rather develop the platform to stay secure and user-friendly.
You can buy four different cryptocurrencies on Coinbase:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Ripple (XRP)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- EOS (EOS)
- Stellar Lumens (XLM)
- Ethereum Classic (ETC)
- Zcash (ZEC)
- Augur (REP)
- Dai (DAI)
- USD Coin (USDC)
- 0x (ZRX)
- Basic Attention Token (BAT)
- Algorand (Algo)
- Cosmos (Atom)
- Civic (CVC)
- Dash (DASH)
- District0x (DNT)
- Golem (GNT)
- Kyber Network (KNC)
- Chainlink (LINK)
- Loom Network (LOOM)
- Decentraland (MANA)
- Maker (MKR)
- Orchid (OXT)
- Tezos (XTZ)
Coinbase Wallet is presented as a secure app to store your digital assets including Bitcoin, Ethereum and other altcoins.
Your keys are protected with Secure Enclave and biometric authentication technology. But you don’t have access to your private keys which is not ideal status if you are already in the cryptocurrency space. If you use Coinbase make sure you don’t store your crypto there and use hardware wallets.
Coinbase accepts the following payment methods:
- Wire transfer (including ACH in the US and SEPA in the EU)
- Credit cards (new cards aren’t currently accepted)
- Debit cards
- Cryptocurrency deposit
- PayPal (withdrawal only)
Coinbase charges a Coinbase Fee (in addition to the spread), which is the greater of (a) a flat fee or (b) a variable percentage fee determined by region, product feature, and payment type. The flat fees are set forth below:
- If the total transaction amount is less than or equal to $10, the fee is $0.99 | €0,99 | £0,99 | C$.99
- If the total transaction amount is more than $10 but less than or equal to $25, the fee is $1.49 | €1,49 | £1,49 | C$1.49
- If the total transaction amount is more than $25 but less than or equal to $50, the fee is $1.99 | €1,99 | £1,99 | C$1.99
- If the total transaction amount is more than $50 but less than or equal to $200, the fee is $2.99 | €2,99 | £2,99 | C$2.99
Most transaction fees are 1.49% for standard buy and 3.99% for credit card buys.
Coinbase fees are not easy to understand and they are structured in different levels. The full official fee structure is here.
The fee structure is a bit tricky and it has been discussed as one of the main complaints in the crypto community many times.
Coinbase has lower fees than its competitors like Coinmama and CEX.io, but if you want to have the lowest transaction fees and you don’t mind operating on Chinese exchange, choose Binance over Coinbase. Our Binance review provides you with useful information that it is so far the best and the most favorite crypto exchange today.
Coinbase opened the first regulated bitcoin exchange in the U.S. It got approval from the US regulatory authorities, but as a result, you need to comply with ID documents. Coinbase has nowadays AML (Anti-Money Laundering) and KYC (Know Your Customer) as all regular banks. Acquiring your first crypto asset on Coinbase exchange won’t be anonymous. On the other hand, all the major bitcoin exchanges have AML and KYC.
In order to raise your cryptocurrency buying limits, you will need to provide the following:
- Verify your personal information
- Verify your phone number
- Verify your photo ID
Coinbase offers its brokers services in 100+ countries including U.S., Canada, Australie, United Kingdom, German, Spain, France, Netherland, Portugal, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, etc.
Complaints and Negative Reviews
You can find many individual complaints of Coinbase users mostly on social media, Reddit forum, BitcoinTalk forum or TrustPilot.
Coinbase is already eight years in business and its BBB Rating is D-, which is not very good. The average of 121 customer reviews is 1.23 from 5.
Trustpilot, the review site, list Coinbase, and more than 3900 customers already filled their experience and opinion. Unfortunately, the reviews are mostly bad with a score of 1.7 from 5.
Coinbase might receive more support tickets than any other cryptocurrency exchange because it is simply the biggest one and its clients are mainly beginners. It is therefore not always about technical bugs – most of the complaints are about support and transfer delays.
Coinbase provides a comprehensive FAQ section page and a helpful support forum, but for many users, it is easier to ask via e-mail or put a negative review to show their anger. Based on our experience, Coinbase support answers within 48 hours no matter if it is a weekday or a weekend.
At the beginning of 2018, the IRS ordered the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase to turn over data on 13,000 customers. Coinbase turned over taxpayer IDs, names, birth dates, addresses, and transaction records for customers who conducted transactions worth more than $20,000 on its platform between 2013 and 2015.
