Coinbase Review: IMPORTANT - Read Before Using

Posted: Dec 23rd, 2020Updated: Dec 1st, 2021
Coinbase review
In this review, we will examine and compare one of the world's largest and best crypto exchanges in the USA. Coinbase is a household name in the industry that provides a beginner-friendly and highly accessible platform to get involved with Bitcoin and other coins.

Coinbase

Trading Fees:0.5%
Country:Worldwide
Currency:USD, GBP, EUR, CAD, SGD, NZD & AUD
Promotion:$5 BTC bonus (USA only)

Key Features

  • Most popular Bitcoin platform in the USA
  • Coinbase Pro ranked #2 for traffic, trading volume and liquidity
  • Available to users in 100+ countries worldwide
  • Wide variety of deposit and payments methods
  • Supports 46 coins and major fiat currencies
  • Secure and stable online wallet to store funds
Coinbase is a popular trading platform that is ranked #2 in the world in terms of traffic, trading volume and liquidity. The exchange is available in more than 100 countries worldwide that accepts a variety of payment methods. Customers can buy, trade, store, earn and sell 46 assets using a safe and secure wallet.

Key Features

  • Most popular Bitcoin platform in the USA
  • Coinbase Pro ranked #2 for traffic, trading volume and liquidity
  • Available to users in 100+ countries worldwide
  • Wide variety of deposit and payments methods
  • Supports 46 coins and major fiat currencies
  • Secure and stable online wallet to store funds
Coinbase is a popular trading platform that is ranked #2 in the world in terms of traffic, trading volume and liquidity. The exchange is available in more than 100 countries worldwide that accepts a variety of payment methods. Customers can buy, trade, store, earn and sell 46 assets using a safe and secure wallet.
Ease of useStarStarStarStarStar
ReputationStarStarStarStarStar
Deposit methodsStarStarStarStarEmpty Star
FeesStarStarStarStarEmpty Star
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What Is Coinbase?

Coinbase is a digital currency brokerage that was founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam. The platform provides legitimate financial services in the blockchain space and is backed by trusted and world-leading investors.
Coinbase has revolutionized the digital currency environment by providing a simple and easy to use platform for individuals and institutions to buy, trade, store and sell digital assets such as Bitcoin, Ethereum XRP, Litecoin and many others. It is a highly regarded exchange with insurance protection that is supported worldwide and support for popular cryptocurrency assets.
coinbase websitecoinbase website
coinbase statscoinbase stats
Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Coinbase is currently one of the largest cryptocurrency trading platform by volume and has expanded its operation to 100 countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

Is Coinbase Safe?

Coinbase is one of the safest places to buy and store digital assets using their online wallet. The exchange features 'bank-like' security measures to ensure customer funds and personal information are kept safe at all times. Based on our research, there have been no reported hacks or compromises of the security systems and web wallets resulting in any loss of funds due to criminal activity. The security measures include:
  • 98% cold storage of all customer funds
  • Bitcoin is located in safe deposit boxes and vaults around the world
  • Two Factor Authentication (2FA) on all accounts
  • Wallets and Bitcoin private keys are stored using AES-256 encryption.
  • Strong security culture and organization processes

Features & Services

Ease of Use

Unlike other cryptocurrency trading platforms, Coinbase has been designed for beginners and introduce them to digital coins such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. The sign-up, verification and link to payment process takes only a few minutes to complete. Customers can then use a highly intuitive and elegant user-interface on the online and mobile trading app to purchase cryptocurrencies.

Payment Options

Coinbase is a popular trading platform due to its availability worldwide, support for multiple fiat currencies and a wide variety of ways to transfer funds to an account. The platform provides access for individuals to enter the cryptocurrency market using their local currency via a bank transfer, SEPA payments, wire transfer and credit/debit cards.

