A Comprehensive Look At Coinbase – Is Coinbase Safe?
- Coinbase in a Nutshell
- How To Use Coinbase Review: Buying and Selling Cryptocurrencies
Coinbase is easily one of the most popular exchanges available out there as it offers a simple-to-use and secure interface for inexperienced users to buy and sell top cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash. The platform allows you to use your credit card or bank account to make payments and choose to have a USD wallet or a cryptocurrency wallet. Moreover, Coinbase is backed by exceptionally high-security standards which fortifies the security of clients’ wallets, whether it contains fiat money or cryptocurrency.
To help you learn all about Coinbase, in this review we are going to dig deeper into the exchange, looking at what it offers, security, its wallets, how to buy and sell cryptocurrency, security features, and everything in between.
Coinbase in a Nutshell
Founded in 2012, Coinbase is a cryptocurrency exchange that boasts more than 10 million customers. Based in San Francisco, California, Coinbase which was led by Fred Ehrsam and Brian Armstrong has grown in popularity expanding globally and accommodating 32 countries. With the assistance of venture capital from famous investors, the exchange has managed to dominate the cryptocurrency trading industry, taking the lead position in many regions.
Unlike other exchanges, Coinbase complies with laws and regulations by different regulatory and governing bodies globally, ensuring safety for its users. Users on the platform don’t transact anonymously; every transaction is traceable to a user’s account should one use the platform illegally. Some of the bodies the platform complies with amidst in the US include:
- Registration with FinCEN
- State transmission laws
- Bank Secrecy Act
- USA Patriot Act
Is Coinbase Wallet Safe? – It’s Perfect For Beginners!
Perhaps one of the factors that have contributed to the immense popularity of Coinbase is the fact that the platform is beginner friendliness. The website exhibits a simple design, making it extremely easy for new traders and investors to purchase cryptocurrencies.
When you navigate further on the Coinbase website, you will also realize that finding information on wallets is a breeze. The platform allows you to create numerous wallets, giving you an opportunity to acquire and organize some of the top cryptocurrencies hassle-free. You will find cryptocurrency and the blockchain to be a valuable financial tool in your near and long-term future.
Is Coinbase safe? Let’s be honest: finding an exchange that allows you to securely purchase cryptocurrencies using a credit/debit card is not easy, and even if you do – the process is a nightmare! Well, not for Coinbase. The exchange allows even new users to purchase Bitcoin and other cryptos using their cards or bank accounts and receive them instantly. And there’s more; if you wish to sell your crypto instead, the process is as comfortable as purchasing.
Most exchanges out there accept a myriad of cryptocurrencies, including the top digital currencies and altcoins. Well, sadly, Coinbase doesn’t fall into that category. The platform only supports four cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash (added in December 2017), Ethereum, and Litecoin.
Most people see this as a good move, especially when it comes to beginners. Most new investors are not looking to scroll through the thousands of altcoins around, but only to put their money on the most popular cryptocurrencies with high market capitalization. Coinbase, however, is open to additional cryptos is the future after reviewing them critically.
Fiat Currency Support
Here is where Coinbase beats most of its competitors. Apart from accepting deposits on cryptocurrencies, the platform also supports fiat currency. You can deposit your money into the platform’s wallet and use it to buy cryptocurrencies. Alternatively, you can sell your cryptocurrencies in exchange for fiat currency.
Fiat currencies supported by the Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange include: USD ($), GBP (£), EUR (€), SGD, CAD
There are many ways you can buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and other cryptocurrencies on Coinbase.
When it comes to making a purchase, you can choose any of the following options:
- Credit Card
- Debit Card
- Bank Transfer
If you want to sell your cryptocurrencies you can choose between:
- Bank Transfer
Coinbase fees range from 1.49% to 3.99%, which depends on the payment method you choose as well as your host country. Some people might argue that this is considerably low when compared to other exchanges out there. Others may scoff at the maximum that is charged on credit card.
