Coinbase Review

Coinbase ReviewCoinbase is one of the most well-known cryptocurrency brokerages and for good reason. They support an enormous amount of countries, have low fees and work closely with governments to ensure no action is in violation of laws.

Another reason why Coinbase is so successful is due to its beautiful but simple user interface. Regardless of your tech background, Coinbase makes it easy for anyone to buy and store cryptocurrency.

Coinbase Coin Selection

Coinbase offers four cryptocurrencies:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Bitcoin Cash (Bcash)

Coinbase Selection

They are often criticized for not adding more cryptocurrencies as many of its competitors have added a wider selection. Coinbase is based in the United States where there are some of the strictest laws surrounding digital currency. Until there is more clarity around laws, it will be difficult for Coinbase to add more coins.

In December of 2017, Coinbase added Bitcoin Cash to their exchange. During the addition,  Bitcoin Cash shot over $3,000. Before Coinbase added BCash, they only sold three currencies. Coinbase was also hit with accusations of insider trading, after Bitcoin Cash’s price launched days before the addition.

Coinbase Payment Methods

Another strength of Coinbase is its flexibility of payment methods. At the time of this writing,

Coinbase allows cryptocurrency to be purchased with credit and debit cards, ACH transfers, SEPA transfers, and Xfers transfers.

Coinbase Payment Methods

Please note that if you live in the US, Coinbase has disabled credit card purchases as many major companies do not allow them.

Depending on what country you live in, certain payment methods will or will not be accepted.

One cool feature Coinbase has is recurring buys. Coinbase allows you to choose a time interval to cost average your cryptocurrency purchases.

Cost averaging allows you to get the mean price of a currency over a time period. This is great to cover cryptocurrency volatility.

Coinbase Fees and Limits

Coinbase’s fees are the same for everyone, but limits can be increased by adding more information. Some users have been able to increase their limits to $50,000 weekly by adding a valid phone number, confirmed email addresses and ordering a certain amount of Bitcoin.

Method of PaymentFeeDelivery TimeLimits (Weekly)
Bank Wire & Transfer1.49%3-8 Days (Price locked in)$2,000 initially can be increased
Credit & Debit Card3.99%Instant$100 initially can be increased

How Safe is Coinbase?

Coinbase is extremely safe and has had no known hacks. They accomplish this by only keeping 2% of all cryptocurrency on the exchange online. The rest is all kept in cold storage. In the event anything happened to Coinbase’s funds, they are privately insured by Lloyds of London. Accounts holding $250,000 and under are also FDIC insured.

Like most exchanges, Coinbase also allows users to set up two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication allows users to link a second device that upon signup receives a code. This code must be entered upon signup and expires quickly. Never use SMS for two-factor authentication as it is not as secure. We recommend Authy and/or Google Authenticator.

Coinbase Wallet

Coinbase has a built-in custodial wallet making it easy for anyone to store cryptocurrency. While Coinbase’s exchange wallet is relatively secure, it is not recommended to store cryptocurrency on an exchange.Coinbase Wallet

This is because when cryptocurrency is stored on an exchange, the exchange holds the private key which ultimately proves ownership. In the event the exchange is hacked, your currency could go down with it.

Want to be as secure as possible? Learn about Bitcoin wallets in our comprehensive guide. If you still decide to use the Coinbase wallet, it can be more easily accesses via Android and iOS apps.

Coinbase also recently added support for Segwit, an upgrade to Bitcoin that allows block space to be used more efficiently. This was a major update, as Coinbase was pretty slow to make the change. Today, Segwit is used by over 40% of the Bitcoin network and increasing every day.

In addition to storing cryptocurrencies, Coinbase also has a USD and Euro wallet making it easy to time your purchases.

Coinbase allows cryptocurrency to be sold to Paypal accounts but does not allow purchasing with Paypal balance.

Coinbase App Review

Coinbase also has a mobile app on the Android and iOS stores, making it easy for users to check prices at their fingertips. Most other exchanges have been slow to add app store support, giving Coinbase a huge advantage,

Coinbase Customer Support

While Coinbase does a fantastic job at most things, their biggest weakness is their customer support. To give Coinbase credit, it is difficult to get to every request in a timely manner when dealing with such a large amount of customers.

Expect a 1-3 day response time on your support ticket. While there have been some complaints about automated responses, as long as you describe your issue clearly you will receive a personal ticket. Before sending in a ticket, make sure the question is not already on their FAQ or this review.

Coinbase Team

Coinbase is led by Brian Armstrong and mentioned in the news by huge names such as The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, The New York Times, and Time Magazine.

