Coinbase Exchange Review

Coinbase Exchange was launched in the year 2012. It is owned by Coinbase, Inc which has its headquarters located in San Francisco, California. Based on the information available on its official website, it has a customer base of more than 20 million users all over the world with the trading value of 150 Billion USD.

Basically, Coinbase is a platform which helps the users to buy cryptocurrencies like bitcoins using the fiat currencies. It also provides a web wallet ( also called as software wallet ) to store your crypto assets. Besides the software wallet, the users also have the option of storing their digital assets offline. Coinbase also offers offline based storage for keeping your bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies.

Is Coinbase Exchange Safe?

Yes. Coinbase Inc (which owns the Coinbase exchange) is fully compliant with the Bank Secrecy Act, USA Patriot Act and the money transmission regulations of the majority of the states in the US. Also, Coinbase is registered as an MSB (Money Service Business) with FinCEN. From the customer’s point of view, Coinbase securely stores the coins of its customers offline. Only 4% of its customers are keeping the coins in its online wallet which also is protected by insurance. So, Coinbase is a highly secure and legal exchange for buying the cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

Coinbase Pros

  • Available in 32 countries all over the world including the US, UK, and Canada
  • Supports iOS & Android platforms
  • Supports Locked-in rate for trading cryptos
  • Multiple options for 2FA (Two Factor Authentication)
  • Provides offline storage for storing your crypto assets
  • Recurring buying of cryptocurrencies daily/weekly/monthly
  • Offline vault for storing the digital assets
  • Insurance protection for web wallets
  • No need to maintain any minimum balance

Coinbase Cons

  • Doesn’t accept payments in Cryptocurrencies
  • Can buy only 4 cryptocurrencies
  • No flexible option to increase the buying limits
  • The approval process for new customers takes more time

How the Coinbase Exchange Works

Coinbase Exchange is very popular among the newbies because of its simplicity and ease of usage. You can easily convert your fiat currency to bitcoin and other supported cryptocurrencies once you connect your bank account to the Coinbase Exchange.

First, you need to create an account on the Coinbase. Then, link your bank account by providing the necessary documents for verification. Finally, you can place an order to buy the cryptocurrencies.

After placing the order, you will receive the coins on your wallet either instantly (credit card purchase) or within a few days (wire transfer). You can move the coins to your desired cryptocurrency wallet at any point in time.

Coinbase supports the concept of Locked-in rate for cryptos. When you are dealing with blockchain based transactions, sometimes unexpected network delays can occur. As the cryptocurrency prices are volatile, there may be a price difference between the time of order and actual completion of the order. To avoid that, Coinbase locks the rate once you click the Buy/Sell button. Irrespective of the fluctuations in the price, you need to pay only the rate during which you clicked the buy button. And, the same concept is applicable for selling bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies.

Coinbase Sign Up & Login Process

During the Signup process, you need to provide your phone number and verify the same. Otherwise, you will not be able to make any transactions on Coinbase. Besides phone number verification, the Signup process is pretty straightforward as it requires only least personal details about you.

Sign up process (Only for the new users)

Coinbase will accept users only if they are at least 18 years old.

  1. Go to https://www.coinbase.com and click the ‘Sign Up’ button which is located on the top right of the screen.
  2. Now, you will see two tabs namely ‘Individual’ and ‘Business’. (Let’s not worry about the Business tab as it is intended for the businesses to buy cryptocurrencies / receive crypto payments). Select the ‘Individual’ and fill the required information like Name, Email, and password and click ‘Create Account’ button after completing the captcha.signup1
  3. Then, confirm your email address by clicking the link on the confirmation email from the Coinbase team.
  4. Finally, add your mobile number and confirm the same by entering the 7-digit code which will you receive in this step.

Now, you have successfully created the account on Coinbase.

Login & Setting up the account

 

  1. Go to https://www.coinbase.com and click the ‘Login’ button which is located on the top right of the screen.
  2. Enter your credentials and click the ‘SIGN IN’ button for logging on to your Coinbase account.
  3. Since the 2-step verification is enabled by default, you need to enter the 7-digit code received on your mobile and click ‘VERIFY’ button to continue logging into the account.login2
  4. Now, you can go to Settings->Security and configure the settings for 2FA. You can choose SMS/Authenticator for authorizing transactions. Also, you can choose the specific criteria which need to be satisfied for sending the verification code as given below.login3

Then, you can fill the address for communication and other mandatory fields to update your profile.