Coinbase Filed a Patent for “Bitcoin exchange”
Both Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam (Coinbase’s founders) have an entrepreneurial soul and can do business aggressively. Obviously, they want to block competition because it was revealed they filed cryptocurrency-related “innovations” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). They tried to patent the following:
- Bitcoin Exchange
- Send Bitcoin To Email Address
- Instant Exchange
- Tip Button
- Hot Wallet For Holding Bitcoin
- User Private Key Control
- Personal Vault
- Bitcoin Private Key Splitting For Cold Storage
- Off-Block Chain Transactions In Combination With On-Block Chain Transactions
Bitcoin was designed to obviate the need for a trusted party, and quite frankly, there is no reason why Coinbase should be trusted more just because they own a patent. There shouldn’t be any patents for the things listed above.
Coinbase vs. Other Exchanges
Coinbase vs. Coinbase Pro
Coinbase Pro is a more advanced platform for experienced users who know how to handle trading cryptocurrencies. Coinbase Pro offers a much cheaper solution with 0.25% fee at maximum.
Coinbase vs. Robinhood
Robinhood is a popular broker in U.S. for trading traditional stocks and cryptocurrencies. Be aware that Robinhood doesn’t have direct access to cryptocurrencies, so once you buy a coin you still don’t own the coin. You cannot withdraw any Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency from Robinhood.
Robinhood app is available in 25 US states and claims to have 0% trading fees, which is very competitive.
Robinhood exchange is good only if you want to trade cryptocurrency not holding or buying and sending coins elsewhere.
Coinbase vs. eToro
eToro was founded in 2006 by two brothers Ronen and Yoni Assia. The company began as a general trading platform under the RetailFX brand. In 2010, eToro opened a social investment platform with the CopyTrading feature. eToro is the world’s leading social trading platform.
eToro was the first company that started to offer bitcoin trading via CFDs in 2013. It has become one of the earliest players in the world of crypto investments.
eToro has quite high fees and it might be suited for traders who want to be followed by newcomers or to follow traders and copy their trades. Traders earn money for followers so they are motivated to trade often.
Click here to read our complete eToro review.
One of the main negative aspects is that you trading CFD, so even if you buy a coin, you don’t own it. You cannot withdraw Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency. You can just trade, buy and sell.
Coinbase vs. Gemini
Gemini was founded by the Winklevoss brothers as a crypto exchange for bigger traders. Even though you can sign up on Gemini as a small retail investor, the fee structure will not satisfy you. The overall transaction fees usually start at 0.35%, which is quite high even for COinbase users.
Coinbase vs. Binance
Binance is a leading cryptocurrency exchange that offers trading Bitcoin and altcoins. Changpeng Zhao is a co-founder and CEO of Binance.
Binance has very low fees, high liquidity and a wide range of cryptocurrencies. Binance exchange is one of the top cryptocurrency exchanges for beginner and advanced investors.
Click here and read our complete Binance review.
Coinbase Review Summary: Is the Coinbase Exchange For You?
Coinbase is a cheap, popular and convenient trading platform. However, it is more for newcomers than advanced Bitcoiners.
The platform stands between traditional banking and a cryptocurrency revolution. The founder’s values are mainly business which is fine if you are looking for your first bitcoin, ethereum or litecoin. You get low fees, a nice platform, an easy-use app for your smartphone and many options of depositing your local currency (fiat) and converting it into cryptocurrencies.
But if you are fighting against the traditional financial system and buying bitcoin to take part in a crypto revolution, you should choose another bitcoin exchange. One of the most favorite among crypto users is Binance that offers trading 100+ altcoins. Read our complete Binance review before singing-up.
If you choose Coinbase as your cryptocurrency exchange, here are our recommendations:
Although Coinbase offers a bitcoin wallet, you shouldn’t store your cryptocurrency there. It is simply not a safe place for your money. Many investors say:
“If you don’t hold the private keys, you don’t own the bitcoins.”
It is highly recommended to use a hardware wallet such as Trezor or Ledger to store your cryptocurrency.
One last tip, do not use Coinbase to buy bitcoins that you want to use for anything “naughty”. Coinbase developed an advanced tracking system, and because they report to local financial institutions, they commonly close a user account if they find any violation of their terms and conditions. In this case, the best option is a decentralized exchange or LocalBitcoins, the P2P cryptocurrency exchange.
Overall, Coinbase is a good introduction to the world of cryptocurrency because they made it very simple for you. They are transparent and charge fair trading fees. Registration is free.
Don’t forget, if you signup with our Coinbase link and deposit $100 you will get an extra $10 in Bitcoin.