Let's face it, not everybody has read a Coinbase review that fully examines the San Francisco-based company's business practices. You may have arrived here being uncertain about how reliable and safe the world's largest bitcoin exchange could be. I hope this page can give you enough information to construct a self-evaluation. After reading this Coinbase review you should be in a position to decide for yourself whether they deserve to get your hard-earned cash in exchange for the world's most beloved cryptocurrency.
Created in 2012 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam, Coinbase's reputation lies with its presence in 32 countries across the world - especially in the USA, UK, and Brazil, which represent their largest customer base.
Did you know: in 2013 Coinbase asked Vitalik Buterin to come in for a chat. They nearly offered him a job on their team. This didn't happen though, as Vitalik went on to create Ethereum early the following year. It seems Coinbase have always had a very positive view of Ethereum, its applications, and potential.
Two types of wallets are available:
The first is really simple and made so that beginners can store their coins with peace of mind (wallet key security is managed by Coinbase).
The second is called Multisig Vault and uses the "multi-signature" innovation which allows advanced users to self-manage security for their wallet keys. What does this mean? Well simply put: if Coinbase were to disappear then these users would still have control over their bitcoin. For those asking is Coinbase safe, this should partially answer your question.
All deposits are insured. Now here is some serious security from Coinbase. That being said, if your password gets cracked or stolen then this would not be covered by their insurance policy. Always use a long and unique password.
Many positive Coinbase reviews mention that sending cryptocurrency to other users (who also have wallets on the platform) is really easy and fast. I strongly agree with this. With all the recent backlog on the actual bitcoin network, the fact that Coinbase allows users to do off-chain transactions is a pretty sweet feature. No more idle waiting times while you worry about confirmations.
In 2016 the site made PayPal BTC sales available to US users. This feature will soon be available to European users looking to sell their bitcoins for PayPal.
It is possible to link a credit card, called Shift Card, to your account and then pay for daily purchases using your Coinbase balance. The system simply converts the coins into usd at the going rate at time of purchase. This feature is not yet available outside of the United States.
It's true that we often read reviews about Coinbase stating that it's one of the best places for new users and beginners wanting to get their first bitcoins. In this area the company receives so many recommendations owing to the fact that large investments were made to guarantee an impeccable user interface (UI) and experience (UX). Everything works right out of the box on all devices. There is even a smartphone app for android and iOS.
In my opinion the lack of friction on-ramping from the existing financial infrastructure is thanks to strong partnerships with the latter. For example, some of the largest Coinbase investors include BBVA, NYSE, and Andreessen Horowitz.
With our link you can get 10$ of free Bitcoin on Coinbase when you buy 100$ or more. Here's the invite. Enjoy!
Only available in three currency zones, the USA (dollar), Europe (euro), & Great Britain (GBP).
They have a cap on how much cryptocurrency you can buy each week. Lots of investors are now looking to invest in large quantities of cryptocurrency, with a cap of $1,000 a week, they may well look to go elsewhere. For those looking to buy large amounts of cryptocurrencies try CryptoGo.
You can only buy 4 cryptocurrencies; Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin. Those that are looking for a more diversified portfolio will have to look at different exchanges.
Suffering from its own popularity, waves of people flock to signup each time the price rises. Such events cause significant delays for vetting and approving new accounts. Note that all major crypto exchanges are experiencing such issues.
The downside of running a super safe exchange is that some customers get flagged and subsequently accounts get temporarily frozen. Extra vetting fixes this issue, but as waiting is no-ones favourite hobby people generally take to complaining on forums including reddit. I would go as far as saying that some good PR work would be needed to reassure the community.
Picking up on my last point, Coinbase support really needs to be more present on reddit. I'm talking about r/bitcoin and r/Coinbase - where some customer issues have gone un-answered for over 24hours. Tweeting @CoinbaseSupport (on twitter) usually gets an answer within the hour, but still - reddit... it's the front page of the internet.
Some reviews complain that Coinbase care more about their investors than it does about their users. This point would need further clarification but interesting nonetheless.
There are reports suggesting your coins may be tracked after withdrawing from the exchange. What does this mean? Being part of the Blockchain Alliance, Coinbase actively fights to avoid the use of digital currency in illegal and unlicensed activity. In other words - if you're using the coins to gamble or to purchase frowned-upon substances, then don't use Coinbase.
