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Coinbase Review 2021: Pros + Cons and Comparison

By William
Published in Reviews
September 08, 2021
11 min read
Coinbase Review 2021: Pros + Cons and Comparison

Website:
Link
Country:
US, AU, UK
Transaction Fees:
2%
Currencies Available:
260+
Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Biggest exchange worldwide
  • Publicly traded company (trustworthy)
  • $10 Welcome bonus
!
Cons
  • Relatively high fees

If you are interested in cryptocurrency exchange, then you have likely heard of Coinbase. Coinbase is one of the most well-established platforms for digital currency exchange. To give you a better understanding of this platform, we have created this Coinbase review. Read on to see what makes Coinbase one of the most popular places to buy and sell digital currency.

Coinbase Bonus: Get $10 Free Bitcoin with our exclusive referral link. Click here to join for $10 free!

This article will cover several topics to supply you with a comprehensive knowledge of Coinbase and its most notable features. Here is a table of contents to guide you through the content in this post.

  1. Pros and Cons of Coinbase
  2. What is Coinbase
  3. Coinbase History
  4. What Coins Can You Buy on Coinbase?
  5. Coinbase Payment Methods
  6. Coinbase Transaction Fees
  7. Supported Countries
  8. Coinbase Account Types
  9. How to Get a Coinbase Account
  10. Who Should Use Coinbase?
  11. Coinbase Frequently Asked Questions
  12. Conclusion

The sections below will expand on each of those subjects and more to teach you everything you need to know about Coinbase as a platform for cryptocurrency exchange.

Coinbase is one of the longest-standing cryptocurrency exchange platforms in existence. Since 2012, this company has allowed users a secure way to manage their bitcoin. Since then, they have expanded to support many forms of cryptocurrency. In this Coinbase review, you can learn everything you need to know about one of the most notable cryptocurrency platforms around.

Pros and Cons of Coinbase

Before we proceed to some of the finer details about the Coinbase platform, let’s begin with a general overview. For your convenience, we have listed the main pros and cons of the Coinbase platform below.

Pros:

  • Easy-to-use interface: The simplicity of the Coinbase user-interface makes it so that even those with no background will have no issue learning how to use Coinbase.
  • Options for all experience levels: Coinbase comes in two forms that have different functionalities. While the basic version works well for beginners, the pro version has services for those with a deeper knowledge of how to trade digital currency.
  • Many investment options: Coinbase comes with a wide range of coin options as well as flexible payment options depending on your location. Coinbase Pro also incorporates many options for tracking and trading your funds.

Cons:

  • Relatively high fees: Compared to other platforms, the Coinbase fees are somewhat high. However, you can avoid many of those high fees by using Coinbase Pro rather than a regular Coinbase account.
  • No desktop version: Coinbase does not come with a desktop application. That limitation means that you will need to use your web browser or your mobile app to trade on the platform.

What is Coinbase?

Coinbase is a web-based platform that allows users to do the following with their cryptocurrency investments:

  • Buy
  • Sell
  • Transfer
  • Store

In each of these essential operations, Coinbase strives to make using their platform as easy as can be. This ease of use makes Coinbase a great starting point for those who are new to the world of digital currency.

But while it is good for beginners, Coinbase also has some upgrade options for experienced traders as well. This makes Coinbase one of the most well-rounded platforms around.

Coinbase does not come in a desktop version like many other crypto platforms. Instead, it is an online platform that includes a mobile app as well.

Coinbase succeeds in pleasing users of all experience levels and provides those users with plenty of options as they track and alter their portfolios. To provide such a good user experience, Coinbase draws on its relatively long history in the crypto game.

Coinbase History

Coinbase has been around since 2012. Considering the first cryptocurrency came into use just three years earlier, the company has a fairly extensive history as it relates to the digital currency market.

Since its inception nearly a decade ago, Coinbase has provided a secure way to trade cryptocurrencies. The dedication of this company has led to them gaining millions of users in over 100 countries throughout the world.

