CoinbaseCoinbase Review

CoinBase Review 2021: All You Need to Know Before Investing with Them…

There are hundreds of cryptocurrency exchange sites, and CoinBase is undoubtedly one of the largest ones. It has branches all around the globe, which is why it’s no surprise that you’ve come across it as you review your options.

Coinbase is often used as the standard of entry by new Australian investors, and this review will act as a comprehensive guide. Find out all there is to know about this site, including their security features, fees, and deposit & withdrawal methods!

Warren

Hey! Warren here. Coinbase is rated #5 on our list. If you’re in Australia and want the best crypto exchange, we recommend Swyftx. If you’re new, I highly recommend signing up and practicing with the free $10 worth of BTC. (Grab it while you can)

Ease of Use

Coinbase has a clean and simple interface that makes it easy for novice investors to navigate the site.

The signup process is also straightforward, and first-time buyers can easily buy cryptocurrencies within a short time and through the payment methods that they are mostly used to.

The CoinBase website is easy on the eye and is accessible on android and iOS devices via their app.

Security

Cryptocurrency exchange sites are prone to hack attacks, but CoinBase is one of the few sites that has never been breached.

All employees undergo a criminal background check before being hired, and only 2% of assets are stored online.

CoinBase has also installed additional security features like biometric fingerprint logins, 2-step verification, and insurance in case a breach occurs.

Fees

CoinBase has a confusing fee structure and is also one of the most expensive platforms.

They charge a 0.5% spread fee for all sales & purchases, and this could increase based on market fluctuations. Y

ou also incur other charges that are dependent on your region, the payment method used, and the value of your purchase. This fee is considerably lower and less complex for CoinBase Pro users.

Supported Cryptocurrencies

CoinBase currently offers 32 coins on their standard accounts and 36 for pro users. While this may seem like a low number, it’s fairly solid for novice investors to begin trading.

You can even trade with some of the most popular coins like Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum without converting them into another currency. The extra coins on CoinBase pro are Civic, Loom, district0x, Golem, and Decentraland.

Deposit & Withdrawals

Coinbase has a variety of withdrawal options, all of which are popular. This includes wire transfers, credit cards, debit cards, and PayPal for withdrawals only.

These options are, however, limited for Australian citizens, and you can only make deposits using debit cards.

Coinbase previously accepted credit cards, but this option was abolished. Currently, Australians can only make deposits.

Support

There have been several complaints about CoinBase’s customer support.

They don’t have a live chat feature, and you can only reach them via email and Twitter. Account-specific issues can’t be responded to on Twitter, and it takes a long time for email support tickets to be attended to.

If you, however, suspect that your account has been breached, you can call them to disable it.

Editors Coinbase review

WarrenHi there! My name is Warren, a crypto trading enthusiast that has been using CoinBase for more than half a year.

I have decades of experience in this sector, and I have to admit that most of the challenges I face are uniform across all platforms.

You’ll always come across issues such as high fees, lack of crypto pairs, lack of liquidity, and poor customer support.

The Account Creation Process

I mainly signed up for CoinBase to find out if it was better than the other platforms I’ve tried out. Well, the signup process was fairly straightforward, and their interface was easy to navigate, but their digital assets were fairly limited. I’ve compiled my experience in this guide so that you know exactly what you’re signing up for!

I liked the fact that CoinBase allows you to either sign up on a browser or mobile app. I chose to go with the browser option because I find it easier to trade on big screens.

To sign up, click on the ‘get started’ button on their homepage, and you’ll be prompted to provide details such as your full legal name, email address, preferred password, and region.

You then have to click on the ‘create account’ button or tap on the ‘signup’ button if you’re using a phone. A verification email will be sent to you, and you’re good to go. Ensure you provide accurate and up-to-date information for a quick approval.

Identity Verification

Here is some images to show what the interface looks like.

Coinbase mobile interface Coinbase interface example Coinbase interface

CoinBase verifies your email address, phone number and identity. Email verification is quick as they send you a link to your registered email address to authenticate it. Part of the signup process involves you providing your country of residence and a phone number. To verify this, they send a 7 digit code to the number on file.

Their identity verification is pretty comprehensive, and you have to submit the details in your ID exactly as they appear. You’ll also have to submit a photo of the ID later.