To help you understand about Coinbase fees, let’s break down their charges:
- US-based Users – Users in the United States will be charged a $1.49% fee for purchases made using bank transfer. This transaction is, however, not instant. The trade settles anywhere from 5 to 7 days. If they use a credit card, they will occur a 3.99% fee, but the cryptocurrencies will be deposited in their accounts instantly.
- Europe-based Users – Customers based in Europe can purchase cryptocurrencies using SEPA bank transfers and get charged a 1.49% fee. However, unlike US bank transfers which take longer, those done with SEPA bank are typically settled within 1 – 3 business days. The charges applied for credited cards are still 3.99%.
- Sending Crypto User-User – If you send cryptocurrencies to another user (limit set at 0.001), you won’t get charged. Coinbase covers miner’s fees, whether you are sending the coins to another user on the same platform or any other wallet.
Coinbase has strict limits as to how much you can transact on the platform. The trade limit depends on your verification status, your location and payment method.
For instance, verified customers based in Europe can only transact up to 30,000 Euros. Citizens of United States may encounter these limits:
- $50 maximum for purchases via Credit Card
- $5,000 maximum for purchases via Bank Transfer
- $50,000 maximum sells using any payment method
Get started with Coinbase here.
How To Use Coinbase Review: Buying and Selling Cryptocurrencies
Whether you want to purchase Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin or Bitcoin cash on Coinbase, you will love the process. It’s easy and straightforward, provided you remain based in any of the 32 supported countries.
If you want to buy cryptocurrencies on the platform, all you need is to set up an account with the platform and fill in all the required details: first and last name, email, and password. Then you need to select your account type (Individual – if it’s for your personal use or Business – if you intend to purchase for corporate purposes). Coinbase will ask you to verify your phone number, after which you can proceed to set up your payment methods.
Once your account is set up, proceed to the Buy/Sell section and choose your preferred digital currency. Then choose the payment method (be sure to use one that you have already set up). Hit Buy and your coins will credit to your account. If you use a credit card, then it will be instant. If you choose the bank account option, you might want to wait from 5-7 days (for those in the US) or 1-3 days (for those in Europe who used SEPA).
When it comes to selling your cryptocurrencies, the process is as simple as buying. You hit the Buy/Sell option and then select the Sell tab, filling in all the required details: amount, where to debit coins from, and payment method. For this option, your payment options are PayPal and Bank Transfer.
The nature of cryptocurrency transactions calls for utmost security. You see, although each transaction is trackable on the blockchain network, the identity of the end user (outside Coinbase) remains anonymous. Coinbase understands this issue very well and doesn’t take it lightly. It goes ahead to put into place extreme security measures to ensure that customer funds remain protected.
Coinbase enjoys the backing of trusted financial investors and venture capital by prestigious institutions and banks, which means that it cannot compromise on security. To keep users’ cryptocurrency and funds safe, it utilizes four key tactics:
Security Measures For Coinbase
- 2FA Authentication – Coinbase employs 2FA authentication to ensure that no unauthorized persons can access an account. You can choose between Google or phone number authentication. With 2FA you will need to enter a randomly generated code before accessing your account.
- Coinbase Secure Vault – If you wish to store a vast number of cryptocurrencies you can use the secure Coinbase vault. Digital currencies stored using this means stay protected over multiple layers of security – just like it happens on the blockchain network – and all have to confirm your request before you can be allowed to withdraw. The entire process could take approximately 48 hours.
- Multisig Vault – This option is also for the substantial investors who intend to keep their digital assets secure for a long time. They will also have direct control over their funds. It uses three keys: one stays encrypted with your password you are allowed to hold, another becomes shared, and the last one remains with Coinbase. If you want to initiate any transaction, your key and any of the remaining two can be used, and it will keep your vault safe.
- USD Wallet – If you want to keep your funds in dollars and not cryptocurrencies, you can do so on Coinbase. US-based users are allowed to use a USD wallet, which is insured by FDIC for up to $250,000.