Coinbase is one of the most reliable platforms for those with and without experience in trading crypto. It also has the backing of several reputable global investing groups.

Coinbase Origin and Growth

Coinbase began as the brainchild of Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam who had previous experience working at Airbnb and Goldman Sachs, respectively. Through their collaboration, the pair gained several large investments in the year following their launch.

In the early years, the Coinbase Creators focused on adding new functionality as the digital currency market grew. These advancements included support for different payment types and strategic partnerships with powerful companies like Dell, Expedia, Time Inc.

As a result of those efforts, Coinbase managed to reach one million users in 2014. Following that success, the company continued its growth by gaining licensure to trade popular cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Litecoin.

While most of Coinbase’s history is a story of success, the company has also faced some setbacks. The most prominent of these came at the end of 2017 when an insider trading investigation took place shortly after Coinbase added Bitcoin Cash to their trading list.

Despite that hiccup, Coinbase continues to grow. As of this year, their continued expansion has made them one of the most popular exchange platforms in the world.

What Coins Can You Buy on Coinbase?

One of the best parts about using Coinbase is that there are so many digital coins that you can buy, sell, and transfer. These options include some of the most popular cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. But you can also find these currencies on Coinbase as well:

  1. Aave
  2. Algorand
  3. Cosmos
  4. EThe Balancer
  5. Band Protocol
  6. Basic Attention Token
  7. Bitcoin Cash
  8. Bancor Network Token
  9. Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision
  10. Celo
  11. Compound
  12. Civic
  13. Dai
  14. Dash
  15. districtOx
  16. EOS
  17. Ethereum Classic
  18. Filecoin
  19. The Graph
  20. Golem
  21. Kyber Network
  22. Chainlink
  23. Loom Network
  24. Loopring
  25. Decentraland
  26. Maker
  27. Numeraire
  28. NuCypher
  29. OMG Network
  30. Orchid
  31. Ren
  32. Augur
  33. Synthetix
  34. USD Coin
  35. Universal Market Access
  36. Uniswap
  37. Wrapped Bitcoin
  38. Stellar Lumens
  39. Ripples
  40. Tezos
  41. Yearn.finance
  42. Zcash
  43. 0x

With so many options, it is easy to see why so many traders choose to use Coinbase. But if you plan to use this platform too, you need to know about the common Coinbase payment methods.

Coinbase Payment Methods

Since Coinbase operates in so many different countries, they are very accommodating to payment methods. In general, Coinbase will work with individual locales to establish payment options with financial institutions in that area.

In some of the smaller supported countries, payment takes place via a credit card transaction. Coinbase also accepts major currencies like the U.S. Dollars and the Euro.

The means by which you can submit a payment through Coinbase are also numerous. Here are a few of the ways that the platform will allow you to transfer into or out of your account:

  • Via bank account
  • Debit card
  • Credit card
  • ACH transfer
  • Wire transfer

The multitude of payment options makes it easy for many people to get involved in cryptocurrency exchanges. Each one comes with a different fee for each transaction.

Coinbase Transaction Fees

The transaction fees for Coinbase come in many forms. They vary based on where you live as well as the method you choose to make your transaction. For the sake of simplicity, let’s look at the United States Coinbase transaction fees.

In the United States, Coinbase has a base fee of 4% for all transactions. At first, this seems to be a straightforward rate. But a closer look shows that these fees are a bit more complex. The reason for this is that.

Coinbase will waive a portion of their transaction fees for certain types of payment. Here is how the transaction fees look after accounting for the portion of the fee that Coinbase waives:

  • US bank account: 1.49%
  • Coinbase USD Wallet: 1.49%
  • Debit Card: 3.99%
  • ACH transfer: Free
  • Wire transfer: $10 (Incoming) $25 (Outgoing)

Acceptable payment methods and their associated rates will vary depending on the country where you are using your Coinbase account. But the rates for the United States represent a good idea of what you can expect for Coinbase fees in general.