CoinBase requires you to submit additional information such as;

  • Your source of funds.
  • Reasons for signing up.
  • Current occupation & employer
  • Identity verification completes the signup process, so ensure you set up 2 step verification to protect your account against unauthorized access.

The User Interface

CoinBase has a simple UI, and the main features of the dashboard are order books, price charts, depth charts, order forms, and open orders. The price chart can be customized based on the overlay, chart type & time range, and it allows you to view historical pricing.

The visual representation of your order book is available on the depth chart, while all open orders for pro users can be found on the order book. Your open order panel will contain active stop orders and unfulfilled, expired, or cancelled maker orders.

The Coinbase interface is easy to use and I found it is easy to navigate but if you want something with more features I recommend Swyftx.com.au which is more for Australian traders.

What Could CoinBase Improve on?

The features of CoinBase are impressive, but their customer support requires a complete overhaul. Crypto Trading is very dynamic, and every second counts.

This is why it’s worrying that you can’t reach CoinBase on call or via live support. There have even been instances where customers don’t get their queries attended to.

They should also review their fees, but overall, it’s a great platform for anyone that’s looking for a platform to sharpen their trading skills.

CoinBase Overview

CoinBase is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchange sites and was founded in 2012. Its’ headquarters are in San Francisco, US, but it quickly penetrated the UK market, making it one of the first platforms to gain a stronghold there.

One year after being launched, Coinbase became the largest cryptocurrency exchange site globally and was also the top financed bitcoin startup. It currently has assets worth more than 20 billion euros, over 35 million users, and is accessible to users in more than 100 countries.

This success can be attributed to their ease of registration, streamlined user interface, and accessibility. CoinBase also has various resources to help beginner investors sharpen their skills.

The most intriguing thing about this platform, however, is its security protocols, which is why they’ve never been hacked.

What are the Top Features of CoinBase?

CoinBase Card

The CoinBase cards are similar to normal debit cards and allow you to spend money from your crypto wallets. You have to activate it first before using it, and it can be used on outlets that accept Visa. This card comes with a 1% cash withdrawals fee for withdrawals above 200 euros, but anything below that is free.

Currently, this service is available in Europe and the Uk, but there are plans to extend it to other countries.

Earn As You Learn Program

This feature enables users to earn free digital currency in exchange for learning about the various digital assets available on the platform. For instance, you can get around $3 for a course on Numeraire (NMR).

Before you get the free crypto, you have to watch a lot of videos and complete the set quizzes. You can earn up to $10 for each course.

CoinBase Pro

Coinbase has a standard account and a pro version that allows you to trade digital assets directly with other traders. It’s almost similar to brokerage firms, but instead of buying and selling fiat money, you deal with other users. You don’t have to subscribe to the CoinBase pro or incur monthly charges, as it’s free to use.

It is mostly aimed at experienced investors as it also has advanced trading options.

Ethereum 2.0 staking feature

This feature was recently unveiled, and it allows you to be part of a validation chain for certain transactions. Once these transactions are validated, you earn a reward ranging between 3%-7.5% on Ethereum staking.

There’s no minimum staking amount, but this feature is still in its beta stages. You can, however, signup on their site to be on the waitlist.

CoinBase Wallet

This feature was launched in 2018 and is an independent wallet aimed at iOS and Android users. It stores all your private keys on your device so that your funds are only accessible to you.

Interestingly, CoinBase started as a wallet, transitioned into an exchange site, but it seems they’re bringing the wallet services back.

Merchant Solutions

Merchants that would like to receive their payments in cryptocurrency can use a dedicated plugin to enable this feature. It’s compatible with most CMS systems, including WooCommers, Shopify, and Magento.

Other CoinBase features include;

  • Paradex – a platform that allows you to trade directly from your wallet.
  • A $2 minimum account balance and trade value.
  • The only tradable securities are cryptocurrency.
  • Top Benefits of Signing Up for CoinBase

Low Minimums

The current price of one bitcoin is around $55,000, but CoinBase allows you to buy digital currency worth as little as $25. This is one of the lowest minimums you’ll find in the market.

Great Coin Selection

CoinBase has over 34 coins, including the major ones like bitcoin and some of the smaller new coins. While this may seem like a low number compared to other cryptocurrency exchanges, it’s one of the widest selections.

