Coinbase has been and remains the leader in cryptocurrency exchanges. It opened its doors to investors in 2012 and has cemented its reputation as an easy to use, secure, and reliable cryptocurrency exchange. It continues to add new features, trading instruments and accessibility to more countries around the world
In this up to date 2019 Coinbase Review, we will learn about how Coinbase started, what makes it secure and trusted, how its fee structure works and some of the other pros and cons to this platform. By the end of the review, I hope you will have a solid understanding of what Coinbase has to offer you so you can make an informed decision on whether it is right for you.
What Is Coinbase?
Founded in June 2012, Coinbase started out as mostly a digital wallet for Bitcoin as well as a platform where users could transact bitcoin and other coins. When they first began, users were able to transact Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Etherium only. Even then, they were the leading marketplace for cryptocurrency. Now they allow users to trade among the following wallets:
USD, BTC, BCH, ETH, ETC, LTC, ZRX, BAT, USDC, ZEC, DAI, LINK, XRP, REP, XLM, and EOS.
As you can see, they continue to grow. Now they have also added vaults. Vaults allow you to store the above mentioned cryptocurrencies in a more secure version of a wallet that requires time delayed withdrawals to further protect your coins.
Coinbase has grown to a user base of more than 30 million and services more than 100 countries! It’s mission is to create an open financial system for the world and its two top priorities as a company are to be the most trusted and easiest to use platform.
Is Coinbase Safe and Secure?
In short, it is probably one of the safest in the industry.
They use bank level AES-256 encryption for their servers to protect account and routing number. In addition to this, they use have a secure domain using SSL. Coinbase also uses 2 factor authorization to ensure only you have access to your own account.
As for your investment, all digital currency stored online is insured. It should also be noted that Coinbase boasts that 98% of your investment is actually maintained offline in cold storage so that if the website were to be breached by any type of hack, only 2% of your capital would be exposed to theft and that is covered under their insurance.
For US-based investors, your cash balance is also protected just like any other brokerage under FDIC. For more information about security and their insurance, here is a link directly to their website.
What are Coinbase Fees?
So, to be honest, finding the fee structure for Coinbase isn’t as easy as I’d like. I had to dig in their support section to find the fee structure. That being said, they are transparent before charging you a fee. In other words, if I was about to perform a transaction, Coinbase would let me know what the fee is prior to executing the transaction.
There are a few different fees to pay attention to with cryptocurrencies in general. This should cover all of them.
When you have money stored in one of the many currency wallets on Coinbase, you will not incur any fees to hold a balance. Your money will sit in the wallet fee free. If you want to transfer from one wallet to the next, there will be no fee for that either. So, if you want to transfer $50 USD worth of Ripple to Litecoin, that can be done free of charge.
If you decide to transfer currency off of the Coinbase platform, you will pay a small fee which is calculated at the time of the transfer based on what Coinbase is forced to pay for the transaction. You will be made aware of this fee prior to actually transferring the funds.
Buying and Selling Transactions
For actually buying and selling cryptocurrency, you will pay either a variable fee or a flat fee depending on which is higher.
There are two variable rates:
- Using a wire transfer or bank account transfer: 1.49%.
- Using Debit or Credit: 3.99%
Some countries offer different variable rates and the full list can be seen here.
As for the flat fees, they depend on how much the transaction is worth:
- If the total transaction amount is less than or equal to $10, the fee is $0.99.
- If the total transaction amount is more than $10 but less than or equal to $25, the fee is $1.49.
- If the total transaction amount is more than $25 but less than or equal to $50, the fee is $1.99.
- If the total transaction amount is more than $50 but less than or equal to $200, the fee is $2.99.
So let’s say, you used a credit card to purchase $100 worth of BTC, you would pay $3.99 because the credit variable fee is higher than the flat fee. If you were to purchase $100 directly from your checking account, you’d pay $2.99 because the flat fee is higher than the variable fee which would have only been $1.49.
Where Can You Access Coinbase?
Coinbase can be accessed anywhere you are that has internet connection. You can login using any browser at www.coinbase.com or you can even access it via iOS or Android on portable devices. I almost exclusively access it on my iPhone.
As for which companies are supported, currently Coinbase boasts that 103 countries are supported which is more than any other service for cryptocurrencies. That being said, most of those countries only allow for conversion of Cryptocurrency. Only about 39 countries have the ability to Buy, Sell, and Convert at this time.