Before you can buy bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies from Coinbase, you need to upload your photo and link your credit card/ bank account based on the instructions displayed on your screen. For security reasons, Coinbase does not accept images sent using email. Instead, you need to upload your photo on their website for verification purposes.

For verifying the bank account, Coinbase will be depositing few cents in your bank account. And, you need to check that figure and communicate the same to the Coinbase to complete the verification process for your bank account.

How to buy bitcoins from Coinbase?

  1. Click the ‘Buy’ tab on your screen once you are logged in to your Coinbase account.
  2. Select the option ‘Bitcoin’ from the list of coins shown on the screen, choose the payment method and enter the amount in USD which needs to be converted to bitcoins.
  3. Once you enter the amount, it will show the amount of BTC that will be received on your Coinbase account. Then, click the ‘Buy Bitcoin’ button to complete the transaction.
  4. Now, your screen will show the complete order details which also includes the Coinbase fee that is deducted towards your purchase.
  5. Finally, you need to click ‘Confirm Buy’ button to approve the transaction. Then, it will show a ‘green tick’ which indicates that the purchase is successful.

Congratulations! You have successfully purchased the bitcoins from Coinbase. Now, it is up to you to secure your coins either in the online/offline wallet offered by Coinbase or you can also transfer them to your own private web/hardware wallet.

For buying other cryptocurrencies, make sure you select the correct option in Step 2. All the other steps remain the same.

Order processing time

If the purchase is made using a credit/debit card, then it will be processed instantly and you will receive the coins within few hours on your wallet. But, if you are using bank accounts or other payment methods, then the processing time differs. For example, if you are located in the US and you use the ACH bank transfer option, then the processing time will vary from 3 to 10 business days. SEPA transfers in Europe will take 2 to 3 business days for completion.

Recurring buy

If you are someone who would like to invest in bitcoins every month or more than once in a year, then you have the option to set up recurring buys. For that, you need to tick the checkbox “Repeat this buy” which is available on the Buy/Sell page and choose the frequency of your purchase as well. You can cancel the Recurring buy option anytime you wish without paying any penalty. But, it will not be applicable for transactions that are already in progress.

How to sell bitcoins on Coinbase?

Coinbase allows the users to sell the bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies. But, you can deposit the received funds from your sale only to your linked bank account and not to a credit/debit card.

  1. Click the ‘Sell’ tab on your screen once you are logged in to your Coinbase account.
  2. Enter the number of bitcoins you need to sell and select the wallet from which you wish to sell the bitcoins.
  3. Select your linked bank account in which you will receive the funds once the sale gets completed.
  4. Verify the details displayed on the screen and click ‘Sell’ button to confirm the transaction.

That’s it. You have successfully sold the bitcoins and the cash will be deposited into your bank account.

Order processing time

For customers located in the US, the funds will arrive at their bank accounts within 4 to 6 business days from the time of order. SEPA transfers will take 1 or 2 business days for those residing in Europe. Selling cryptocurrencies is not available in Canada yet.

Buy/Sell bitcoins from the phone

As the Coinbase app is available for both the iOS and Android platforms, you can also buy/sell bitcoins directly from your mobile phone. Just you need to download the Coinbase mobile app from the iOS App store or the Google Play store based on the device you own. There are no limitations for the mobile version of the Coinbase. Whatever you are doing on the web browser, the same thing can be done on the mobile app.

List of countries supported by Coinbase

Coinbase is available in the majority of the countries in Europe and North America. Besides Singapore, it does not support any other country in Asia. For Canada and Australia, Coinbase doesn’t support the option to sell cryptocurrencies.

Check out the list below to know the 32 countries where people can buy/sell cryptocurrencies.

  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Canada
  • Singapore
  • Italy
  • Switzerland
  • Spain
  • Portugal
  • Poland
  • Norway
  • Netherlands
  • Ireland
  • Greece
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Hungary
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Austria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Jersey
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • San Marino
  • Slovakia
  • Sweden

 

Accepted payment methods

Given below is the list of all payment methods accepted by Coinbase.

