Coinbase Review 2022

Founded in 2012, Coinbase is one of the most popular Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange that has surged in popularity and amassed a user base of 73 million people.

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Receive $5 in BTC in your Coinbase portfolio
What we like about Coinbase
  • If you’re new to the world of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies and want a simple and easy way to buy or sell, then Coinbase is the ideal exchange for you.
  • Largest and most well-known cryptocurrency exchange in the world.
  • Designed for simplicity and accessibility.
  • Offers many services including Coinbase Pro, Coinbase Wallet, and support for over 36 countries.
What we don't like about Coinbase
  • If you’re new to the world of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies and want a simple and easy way to buy or sell, then Coinbase is the ideal exchange for you.
  • Largest and most well-known cryptocurrency exchange in the world.
  • Designed for simplicity and accessibility.
  • Offers many services including Coinbase Pro, Coinbase Wallet, and support for over 36 countries.

Known also for having a super simple sign up and purchasing process, Coinbase is a great first step for people who have no prior experience with cryptocurrencies or trading.

Our comprehensive guide will cover a full breakdown of its services and products. We'll go through their company history, what cryptocurrencies they support, what their fees are like, how good their security is, and much more.

Chapter 1: What is Coinbase?

Coinbase is one of the largest and most recognized cryptocurrency exchanges. Headquartered in San Francisco, California, United States, Coinbase was first founded in June 2012 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam.

Coinbase headquarters in San Francisco, California
Coinbase headquarters in San Francisco, California

The platform’s rise to popularity can be attributed to it being one of the most beginner-friendly Bitcoin exchanges, never being hacked (unlike many of its competitors), and keeping users’ personal data secure.

Coinbase is operational in over 100 countries and has grown to support a staggering 73 million customers from all around the world and a workforce of over 1200 employees.

Coinbase exchange statistics

While other exchanges may have a greater variety of coins or slightly different feature sets, Coinbase has emphasized simplicity, accessibility, and usability. In the process, Coinbase has democratized access to investing in bitcoin and opened up the new asset class to the general public.

Why is Coinbase popular?

Coinbase has grown into one of the world's largest and most popular Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges.

With trading volumes upwards of $89B, over 73 million users, and a variety of over 30 cryptocurrencies, its popularity can be attributed to the polished interface and simple onboarding process which makes it a great starting exchange for new users.

Current homepage for Coinbase.com
Current homepage for Coinbase

Coinbase account features

With a Coinbase account comes many account features like an integrated wallet, a vault, staking capabilities, a more advanced trading platform called Coinbase Pro, referral program, and much more.

Coinbase platform dashboard

One of the highlights of using Coinbase is its beautiful user interface and easy to navigate dashboard. The dashboard will act as your Coinbase homepage giving you important information like your portfolio balances, price charts, recent trading activity, with easy to access trading features, tools, and account settings.

Coinbase supported cryptocurrencies screen

Coinbase Pro

Coinbase Pro is a more advanced version of Coinbase's native trading platform. It is free to use for anyone with a Coinbase account and users can transfer funds between their regular account and Coinbase Pro accounts for free.

Albeit being a slightly more complicated and intimidating version of Coinbase, it allows users access to more advanced features such as placing market, limit, and stop orders with lower commission fees.

Coinbase supported cryptocurrencies screen

Overall, if you plan on day trading or dollar-cost averaging, it's much more beneficial to learn and use Coinbase Pro. If you have already registered a Coinbase account, then you already have access to Coinbase Pro so you won’t have to sign up separately, just head over to pro.coinbase.com

Coinbase Wallet

When you purchase cryptocurrencies on the Coinbase App or platform it is stored on Coinbase in their integrated wallet. This means that Coinbase has control over your coins and is primarly for people who don’t want to have the have the responsibility required to manage their own private keys.

For this reason, Coinbase offers a non-custodial standalone wallet to store all your bitcoin and crypto allowing you full control over you private key and coins. You cannot link your bank account to this wallet to buy or sell, however, you can deposit and withdraw cryptocurrencies. You can also store your NFTs in a gallery.

Coinbase integrated wallet

This wallet is completely in your control. Meaning the private keys used to backup your crypto in case you lose or break your phone are generated on the phone and given to you for safekeeping. You do not need a Coinbase account to use Coinbase wallet.

Important Note: The safest way to hold your bitcoin and crypto is using a hardware wallet.

Chapter 2: How Does Coinbase Work?

How does Coinbase work?

Trading on Coinbase is an extremely streamlined and simple process geared specifically towards beginners. The platform can be accessed through your browser or through your android or iOS devices.

After completing sign up and logging on, you'll be greeted to a view of your portfolio and main dashboard. From there you will be able to view all of Coinbase's supported cryptocurrencies from their "Prices" page. This includes the current price in your local currency, and the percentage the coin has increased or decreased over the past 24 hours.

Coinbase supported cryptocurrencies screen

Clicking on a cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin, you will be navigated to the specific trading page where you can buy, sell, or convert to another currency. Popular methods of buying bitcoin on Coinbase include debit card and bank transfer.

Coinbase supported cryptocurrencies screen

Is Coinbase supported in your country?

Coinbase accepts user registrations from over 100 countries but only allows full support for buying and selling to around 30 countries. Below are all the countries with full access to all of Coinbase's account features.

What cryptocurrencies does Coinbase support?

Coinbase supports over 50 cryptocurrencies although availability for buying and selling each one varies on your country. Below are some of the most popular cryptocurrencies offered by Coinbase and Coinbase Pro.

