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Coinbase is one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges, operating in 100 countries with over 30 million customers. Coinbase allows traders to buy and sell Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, as well as convert cryptos to fiat money.
In this article, we’ll explain how Coinbase works, describe the services available in , and review their trading platform. We’ll also discuss the company’s history, its customer service, and its overall trustworthiness.
Coinbase Quick Summary
|✅ Simple app that anyone can use||❌ Higher fees than industry average|
|✅ Access to more than 30 cryptocurrencies||❌ Limited customer service contact options|
|✅ Low minimum requirements to fund your account||❌ No demo account|
|✅ Detailed charting on Pro accounts|
Where Does Coinbase Operate?
Coinbase has a large global footprint and operates in over 100 countries.
|Isle of Man||✅||✅||✅|
|British Virgin Islands||✅||❌||❌|
|Republic of Korea||✅||❌||❌|
|Trinidad and Tobago||✅||❌||❌|
|Synthetix Network Token||SNX|
Coinbase Account Types
Coinbase offers two types of accounts: Standard and Coinbase Pro.
Coinbase’s standard account lets you exchange cryptocurrency for your home country’s fiat currency at the current market rate.
For standard accounts, all transactions are converted from US dollars, so exchange rates to/from non-US currencies will apply.
Coinbase’s Pro account is a full-fledged trading account aimed at professional and high-volume crypto traders.
It comes with a slew of advantages over Coinbase’s standard account:
- Trade crypto-to-crypto
- Place market, limit, and stop orders
- Advanced charting features
- Lower fees with zero-fee transactions on certain order types
- Trading in US dollars (USD), Euros (EUR), or British pounds (GBP).
Pro Trading Tools
With the Pro account, you also gain access to powerful trading tools:
- Market Orders – Market orders let you buy crypto assets on-demand at the best price available.
- Limit Orders – Set a price you want to buy or sell a cryptocurrency at.
- Stop Orders – Designed to help limit losses, stop orders trigger a sale if a cryptocurrency falls below a certain value.
Caveats for Coinbase Pro
There are a few trade-offs with the Coinbase Pro account.
- Coinbase Pro no longer offers margin trading to retail investors to comply with guidance from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
- You can’t use credit or debit cards to buy cryptocurrency.
What’s the Difference Between Coinbase and Coinbase Pro?
Here’s a top-level look at the primary differences between the Coinbase account types.
|Coinbase Standard||Coinbase Pro|
|Transactions||Purchase cryptos in your country’s fiat currency||Buy, sell, exchange cryptos with fiat currency or other cryptos|
|Currency Conversion||USD only||USD, EUR, or GBP|
|Trading Tools||❌||Market, limit, and stop orders|
How Do I Verify My Coinbase Account?
Coinbase is a regulated cryptocurrency exchange, which means it must comply with money-laundering prevention laws and other regulations. In plain English: they need to verify your identity.
Here are the documents you’ll need, differ depending on your location:
Coinbase has tried to minimize friction in the verification process so it’s possible to complete it through the website or the app by taking a selfie and photo of your ID.
After you’ve opened a Coinbase account, you’ll want to secure it with two-factor authentication (2FA).
Coinbase gives you several ways to implement 2FA for your account:
- Physical Key – Coinbase supports all WebAuthN/Fido2 standard security keys.
- Google Authenticator or Duo – These apps are available for iOS and Android.
- SMS – Coinbase will send a text with a one-time code to your phone.
Coinbase Funding Methods
Coinbase offers many ways to fund your account, depending on your country.
|3D Secure Credit/Debit Card||❌||❌||✅||❌||❌||✅|
|*Coinbase no longer supports credit card funding.|
Deposit and Withdrawal Limits
Coinbase has minimum and maximum deposit and withdrawal limits that vary depending upon your location and the level of your account verification.
- The maximum ACH deposit in the US is $25,000 per day, but there is no limit on cryptocurrency deposits.
- Maximum withdrawal amounts for cash or crypto are limited to $25,000 per day. However, with Coinbase Pro, you can apply for a higher withdrawal limit.
