Coinbase Review – Best place to get started?

This is a comprehensive review of Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange platform for traders who want to trade crypto. It will be an all-encompassing Coinbase platform and Coinbase wallet review covering deposits, withdrawals, trading options, enlisted crypto, security, and other additional features. 

It will also answer questions such as is Coinbase safe, the trading fees, how easy or difficult it is to navigate the platform, and more. So if you’re a trader looking to change the platform or a beginner who wants to enter the crypto market, this is for you.

All in all, this review will give you traders and crypto enthusiasts an insight into the platform. Furthermore, we will also talk about the pros and cons of the platform so that you can make an informed decision before opting for Coinbase.

Introduction

Founded in 2012, Coinbase is one of the earliest and one of the leading crypto exchange platforms in the USA. It began as a Bitcoin exchange platform but slowly started adding other types of digital assets as well. Besides being a crypto exchange platform, it also helps you convert fiat currencies into digital currencies and vice versa. 

Coinbase is a team of over 1700 that all work towards making digital trading assets an engaging and profitable experience for people. It has over 56 million verified users and 134000 partners in over 100 countries. 

Its mission is to build an open financial system that empowers people and businesses with economic freedom. 

Last month, Coinbase became the first crypto exchange platform to go public when it enlisted on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange. This was a significant move by the company that added legitimacy to the world of cryptocurrencies.

Moreover, it also added credibility to the platform, building trust in its existing customers and potential customers who want to enter the market. To add to all this, Coinbase is licensed and regulated by the US Government and complies with the laws that are in place. 

How To Get Started On Coinbase?

Coinbase has a straightforward but exhaustive registration process. It complies with the government’s regulations to ensure the security of the platform. 

All you need to do is go to the platform and tap the “Get Started” button. Now you can create your account with an E-mail ID. The platform sends you a verification mail to your inbox or a code to your phone number. 

After you’ve verified yourself, you need to provide your details such as name, date of birth, and the last four digits of your social security number. You need to be at least 18 years old to create an account on the platform. 

After this, they will ask you to enter your home address and for what you’re going to use Coinbase. The options are: 

  • Investing
  • Online payments
  • Online purchases
  • Investing in other exchanges

In the final step, you’ll have to connect your bank account. You log in to your bank account with your username and password and link the account. 

And that’s it. You’ve successfully created an account for yourself. Though it’s a multi-step process, it helps keep the platform safe from fraudulent users and activities. Being reasonably direct, it doesn’t take much time either when compared to a few other platforms.

Coinbase Pro

For a pro account, you’ll need to verify your identity with a government-issued ID, and you can directly link your existing Coinbase account to your Coinbase Pro. 

Cryptocurrencies Supported By Coinbase

Coinbase and Coinbase Pro together support more than 60 cryptocurrencies and altcoins. These include Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethererum, Uniswap, and numerous others. It also supports fiat currency as USD, GBP, and Euros. 

Coinbase Pro has more than 100 trading pairs with about 40 pairs that trade with USD. It also offers about 40 crypto-to-crypto trading pairs across 42 regions. 

This number is a lot, yet much lower when compared to its competitors such as Binance. Though Binance US supports 52 cryptocurrencies, Binance across the world supports more than 500. This is approximately 8 times that of Coinbase. Based on your region, Binance can offer between 59 to 591 trading pairs.

So this might be a setback for Coinbase’s performance in countries other than the USA. However, it wouldn’t have to worry much in the USA since Binance isn’t supported there.

Deposit And Withdrawal

Coinbase offers numerous deposit and withdrawal methods such as ACH transfer, wire transfer, Debit card, or PayPal. The speed varies from instant to 5 business days, depending on the method of transaction. 

Coinbase has a complex fee structure for deposit, withdrawal, and trading. It takes quite some time for people to understand based on their region, transaction method, and type of currency. It leaves new traders with an overwhelming amount of information, and they end up paying more than what they would on another platform. 

