Coinbase Review : Is it the best crypto exchange in 2021?

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Table of Contents

A cryptocurrency exchange is required in order to trade cryptocurrencies. There have been numerous reports of exchanges being hacked, though. Knowing that any money you deposit into an exchange could be stolen can be a little frightening. 

Many exchanges are also located overseas, hence, depending on the countries in which these exchanges are located, they may have less stringent laws and security, making them a more risky option to deploy your capital.

While there are many crypto wallets and exchange comparisons, Coinbase, on the other hand, is an exchange that is actively attempting to address these security concerns. It’s based in the United States and claims to have never been hacked. It’s also simple to use and offers reasonable costs. Many of the cryptocurrencies available on Coinbase can be purchased directly using USD. 

This company is one of the largest in the world, having more than 30 million customers in over 100 countries. Coinbase offers a number of services, the most important of which is the ability to buy and trade Bitcoins using a bank account, credit card, or debit card. In general, the fees on Coinbase are reasonable, although there have been some complaints concerning customer service.

If you’re considering using Coinbase for cryptocurrency exchange, you should first consider going through our comprehensive review to get a better understanding of the platform. 


Coinbase Overview 

One of the world’s top cryptocurrency exchanges, founded in 2012 in San Francisco, Coinbase went public in April and is currently valued at around $50 billion, roughly the same as Hyundai. 

Coinbase soared to those dizzying heights as bitcoin demand surged, fueled by thousands of stimulus dollars and many hours spent in house confinement. When Covid-19 struck America, Bitcoin, the most popular digital currency, was worth less than $5,000, compared to nearly $50,000 just over a year later.

Traders flocked to Coinbase because its user-friendly features and attractive design made it simple to acquire and sell cryptocurrencies. (With the exception of Hawaii; inhabitants of the Aloha state are not eligible to participate.) 


List of Cryptocurrencies Available On Coinbase

Coinbase currently offers the following coins for purchase on its platform:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Cardano (ADA)
  • Tether (USDT)
  • Internet Computer (ICP)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Uniswap (UNI)
  • Chainlink (LINK)
  • Stellar Lumens (XLM)
  • USD Coin (USDC)
  • Polygon (MATIC)
  • Ethereum Classic (ETC)
  • EOS (EOS)
  • Aave (AAVE)
  • Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC)
  • Filecoin (FIL)
  • Tezos (XTZ)
  • Dai (DAI)
  • Maker (MKR)
  • Cosmos (ATOM)
  • Alogrand (ALGO)
  • Compound (COMP)
  • Dash (DASH)
  • Zcash (ZEC)
  • Synthetix Network Token (SNX)
  • Yearn.finance (YFI)
  • SushiSwap (SUSHI)
  • Decentraland (MANA)
  • Basic Attention Token (BAT)
  • Enjin Coin (ENJ)
  • The Graph (GRT)
  • UMA (UMA)
  • Celo (CGLD)
  • 0x (ZRX)
  • Bancor Network Token (BNT)
  • OMG Network (OMG)
  • Curve DAO Token (CRV)
  • Ankr (ANKR)
  • 1inch (1INCH)
  • Ren (REN)
  • Loopring (LRC)
  • iExec RLC (RLC)
  • Kyber Network (KNC)
  • SKALE (SKL)
  • Storj (STORJ)
  • Cartesi (CTSI)
  • Augur (REP)
  • Origin Token (OGN)
  • Balancer (BAL)
  • Numeraire (NMR)
  • NKN (NKN)
  • Civic (CVC)
  • Band Protocol (BAND)
  • NuCypher (NU)
  • Orchid (OXT)
  • Mirror Protocol (MIR)
  • Ampleforth Governance Token (FORTH)
  • District0x (DNT)
  • Tellor (TRB)


What Is Coinbase Pro?

While Coinbase is geared toward newbies, Coinbase Pro may be of interest to more experienced traders. You don’t need two accounts for Coinbase and Coinbase Pro; the same credentials will work.

