Coinbase Review 2022

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Sinead Burgess
Sinead Burgess
Updated on September 29, 2022

There probably isn’t a single crypto trader (beginners included) that isn’t familiar with the Coinbase exchange. As a leading cryptocurrency exchange in the United States in terms of trading volume and one of the top 10 most liquid exchanges in the world, this platform is among the most recognisable ones on the crypto market. 

Coinbase Exchange Logo

Not only have Coinbase’s founders, Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam, propelled their crypto venture to the top of the crypto orbit, but they have also landed on Forbes’ list of the wealthiest crypto billionaires.

Who are Armstrong and Erhsam, and what inspired these cryptocurrency aficionados to create this platform? How does this exchange work, and what services does it provide to traders? This review will give you answers to these questions and help you make a better-informed choice about whether Coinbase is the ideal trading platform for you.

Coinbase Developers’ Background

Brian Armstrong is a US-born billionaire businessman and investor and the CEO of the cryptocurrency platform Coinbase. While gathering professional experience in Buenos Aires and Airbnb as a computer science specialist, Armstrong witnessed the effects of hyperinflation and the difficulty of sending money to South America.

Coinbase homepage

Intrigued by these two global financial problems, the computer science and economics major initiated the Coinbase startup with Fred Ehrsam, a computer science and economics BS from the United States. Both Armstrong and Ehrsam were interested in contributing to the digitalisation of finance to provide broader access to the crypto economy. 

In 2017, Ehrsam decided to start his cryptocurrency investment firm called the Paradigm, but he remained as one of the board members and shareholders of Coinbase. Today, both Armstrong and Ehrsam are on Forbes’ list of the wealthiest crypto billionaires in the world. They’ve earned their fortunes because they were brave enough to initiate a change and digitalise the world of finances for the greater financial freedom of people worldwide.

About the Coinbase Crypto Exchange

Coinbase Ltd, a San Francisco based company, founded in 2012, is one of the first crypto trading platforms to introduce digital money to the masses. It was created as a place where anybody could effortlessly purchase the world’s first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin (BTC).

Coinbase portfolio

As Bitcoin’s popularity rose and more blockchain experts and crypto enthusiasts entered the market with their coins, Coinbase expanded its support for various other digital currencies and crypto assets. Additionally, this exchange created two distinct trading platforms: the original Coinbase, an easy-to-use platform for novice traders, and Coinbase Pro, aimed at more experienced traders. Traders can exchange, buy or sell cryptocurrencies through both Coinbase platforms.

How to Use Coinbase

The order book at Coinbase Exchange is continuously updated according to the first-come, first-served trading principle. Orders are performed in price-time precedence as accepted by the matching engine of the platform.

Coinbase Exchange does not permit users to self-trade. Hence, two orders placed from the same account will not match. When two orders placed by the same trader cross paths, one order is cancelled, and the size of the other is reduced. Both orders will be cancelled if they are found to have the same size.

Users can take advantage of APIs for a better trading experience. Exchange APIs are categorised into two groups: trading data and market data. Using a trading API necessitates a username and password for security reasons, while the market data APIs supply public statistical information.

Opening a Coinbase Account

If you want to start trading on Coinbase, the first thing you need to do is open a verified Coinbase account. To set up your trading account, you need to be at least 18 years old, submit a government-issued photo ID with your picture, full name, surname, and date of birth, provide a verified phone number and email address and pick a strong password. You also need to provide proof of residency and your address.

Coinbase create an account

As part of the identity verification procedure, you also need to provide information about your current source of income, occupation, your employer, the last four digits of your social security card, as well as the reason you chose Coinbase.

After you complete the ID verification, you’re advised to set up the two-step verification protocol to protect your account against any unauthorised use. Next, it’s time to link your preferred payment method to your Coinbase trading account, which varies depending on your country of residence. 

Major Coinbase Features

Coinbase offers a variety of convenient solutions to make trading more flexible for both beginners and expert traders. Here’s a quick rundown of a few of them.