On Coinbase Pro, deposit and withdrawal of fiat currency range from free to 25 USD/0.15 Euro/1 GBP. The deposit and withdrawal of cryptocurrencies vary from country to country and depend on the payment method. 

Trading Fees

As mentioned earlier, trading fees are quite a hassle to understand, and in the end, when you do, you’ll realize they are much higher than other crypto markets. 

Coinbase’s trading fee structure has three parts:

  • Variable percentage fee
  • Spreads fee
  • Coinbase fee

The variable percentage fee varies from country to country, but it ranges from 1.49% to 3.99% based on the payment method in the US. 

The spread fee ranges from 0.00% to 0.50% Maker fee and 0.04% to 0.50% taker fee. The value of your transactions determines this range. This value may vary from below 10,000 USD to above 1 Billion USD.

For the Coinbase fee, the breakdown is as follows:

  • For transactions less than or equal to $10, the Coinbase fee will be 0.99. 
  • For transactions more than $10 but less than $25, the Coinbase fee will be 1.49.
  • For transactions more than $25 but less than $50, the Coinbase fee will be 1.99.
  • For transactions more than $50 but less than $200, the Coinbase fee will be 2.99. 

However, there’s an additional clause. The Coinbase fee will be compared to the variable percentage fee, and the greater value between the two will be chosen as the fee. 

For instance, for a transaction of $100, if your Coinbase fee is $2.99, whereas your variable percentage fee is 1.49%, i.e., $1.49, you’ll be charged a fee of $2.99. 

There is also an exception to the Coinbase fee. It doesn’t apply if you choose to make the transaction via PayPal. The fee there is different based on your region. 

Coinbase Pro Fees

Coinbase Pro trading fees are much simpler when compared to its counterpart and even less expensive. 

The deposit of digital assets is free, and the fee charged per transaction is similar to the spread fee on Coinbase.

Overall, when it takes this much space to explain a fee structure to a new customer, you know it’s not user-friendly and is much higher than its competitors. 

Trading Options

Coinbase offers primarily three types of order options, namely:

  • Market Orders
  • Limit Orders
  • Stop Orders

Market Orders

For market orders, you can instantly buy and sell cryptocurrencies on Coinbase. However, it is good to see Coinbase Pro has market protection of 10% for traders. 

This means if the last price of a particular coin were $4000 when you submitted your request, orders would fill in only up to $4400. If it goes beyond that, it stops filling in and returns with partial orders. 

This protection policy helps traders and curbs their slippage to only 10%, which would be quite a lot for orders of large volumes. 

Limit Orders

Limit orders let you trade crypto at your own price. You can select one of the two options while placing a limit order. 

The Post Only option ensures that if only a part of the order is matched, it will not execute the order. You’ll be charged a taker fee for the filled part and a maker fee for the remaining part if and when it gets filled.

The Allow Taker option ensures that your order is executed whether or not it crosses the spreads. If a part of the order does cross the spreads, they will charge you a taker fee for the said part accordingly. 

Limit orders also have some advanced options at your disposal. These are:

  • Good Till Canceled
  • Fill Or Kill
  • Immediate Or Cancel

These usually dictate your requirements of how sooner or later you want your orders to get filled.

Stop Orders

Stop orders are a straightforward option for you to trade an asset when it reaches a specific value known as the stop price. There are no advanced or additional features in this trading option, making it fairly straightforward.

Margin Trading

Coinbase used to allow Margin Trading until November, but after that, they disabled this trading option due to the new set of regulations from the government. So this is another setback for Coinbase since some of its competitors still provide this option.

Coinbase Affiliate

Coinbase Affiliate is a program where you get to earn commissions by promoting the exchange platform. You will need to apply here. Once your application is approved, you’ll get a series of promotional assets and tools that’ll help you track the performance of your promotions. 

You can create your content and embed the promotional assets into the content pieces. With the tools they provide, you can test your campaigns, track how they are performing, and generate reports based on that. 

As more and more users join the platform through your promotions, you’ll be paid commissions. For the first three months of your referees on the platform, you’ll get 50% of their trading fee. 

