Popular cryptocurrency broker and exchange Coinbase first debuted over a decade ago. At the time, there was little competition. The most significant player back then was the infamous MtGox Bitcoin exchange. Market participants were few and far between. There were a handful of platforms on which to buy Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. In this article, we have covered the full Coinbase exchange review 2022 for you.
Fast forward to 2022, and you get a more vibrant crypto economy. There are hundreds of crypto exchanges and thousands of ways to get your hands on some virtual assets.
Coinbase has not only survived, but it is also thriving. As of Q1 2021, it serves more than 56 million verified users worldwide and is expected to reach over 70 million verified users by Q4 2021, according to Finbold analysts.
Coinbase biggest competitor is binance which is one of the top cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. Here you can read the comparison between Coinbase vs Binance and can easily find out which is better and suitable for individuals?
Coinbase is a cryptocurrency exchange that was co-founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong (CEO) and Fred Ehrsam (Board Director) as part of the 2012 YCombinator cohort (S12). We may refer to Coinbase as a crypto exchange, and it may have started as one, but over the years, it has expanded its offering to include much more than just buying, selling, and trading crypto assets.
The platform is headquartered in San Francisco, California, with over 1,700 employees distributed across the world. It has users from over 100 countries on the platform.
It offers brokerage services, a trading platform, a staking pool, a storage vault, crypto custody facilities, a stablecoin, a debit card, and a standalone wallet, among other products and services. Let’s take a closer look at the features Coinbase provides and what makes it a top-tier crypto company helping bring blockchain technology to the masses.
Besides a cryptocurrency brokerage, Coinbase also offers custodial services for cryptocurrency storage for institutions, a cryptocurrency payments platform for businesses, and its own cryptocurrency, USD Coin (USDC), a stable cryptocurrency linked to the U.S. dollar. In April, Coinbase became the first U.S. crypto trading company listed on a U.S. exchange, an initial public offering that valued the company at around $86 billion.
Also Read: Coinbase vs. Crypto.com- The Best Place to Buy Crypto
Pros & Cons
- Offers access to more than 50 cryptocurrencies.
- Low minimum to fund account.
- Cryptocurrency is insured in the event website is hacked.
Coinbase At a Glance
- Over 50 cryptocurrencies supported
- Trading fees include spread and Coinbase Fee
- Free wallet service with private key access, or you can keep your crypto on your Coinbase account
- $2 minimum to buy or sell
- Insurance policy against loss from theft, and stores a majority of digital assets offline
- Account accessible through an online browser or mobile app
- Education hub and crypto rewards for learning
- Coinbase Pro upgrade option
Cryptocurrencies Available on Coinbase
Coinbase supports more than 50 different cryptocurrencies. You’ll find each of the most common cryptos listed on Coinbase, including the following:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Aave (AAVE)
- Cardano (ADA)
- USD Coin (USDC)
- Dash (DASH)
- Dogecoin (DOGE)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Uniswap (UNI)
- Tether (USDT)
Different coins have different trading restrictions and minimum/maximum withdrawal amounts. Some can only be traded for certain fiat currencies like the U.S. dollar or converted to/from other cryptocurrencies. You may also be restricted from trading some coins based on the country or state you’re located in. Coinbase’s website offers an overview of these restrictions for each of its supported cryptocurrencies.
Coinbase brokerage service
The main service Coinbase offers is a brokerage service for buying and selling cryptocurrencies. New cryptocurrency users often find themselves buying their first Bitcoin through Coinbase thanks to the company’s reputation, marketing, and relatively friendly user interface.
On the downside, one of the main complaints users have towards Coinbase is the lack of control of users over their own funds. When you open a Coinbase account you don’t have direct access to your coins and you don’t get any private key or a seed phrase.
Coinbase stores your coins for you – it’s the equivalent of putting your cash at the bank, you don’t own it, the bank does.
