Coinbase Review: Is Coinbase Safe? Reviewed in 2018

Coinbase Review: 2018 arrived with a lot of surprises for cryptocurrency enthusiasts. A huge amount of new people dived into crypto world and mainstream media brought it in front of a large audience.

With the recent price spike of Bitcoin and Ethereum, almost everyone wants to get there share of BTC. But the question arises, how to buy Bitcoin/Ethereum?

So, Today I will give you a detailed review of Coinbase which is one the world’s largest Bitcoin and Ethereum exchange.

Since you need to transfer money to the exchange you must have a various question in mind like:

  • Is Coinbase safe?
  • How to start with Coinbase?
  • How to buy Bitcoin on Coinbase?
  • Which countries are supported by Coinbase?
  • Is Coinbase customer support good?

And the list of such questions is endless, so without any further ado lets get started with Coinbase review.

ExchangeCoinbase
Founded In2012
LocationSan Fransico, U.S.A.
Availability32 Countries
Deposit MethodsCredit Card, Bank Transfers
Withdrawal MethodsBank Transfers, PayPal
CryptocurrenciesBitecoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin
Beginner Friendly
Mobile App
ReputationHigh
FeesLow
SecurityHigh
Customer SupportAverage
RegisterCoinbase

What is Coinbase?

coinbase

Coinbase is the largest Bitcoin exchange founded in 2012, situated in San Francisco, California. It allows buying Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin with Credit card and Bank transfer. It also provides free online wallet to store your funds.

Currently, Coinbase is available in 32 countries and has served more than 8 million customers. It has helped users exchange cryptocurrency worth over $20 Billion.

In 2017, It became the first digital currency company to be valued over $1.5 Billion. They also received funding of a whopping $100M.

Initially, Coinbase started as a broker i.e. selling Bitcoins directly to the customers. However, in May 2016, Coinbase started operating GDAX, with a sole purpose of cryptocurrency trading.

Moreover, Over a period of few years, Coinbase has set itself as the desirable platform for cryptocurrency beginners to buy Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Getting started with Coinbase

Creating an account and buying cryptocurrency on Coinbase is very simple and quick. Here are the quick steps to get started:

1. Create an Account

Sign up on Coinbase and Enter your Name, Email, Password and Country.

coinbase signup

Remember to select the Individual account, as Business accounts are for GDAX.

2. Verify Your Phone Number

You will then need to verify your phone number. This is used as a form of 2-Factor Authentication, helping to secure your account.

coinbase mobile number

3. Add Bank Account/Card

Now you need to set up your payment method. You can attach your bank account or Credit/debit card through which you wish to fund your Coinbase account.

coinbase add payment

Once you add your Bank account details, Coinbase may initiate 2 small transactions and then you need to enter those transaction amounts in order verify the account.

Note: While adding your Credit/Debit card you might need to add a picture of you holding the card. This is done to reduce fraudulent activities.

4. Buying Bitcoin/Ethereum/Litecoin

Once your account is funded, you just need to go to Buy/Sell where you need to enter the amount of crypto you wish to buy.

coinbase buy bitcoin

 

Once you place your oder, you will recieve Bitcoin in your Coinbase account within a few minutes.

Is Coinbase Safe?

First of all, let me tell you that Coinbase has never been hacked and it is one of the most popular platforms to buy Bitcoin.

Being the top exchange, Coinbase has the responsibility to provide enormous safety to users funds. Hence, Coinbase security can be divided into 3 parts:

Account Safety:

Coinbase has 2-factor authentication which lets a user add a second layer of security to their accounts. You can set 2FA with text SMS or use 3rd party apps. However, I would recommend you to use Google Authenticator or Authy for extra safety.

Another good thing is that you can track the activity of your account and get an email every time your account is opened on a new IP.

Storage of Funds:

Coinbase stores 98% of the digital currency in secure offline cold storage. For enhanced security, these funds are not stored in a single wallet. The funds are distributed over various cold storages like Paper wallet, Hardware wallets etc.

For even more security, those hardware wallets are safely stored in deposit boxes and vaults around the world. Hence, the safety of your cryptocurrencies is the highest priority for Coinbase.

The remain 2% of the cryptocurrencies which is stored online, is fully insured by Lloyd’s of London.

Apart from this, Coinbase has never merge customer and company operational funds. All the customer funds are held in bank accounts. Thus, your funds are never used by Coinbase for their personal use.

One thing that I really like that Coinbase claimed that,

“Even if Coinbase were to become insolvent, the funds held in the custodial bank accounts could not be claimed by Coinbase or its creditors.  The Funds held in those accounts would be returnable to Coinbase’s customers.”

However, you must note that, if you compromise your login details, Coinbase is not liable for any loss in that case. Thus I always recommend you store funds in a Hardware wallet like Ledger Nano S.

Company Regulations:

Coinbase is a registered company in U.S., hence it has to comply with all the U.S. laws and regulations at both federal and state level. This is something which makes Coinbase better than its offshore competitors which are not regulated by U.S. laws.

Backed by top Investors:

Last but not the least, Coinbase is backed by some of the top investors in the finance world. The investors included are:

  • Alexis Ohanian (Reddit Co-Founder)
  • Bank Of Tokyo
  • Blockchain Capital
  • Digital Currency Group.

At the end, I’m convinced that Coinbase is definitely a safe platform to buy/sell cryptocurrencies. However, I would recommend you to never store funds in an online wallet. Even though the funds are insured, this is not something you would put to test.

Which are the supported countries?

