The only crypto exchange to be listed on the stock market
100+ Cryptos on Coinbase and 250+ on Coinbase Pro
- Is insured against hackers
- Low fees on Coinbase Pro
- Supports 100+ countries
- Customer support is slow and ineffective
- Goes down when large volumes of users hop on the platform
Coinbase Review: Overview
In this Coinbase review you will find out about every aspect of this popular exchange. We cover their services and compare Coinbase vs Coinbase Pro. Additionally we take a look at their customer service, fees, security, alternatives to Coinbase and more.
Coinbase is one of the largest or the largest cryptocurrency exchange. It is a fully regulated and licensed exchange that complies with Know Your Customer KYC regulation.
They have over 68 million registered users on their platform. They are a well-known exchange which has been around since the dawn of cryptocurrency.
Apart from becoming known over time, Coinbase keeps building on its reputation. So far Coinbase is the only exchange to go public, and get listed on the Nasdaq.
They have a variety of services they offer to their users. Coinbase offers:
- crypto investing,
- crypto cards,
- its own stablecoin; USDC,
- custodial accounts for institutions and
- wallets for retail investors
However, they are most known for being an easy crypto onramp that caters for beginners. Even Coinbase Pro which is somewhat more advanced targets beginners.
Although Coinbase is a great exchange overall it has its issues. This is especially the case when it comes to customer service. For most users the exchange works great and they do not have to resort to customer support. However if you encounter a problem their support leaves much to be desired.
Coinbase vs Coinbase Pro
The are several differences between Coinbase and Coinbase Pro. Firstly the interface is different. Apart from the difference in colour it is different because Coinbase Pro has some additional functionality.
Coinbase is an easy crypto on-ramp for beginners. Coinbase Pro is geared for people that have more experience with trading. However Coinbase Pro is still fairly basic next to other trading platforms. So it is still technically catered towards beginners in trading.
Additional functionalities on Coinbase Pro include trading, stop orders, time in force orders and limit orders.
Secondly there are more cryptos supported on Coinbase Pro: 100+ on Coinbase vs 250+ on Coinbase Pro. The maximum trading amount on Coinbase varies depending on the payment method and region you live in. However Coinbase Pro has no maximum limit for trading.
Most importantly the main difference between the two platforms which most people care about is fees. You can save quite a bit on fees by using Coinbase Pro.
Coinbase Review: Fees
Coinbase has high fees in comparison to other exchanges. To clarify it is not the most expensive. However you can reduce the fees you pay by using Coinbase Pro.
The cheapest payment method is bank transfer for both Coinbase and Coinbase Pro. Bank transfers are cheaper as a standard across any other exchange platform. The only difference is the fee, you will pay $10 for depositing and $25 for withdrawals using wire transfer.
Debit or credit cards would incur the most fees on Coinbase which is a 2% fee. In comparison Coinbase Pro has no fees on cards.
With a crypto to crypto exchange you will be charged between 0.50% to 2% on both platforms.
As you start adding fees up like for depositing, purchases and the minimum Coinbase fee it starts to get expensive. Depending on the country you live in you can have a rate of around 4%.
For this reason it is much more cost effective to use Coinbase Pro. Transactions for fiat to crypto or vice versa are a lot cheaper. Note that there are maker and taker fees on Coinbase Pro. Similarly to what you would get on any trading platform.
The maker area is the section where you input values into the platform. This is the maker area highlighted in the yellow box:
Coinbase Pro transaction fees
|$10K – $50K
|$50K – $500K
|$500K – $1M
|$1M – $20M
|$20M – $100M
|$100M – $500M
|$500M – $1B
|$1B – $2B
Coinbase Review: Apps
Coinbase has 3 applications you can download on mobile that is compatible with IOS and Android phones. There is Coinbase, Coinbase wallet and Coinbase Pro. You can access all these platforms on desktop via a web browser.
The apps and browser platforms are intuitive to use and work flawlessly.
Coinbase Review: Handy Features
Coinbase has a handy feature where you can set up recurring purchases. You can automate them to happen daily, weekly, on the 1st or 15th or at once a month intervals.
Coinbase was founded in 2012. The company was incorporated in 2014 in Delaware. Brian Armstrong is a co-founder of Coinbase and he is currently the CEO of the company.
Originally Coinbase only offered Bitcoin, but then in 2016 the platform began to support Ether. Gradually more cryptocurrencies where being added to the platform.
Over the years as the company developed it partnered with various other firms so they could accept Bitcoin payments. Companies included Dell, Overstock, Time Inc. and PayPal.
In October 2020 they launched their Visa debit card. Moreover Coinbase was listed on the stock exchange in April 2021.
They are an American company that went fully remote in 2020. They do not have company headquarters located in any city.
Coinbase continued to invest and build its services since its inception. As a result in March 2021 Coinbase became the largest crypto exchange in the United States by trading volume.
As mentioned previously Coinbase supports 100+ cryptocurrencies. However Coinbase Pro supports 250+. That includes the most popular cryptos and those that support the various sectors like for example DeFi and the metaverse.
Some cryptos on the list include Bitcoin, Compound, Dash, Decentraland, Ethereum, Litecoin, Polkadot and Solana. Note that Coinbase does not support XRP due to the SEC lawsuit against Ripple Labs.
The platform supports 100+ countries. That includes Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and the UK. Coinbase also supports all US states bar Hawaii and does not support Australia.
Some countries do to not have access to all capabilities to convert, buy and sell. Additionally Coinbase may not support all payment method to particular countries.
Coinbase Review: Customer Support
While doing research for this Coinbase review we noticed Coinbase has a lot of customer complaints. For an exchange this large that is listed on the stock exchange you would expect a fantastic service.