In a bid to provide users with a safe and secure platform to trade cryptocurrency, Coinbase works closely with regulatory bodies and governments to comply with laws and regulations in the industry. It follows standard international financial practices, including KYC, AML and Anti Money Laundering. This regulation, therefore, means that all users on the platform do not operate anonymously.
To become a member of Coinbase, you are required to fill in your details, including name, phone number, email address, and additional items upon verification. Although Coinbase promises to keep all this information in safe hands, it can disclose it to regulatory and governing bodies if there is a security breach.
And there’s more. Considering that Coinbase retains your IP address and personal information, it can track your balance or transactions, confirming if or not you are not laundering money. Although this move has had a lot of criticism lately, the exchange argues that it’s crucial to keep the platform clean and away from nefarious characters.
Coinbase App Review
If you want to buy or sell cryptocurrencies on Coinbase, you don’t have to log in to your account on your laptop or PC, no! If you are traveling or just laying on your bed at home, the exchange platform has a robust application that is supported on both Android and iOS devices. The fully featured Coinbase app allows you to enjoy the platform while on the go, from buying and selling cryptos to adding your preferred payment methods to verifying your contact details and identity. The app also comes in handy for keeping track of price movements with automatic notifications. This is the most popular method for people to access Coinbase.
Countries Supported by Coinbase
Unfortunately, Coinbase isn’t available worldwide. As of this writing, the exchange supports 32 countries, among them including Singapore, United States, UK, Canada, Austria, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Netherlands, and Spain. Coinbase is optimistic that it might continue to add more countries in the future to allow more people to access their services.
Coinbase Customer Support
When it comes to customer support, Coinbase has been doing pretty well in the past few years. It responded promptly to emails, with a wait time being 24 – 72 hours. The impressive customer support is, sadly, not there anymore. Although the staffs eventually respond to queries, some users believe that the time taken could be better. Some emergency situations need 72 hours or more to fulfill; some people may receive automated responses. There have also been complaints about an increased suspension of accounts, affiliate rewards abuse, and blockchain patents.
There isn’t a single business out there without flaws, especially when it comes to customer service. The delays could be due to the high number of users that are signing up for the exchange or many tickets in the queue.
Why Buy Bitcoin On Coinbase?
Although Coinbase is a robust exchange platform backed by Venture Capitalists, it has its benefits and drawbacks. Overall, the company boasts a good reputation thanks to its trustworthiness and reliability, which serves millions of investors globally.
Coinbase Wallet Review
- Extremely easy to use
- Moderate fees
- Incredibly high-security measures
- Complies with US regulators and governing bodies
- Speedy transactions – buying and selling crypto
- Provides a wide range of payment options
- Complaints about poor customer service
- Doesn’t uphold user anonymity
Although Coinbase has its share of challenges, many agree that it’s a great exchange where new and experienced users can purchase cryptocurrencies. The platform has invested a lot to ensure the funds of customers are safe. This gives individuals a chance to buy and sell cryptocurrencies without the worry of loss. You have several payment method options, including PayPal and Credit Card. This makes Coinbase an even more efficient app when compared to other cryptocurrency exchanges out there. We hope this comprehensive review of Coinbase has helped you locate a secure marketplace to trade cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Get started here.
A graduate of University of Southern California from Los Angeles, California with a Bachelors of Science in Industrial & Systems Engineering and an SAP Specialization.
Jeffrey Ito is an entrepreneur who loves new technologies such as 3D printing, Bitcoin, and iPhone apps. He is the Founder of Lithium Gold, Inc and Digital Green Tea – more than an SEO company. We are an experience founded on teamwork, transparency and achieving massive results.
Jeff enjoys helping people gain an edge with 21st Century break-through technologies. His ultimate vision is to create optimized technology systems that help improve the lives of other people.
If there’s any questions, comments or feedback you have for me – feel free to contact me at any time.