Cryptocurrencies Offered

Coinbase supports 46 digital coins on its platform to buy, trade and sell. In comparison to other top platforms such as eToro, the number of available assets is double. Users on the Coinbase platform can trade well-known coins such as BBTC, ETH, ATOM, XRP, LTC, BCH, DAI, EOS, LINK, XLM and many others.

Insurance & Secure Wallet

Coinbase uses a cold and hot wallet storage system to secure its client's funds. At least 98% of customer's digital currency funds are stored on cold wallets. This means that less than 2% of the user's funds are held on hot wallets to provide liquidity on the platform. Coinbase Insurance covers the number of funds stored in the hot wallets and will pay out to cover the cost of lost funds should a comprise or breach of the security systems were to occur.

Coinbase Earn

Users can earn free cryptocurrency by learning about blockchain projects offered on the platform. It is a fun and easy way for beginners to earn money for free by getting involved in the space and educating themselves about trading cryptocurrency and digital assets such as BAND, MKR, COMP, XLM, ALGO, XTZ, DAI and others.
coinbase learncoinbase learn

Coinbase Compared

Cutting-edge security measures, an intuitive user interface, the ability to learn about crypto projects and a mobile trading app are important features on Coinbase. This comparison table lists alternate crypto exchanges like Coinbase.
ExchangeCrypto AssetsTrading FeesRatingPromotionWebsiteReview
Binance Logo

Binance

300+0.1%
Overall 4.8/5StarStarStarStarEmpty Star
20% off trading feesVisit BinanceBinance Review
Coinbase Logo

Coinbase

200+0.5%
Overall 4.8/5StarStarStarStarEmpty Star
$5 BTC bonus (USA only)Visit CoinbaseCoinbase Review
crypto.com

Crypto.com Exchange

90+0.2%
Overall 4.5/5StarStarStarStarEmpty Star
$10 when stake > 1000 CRO tokensVisit Crypto.com...Crypto.com Exchange Review
eToro Logo

eToro

200+Spread only
Overall 4.5/5StarStarStarStarEmpty Star
None available at this timeVisit eToroeToro Review

Registration, Login & Account Verification

To buy, sell, send and receive cryptocurrency using Coinbase, users will need to verify their identity and add a bank account using the desktop website or mobile app. Customers must be at least 18 years or older. There are no fees to create or maintain a Coinbase account or wallet.
coinbase stepscoinbase steps
Users will be prompted to provide a valid email address, mobile phone number, personal details, Government or state-issued ID, driver’s license, passport or passport card and link a payment method. Coinbase will proceed to verify the provided email, the phone number to complete the process. The ID verification process usually takes less than 24 hours to complete once the documents have been correctly uploaded.

Payment Methods

Coinbase supports several payment options for its customers located worldwide. The most popular method for buying cryptocurrency is using a debit card or bank transfer. The options to deposit, withdraw, buy and sell do vary for each supported country. The deposit options include:
  • Bank account transfers
  • SEPA Payments
  • Wire transfers
  • Debit card
  • Faster Payments
  • 3D Secure Card
  • PayPal
For large investments, using a bank or wire transfer is the best way to buy cryptocurrencies which can take between 1 to 3 days to process depending on the bank. Users that are looking to make a smaller and instant purchase and prefer the convivence can use a bank card. The average speeds of each payment options is an important consideration and are listed below.
PAYMENTSPEED
Bank account (ACH)4-5 business days
Faster Payments1-3 business days
Wire transfer1-3 business days
SEPA transfer1-3 business days
Debit cardInstant
3D Secure CardInstant
PayPalInstant
Instant Card WithdrawalsInstant

Supported Countries

Coinbase offers its financial services and cryptocurrency products to 100+ countries globally including North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Citizens from all over the world can use the exchange and broker to buy, trade, store, earn and sell cryptocurrencies. The list of supported countries can be found on Coinbase's country page. For more information on the legality of crypto in regions, read our article on the countries where trading cryptocurrency is legal.
coinbase supported countriescoinbase supported countries

Available Fiat & Cryptocurrency Assets

Coinbase allows users on the platform to buy & sell digital assets by supporting seven fiat currencies such as USD, GBP, EUR, CAD, SGD, NZD and AUD. Traditional currencies can be deposited into the exchange using a variety of payment methods for each country.

