Coinbase is widely regarded as one of the top crypto exchange platforms.
Its system is easy to navigate which allows users to focus on trading crypto to the best of their abilities.
After trying out the platform for myself, I’ve created this review to give you a better idea about what Coinbase has to offer.
By the end of this Coinbase review, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision about whether this is the right crypto trading platform for you.
Introduction to Coinbase
Coinbase was established in 2012 and has since gone on to become one of the world’s most renowned crypto brokers.
They’ve amassed more than 56 million users and their platform is present in more than 100 countries around the globe.
It’s an American platform with 250+ coins available to trade with. These include the popular Ethereum and Bitcoin, as well as smaller coins that not so many people know about.
Who Should Use Coinbase?
Throughout my experience using Coinbase, I kept coming back to one point – this is a fantastic crypto platform for complete beginners.
One of the main reasons for this is the incredibly simple design and navigation. The platform is intuitive which made it easy for me to hop around the different sections to trade with ease.
I liked how I could access Coinbase on my laptop via the internet, as well as on my phone by downloading the app.
Another element that makes this platform great for beginners (and traders of all levels) is the portfolio balance.
This shows up in the centre of the screen when you log in. This was great for giving me an immediate piece of data that let me know exactly how my investments were doing.
The dashboard is the main hub of Coinbase. Not only does it let you see your portfolio balance, but it also enables you to buy and sell crypto. You can even convert crypto to other currencies via the dashboard.
The education centre is fantastic for people who are new to crypto trading. It provides education whilst also enabling you to gain real experience with trading crypto.
This education hub is known as Coinbase Earn and it’s one of the standout features that I came across. It’s packed with videos and tests that beginners can use to gain a fundamental understanding of crypto whilst they’re also investing.
Users can even receive money for completing successful tests which is a great incentive.
This provides a hands-on learning experience which can be incredibly valuable. I liked how Coinbase Earn also delves into the smaller crypto coins to give new traders a broader understanding of everything the platform offers.
So, both beginners and experienced traders can make use of Coinbase for intuitive trading. Having said that, there are different accounts that may suit beginners and pros differently.
The Coinbase Pro account is made for seasoned crypto investors. There’s also a basic account which is ideal for beginners.
I found that the Coinbase Pro account came with more tools which could be a little confusing for crypto newbies.
Therefore, I recommend that beginners stick with the basic account until they’ve learned more about crypto trading.
For experienced traders, the addition of charting tools and the ability to track things like trading history and the market will be incredibly useful.
The Pro account also lets you create buy/sell orders. This is fantastic for trading a certain asset only once it’s at a specific price that you’ve set. It’s a handy automation tool that can save you time and hassle.
I was impressed with how the fees that come with the Pro account are lower when trading crypto. The exact fees will vary according to the trade’s worth.
Whilst Coinbase offers some excellent tools for experienced users, it lacks some of the highly advanced features that are seen among other platforms.
How to Open a Coinbase Account
I liked how opening my Coinbase account was quick and simple. Having said that, the verification system took a little longer than I would have liked.
Here’s a quick rundown on how to open a Coinbase account.
- You can download the app or go to the Coinbase website to sign up.
- Once you click sign up, you’ll be prompted to enter your name, location, and email.
- When you’ve created a password, you’ll be given a captcha to complete.
- Once that’s done, simply accept the privacy and user agreement policies.
- Check the email you signed up with for verification. This is in the form of a link.
- When you click the link, you’ll be taken to a page to enter your phone number and country.
- Coinbase will then text you a code. Enter the code on the website to continue.
- After this, you’ll need to verify your ID further with documentation.
- This is required to buy/sell crypto with Coinbase as it ensures that they’re compliant with money-laundering regulations.
- You’ll need to upload a picture of either your driving licence or passport.
I was signing up on my laptop but signing up on your mobile would make this stage of the process a lot easier.
Is Coinbase Expensive?
Coinbase is amongst the most expensive crypto trading platforms. I noticed that the combination of transaction and trading fees significantly impacted my profits.
This would be especially noticeable for lots of small transactions.
In particular, the credit and debit card fees are high at 3.99%. There’s also the spread cost to factor in.
The spread is the margin between the price a coin was purchased at and the price that you pay to buy it. Coinbase’s spreads are around 0.50% but this is always changing based on the market.
There are several fees to be aware of before using Coinbase. They can get a little confusing as they vary according to whether the percentage fee or flat fee is higher for each transaction.
