Coinbase Review (December, 2023) – Pros, Cons, Features, & Pricing - Comparewise

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Coinbase Review (December, 2023) – Pros, Cons, Features, & Pricing

Although we had just a handful, cryptocurrencies have grown to exceed 10,000 as of February 2022, though not all are valuable.

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Last Updated: Nov 26, 2023


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Despite the growing popularity, you cannot use traditional platforms to convert from one to another, including fiat currency. This peculiarity brought the need for crypto exchanges, as seen in this Coinbase review.

Coinbase is a cryptocurrency exchange that connects buyers and sellers from different countries for easy and speedy trading transactions. With a digital presence in over 100 countries, including Canada, you can imagine the reach it brings to crypto enthusiasts.

You can exchange about 140+ cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and altcoins, and use advanced trading features under top-rated security.

It supports over 450 crypto-to-crypto pairs, offering traders an extensive range of options. Consequently, you should have no trouble exchanging your desired altcoin. This Coinbase review will get you started on the prominent features and how to navigate the platform.

What you will learn in this Coinbase review

Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam started Coinbase in 2012. The San Francisco-based startup is now one of the largest crypto exchanges globally, falling slightly short of Binance.

Its 2012 launch date makes it one of the oldest crypto exchanges. What began with Bitcoin has become a platform where traders can trade over 100 altcoins without hassles. Nevertheless, the platform continues to support new tokens that adhere to its decentralized criteria.

To bring you up to speed, we will cover the following in this Coinbase review:

  • Key features
  • How to open and fund your account
  • The fees you should expect
  • Available cryptocurrencies
  • Mobile apps
  • Security features, licenses, etc.

You will not have trouble navigating the platform when you complete the Coinbase review. From your first clicks, we will show you what to expect and how to get it to do what you want.

So, without further ado, let’s explore this crypto exchange.

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Coinbase key features

With a buffet of features, it is only proper we begin this Coinbase review by pointing out the prominent ones. These little nifty inclusions improve the platform’s versatility, giving you diverse options.

Of course, as a major crypto exchange, it must have some features that set it apart. As a Canadian, you will have no trouble accessing these add-ons, provided you have an account. That shows its efforts, which have resulted in it being one of the largest trading platforms for tokens.

The prominent features are as follows:

Coinbase Earn

Buying and selling are not the only ways to earn with this exchange. You can get specific cryptocurrencies by learning about them and completing tasks.

Coinbase Earn provides educational resources about these tokens for you. They could be video tutorials, text, etc. Then, all you have to do is to complete a quiz to test what you have learned.

You will receive tiny bits of the particular cryptocurrency if you pass the tests. Let us take Orchid, for instance. You can earn a few by completing the video tutorial and taking the subsequent tests.

Currently, this feature supports up to 33 cryptocurrencies, including Zcash, Stellar Lumens, Dai, Orchid, Compound, Nucypher, EOS, Tezos, and Graph.

Note that while the number of tokens stays the same, the value will change depending on the price fluctuations. So, $5 worth of Tezos today might be worth $7 tomorrow or less.

Regardless of the volatility, the Earn feature is a nifty one and an ideal spot for beginners. You can increase your knowledge while earning a few coins on the side. The next feature in this Coinbase review is the debit card.

Coinbase Card

Although cryptocurrencies are yet to see widespread adoption in the global economy, there is a steady increase. Today, big names like Microsoft and Home Depot accept Bitcoin payments for some of their online services.

With direct support, you can effortlessly pay using your coins. However, the services you get will be limited. This limitation has a workaround, allowing you to pay with crypto while the seller receives the fiat equivalent.

 You do not have to worry about the conversion, as the crypto exchange will take care of that. The Coinbase Card is one such solution you can get today.

This Visa debit card allows you to spend the coins in your account. It will deposit the tokens directly for services that support crypto or pay the fiat currency equivalent.

You will earn rewards as you make purchases with tokens in your portfolio. The earnings can go as high as 4% of your expenses. In addition, the exchange charges no fees on the card, making it completely free.

Coinbase Wallet

This wallet gives you more sway over your security, private keys, and crypto tokens. It makes managing them effortless and swift.

Once you activate this wallet, you will receive a 12-word recovery phrase. Store this information in a safe place, as you might need it to access your wallet on another device.

Other security features you can employ include Secure Enclave, cloud backups, and biometric authentication.

The crypto wallet gives you access to DeFi, dApps, staking, trading, and NFTs. You can explore more ways to make money from the cryptocurrency industry right from your wallet. 