Once the funds have arrived in the Coinbase wallet, users can view the live prices of the cryptocurrency assets before purchasing. The exchange supports 46 cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Litecoin, as well as popular DeFi tokens like Yearn Finance. The exchange regularly adds new crypto assets to its trading platform which are announced via the social media channels of the Coinbase blog.
coinbase supported coinscoinbase supported coins
User's should be aware that the order book trading volume can vary across each country which can result in higher spread charges for low liquidity trading pairs. For a full list of cryptocurrencies and tokens supported by Coinbase, visit the website.

Coinbase User-Interface

Coinbase has been designed for beginners to get started with digital coins such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and XRP. The dashboard is presented in a way that is easy to use, elegant and simple. The navigation bar on the left provides quick links to the main features and options The home page can be customized to show favorite coins on a watchlist to monitor the prices quickly.
coinbase watchlistcoinbase watchlist
A basic price chart shows the value of the asset which is represented as a line graph and the duration can be changed between daily, weekly, monthly and yearly time frames. There is no complicated charting system, order books, trade history and volume profiles that an advanced cryptocurrency trading exchange would normally show.

Users can click on the asset to view a larger chart with price information such as the overall market cap, recent trading volume in the previous 24 hour period, the circulating supply, its popularity among other investors on Coinbase and the estimated hold time. A great feature is the sentiment graph which shows the trading activity of other users on the exchange.
coinbase buying bitcoincoinbase buying bitcoin
This information can be useful for beginners to see whether other traders are adding to their buy or sell positions in the last 24 hours. Also, the sentiment value can provide insight for advanced traders to counter-trend trade when the market participants have overbought the market (i.e. FOMO).

Buying & Selling

Adjacent to the price chart, the order entry window has two options to buy and sell for the selected coin. Users can select the frequency of the transaction which can either be a one of purchase (or sell) or recurring order. Periodic buy orders are a great way for beginners to begin with a small amount and build a position over time while removing the stress of looking at the price every day.
how to buy bitcoin with coinbasehow to buy bitcoin with coinbase
Users can enter in the amount of fiat currency to spend, review the order and proceed to place a buy/sell order with the connected bank account, debit card or other payment type linked to the account.

Coinbase Fees

Coinbase fees are complicated to understand as it depends on the user's location, trading product and payment type. Generally, the fees range between 0.5% and 4.5% for individuals that use the platform to buy, trade and sell cryptocurrencies. There is no cost for using the Coinbase wallet service to store fiat and cryptocurrency coins.

Spread Fees

All cryptocurrency trades incur a spread charge of 0.5%, which can vary on market fluctuations and the difference between the exchange quoted prices and when the transaction is completed. The spread fee is reasonable compared to platforms such as eToro and Uphold which ranges from 0.75% to 1.8% for Bitcoin and Ethereum, however, these platforms do not charge a trading fee.

Trading Fees

There are two (2) types of trading fees that will be applied to a cryptocurrency purchase being a flat fee between $0.99 and $2.99 or a variable percentage on the total amount, whichever is greater. The percentage-based fee depends on the user's location and payment type. The variable percentage fee for US payment types are as follows:
  • US Bank account - 1.49%
  • Coinbase USD wallet - 1.49%
  • Debit card - 3.99%
For example, a trader in the United States that purchases $1,000 of Bitcoin using a US bank account or Coinbase USD wallet will incur a variable percentage fee of 1.49% of the total transaction. This would equate to $14.90, which is higher than the flat fee amount of $2.99. If a debit card was used for the cryptocurrency purchase, the fee would be 3.99%.
ORDER AMOUNTFEE
Less than $10$0.99
Between $10 and $25$1.49
Between $25 and $50$1.99
Between $500 and $200$2.99
Overall, the trading fees on Coinbase are higher compared to other cryptocurrency brokerages and are one of the main drawbacks on the platform. Lower trading platform alternatives such as Binance, Gemini, eToro and CoinZoom offer lower pricing to purchase crypto assets for US-based investors. For a list of country-specific payment charges such as Australia, Europe and the UK, visit the Coinbase pricing page.