Here’s an overview of the platform’s transaction costs:
- Transaction of $10 or under – Costs $0.99
- Transaction of $10-$25 – Costs $1.49
- Transaction of $25-$50 – Costs $1.99
- Transaction of $50-$200 – Costs $2.99
- Transaction of over $200 – Percentage fee based on the transaction amount
An overview of Coinbase’s percentage costs according to transaction methods:
- Bank transfer – 1.49%
- Debit or credit card – 3.99%
- SEPA Bank transfers – €0.15 or free in some cases
- Card withdrawals (instant) – No cost
- Faster Payments – No cost
The fee percentages vary according to the transaction method that you choose. I chose bank transfer for all my transfers as the debit/credit cards are significantly higher.
There are also additional costs when using the Coinbase Pro account. The fees for the Pro account are based on how much you’ve traded in the past month.
Coinbase has maker and taker fees. Maker fees apply when orders are placed that aren’t matched by a previous order. This causes the order to be stored until another user put in an order that’s the same as yours.
Taker fees apply when you buy crypto at market price and have it sent directly to your portfolio.
There are varying fees based on whether your transactions are applied with taker or maker fees. Here’s a quick breakdown;
- Trading amounts of $10,000: Taker fee is 0.50% – Maker fee is 0.50%
- Trading amounts of $10,000-$50,000: Taker fee is 0.35% – Maker fee is 0.35%
- Trading amounts of $50,000-$100,000: Taker fee is 0.25% – Maker fee is 0.15%
- Trading amounts of $100,000-$1,000,000: Taker fee is 0.20% – Maker fee is 0.10%
- Trading amounts of $1,000,000-$10,000,000: Taker fee is 0.18% – Maker fee is 0.18%
- Trading amounts of $10,000,000-$50,000,000: Taker fee is 0.15% – Maker fee is 0.05%
- Trading amounts of $50,000,000-$100,000,000: Taker fee is 0.10% – Maker fee is 0%
- Trading amounts of $100,000,000-$300,000,000: Taker fee is 0.07% – Maker fee is 0%
- Trading amounts of $300,000,000-$500,000,000: Taker fee is 0.05% – Maker fee is 0%
- Trading amounts of $500,000,000-$1 billion: Taker fee is 0.04% – Maker fee is 0%
- Trading amounts of over $1 billion: Taker fee is 0.04% – Maker fee is 0%
Storing your crypto when trading with Coinbase is secure and easy. This is due to the wallet that Coinbase provides to users.
The crypto wallet is available on both the web and mobile. This made it easy for me to add crypto to my wallet at any time, no matter where I was.
I felt peace of mind in knowing that most of the crypto kept in wallets is in cold storage. This means that your crypto isn’t held on the internet where it’s more exposed to attacks.
The cold storage by Coinbase is physical hardware that ensures users’ crypto is safe from cybercriminals.
Whilst using the mobile wallet, I was impressed with how easy it was to transfer crypto. This is due to the QR scanning function that made transfers crypto quick and seamless.
I also liked how biometric ID features are used to ensure that my crypto is always safe in the wallet on my mobile.
Savings Account & Withdrawals
I liked being able to store part of my earnings in a separate savings account. This account is easy to use and depositing and withdrawing funds was a quick process.
I simply clicked withdraw at the top of the page in my savings account. I then entered the bank account I wanted the funds withdrawn to and entered the amount.
Bank transfers usually took one business day to complete. Users using the SEPA withdrawal method will have to wait between one and two working days for the funds to appear in their account.
Depositing Money With Coinbase
There are several methods for depositing money with Coinbase. These include bank transfer, SEPA transfer, 3D Secure Card, and Faster Payments.
Simply go to the ‘Payment Methods’ section in your account. Click on the portfolio you want to deposit money into. Click ‘Deposit’ and send funds to your account.
I was impressed with how quickly the funds were available in my account. This allowed me to start trading with my digital currency immediately.
Safety & Security
The FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) regulates Coinbase in the UK. This means that the platform is authorised with advanced security measures to ensure that you can trade and store crypto online safely.
Having said that, UK users aren’t covered for any losses if Coinbase goes bust. This is because Coinbase funds aren’t protected by the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme).
Therefore, any funds in your account aren’t covered if anything goes wrong with the platform.
Aside from that, the security available when using Coinbase is impressive.
In particular, I liked how they offer 2-step authentication. This meant that I had to authenticate myself two times when logging in on both the app on my phone and the web.
Furthermore, logging in from new devices creates a prompt for another authentication step. This ensures that someone trying to log in to my account from an unknown device won’t have access without the proper authentication.
Furthermore, only 2% of assets from Coinbase are stored online. This means that most of your crypto is in what’s known as cold storage. Simply put, this is physical hardware with no internet access.
As a result, your crypto can be safeguarded against cyber criminals. The small percentage of assets held online are used for withdrawals and to let users buy/sell crypto online.
