Coinbase is a cryptocurrency-trading platform founded in 2012. It boasts an impressive 8.3 million users, with 27.2 million cryptocurrency wallets, 46,000 merchants, and 10,000 developer apps. Traders can easily trade (buy and sell) digital currencies including Litecoin, Bitcoin and Ethereum from the platform. Presently, the total market capitalisation of BTC is $10 billion, comprised of a vast global network of individuals and computers using hardware and software to mine the cryptocurrency. Coinbase has already raised $117 million from investors including IDG Ventures, Andreeson Horowitz, USAA, Start Fund, Combinator, Ribbit Capital, USV and others. The company’s 3 key priorities include being the easiest digital currency platform to use, bridging the gap between digital currency and traditional financing, and providing a credible and secure trading experience. Coinbase is fully regulated, and compliant with the Bank Secrecy Act, the USA Patriot Act, and international standards on financial services.
How does Coinbase work?
To get started, traders will have to register an account at Coinbase. When you’re ready to buy/sell digital currency, your first step is to enter your email address. Complete the registration process online, or simply download the app from the App Store or the Google play store. Next, connect your bank account and verify the information. As soon as your account has been validated, you’re ready to purchase BTC, LTC or Ethereum. Once you have initiated your first purchase of cryptocurrency, Coinbase will complete the order whether you are buying or selling. You will always have access to the prevailing exchange rate before you conduct a trade.
Who should use Coinbase and why?
Coinbase is a great service for anyone who wants to purchase digital currency. You can use BTC, LTC or Ethereum for a wide range of options, including trading (to make a profit), to pay your friends, relatives or merchants, to invest, or to purchase things online. You don’t need experience to get started, since it’s easy to manage your account and purchase BTC. Everything is done direct through the Coinbase system, where your personal and financial information is kept secure at all times. Your fiat currency will be converted into BTC, or vice versa at the prevailing rate once you agree.
Exchange Rate & Fees
It is 100% free to create an account online at Coinbase. Typically, this cryptocurrency platform does not charge any fees for hosting a digital currency wallet. If the person or the merchant that you’re transferring BTC to is not on the actual platform, fees may be involved. In terms of the prevailing rate and the conversion fees, that is all provided in the Coinbase GDAX platform. Traders can expect a spread of 50 basis points, but it’s important to check the prevailing exchange rate before you conduct the trade. Fees may be levied on conversion services, depending on the payments processing option that you have used. In any event, traders, and clients will always be apprised of conversion fees before the transaction is concluded. For example, Canadian and Australian credit card purchases and debit card purchases are subject to a 3.99% commission. In Europe, the standard purchase or sale option is subject to a 1.49% fee, while credit card and debit card buys are subject to a 3.99% fee. Bank transfers in to your account in Europe are free, and withdrawals are subject to a fee of €0.15. In the US for example, there is a base rate of 4% on all transactions. All the fees are listed on site, and you can easily peruse the information for country-specific fees on transactions.
Deposit Options for the different locations
Deposit options differ from one location to the next. For all US customers, there are many options available including U.S. Bank, Chase, Bank of America, Capital One, Citibank, USAA, Wells Fargo, Fidelity, and Charles Schwab. For European customers, deposits can be made via bank account and EUR wallet. Funds typically take between 1 and 3 days to clear. It is also possible to purchase BTC with a debit card or a credit card, provided those cards are 3D secure. UK customers can make a deposit via bank account, a debit card, or a credit card.
How easy is it to use Coinbase?
It’s really easy to get up and running. Simply complete the registration process and verify your account. Once you have made a deposit, you can buy or sell BTC at your leisure.
Is Coinbase safe and reliable?
The Coinbase vault is 100% secure. Clients have the option to manage the security of their vault personally, or to allow Coinbase to manage the security of the vault (the recommended option). For security reasons, any withdrawals from the Coinbase vault require a 48-hour withdrawal notice. All your personal and banking information is protected with bank level AES-256 encryption technology. Further, all traffic is heavily encrypted with secure socket layer technology to prevent third parties from intercepting your data. Additionally, employees at the company are required to undergo extensive security checks.
Everything takes place on the Bitcoin network. This is 100% efficient, secure, and functional. Additionally, the entire Coinbase platform is protected against third party interception, and clients can have full confidence in the digital wallet and trading system.
How long does it take to purchase a bitcoin with Coinbase?
Typically, funds must be available in your account before you can make a purchase of BTC. US customers will see their purchases immediately with debit cards and credit cards, while bank transfers can take 3-5 days to clear. European customers can expect their funds to clear within 2-3 days, while Canadian, Singaporean, and Australian traders can expect funds with debit card/credit cards to be available immediately. When you purchase BTC, it will be yours as soon as you have gone through the steps on the buy page. You will be required to enter the amount you wish to purchase, the wallet you wish to deposit the funds into, your preferred payment option and then confirm the order.
Coinbase Customer Support
The Coinbase customer support system is powered by Desk.com. The FAQ is particularly effective for answering standard questions with stock responses. You can submit a request if you cannot find information that you’re looking for. Coinbase support offers information on buys and sells, wallet services, digital currency basics, account management, merchant services, payment methods, security, mobile applications and other topics. Live chat functionality is particularly helpful if you want a quick response to a question. There is an on-site blog, a strong social media presence, and multiple languages including English, Portuguese, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and others.
Quick-click functionality and a wide range of support features
Sophisticated Coinbase digital API for integrating BTC, LTC and Ethereum
Nifty selection of tools including: buy widget, wallet API, Coinbase connect, notifications, GDAX API and merchant checkouts
Coinbase has garnered a rating of 2.6/5 on TrustPilot from 105 reviews. 61% of the reviewers have issued a 1 star rating, while 19% of reviewers have issued a 5-star rating.