This review concerns Coinbase, an online exchange platform that offers services regarding cryptocurrencies. The information that you will get from this article will help you choose the best option available to you as a trader.
The investigation contains personal take on the online business, with pros, cons and concluding remarks serving as a general remark on the exchange.
About the Exchange
Based in the UK, Coinbase is one of the most popular choices when it comes to bitcoin trade due to the narrow exchange rate. The platform offers simple “Buy” and “Sell” functions and margin trading are not available on this platform. Thus, for the traders looking for a bit more complexity, Coinbase opened GDAX platform, where most of the popular margin trading tools are available.
Currently, Coinbase boasts of approximately 7.5 million users and offers mobile apps (both iOS and Android) as an additional trading platform. Apart from bitcoins, you can also trade with Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin, as shown below.
Registration and Verification
The registration does not take more than 2 minutes and is fairly simple. You should be aware that if you were not living in one of the supported countries, you would not have the ability to trade.
Since Coinbase is registered as a financial organization with FinCEN, verification is necessary for all traders. Thus, you will be required to provide scanned ID and proof of address. Most of the large platforms are implementing AML (anti-money laundering) and KYC (know your customer) policies, which require identities of clients to be known.
The platform offers its services in 32 countries only, limited to those that company gained a license from. Thus, exchanges like Kraken, CEX.io, and LocalBitcoins have upper hand in terms of market accessibility and presence.
Deposit/Withdrawal Methods and Fees
At Coinbase, you can fund your account with the help of credit/debit cards and bank account transfers. The deposit fees for bank transfers stand at 1.49% for (SEPA, US bank, and Xfers) while credit cards are somewhat more expensive, 3.99% for both deposits and withdrawals. SEPA and ACH bank withdrawals are free, with exception of wire transfers, which stand at $10 for inbound and $25 for outbound transfers.
At Coinbase, you can withdraw money using before mentioned options, with the addition of PayPal. The PayPal withdrawal channel would cost you 3.99%, adding to the provider’s expenses as well.
These rates are on par with average industry fees, as Coinmama charges 5% for credit cards while itBit, CEX.io, and VirWox charge around 1% for bank transfers.
Much like LocalBitcoins, Coinbase offers limited personal security measures, such as account activity history and two-factor authentication (2FA), as shown below.
On the company level, should a breach happen, Coinbase has an insurance policy that would pay out all of the stolen coins to its respective owners. This type of security service is usually not offered at P2P platforms, since large organizations like Coinbase, have the means to protect their customer base.
Pros and Cons
+ one of the largest bitcoin providers in the world, meaning deep BTC liquidity
+ possibility to trade with large volumes of coins using the narrow exchange rate
+ GDAX opened as an additional source of trading
+ PayPal withdrawals available
- verification is a must in order to trade cryptocurrencies
- limited regional coverage
- no margin trading platform
If you are a beginner, then Coinbase would be a really good spot to start at. Experts, on the other hand, can use GDAX services, which offers margin trading for its clients. Compared with other exchanges, although not private, Coinbase offers everything a legitimate business should. Narrow exchange rate, few deposit/withdrawal options, and average fees can all be found at this exchange. You have also insured from thievery should serious hacking incidents occur in the future.