Some sections of the bitcoin community resent Coinbase's involvement in the current block size debate, or even the patenting of so-called inventions such as a bitcoin exchange or btc tip buttons. Yes - slightly excessive. Nevertheless actions like these will not have much of an impact for those looking to buy and sell btc, but feel free to look it up further if you are into the politics side of bitcoin.
One issue we are seeing crop up a lot is the high fees Coinbase charges. Often up to 4.5% on a transaction, which is considerably more expensive than many other exchanges.
To give you an idea of the popularity behind this platform let's dive deep into visitor statistics for Coinbase in 2017. First of all, monthly visits have been skyrocketing: between the month of October and November 2017 Coinbase has seen a 70% increase in traffic.
This figure currently stands at 65 million monthly visits. You may be saying: "yeah but this is because of the current bull market" - well get this: no other bitcoin exchange has been growing so fast in recent times. Furthermore, 45% of visits to Coinbase are from the USA, with Brazil second at 9% of total traffic, and the UK at 4%. Finally, at the time of writing this (March 2017) GDAX daily volume represents 15% of the whole bitcoin market volume.
Coinbase stats - April 2017
Coinbase has caught up (and overtaken) its competitor Blockchain, as the former now boasts >20 million cryptocurrency wallets held by customers. In addition, 75 thousand merchants use the platform as their payment processor, and 15 thousand developer apps have been created on the API.
In conclusion, far from being a new player to the bitcoin exchanges market, Coinbase has gathered quite a solid following. This explains why so many use the site for its long term reliability.
Here is an interview of CEO Brian Armstrong in 2015 where he talks about Coinbase:
To finish I would like to remind readers that it's always best practise not to store digital currency portfolios in an online-wallet system. Yes, Coinbase is the safest exchange for buying and selling. But please stay realistic with regards to your long-term storage strategy.
In recent times the website has been overloaded with new users flooding in to take advantage of the crypto boom. Such an influx has led to significant delays for customer support and verification. Here's what Coinbase have to say about these delays: [raw]
We are continuing to scale our customer support team. By the end of March 2018, the team will be 16x the size it was in January 2017. We will also be expanding phone support to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in 2018. pic.twitter.com/gqZW7DhBNB
Despite Coinbase's clear positives for first time traders and investors, it really drops for those that have experience. The fees are a lot higher than other exchanges and the fact that they cap your deposit is not ideal.
For those looking for an exchange that does not have any sort of cap, I would check out CryptoGo, you can invest as much as you like and because they have active account managers, they can help you on recent trends in the cryptocurrency market. Although, make sure you have done your research.
Another downside to Coinbase is the reduced choice of coins, this is fine for newbies but for those who want to build a diversified portfolio we would suggest other exchanges; CryptoGo, Binance etc. Have you used Coinbase to purchase, sell, or store bitcoins/ethereum? I'm curious to hear your experience in relation to our Coinbase review.
Have I missed something, or over-emphasized an aspect? Let me know in the comments below.
Coinbase is a worst company to use for crypto. They will happily take your money but will not do withdrawals or refunds. My money has been stuck with them since 25th of February and everytime I call or send an email, they say that my request has been escalated. Worst customer service ever! Takes ages to reply. Beware and better to choose any other platform.
Hi Boris, it depends what you are after. For beginners I would look at the likes of Coinbase, changelly and shapeshift, however their functionality is not great to actively trade and their fees can be quite high. For those that are looking to trade between cryptocurrencies, I would look at binance and bittrex, the functionality is good and they are both liquid exchanges.
In addition to the websites listed in the article, it's worth mentioning the linkkoin. com platform. The fastest way to buy Bitcoins and other Cryptocurrencies using credit card, all transactions are really fast.
I tried the number 855-559-8711 to see if I can get a response. The number did not have a menu or automated response that my call would be answered in an order it was received or something. Then someone called me back from the number 877-772-1777, telling me that they had a call from this number. He sounded Indian. I asked him what his agency is, he said it was computer tech support and asked me what type of error I have on my computer. This is pretty discouraging.
Coinbase is a joke. All transactions are being held for 72 hours despite identity verification of my DL, Cell phone, bank accounts, email and my mugshot, yet they hold your Bitcoin for 72 hours. Their transaction fee's are very high. You will lose 10% of of all Bitcoins purchased though CB. The fee's are close to 5% for both purchasing Bitcoin and Transferring bitcoin. Then to top it off, there customer service is pretty much useless as no one at CB can explain to me why the Bitcoins are "imprisoned" for 3 days. Any OTHER Bitcoin vendor is better then CB.
you said it takes on the spot to buy bitcoin or ethereum but its almost a week and i still do not see anything n my wallet.
is this delay normal? I used my credit card, but untill now theres also no deduction from my credit card. it onyl says 0,00 mount reserved!! what does that "reserved" mean? did my transaction went thru or not. Is it only on verifying my credit card? I did bought bitcoin and ethereum.
please give me some clear answer.
