Coinbase Review: How Competitive Is Coinbase Really? 🤔
8 min read
Introduction: In this Coinbase Review, we'll dive into Coinbase and explore the products and services they offer, showcase their unique selling points, outline their trading fees and much more to help you determine if Coinbase is the right exchange for you!
Coinbase is a well-known name in the world of cryptocurrency, and for good reason. Founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong, the company is registered in the District of Columbia and licensed by both FinCEN and FCA. With over 100 million users and 5000+ employees, Coinbase is available in 100 countries and has over 10 million downloads.
Despite its impressive numbers, Coinbase has received mixed reviews from its users. With a 2.3 star rating and over 700,000 reviews on it's Android app, some users have complained about high fees and slow transaction times. However, others praise the platform for its user-friendly interface and extensive range of cryptocurrencies available for trading.
One of Coinbase's biggest strengths is its commitment to security. The company holds 98% of its customers' funds in cold storage, meaning they are not connected to the internet and are therefore less vulnerable to hacking attempts. Additionally, Coinbase offers insurance protection for up to $250,000 per customer.
While Coinbase offers a great overall user experience, unfortunately the are frequent connection issues which leads to waiting times to simply login. This creates unnecessary friction and frustration which you would expect a $15 billion market cap company would be able to solve.
Coinbase KYC Requirements
Signing up for Coinbase is a pretty simple process that takes just about a minute to complete. This is a basic signup process that includes verifying your email, phone, and personal information. However, to unlock full account privileges, you will need to complete the KYC verification process.
The Coinbase verification process requires you to submit a government-issued ID and can take a few minutes to a few hours to process. Once you've completed the verification process, you'll be able to buy, sell and trade with ease.
Coinbase Products & Services
Coinbase being one of the largest exchanges in the world has mostly developed products and services tailored to beginners and institutional clients. Due to strict US regulations, Coinbase has not been able to launch more risky products with 100X leverage as can be found on most offshore exchanges.
While this has created fewer reasons for professional traders to use Coinbase, it has been beneficial for beginners as the website offers fewer products overall making it easier to navigate. Coinbase offers two different user interfaces which are labeled Coinbase and Advanced. The regular Coinbase version is more beginner-friendly while Advanced is more tailored to experienced traders.
Coinbase offers trading for over 240 cryptocurrencies that can be bought or sold either via the more UX-friendly buy-and-sell feature or via spot trading in the Advanced section. For those that just want to Dollar Cost Average their way into positions, they can use the recurring buy feature to accomplish this.
Coinbase also recently introduced BTC and ETH futures in addition to perpetual contracts for BTC, ETH, LTC, SOL, XRP and AVAX with up to 5X leverage. In terms of trading volumes, Coinbase is frequently a top 3 exchange with billions in 24/7 spot trading volumes but is less competitive on the futures side.
For those who want to earn interest on their USDC, Coinbase is currently offering a very lucrative 5% interest on USDC. One of the most beginner-tailored products that Coinbase offers is the learn-and-earn program where users can learn about blockchain projects and earn tokens in rewards.
Coinbase has also developed its own NFT platform where users can easily mint, explore, buy and sell NFTs on blockchains like Ethereum, Base and Polygon. For users who want to spend their crypto in the real world and earn rewards, Coinbase has launched a Visa Card that allows for just that.
With Coinbase’s card, users can easily spend cash (USD) or crypto (USDC) and earn rewards from everyday spending. For users who prefer to access the world of crypto in a non-custodial manner, Coinbase has also developed its own Web 3 Coinbase Wallet.
This allows users to store and manage thousands of coins and tokens and easily access DeFi across blockchains such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana and a few other blockchains.
Coinbase also recently launched the Coinbase One Membership which costs $29.99 per month and gives users access to zero-fee trades, boosted staking rewards and priority support.
Another plus being a public company based in the United States is that Coinbase has to adhere to strict regulations and accountability standards. This makes Coinbase by far one of the safest exchanges to use.
This is why Coinbase is also the home to the biggest institutions like BlackRock and Grayscale that want to trade or custody over 240 crypto assets like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Solana. With Coinbase Prime, high-net-worth individuals and institutions can safely get access to advanced trading, financing solutions, cold storage access, staking services and much more.
Coinbase is a popular exchange platform that offers users the ability to trade a variety of cryptocurrencies. When it comes to trading fees, Coinbase charges a spot maker fee of 0.40% and a spot taker fee of 0.60%.
It should be noted that Coinbase does not offer futures trading or margin trading which is a limitation imposed by their efforts to abide by US regulations.
Overall, Coinbase's fees are higher than most well known exchanges in the market such as Kraken, Crypto.com and Okcoin. The higher trading do however come with the benefit of using a beginner friendly platform that is always one of the most secure on the market.
Coinbase offers a range of deposit methods for fiat currencies and supports three major fiat currencies: USD, EUR, and GBP.
The platform allows users to buy crypto with a credit or debit card although this comes with a transaction fee of between 1% and 5%.
Alternatively, users can also make a fiat deposit via ACH or wire transfer for (USD), SEPA (EUR), or Swift (GBP). with fees ranging from free to $10.
ACH deposits are free of charge and wire deposit comes with a fee of $10. EUR deposits with SEPA come with a small 0.15 EUR fee and SWIFT deposits are free of charge.
Coinbase fiat withdrawal fees?
Well, Coinbase offers several options for users looking to cash out their funds. For US-based users, ACH withdrawals are free of charge, making it a convenient and cost-effective option. For those looking to withdraw larger amounts, wire transfers are available for a $25 USD fee.
European users can take advantage of SEPA withdrawals, which have a small withdrawal fee of 0.15 EUR. And for users outside of the US and Europe, Swift withdrawals are an option with a fee of 1GBP.
Overall, Coinbase offers a good range of deposit and withdrawal options for the major fiat currencies either free or at a low cost. This is one area where Coinbase has an advantage compared to many other exchanges on the market.
Is Coinbase safe?
Coinbase emphasises security, transparency, and customer support as critical components of its operations.
As a public company in the United States, Coinbase operates with enhanced financial transparency. Coinbase releases its financial statements quarterly, and an independent third party conducts annual audits, as mandated by law.
In terms of asset security, Coinbase adheres to a 1:1 customer asset holding policy. This means that every unit of cryptocurrency held by a customer corresponds to a specific unit of cryptocurrency in Coinbase's storage.
Coinbase neither lends nor performs any actions with customer assets without their explicit consent. To further ensure the security of customer assets, Coinbase has designed risk management programs which are among the most secure in the industry.
When it comes to personal information, Coinbase maintains transparency in how this data is used and why it is shared, thus offering customers a clear understanding of its privacy practices.
Furthermore, Coinbase provides a suite of security tools to protect user accounts. These tools include auto-enrolled 2-factor authentication with security key support, password protection, and multi-approval withdrawals via Coinbase Vault.
Lastly, Coinbase takes customer support seriously, offering multiple channels for assistance. Customers can contact the support team by phone or messaging to interact with a virtual assistant or, during operating hours, a live support agent. A Help Center is also available, offering quick solutions to common problems.
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Jack is a crypto writer and reviewer who has been active in the space since he caught the crypto bug in 2017. With a passion for trying out new shiny things, Jack is always eager to try the latest cryptocurrency exchanges, wallets or DeFi applications.