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Full Coinbase Review: What is Coinbase?

By Arthur Crowson11/23/2022

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Coinbase is perhaps the best known crypto exchange in the wold.

The company started way back in 2012 when founder Brian Armstrong saw a market before it truly existed.

At first Coinbase was a basic exchange service but as the years went by the site went through numerous upgrades that includes more trading features, institutional custodial service, Coinbase Wallet and Coinbase Debit Card.

The company finally went public in 2021 and it remains one of the few crypto exchanges that’s ever achieved that feat. Coinbase is also one of the most secure crypto exchanges in the world with a stellar reputation that dates all the back to the early 2010s.

There’s a reason that millions of customers chose Coinbase as their first choice for buying and selling crypto.

Pros

  • Coinbase has some of the highest liqudity in the world which makes it incredibly easy to buy and sell whatever crypto you want.

  • It’s hard to argue with Coinbase’s strong reputation over the years as one of the safest exchanges in the world

  • Coinbase’s software is very intuitive and great for anyone just getting started with crypto.

  • Users benefit from a number of different payment options to fund their account

Cons

  • Coinbase is sometimes criticized for its fee structure

  • There are some complaints about customer service taking an inordinate amount of time to answer queries

Coinbase Review: The Basics

Don’t have time to read a full Coinbase review? Here’s the TLDR of Coinbase:

● Coinbase is one of the most established, go-to names in the digital currency exchange market.

● Its additional services include the Coinbase Wallet app, Coinbase Debit Card, Coinbase Staking and an NFT marketplace.

● Its user-friendly interface and instant transactions have made it the tool of choice for crypto beginners. (On the downside, however, Coinbase users occasionally complain about high fees, not-so-optimal customer support, etc.).

What’s the History of Coinbase?

Coinbase was started way back in 2012 when Brian Armstrong, a former Airbnb engineer, and Fred Ehrsam, a former Goldman Sachs Trader, got the idea for an exchange that catered to crypto traders.

When it originally launched it focused primarily services that allowed the buying and selling of Bitcoin through bank transfers.

Over the years Coinbase expanded to include many different cryptocurrencies but also different products like custodial custody, staking, NFTs, a debit card and more.

Coinbase made history in 2021 when it became the first US crypto exchange to go public with its COIN offering.

The company remains at the forefront of the crypto market.

What Are Coinbase Features?

Coinbase offers a number of different products. Here’s a look at the most popular services available on Coinbase:

Coinbase Exchange

Coinbase users have the freedom to sell, swap, and buy more than 20 cryptocurrencies on the Coinbase exchange, including Bitcoin. Owners of Bitcoin take a real hit with the constant ups/downs in the value of their currency.

However, Coinbase users can avoid disaster by trading crypto for stablecoin USD Coin, redeeming 1 USDC into $1.00. By doing so, they coast through any crypto fluctuation. They can also use prominent coins such as Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, and Tezos as an alternative to Bitcoin.

Coinbase Wallet

The Coinbase wallet is an advanced addition to Coinbase offerings, and probably beyond a newbie’s need, but still helpful in the long term. As stated before, it’s an associated but separate service to the cryptocurrency brokerage, putting the user in charge of their own wallet/money on decentralized apps.

Thanks to Coinbase’s multi-platform offering, Android lovers can purchase the wallet on Google Play, and iPhone users can get it on the App Store.

Once passed the beginner level, crypto enthusiasts can take up their game by going for Coinbase’s free alternative cryptocurrency account, the Coinbase Pro. Advanced crypto users can enjoy more trading options and add 30 coins to their altcoins selection while paying less and getting more flexibility.

The adjustable market price is a massive benefit for Coinbase Pro users looking to buy/sell their crypto. Rather than using Coinbase’s set rate, the platform helps users pay less fees to match their set buy rate with the general market cost.

For some users who wish to receive their payment in fiat money, adding the Coinbase Card to their Coinbase account allows them to convert their crypto deposits into fiat currency. Of course, the option is currently only available to users residing in the U.K. plus some other European countries. The card is essentially a high-fee Visa Debit card with no rewards.

