The history of cryptocurrency is surely not a long one. Nonetheless, the extremely rapid market growth has cause enormous upturns in the fortune of many companies. But not many have been as successful as the American exchange Coinbase. In fact, this multi-billion dollar California-headquartered exchange led by Brian Armstrong as their CEO is widely considered by the experts to be one of the three biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world in terms of membership numbers and transaction volume. Over the years, the company has acquired several major cryptocurrency and blockchain ventures including the likes of Blockr, Kippt, and Earn.com that has only made them bigger over the years. This Coinbase review by the Blockledge team will let you assess the advantages and disadvantages of using this platform.
The Service Platforms
Through Coinbase, users can trade a select range of cryptocurrencies and also save them in the Coinbase Wallet. Coinbase users can buy or sell a total of five cryptocurrencies, which include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum Classic. This support for only this limited sets of currencies might not make Coinbase enticing to use for everyone, although, these 5 currencies still hold almost 3/4 of the total cryptocurrency market value. You can either use your browser to directly log in to their platform, or you can also you use their iOS and Android apps. The platforms are built simple enough to be used by technology novices as well.
Coinbase is often considered by cryptocurrency experts to be one of the most secure cryptocurrency exchanges on the planet using the most advanced SSL encryption for transactions and advanced two-factor authentication for verifications. The company is also regarded by international financial authorities including FDIC to be one of the most highly compliant cryptocurrency exchanges. In fact, the company has official presence in over 30 countries of the world. Because of these reasons, Coinbase is often labeled as a mainstream cryptocurrency exchange.
The company also employs a really stringent profile verification service that can be compared to that of a traditional banking institution. So, although you may use Coinbase for regular cryptocurrency exchanges, you have to be aware that compared to many other platforms, your activities will not be fully anonymous. Yet, for normal and small everyday cryptocurrency transactions, Coinbase can indeed be considered ideal.
Using the Platform
To use Coinbase, registration is compulsory. Users need to enter the specific profile details as necessary and provide their email address for verification. Once the form has been completed and the very button is pressed, you can resume the process of signing up. Once the identity is verified, users need to enter their mode of payment. After the above processes, you can start trading cryptocurrencies by clicking the ‘buy/sell’ button. The platform supports both individual traders and institution-level traders.
Funding your account
The platform also provides all users with bitcoin wallets by default, and any purchases are by default transferred to this very wallet. However, users have been known to prefer using the platform to buy cryptocurrency with fiat money and sending the purchases to wallets outside Coinbase.
One of the biggest advantages of using Coinbase is the ability for users to buy cryptocurrencies using many different payment options. In fact, its one of the few exchanges that use systems like ACH transfer and PayPal, in addition to popular systems like credit cards and bank transfers. The exchange also charges relatively lower amounts to its customers compared to many other big exchanges. For example, conversion fees can be as low as 1.49%, while bank deposits could be as low as $0.15 per transactions. However, as deposits system can differ based on different regions and users are advised to look into the provisions at Coinbase’s website to know what are the specific provisions for their country. For example, in Australia, users are lately only allowed to purchase cryptocurrency using debit cards through the platform.
Compared to many other exchanges, Coinbase offers more options for its users to get in touch with customer support. In addition to email support and social media support channels, users can also use the 24-hour Coinbase phone support for the weekends. However, given the huge customer base of the platform, getting a response from the company is easier said than done. However, if you believe the news coming out lately, the company has been investing to make its customer service better in the near future.
While there is no denying that Coinbase is a giant in the world of cryptocurrency, users surely shouldn’t equate quality and ease of services with the size of the company. While the exchange is very simple to use, users do need to keep in mind that when they use Coinbase, they are guaranteed to hand out a lot more of their personal data to the authorities, when compared to using services from other exchanges. In addition to that, the exchange only accepts a limited number of cryptocurrencies, most of which are already really expensive to buy. Thus, cryptocurrency experts often encourage other competing exchanges rather than Coinbase.
That being said, the multiple deposit methods and the easy cashing out system, coupled with the low Coinbase fee, continue to make the platform popular. Thus, users are often suggested to carefully weigh the pros and cons of Coinbase before deciding upon using their exchange.