Coinbase Review

Coinbase exchange

4.0

4/5
Min Deposit: €2

Pros & Cons

Pros

Cons

Coinbase In a Nutshell

Coinbase is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, supporting more than 50 cryptocurrencies. Coinbase fees, however, can be complicated and more expensive than their competitors. The bottom line is that Coinbase offers industry-leading security features, a user-friendly and easy to navigate interface, and a €2 minimum deposit for trading.

In this Coinbase review, we will take a detailed look at its offering, features, design, history and other aspects of the exchange so you can get a thorough understanding of its features before determining if you should sign up for the cryptocurrency exchange.

Coinbase Review: Overview

Coinbase is one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges around, supporting over 100 countries, with more than 35 million verified customers around the world.

The Coinbase exchange offers a long list of services but mainly focuses on servicing its users with the ability to buy and sell cryptocurrencies through easy deposits made via a bank account, credit card or other deposit methods. Coinbase is notorious for being one of the most straightforward cryptocurrency exchanges as it comes with a clean, easy to navigate and beginner-friendly interface. Making many new cryptocurrency investors decide to signup and use the Coinbase exchange. On the flip side, Coinbase is also famous for having some of the highest fees amongst its competitors, lack of privacy, and slow customer support but with some slight improvements made over the years.

This Coinbase review focuses on the company’s brokerage service. Users have the choice to trade on Coinbase or the newly released Coinbase Pro, a premium service that adds the ability to make crypto-to-crypto trades and other advanced trading functionalities. Plus, Coinbase has a free digital crypto wallet for users on both Android and iOS platforms.

One unique feature of Coinbase is that Coinbase privately insures its platform for any damages due to theft or hacks of the site. Something unusual to see for cryptocurrency exchanges.

coinbase review

Coinbase Fees

One of Coinbases biggest cons compared to other cryptocurrency exchanges is its high fees. When you trade cryptocurrency on Coinbase or trade a currency back into fiat, you have to pay both a spread and a Coinbase fee.

The spread is the difference between the current market price and the price you pay when making transactions. Similar to commission fees that are common on brokerage accounts. The current Coinbase spread is around 0.50% on crypto sales and purchases and can vary based on the market. For crypto-to-crypto trades, the spread is up to 2.00%, also based on the market fluctuations. Luckily, on crypto-to-crypto trades, there are no additional Coinbase fees for converting cryptocurrencies.

Furthermore, Coinbase fees can vary depending on the payment method, location and other factors. It could be either a fixed fee or a percentage on transactions, but it is always higher between the two.

Below is a comparison of the fixed fees vs percentage fees for U.S Coinbase users:

Fixed Fees

TOTAL TRANSACTION AMOUNTFEE
$10 or less$0.99
More than $10 but less than $25$1.49
More than $25 but less than $50$1.99
More than $50 but less than $200$2.99

Percentage Fees

PAYMENT METHODFEE
U.S. Bank Account1.49%
Coinbase USD Wallet1.49%
Debit Card or PayPal3.99%
Instant Card WithdrawalUp to 1.5% (minimum $0.55)

Based on the fee structure, if a user wants to invest $50 in Bitcoin through Coinbase by using the bank transfer payment method, the spread would equal $0.25 + $1.99 fixed fee. In practice, this would mean that the user would wind up with around $47.76 invested in Bitcoin. Although it may seem fair, the fee adds up with higher investments.

Other Fees

Users can also deposit money into the Coinbase USD wallet and use the platform currency to purchase crypto. This would equal a fee of 1.49%. With the high fluctuations of cryptocurrencies, holding USD on Coinbase can be beneficial to bypass long bank transfers in case of a great investment opportunity. The following fees apply to USD deposits:

DEPOSIT METHODFEE
ACH TransferFree
Wire Transfer$10 ($25 outgoing)
PayPal2.5%

Start trading on Coinbase today!

You can open an account with Coinbase in just a few minutes. Click on “Open Account” and fill in your information.