Coinbase Fees

Coinbase has a complicated fee structure that may be confusing for people who are new to crypto. It’s one of the cryptocurrency exchanges where the costs are somewhat higher than many other competitors.

The exact fees depend on the country and region, but you’ll pay a 1.49% fee for using your bank account or Coinbase wallet while paying only $10 ($25 outgoing) for wire transfers within the U.S.

If you plan to use your credit/debit card or convert the crypto, Coinbase will charge 3.99% and 2%, respectively. Plus, Coinbase charges a spread on trades and purchases that could go as high as 0.50% depending on the volume.

Is Coinbase Legit?

Yes, despite customers depositing substantial sums of money on the platform, Coinbase has never had a hacking problem. The number of high-profile investors and strict regulations is a telltale that Coinbase has done an excellent job protecting its customers from scams on and off the platform.

In addition, they have a proven background, physical offices around the United States and the United Kingdom, etc.

Is Coinbase Safe?

Coinbase utilizes a wide range of security measures such as storing 98% of funds in offline cold storage and allowing customers to secure their login process with 2-step verification and biometric fingerprint. If Coinbase’s safety is compromised, insurance will compensate all affected parties. However, there’s no coverage in case of negligence.

All in all, Coinbase remains a safe option because it’s known for detecting sophisticated attacks in the early stages and confronting them before they turn into an issue.

Coinbase Accounts

Coinbase offers a very straightforward signup process. You’ll enter your name, password, cell number, and email, which you’ll need to verify during the process. Next, you enter the verification code sent to your phone. For future logins, 2-step verification codes will be sent to your phone.

Like any investment account, you need to prove your identity by providing information such as your social security number (for U.S residents). Once approved, you can add your bank account, debit/credit card, and start trading.

Payment Methods

To make your first trade, you need to select a digital currency, enter the amount and choose the preferred method. Coinbase offers several payment options, but if you value speed over affordability, credit/debit cards are usually the quickest method, which also cost the most (3.99% fee). The reason is, Coinbase incurs a hefty cost to process transactions via payment providers. But if you’re looking to bring down costs, you can use your bank account for trading crypto and pay only 1.49% on fees.

Customers have access to payment options faster than bank transfers in certain regions and countries, but they cost about the same. For example, people in central Europe can instantly deposit money via SOFORT. They authorize the transfer on the bank’s online platform, and SOFORT immediately provides Coinbase with a transfer confirmation notification.

Coinbase supports withdrawals with PayPal in many parts of the world, an excellent way for users to instantly access their funds on their PayPal account and use it for various transactions. Sadly, Coinbase users cannot purchase crypto with PayPal.

Cryptocurrencies Supported

Coinbase has a very diverse selection of cryptocurrencies that includes Bitcoin, Ether and everything in between.

You’ll find very little that isn’t available on Coinbase as you can buy third-generation coins like Cardano, Solana and Avalanche in addition to meme coins like Dogecoin and Shiba Inu.

In total Coinbase offers over 150 cryptocurrencies, which is probably more than enough for the average person just getting into crypto.

Here’s a look at some of the most popular coins on the site:

  • Bitcoin
  • Ethereum
  • Tether
  • USDC
  • Cardano
  • Solana
  • Dogecoin
  • Polkadot
  • Dai
  • Polygon
  • Shiba INU
  • Avalanche

Coinbase Verdict: Still One of the Best

Thanks to an intuitive and user-friendly interface, Coinbase has turned into a favorite among crypto newbies, as well as those who cherish simple but enjoyable one-off crypto buys. Rather than waiting days for the exchange to process the currency, Coinbase users can rapidly transfer their crypto of choice. Moreover, unlike other exchanges, people can easily purchase, trade, and diversify a selection of different cryptocurrencies.

However, none of these benefits make users forget about the lousy support and their lack of control over the coins.

While there are cheaper exchanges on the market, none come close to Coinbase’s liquidity and seamlessness.

If you’re looking for a quick buy-and-sell solution, Coinbase’s basic service is a reliable method to purchase crypto but not that suitable for long-term deposits.

However, as Coinbase covers more than enough cryptos and altcoins, it’s a nice and immediate platform to convert your crypto into Celsius or BlockFi or to keep them in a cold wallet.

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Arthur Crowson

Editor

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