Getting started in the world of cryptocurrency also means finding the perfect wallet or exchange platform. This can give you good leverage in keeping funds, as well as training yourself on how to trade cryptocurrencies. When I began my journey, I tried many exchanges and stumbled upon Coinbase. At first, the interface jarred me, but when I slowly learned how to use it, the platform became a considerable help to jumpstart my trading life.
Though Coinbase is one of my favorite exchanges, it did have a few issues. In this article, I will share my experience with Coinbase, its perks, highlights, and its drawbacks. In the end, you will be able to decide for yourself if Coinbase is a trusted crypto exchange to use.
- Ease of use. Coinbase is one of the simplest cryptocurrency exchanges out there. One can easily navigate through this platform and purchase their very first cryptocurrency in no time.
- Customer support. The customer support offered by this platform is at the top of its game. All your issues are resolved quickly by their dedicated customer support team.
- Earn free crypto. With the Coinbase earn platform, you will now be able to earn a considerable amount of cryptocurrency while you learn about the new crypto projects/tokens.
- High fees. The price for an easy-to-use platform is the high fee that they charge when you buy or sell cryptocurrencies on their platform.
- Controversies. There have been many allegations regarding the trustability of Coinbase during sudden crypto price pullbacks.
Coinbase is a very good starting wallet and exchange center for beginners due to its friendly and easy to learn interface.
While the fee might be a bit high, their service is truly worth the money. You have everything you need to begin as a cryptocurrency user with this platform, and they are able to help you grow in no time.
What Is Coinbase?
The very first thing that comes to mind when Coinbase is mentioned how easy it is to use as a cryptocurrency wallet and exchange hotspot. Ever since my first encounter with the platform, it became my go-to exchange center when I wanted to buy crypto in a fast and reliable manner.
Coinbase is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchange programs, with over 30 million active users worldwide. This is one of the very few crypto exchanges that is known for its user-friendliness.
Built by mainly keeping new cryptocurrency investors in mind, Coinbase was also one of the first exchanges that allowed users to buy cryptocurrency using credit cards. Since this was an exchange that targeted new crypto investors, there weren’t many cryptocurrencies supported early on. Only the popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin were initially available on the platform. This has since changed, and now a few more cryptocurrencies have been added to this list. With this slight overview of Coinbase, let us have a look at the boons and banes of the platform.
Coinbase is known as a platform that has powerful services that help its users in day-to-day cryptocurrency usage. Let us take a look at them.
1. Coinbase Exchange
This is the basic exchange platform that Coinbase offers its users. In this platform, you will be able to buy, sell, as well as use your cryptocurrency.
To purchase cryptocurrency on Coinbase, you can either deposit money from your bank account or buy instantly using your debit/credit card. The bank transfer method does take some time, whereas buying crypto using credit/debit cards can be done instantly.
Selling cryptocurrency is just as easy on this platform. All you need to do is enter the amount of crypto that you wish to sell and hit the sell button. The funds can then be transferred back into your bank account or used later to buy other cryptocurrencies.
So, buying and selling cryptocurrency is something every exchange offers. However, not many are aware of the fact that you can also use cryptocurrency to make real-world purchases directly from your Coinbase account.
Coinbase also includes a way to pay for products on the internet. Using your account as the main source of funds, you gain access to dozens of services that are only available with the use of cryptocurrency. Due to the high security that this program offers, it is a preferred method for any user who wants to keep their privacy intact.
Coinbase exchange is available in over 100 different countries. However, there are a few where you will not be able to buy cryptocurrency using fiat. Despite this, it does not render this platform useless.
You can use the Coinbase wallet to store all your cryptocurrencies. The security integration on Coinbase is a secure one, and there has not been a single breach in their systems since conception.
The wallet service is used to store all your funds. You can also transfer it to other users within the Coinbase network by entering their email ID. Alternatively, you can also send it to users outside the Coinbase network by providing their wallet address.
You will also be able to use the wallet service to pay at local merchants who have Coinbase payment systems integrated. Thus, this is a very useful service to have.
3. Coinbase Earn
This is one of the newer services offered by Coinbase. By going to the Coinbase Earn product, you will be able to earn various cryptocurrencies by learning about the platform’s projects.
You will be given a bunch of educational videos with a quiz to answer at the end of it. Upon completing the course, you will receive a certain amount of cryptocurrencies directly to your Coinbase wallet.
This is an excellent initiative by Coinbase as it motivates more people to start learning about cryptocurrencies.
4. Coinbase Pro
There are over 3,000 different cryptocurrencies out there. On the Coinbase exchange, you will find only a few cryptocurrencies listed. If you want to trade a wider range of crypto assets, Coinbase Pro is the service you are looking for.
This service is offered solely to experienced traders who look into charts and analyze the crypto price and market before placing any orders. Back in the days, this functionality was offered by GDAX, which was the sister exchange to Coinbase.
Now, GDAX has been closed and rebranded to Coinbase Pro. If you are new to the crypto world, you should stick to using the basic Coinbase exchange. However, if you have some trading experience in the crypto world, you can give Coinbase Pro a shot.
Coinbase: Getting Started
To either buy crypto using fiat currency or even transfer fiat into your bank account, you must complete the KYC (Know Your Customer) procedure on Coinbase first. It’s a simple process.
The whole process of me submitting the documents and getting approved took less than 20 minutes. I submitted my passport for verification. However, you can also present your driver’s license or even a government-issued ID card for this purpose.
Keep in mind that purchasing crypto using fiat currency is not possible. Coinbase has strict KYC and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) policies in place. So, you need to provide the documents, and verify your identity, to be able to unlock the full potential of your account.
Coinbase Earn is not accessible unless you have a verified account. With this in mind, completing the KYC forms on Coinbase is very important at the beginning of your journey.
