Coinbase Review 2023: Features, Pros & Cons
Published 07 Aug, 2021 Updated 02 Feb, 2023
Table of Contents
- 1 Our Takeaways
- 2 What Is Coinbase?
- 3 Coinbase Pros & Cons
- 4 Top Coinbase Features You Should Know
- 5 Is Coinbase Safe To Use?
- 6 Coinbase Fees
- 7 Accepted Countries
- 8 How To Get Started With Coinbase
- 9 Ease Of Use
- 10 Customer Support
- 11 Mobile App
- 12 Coinbase Alternatives
- 13 Frequently Asked Questions
- 14 Our Coinbase Verdict
Coinbase is one of the world’s most well-known cryptocurrency exchange platforms that is suited for new and experienced investors and traders. Coinbase offers a broad range of products and services such as a fiat gateway, an advanced crypto exchange called Coinbase Pro, staking, and more, on a user-friendly interface.
This review looks at the Coinbase platform in detail and assesses how it stacks up compared to other top global crypto exchanges.
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Trading Fees: 0.5% (maker) and 0.5% (taker)
Available Cryptos: 190+
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Coinbase is a highly reputable and trusted global crypto platform that allows you to buy, store, and sell over 190 cryptocurrencies using your local fiat currency. You also have to access innovative crypto features including staking, an advanced trading platform called Coinbase Pro, borrow crypto and store their assets and NFTs in a dedicated and secure wallet.
Given its massive user base, it is clear that Coinbase’s reputation of being the first-choice option for beginners precedes itself. The platform’s ease of use is excellent and you can easily fund your account to begin building a crypto portfolio. There are enough advanced trading features to keep experienced users interested in the separate Coinbase Pro exchange platform.
|Core Services||Fiat-to-crypto, digital asset storage, advanced trading with Coinbase Pro|
|Fiat Currencies||USD, EUR, GBP|
|Deposit Methods||Varies by country|
|Deposit Fees||Varies by method|
|Trading Fees||0.5% maker and 0.5% taker|
|Mobile App||Yes (iOS and Android)|
What Is Coinbase?
Coinbase is a digital currency brokerage that was founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam. Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Coinbase is currently the largest cryptocurrency trading platform in the United States by trading volume. After almost a decade of operation, the exchange is one of the most renowned names in the crypto industry where it has reached over 73 million users in over 100 countries around the world.
In April 2021, Coinbase (COIN) became publically listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. This was a key milestone in the exchange’s ongoing goal of increasing the level of economic freedom for everyday people. This goal is a driver for Co-founder and CEO, Brian Armstrong, and has shaped the strategy of Coinbase for the next 5+ years. Currently, Coinbase is ranked #2 in the world for trading volume, where approximately $2.5 billion of crypto transactions are completed on a daily basis.
Coinbase Pros & Cons
- Simple to understand and use interface with an easy crypto buying process
- Access advanced trading interface and charting features on Coinbase Pro
- Receive direct phone assistance from the highly accessible customer support team
- Obtain a highly secure and reliable online wallet to store funds, assets and NFTs
- Robust security measures, excellent safety track record and insurance cover
- Available to residents in the United States.
- Account financing options are limited
- Limited coin staking options
Top Coinbase Features You Should Know
A Beginner-Friendly Interface
The Coinbase interface was designed with simplicity in mind and allows you to step into the world of cryptocurrency with ease. Features such as the buying, selling, and converting crypto panels are clearly laid out and highly functional with no unnecessary buttons. This is one of Coinbase’s main selling points and is a big reason why the platform boasts one of the largest user bases in the world.
By offering a paired-back version of the usual TradingView interface, Coinbase does an excellent job of simplifying the experience of trading crypto while offering you the essential features needed for trading. Undoubtedly, an experienced investor would need a more advanced charting package (which is what Coinbase Pro is for), but as far as user-friendly interfaces go, Coinbase is one of the best around.