They recently acquired Earn.com for $120 million, a website that allows users to charge cryptocurrency in exchange for email responses. They also took Balaji Srinivasan as their first CTO.

Coinbase also acquired Paradex, a decentralized exchange built on top of the 0x protocol. Paradex allows hundreds of ERC-20 tokens to be traded in users own wallets. This is an extremely important feature, as many exchanges are often under fire from hacks and 51% attacks.

Coinbase Commerce

Coinbase has also introduced an easy way for merchants to accept cryptocurrency for their goods and services. This service is Coinbase Commerce and can be easily integrated to applications and websites.

Another feature of Coinbase commerce is that it allows merchants to accept borderless payments. Cryptocurrency has no borders, which makes Coinbase Commerce perfect for software.

Coinbase Commerce

GDAX and Coinbase Pro

After the Paradex acquisition, Coinbase has announced that they are retiring GDAX, their digital currency exchange. After retiring GDAX, Coinbase will launch Coinbase Pro that will play a similar role to GDAX. The exchange will also likely integrate Paradex’s features as they get clarity on laws and regulations.

GDAX and Coinbase Pro are linked with your Coinbase account making it easy to send funds free and instantly.

Why Does Coinbase Need Your ID?

Coinbase requires your ID because they have to follow all AML and KYC laws. Actually, the laws make Coinbase require your ID and this causes many issues for customers when they want to make a new Coinbase account.

Coinbase is doing more and more to try to make this less of a pain. The now have live phone support and one of the allowed issues is that you can get help with ID verification.

Because many old people started buying bitcoins and they are not good with technology. This is what the new Coinbase users look like today. So Coinbase knows they need to step up their customer support or they will lose all their customers.

You should be hesitant to give Coinbase your ID. If they get hacked then you will have a situation like the Equifax leak where millions lost their data. Obviously, Coinbase has fewer users but you need to understand the risks you take when you give a company like Coinbase your ID card uploaded in png or jpeg format. If they get hacked you are screwed!

If you are scared–you should be somewhat–then you may want to test out or try a Bitcoin ATM or LocalBitcoins p2p trade. There are other risks with p2p trades though because there have been stories of theft you will always want to meet in a public space preferably a Starbucks coffee shop that is very crowded.

How to Make a Coinbase Account

To get started with Coinbase, create an account. At first, they only ask for a few signup fields. You can choose whether you want to make a personal account or an institutional account. Institutional accounts are for users who want to use Coinbase merchant services or who want to invest through a business or legal entity.

Signup Coinbase

Click create an account, and verify your phone and email. After, link a payment method and you are ready to buy cryptocurrency on Coinbase!

Coinbase and Cryptocurrency Forks

Coinbase recently announced support for forks of cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrencies follow specific rules when they function. If a rule is changed, a fork happens and splits the cryptocurrency into two separate versions. The new version is an entirely new currency and has a different value.

Previously, users who stored cryptocurrency on Coinbase were not eligible to receive forks unless the exchange manually handed out the new cryptocurrency. This is no more, as Coinbase is making it easy for anyone to claim new versions of a coin.

This is a pretty big deal, as Bitcoin holders didn’t receive Bitcoin Cash for several months, and have still not received forks such as Bitcoin Gold and Private.

Coinbase Referal Program

The Coinbase Referal Program has existed for a while and allows users to earn Bitcoin by inviting friends. After a friend signs up through you, both of you receive $10 in Bitcoin after they make a purchase of over $100. It’s a win-win scenario for both parties!

Coinbase Referral program

How does Coinbase Stack Up Against the Competition?

Coinbase vs Bitpanda

Coinbase and Bitpanda are two of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the space. Bitpanda is based in Vienna, Austria while Coinbase is based in San Francisco, United States.

Keep reading to learn the pros cons of each exchange as well as their similarities and differences.

User Interface

bitpanda vs coinbase

Both websites have outstanding user interfaces making it easy for users with little to no background knowledge purchase cryptocurrency.

Buying/Selling on Coinbase

Coinbase Review

Buy/Selling on Bitpanda

Buying on Bitpanda

Wallets

Both Coinbase and Bitpanda have wallets built into their website. Bitpanda supports a wider variety of coins, which could be a plus if you own those altcoins. At the time of this writing, Bitpanda has a built-in wallet for Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Dash, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Pantos, and Komodo.

Coinbase stores Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin and has Ethereum Classic support on the way soon.

Both exchanges have fiat wallets allowing users to store currencies such as US Dollars and Euros on the exchange!

One cool feature that Bitpanda is a “contact list” allowing users to send to named contacts instead of addresses.

Payment Methods

Bitpanda’s payment methods include credit card, debit card, sofort transfer, Giropay, Neteller, Skrill, SEPA, and the exchanges fiat wallet.

