Comprehensive Review of Coinbase Exchange (2020)

Coinbase is one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world with unparalleled trading volume and a long-standing reputation for industry-leading security. It’s simply one of the best ways to buy Bitcoin. Based in the United States — San Francisco to be specific — Coinbase has been in operation since 2012 making them one of the earliest adopters and providers of various cryptocurrency-related products. Over the years the company has entered into partnerships with a variety of mainstream companies such as Dell, Overstock, Time Inc, which helped solidify them as one of the most trusted organizations in the cryptocurrency community.

Coinbase Overview

Coinbase Logo

Coinbase

  • User-friendly
  • Great customer service
  • Low services fees
  • Diverse and consistently updated choice of coins

Pros and Cons

The Benefits PRO's
  • New users can earn free crypto through coinbase.com/learn
  • User friendly design with simple buy/sell buttons with clearly indicated prices

  • Diverse and consistently updated choice of coins

  • Built their own stable coin (USDC) that allows users to protect their investments by selling volatile assets like Bitcoin or Ethereum, for a stable asset like the USDC
The Downside CON's
  • Fees are right in the middle of industry standards

  • Your account could be shut down depending on where you send your cryptocurrency after having bought it on Coinbase


  • Significant identity verification required

Coinbase at a Glance

Users
30+
million
Volume
100+
million
Trust rating
high
Overall rating
high

Setting up a Coinbase Exchange Account

Step 1: Create Your Coinbase Account

The first step is to create a Coinbase account by providing basic identity information:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Email Account
  • Creating a secure password
  • Confirming you are 18 years of age or older

 

 

Step 2: Verifying Your Email Address

Coinbase will send an email to your account and require email verification.

 

Step 3: Add a Phone Number

You must add a phone number immediately after validating your email address.

 

Providing a phone number is required for a 2-step verification. Coinbase will text a 7 digit verification code to your mobile device.

 

Step 4: Providing Personal Information and Selecting a Payment Method

You must then provide basic information including payment address and your name. In addition, you’ll need to prove your identity by providing a scan of one of the following:

  • Passport
  • Driver’s License
  • Photo I.D.

There’s a little bit of processing time but you should be able to purchase Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies from Coinbase as soon as you complete the aforementioned steps.

Funding Methods at Coinbase

Method Buy Sell Speed
Bank Account (ACH) Yes Yes 4-5 days
Credit/Debit Card Yes No Instant
Wire transfer No Yes 1-3 business days

What Can You Buy on the Coinbase?

Coinbase enables the purchase of many different cryptocurrencies, including all the majors such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and Litecoin. Coinbase is not limited to just the biggest coins, however, and there are some underrated coins on the exchange such as Stellar, DAI, BAT and more. Here’s a look at some of the more notable coins available on Coinbase:

The standard Coinbase offers support for desktop and mobile, which means that Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android users all get access to the site.

Interestingly Coinbase also offers a Pro version for advanced users, which is only available for desktop. The company also offers a standalone wallet, which is available for mobile users.

Is Coinbase Safe?

Yes. Coinbase is one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world and has a sterling reputation for security. Perhaps most importantly the exchange keeps nearly 99% of its users’ digital assets in offline cold storage.

Coinbase also requires that you validate a phone number by entering a code they send you through a text message. After validating your phone number, it is recommended you set up a more secure 2FA (two-factor authentication) method. Direct text message 2FA is not as secure as they can be hijacked by hackers while your text is in transit.

Coinbase has mandatory two-factor authentication (2FA) on your account, to ensure that your account remains secure. There are other ways to further enhance your Coinbase account security. With security, more is typically better, so you may as well take advantage of all the security features that Coinbase offers.

Upon deleting your account, Coinbase has provided you with the ability to request the information you gave to them in the first place. You can also request that Coinbase deletes the information from their servers. With privacy being a large concern in the lives of individuals, Coinbase gets brownie points for properly handling, and discarding your personal information if that’s something you would like them to do.

Are Coinbase Fees High?

Coinbase uses a flat + percent fee structure on all of their operations.

 Coinbase has a rather dynamic fee structure depending on the operation taken on the site, ( Buys / Sells / Trades ). They’ve implemented tiered fees depending on the type and volume of the operation. 

Overall, Coinbase is transparent about their fee structures. It’s broken out with granular articulation which definitely increases the trust factor that we have for Coinbase. All in all, Coinbase runs a tight and exceptional service in the crypto industry—it’s not surprising why they are able to charge the fees that they do. Seasoned cryptocurrency traders may look for exchanges with lower fees but it’s hard to ignore the high amount of trust that Coinbase brings to the picture.

Coinbase Frequently Asked Questions

About the Author

Arthur Crowson, CryptoVantage

Arthur Crowson

Arthur Crowson is an award-winning writer and editor who hails from the Pacific Northwest. His career began in traditional news media but he transitioned to the online arena in the mid-2000s and has written extensively about the online poker boom and the rise of cryptocurrency.