The Coinbase Pro Platform

Formerly known as GDAX, Coinbase Pro offers a wide range of trading pairings. Track the market, look back at trades in history, keep tabs on active orders, and more with a Coinbase Pro account. Good ‘Til Canceled (GTC), Immediate or Cancel (IOC), or Fill or Kill (FOC) orders are available for the more experienced traders to put their trading strategies into practice.

Coinbase PRO homepage

Also, higher investments result in cheaper trading costs when using a Coinbase Pro account. Your fiat funds are protected by FDIC insurance up to a maximum of $250,000.

USD Coin (USDC)

People can keep their money safe from market volatility by investing in the platform’s Ethereum-based stable coin, the USD Coin. The USDC is a cryptocurrency with a stable price, started up by Coinbase to stimulate US dollars exchange through the crypto platforms and contribute to forming an open financial system. The introduction of USDC was enabled by the collaborative efforts of both Coinbase and Circle through the CENTRE Consortium.

The USD coin is pegged to the US Dollar at a 1:1 ratio. Hence, you can send digital dollars all over the world for a minimal fee in just a few minutes, which is not the case with the traditional US dollar. In turn, USDC expands the developers and fintech businesses’ options multifold and effortlessly integrates the US dollar on the crypto market.

USDC holders with Level 2 verified trading accounts on Coinbase are eligible for several benefits and rewards just by holding and accumulating the digital dollar in their wallets. However, this incentive is only for the users of the basic platform, as the Coinbase Pro users are not eligible for the USDC award. 

Coinbase Card

Coinbase Card is a Visa® debit card that enables you to use any digital asset from your Coinbase portfolio (US dollars included) for retail purchases. You gain bonuses for each transaction made with the card. Coinbase will instantly convert all cryptocurrencies to US dollars so that they can be used in transactions, and you can also withdraw funds from ATMs. There is no yearly charge or enrolment fee for this card, apart from some standard service fees.

Coinbase card

Coinbase Card is unavailable in many countries, but there are plans to expand the service in the near future.

Coinbase Earn

Coinbase Earn is a straightforward, instructive, and lucrative program through which Coinbase users can generate additional income. With Coinbase Earn, clients interested in learning more about cryptocurrencies may do so while also earning a small percentage of each cryptocurrency they learn about. 

You can earn a small amount of your preferred cryptocurrency just by viewing a few videos and taking a quick quiz. But, you also need to be a Coinbase user with a fully completed ID and photo verified account, as well as a resident of one of the eligible countries.

Coinbase earn while learning

The sum of crypto you get for fulfilling an assignment recommended by the Earn Crypto program is determined by the current USD spot price of the coin. No matter how much you earn in tokens, the US dollar value might alter depending on the worth of the respective coin.

Supported Cryptocurrencies

The asset directory of this cryptocurrency exchange displays over 150 cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, and tokens you can trade through Coinbase. Some of the listed coins include Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ios (IOS), USD Coin (USDC), Alchemy Pay (ACH), Dogecoin (DOGE), Litecoin (LTC), etc. 

Payment Methods

Coinbase accepts various payment options, including direct deposit, instant cash out to bank accounts, wire transfer, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, a 3D secure credit card, or debit card. You can also fund your Coinbase account with cryptocurrencies. Please keep in mind that payment methods and financial services vary depending on your location.

Coinbase supported cryptocurrencies

Instant Cashouts

With the Instant Cashout feature, you can withdraw your money instantly without having to pay exorbitant fees. It’s possible to cash out using your Visa Fast Funds-enabled card if you’re a resident of the US, the UK or the EU. If you’re in the United States, you can cash out your USD wallets directly to your RTP-enabled American bank account instantaneously.

Coinbase Fees and Limits

Instead of employing a flat-fee structure, Coinbase leverages percentage-based transaction fees that vary depending on the trade size. Calculated in this way, the trading fees on this platform can range from $0.99 to $2.99 per trade. On top of these fixed trading fees, there’s also a spread fee you should consider when swapping coins through Coinbase.

Additionally, Coinbase charges a fee for withdrawals and a fee for deposits depending on the payment method you use. The most expensive way to fund your Coinbase account is using a credit card or debit card since this method will incur a relatively high fee, calculated as 3.99 % of your trade.