A Library of resources

Crypto trading can be complex, especially when you’re just starting out. You’ll need a lot of resources to help you understand the available coins and the best trading practices. CoinBase has an earn as you learn program that gives you free digital currency in exchange for taking the lessons. The extra cash is a great motivator.

Ease of Sending Money

The CoinBase pro version allows you to send digital assets directly to other traders, unlike other major platforms. It’s a simple process that only requires you to key in the other person’s username.

Advanced Trading Platform

If you’re a beginner who’s just looking to buy and sell cryptocurrency, the standard desktop version is enough to meet your needs. Active traders, however, require advanced solutions and the CoinBase pro version is designed for them. It has advanced features like charting tools, the ability to place your own orders, and real-time order books.

Mobile App

Convenience highly affects your trading experience. Being in a position to buy and sell digital assets on the go ensures you don’t miss out on big trades, which is why CoinBase has a mobile app that’s available for android and iOS users.

This app is highly functional and has an average rating of 4.5 on Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

Other pros include;

  • High liquidity.
  • Fast completion of trades.
  • The fee structure may be complex, but CoinBase has a detailed article that explains it and demonstrates how the fees are calculated.
  • High-security protocols to protect your digital assets in case of a breach.
  • Simple signup process and ease of use.

One year after being launched, Coinbase became the largest cryptocurrency exchange site globally and was also the top financed bitcoin startup. It currently has assets worth more than 20 billion euros, over 35 million users, and is accessible to users in more than 100 countries.

This success can be attributed to their ease of registration, streamlined user interface, and accessibility. CoinBase also has various resources to help beginner investors sharpen their skills.

The most intriguing thing about this platform, however, is its security protocols, which is why they’ve never been hacked.

 

Are there Downsides to Opening a CoinBase Account?

Poor Customer Service

There have been several complaints about how lax their customer service is. Reaching them is difficult, and responses are often delayed and sometimes not given at all. They also lack live or call support which is very important for investors that require timely feedback.

High Fees

In addition to their fee structure being complex, CoinBase is also one of the most expensive platforms. The standard version is even more expensive, but you can switch to CoinBase pro that has lower fees and better trading options.

There, however, no hidden fees as they go to great lengths to explain the charges you’ll incur by transacting with them.

Small Variety of Altcoins

CoinBase may have a great selection of the major coins, but traders that only prefer to trade in altcoins are severely underserved. They, however, plan to increase their altcoin selection in the future.

Users aren’t in control of their wallets.

This con cuts across crypto trading sites, but it still remains a downside for users. CoinBase stores 98% of their digital assets in an offline wallet that only they can control.

The only way to regain control over your assets is by downloading them to your personal wallet, which ultimately increases your chances of getting hacked.

 

CoinBase Fee Structure Explained

CoinBase’s complex fee structure can easily be overlooked by investors that are easing into the cryptocurrency world, but for experienced traders, the fees are quite high. Here’s a quick breakdown of their structure.

The buy and sell transactions are charged based on 2 models.

A 0.5% markup is charged for cryptocurrency trades below $10,000 in addition to the transaction fee. This spread decreases with each increasing price tier, with transactions of $500,000,000 incurring around 0.04%.

There’s also a CoinBase fee that’s charged based on variables such as payment type, region, and value of purchase or a flat transaction fee system, depending on which amount is higher.

The CoinBase fee system is as follows;

TRANSACTION AMOUNT COINBASE FEE
less than or equal to $10 £0.99
 more than $10 but less than or equal to $25 £1.49
than $25 but less than or equal to $50 £1.99
more than $50 but less than or equal to $200 £2.99

Cryptocurrency conversions are charged a 2% spread margin, while instant buys via debit cards are charged a 3.99% fee.

If you’re not happy with the fees Coinbase charge or if you are unhappy with your existing exchange I highly recommend checking out Swyftx.com.au
They have low fees and are one the most popular exchanges in Australia.

Coinbase Customer reviews: What are Customers Saying About CoinBase?

CoinBase’s poor customer support is one of the major concerns among its users. They do have an extensive collection of resources where they cover standard issues but contacting them directly is extremely difficult.

On average, they take around 48-72 hours to solve support tickets, but in crypto trading, that’s a long time. The quality of their support is also in question as there have also been complaints that they don’t dig deep enough into issues. You may end up getting a general response on the first reply and have to keep following up to get the answer you’re really looking for. 