All in all, it is an enticing scheme, yet the efforts to return proportions are something you’ll have to take into account. This is to understand how much work you’ll need to put in to earn those commissions to see if they’re worth the effort. 

User Interface

The user interface on the platform is pretty easy to use and understand. The candlestick chart, tools, etc., are all present in a clean design. This allows you to easily track the prices of digital assets that interest you. Thus you can perform your analysis and make informed decisions. 

The simple layout is beginner-friendly and allows traders who are new to perform their transactions and understand the ins and outs of trading with relative ease. Perhaps one of the main reasons why new users choose Coinbase is its UI.

It does not intimidate the traders, making them less hesitant and confident about their strategies, decisions, and investments in cryptocurrencies.

Customer Support

Coinbase’s customer support has been the question right from the beginning. They do have an E-mail service, a phone line, and an extensive FAQ section. 

If you send a query, you’ll get a response within 2 to 3 business days. There have been complaints that mention that the phone line is not of much use. 

Not just this, people have been dissatisfied with the way customer support deals with their queries. There have been experiences where customers didn’t get their queries answered, or the response was generic and not specific to what they wanted. 

Over and above this, the platform has a rating of 1.6/5 on Trustpilot, a customer review platform for crypto exchanges. This is pretty low, in fact, one of the lowest compared to scores of its competitors such as Binance.

All these experiences and factors point to the fact that Coinbase isn’t too keen on customer support. You should be aware of this before joining the platform. 

Having said all this, we find that one positive aspect of the platform is its FAQ section. It is educative, detailed, and an easy-to-understand guide to navigating the platform. 

However, it doesn’t do much for newbies who want to understand the concept behind cryptocurrencies themselves. 

Security

Coinbase being enlisted on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange is supposed to be more secure than the industry standards. 98% of its funds are stored offline in vaults known as cold storage. The remaining 2% are insured. In the event of a disaster, it will compensate the traders for their lost funds (if any).  

The platform has a two-factor authentication policy that adds an extra layer of security when the user logs in on the app or the website. It uses AES 256 encryption for its digital wallets and private keys. 

Besides this, the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) protects all USD cash on the platform with a limit of $250000 per trader. Furthermore, Coinbase Pro allows users to have their personal cold storage to store their funds.

However, Coinbase had been subject to a hack previously in 2014. Roughly 850000 were stolen, whose value today is humongous. The exchange has come a long way and since then had no harmful attacks or hacks.

Overall the security is pretty standard, and since it has to comply with the government’s security regulations, your funds are bound to be safer when compared to several other platforms.

Pros & Cons

The platform has an equal number of positives and drawbacks. The most significant ones are listed here below for you to make an informed decision. 

Pros

  • User Interface
  • Security
  • Affiliate Program

Cons

  • Trading fees
  • Customer support
  • Fewer cryptocurrencies when compared to competitors.

Summary

Coinbase, as mentioned, is one of the leading crypto exchanges in the USA. However, the platform’s features and offerings do not live up to this reputation.

The platform’s registration process, though exhaustive, is straightforward and easy to execute. It also offers numerous cryptocurrencies for traders to invest in and grow their wealth. 

There are several deposit and withdrawal methods that customers can choose from based on their region and convenience, which is good. 

However, the trading fee structures are quite complex and overwhelming for new users and are much higher than those of its competitors. It is one of the most significant setbacks of the platform, despite having one of the highest user bases. 

This can be attributed to it being one of the oldest platforms in the crypto world and complying with government regulations. Moreover, its presence on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange gives it a higher level of legitimacy and credibility. 

Coinbase isn’t too keen on supporting its customers, and it is pretty evident from the user reviews on several platforms. People complain about the representatives not finding solutions or answering their queries. Instead, they provide generic answers that are not of much help. 

The biggest positives of the platform are its user interface and affiliate program. The easy-to-use interface makes it less intimidating for the customers, while the affiliate program encourages new users to invest in crypto on their platform.

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