Coinbase allows buying and selling of cryptocurrencies only in 32 countries, however, it provides free online wallet for people all over the world.

Countries where Coinbase allows buy/sell of BTC, ETH, and LTC are:

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States.

Even if buys and sells are not yet available in your country, you can still take advantage of many Coinbase features such as:

  • Sending and receiving funds (no transaction fees!)
  • The Coinbase Vault
  • Recurring payments

What are the Transaction Limits?

Buy and sell limits of an account depends upon the payment mode, verification status as well as the location. You can easily check your account limit by visiting your account.

For a verified U.S. customer, the weekly limits are:

  • Buy through Bank Account – $5,000
  • Buy through Credit/Debit Card – $50
  • Sell – $50,000

Moreover, if you account limits are met, you can contact the customer support for increasing your account limits for bank transfers.

What are the Payment Modes & Fees involved?

CountriesPayment ModeFees*
Time Taken
USABank Transfer1.49%5-7 days
USACredit / Debit Card3.99%instant
EuropeSEPA Transfer1.49%1-3 days
EuropeCredit / Debit Card3.99%instant
AustraliaCredit / Debit Cardinstantinstant
CanadaCredit / Debit Card3.99%instant
UKCredit / Debit Card3.99%instant
SingaporeXfers Transfer1.49%instant

coinbase fee

*As you can see in the above image, the deposit of funds is absolutely free but Coinbase charges a 1.49% fee per purchase.

Let me tell you one thing, that Coinbase provides some of the least transaction fees when compared to its competitors.

Exchange Country Fee
Coinbase USA, Europe 3.99%
Bitstamp Europe 5%
Coinmama Worldwide 6%
Cex.io Worldwide 7%

Customer Support

Coinbase has a not so good customer support. They do not offer live chat support, however there support is available through email which generally responds back within 48 hours.

They also have a detailed repository of common questions which solves most of the queries.

What you need to take care of while using Coinbase

Since Coinbase is a licensed company, it has zero tolerance for illegal activities. Most of the times, Coinbase has been found tracking where their users send their crypto and ban them. Some of the activities that you should not do on your Coinbase account are:

  • Sending cryptocurrency to LocalBitcoins.
  • Sending cryptocurrency to gambling sites.
  • Sending cryptocurrency for darknet purchases.

If in case, Coinbase bans your account, your funds would be paid back to your bank account.

Though I do not personally promote using cryptocurrency for illegal actives but tracking user activity and banning their account is not legit either.

Pro and Cons

Pros

  • Easy for beginners to purchase Bitcoin
  • Offers a Mobile App
  • Low transaction fee
  • Allows buying Bitcoin with bank transfer
  • Licensed and regulated exchange
  • High liquidity

Cons 

  • Not available worldwide
  • Less Payment methods
  • Limited cryptocurrenies
  • Verification takes some time

Frequently asked question about Coinbase

Who is the founder of Coinbase?

The CEO of Coinbase is Brian Armstrong. He has completed Master’s degree from Rice University in 2006 and has worked as a software engineer in Airbnb for a year before starting Coinbase.

You can connect with him on twitter.

Can I purchase Bitcoin with Paypal?

Currently, Coinbase does not support Paypal and I don’t even that they would ever support PayPal. The reason for not adding Paypal as a payment mode is the chargeback. However, you can buy bitcoin with Paypal by following our detailed guide.

What is Coinbase Vault?

Coinbase vault is a recently launched feature where users can “share an account” with 2 or more users. In this case, a can add two approvers to his vault and both must confirm the transaction before it processes.

It also has a feature where the transactions are delayed for 48 hours which allows the user to catch an unauthorized transaction.

This feature helps to add up an extra layer of security to your accounts.

Can I store USD in my Coinbase account?

Yes, Coinbase allows you to store USD in your account enabling you to purchase Bitcoin instantly whenever you want. This helps to reduce volatility and get higher profits.

Does Coinbase have a Mobile App?

Yes, Coinbase offers a very easy to use Mobile app along with the website. Let me tell you that, this Coinbase app is not a Mobile wallet hence your private keys are not stored on your device.

Since the private keys to your address are owned by Coinbase, it is better to use Coinbase for buy/sell and not to store funds.

You can download the app here.

iOS | Android

My take on Coinbase Review

I hope, by now you must have understood everything about Coinbase and its features. Coinbase is a great platform if you want to buy Bitcoin with fiat currency.

The only disappointment I have with Coinbase is that it is not available in all the countries. For the past 1 year, Coinbase claims that they will expand to 168+ countries and even after a huge funding there is no sign of expansion. Looking at this, I don’t think expansion will happen anytime soon.

Moreover, Coinbase has a great take on security and also provides a Mobile app which let users buy/sell cryptocurrency on the go.

Overall, I find Coinbase a reliable platform to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin and you must surely go ahead to give it a try.

So, this is it on my side. Now it’s your turn to tell comment below and share the experience of the exchange which you use.

And if you got any question then feel free to comment below and I will surely reply back.

Meanwhile, you can read these hand-picked articles:

Coinbase Review

Coinbase Review
9

Ease for Beginners

10.0/10

Customer Support

8.0/10

Reputation

8.0/10

Fees

10.0/10

Payment Methods

9.0/10

Pros

  • Support fiat currencies
  • Offers Mobile App
  • Good for beginners
  • Safety of funds

Cons

  • High Fees
  • Not available worldwide
  • Supports only few cryptocurrencies

Comments (No)

Leave a Reply