Min Deposit: €2

Coinbase Security

Currently Coinbase stores around 98% of customers cryptocurrency in offline wallets, in cold storage, while the last 2% is needed as liquidity to facilitate the trading volumes on the platform. Coinbase also insurance all assets on the exchange to ensure all cryptocurrency is protected. Many argue that strong security measures such as this are why a mainstream cryptocurrency exchange like Coinbase could be worth the additional cost.

However, there is no guarantee that your investment is recovered to your wallet if your cryptocurrency ends up being lost in a platform-wide security breach. In that case, “we will endeavour to make you whole,” Coinbase says on its website. “However, total losses may exceed insurance recoveries so your funds may still be lost.” 

The insurance policy also does not cover damages that result from unapproved access to your personal Coinbase account. For example, if your identity is stolen, or if someone knows your Coinbase account password (Mcdonalds123), you are not likely to receive any reimbursements for your lost investment.

Nevertheless, this is a great benefit for users that perform daily trades, such as daytraders, although most people don’t need to store their cryptocurrency directly on Coinbase. Bear in mind that all liquid cash kept on the Coinbase exchange are merged with other users in one of three ways: held in U.S. bank accounts, invested in U.S. Treasuries or money market funds. Users have no say in how the money is kept, but Coinbase says that the money in bank accounts as cash is FDIC-insured up to the current maximum of $250,000. 

Other security measures on the Coinbase exchange include 2-step authentication, biometric logins (like fingerprint and Face ID through your phone), and data encryption. As always, we suggest that you protect your security by using strong passwords, enabling 2-factor authentication, not reusing passwords across accounts or platforms, and monitoring your accounts regularly for any suspicious activity.

Coinbase Services

Normally, we suggest that all new investors in crypto stick to the large and mainstream cryptocurrency exchanges, as they generally are considered safer. And when speaking of large crypto exchanges, Coinbase is arguably one of the most, if not the most well-known cryptocurrency exchanges on the market. Furthermore, Coinbase has also recently been listed on the Nasdaq, which gives users even more transparency in terms of the financials of the company, making it easier to understand how well the exchange is doing.

Coinbase also offers some great features on the platform, such as Coinbase Earn, which lets you earn crypto from learning more about various coins and their purpose. Let’s take a deeper look at its services:

Coinbase Wallet

Coinbase currently offers two different alternatives when it comes to the storage of your cryptocurrency.

First, you can store your crypto directly on the Coinbase exchange. The easiest option, as you only need to log into your account, buy crypto, and leave it on the exchange. This method will not allow you access to your private keys, and your cryptocurrency security will solely rely on Coinbase security measures.

Secondly, you can also choose to move your investment onto a separate hot wallet offered by Coinbase. The hot wallet requires a separate app, and unlike holding your crypto on Coinbase, the hot wallet gives you control over the private keys for the wallet. That control means you can do more with your cryptocurrencies, such as moving crypto between wallets and use your currency for other decentralized finance activities that require crypto transfers and payments outside the Coinbase exchange. However, if you are looking to buy and hold Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies for their value as an asset, this is not necessary.

coinbase wallet

Coinbase Pro

If you are a more advanced cryptocurrency trader or want the best account on the Coinbase exchange, Coinbase Pro could be a good fit for you. The Coinbase Pro account includes additional features such as real-time order books, trading history, market orders, limit orders, stop limits and charting tools. You can also easily access market data through the Coinbase Websocket Feed, and the trading API gives you access to develop trading bots.

Furthermore, the Coinbase Pro account also includes the benefits of lower trading fees compared to the basic Coinbase account. Fees range from 0.1% to 0.25% for taker fees, and no fees for maker fees. As long as you place limited orders, you won’t have to worry about paying any fees.

One more important detail is that Coinbase says you have to pay a taker fee for the portion of any of your orders that are matched immediately. You also have to pay a maker fee once the outstanding share of the order matches with another order.