Deposit Fees

Using a bank account (ACH transfer) for US investors does not incur a deposit charge. Similarly, it is free to deposit money into Coinbase via SEPA or Faster Payments for residents living in the United Kingdom. International customers can use a wire transfer USD which will incur a small deposit fee of $10.
COUNTRYMETHODSPEEDCURRENCYFEE
USAACH Transfer3-5 work daysUSDFree
USAWire Transfer3-5 work daysUSD$10
USADebit CardInstantUSD3.99%
CanadaDebit CardInstantCAD3.99%
AustraliaDebit CardInstantAUD3.99%
New ZealandDebit CardInstantNZD3.99%
UKDebit CardInstantGBP3.99%
UKFaster Payments1 work dayGBPFree
EuropeSEPA2-3 work daysEURFree

Withdrawal Fees

There is a small cost between $0.55 and $25 for withdrawals from a Coinbase wallet for US users. Other rates apply depending on the withdrawal method and country. Withdrawals can take between 1 to 5 days to complete depending on the method as shown in the table below. The fastest way to withdraw funds from Coinbase is PayPal which is instant for users in the US, Europe, UK and Canada.
COUNTRYMETHODSPEEDCURRENCYFEE
USAACH Transfer1-5 work daysUSDFree
USAWire Transfer1 work day USD$10
UKSEPA1 dayGBP€0.15
UKFaster Payments1 work dayGBPFree
EuropeSEPA1-2 work daysEUR€0.15
EuropeInstant Card1-2 work daysEUR2%
US, Europe, UK, CAPayPalInstantUSD, EU GBP, CADVaries
Like other cryptocurrency exchanges, there is a miner's fee for cryptocurrency withdraws to other platforms or hardware wallets. The fee is determined by the blockchain network load at the time of the withdrawal which also determines the speed to transfer crypto to and from Coinbase.

Security

Coinbase is one of the most secure platforms for cryptocurrency purchases and trading. The brokerage includes several safety measures to protect user's personal information and funds from external threats, internal error (e.g. human mistakes) and misuse of internal authority. Coinbase utilizes the following institutional-grade measures for secure Bitcoin storage:
  • 98% of customer funds are stored offline
  • Funds stored across geographically distributed locations in safe deposit boxes and vaults
  • Multi-signature scheme to eliminate single points of failure
  • Coordinated actions from multiple employees with multi-factor authentication
  • 2 Step verification on all Coinbase accounts
  • Sensitive data is disconnected entirely from the internet
  • Staff are background-checked for criminal records and encrypt hard drives
  • Encryption to protect user login and personal information

Coinbase Earn

Coinbase account holders can learn about cryptocurrency projects to earn free currency. The program is a new incentive by the company to attract beginners to the platform while becoming knowledgeable about supported blockchain projects. To earn currency in Coinbase, users need to create an account with Coinbase.
Coinbase Earn works by watching a series of videos about a selection coin and invite friends to earn more. Once the quiz at the end of each lesson is completed, the currency is deposited to the users wallet. The reward amount does vary depending on the specific coin and can be converted into Bitcoin using Coinbase Pro or cashed out to fiat money.

