Coinbase is one of the easiest platforms to buy, sell, and store cryptocurrency. It is also one of the most popular crypto services in the world. Coinbase is designed to be the entry point for inexperienced users. This article is a Coinbase review. We’ll go through all the essential Coinbase features.
Coinbase company overview
Coinbase is an American company, founded already in 2012. The CEO is Brian Armstrong, who is one of the best-known figures in the cryptocurrency scene. The Coinbase philosophy has always been the ease of use. It has provided a simple fiat on-ramp to crypto, especially for new and inexperienced users.
In the beginning, only Bitcoin was offered. Ethereum was added in 2016, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash in 2017. The crypto offers started to grow rapidly since 2018. Nowadays you can buy dozens of popular coins from Coinbase. There are new features too, such as staking and debit cards.
Coinbase has also grown fast as a company. The million-user barrier was broken already in 2014. Currently, there are over 56 million customers using Coinbase. It is one of the most popular and reliable platforms to buy cryptocurrencies.
The company was recently listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange in April 2021. Coinbase is the first cryptocurrency exchange that anyone can buy shares of.
Coinbase review – how to open a new account
Next, it’s time to open a Coinbase account. Begin the registration by clicking the link below.
Once you land on the Coinbase front page, click Get Started button in the top right corner. Type in your name, e-mail address, and password to create an account.
After this, you’ll get a confirmation e-mail to your inbox. Click the confirmation link and you’ll be forwarded back to the Coinbase website.
Next, the KYC (Know Your Customer) process begins. This is a standard procedure required by all operators when bank transfers are involved.
First, you are asked to input your mobile phone number. This is used in verifications later. Next, you’ll see a form, which you need to complete. It requires standard information like your address and DOB.
Before you continue, make sure you have a high-quality picture of your passport available. You also need proof of your address (an electric bill or something like that). Once you are ready, click Continue and upload these files to the system.
You’ll save a lot of time if you provide high-quality pictures, to begin with. Make sure all relevant information is clearly visible.
Your account confirmation might take a few minutes or a couple of hours depending on the traffic.
How to make a Coinbase deposit (fiat)
Once you have gone through the KYC process, it’s possible to make a bank wire deposit. This process begins by adding a new payment method.
Click your name from the top right corner of the page. A menu opens. Select Settings from this menu.
From the settings page, it’s possible to change profile information, security settings, privacy settings, etc. Select Payment methods from the settings submenu (see the image).
This page shows all available payment methods. When you open it for the first time, it’s empty. Click Add a payment method button to continue.
Next, a popup opens with the following choices.
Click the Euro Bank Account option and add your bank details. Linking your bank account to Coinbase is a different process depending on your country and bank. Just follow the on-screen instructions and fill in the required information.
Adding a new credit or debit card is a simple process too. It’s a similar form you see on any other site. You just add your card information and that’s it.
You can also link your PayPal account with Coinbase. This can be only used for withdrawals.
How to buy Bitcoin at Coinbase
Once you have added a payment method, you can finally buy some crypto. Click the Trade button from the main menu. You’ll see a list of all available cryptocurrencies. Click the coin you wish to purchase and you’ll see a buy/sell form.
You can also click the blue Buy / Sell button on the top menu to access this form. The following popup window opens with the Buy tab selected by default.
You can buy Bitcoin or any other supported cryptocurrencies. The Pay with box shows you the payment method available.
Just input the desired amount in euros or bitcoins. Once you do that, the blue button turns into Preview buy. Click that to finalize the purchase. The preview page will show you the fees as well. The purchase is completed in a few seconds.
You’ll receive an e-mail confirmation of all purchases.
How to sell and convert cryptocurrencies at Coinbase
Selling Bitcoin (and other coins) is as easy as buying them. Click Portfolio from the main menu to open a list of currencies you own. You can also click the blue Buy / Sell button on the top menu.
This time, select the Sell tab of the form as shown in the picture. We are selling Uniswap tokens for euros in this example.
You can sell the desired amount in coins or euros.
The Convert tab is an easy way to convert one cryptocurrency to another. It’ll save you money in fees, because you don’t have to first sell cryptocurrency A to euros and then use those euros to buy cryptocurrency B. Conversion happens also in a couple of seconds.
It’s possible to convert any available cryptocurrency to another. This is a very nice and useful feature at Coinbase.
How to withdraw from Coinbase to a bank account
If you want to withdraw fiat currency (EUR, GBP, USD) to your bank account, you must first sell your coins to fiat. Do this by following the instructions given in the previous chapter.
Next, select Portfolio from the main menu. A list of all your possessions opens. On the top of the list should be EUR Wallet with some money in it.
Select the EUR Wallet and a page opens showing all EUR transactions. There is also a simple Deposit / Withdraw form on that page.
Choose the Withdraw tab and input the desired amount in euros you want to withdraw. Click Continue to proceed.
Next, Coinbase asks you to choose the withdrawal method (destination). If you have previously added PayPal as a payment method, it will show here.
Choose your bank account and click Continue. A confirmation page opens, where you can finalize the transfer.
We have withdrawn from Coinbase on multiple occasions and received money within a couple of hours. If you try to withdraw on Friday, you won’t see your euros before Monday.
How to deposit and withdraw cryptocurrencies
It is also possible to deposit cryptocurrencies to Coinbase. You can transfer in any cryptocurrencies listed on the Portfolio page. This is typically done when you want to sell coins, which are stored on your private wallets.