Supported Countries

Coinbase and Coinbase Pro are available in many different countries throughout the world. To give you an idea of how widely available Coinbase is, here is a breakdown of Coinbase support by continent.

  • 18 countries in North America, including Canada, the United States, and Mexico
  • Eight countries in South America, including Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay
  • 40 countries in Europe, including Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, and the United Kingdom
  • 20 countries in Asia, including Hong Kong, India, and Singapore
  • 13 countries in Africa, including Cameroon, Kenya, and South Africa

That list shows the extensive reach of the Coinbase network. Along with those many locations, residents of New Zealand can also access the Coinbase platform.

However, while the Coinbase range is broad, there are still several places where you cannot use Coinbase. Perhaps most notably, Coinbase does not currently list Australia in its list of supported countries.

Coinbase Account Types

For individuals, there are two main types of Coinbase accounts. The first account is the standard Coinbase account that has all of the basic functionality that a beginner or intermediate crypto trader would need.

The second account is the Coinbase Pro account. These accounts build on the functions of the basic version and give traders greater control. Because this version allows for more complex calculations and transactions, it is better for those with some experience with digital currency.

Both account types are advantageous to different types of people. Read on to learn more about each one and learn which is right for you.

Basic Coinbase Account Services

Coinbase offers a few foundational services that help users keep track of their cryptocurrency investments. Upon logging in, Coinbase users have several options for how they wish to use their accounts.

Users have the choice to buy and sell a wide range of digital currencies. When buying, you will specify a certain dollar amount for the currency you wish to own. Along with an easy process for buying, Coinbase makes selling a simple process as well.

For your convenience, the platform permits you to set a schedule for cryptocurrency sales or conversions. The same is true for cryptocurrency purchases, which gives you the chance to build your investments consistently over time.

Outside of those basic transactions, Coinbase also makes tracking your portfolio a very easy endeavor. Their straightforward user interface lets you check your balance and view the activity of your investments over different periods of time.

With those intuitive statistics, you will not struggle to understand the performance of your crypto investments. That knowledge makes determining your next move a simpler task.

Coinbase also includes a Coinbase wallet in which you can store the value of your cryptocurrencies. Again, the platform makes it easy to send and receive these digital currencies from one wallet to another.

What is Coinbase Pro?

Coinbase also has an elite version called Coinbase Pro. Novice users don’t necessarily need Coinbase Pro since the free version is ideal for a beginner. However, those with more experience can consider upgrading their Coinbase experience.

Coinbase Pro opens the door to some more sophisticated trading tactics. Those include options such as margin trading. Meanwhile, the Coinbase Pro investment tracking features are also more impressive than those of the free version.

The charts in Coinbase Pro are more flexible, giving you greater control over how you view the performance of your investments. Coinbase Pro also comes with the benefit of fewer trading fees. The standard Coinbase version has a reputation for high service fees. With Coinbase Pro, many of those fees disappear.

Both the standard version of Coinbase and Coinbase Pro only run as a browser application. That means that you will have no options for using a desktop version of the platform. But provided you have a reliable internet connection, Coinbase can give you a comprehensive trading experience within an easy-to-use interface.

How to Get a Coinbase Account

If you are interested in getting started with a Coinbase account, you will be pleased to know that the account creation process is fairly straightforward. To make sure that you are prepared for that process, you should familiarize yourself with the information you will need to create an account.

All new users will need to provide the following items before they can set-up a Coinbase account:

  • Proof of age - All users must be 18 or older
  • Government-issued photo identification
  • A phone number to link to your account
  • The latest version of your browser of the Coinbase App

After you have those items ready, you can proceed to account creation. The Coinbase site offers a step-by-step guide to account creation. Below, we have summarized that guide:

  1. Visit coinbase.com and click “Get started” to follow the account creation process.
  2. After creating an account, verify your email
  3. Verify your phone number
  4. Complete your personal information as it appears on your identification
  5. Use your Coinbase login credentials to verify your identity
  6. Connect a payment method to your account

Each of those steps emphasizes the importance of privacy and security on the Coinbase platform. While it may seem excessive, the extensive background information that Coinbase requires is a matter of safety.