Formerly known as GDAX, Coinbase Pro is a cryptocurrency trading platform. As opposed to the traditional Coinbase brokerage service, which simplifies buying cryptocurrencies at a premium, Coinbase pro is aimed at more experienced users.
Coinbase pro allows users to trade several cryptocurrencies including BTC, ETH, LTC, BCH, and ZRX. Fees are considerably lower than the brokerage service and there are advanced trading options as well.
As of mid-2021, Coinbase users can earn interest by lending supported assets. Beginning with USDC, eligible users in the United States can choose to lend their coins to verified borrowers, with the option to opt-out at any time.
One of Coinbase’s other features is an easy-to-use staking service, which enables users to earn staking rewards on selected Proof-of-Stake cryptocurrencies. Although users may have the option of staking these independently, Coinbase streamlines the process and removes any need for technical expertise or specialized hardware.
In 2018 Coinbase launched their independent mobile wallet for iOS and Android. The wallet stores the private keys on the user’s device and only they have access to the funds. This brings Coinbase full circle as it started out as a wallet, transitioned to an exchange only (claiming that they are not a wallet) and now they are offering wallet services again.
Coinbase supplies online merchants with the ability to accept cryptocurrencies on their website via a dedicated plugin. The plugin is supported by some of the biggest CMS (content management systems) around such as Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce.
How to open a Coinbase account
Starting your journey with Coinbase is straightforward. The exchange has invested a lot in an intuitive and beginner-friendly interface. This applies to both the mobile and the web versions.
There are three steps to getting started with Coinbase:
- Creating an account;
- Verifying your identity;
- Adding money to your account.
Let’s look at each in greater detail.
1. Create a Coinbase account
This guide is only relevant if you are trying to access the Coinbase retail features, which are the consumer and pro trading interfaces. Other complementary platforms such as Prime or Custody will have different procedures to create an account.
There are three requirements you need to fulfill to qualify for a retail account:
- You need to be at least 18 years old;
- You need to reside in one of the 100 countries supported by Coinbase;
- You need to have the documents to support the above.
The last part will be covered in greater detail in the following subsection.
As for the supported countries, Coinbase serves regions almost evenly across the world. However, the services offered to each supported region may vary. For instance, if you reside in one of the 13 African countries supported by Coinbase, the only function you will have access to is converting between coins. If, on the other hand, you reside in the US, you have access to all of the features that we highlighted in the ‘Features.’
To check whether you reside in a supported country, check this page.
The next stage in this step is to create the account.
- Visit Coinbase.com or pro.coinbase.com to sign up. Click on the ‘Sign Up’ button on the top right. Alternatively, you can use the Coinbase app to create an account. Download it on the iOS App Store or the Google Play store.
Creating a Coinbase account.
- The Sign-Up form above will appear. Fill in with a valid email address, your name as shown in your identification document, and create a strong password.
- Verify your email by clicking on Coinbase’s activation link sent to you.
- Login to your new account. As soon as you log in, Coinbase will require you to verify your phone number. Provide the number and your country of residence. Coinbase will send a seven-digit code to your phone as an SMS for verification.
- The final step to creating your account will be to provide your personal details. This includes any PII (personally identifiable information) such as date of birth, address, employment details, and social security number (SSN) for US residents.
- Submit the form and wait for an email response from Coinbase.
2. Verify your identity
If you receive a positive response from Coinbase, you will have to verify your identity to unlock your account. Here are the documents you will need for this step:
- In the US:
- State-issued identification documents. It could be a valid driver’s license or an ID card.
- Outside the US:
- International passport
- National ID card
- Photo ID issued by the government
As proof of residency, you are required to provide either a bank statement or a utility bill in your name issued within the last three months.
Coinbase ID verification is required to prevent fraud and keep the community safe. It also adds an extra layer of security by ensuring no one but you link your payment information such as your bank account or credit/debit card.
Identity verification is a mandatory requirement for Coinbase to comply with the current KYC (Know Your Customer/Client) and AML (Anti Money Laundering) financial regulations. Additionally, it also increases the account’s security.