Countries are added all the time and Coinbase is continuing to expand. When looking at other reviews from other sites, they quote over 50 countries are supported and their article wasn’t written very long ago so even if your country isn’t supported currently, it may be added soon. You’ll have to keep checking.
Currently supported countries are:
Angola, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia
Armenia, Bahrain, Brunei Darussalam, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Macao, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Oman, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Uzbekistan
Australia, New Zealand
Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom
Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Canada, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, United States, Virgin Islands
Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay
Learn and Earn Crypto with Coinbase Earn
This is actually a feature I did not know about before I started writing this review. Coinbase Earn wants to spread knowledge on how cryptocurrency and blockchain actually works and rewards its users with Cryptocurrency.
I just earned got through watching about 6 minutes worth of videos and earned $6 USD worth of DAI and another 10 minutes to earn $10 USD worth of EOS. See below:
It really was as simple as watching a few self paced videos and answering 1 question to verify that you actually learned something. In fact within minutes of completing the EOS videos, I made an extra penny due to the price going up!
For DAI, each video was about 2 minutes long. I watched the video and answered a single question. Then I received $2 worth of DAI. Currently there are 3 videos so I made $6 but the site says advanced videos coming soon so I should be able to earn more. Here’s what it looks like when you complete a video:
I earned $16 USD between DAI and EOS but there are more cryptos to learn about and earn money through using Coinbase Earn. Here’s the list of what are currently available:
DAI, EOS, XLM (Stellar Lumens), ZEC (Zcash), BAT (Basic Attention Token), and ZRX (Ox)
Currently, Only DAI, EOS, and XLM offer crypto for watching the videos because ZEC, BAT, and ZRX have already expired but they may roll out new content in the future. That goes to show that new opportunities roll out and its worth checking back often to see if a new opportunity is present.
Trade Cryptocurrency Using Coinbase Pro
So far, we’ve mostly covered how to use Coinbase’ base product which allows you to buy sell and store cryptocurrency. I discussed the fee structure and did mention that the fees are pretty high but still lower than a lot of the competition. Coinbase Pro provides much lower fees and is a must if you want to be an active trader.
Coinbase Pro is a full featured cryptocurrency trading platform with advanced features such as charting, trading against currencies and choosing which currency to use for transactions of cryptocurrency. It is a lot more advanced than the standard Coinbase app which is designed more for the casual investor.
As you can see, it looks a lot different from Coinbase. That being said, the fee structure ranges from only 0.00 to 0.25% depending on volume and whether your order is filled right away or not. Like I said, much lower than the 1.49 to 3.99% fees that you get with Coinbase. What you gain with lower fees though, you lose with ease of use. Coinbase Pro is designed for advanced traders that are experienced with charting platforms.
That being said, if you want to buy and sell crypto frequently, its probably worth learning.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does A Deposit or Purchase Take to Complete?
Ultimately it depends on your region and payment method but generally you will see the change in your account as soon as Coinbase receives payment. If your account is backed by a credit card, you’ll have access to $1000 worth of instant deposit credit.
What Payment Methods Are Accepted?
Depending on your country or region, Coinbase accepts debit/credit card payments, bank account transfers and wire transfers.
Can I Send Bitcoin To An External Wallet?
Yes. You can click Send and enter an email or wallet address to send Bitcoin to an external wallet.
How Do I “Cash Out” or Sell my Cryptocurrency?
You can sell it to your fiat wallet which is attached to your bank account. Once you sell it to your fiat wallet, simply withdraw it.
Can I Open a Coinbase Account If I Am Under 18?
Although prior to 2017, Coinbase allowed children over 13 to invest with parental consent, they have since discontinued that policy and all accounts must be of legal adults, age 18 and up.
Does Coinbase Have a Referral Program?
Yes, they offer the ability to send links to referrals or invite them using their email address. Both parties will receive $10 USD in your local currency when the referral buys/sells $100 USD.
Why Do I See Cryptocurrencies That Are Not Supported By Coinbase?
Coinbase provides market data on the top 50 cryptocurrencies to ensure you have a good look at the overall crypto market. They only allow you to trade some of those on their platform however. At the writing of this review, 15 are available for trading.
So, Let’s Sum Up!
CoinbaseFree to Join
Ease of Use9.0/10
- High Volume and Liquidity Available
- Easy to Use Platform
- Available In Over 100 Countries
- Instant Buying Power When Backed By a Credit Card
- Can Be Accessed Via Browser and Mobile App
- Although fees are lower than many other brokers, they are still high unless you use Coinbase Pro
- Can Not Use External Wallets