The Pro edition has more advanced charting and trading options, and the main difference is the fees, which are lower and easier to understand. 

Your trading volume is measured in dollars and is based on how much you traded in the preceding 30-day period.

When you make a trade and it is promptly filled, you will be charged a “taker” fee. 

When you place an order, but it isn’t filled right away, the “maker” cost kicks in. You pay the lesser “maker” cost by waiting for another customer to match your order (i.e., someone who wants to buy as much as you want to sell). 

Depending on how much of your order Coinbase may handle at one time, a portion of your order may be counted as a taker and the remainder as a maker. 

In any event, the 0.50 per cent cost on trades under $10,000 is far lower than the 1.49 per cent (plus the spread) you’d pay on Coinbase.


What Is Coinbase Prime?

Coinbase recognises that institutional investors have different needs than regular ones. Which is why, coinbase introduced the beta version of the Prime product on May 25th, 2021, to cater to this ever-growing customer. Prime is a type of brokerage service that caters to high-volume traders. 

Coinbase had over 8,000 institutions using its other solutions, like Custody, to store their massive crypto assets as of March 2021. 

Advanced trading, data analytics, premium services, and custody are all available through Coinbase Prime. Prime might be compared to a hybrid of Coinbase’s regular brokerage and Pro products, but with added features tailored at institutional investors.

Customers can use Coinbase Prime beta to access more than ten liquidity pools (venues), use smart order routing to find the best all-in pricing, and transfer funds seamlessly between Custody and active trading wallets. Because Coinbase Custody is a segregated cold-storage facility, being able to transfer cash effortlessly between cold storage and the hot wallet is a big benefit to any trader. 

Prime also includes other crypto-native features like staking and participation in blockchain governance.

Coinbase has expanded the number of supported fiat currencies on Coinbase Exchange, making more trading pairs and payment methods available to institutional clients as of July 2, 2021. Many of their overseas customers could previously only buy cryptocurrencies in their own currency.

In addition, the platform now has currency rails for deposits and withdrawals in USD, EUR, and GBP, as well as access to the corresponding trading pairs. This development has the potential to produce billions of dollars in trade volume for Coinbase due to enhanced access to big liquidity pools. As a result, institutional clients will be able to trade in and out of a variety of currencies regardless of their location.


What Is The Coinbase Card?

Coinbase Card, a Visa Debit card connected to your Coinbase account and available to citizens of the UK and some European countries, provides you with an easy way for converting cryptocurrency into fiat currencies at point-of-sale.

You can use the card to make purchases in-store and online using any of the cryptocurrencies you have in your Coinbase wallet, and it also supports contactless payments. 

However, because of its high fees, this card is more of a novelty for the time being, and should be viewed as a simple approach to demonstrate the benefits of wider crypto use. Residents of the United States can now sign up for the Coinbase Card waiting list, which will begin in October 2020.



An Overview of The Coinbase Mobile App

Coinbase’s user-friendly platform now includes a smartphone version. The following are some of our favourite features of Coinbase’s mobile app:


Easy To Place Orders 

Using Coinbase’s mobile app to place a buy or sell order is just as simple as using the desktop platform. In less than a minute, tap the convert button, choose what you want to accomplish, choose your cryptocurrency, and place your order.


Improved Newsfeed

The news feed in Coinbase’s native app is extensive and updated frequently. Directly from the app, you can read articles from Bloomberg, CoinDesk, and other sources. 


Strong Security Features 

The mobile app for Coinbase has a variety of enhanced security features. With a single click, enable 2-factor authentication, fingerprint scanning, security notifications, and more. 

The Coinbase app is accessible for both Apple and Android devices and is free to download. Coinbase also has a separate Coinbase Pro app for Apple and Android smartphones that is equally as comprehensive and user-friendly.


An Overview of The Coinbase wallet

Coinbase’s wallet application is a stand-alone application. You don’t need a Coinbase account to use the wallet, but it does make things easier. It’s also crucial to recognise the difference between the Coinbase app and the Coinbase wallet because they aren’t the same. 