3. Funding your account
To use your new Coinbase account, you are going to have to deposit some funds. This can be done using either crypto or conventional fiat currencies such as the US Dollar. The method of funding available to you will largely depend on your location. Different regions have different payment options. There may be some overlap, but some options are more common with residents in one region over another.
- For US residents, there are 4 ways to deposit to and or withdraw from Coinbase accounts:
- Bank Deposits and withdrawals (through ACH) – takes 4-5 business days
- Wire transfer – takes 1-3 business days
- PayPal – instant
- Debit Cards – instant
- For UK residents, there are 5 payment options:
- Faster Payments (FPS) – takes 1-3 business days
- SEPA transfers – take 1-3 business days
- PayPal (withdrawals only) – 1 business day
- 3D Secure Card – instant
- Instant Card Payments (Withdrawals only) – instant
For other regions, check out this page for a conclusive list of all payment methods to withdraw and deposit funds.
Crypto deposits and withdrawals are unrestricted globally, and anyone can deposit or withdraw any supported asset on the platform to any external wallet address.
On August 5, 2021, Coinbase launched new and frictionless ways to enable crypto purchases with connected debit cards to Apple Pay. Suppose you already have a Visa or Mastercard debit card connected to your Apple Wallet.
In that case, Apple Pay will display as a payment option when you buy cryptocurrency with Coinbase on an Apple Pay-compatible iOS device or Safari web browser. Using a credit or debit card with Apple Pay is trustworthy, safe, and accepted in-store and online globally.
Payment methods accepted by Coinbase currently are –
- Wire transfer – Traders can directly connect their bank account to the Coinbase account to buy the cryptocurrency at a very low fee. Using a bank account for transfers might take 1 to 5 working days. ACH transfers are used in the U.S. while SEPA transfers are used in Europe and the U.K.
- A debit card or Visa or Mastercard – You can buy any amount of cryptos, which otherwise might be restricted with a bank transfer. You can buy cryptocurrency instantly with a transaction fee of 3.99%. Because of banking regulations, this platform has suspended credit card support as a form of payment. If the card is not 3D secure, you need to make a SEPA transfer.
- You can also use PayPal as a method of payment to withdraw your funds.
Coinbase Wallet App
Many beginners in their reviews say that Coinbase Wallet is incredibly easy to use. Users can not only explore cryptocurrencies in a safer, more regulated environment but also access airdrops and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) through the wallet. You don’t need an account to use the wallet. The wallet stores the private keys on the device for the owner, and only they have access to the funds.
The Coinbase wallet computer software is available on iOS and Android devices.
Coinbase has an incredibly convoluted fee system that is also quite expensive if you are not using Coinbase Pro. The cost of trading on Coinbase’s standard platform is quite high in comparison to its competitors. Those who are new to crypto and are looking for ease of use may overlook this.
Coinbase’s fees vary across different countries and regions, but for the purposes of this review, we will focus on fees within the United States.
|Payment Method||Coinbase Fee|
|Coinbase USD Wallet||1.49%|
|Wire Transfer||$10 ($25 outgoing)|
In addition to these fees, Coinbase also charges variable spreads on purchases and trades. Coinbase says that they typically charge about 0.50% for the purchase and sale of cryptocurrency below $10,000 in value. This fee is significantly reduced for sums between $10,000 and $50,000 (0.35%) and continues to decrease with each pricing tier until maker-taker fees reach 0.00% and 0.04%, respectively, for sums of $500,000,000 and up. Market fluctuations can make this higher or lower.
There is also a “Coinbase Fee” in addition to the spread and the cost of depositing money mentioned above in the chart. This fee is dependent on the value of the purchase, payment type (debit/credit), and region you are purchasing from.