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How to open a Coinbase account

You can quickly open an account with the exchange, provided you have the necessary documents. While documentation depends on your country, you must be 18 years of age to be eligible. Also, you must make ready your government-issued ID.

That said and done, the registration process is quick and should take a few minutes. Keep the required documents handy before you open the website. That way, you will hasten the process, as you can swiftly submit them when needed.

With that in mind, here are the steps to opening an account:

  • Go to the official website or download the mobile app.
  • Click the blue “Get Started” button on the homepage.
  • Provide your name, email, and country/province.
  • Create your secure password. You can follow the tips to make it as hack-proof as possible.
  • Once you have confirmed your password, proceed to the privacy policy and click “Accept.”
  • The last step is to click “Create Account.”
  • You should receive a confirmation email.

Account Verification

Your account should get automatic verification. If that does not happen, you must contact the compliance team with some documents, including proof of residential address.

Other information you will provide for verification includes employment status, current occupation, income source, and employer name. Before getting verified, you may also need to provide information on your intended use of the platform.

The compliance team will require the last four digits of your Social Insurance Number (SIN) if you are a Canadian. Once verified, you can then link your debit card. Remember that you cannot use or connect your bank account if you are in Canada.

How to fund your Coinbase account

Opening an account takes you one step closer to trading on the exchange. However, you will need funds to make purchases and sell your coins. That leads us to the next section of this Coinbase review, how to fund your account.

Funding your account is relatively effortless, and you can do that through your debit card. Before starting, ensure you have enough funds in your account because the exchange will need a relatively small amount to verify the card.

That said, the following are the steps to fund your trading account:

  • Log into your account from the website or mobile app.
  • Click the settings tab.
  • Go to “Payment Methods” when it opens.
  • You will see an option to link a new account. Click that and then pick a debit card.
  • The next step is to provide your card details.
  • Once entered, Coinbase will debit you twice. Those are for verification purposes.
  • Enter the amounts debited.
  • You will receive a notification to confirm that your linking process was successful.

The process of linking another account to the exchange remains the same. Currently, it supports Interac Debit cards, bank debit cards, and PayPal. You can use them to deposit and withdraw your funds.

Both account opening and funding processes are swift. Let us see how you can buy tokens, including Ethereum, Dogecoin, Cardano, etc.

How to buy tokens on the Coinbase platform

Our next stop in this Coinbase review will be getting your first tokens. Of course, old users will have no trouble grabbing as many of them as they want.  As a new user, you will still be satisfied with the process.

Coinbase allows you to buy tokens from any of its digital platforms. You can use the mobile app or the in-browser site on your smartphone or PC. Regardless, the process is swift and straightforward.

Once you have your account up and running, follow the steps below to get the tokens or altcoins you want:

  • Log into your account with your phone or PC.
  • Click “Buy/Sell” on the top right-hand corner of the home screen
  • Since you are buying, click “Buy.”
  • A prompt will pop up for you to select which cryptocurrency. Choose the coin you want to purchase.
  • Users can purchase new coins with USD or another crypto. So, you must enter the amount in either USD or crypto.
  • Once you have entered the amount, pick the payment option.
  • Before authorizing the transaction, click “Preview Buy.”
  • This command will show you the transaction details, including the fees.
  • Clicking on the “Buy” button will confirm your order.

Before we wrap up this section of our Coinbase review, let us briefly discuss how to sell tokens. If you go back to our steps on purchasing, you will see that the second step mentions “Buy/Sell.” The selling process is similar and intuitive.

Note that selling on the exchange attracts a transaction fee of 0.1%. Nevertheless, depending on specific factors, the rate may differ, as seen in the subsequent section of this Coinbase review. The good thing is that you can always preview every transaction before confirming it.

Coinbase transaction fees

Further in our Coinbase review are the transaction charges. Being an exchange means it has fees as you buy and sell cryptocurrencies on its platform.

The transaction fees have three core structures as follows:

  • Market Fluctuation: The platform charges a spread as users buy and sell altcoins. While it has maintained a fee of 0.5%, the rate depends on market fluctuations.
  • Execution on external networks: You will pay a fee if you are executing transactions on external blockchain networks. This charge is often higher than what you would have paid if it was on their platform.
  • Other factors include payment method, transaction size, volatility, and liquidity.

With that in mind, you would agree that it might be challenging to accurately predict the platform’s fees. We do not think any user would start calculating the liquidity and other market fluctuations.

Nevertheless, you will see the fees before finalizing your transaction. As to how it came to that amount, you are better off leaving it to the platform.