I also liked how Coinbase has a vault. This is used to safeguard accounts with significant balances from withdrawals that aren’t properly authorised.
Users who make withdrawal requests will have their funds sent to a secure locked-down section for 48 hours. The idea here is that this gives users time to prevent the withdrawal from going through if they didn’t authorise it.
Coinbase sends emails and notifications on your phone when withdrawals are made. If a withdrawal for a large amount wasn’t authorised by you, there are 48 hours to stop it from going through.
Spending Crypto In Your Local Currency
If you want to spend your crypto profits in the ‘real world’, you’ll be interested in Coinbase’s card.
The platform offers a Visa Debit card which is linked to your Coinbase account. This allows you to convert your crypto into your local currency. I liked how you can convert funds into currencies all around the world.
I was able to use my card just like a regular Visa debit card. It comes with a 4-digit pin, contactless payment, and ATM withdrawals.
You can select the specific crypto that you want to use in your local currency. The process takes just seconds. I found this beneficial as it allowed me to keep certain crypto that I didn’t want to spend.
Another handy feature that comes with the card is that it provides you with receipts, summaries of spending, and notifications when purchases are made.
This is great for keeping on top of your spending. It’s also helpful for letting you know when your card has been used to ensure that no one is using it fraudulently.
The customer service available with any crypto trading platform is a high priority, especially for beginners. So, how did Coinbase’s customer support team fare?
Not so well.
Coinbase is notorious for taking a while to respond to users. Their customer service system also makes it difficult to speak to someone. A quick look at the reviews online for Coinbase reflects a similar experience.
The customer support options include an email, phone system, and chatbot. Getting a response back from a human is near enough impossible.
This can be incredibly frustrating when you need to speak with someone about an issue. Being met with virtual chat systems makes it difficult to receive specific help.
One of the main concerns about the lack of customer support is that some users have been locked out of their accounts. There are many reasons why this can happen, but speaking with someone to resolve the issue is rarely possible.
This left me feeling a little uneasy. If I got locked out of my account, I don’t see how customer support would help assist me with logging back in and accessing my funds.
If Coinbase improved its customer support, it would be a much more reliable and easily recommended service for traders of all levels.
- PayBis: Offers low fees for crypto trading. Users also like how the verification process is quick and simple.
- CoinMama: if you’re new to buying Bitcoin, CoinMama could be a good place to start. It offers plenty of support when it comes to buying and selling popular cryptocurrencies.
- Kraken: The educational resources make Kraken ideal for those who are new to crypto trading. The customer support is excellent and the platform’s security is top-notch.
Coinbase Pros & Cons
- Fast withdrawals
- Easy-to-use platform
- Educational resources are available
- Fees are high
- No live chat support is available
- Some were hoping for more crypto coins
Coinbase Review – Final Thoughts
Overall, Coinbase is a worthy choice to consider for complete beginners and experienced crypto traders.
The platform is remarkably easy to navigate and it comes with a wealth of educational content. This provides beginners with a fantastic entry point into the world of crypto trading.
Having said that, the fees are pretty high and the customer support is severely lacking. These are two notable areas where Coinbase has dropped the ball.
If they improved these areas, I’d feel more confident in recommending the platform to everyone interested in crypto trading.
Whilst Coinbase is easy to use and offers a wide selection of coins, I can see why the fees and customer support sway people from the platform.
Hopefully, you have a better understanding of what Coinbase offers and whether it’s the right crypto trading platform for your needs.
Is Coinbase legal in the UK?
Yes, Coinbase is legal in the UK. CB Payments, Ltd, which also operates under the name Coinbase, is authorized and regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It is recognised as an electronic money institution (EMI) and holds registration number 900635. This authorization from the FCA confirms that Coinbase meets the necessary regulatory requirements to offer its services in the UK.
Is Coinbase legit?
Yes, Coinbase is a legitimate and reputable cryptocurrency exchange platform. It is one of the largest and most well-known cryptocurrency exchanges globally. Coinbase has been operating since 2012 and has gained a significant user base and industry recognition over the years. The company is headquartered in the United States and complies with regulatory requirements in the jurisdictions it operates in. It has obtained licenses and authorizations in various countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, which further validate its legitimacy. However, it’s always important to conduct your own research and exercise caution when dealing with any financial service.
Does Coinbase accept Paypal?
Coinbase allows US customers to buy cryptocurrency using PayPal as a payment method. However, for customers in the UK, Coinbase does not currently support purchasing cryptocurrency with PayPal. UK customers can use their PayPal account for cashing out or selling digital coins on Coinbase. In the UK, Coinbase offers other payment methods such as bank transfer, debit/credit card, and faster payments for buying cryptocurrencies.