  • Credit / Debit cards
  • Wire Transfer
  • SEPA Transfer
  • Bank payments

There might be some differences in the payment methods based on your geographical location. For example, the option of bank payment is not available for those located in Australia. You can refer the payment support page of Coinbase to learn how does the payment works in your country.

Supported Cryptocurrencies

Unlike other exchanges, Coinbase doesn’t support a bunch of cryptocurrencies on its trading platform. But, you can buy/sell the most popular cryptos as given below.

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Bitcoin cash (BTC)

Coinbase Fees & Limits

Fees

There are three types of fees in Coinbase which are given below:

  • Exchange rate fees – varies
  • Network transaction fees – varies
  • Conversion fees – varies based on the location and payment method

The Conversion fees on Coinbase is calculated in two methods: Minimum fee & Percentage fee
Minimum fee

If the amount of transaction is below $200, then a flat fee will be applied as the conversion fee and it will be disclosed before the transaction.

Percentage fee

This type of fee is calculated based on the region, payment method, and product feature.

For EU and UK, the conversion fee for standard buy/sell is 1.49% and 3.99% for instant buying using credit/debit card. There is no percentage fee for SEPA transfers.

For US, the conversion fee for using bank account/ Coinbase wallet is 1.49% ($0.15 minimum fee) and 3.99% for buying using credit/debit card/PayPal. Also, there is no fee for depositing USD through ACH transfer. But, a fee of $10 will be deducted for depositing USD through Wire transfer

Coinbase does not deduct any fee to move your coins from the Coinbase wallet to other private wallets.

You can also refer the Fees & Disclosure page of Coinbase to know the latest information related to the Coinbase fees.

Limits

Coinbase does not have a fixed buying limit as it varies with each customer. That’s why the information regarding the limits is not disclosed. The limit is calculated automatically by analyzing a number of factors like payment method, past purchases, the age of the account and more. So, If you are using more than one payment method, then your limit will be different for each method. For example, the limit for a linked credit card account is different than that of a bank account.

Also, Coinbase does not force you to make a minimum purchase. Even you can buy bitcoins or other altcoins for as low as $2 or whichever currency you are using.

 

Top Competitors

Binance and Changelly are considered as the top competitors for Coinbase. Even though these two exchanges are much newer when compared with Coinbase, they offer support for trading a lot of cryptocurrencies when compared with Coinbase. Also, these exchanges accept payments in cryptocurrencies which is not available in Coinbase.

Coinbase Security Features

Two Factor Authentication

In Coinbase, you can enable the two-factor authentication for your account and choose the option to receive the code by using any of the methods listed below:

  • Google Authenticator / Duo
  • Authy app
  • SMS/Text
  • Voice call

And, you need to enter the code generated from the above options to authenticate any transaction related to buying/selling cryptocurrencies from Coinbase.
Insurance policy
Coinbase provides insurance for the coins that are stored in online wallets. In case, if any event like hacking, theft or another kind of security breach occurs in the Coinbase exchange, then the insurance policy will pay for the losses incurred by the customers. Especially, if you are residing in the US, then your wallet will be protected by FDIC insurance with a limit of up to $250,000.

Note. The concept of claim won’t be applicable if only your account is hacked by someone.

Coinbase Customer Support

You can contact Coinbase support team to resolve your queries by using any of the options listed below:

Before contacting the support, you can take a list of the ‘How to’ articles on their support page which will help you to get answers for a lot of questions related to buying/selling cryptocurrencies.

For security-related queries, it is better to use the Submit Request form rather than contacting them through the phone. Of course, you can call them to ask any general queries related to your Coinbase account or issues related to unauthorized access. Phone agents will not be able to provide support for account specific queries.

 

Coinbase Rating (Out of 10)

8

Conclusion

If you would like to buy only the Top 4 Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash, then Coinbase can be considered as a good choice because it is the most secure cryptocurrency exchange. Also, Coinbase is an ideal choice for newbie investors as your coins will be kept in highly secure. In addition to that, insurance coverage is also available for web wallets which will protect your money in case of an attack on the Coinbase server or other fraudulent activities on the Coinbase website.