Welcome to our full-length Coinbase review!
In our Coinbase review, we’ll be assessing all necessary aspects of Coinbase to help you decide whether or not it suits your needs as a buyer/seller of cryptocurrency.
We’ll begin with a brief overview.
Coinbase was launched in San Francisco in 2012. By 2013, it had become the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, as well as being the Bitcoin startup with the most funding.
Coinbase’s mission was clear: to become the biggest cryptocurrency exchange that allows users to purchase cryptocurrencies (using fiat, i.e. USD, EUR etc.) for their market value.
Coinbase is a great place for beginners who are looking to enter the cryptocurrency market. They offer an easy-to-use, secure online platform which anyone (with a bank account) can use to buy, sell and transfer cryptocurrencies.
Is Coinbase Safe?
Coinbase is considered one of the safest cryptocurrency exchanges available. They are a US-based exchange, which means that they must comply with US State and Federal Law. So, unlike other exchanges that operate in less regulated countries, Coinbase must follow extremely strict rules to ensure their customers are in safe hands.
Coinbase invest a lot of money in cybersecurity to prevent hackers from breaking into their system. They also have Phillip Martin as their Security Director. Philip was one of the founding members of the Palantir security team and a Counterintelligence Agent in the US Army. So, you can rest assured that some of the smartest people in the world of security are protecting your funds.
Storing Fiat Currencies
Coinbase allows you to store fiat currencies on their platform, not just cryptocurrencies. This is useful for those who aren’t using instant payment methods but want to make sure they have funds in their account ready to purchase crypto if the prices were to drop below a certain figure.
When you store fiat on Coinbase, your funds are not actually stored by Coinbase. Instead, they are held in a custodial bank account. So, neither Coinbase nor its creditors have any rights or entitlements to customer funds.
If you do decide to store your fiat currencies on Coinbase, you are protected by FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation). FDIC is backed by the United States Government, meaning that you have the same insurance on your Coinbase funds as you do your savings account.
Coinbase have stated that they store 98% of cryptocurrencies in cold storage (offline), either in the form of hardware wallets or paper wallets, which are stored in safety deposit boxes around the world.
The remaining 2%, however, is online and insured. So, if that 2% was compromised by hackers, customers are entitled to have their lost funds refunded.
With that said, it is important to remember that storing cryptocurrencies on any online exchange is something we would never recommend. Instead, you should store your cryptocurrencies in a secure wallet that you have control of (such as a hardware wallet or paper wallet).
The TREZOR or Ledger Nano S are the most trusted cryptocurrency hardware wallets available. You can see our TREZOR vs Ledger Nano S guide for a full comparison.
Before you sign up to Coinbase, you need to make sure you are an eligible user. In the list below, you can see the countries that Coinbase supports.
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States.
Payment Methods and Fees
Coinbase supports over 30 countries. The payment methods and fees vary depending on where you are located and which payment method you decide to use. I have created a table displaying some of the payment methods and fees, but for more details click here.
|Country||Payment Method||Currency||Buying Fees|
|Europe||Bank Transfer (SEPA)||EUR||Free|
So, how much money can you spend on cryptocurrencies at one time on Coinbase? Well, it depends on a few things:
First, it depends on your level of verification. The more information you provide to Coinbase, the more you will be able to deposit/withdraw. Fully verified US residents can transact up to $50,000 per week.
Secondly, it depends on your preferred payment method — with credit card payments tending to have lower limits.
To find out what your limits are and how to increase them, check the limit settings within your Coinbase account.
Customer support is only available via email for the majority. They do have a telephone number, however, it is only free to call for North American residents. A knowledge base and FAQs page are also available for customers.
Because of huge demands and tons of users, Coinbase have been known to respond late to support queries. Their average response times are between 24-72 hours.
To sign up, you must provide Coinbase with your full name, email address, phone number and some other personal details. Coinbase can connect your balances with your identity and IP address at all times.
Coinbase offer a buy and sell feature, so they must comply with KYC (Know Your Customer) laws. Also, Coinbase has been known to track how its users spend their Bitcoin.
If you’re looking for a privacy rating, you’ll be sad to know that Coinbase scored an 11 out of 100 in this privacy report.
This is perhaps the only aspect of this Coinbase review that we’d mark down as a disadvantage. So, if you’re looking for privacy, you may want to look elsewhere before trying Coinbase.
Coinbase Shift Card
Last but not least in our Coinbase review is the Coinbase Shift Card.
Coinbase offer a VISA Debit card to its users, which as I’m sure you can now guess, is called a Shift Card. This is only available in certain US States, but it allows users to pay for items with their Bitcoin in places that accept VISA payments.
Shift Cards cost $10, however, there are no transaction fees occurred when you use it, nor are there any fees for the conversion of Bitcoin to USD.
Setting Up an Account
This marks the end of our Coinbase review. However, if you would like to set up a Coinbase account, and would like some assistance, please feel free to visit our How to Create a Coinbase Account guide for a step-by-step walkthrough.
If our Coinbase review was of use to you, you might want to check out our Binance review also. While Coinbase offers a small range of cryptocurrencies, Binance offers a huge one. A lot of users will purchase Bitcoin or Ethereum from Coinbase and then send it to their Binance wallet to trade it for other, less popular cryptocurrencies.