Unlike most crypto exchanges that provide an in-built wallet upon signup, Coinbase also has the option to transfer cryptocurrency to a non-custodial digital wallet designed by Toshi Holding Ltd. While these types of hot-storage mobile/web wallets will never be as secure as hardware wallets like the Trezor or Nano Ledger, the Coinbase Wallet app provides an easy avenue into the experience of owning your own private keys and having complete control over your cryptocurrency.
The Coinbase Wallet provides you with the following features:
- Store multiple digital currencies including BTC, ETH, BCH, ETC, LTC, and ERC-20 tokens.
- Use a range of dapps.
- View real-time market prices.
- Trade tokens on DEXes.
- Earn interest on crypto holdings.
- Purchase NFTs.
Contrary to popular belief, a Coinbase account is not needed to access the Coinbase wallet app. The wallet’s software is also protected with Secure Enclave, a popular secure compressor with a hardware key manager separate from the main processor which reduces the risk of cyberattacks.
Although Coinbase is a beginner-friendly platform with many features that cater to novice investors, they also offer Coinbase Pro for experienced users who want a more advanced and extensive trading experience. Coinbase Pro was launched in 2016 as the Global Digital Asset Exchange (GDAX), which was later rebranded as Coinbase Pro. Coinbase Pro provides advanced charting and trading options as well as a wider coin selection.
This platform is well-suited for professional high-volume traders who will be able to execute large orders and benefit from Coinbase Pro’s deep global liquidity. Coinbase Pro also has lower fees than Coinbase but it may not be the ideal option if you want the easiest way to buy cryptocurrency.
You are able to buy, trade, and sell over 200 digital currencies including Bitcoin (BTC), stablecoins, and altcoins. You have access to real-time charting tools with moving averages, trade history, and the order book so you can assess spreads and trading volumes. Additionally, Coinbase Pro offers several order types including stop orders, limit orders, and margin orders.
Staking is a huge selling point for Coinbase, providing the ability to earn staking rewards of up to 5% Annual Percentage Yield (APY). Staking your idle crypto holdings is a viable option to earn a passive income. Coinbase also supports ETH 2.0 staking, however, unfortunately, this has not yet been expanded to include Australian traders. Digital assets that can be staked include Algorand (ALGO), Cosmos (ATOM), Ethereum (ETH), and Tezos (XTZ).
Coinbase carries crime insurance which can be used in the event that digital assets stored online are affected by theft or other cybersecurity breaches. However, the loss of funds from unauthorized access to your Coinbase or Coinbase Pro accounts is not covered. In the case of a security breach event, Coinbase will endeavor to recoup the losses.
Coinbase Learn & Earn
Coinbase has a system that encourages you to learn about crypto and incentivizes them with cryptocurrency rewards. This is called the Coinbase Learn & Earn program.
Participants engage in a structured course to give them a basic understanding of the various crypto topics. You can “unlock” lessons by completing lessons and tasks which include videos and short quizzes.
Is Coinbase Safe To Use?
Coinbase is a safe and secure crypto exchange platform that integrates industry-leading security measures into its operational framework to protect funds and assets against loss or theft.
Coinbase security features include:
- Cold storage of 98% of customer funds at geographically distributed vaults and safe deposit boxes.
- Disconnection of sensitive data from the internet where it is susceptible to security breaches.
- Encryption of sensitive data to AES-256 standards and copied to FIPS-140 USB drives and paper backups which are then stored in secure locations.
- Website traffic runs over is encrypted SSL and wallet and their private keys protected by AES-256 encryption techniques.
- 2FA enables the protection of your accounts against unauthorized access by third parties.
- Strong organizational security measures comprising background checks for employees, two-step verification procedures, and encryption of devices.
- Structured Query Language (SQL) injection filters to protect against cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) attacks.