To act on coinbase I had to verifided my payment method. I had to do this by transferring a small amount to coinbase. I did this weeks ago. Still can not use coinbase. Money has been debited from my account but it has not been added to my coinbase account. Have multiple emails sent to coinbase there is no response.
Coinbase has non-existent customer support. Once they have your money it is impossible to get it back out.
In order to withdraw money to your bank account they have to verify your bank account. This process is supposed to take 2 days. I waited 2 months and it still has not happened. Coinbase support ignores my emails, so I cannot get my money out.
I would not recommend using them at all. Go read all the reviews on Trustpilot - see how many people cannot get their money out. I smell a rat.
Hey Pierre, I understand your frustration. Do realize that you're not the only person waiting to hear back from support.
> Go read all the reviews on Trustpilot
You'll notice that, at the moment, non-existent customer support is a recurring issue among all the leading bitcoin trading sites. They are all working through a huge backlog of new user account vettings, support tickets etc. The month of December saw tens of millions of new users flock onto these sites - imagine how difficult it is to cope when your support team needs to quadruple overnight.
Is Coinbase a legitimate exchange that can be trusted ? Most likely. Are there many angry customers like yourself waiting to hear from the support team ? Also likely.
New York State seems to have convinced many online exchanges to disallow residents from participating. Coinbase provides a home for us. That noted, I'm eager to identify a NYS friendly exchange option besides Coinbase - largely because of the limited etoken array available on the portal. Nice article & comparison of crypto trading sites.
I hear you since i am in NY. However, Coinbase is a damn joke if you try to get your money out of there by depositing into your bank. Easy to take your money from you, but not give it back to you. I made a deposit on 11SEP17 to my chase account. Weeks go by and still pending and then it just disappears altogether. This is when they had phone service. Got hung up on soon as they looked up my account several times. they emailed me back to respond and asked if it was solved. I said not at all and then they didn't reply again. that was at least eight times. Then the money finally gets back in there two months later. So I transfer to my wallet and it says pending second verification. It did that until three weeks ago and now my .0200 BTC is gone again and they no longer have customer service agents via phone. I have been waiting on a reply from them once again. I am so pissed. I should have known better. they are US based but they aren't in the BBB and so many people have lost a lot of money from it disappearing, but guess what, it doesn't disappear it goes into their account.
I want to invest in cryptocurrencies to build my retirement fund. I recently found that my Fidelity account will allow me to import a Coinbase account to 'view' but not transact (which is perfectly fine). Not sure if there is anyone out there that is also investing for this reason and just letting everyone know about that little fact. I like it because I want to track all my retirement investments in one place. I'm also super confused about why you need another wallet besides the Coinbase one. How important is that? and, how do you get your coins into whatever wallet you choose? Is it super intuitive or am I going to be completely confused after I've funded my Coinbase account and purchased currency?
> why you need another wallet besides the Coinbase one
This is best practice recommended by most long term bitcoiners. Many exchanges have disappeared with users funds in the past. Due to the new and unregulated nature of crypto, it's best to stay safe.
I have repeatedly tried to verify myself with Coinbase via a photo id but each time the process will not complete as it appears to be hung up. Without this verification Coinbase will not allow me to buy coins. Does anybody know why this is happening? Thanks
Do not try the web camera, can be some issues with it. Try to do this instead, it works almost 99,9% - Do like this - select the mobile camera service then do a click over the link you gonna get in your mobile (they send a link to you), go to that site and follows the instructions. The bottom line is that you will use your mobile instead while taking the picture of your ID and send the pictures direct to them. I hope i help to you.
Thank you Chango for sharing your brilliant solution. Coinbase is indeed one of the top site for newbie purchasers, but this webcam passport verification is indeed something that everyone struggles with.
Coin base just added bitcoincash. While doing it the site was down and the price of lite Coin and etherium went down over $40.00 per share. And there is nothing one can do. You can't buy or sell. As a customer there it would be nice if someone had me notified that this will take place, or hey we will list bitcoincash. If the market for whatever reason goes south there is no way to control your assets on this site Be Ware!
i wish i could have some experience in selling and buying using Coinbase. Sadly, the site is down, has been for a while and is not able to verify my ID. Frustrating.. been waiting for more than 3 days now.