The Coinbase app is a mobile application that allows you to access your Coinbase.com account. You can purchase and trade cryptocurrency on your Coinbase app, just like you do on the website. The Coinbase wallet app, on the other hand, is mostly used to hold your cryptocurrency.

Digital assets such as ERC-20 tokens, ERC-721 NFT tokens, and ERC-21 fungible tokens can also be sent and received. Thousands more tokens and coins are available in the wallet, which are not supported by the Coinbase app or consumer or trading services.

The wallet’s use of Wallet usernames is a unique feature that other crypto wallets lack. Instead of using the alphanumeric letters used by most blockchain networks, these are human-friendly wallet addresses to which anybody can send funds or make payments. Anyone with a Coinbase Wallet can create a one-of-a-kind username that they can share with anyone who wants to send them money.


Coinbase User Interface

The appearance and feel of a crypto exchange may seem odd to focus on, but exchanges with complicated or confusing interfaces might be intimidating enough that you’ll be afraid of making costly mistakes. 

Thankfully, Coinbase offers a very clear, easy-to-use UI that is clutter-free and simple to browse. Its interface provides quick access to critical information such as your portfolio holdings, price charts, and recent activity, as well as fast access to trading features, tools, and account settings.

Apart from fiat purchase functionality, Coinbase’s interface is one of the key reasons why it is a good pick for crypto novices.


How Easy Is It To Use Coinbase 

Getting started with Coinbase is simple. You enter your name, create a password, and provide an email address.

After verifying your address, you’ll need to provide a phone number in order to access your account. And because this is an additional layer of security for login attempts that can potentially be compromised, future codes will be delivered automatically to the same phone number.

The next stage is a potentially intimidating task, establishing your identity. This entails showing identification. In the United States, this means disclosing your social security number.

You can be confident that this is a standard process, which will be similar to creating a bank or investing account. Once you’ve followed these steps, congratulations! You’ll be the owner of your very own Coinbase account.

Next, connect your bank account, credit card, or debit card information to enable deposits, withdrawals, and trading. This is a straightforward process that can be done in a couple of clicks.

To link a bank account to Coinbase, go to your Payment Methods page by clicking on it. Select ‘Link a New Account.’ On the next screen, select ‘Bank Account’ and provide the required information for your banking login in order to be connected.

Once you’ve sorted out your bank account and payment method, you’re now ready to make your first purchase on the platform.

Go to the ‘Buy’ section of the platform, search for the cryptocurrency you want to buy, then choose how you want to pay.

Selling cryptocurrency is also just as easy. Simply click the ‘Trade’ button, then select the cryptocurrency and sell it to your USD wallet. You can also withdraw money from your account by selecting an existing wallet value and clicking ‘Withdraw.’


Coinbase Review: Important Questions To Consider 

While there’s no doubt that Coinbase is easy to use, you should also consider some other questions before using the platform, including the security and privacy. In this section, we’ll give answers to some of these questions. 


Who Is Coinbase Best For?

The following people should consider using Coinbase: 

  • Cryptocurrency newcomers 
  • Traders that are interested in key cryptocurrency pairs 
  • Cryptocurrency traders looking for a straightforward platform


Is Coinbase safe?

Coinbase is one of the safest options available for exchanging bitcoins. The fact that it’s located in San Francisco – a heavily regulated area – is an added incentive to move your funds for trading here.

The company has a sterling reputation of never being hacked, but the reason for this is because 98% of customer funds are stored offline in cold storage (i.e., away from the Internet). Furthermore, physical backups and discs are dispersed at various geographically-difficult to find spots around the world to prevent cyberattacks.

Coinbase wallets are FDIC insured up to $250,000. Cryptocurrencies on the other hand cannot be insured and should not be left in an exchange wallet.


Is Coinbase Good For Privacy?

Coinbase’s privacy track record, while highly praised on the security front, is less attractive to those who have been drawn to crypto because of its promise of anonymity. 

