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. Coinbase philosophy has always been the ease of use. It has provided a fiat on-ramp to crypto especially for new and inexperienced users.
In the beginning, it was only possible to buy Bitcoin from Coinbase. Ethereum was added in 2016, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash both in 2017. The crypto offers started to grow rapidly since 2018. Nowadays you can buy all the most popular coins from Coinbase. There are also completely new features like staking.
Coinbase has grown fast as a company. The million-user barrier was broken in 2014 already. Currently, there are more than 30 million people using Coinbase. It is one of the most popular and reliable platforms to buy crypto.
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 the [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 KYC images 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
Now we can move forward in our Coinbase review and buy some Bitcoin!
First, you need to make a deposit. Click Trade from the top menu. Next, click Deposit funds and Add a payment method button to link a new bank account or credit card (see the image below).
Alternatively, you can click the round user icon (top right corner), then Settings, and finally Linked accounts.
Coinbase gives you the following alternatives for account linking:
Linking your bank account to Coinbase is a different process depending on your country. If you live in the UK or US or in Scandinavia for example. 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, so you cannot actually buy cryptos with your PayPal balance. PayPal withdrawals take less than a minute, so that’s a very useful feature for those who use PayPal on other services too.
Coinbase review – How to buy Bitcoin
Once you have added a payment method, you can finally buy some crypto. Click the Trade button from the main menu. The following popup window opens with the Buy tab selected by default.
You can buy Bitcoin or any other of the supported cryptocurrencies. The Pay with box shows you the payment method available.
Next, 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. And that’s it! The purchase is completed in a few seconds and your coins are available right away.
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 few seconds.
It’s possible to convert any available cryptocurrency to another. This is a very nice and useful feature at Coinbase.
You’ll receive an e-mail confirmation of all purchases and conversions.
How to withdraw money from Coinbase to a bank account
Now we have learned how to buy cryptocurrency on Coinbase. Next in our Coinbase review: how to withdraw money back to your bank account.
If you want to withdraw fiat currency (EUR, GBP, USD) to your bank account, you must first sell your coins to fiat. In this example, we’re talking about euros.
Click the Trade button from the main menu and select the Sell tab from the opening window. This is a similar screen you had while buying coins. Select the desired amount of coins and sell them. The money will be in your Euro wallet in a couple of seconds.
Now you can withdraw these euros to your bank account.
Click Portfolio from the Coinbase main menu. This will open a list of all your possessions with the EUR wallet on top. Click the EUR wallet row and a transaction list opens. You’ll see also two blue buttons: Deposit and Withdraw. Click the withdraw button.
A new window opens, where you can select the amount to withdraw. If you have linked your PayPal account, that shows as a withdrawal option as well. Select your bank account and the desired amount to withdraw and click Continue.
Finally, there’s a confirmation screen of the transaction.
If everything looks ok, click Confirm.
We have withdrawn from Coinbase on multiple occasions and received money usually in 24 hrs. If you try to withdraw on Friday, you won’t see your euros before Monday. One can say that normally your withdrawal should be processed in 1-2 banking days.
How to buy other cryptocurrencies
Probably the most important part of this Coinbase review is to show how you actually buy cryptocurrencies. Coinbase has a wide selection of coins and tokens to purchase. Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Chainklin, Tezos, and Ethereum to name a few. The selection gets wider every year and it’s more than enough for most newcomers.
Eventually, you might want to buy a coin that isn’t available in Coinbase. After all, there are thousands of cryptocurrencies and new coming every day. No exchange can list all of them.
A coin you want to buy is probably available on Binance, which is the market-leading crypto exchanges. You can buy bitcoins from Coinbase first with your euros, transfer those coins to Binance, and then use them to buy your desired altcoin.
Moving funds from Coinbase to another wallet is very simple.
Once you have opened a Binance account, go to the Deposit page. Select Bitcoin to find your Bitcoin deposit address. Copy this address to the clipboard (CTRL+C).
Go back to Coinbase and click Portfolio from the main menu to open a list of all your possessions. Click Bitcoin to open a Bitcoin transaction page. Here you’ll see the Send and Receive buttons.
Click send and the following form opens.
Copy the Binance address to the Recipient field. Next, you can select the amount to transact in euros or bitcoins. You can leave the Note field empty. Click Confirm to send your bitcoins to Binance.
Normally, a Bitcoin transaction takes 30-40 minutes to Binance. Ethereum and Litecoin are much faster and cheaper. However, you must convert those coins to Bitcoin on Binance anyway, so it’s one extra step (+ trading fees) to be paid.
If you have some altcoins on Binance you want to cash out to euros, just reverse the process. Sell your altcoin to bitcoins on Binance and them back to Coinbase.
Receiving bitcoins is simple as well. Click Portfolio from the main menu and click the Bitcoin from the portfolio list. This time click the Receive button instead of Send. The following popup opens
This is your Coinbase Bitcoin wallet address. It’s available as a QR code and text. Copy the text from this page and paste it to Binance.
Again, it’s much faster and cheaper to transact in Ether or Litecoin, for example. You might want to use those coins instead.
After receiving your coins from Binance, just sell them to euros and withdraw the money back to your bank account.
Coinbase review – safety features
Let’s check some safety features too. We recommend to always enable 2FA (Two-factor authentication) when possible. Pretty much every exchange supports 2FA these days. It makes it impossible for anyone to access your account without also having access to your mobile phone.
Click the user icon from the top right corner and select Settings. Next, click Security from the Settings menu. This is where you can enable 2FA for your Coinbase account.
Coinbase is a safe place to store your cryptocurrency when compared to other exchanges in the market. It’s never been hacked and hopefully never will. However, all exchanges are targets for hackers. You should always move your coins to safer storage after purchasing them.
We don’t recommend storing large amounts of cryptos in any exchange. If your portfolio is larger than 1000 USD/GBP/EUR, it’s a good idea to invest in a hardware wallet. Ledger Nano X and Trezor Model T (in the picture) are the best and most popular options in the market.
Each person must decide the level of security himself. If your crypto portfolio is just a couple of hundred dollars, it makes no sense to spend half of that to a wallet. There are also free wallets in the market providing better security compared to an exchange. Try Exodus, for example.
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.