Coinbase’s fees differ by account type. In general, Coinbase standard transactions are charged via spread whereas Coinbase Pro accounts are charged with maker and taker fees.
All Coinbase fees are disclosed before a transaction is accepted.
Coinbase Standard Account Fees
Coinbase charges several fees on standard account transactions. All fees are disclosed before your trade’s submission.
|Spread | Fiat to Crypto (or vice versa)||~0.50%|
|Transaction Fee | Fiat to Crypto (or vice versa)||From $/€/£ 0.99 to $/€/£ 2.99|
|Crypto to Crypto Trades||~2%.|
|Borrowing From Coinbase||2%|
|Staking Services||25% of the reward|
Coinbase Pro Account Fees
Coinbase Pro uses a maker-taker fee structure.
- Takers – If your order is fulfilled immediately, you are considered a taker and you’ll pay between 0.04% and 0.50% of the order amount.
- Makers – If your order is not immediately filled, you are considered a maker and you’ll pay between 0.00% and 0.50%.
|Order Amount||Taker Fee||Maker Fee|
|$10 – 50K||0.35%||0.35%|
|$50 – 100K||0.25%||0.15%|
|$100K – 1M||0.20%||0.10%|
|$50 – 100M||0.10%||0.00%|
|$100 – 300M||0.07%||0.00%|
|$300 – 500M||0.05%||0.00%|
There are also the following deposit and withdrawal fees:
|Funding Method||Deposit Fee||Withdrawal Fee|
|SEPA Wire (EUR)||€0.15||€0.15|
|Swift Wire (GBP)||Free||£1|
Coinbase will also charge a mining fee to pay transaction costs. This fee is disclosed before you submit the transaction.
Other Coinbase Products
Coinbase offers several other products for crypto traders: a free crypto wallet, a Visa card, and Coinbase Earn, a tutorial course that allows you to earn free cryptocurrency by completing it.
Coinbase offers a standalone cryptocurrency wallet (sometimes called a bitcoin wallet) for storing your digital assets. This wallet is distinct from the wallet on your Coinbase account. The wallet is available for both iOS and Android devices.
Like other Coinbase applications, it has a simple interface and is easy to use.
Coins that Coinbase’s wallet currently supports are:
- Bitcoin Cash
- Ethereum Classic
- Stellar Lumens
- All ERC20 tokens including USDC and DAI
Using Coinbase Wallet With Other Services
Coinbase Wallet can be used with any crypto exchange. It also enables traders to connect to a variety of Ethereum-based decentralized finance (DeFi) apps, including UniSwap and AAVE.
Coinbase Visa Debit Card
Coinbase’s Visa debit card enables you to spend funds from your cryptocurrency wallet in any brick-and-mortar or online store that accepts Visa cards. Cardholders receive both a digital and physical version of their card.
Differences Between US and European Cards
There are some differences in limits and fees between the European and American versions of the cards:
|Daily Spending Limit||$2,500||£10,000||10.000 €|
|Max Daily ATM Withdrawal Limit||$1,000||£500||500 €|
|Max Monthly Purchase Limit||None||£20,000||20.000 €|
|Max Yearly Purchase Limit||None||£100,000||100.000 €|
|Crypto Rewards||4% XLM or 1% XLM||None||None|
|Fees||None for USDC; Crypto liquidation fee of 2.49% on all other purchases.||Crypto liquidation fee of 2.49%, card issuance, domestic/international cash withdrawal, various purchase transaction fees||Crypto liquidation fee of 2.49%, card issuance, domestic/international cash withdrawal, various purchase transaction fees|
Cryptos Available for Spending
The following crypto wallets can be used with the Coinbase debit card:
Coinbase Earn allows traders to earn crypto while learning about cryptocurrencies and completing quizzes. Rewards vary but are typically worth about $3 – $6 in altcoins.
Coinbase Platform Review
In this section, we’ll take you through the Coinbase exchange and Pro trading platforms.
Coinbase Cryptocurrency Exchange
Compared to other exchanges Coinbase is a solid choice. It has a simple interface that is fairly intuitive, although not customizable. You can see the crypto assets in your portfolio, rewards status, and recent transactions on the Portfolio page.