Coinbase Pro, on the other hand, has more easy-to-understand pricing. The platform charges based on your monthly trading volume and the asset’s liquidity at the transaction time. Let us break things down a bit further.

The Pro platform has a taker and a maker fee. You will pay the former if your order is immediately available, while the latter comes if a buyer matches your listing.

Before we leave this sub-section of this Coinbase review, note that you can only transact with your bank account for the Pro exchange. While it does not allow card purchases, you will pay the usual wire transfer fees.

Transaction Rates

This exchange has relatively higher rates than most of its competition. Canadians would have to use the general platform, as there is no dedicated website for the country.

That said, the transaction rates are as follows:

  • 3.99% on all purchases
  • 2% on all crypto-to-crypto conversions

Deposit and Withdrawal Fees

As mentioned earlier, the transaction fees depend on several factors. Things like liquidity, volatility, and internal or external payments influence them. It can be tricky to determine the charges for each transaction unless you are an expert.

The good thing is that the platform will display the final fees before the transaction goes through.

Coinbase supported cryptocurrencies

As mentioned several times in this Coinbase review, the trading site supports 100+ cryptocurrencies. It is the second largest crypto exchange, falling slightly behind Binance.

This platform has a strict criterion for supporting an altcoin or token. Once met, you will find it among the listed options. Hence, we can say that the number of altcoins will increase in the coming months.

For a brief overview, the supported cryptocurrencies include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano, Solana, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Shiba Inu, DAI, Polygon, Polkadot, Uniswap, etc.

Coinbase mobile experience

Mobile apps bring more versatility to any website, especially an extensive one like we have seen in this Coinbase review. With them, you can still perform functions without needing a laptop or PC.

With that in mind, Coinbase has its dedicated mobile apps available on the Play Store and Apple Store. That means you can access your trades and manage your portfolio from your Android or iOS device.

Although the app’s versatility is unquestionable, you can use the in-browser site without hassles. Thanks to HTML5 technology, the navigation through your trades and other features will be smooth.

Coinbase security and licensing

Security and licensing are crucial aspects we cannot leave out of this Coinbase review. With an enormous market cap of $19.39 billion as of August 2022, you can imagine what is at stake.

This trading site is safe for Canadians to use for their crypto transactions. It is a public company under the United States regulations, hence its transparency to the shareholders and users. Also, the Financial Crimes Network has it under its registry as a Money Services Business.

The site keeps 98% of bitcoin, altcoins, and other assets in cold storage. That means they are not available online but stored in secure offline facilities.

You have an extra layer of security through encrypted wallets and private keys. Also, all its employees have passed a thorough criminal background check. That shows how far the trading site is willing to go for safety assurance.

Go further, and you have two-factor authentication to protect your account. You can set it up anytime or opt for the Google Authenticator for more protection. The trading site also supports the use of a security key.

At this point in this Coinbase review, you might wonder what happens to your cash on the trading site. You can heave a sigh of relief because they are safe in US custodial accounts, the US Treasure or money market funds.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insures the funds of every user in US banks up to $250,000. As for digital assets, you can keep them in your custody.

While you can use the proprietary wallet, the site allows you to use other wallets or exchanges. However, the fees for transacting on these exchanges are much higher.

Coinbase customer support

The Coinbase platform is intuitive, and you should have no trouble navigating it. New users will quickly understand the features because of their self-explanatory nature.

If any hiccups occur, the exchange has a buffet of options for customer support. Once you log into your account, a live chat feature will pop up at the bottom right corner of the screen. You can expand it to message a customer representative.

While expecting a reply from an agent, you can get automated replies if you click on any of the pre-asked questions. The live chat option is efficient if you need a quick response to an urgent challenge. Nevertheless, you are better off with email or phone support if the challenge is serious.

The “Frequently Asked Questions” section has an extensive knowledge base of commonplace challenges. Also, you will find articles and tutorial videos on any topic concerning the exchange.

The exchange goes ahead to provide a live status on its website functionality. The feature will inform you about incidents or scheduled maintenance. You can also follow the progress in real-time.

To summarize this section of the Coinbase review, you can get help through the following:

  • Email support
  • Real-time telephone
  • Frequently Asked Questions Section
  • Tutorials
  • Articles
  • Live chat

Coinbase pros and cons

We have gone through different aspects in this Coinbase review. While the platform has a lot going for it, it is not without its downsides. For a more vivid understanding, let us look at some of its pros and cons.