Is Coinbase Safe to Use?

Coinbase employs various security features to ensure that your coins are safe at all times. The exchange holds 98% of customers’ funds in cold storage to keep them safe against theft. The FDIC offers insurance on customers’ Coinbase assets under management up to a limit of $250,000 per client, which is worth mentioning. With the two-factor authentication (2FA), Coinbase ensures the security of its users’ accounts by asking them to input a code delivered to their phone, in addition to their usual login ID and password.

Coinbase security features

Furthermore, the sensitive data that’d customarily be kept on exchange domains is not connected to the web at all. The wallets and private key datasets are partitioned up with redundancy, encrypted with the help of the AES-256 protocol, and finally – sent to FIPS-140 USB drives and also saved as paper copies.

In addition, all Internet communication with the exchange is SSL (HTTPS) encrypted, and you have to pass a background check if you want to work for Coinbase. The people who work at this exchange need to encrypt their hard drives, use strong passwords, and lock their screens.

Coinbase also has an active bounty program, which encourages users to help find potential weaknesses of the platform in exchange for a reward.

Crypto Asset Custody

It has been challenging to reap the benefits of Delegated Proof of Stake (staking) operations on custodial exchanges. Coinbase Custody is the first custodian that enables staking your assets from secure offline storage.

Coinbase Custody is registered as an independent, self-funded firm that is not affiliated with Coinbase, Inc. Under New York State Banking Law, Coinbase Custody functions as a fiduciary and keeps all Coinbase’s clients’ crypto-asset funds separate and safe in their trust account.

Customer Support

Coinbase features a vast knowledge base that contains tips and tutorials for easier comprehension of the crypto concepts, a blog featuring articles on crypto fundamentals, market updates, and beginner instructions with pre-answered questions on how things operate on this platform.

Coinbase help center

If you need to contact customer support personally, you can do it by filling a ticket request through email or a chatbot. There’s also the option of contacting the Coinbase support team via an automated phone system, which looks like the most viable option, according to Coinbase users’ reviews on Trustpilot.

A Few Words Before You Go...

Coinbase appears to have been developed with the ultimate user experience in mind. From the separate platforms that cater to the needs of both novice and seasoned traders to the flexible and practical app and multi-currency wallet and the ease-of-use of all financial instruments, it’s clear that Coinbase developers have prioritised clients over profit. Apart from the customer service, that is. 

With over 73 million verified users, Coinbase is the busiest exchange in the US, so some hiccups in customer service are to be expected. Serving that many clients daily is a daunting task, regardless of the capacity and professionality of the exchange. According to the users’ experience, Coinbase leaves traders to their own devices and their rich knowledge base more often than not. 

On the other hand, the underpinning security standards contribute a great deal to Coinbase’s credibility. With such a robust security architecture, it is hard to get unauthorised access to traders’ accounts. Even if your assets are destroyed or stolen, the Coinbase brokerage has your back with its own Crypto Asset Custody firm, which ensures not just the protection of your coins but also your peace of mind.

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frequently asked questions

Yes. With the Coinbase app for iOS or Android, you can easily keep track of your portfolios, transactions, and market movements and strike the best deal at any time.

This American-based exchange offers worldwide online financial services to citizens of over 100 countries in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania. However, not all of the supported countries can use the same services and payment methods. 

Yes. Coinbase offers a secure multi-currency USD wallet that supports over 4,000 cryptocurrencies, NFTs (ERC721 tokens), and decentralised applications (dApps). Users have absolute control over their crypto assets because this is a self-custody crypto wallet.

 

You can check your wallet balance and trading history with the Coinbase wallet, establish extra security measures, use DeFi liquidity pools to provide or borrow coins, or take part in a DAO and assist in creating a web3 project.

 

Coinbase wallet users can also easily connect this wallet to their Coinbase account for even greater flexibility in trading. With over 90 countries supporting crypto purchases with credit or debit cards through the Coinbase wallet, you can fund your Coinbase Wallet and launch your NFT catalogue in a few swipes.