Click Portfolio from the main menu and choose the coin you want to deposit. You’ll see a simple Send / Receive form. Alternatively, click the white Send / Receive button from the top menu.
Choose the Receive tab. You’ll see a QR code and an address. If you can’t use the QR code, click the small square icon in the Address row. This will copy the address.
Next, go to your external wallet and make a deposit to this address. Deposit times depend on the cryptocurrency used.
It’s also easy to move your coins from Coinbase to an external wallet. This happens from the same form, but now you just select the Send tab.
In this example, we are sending one (1) AAVE token from our wallet. You can also send coins worth a certain EUR amount, like 100 euro.
Input the receiving address to the form. You should always use copy-paste with crypto addresses, never type them letter-by-letter. It’s also possible to send coins directly to your friend by using an e-mail. This works if your friend has also a Coinbase account.
The Note can be left empty unless you want to type something for accounting reasons or similar. Click Continue to finalize the transfer.
Coinbase fees depend on the payment method and the size of your purchase. They are also different for European and U.S. customers.
Generally, we can say that a small (under €100) purchase made with a debit card is absolutely the worst way to purchase cryptocurrencies on any exchange. You can easily pay 3-4 % fees per purchase. Very small investors should try to focus purchases on larger amounts.
The best method for fiat deposits is always SEPA bank transfer. You should always use that method regardless of the size of your portfolio.
Once you make over €200 purchases using your EUR wallet, Coinbase charges a fee of 1.49%. Fees are typically ranging between 1-2 % on services like this.
For more experienced users, there is Coinbase Pro. Fees start from 0.5% on Coinbase Pro and go down even further based on your trading volume. These fees are competitive compared to other pro exchanges.
Some of the readers might still remember the GDAX exchange. That is what Coinbase Pro was previously called. As the name suggests, this is an alternative for active & professional traders.
Before using Coinbase Pro, you have to open an account to Coinbase first.
Once you have registered an account and confirmed your identity (KYC), go to pro.coinbase.com and log in. Below is a partial screenshot of the Coinbase Pro.
Coinbase Pro looks pretty much the same as other pro exchanges. You’ll see the order book and price charts, and there are advanced methods for making orders. For example, you can make limit orders, which are not possible on the standard Coinbase.
Click Portfolios from the top menu. From here, you can make a deposit to your Coinbase Pro account. You can think of Coinbase Pro as another exchange. It is possible to make direct deposits with fiat (EUR) and cryptocurrencies to your Pro account.
You can also move funds instantly between your Coinbase and Coinbase Pro account.
Coinbase Pro is better suited for those users, who have higher volumes and require features of professional exchange. The standard Coinbase version is a great option for newcomers.
Coinbase safety features
Let’s check some safety features too. We recommend enabling 2FA (Two-factor authentication) when possible. Pretty much every exchange supports 2FA these days. Search for the Google Authenticator from the Apple (iOS) and Google (Android) app stores.
To enable safety features, click the user icon from the top right corner and select Settings from the menu. Next, choose Security.
From here you can change your phone number and enable 2-step verification. The 2FA can be done by using an SMS or the Authenticator app. Even if SMS might feel handy, you should always use the app instead.
Generally speaking, Coinbase is probably the safest cryptocurrency exchange for storing your coins. It is trusted by over 56 million customers globally. Coinbase has never been hacked either. It’s up to you if you want to move your coins to an external wallet or not.
Coinbase staking and debit card
Coinbase is constantly developing its service further. One of the most popular new features is staking, which was enabled in late 2019. Staking is essentially participating in a validation process of Proof of Stake coins. In such cryptocurrencies, there is no traditional mining with physical mining devices, like there is in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin. In PoS systems, there are validators who stake (= lock) their tokens out of the market.
Each PoS coin has a bit different set of rules. It’s usually not easy to become a validator due to high staking requirements, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stake. You can still stake your coins but you basically loan them to one of the validators who stake them for you and then takes a small cut of the staking rewards.
So, why would you stake any coin? The reason is simple: to get staking rewards. It’s basically like loaning the coins. You’ll typically get around 3-6% interest per year. This might not sound much, but the average yearly return from the stock market is 7-8%. To enable staking, just go to your Settings and opt-in as shown in the video.
You can also get a reward for holding USDC coins. The staking is available in the US, UK, and a few other countries. You have to be fully verified and hold the minimum required balance. After you’ve opted in for staking, you don’t need to do anything. You’ll get your rewards automatically over time. If you want to opt out from staking you can do that any time.
Coinbase has also a debit card available in the US and UK and in a few other European countries. You can get a debit card and simply spend your crypto anywhere using it. The downside of this option is the fee structure, which is quite high. It’s anyway a nice bonus that is not available in so many other exchanges.
Let’s have an overview of our Coinbase review.
Coinbase has tens of millions of customers and the site has been running since 2012 without critical flaws. The company is registered and licensed in the US and working closely with American authorities. This should make the regulatory environment quite predictable.
We have used Coinbase for several years without any issues. Bank wire transactions have been processed fast (in both directions) and customer support has also responded quickly if needed. Coinbase is very newbie-friendly – especially now with so many cryptocurrencies available.
Coinbase mobile app has also a nice GUI. It’s easy to use for amateurs as well and you can download the app for both Android and IOS. Buying, selling, sending, and receiving crypto is easy on mobile as well.