Pros of Coinbase

  • You can trade over 100 crypto tokens or assets on it without hassles. Regardless of your country, you have unrestricted access to the coins.
  • Coinbase’s interface is user-friendly, and you will quickly gain the know-how to navigate it. The flow is smooth and intuitive, from the homepage to when you log in.
  • You can avail yourself of the numerous educational resources on the website. They will provide you with ground knowledge if you are new to cryptocurrency. Indeed, the website caters to newbies and professional traders.
  • The trading site offers a smooth and compatible mobile app. You can trade on the go and manage your portfolio with just your smartphone. If you want more versatility, you can always use the in-browser site.
  • The support for a debit card is nifty, which makes the experience a whole lot better. You can pay with crypto or USD anywhere, any time.

Cons of Coinbase

The good sides of the trading site are numerous. However, we must point out a few downsides so you can be aware while using it.

  • The trading and transaction fees are high. You must pay these charges when selling, buying, or converting from one altcoin to another.
  • As explained earlier, understanding the fee structure is a bit tricky. Different elements like market fluctuation, liquidity, payment method, transaction size, etc., influence the charges. Those things are not easy to grab.
  • The upgraded Pro version of the site offers lower fees, meaning you must migrate to it if you want cheaper transactions.

Coinbase review conclusion

Our Coinbase review has covered all you need to know about this cryptocurrency exchange. Overall, the licensed exchanger provides Canadians with quality crypto trading and investing solutions. It also supports several cryptocurrencies, ensuring traders have a wide selection to choose from.

However, it also has some downsides that are worth considering. Ensure to read through the entire article to help you form an opinion of the crypto exchange platform. This will help you decide if they’re right for you or you need to look elsewhere.

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FAQs about our Coinbase review

Do I have insurance if I leave my cash with the exchange?

The exchange keeps user funds (fiat currency) in US custodial accounts, the US treasury or money market funds. As a result, you will enjoy insurance of up to $250,000 from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. So, you can relax your mind when you leave your cash with the trading site.

Can I use a different crypto wallet?

You will have no trouble using another crypto wallet to store your crypto assets and sell them on the trading site. Its versatility allows or supports different wallets to ensure you trade at the highest level of comfort. However, transacting from them costs more than from the proprietary wallet.

Can I fund my account from my bank in Canada?

Unfortunately, you cannot use your bank account to purchase coins on the trading site, even though other countries can. The exchange only supports payment through debit cards from any bank of your choice. Also, you will need a PayPal account when you want to withdraw cash from your trading account.

Does Coinbase support PayPal?

You can use your PayPal account to trade coins on the platform without hassles, regardless of your country. Transactions run smoothly when you use the online payment service to transfer funds to make a purchase. Also, the payment solution supports direct and fast withdrawals of US dollars from your trading account.

Is Coinbase Licensed?

Coinbase does not hold any license from any Canadian body and is also not registered in the country. Nonetheless, it has several certifications in about 45 states in the United States of America, including Washington DC and New York. That makes it a fully certified exchange for global cryptocurrency trading, including crypto-to-crypto conversions.

How can I withdraw my funds?

Withdrawing cash from Coinbase is a swift process that can get your money to you within minutes, thanks to blockchain efficiency. However, you must first sell your cryptocurrencies for fiat currency before withdrawing. Once you do that, go to the cash out tab in “Assets” and click “Cash out Now.”

How much does it cost to buy cryptocurrency on the site?

We cannot point to a definitive price for purchasing Bitcoin, altcoins, or other crypto assets on the trading site. First is because of the volatility cryptocurrencies are subject to, resulting in regular price fluctuations. Then, you have the transaction fees, which are not fixed but depend on several real-time factors like liquidity.

Where are my cryptocurrencies stored?

You can store your cryptocurrency in the proprietary Coinbase wallet when you download the mobile app. Other crypto wallets can serve as storage for your assets if you prefer to use them instead. Regarding the platform, your coins enjoy the cold storage’s security in offline locations.

What is identity verification?

The compliance team is responsible for verifying the identity of new users when they open accounts with the platform. Although the process should occur automatically, there are cases where users need to provide specific documents to get verified. These include proof of residential address and Social Insurance Number for Canadians.

How do I sell cryptocurrency for cash?

Selling your crypto assets for fiat currency is the prerequisite for making withdrawals on the site. Regardless of the platform, the website or the mobile app, you can make sales within minutes. Go to the “Buy/Sell” tab, select the asset, enter the amount, preview sell, and click “Sell now” to finish the action.

April 30, 2023
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