I’ve heard a lot about frozen accounts. Does that mean there’s just a temporary problem of inconvenience only ? Is this just a buy and sell issue? I plan to get a hard wallet and not keep my coins in my Coinbase wallet, can I trade with another site if coinbase is locked up?
Try Coinbase vault storage. You'll always have access to your funds (multisig wallet) even if the website goes down. I wouldn't use Coinbase if you plan to be sending your coins to "unconventional" places (eg gambling sites, darknet markets etc)
I am gradually sliding into fear of fraud. After more than Three weeks Coinbase has still not credited by bank transfer to my Euro account and the single email from Support was insulting in its total uselessness. I seriously recommend that others avoid this company
Coinbase is one of most reputable bitcoin exchanges - especially for beginner bitcoiners. Yes their support is slow and overloaded with new users. But do keep in mind that other exchanges are the same. I'm hoping that your case gets resolved soon, but know that such slowness (email support, bank transfers etc) happens often.
Saying they are reputable is a stretch given all the complaints and customers having to take legal action just go get the money that was supposed to be deposited into their accounts. If you give such a recommendation, I would warn people to set up another wallet and transfer the money out of their account or spend, but don't try to take it out of their account directly. I know six people that use coinbase. 5 of them lost money, or if they are backlogged then maybe in 2019 of 2020 they might get it back. The point is a transfer shouldn' take months especially when they are sure to withdraw our money (upon request im saying)
You're right, and I agree with your message. What Coinbase should have done was disable new account registration (as did Cex, Bitfinex, Bittrex and many more) as soon as their support team started getting backlogged.
For other people reading this: Coinbase users can still instantly withdraw their crypto without hindrance. Unfortunately it's the new bank transfers that are taking a very long time to be approved and show up on user's accounts.
I appreciate how your article tackled not only the economic side of Coinbase, but also the political side. Like in other industries, politics is an element that not many are eager to participate in. However, we need people to be fully informed about the cryptocurrency and the process that makes it possible. They must balance the need to please both the investors and the userbase.
As a considerable giant in the world of BTC exchanges, Coinbase really needs to be as transparent and helpful as possible. Like you mentioned, PR and customer support need to work on Reddit. Not many people use it compared to Facebook and Twitter, but this is where the most interested individuals usually go to.
The positive reviews are great. Not to mention, their continued interested in the Ethereum blockchain means they are more than willing to adjust to the rapid changes in digital currency.
Also, the statistics all show large figures, except for the number of developer apps. There are millions of users and visits, but there are only 9,000 developer apps. I'm not saying that there should be hundreds of thousands of it, but I think that Coinbase should further encourage groups and individuals alike to create apps that can improve BTC trading. For now, what steps are Coinbase doing to entice developers? Moreover, what should they do in the future?
Indeed, this Coinbase analysis brings up a good question. Why are they so intent on patenting things such as bitcoin exchange and bitcoin tip buttons? Let's have a Coinbase comparison with Poloniex. One of the strengths of Poloniex is that the trading interface code is open source. This allows people to look into Poloniex further. I'm aware thanks to this Coinbase review that it has an API, but my point is that they shouldn't be so protective of its supposed inventions. This just creates strife among the community members.
Speaking of the API and in response to your query, I think that Coinbase can have competitions for users. They can present their best ideas, and the winner gets some crypto coins. But seriously, I think that it's up to the users themselves. Many people have the skill, it's up to them if they want to dig deeper into the API.
Moreover, the disadvantages of Coinbase are quite alarming. While the investors will give it the money it needs, the users are what keeps it active enough for investors to be interested in the first place. This inspection lists that the exchange offers good customer support using the telephone line -- but what about Reddit? The aforementioned advantages won't matter if their reputation is tarnished.
I'm really confused because I'm a newbie and not very computer literate but I'm fine on my iPad Pro and my phn and I thought my etherium and bitcoin were perfectly safe right in my Coinbase account. How would I go safely about transferring my money over to an offline wallet. Thanks for info
Having been through many bitcoin exchange demises I always recommend never to leave your coins on an exchange or online wallet. You'll find that many other bitcoin 'old-timers' will give similar advice regarding the safe storage of your bitcoin. Here's a good introduction for choosing an offline wallet: https://howtobuybitcoin.io/best-wallets/
When reading about Cyrptocurrencies, i keep seeing the term "bitcoin" used often. Are the articles talking about Bitcoin (the cyrptocurrency) or about all Cyrptocurrencies? It gets a little confusing when attempting to buy other Cyrptocurrencies other than Bitcoin or even Ethereum.