Coinbase gives the following examples of “Coinbase Fees” one might experience on its platform:
- If the total transaction amount is less than or equal to $10, the fee is $0.99 | €0,99 | £0,99
- 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
- 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
- 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
Coinbase Pro Fees
Coinbase Pro fees are significantly less expensive and less complicated. With Coinbase Pro, digital assets and ACH transfers are free to deposit and withdraw. Wire transfers are $10 to deposit and $25 to withdraw.
|Pricing Tier||Taker Fee||Maker Fee|
|$10 – 50K||0.35%||0.35%|
|$50 – 100K||0.25%||0.15%|
|$100K – 1M||0.20%||0.10%|
|$50 – 100M||0.10%||0.00%|
|$100 – 300M||0.07%||0.00%|
|$300 – 500M||0.06%||0.00%|
|$500M – 1B||0.05%||0.00%|
Coinbase is one of the safest and most secure cryptocurrency investment platforms in the market. It takes a proactive approach to security, and its track record is a testament to the effectiveness of its strategy. Since its launch in 2012, Coinbase has never reported any security incidents, which is no minor feat in the blockchain industry.
Its security measures have been segmented to cover its entire product and service portfolio. Publicly shared security measures include:
- Safe asset storage – Coinbase stores 98% of all customer crypto assets offline in cold storage wallets and goes a step further to distribute those wallets across the world.
- Wallet encryption – wallet addresses and their private keys are securely encrypted using the robust AES-256 encryption standard.
- Data management – all personally identifiable information (PII) and other sensitive account information is, first of all, stored offline. Then the data is encrypted using AES-256 encryption and split into multiple copies held in FIPS-140 USB drives and paper backups for redundancy. These copies are kept in various secure locations.
- The website and mobile apps are SSL encrypted to facilitate safe payments.
- Account passwords are hashed using bcrypt before storage.
Internally, Coinbase has implemented several security precautions to ensure that its systems are safe and less prone to human errors and vulnerabilities. These preventive measures include:
- All employee devices using unique passwords and 2FA authentication;
- All employees have to pass criminal record tests;
- Employee workstation hard drives have to be encrypted and access restricted through solid passwords.
Additionally, all users are encouraged to use second-factor authentication (2FA). There are three 2FA methods available to account users:
- SMS/Phone – this is the least secure, but it is still better than single-factor authentication. Every time the user logs into their account, a one-time passcode is sent to their registered phone number;
- 2FA apps – the apps provide random codes that are time-sensitive to be used during login. Popular 2FA apps include Twillio’s Authy, Google Authenticator, Duo, or Microsoft Authenticator;
- Hardware keys – these are physical token devices similar to flash drives that can be used to provide additional authentication when logging in. This is the safest 2FA method you can use.
Even the most secure system in the world is not immune to human vulnerabilities. Therefore, all users are encouraged to be vigilant and never entrust the security of their assets to third parties.
Additionally, Coinbase has insured its customers’ deposits to the tune of $250,000 per account through FDIC insurance. However, this coverage only applies to US customers holding US Dollar deposits. Crypto assets are not covered under this insurance.
Coinbase’s customer service is excellent and highly dedicated. Customer service can be reached through live chat, Twitter, email, and phone. You can also fill a contact form available on Coinbase com. You can call Coinbase Support to immediately disable your account if you suspect your account has been compromised. The Customer Support phone number can be found on the email request form.
Is Coinbase right for you?
Coinbase is considered one of the top cryptocurrency exchanges in the U.S. The interface for Coinbase basic service is quick and user-friendly, but costs can be difficult to track unless you use the more advanced Coinbase Pro.
Coinbase is an ideal tool for new crypto investors who may not have any other investment experience. While the standard platform is overpriced, its features, like its learning program and the ability to easily set up recurring purchases, provide the inexperienced with a clear path to becoming invested and actually understanding cryptocurrency.
Those with more trading experience will find that Coinbase Pro is a cheaper and more robust option, but it is still lacking in terms of features. If you wish to trade seriously, you may find that Coinbase is not the right fit for you. Overall, Coinbase is designed with the beginner in mind
But understand that investing in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is highly speculative and known for its volatility. A common guideline: Never invest any more than you can afford to lose.