However Coinbase are slow at responding and don’t resolve customer issues. Moreover they do not adequately follow up like you would expect them to do.
Additionally there are complaints about Coinbase freezing user accounts with zero explanation. This does not happen often and most customers are happy with Coinbase. What seems to have happened is that they grew so quickly they were not able to keep up with demand. However customer service is a basic service and some users will need to resort to support. Unfortunately users that needed support received very little and end up frustrated and angry.
The worst is when you have an urgent matter and you have no way of getting hold of Coinbase quickly. In fact Coinbase got slammed for what users say is terrible customer service on CNBC.
The exchange is currently working on customer service and will be rolling out more support channels. Lately they seem to be improving somewhat, but their support is still not fantastic.
Coinbase Review: Security
2 Factor Authentication
Coinbase have some industry standard features to safeguard your account. Apart from a password you are able to set up 2-step authentication.
2-step authentication set up can be done using:
- Security keys like Yubikey
- 2FA applications like Duo or Google Authenticator
- SMS text
- Voice calls
Not all security features are made equal and there have been some breaches on Coinbase. Here is an article on Reuters: Coinbase says hackers stole cryptocurrency from at least 6,000 customers. For this reason we will go through which features are better.
The least secure method is by SMS as you could always experience a SIM swap attack. It would be awful to experience this sort of attack so it is best to avoid this method.
The most secure method is using security keys like for example a Yubikey. Ever since Google staff started using Yubikeys they have no account take overs. It is like having a normal key, but to access your online account. We highly recommend Yubikey. The next best option is 2FA applications.
For security purposes 98% of user funds are stored offline in cold storage. They are taken out on demand when needed.
Coinbase is insured just in case its platform gets breached and funds are stolen.
Unfortunately it may not cover 100% of client funds. It could cover all the funds, a good portion or nothing at all. It would depend on how much was stolen from the exchange. Nevertheless Coinbase is covered for $255 million as mentioned on Coindesk which is a very large sum.
Most other platforms don’t have any insurance whatsoever. However this sort of coverage really gives additional peace of mind to clients that use Coinbase.
Most importantly to note this crime insurance only covers Coinbase if the platform gets compromised. It does not cover individual accounts who have lost funds due to their own negligence.
There is a £150,000 insurance coverage for individual accounts that is only currently available to UK customers. This covers those accounts that have suffered from attacks, but again not through negligence of their own.
Individual accounts have been compromised before. To avoid this always make sure to follow best practices. Always use strong passwords that are at least 16 characters long, complex and unique to your Coinbase account.
Fiat Account Insurance
Fiat funds are held in e-money wallets. They are treated differently depending on which currency you are dealing with. USD accounts have $250,000 federal deposit insurance.
Most crypto experts will tell you that leaving your crypto on an exchange is not best practice. Although Coinbase have some security features and insurance you could still lose your funds.
If you want to keep your crypto safe it is better to place them in cold storage. You can do this once you purchase them and move them off the exchange into a hardware wallet.
Hardware wallets have been around for years and there have been no recorded hacks. The two most recommended wallets are Ledger and Trezor. You can find their review here Ledger review and Trezor review. You will find links to their sites in the links provided should you want to purchase them.
Other Coinbase Issues
Coinbase is a good exchange and most of the time it works well without a glitch. However like most exchanges it was not built as a robust platform. In the sense that it is not able to withstand large volumes of users.
When there is a sudden market downturn a lot of people tend to want to panic sell their crypto. As a result of the rush, Coinbase goes down and most users end up being locked out of the platform.
Coinbase is not the only exchange that goes down in market panics. However since it has a lot of users it is the one that gets the most attention. Overall Coinbase has great usability and an intuitive interface. It works well most of the time bar these moments.
Coinbase is a good exchange. However there are some Coinbase alternatives on the market you may want to consider.
For Better Customer Support
Customer support is the biggest issue Coinbase has. If this is something that is off putting to you, you might want to consider other exchanges. Kraken and Coinmama are good exchanges that have much better support. Additionally they resolve issues in a timely manner and follow up with customers.
No Downtime When You Need an Exchange the Most
Additionally as mentioned, Coinbase tends to go down during times of market panic. You need an option to serve as your plan b in these moments should you require one.
If you are stuck and want to sell crypto during a market crash there is Bitfinex. Bitfinex was built for traders and is specifically able to withstand large volumes of users. It is a robust platform that does not go down in market crashes.
However Bitfinex only accepts a minimum $/€/£ 10,000 deposit and withdrawal. If this meets your needs you can check out the Bitfinex review here.
Where to Buy XRP
As mentioned Coinbase does not support XRP due to the SEC lawsuit against Ripple Labs. In this case you may want to have a look at the article listing exchanges where to buy XRP.
Coinbase Review Conclusion
To sum up this Coinbase review, Coinbase is a good exchange. It has built its reputation over time and that is why it is one of the largest exchanges.
Coinbase has its flaws mainly due to its lack of customer service, security and its down time during market crashes. However they are looking to improve their customer service. They intend to extend their support service to more channels and not limit customer interaction via email.
Additionally security concerns can be remedied by easily transferring your crypto off Coinbase. Which is standard practice anyway and what you would do for any exchange. During market downturns you can resort to other platforms that can handle larger volumes of users.
Otherwise Coinbase is intuitive and easy to use. By using Coinbase Pro you can reduce the higher fees you will pay on Coinbase. Coinbase Pro fees are competitive when compared to other trading platforms.
Moreover it is fairly unique that it has insurance to cover client funds in case of hacks. This really brings peace of mind to clients.
As a result as an exchange it is not the best exchange, it has improvements that need to be made. However the company is continually working on improving its services. It is certainly a good exchange that we would recommend hence its entry in our top list.