Generally speaking, "Bitcoin" with an upper-case "B" refers to the technology behind. Therefore the term "Bitcoin" can in some cases refer to cryptocurrency as a whole - since most altcoins use derived code and blockchain systems from Bitcoin.
"bitcoin" with a lower-case "b" only refers to bitcoin the currency - just like when we talk about euros, dollars, pounds we uses lower-case letters.
I have to ask you, where did you hear this, read this, or learn this? I have been trading and tracking BTC for four years and reading news on it daily and been investing in other altcoins for a few years. I have never heard this and I asked other people who been around it more than me and all blank. I am not saying you're wrong, I am just asking where can I find this or who says this and since when.
I recently opened an account with coin base and I purchased 60 ethereum . I bought a new phone but when I downloaded the app on the new phone and opened it it shows that I have no transactions. Has this ever happened to anyone else?
Didn't happen to me... but when you buy the Ethereum are you making a "transaction" per se? I think Coinbase considers it to be a "trade". Transactions would be sending and receiving coins to different addresses.
Thumbs up for the good detail throughout this review. You have managed to stay fair and impartial and yet still review the good and bad sides of this bitcoin exchange. Coinbase has always been my number 1 for recommending to newbie bitcoin people
Yeah this is a nice overview of the advantages of using Coinbase. The exchange is currently the world's largest, and is still attracting over 50k new users each WEEK. Now that's impressive. They must be making BIG ????.
You can use your coins from Coinbase for anything you want as long as you properly tumble them to remove the trace. Also, never leave your coins on Coinbase. Buy and transfer to your personal wallet or Trezor.
Remember that Blockchain-info is an online web-wallet. Web-wallets are considered to be the least safe option for storing large amounts of bitcoin.
Disregard the above if you are simply looking for a wallet to store small amounts for everyday usage.
Am new to bitcoin exchanges an am searching for best, most hassle-free exchange. Coinbase ranked #1?!? Hah.
After signing up and making several successful credit card purchases of bitcoin over a week’s period, am suddenly blocked out of purchase capability (and sale) by another “ID verification”. However, Coinbase makes it impossible for one to make additional verification by claiming that “document couldn’t be processed”, or your “session has expired” or “we need another selfie as photo is blurred”, etc. and these issues whether one attempts to fix on iPhone, iPad, Samsung with Chrome, or PC.
Cannot get bit coin in or out now.
There is NO assistance, as per blog discussing this month’s-long problem. And this is a serious problem that MANY users are experiencing. I’ve gone through page after page of complaints about this issue. With NO fix in sight. Users money is stuck in exchange and have been unable to buy bitcoin when a strong rally is occurring. . . Hummmm.
I think am taking a loss in the bitcoin and ethereum I have with this exchange. More the reason after sign up with another exchange to get off-exchange wallets and transfer right away!
A couple of friends have had the same problem with Paypal. Their accounts simply stopped working and after persistent enquiries they are advised "your account is frozen for contravening Paypal's terms of service". And there goes goodby tens of thousands of dollars. Paypal just helps themselves
Thanks for sharing your opinion and experience here. It seems that account block-outs are becoming the norm across most high-security exchanges. Being a trustworthy place to buy digital assets, most people seem to flock there regardless of this friction for certain scenarios. As I mentioned in my review, Coinbase has been known to temporarily freeze accounts where coins are subsequently used in unlicensed or dark web activity. This most-likely follows their commitment in adhering to BlockchainAlliance best practices. While the effectiveness of these actions are debatable, many alternative bitcoin exchanges exist should you grow tiered of having to submit extra ID documents (see my homepage list).
well done. there's a fair amount of pertinent facts here compared to other articles that i've read & you've nailed it on the head with this review of coinbase. in one short line here's my opinion: i've been a happy customer for 2 years until they unexpectedly shut down my account... now it's just hassle
I appreciate the encouragement. Facts are always essential to any detailed exchange overview. Sorry to hear your struggles. Some Coinbase account shut-down comments that I've read point to a pre-existing use of the coins for lesser-know site purchases. While I don't think this alone should cause a problem, perhaps if the site in question was on the darknet, or something similar? Let me know how the resolution goes and it's outcome.