Deposit & Withdrawal Fees
Coin charges a range of minor fees for account deposits and withdrawals. There are no fees for US investors to deposit USD into their accounts via ACH bank transfers. Transferring crypto from the Coinbase wallet to another wallet does not incur a fee, however, a standard blockchain charge will apply depending on the asset and network congestion.
|DEPOSIT METHOD||DEPOSIT FEE||WITHDRAWAL FEE|
|Wire (USD)||$10 USD||$25 USD|
|SEPA (EUR)||€0.15 EUR||€0.15 EUR|
|Swift (GBP)||None||£1 GBP|
Coinbase trading fees follow a maker and taker model where the fees that are actually incurred are dependent on your pricing tier. Maker and taker fees with Coinbase start at 0.5% and 0.5%, respectively, and can be reduced depending on your 30-day trading volume. For example, if your trading volume is between $10,000 and $50,000, then the resulting trading fees are 0.35% (maker) and 0.35% (taker).
Coinbase trading fees are fairly competitive in the global market but the platform is not the cheapest option available. Rival exchanges with similar features such as Binance (0.1% maker/0.1% taker), KuCoin (0.1% maker/0.1% taker), and FTX (0.02% maker/0.07% taker) offer lower trading fees which mean better value for money, especially over the long term.
|PRICING TIER||MAKER FEE||TAKER FEE|
|$0 – $10K||0.50%||0.50%|
|$10K – $50K||0.35%||0.35%|
|$50K – $100K||0.15%||0.25%|
|$100K – $1M||0.10%||0.20%|
|$1M – $10M||0.08%||0.18%|
|$10M – $20M||0.08%||0.18%|
|$20M – $50M||0.05%||0.15%|
|$50M – $100M||0.05%||0.15%|
|$100M – $300M||0.05%||0.10%|
Coinbase Card Fees
Coinbase charges no fees for spending USDC using the Coinbase Card, however, a flat 2.49% fee will be incurred if other cryptocurrencies are spent. You should note that fees may also be incurred by the ATM operator.
Coinbase is a global cryptocurrency exchange platform that provides its products and services to over 100 countries around the world including Canada, the United States, Australia, Brazil, Germany, France, Japan, Hong Kong, and New Zealand. Cryptocurrency conversion services are available to a limited number of countries including Australia, the USA, and the United Kingdom, as well as several European countries.
If you are interested to learn about the top crypto exchanges in Australia and New Zealand, then you can read our reviews of locally registered and licensed platforms.
How To Get Started With Coinbase
Signing up with Coinbase will require a valid email address, strong password, and mobile number to provide a means of 2FA. ID verification is a mandatory requirement to satisfy Know-Your-Customer (KYC) protocols and you can choose to upload or take a photo of your government-issued passport or driver’s license. In our experience, ID verification was able to be completed in 7 minutes which is fairly fast compared to other exchanges where the process can take up to 1 day.
Following account creation and ID verification, you will be prompted to set up your preferred account financing method. Depending on your country of origin, you can choose from the following to deposit fiat currencies into your account:
- Bank account transfers
- EPA Payments
- Wire transfers
- Debit card
- Faster Payments
- 3D Secure Card
Ease Of Use
The refreshingly simple user interface provided by Coinbase is one of the key reasons that it has become an extremely popular choice for investors who are new to cryptocurrency. Similar to other exchanges, Coinbase presents a list of tradeable assets including BitCoin, Ethereum, Cardano, Solana, and many more. By adding filters including a selectable timeframe (e.g. 1 day, 1 week), and top gainers or losers, beginners who are new to crypto have a bit more flexibility with suitable coins to buy, sell, or convert.
Upon selecting a digital currency, a simple line chart presenting the market price over time is shown so you can obtain a reasonable understanding of where the current price sits compared to its history. You can then make a reasonably well-informed decision on whether or not to buy or sell.
The dashboard is presented in a way that is easy to understand and the navigation bar on the left provides quick links to the main features and options. There are no order books, trade history, or volume profiles that might confuse you.
Adjacent to the price chart, the order entry window has two options to buy and sell for the selected coin. You can automate recurring orders (sometimes referred to as Dollar-Cost-Averaging) by placing a market order to get an asset at its current price and selecting a frequency (i.e. daily, weekly, fortnightly, or monthly).
Overall, the Coinbase trading interface strikes a nice balance between simplicity and providing enough features to give new investors a level of flexibility in their cryptocurrency purchasing.