In short, Coinbase Pro is the perfect choice for users looking for more advanced trading tools while also lowering overall trading fees on the platform. However, if you are new to crypto and are not looking to make large investments, we suggest that you stay with the basic Coinbase account.

coinbase pro

Coinbase Earn

Learning is a big part of investing in crypto, especially for new investors in the space. Coinbase offers a beginner-friendly content hub full of articles and resources about different topics such as what cryptocurrencies are, their use cases, regular market news, as well as articles on the overall basics of cryptocurrency in general.

Now to the fun part. Coinbase has decided to incentivize its users to learn about cryptocurrencies through Coinbase Earn. Coinbase Earn lets users earn cryptocurrency by completing and reading articles, watching videos and taking tests on the platform. This is a good way for beginners to learn about crypto while simultaneously earning small amounts

coinbase earn

Coinbase Cryptocurrencies

Coinbase currently offers a list of around 50 different cryptocurrencies on the platform and is gradually expanding its offering. Coinbase also has strict requirements on which currencies can be listed on the platform to avoid listing malicious cryptocurrency projects.

Here is a list of 15 cryptocurrencies currently on Coinbase:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Ripple (XRP)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Aave (AAVE)
  • Algorand (ALGO)
  • Cosmos (ATOM)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Celo (CGLD)
  • Compound (COMP)
  • Dai (DAI)
  • EOS (EOS)
  • Filecoin (FIL)
  • Golem (GNT)
  • Chainlink (LINK)

Coinbase Design

One of the most loved features of Coinbase is it’s simple and easy to use design. Although the exchange is perfect for those with previous trading experience, it is also a great platform for beginners.

When you first log in to the exchange on a desktop computer, the first thing you will see is the main dashboard of the website. At the top of the screen, you can find the buy and sell options, view your account profile, additional trading tools and access your settings. As shown in the image below, you can see how well designed and easy the website is to navigate.

coinbase dashboard

Coinbase also has a very clean cryptocurrency portfolio overview, where you can see the current value of your total portfolio in your local currency and the percentage difference in the past 24 hours. When you access the settings, you get some additional options to change the portfolio view and customise it more to your liking.

coinbase portfolio overview

The Coinbase dashboard also makes it easy to view your account history (Not great for your health if you made some bad trades in the past). Here you can easily access historical transactions and a complete list of all trades made on the account, and the fees paid for each transaction.

Who Should Use Coinbase?

The Coinbase exchange offers an easy-to-use design, plenty of educational resources, and high security, making it a great cryptocurrency exchange for anyone who is looking to invest in crypto.

If you are planning to invest money into Bitcoin long-term, Coinbase has all the tools you need to simplify that process. With the option to set up recurring investments, you can put your crypto portfolio on autopilot or purchase your coins directly and then use the Coinbase platform to manage and track your portfolio over time.

In summary, the platform offers industry-leading services, numerous different cryptocurrencies to choose from, educational content and a dedicated Coinbase Wallet option. Once you become a more advanced investor, you also have the choice to manage your private keys yourself, making Coinbase a great starting point for anyone looking to invest in crypto.

Now, the biggest downside with Coinbase is its fees and can be higher than some other exchanges on the market. Yet, for most casual investors, these fees are only a small price to pay for the convenience, security and features that you get in return on Coinbase.

Coinbase Review: Final thoughts

Coinbase is up there with the best cryptocurrency exchanges on the market. The platform makes it super easy to invest in crypto, which is perfect if you are a new trader in the space. They are also great if you want to use a debit or credit card to deposit funds, as transactions are near-instant. The only main downside of the exchange is its fees, but if that is not of your concern, then Coinbase is for you!

Start trading on Coinbase today!

You can open an account with Coinbase in just a few minutes. Click on “Open Account” and fill in your information.

Min Deposit: €2

About the author

Gustav Eriksson

Gustav Eriksson

Gustav Eriksson is a cryptocurrency investor and founder of KrispCrypto. He has been a cryptocurrency investor for over ten years and loves personal finance.

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