Coinbase has these purchase methods: credit and debit cards, ACH transfers, SEPA transfers, and Xfers transfers.

Fees

Depending on what payment method you decide to use, each exchange will have different fees.

CoinbaseFee
Bank Transfer1.49%
Bank Wire1.49%
Credit Card3.99%
Debit Card3.99%
BitpandaFee
Bank Transfer1.49% to Buy, 1.29% Sell
Bank Wire1.49% to Buy, 1.29% Sell
Credit Card4%-5% Premium
Debit Card4%-5% Premium

We can conclude from this that Coinbase is cheaper for credit card purchases, debit card purchases.

For buying and selling with a bank account, they are pretty similar, with Bitpanda coming ahead with slightly lower selling fees.

Limits

When it comes to limits, exchanges will let you buy and sell more cryptocurrency after verifying information such as email addresses, phone numbers and ID and other personal information.

Bitpanda uses verification tiers Starter, Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Higher tiers are obtained by increasing verification. If you hit Gold tier, you can buy 300,000 Euros a month and sell 1,000,000 Euros a month.

BitpandaLimits

Coinbase Limits

Coinbase has tiers 0 to 3 and allows users who verify completely to purchase $25,000 worth of cryptocurrency a day. This is around $750,000 a month!

Supported Countries

This is a huge factor in which exchange you should use. If one exchange is not supported in your country, then you obviously shouldn’t use that exchange!

What Countries Does Coinbase Serve?

Coinbase is currently supported in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore and the following countries:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, San  Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

What Countries Does Bitpanda Serve?

Bitpanda allows the buying of digital currencies for most customers in Europe including Switzerland, Norway, and Croatia.

Supported Languages

Coinbase supports several languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, Dutch and English.

Bitpanda supports English and German, while their customer support supports English, German, Italian and Dutch.

Security

In terms of security, both exchanges are pretty secure. Neither exchange has had a major hack effect customers funds.

Coinbase is privately insured by Lloyds of London, protecting users in the event of an exchange hack. Coinbase only holds 2% of funds on the exchange, with the rest being in cold storage.

Coinbase vs Bitpanda Conclusions

The largest factor in determining which exchange will be better for you is if they support your country. If both exchanges are supported in your country, the next step is to look at fees and limits. Each exchange has extremely high limits, but Coinbase wins out at $750,000 a month at verification level 2.

For fees, Coinbase and Bitpanda are also pretty similar. If you are using a credit or debit card, Coinbase wins out at 3.99% to Bitpandas 4%-5%. Bitpandas fee is a premium on a cryptocurrencies price, rather than a service fee.

Depending on what cryptocurrency you want to purchase, you may want to use a certain exchange. For example, Bitpanda sells Dash, Ripple Komodo, and Pantos, which are all not sold by Coinbase. Coinbase has Ethereum Classic support coming soon, so they are a great choice if you want to purchase that.

If there are other altcoins not on either exchange, consider using a crypto to crypto exchange like Binance.

Coinbase vs Gemini

Coinbase and Gemini are two of the top cryptocurrency and Bitcoin exchanges in the world as of now. Coinbase and Gemini help the cryptocurrency users and investors in the exchange of various cryptocurrencies namely Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. Gemini, as well as Coinbase, provide a number of cryptocurrency related services and facilities in a similar way with some differences.

Coinbase and Gemini provide exchange services for converting Bitcoins for USD and other Altcoins like Ethereum, and Litecoin. Both Coinbase and Gemini have some advantage and disadvantages or pros and cons as compared to each other. The comparative details of Coinbase and Gemini, with their characteristics, are provided below along with critical analysis for the benefit of the cryptocurrency users as under:

Coinbase

Coinbase is the largest Bitcoin exchange across the globe. Coinbase was founded by Fred Ehsram and Brian Armstrong in 2012. It is headquartered in San Francisco, California. It is backed by great investors, with funding of over $100 million. Coinbase is one of the safest cryptocurrency and Bitcoin exchange in the world. It has a very high reputation among all the cryptocurrency investors.

It offers services in 32 countries including US, Canada, UK, Singapore, and a number of European countries. Coinbase has more than 10 million customers with more than $20 billion in digital currencies exchanged. It has daily Bitcoin volume of $40,000,000 approximately. It exchanges Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Litecoin for the users.

Coinbase has wallet facilities and also a mobile app. It has a simple user interface. Coinbase offers a number of payment methods to the cryptocurrency users like bank transfer, debit card, credit card, etc. Coinbase has a high limit for the users, particularly the verified users, as high as $50000. Coinbase is also known to track the spending of Bitcoins by users. Coinbase is said to be quite strict in compliance matters and has shut down the customer accounts due to compliance issues and even minor misdemeanor.