Perhaps one of the biggest grudges that users hold against CoinBase is their frequent closure and freezing of accounts. This platform was the pioneer of USA regulatory approval, which is why it has strict KYC and anti-laundering rules. While this increases account security, it also means that CoinBase tracks all your trading activities and can shut down your account if you engage in;

  • Bitcoin gambling.
  • Resale of coins on other exchanges, especially those that are noncompliant with KYC and AML regulations.
  • Transactions related to adult services.
  • Sale or purchase of contraband 

Once your account is frozen or shut, you will get your money back, but this can be frustrating and costly. 

CoinBase has an average rating of 1.7 stars on Trustpilot, with 77% of the users saying that they had a bad experience with them. It seems that they are aware of this issue as they have committed to improving their customer service by expanding their teams and introducing a LiveChat feature. 

There have also been cases of downtime, especially when the market is in a state of high volatility, but they are often addressed on time. 

Can You Get Scammed on CoinBase

As is with all cryptocurrency trading platforms, you can get scammed on CoinBase, but that has nothing to do with their security protocols. You are responsible for ensuring that you don’t fall prey to scammers, but this platform has an extensive article on how you can protect yourself.

Keep in mind that cryptocurrency transactions are irreversible so before completing your transaction, ensure that you’re certain of the third party’s legitimacy. There are several scams that fraudsters use; Employment Scams, phishing, giveaway scams, technical support impersonation scams, etc. 

To keep your digital assets safe, you should;

  • Refrain from engaging in outbound calls that request your personal information.
  • Never give support staff remote access to your device.
  • Never send digital currency to external addresses on behalf of anyone.
  • Never participate in cryptocurrency giveaways on social media.
  • Never share your passwords with anyone.

If you suspect that your account has been breached, ensure you contact CoinBase right away. 

Remember, if it feels too good to be true, there’s probably something wrong with it. Your account security begins with you, so ensure you only access your account using their official site.

Does CoinBase Value User Privacy?

CoinBase has been praised for its high-security features, but in exchange for this, you have to give up your privacy. They track how you spend your coins and have been known to freeze accounts as soon as they detect suspicious activity.

While this is meant to protect you, it can be frustrating since some accounts have been frozen for simply using privacy-enhancing technology.

If you’re only joining to trade in digital assets, then this shouldn’t be a problem, but if you’re was drawn to crypto trading due to the anonymity it offers, you might want to look for another solution. 

Is CoinBase Safe?

Your account is only as safe as the platform makes it to be, and CoinBase is one of the most secure exchanges. Their most prominent security features include;

  • Insurance for all the digital assets stored online. This doesn’t apply if the breach is caused by a user’s negligence. It only covers platform hacks and employee theft.
  • 2-step verification process that includes a Time-based One Time Password through a secure authenticator.
  • 98% of all digital assets are stored on offline storage.

It’s also impressive that CoinBase has never been hacked, but this shouldn’t be the reason you’re lax on your own security measures. Only 2% of digital assets are stored online, which means that you aren’t in control of most of your cryptocurrency.

If possible, move your assets to a secure personal wallet and restrict access to your login credentials. Some of the biggest crypto trading sites have experienced hacks, and you need to protect your assets in case CoinBase experiences a breach.

Coinbase is safe to use but always try and create strong passwords and never give your password to ANYONE!

What Are the Best CoinBase Alternatives?

CoinBase is one of the largest cryptocurrency sites and is geared towards entry-level investors. Its simple interface, tight security measures, and easy signup record are some of the reasons I loved it, but I also wish they’d increase their customer service quality.

CoinBase has invested a lot of resources into enhancing user experience, with my favourite feature being their extensive library of resources. You’ll find everything you need to know on their FAQ question answered comprehensively, which means you mostly need to contact them when your account security is at risk.

You also have to give up your privacy which is why I’d recommend this platform for anyone that’s only looking to buy and sell cryptocurrency.

If you’re still considering other options after this guide, my top 3 recommendations are SwiftyxCoinjar or  Binance.


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This article is intended to be used and must be used for informational purposes only. It is important to do your own research and analysis before making any material decisions related to any of the products or services described. This article is not intended as, and shall not be construed as, financial advice.