There are numerous allegations claiming that Coinbase keeps track of how its consumers spend Bitcoin. In May 2021, the firm proved the point when it gave the FBI information on a user’s account in response to a subpoena in a murder-for-hire case. 

The acquisition of Neutrino, a blockchain-tracking business, by Coinbase hasn’t swayed privacy advocates either. 

Neutrino is a firm that specialises in researching blockchains in order to identify the owners of addresses. It’s easy to see why privacy alarm bells are (very loudly) ringing, especially now that Coinbase wants to sell its blockchain analytics software to the DEA and IRS.


Fees and Pricing

When it comes to fees and pricing, Coinbase is a little hazy. This is due to the fact that the exchange provides a variety of services and products to its consumers, each with its own price mechanism. 

Let’s look at the prices for some of Coinbase’s most popular services and the fees associated with them: 


Brokerage Fees When You Buy Or Sell Crypto 

Using Coinbase’s consumer platform to purchase and sell cryptocurrency is not inexpensive. The cost of using this platform varies depending on the user’s payment method and region, for example:

  • Fees range from $0.99 for transactions under $10 to $2.99 for transactions under $200 (or equivalent in another currency). 
  • A percentage fee of 1.49 percent for normal payment methods and 3.99 percent for payment cards is applied to transactions over $200. 
  • Coinbase charges up to 2% spread profits on cryptocurrency conversions. 
  • Between Coinbase accounts, ACH and Crypto transfers are free. Only a network cost applies to external transfers. 
  • Wire transfers cost $10 to receive and $25 to send. 
  • PayPal charges a 2.5 per cent fee.

Keep in mind that these fees change depending on how you pay. The ones mentioned above are solely applicable to people who live in the United States. For a more detailed analysis, go to Coinbase’s fees and pricing page.


Trading Fees When You Use Coinbase Pro

When compared to the consumer platform, the fees for Coinbase Pro trading platform are more competitive and much lower. The trading charge structure is depicted in the diagram below. The past 30-day volume is added together to establish the pricing tier; the bigger the trading volume, the cheaper the fees. 

You’ll notice that Makers get better deals than Takers. Makers provide liquidity to the market by putting orders on the order book, whereas takers remove liquidity by completing open orders.


Staking Fees Whenever You Use The Platform 

Coinbase charges a 25% staking fee, that includes:

  • Fees for using the Coinbase card 
  • £4.95 / €4.95 / $4.95 is the issuing fee. 
  • Except for payments made in USDC, all payments are subject to a 2.49 percent charge.

Overall, the prices may be more advantageous or pricey than other competing platforms, depending on which service you use, your area, and the payment method you use.


Coinbase Pros and Cons

Pros

  • An easy-to-use interface 
  • Signing up is simple. 
  • Supported digital assets have a lot of liquidity. 
  • Intensively regulated 
  • High-level security 
  • FDIC insured 
  • For your convenience, there is a mobile app. 
  • It’s available in more than a hundred countries throughout the world. 
  • Trading fees on the Pro platform are competitive. 
  • Coinbase has a variety of products and services under one roof.

Cons

  • Apart from the Pro trading platform, the majority of the company’s other products and services are prohibitively pricey. 
  • Privacy concerns have arisen as a result of the high level of regulatory compliance. 
  • Downtimes on a regular basis, especially when Bitcoin’s price action surges. 
  • Only a few nations accept debit cards. 
  • Only six coins are now available for staking, and the costs are exorbitant.



Is Coinbase Worth It?

There’s no arguing that Coinbase’s pricing isn’t the most inexpensive. The costs charged by Coinbase and Coinbase Pro are higher than those charged by some of its competitors. For new investors, however, these somewhat higher fees may be justified due to the platform’s simple and straightforward structure. Plus, once you have crypto, you may trade it for free on Coinbase’s exchange using the conversion feature.

Hence, we’d recommend all those cryptocurrency novices and some professional traders as well to use the platform to become crypto trading masters! 


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