Gemini

Gemini is a leading cryptocurrency exchange. Gemini is the first U.S. exchange licensed for Bitcoin and Ether trading. It was founded in 2015 and located in New York, USA. It is regulated as a trust company by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS). USD deposits of Gemini are held at FDIC-insured banks. Gemini stores majority of digital assets in an offline cold storage system. Gemini has a maker-taker fee schedule, which offers various fee discounts and rebates for the market participants having high-volume of transactions.

Gemini supports cryptocurrency users and investors in the United States and some other countries. Gemini offers you fast services to exchange fiat currency to cryptocurrency and vice versa.

It is recommended by the cryptocurrency users and investors for a number of reasons. It provides fast services to convert Bitcoin to cash and cash to Bitcoins. On most of the cryptocurrency or Bitcoin exchanges, you have to wait for a number of days to get your funds reflected in your account to purchase Bitcoins; but in case of Gemini, the funds are reflected fast in your account, particularly if you have transferred funds through ACH in the US. You can lock the price by buying Bitcoins even before your funds are reflected in your account thanks to the services of Gemini.

Gemini serves as a next-generation digital asset platform to buy, sell, and store Bitcoin and Ethereum. It has very good trading facilities, high level of security, and also regulatory oversight. Gemini meets certain relevant capital reserve requirements and banking compliance standards. It offers fast execution, high transaction limits, a high level of liquidity, etc.

Platform Information

Gemini is a proper cryptocurrency exchange and operates just like a Forex exchange. You can trade cryptocurrencies and fiat currency with other users on the exchange platform of Gemini. But, Coinbase operates more like a retail store for the cryptocurrency. If you buy or sell cryptocurrency, you do a transaction directly with Coinbase. Coinbase sets the price and your order is executed at that price immediately; just opposite to a proper exchange where you place an order and wait for it to get fulfilled.

User Interface (UI) and Ease of Transaction:

Gemini has good user interface and ease of transaction, but Coinbase has a better user interface and ease of transacting in comparative terms and also has a mobile app.

Speed of Service and Execution:

Gemini has good speed of service and better uptime without getting overloaded, but Coinbase has better speed of service but uptime does not surpass Gemini.

Payment Methods:

Gemini offers you the option to deposit funds in your account by bank transfer or Bitcoins; whereas Coinbase offers more options like bank transfers, cryptocurrencies, debit cards, credit cards, etc. Coinbase is integrated into the US banking system well.

Availability of Cryptocurrencies:

Gemini offers only Bitcoin or Ethereum; while Coinbase offers Bitcoin, Litecoin or Ethereum.

Fees:

Gemini has lower exchange fees, as low as 0.25% of transaction value; while Coinbase exchange fees are comparatively higher.

Limits:

Gemini has well-defined transaction limits; while Coinbase transaction limits are customized and higher for some old and frequent heavy users.

Liquidity:

Gemini has lower levels of liquidity; while Coinbase has higher levels of liquidity. 

Scale of Operations and User Base:

Gemini has much less number of users, but Coinbase has more than 10 million users with more than $20 billion in digital currencies exchanged. Coinbase has daily Bitcoin volume of approximately $40,000,000.

Trust:

Gemini enjoys trust among the cryptocurrency users; whereas Coinbase enjoys much higher trust among the cryptocurrency users.

Brand:

Gemini is a well-known brand; but Coinbase is a top-notch brand and very famous brand with coverage in various reputed newspapers and magazines like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time, etc. 

Personal Information:

Gemini needs personal information and verification, and so does Coinbase.

Security:

Gemini has better security features and legal sanctity as compared to Coinbase.

Customer Support:

Gemini offers customer support facilities to the cryptocurrency investors and users; whereas the customer support of Coinbase is not better than Gemini.

Coinbase vs Gemini Conclusion

Considering the above details, you can choose among Coinbase and Gemini depending on your personal requirements. Choose Gemini to save fees and more legal compliance; but choose Coinbase if you want a global market, protection of a big brand, fast speed, and selling or buying Litecoin.

Conclusion

Coinbase is most likely the most used cryptocurrency exchange in terms of total accounts. They do a lot of things right, from beautiful user interfaces, simple site navigation, and their referral program. They have had no hacks so far, and go to extreme measures to make sure funds are secured properly.

Coinbases competition are other fiat cryptocurrency exchanges. These include Coinmama, Gemini, Bitpanda, CEX.io, and Bitstamp. To learn more about other cryptocurrency exchanges, check out our exchange review page.

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