By asking for detailed personal information, Coinbase can make sure that you are the only person with access to your cryptocurrency funds. Take your time to provide accurate information at each stage. After following those six steps, you will be ready to start trading.

Who Should Use Coinbase?

Coinbase is a valuable tool for any cryptocurrency trader. Whether you are a beginner or someone who has traded digital coins for years, the Coinbase platform has something to offer you.

With that said, the basic Coinbase account version is an ideal introduction for novices. This platform is very easy to use which can eliminate much of the confusion that a beginner might face.

That simplicity appears in the form of a clean user interface and layout and a smooth operation of the site’s main functions. Both those characteristics make Coinbase a fantastic starting point for someone who is just getting into cryptocurrency trading.

Once you have expanded your knowledge and skills with trading digital currency, you won’t need to leave the Coinbase platform to expand your trading capabilities. Instead, you should consider upgrading your account to the pro version to continue your crypto growth.

Coinbase Frequently Asked Questions

The world of cryptocurrency is full of answers and areas in need of clarification. Considering digital coin trading is a relatively new phenomenon, even those with extensive investment experience have some questions about the process.

As of now, cryptocurrency remains a volatile arena, but platforms like Coinbase are each doing their part to make the trading process easier and more secure. Still, many people come up with a lot of questions about these platforms. To help you with your understanding, we have listed some answers to some of the most common Coinbase and general cryptocurrency questions.

Is Coinbase Safe?

There are no guarantees in the world of digital currency exchange, and Coinbase is no exception. However, when you compare this platform to some of the other leading options, Coinbase proves to be one of the safest platforms you can find.

The reason for the higher level of security with Coinbase is that nearly all of the funds in your Coinbase account exist in an offline storage place. Because that storage is offline, there is nearly no risk of a hacker gaining access to your funds.

Coinbase keeps a small percentage of funds in an online storage system. But any funds there are insured, meaning that if you lose some of yours, you should be covered.

Additionally, Coinbase has many different licenses that allow for trading to take place safely in the United States. They even have a license in New York, a state with significant restrictions on digital trading platforms.

Is Coinbase Free?

Coinbase accounts are free to create. The fees come into play when you make transactions using the account. Those fees will depend on several factors, including your location as well as your payment method.

Is Coinbase Pro Free?

Despite what many assume, Coinbase Pro accounts are also free to create. Surprisingly, it is cheaper overall to use Coinbase Pro because that version has lower transaction fees. While you may not need all of the functions and services of a pro account, it may be worth getting for the transaction fee savings.

Is Bitcoin a Good Investment?

So far, Bitcoin has proven to be a worthwhile investment for those who invested early. Since 2009, Bitcoin has increased in value from $0 to over $50,000. That rise has led to some significant returns for some.

However, those going into Bitcoin today should do so with knowledge of the fact that this currency is very volatile. While it has risen significantly over time, Bitcoin can also be subject to some sudden drops in value.

Any investment represents some level of risk. But trading Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies come with a greater level of uncertainty than other forms of investment.

Is Coinbase a Wallet?

Coinbase has something called a Coinbase Wallet, in which you can store your cryptocurrency funds. Coinbase is extremely careful about wallet security and gives each user a unique private key to access their wallet. None of those keys are stored in a central location, meaning that you are the only individual who can access your wallet.

Conclusion

There is no way to predict the rise and fall of different digital currencies. But at the very least, you should make sure you are using a reliable platform before you begin one of these investments.

Coinbase is one of the oldest and one of the most dependable cryptocurrency trading platforms in existence. This platform is free to use and will charge you a fee for each transaction.

The Coinbase user interface makes the platform suitable for beginners and experts alike. With those benefits and an admirable level of security, Coinbase is an excellent option for a digital currency trading platform.


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