This is perhaps one of Coinbase’s downsides. While Coinbase is undoubtedly one of the simplest cryptocurrency exchanges to use, this simplicity comes with a sky-high price attached to it.
If you are using the Coinbase exchange, you will be charged 3.99% of your crypto purchase if you decide to buy crypto using your debit/credit card. On the other hand, choosing the bank deposit method to make crypto purchases will dish out 1.49% of your purchase amount.
If you are an experienced trader and decide to use the Coinbase Pro platform, you would probably pay around 0.5% fees for both Maker and Taker scenarios. Here, the Maker is the person who creates an order, whereas the Taker is a person who fulfills an order in the order book.
This fee also varies and can go as low as 0% for Maker fees and 0.04% for Taker fees if you end up making substantial trades on the platform.
Coinbase supports most of today’s popular payment methods. A common way to both deposit and withdraw funds is to make use of the bank transfer method.
For large transactions, you can utilize the Wire transfer method to fulfill your needs. If you are an aspiring trader looking to make instant crypto purchases, it would be wise to use debit or credit cards.
Instant withdrawals are also available on the Coinbase platform with the help of Paypal. However, funding your account through Paypal is still not possible on the platform.
Coinbase has always been a customer-centric cryptocurrency exchange center. Apart from having a great platform, they also provide excellent customer support to their users. To begin with, the FAQ section of the site is very detailed.
Just going through and skimming these FAQs can give you the solution to common problems. For more complicated ones, you can reach out to them directly on their website’s help page. This can be done by filling in your email address and providing the details of your inquiry. Coinbase would be more than happy to assist.
I have always received a reply from the customer support team within a couple of hours of raising an issue. However, it might take as long as 48hrs for them to get back to you, depending on the number of queries they receive.
In case of an emergency, such as stolen accounts, lost funds, etc., you can contact them on the customer care numbers provided on the help page. The platform makes use of region-specific numbers. This means that a lesser number of onsite traffic occurs, and more customer needs are addressed, thus, reducing the wait time drastically.
Frequently Asked Questions About Coinbase
You can sign up on Coinbase with just your name, email ID, mobile number, and password. This will then give you access to the wallet as well as the exchange platform. For added security, Coinbase employs a 2-step verification process. This means that as you log in, a mobile device is needed so that the system can confirm that you are the user of the account.
Account verification is done through another physical device, such as a cellphone with your personal number in it. You can also use Google Authenticator as an alternative method.
You can send cryptocurrency through instant-sends or off-chain sends. An instant-send means that the transaction is instant and has no fee incurred. This can only be done in a Coinbase-to-Coinbase interaction. Another method is to input the crypto wallet of the receiver. This will result in additional fees that will be charged to your wallet.
Yes, this is possible. However, there is a need to do SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) transfers for EUR deposits and Interac transfers for CAD transactions. Furthermore, all transfers take up to one to three business days, and fees may vary from bank to bank.
All data in Coinbase are entirely private and secure. However, you must learn the basics of avoiding phishing and scams to ensure that no one can access your credentials. With Coinbase’s high-level security and the user’s awareness of internet etiquette, there is no need to worry.
Controversies Surrounding Coinbase
Anyone who was part of the 2017 crypto bull run would agree to the controversies surrounding Coinbase. At Coinbase, you don’t own the private keys to your exchange wallet. This means that you don’t have complete control over your funds at any given time.
In 2017, multiple price corrections were experienced by numerous cryptocurrencies. During such pullbacks, the Coinbase servers would also end up malfunctioning. While your funds would still be safe in your account, your ability to sell the cryptocurrency would be significantly hindered.
Since you won’t own the private keys to your wallet during such issues, you can’t transfer your assets to a different exchange. This can make the site a bit unreliable during fluctuations in the market. However, the company is continuing to find solutions to these problems, and it is evident that their service has improved as time went by.
Coinbase is an exchange that has served millions of customers worldwide. This is a platform that keeps adding innovative features to its interface from time to time. These features not only add value to the site but also helps to increase awareness regarding cryptocurrencies.
With options for both novices and experienced traders, Coinbase has been able to widen its outreach. While the high fees are a letdown, you cannot deny their efforts to make cryptocurrencies available for everyone.
CoinBase Review – January 15, 2021
Coinbase is my all-in-one Crypto center. I use it to store funds, exchange currencies, and connect with shops around the world. It is basically the extension of my bank and credit card, as it is related to all my accounts.
Review from Chou
CoinBase Review – December 15, 2020
When it comes to storing wallet data, Coinbase is simply the best. I use it to navigate through my Bitcoin and Litecoin wallets, and it provides an all-in package I can use for other services. It also helps me be aware of changes in the market, thanks to the real-time charts that it offers.
Review from Matt
CoinBase Review – December 8, 2020
I love Coinbase! It helped me learn the basics of cryptocurrency. Now I can’t stop trading. I was a beginner at this kind of industry, but Coinbase taught me how to get started and be a professional day-trader. Now, I use Coinbase to teach other people the amazing wonders of the crypto world.
Review from Josh
CoinBase Review – December 22, 2020
I used to utilize other wallet and exchange centers, but I found their interface really jarring, annoying, and difficult to follow. When I laid my eyes on Coinbase, I was confused at first, but I eventually got the hang of it. Soon enough, I was trading and exchanging real money, even earning huge bucks for myself. I’m glad that this platform guided me to be a true investor.
Review from Allan
CoinBase Review – April 23, 2020
Coinbase is SIMPLY THE BEST Cryptocurrency Center out there. I get to order online, make money, and connect to people with this platform! I don’t think that I can live my life without Coinbase. It really helps me in my online job!
Review from Steven