Not Bad 8.5/10
  • Coinbase

  • Regulated:  FinCEN
Exchange Name: Coinbase
Founded: 2012
Regulated: FinCEN
Ease of Use: Easy
Volume: High
Fees: Medium
US Traders: Accepted
Mobile: Yes
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Coinbase Review

by Martin Kay

Why Does Coinbase Suck In 50 Words?

Many people support the idea of Bitcoin because of how different it is from the current system where the banks have all the control. Coinbase has been rumoured to act a lot like a bank in terms of freezing accounts and monitoring how funds are spent. This, combined with the fact that you will need to grant them access to your webcam for ID and face verification purposes, can be more than enough to turn some users away from the service.


Why Coinbase Doesn’t Suck In 50 Words?

The best part about Coinbase is how easy it is for users to engage in. There is no reason any new user can’t quickly figure out how to get their money into the system. Additionally, as the largest and one of the more reputable exchanges, Coinbase has the most liquidity, which makes trading easier and less opaque.


Is Coinbase a Scam?

Coinbase is certainly not a scam, but there are a few things they can do that could make it very hard to use. Since they are regulated and want to maintain the integrity of their network, they might suspend you if you seem to be engaging in illegal activity. Their tendency to freeze accounts, perhaps too quickly, has led to several complaints that were later resolved. All that being said, if you are completely above board, all your funds will be recovered.


Should I Open an Account with Coinbase?

Coinbase is the first licensed U.S. Bitcoin exchange and one of the largest cryptocurrency trading platforms in the world, which has earned a great reputation due to its reliability and the quality of its backers. The website is owned and operated by Coinbase Inc., a company regulated in the United States, which operates in compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act and the USA Patriot Act.

Coinbase is a registered Money Services Business with FinCEN. The UK branch is CB Payments Ltd., a company regulated by the British FCA with reference number 900635. The platform is available in more than 100 countries and Coinbase is committed to obtaining licenses as needed to comply with local laws.

The people who will benefit the most from using Coinbase are those who are just starting off. Like any exchange or business, Coinbase has its issues, but it makes up for that in reputation. Knowing that many investors before you have started their journey using Coinbase should be very encouraging.

You might not necessarily continue to use Coinbase for your entire Bitcoin investing career, but for starting off, it is perfect. Something to remember for those who are new to the cryptocurrency game is that exchanges are the least secure part of the ecosystem. You are more likely to get ripped off while your money is there than if you hold a wallet or have the private keys written down. This isn’t to say that Coinbase is bad, but that the buyer should always beware in these situations.

Another great part about Coinbase is that users can access it from over 100 different countries and there are tons of payment options. Some users have the occasional issue when getting verified, but that is to be (somewhat) expected when dealing with a huge company.

Coinbase’s card fee is a flat 2.49%, which is pretty steep and will start to feel like a lot as you put more money into Bitcoin and/or altcoins. This is another reason why many users begin by using Coinbase and then evolve as their expertise grows and they understand their options better.

Overall, Coinbase is a good place for those who are in the early stage of their cryptocurrency journey. Its biggest strength is its biggest weakness: it works very similarly to a bank. This will likely help you trust it in the beginning but grow tired of the way it works, eventually.

Coinbase, Inc. is headquartered at 100 Pine Street, Suite 1250, San Francisco, CA 94111. They can be contacted at phone +1 888 908-7930 (US/Intl). CB Payments, LTD is located at 5 Fleet Place London, EC4M 7RD, United Kingdom; phone +44 8081684635.


Coinbase Online Presence And Reputation

The simplicity of buying cryptocurrencies with a credit/debit card has attracted more than 89 million customers, and a quarterly volume of $547B. Coinbase is undoubtedly a giant of the cryptocurrency space but, as mentioned before, they’ve had their share of complaints and “bad press”, mostly because some clients have had their accounts frozen and many consider this exchange too centralized, which in their view goes against the very concept of cryptocurrency. As a whole, Coinbase has a strong online presence and a good reputation, but the latter is tainted here and there by relatively isolated incidents.


Coinbase Special Features

The base platform is best suited for casual investors but in response to a growing client base, Coinbase launched Coinbase Pro, which is geared towards highly active traders and offers lower fees in some cases. The trading platform on Coinbase Pro is more complicated but allows Technical Analysis and has a lot more trade-related features than the base platform.


Coinbase Overall Ratings


User Friendliness 17/20

The platform is designed with ease of use as the focal point, so I don’t think anyone will have major issues with it. The website is available in 13 languages, mobile applications are available and US clients are accepted of course, since this is the first US-licensed exchange.


Range Of Markets And Volume 16/20

The choice of cryptocurrencies is huge, with literally hundreds of coins, including majors such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, and more, but also lesser-known digital assets. Coinbase is ranked number 2 on CoinMarketCap, based on web traffic, volume, and liquidity of spot markets (at the time of writing the daily volume was $3,855,169,077).


Fees 15/20

Coinbase charges a Taker Fee of 0.60% and a Maker Fee of 0.40%. If you use Coinbase Card for purchases and ATM withdrawals (made with any crypto other than USDC) Coinbase will charge a flat 2.49% fee. Trading fees will be displayed on the trading ticket itself.


Deposits And Withdrawals 16/20

Wire deposits (USD) are charged a 10 USD fee and withdrawals via the same method incur a 25 USD fee. SEPA deposits and withdrawals will be charged 0.15 EUR. SWIFT (GBP) deposits are free and withdrawals will cost you 1 GBP. ACH transfers are free.


Coinbase Extras 18/20

First licensed U.S. crypto exchange! This is definitely an extra and obviously the reason for the very high rating in this category. We can add to that ease of use, very high volume, and a separate platform for advanced traders – Coinbase Pro.


Coinbase Overall Rating (82) + Regulated (+3) = 85/100