Coinbase Staking

A major benefit of buying crypto on Coinbase is the ability to earn staking rewards by depositing crypto to earn up to 5% APY. Staking coins can be difficult for beginners to do on their own which makes this feature particular beneficial for new investors that want to earn rewards on crypto. Coinbase supports a number of Proof-of-Stake (POS) coins such as Tezos, Algorand, Cosmos, DAI and US Coin. The downside with staking on Coinbase is the 25% service fee that is subtracted from the earned staking reward. This fee is to cover the expenses incurred for providing the service and is quite expensive compared to reputable cryptocurrency staking platforms.
coinbase stakingcoinbase staking

Customer Support

For customer service issues or questions, the best method to get in touch with Coinbase is using the ticket system. Users can choose the product or service and select a topic related to the issue such as:
  • Account compromised or unauthorized use
  • Login, authentication or verification issues
  • Account management
  • Taxes, reports, and financial services
  • Trading and funding
In the event a Coinbase account has been hacked or is suspected of being compromised, there is the option to contact the support service via phone to immediately disable the account. There is no phone support for other account issues experienced on the platform. Users will need to rely on the Help Section which is comprehensive or log a support ticket.
coinbase customer supportcoinbase customer support

Frequently Asked Questions

Coinbase fees range between 0.5% to 3.99% depending on the market conditions, location and payment method. In comparison to other platforms to buy Bitcoin, the transaction costs are a little high but offers ease of use and convivence with its variety of accepted fiat currencies, supported countries and wide range of deposit methods.
Coinbase users in Europe and the United Kingdom can purchase Bitcoin and other digital currencies using a credit or debit card with 3D Secure. This payment method allows the purchase of cryptocurrencies without having to pre-fund a Coinbase wallet. Buying with a credit card is instant, compared to 3-5 days using a bank transfer.
Alternate cryptocurrency brokers and traders platforms like Coinbase that US investors can consider to buy Bitcoin are Gemini, Binance and eToro. These platforms have comparable trading fees, features, deposit methods and are reputable Bitcoin exchanges in the United States.
Kraken is a popular crypto trading platform in the USA that offers a wide range of digital currencies to buy, trade and sell. The user interface is more suited to traders and can be a little confusing at first for beginners. On the other hand, Coinbase has been designed for new investors and provide a simple to use platform. High net worth individuals will benefit from the lower trading fees on Kraken which can add up over time.
Coinbase is a supported cryptocurrency exchange in Australia. Local residents can create an account with Coinbase and buy crypto in AUD using a debit card. Debit card purchases have a fee of 3.99% in addition to the trading fee of 0.5%. There is currently no option to withdraw funds back to AUD using Coinbase.
Coinbase has launched a Bitcoin debit card that can be linked to a Coinbase wallet to transfer funds to the card. The pre-paid cryptocurrency card is available to customers in the USA, UK and Europe or spending online, in-store or to withdraw cash from a supported ATM.
Digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and XRP can be quickly, easily and securely transferred using the website or Coinbase app to the card which will automatically convert the cryptocurrency into fiat currency (e.g. USD). The loaded debit card can be used to purchase goods and services at any VISA debit card merchant worldwide.

Conclusion

To conclude this Coinbase review, the trading platform is one of the easiest places to buy, sell, and manage a cryptocurrency portfolio effortlessly using the online web version or mobile app. Beginners that are not sure which exchange to use to invest in digital currencies such as Bitcoin have the option to use a reputable and safe brokerage such as Coinbase.
Visit Coinbase
Available in over 100 countries worldwide and with a variety of payment methods to fund an account, Coinbase is a top choice for Bitcoin enthusiasts and traders. The only negative point is the trading fees, which are a little higher than other exchanges.
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Kevin GrovesKevin GrovesKevin GrovesKevin is the founder and chief editor at hedgewithcrypto that he started in 2019 which has reached over 1.5 million visitors worldwide. He is passionate about cryptocurrency as an emerging technology and is heavily involved in the fast-growing fintech space. A professional trader growing his portfolio since 2016, he has a strong understanding of investing in the market using exchanges, brokers and derivatives platforms. After leaving his full-time job at the start of 2021, his mission today is to share information guides on crypto and to find the best exchanges via hedgewithcrypto through detailed reviews and comparisons. To stay up to date with the latest exchange reviews and guides on Bitcoin, trading, DeFi, staking and more, follow us via our newsletter and social media channels.
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