AAVE
AAVE AAVE
ADA
Cardano ADA
ALGO
Algorand ALGO
ANKR
Ankr ANKR
ATOM
Cosmos ATOM
BAL
Balancer BAL
BAND
Band Protocol BAND
BAT
Basic Attention BAT
BTC
Bitcoin BTC
BCH
Bitcoin Cash BCH
COMP
Compound COMP
CRV
Curve DAO CRV
CVC
Civic CVC
DAI
DAI DAI
DASH
Dash DASH
DNT
district0x DNT
ETH
Ethereum ETH
ETC
Ethereum Classic ETC
FIL
Filecoin FIL
GRT
The Graph GRT
KNC
Kyber Network KNC
LINK
Chainlink LINK
LTC
Litecoin LTC
MANA
Polygon MANA

Coinbase fee structure

Coinbase actually functions more like a broker rather than an exchange. When you buy bitcoin or cryptocurrencies on the platform, you are purchasing the coins directly from Coinbase, as opposed to trading them with other users.

In return, Coinbase charges you to deposit and withdraw funds, as well as a transaction/trading fee every time you buy or sell coins.

Coinbase charges a spread of about 0.5% for cryptocurrency sales and purchases.

Coinbase also charges a fee, the greater of either a flat fee or a variable one depending on the amount purchased and the payment type.

Payment Method for Purchase/Payout Method for Sale Effective Rate of Conversion Fee (after waiver)
US Bank Account 1.49%
Coinbase USD Wallet 1.49%
Debit Card Buy 3.99%
ACH transfer Free
Wire transfer $10 ($25 outgoing)
Instant Card Withdrawal up to 1.5% of any transaction and a minimum fee of $0.55

Below are the of payment methods that you can link to your Coinbase account:

Best for Buy Sell Deposit Withdraw Speed
Bank Account (ACH) Large and small investments 4-5 business days
Debit Card Small investments and withdrawals Instant
Wire Transfer Large investments  1-3 business days
PayPal Withdrawals Instant

Please note: As of 2018, Coinbase has disabled credit cards as a method of payment except in Australia. That means Coinbase does not accept Discover, Visa, or American Express credit cards.

Chapter 3: Step-by-Step Sign Up Process

Creating an account

To begin, head over to Coinbase

Coinbase Guide Sign Up

Fill out your personal information to complete your account sign up. Be sure to use your real name as shown on your passport or driver's license as using an alias could delay the confirmation of your identity later on.

Coinbase Guide Fill in Information

You'll be prompted to verify your email account.

Once verified, you will be prompted to set up 2-factor authentication using your phone number.

Coinbase Guide Two-step Verification

Coinbase has to abide by KYC/AML laws because they are based in the USA. The Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti Money Laundering (AML) laws ensure that businesses verify the ID of their clients or customers. These laws help to prevent money laundering and other criminal activities.

Verifying Your Account

If you were not asked to verify your ID after entering the SMS code, go to the “Trade” tab, then click on the “Submit ID + Photo Verification” button.

Coinbase Guide Trade

You have the option of uploading either your Passport or Drivers License using your webcam, mobile camera, or file-upload.

Coinbase Guide ID Type

Once your account is verified, you can continue onto the next step.

Now you will need to connect your payment method before you can buy or sell Bitcoin. Coinbase offers 4 payment method options.

Head over to the "Settings" tab and then onto "Linked Accounts".

Coinbase Guide Linked Accounts

Press the "Link a New Account" button to be prompted with the payment method options

Coinbase Guide Connect Bank Account

Follow the process of adding your payment method to move onto the next step.

Setting Up a Trade

You're now ready to place your first buy order for Bitcoin. Press the "Prices" button.

Coinbase Guide Prices

Next, click on the "Trade" button next to Bitcoin. A popup will appear prompting you to input your buy or sell amount and payment method type.

Coinbase Guide Input Amount

Once inputting your order, press "Preview Buy".

Coinbase Guide Preview Buy

You'll see the details of your order now. Review the payment type, fees, and expected arrival date of your purchase and confirm. Bitcoin will be deposited into your Coinbase wallet.

Coinbase provides its users with a wallet for sending and receiving cryptocurrencies. You will be able to store, buy, and sell your Bitcoin all in one place.

As convenient as this is, it is not recommended to store your Bitcoin on a custodial change. This would be a good time to think about getting a hardware wallet like a Ledger. You can follow our guide on wallets for more information.

Selling your Bitcoin

Selling is as easy as buying. The "Sell" button can be found under the "Trade" popout.

Coinbase Guide

Choose where you want your funds to be deposited and press "Sell Bitcoin". The funds usually arrive within 1-2 business days and the delivery date will be shown on the trade confirmation page before your order is submitted.

Congratulations, you've completed your first Bitcoin trade!

Chapter 4: How Safe is Coinbase?

Is Coinbase safe?

Yes, Coinbase is a credible cryptocurrency exchange and publicly traded company worth over $65 billion dollars. Coinbase also has an incredible list of trusted investors backing the company like Andreessen Horowitz, Y Combinator, and Union Square Ventures.

Coinbase headquarters in San Francisco, California

It's also important to note that Coinbase has never been hacked which can't be said for other popular exchanges like Binance and Bitfinex. 98% of Coinbase's customer funds and deposits are stored offline in cold storage which adds an important security layer.

Any cash balances held in Coinbase wallets are FDIC insured up to $250,000. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not secured, however. For this reason, we recommend storing your bitcoin in your own personal wallet.

Alon Shvartsman is the founder of Bitrawr, an educational resource advancing adoption and education around Bitcoin.