The top traded coins are listed on the Prices page. Starred coins are those on your watch list. You can also search from this page.
If you want to learn more about a crypto, you can click through to its unique page which shows a customizable live price chart, a link to the coin’s website, price-correlated altcoins, and recent news stories about the coin.
Linking your bank account takes less than 30 seconds in most cases. (You can also fund an account with other methods.)
When you’re ready to buy your first crypto, the Buy ticket is extremely simple.
You can opt for a one-time purchase or set up a repeating purchase that executes daily, weekly, monthly, or semi-monthly. The lowest amount you can purchase is $1.99, which includes Coinbase’s fee.
Next, you’ll see a preview of your purchase, including any fees that will be charged.
Coinbase Pro Desktop Platform
The Coinbase Pro platform is designed for experienced traders and should look familiar to them.
The main part of the dashboard contains live cryptocurrency information about volume, pricing, and history, as well as some charting features. You can choose between candlestick and depth charts.
The trading ticket is built into the left side of the screen:
The ticket is where you’ll find the Market, Limit, and Stop orders, if you choose to use them.
How to Transfer Assets From Your Wallet
From the dashboard you can also transfer cryptocurrency from your Coinbase wallet to or from your Pro account.
- In the upper-left portion of the dashboard, choose Deposit.
- Choose the altcoin you want to transfer.
- Select Coinbase Account to access your wallet.
- Enter the amount you want to transfer.
- Select Deposit again.
Coinbase Mobile Platform
Coinbase’s mobile app for iOS and Android is free of charge. This app contains the same functionality as the Coinbase desktop site and looks almost identical to it.
If you prefer not to use an app, Coinbase’s website is responsive and adapts to any mobile device.
Crypto traders can buy, sell, and convert crypto, check the value of their portfolio, as well as deposit and withdraw funds.
Coinbase Pro Mobile
Coinbase also offers a mobile version of Coinbase Pro which functions identically to the browser-based website.
Is Coinbase Trustworthy?
Coinbase is regulated by two respected agencies:
- Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) – This US government body monitors money laundering and terrorism financing.
- Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – This UK agency is considered the gold standard for regulatory compliance.
US traders are covered by FDIC insurance on their cash assets up to $250,000.
Coinbase Customer Support
Coinbase’s knowledgebase is built into its platform and can be accessed via a tab.
For both Coinbase Standard and Pro, you can fill out a detailed support ticket on their website. However, if your issue is not covered in the form’s options, you cannot ask a free-form question. Support is provided only in English.
Coinbase provides phone numbers which you may contact if your account is compromised (but for no other reason):
- US and International: +1 888 908-7930
- UK: 0808 168 4635
- Ireland: 1800 200 355
Coinbase Company Background
Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Coinbase was founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong, a former Airbnb engineer, and Fred Ehrsam, a former Goldman Sachs trader. The company received a $5 million investment from Union Square Ventures in May 2013, as well as another $25 million in December of the same year.
Over the next eight years, the exchange grew to become the largest US cryptocurrency exchange by volume in the United States.
Here are answers to common questions about Coinbase.
How do I get my money out of Coinbase?
To withdraw fiat currency, simply use the transfer widget to move money back into your linked bank account. To move your cryptocurrency to another wallet, use the external digital currency address of your new (non-Coinbase) wallet with the transfer widget. Examples of other wallets include Bitcoin’s Wallet, Ethereum Wallet, and Litevault.
Can Coinbase steal my money?
There is a risk that Coinbase could theoretically empty your cryptocurrency wallet since they control your account’s private keys. However, since Coinbase is a regulated broker, this is unlikely. Both FinCEN and FCA are well-regarded regulatory bodies who serve as watchdogs for THE companies licensed by them. Additionally, your US fiat currency is protected by the FDIC for up to $250,000. (Your cryptocurrency isn’t protected by FDIC.)
If you are concerned about your crypto assets, the safest bet would be to transfer them to a separate crypto wallet where you control the private keys.