The Coinbase interface promotes the use of the Help Centre as the first point of call for those seeking technical assistance with issues or who have queries. The Help Centre contains a wealth of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and other informative guides that are sorted into several key categories.
The ‘Learn’ section is located separately from the Help Centre and possesses a series of articles and video helpful tutorials that beginners will benefit from. We found the quality of each video tutorial to be outstanding where specific topics were covered in full and in an easy-to-digest way.
There are two ways where you can get in touch with the Coinbase customer service team including direct phone support, a live chatbot, or via an email ticket system. The addition of direct phone support is an uncommon but welcome feature in the wider crypto industry. Like almost all other exchange platforms, the 24/7 virtual assistant bot is there for more immediate help.
Coinbase has a mobile app for iOS and Android mobile devices where you can experience all the features that are available on the desktop version. Coinbase Pro is not supported. The mobile app is user-friendly and not cluttered, however, we did experience slight latency issues switching between the key functions. The mobile app can be linked to the Coinbase Wallet mobile app to provide a seamless and complete crypto trading and storage solution.
Coinbase is a great starting point for beginner investors and experienced traders will feel at home using Coinbase Pro. The exchange is highly reputable with excellent security and crypto features. The following exchanges offer similar features that are reputable and trustworthy alternatives.
- Binance – Binance is the world’s #1 ranked crypto exchange in terms of traffic, trading volume, and liquidity. Binance’s strengths lie in its high liquidity for trading pairs, lower trading fees, a wide range of services, and innovative features.
- Crypto.com – Crypto.com is a global crypto exchange that is well-known for its ecosystem of innovative products and services that make it a one-stop shop for crypto users. The Crypto.com app has been downloaded by over 100 million users and allows customers to buy, sell crypto, stake, earn interest, and shop using their digital currencies.
- Kraken – Kraken has established itself in over 190 countries where investors have access to 54+ digital currencies. Features include futures/margin trading, staking, and the ability to trade on multiple exchanges through a single platform. It is suitable for investors who want to maximize their portfolios through the use of advanced trading features.
- Bybit – Bybit is a leading cryptocurrency derivatives exchange with an emphasis on leveraged margin trading. The platform has attracted over 3 million users and offers an advanced trading interface full of high-level features.
- eToro – eToro is a multi-asset social trading platform that offers cryptocurrency, stock, and CFD trading to people all over the world. With over 20 million users, eToro is a global leader in social trading. If following the success of other traders is of interest then eToro will be a great option for copy trading.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Coinbase Have A Mobile App?
Coinbase offers apps that are compatible with iOS and Android mobile devices. The apps have all the features available via the web-based Coinbase platform and are packaged in an easy-to-use interface that makes trading incredibly simple. The Coinbase Wallet app can be downloaded separately and linked to the individual’s Coinbase account.
Does Coinbase Provide A Cryptocurrency Wallet?
Coinbase provides you with a free online wallet storage wallet that can be integrated with the mobile app. You can use the wallet to store up to 4,000 digital currencies and NFTs, as well as use dapps. Although the wallet is self-hosted, it is still protected by Coinbases’s industry-leading security measures.
Does Coinbase Provide Insurance?
Coinbase carries crime insurance that protects a portion of digital assets stored online from theft and including cybersecurity breaches. However, the policy does not cover any losses resulting from unauthorized access to your personal Coinbase or Coinbase Pro account(s) due to a breach or loss of login credentials.
Is Coinbase Legit?
Coinbase is a legitimate and reliable cryptocurrency exchange that is trusted by over 73 million users across over 100 countries. The platform is highly regulated in the United States as a provider of digital currency services and adheres to strict regulations in each of its jurisdictions including KYC protocols.
Our Coinbase Verdict
Coinbase is an extremely popular beginner-friendly cryptocurrency platform that is perfect for those new to the space. The interface is extremely easy to use, and there is a wealth of educational resources, and strong customer support for novice investors and traders.
For traders requiring a more advanced charting package and wider coin selection, Coinbase offers their sister platform Coinbase Pro which has these users covered.
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