Coinbase was founded in June 2012, and is a digital wallet and cryptocurrency exchange based out of San Francisco, California. It was set up to allow consumers and merchants to transact using Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and other then-new digital currencies. To date, Coinbase has more than 10 million users and has traded more than $50 billion.
Our team put together this comprehensive Coinbase review to help you learn the ins and outs of the platform.
What Type of Charts Does Coinbase Have for Users?
To help users make informed decisions, Coinbase offers up-to-date charts and statistics related to its most popular cryptocurrencies. The “Charts” tab of the website has sub-tabs for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin. Each tab includes the current price of each cryptocurrency, so you do not have to click on anything to see that.
If you want more detailed information, click on the cryptocurrency of your choice. You can view information on its price and change since the last month in both dollars and by percentage. There is also the option to view information for the past hour, day, week, or year.
Below the figures, you get to view a chart tracking the price of the cryptocurrency over time, with the ability to hover over a specific date and time to see the price at that particular moment. This information can help users predict how their chosen crypto will perform and decide whether they want to buy and sell, as well as when and how much.
Is There a Coinbase Mobile App?
Coinbase does indeed have a mobile application for its wallet, both for Android and for Apple. You can use the app to take advantage of the most important functions on Coinbase.
These include sending and requesting Bitcoin; securely accessing Coinbase wallets, transaction details and vaults; and buying or selling Bitcoin with a connection to your bank account.
How Can Customers Fund Their Coinbase Account?
Since Coinbase is based in San Francisco, it is logical that U.S. customers have the largest selection of payment and withdrawal methods. You can make an ACH transfer for buying, selling, deposits, or withdrawals, which will take about four to five business days.
You also have the option of buying crypto with a debit card, which is instant. Finally, you can use a wire transfer for a deposit or withdrawal, which will take between one and three business days. Please note that Coinbase does not accept PayPal.
European and UK-based customers can deposit or withdraw to a bank account via SEPA deposits. They can also use a debit card that has 3D Secure enabled to purchase cryptocurrency.
Australian and Canadian customers can use a debit card to purchase crypto. Those from Singapore have the option of a credit/debit card or bank transfer, the latter of which requires document verification.
To add your chosen payment method, go to your Settings menu and then Linked Accounts. Click on “Link a New Account” and choose the account type. From there, you can follow the specific onscreen instructions.
You should keep in mind that while using a credit card is still technically possible, Coinbase is not supporting adding a new card to the file anymore, and your card issuer may block the purchase of digital currency. Because of this, Coinbase suggests linking a bank account or using a debit card instead.
Related: read our full comparison of Coinbase vs. Bitpay
How Do You Buy and Sell Currency on Coinbase?
Buying cryptocurrency on Coinbase is straightforward enough for beginners to understand. To buy, go to your “Buys” page and choose the digital currency you want to buy.
Enter the quantity you want to purchase, either in your local currency or the digital currency, and choose the wallet you want the funds sent to. Choose the payment method, confirm everything, and hit “Buy.” Follow the same process on the mobile app, getting to the “Buy” screen from the Navbar.
To sell, go to your “Sells” page and enter how much you want to sell. Choose the wallet to sell from and the account you want to deposit into (like a bank account). Confirm the information and hit “Sell.”
Once again, the mobile app has the same process, and you can find the “Sell” page on the Navbar.
What Account Limits Does Coinbase Have?
The limits on Coinbase accounts apply to the amount you can buy and sell. These limits are in place to prevent fraud, comply with regulations and keep everyone secure.
The limits depend on purchase history, account age, payment method and more. Coinbase automatically calculates your limit, and the support team cannot manually increase your limit.
You can view your limits by visiting the verifications page of your Coinbase account. To increase your limit, you can provide personal details, add a phone number, submit a photo ID and/or continue buying and selling with Coinbase to build a purchase history.
You will notice that every linked account has a different limit, with wire transfers offering the highest limits for U.S. customers. The minimum quantity of digital currency you can purchase or sell is 2.00 of your local currency.
How Long Do Coinbase Transactions Take?
For purchases and deposits, Coinbase always strives to make funds available as soon as it receives payment, so the timing varies based on payment method and region. Payments with debit or credit cards appear instantly. However, ACH bank transfers (for U.S. customers) take three to five business days.
European customers using SEPA transfers will have to wait two to three business days. Those in Singapore will see their deposits completed within several minutes.
Withdrawing to a U.S. bank will typically take four to six days. Withdrawal via SEPA transfer for Europeans typically takes one or two business days.
Withdrawals to Singapore bank accounts typically take two to three business days, or customers can pay S$2.99 for processing that same business day.
How Does Coinbase Determine the Exchange Rate?
Exchange rates for the conversion service on Coinbase, both buying and selling, come from the market rate on the GDAX platform along with a spread of zero to 200 points, depending on the size of the transaction, the length of time you have used Coinbase, and market volatility.
If GDAX experiences a rare outage, Coinbase instead gets its market rates from various unaffiliated exchanges, with a spread exceeding 100 points. Users are always notified of the fees before they complete the transaction.
What Fees Does Coinbase Charge?
Coinbase doesn’t charge fees for using the Hosted Digital Currency Wallet. However, transferring digital currency to an address may lead to fees, such as those for mining. There are also conversion fees, which Coinbase will always notify you of.
Coinbase uses two methods of calculating conversion fees. The first involves the greater of a minimum flat fee for transactions under $200 and the variable fee based on payment type, product feature and region.
Purchases with credit and debit cards tend to have a 3.99 percent fee. In Europe, a standard buy and sell comes with a 1.49 percent fee. SEPA transfers in are free and out cost 0.15 Euros. Singapore has the same 1.49 percent fee for buying and selling.
The U.S. has a base rate of 4 percent, but Coinbase waves some of this fee based on your chosen payment method. Following the waiver, debit or credit cards have a 3.99 percent fee, U.S. bank accounts have a 1.49 percent fee with a minimum of $0.15, and the Coinbase USD wallet has a 1.49 percent fee, whether for buying or selling.
Depositing via an ACH transfer is free, while ingoing wire transfers come with a $10 fee and outgoing ones have a $25 fee.
The second method of calculating fees is a 1 percent variable based on the transaction, with a minimum of $1 and maximum of $50, plus a fixed fee depending on the region of 2.49 percent. Both variable and fixed fees apply for all credit and debit transactions, with just the variable fee applying for buying/selling, U.S. bank accounts and Coinbase USD wallets.
When buying digital currency, fees are automatically added to your total, and that new total gets charged to the payment method. When selling digital currency, fees get automatically subtracted from your entered amount to get your chosen total.
What Is the Shift Card?
U.S. residents from select states and territories can get the Shift Card. This is a VISA debit card that lets Coinbase users in specific areas spend Bitcoin at any location that accepts VISA. Use your Shift debit card like you would any other VISA card.
When you use your Shift card, Coinbase uses the current spot price of Bitcoin and debits the equivalent amount of your purchase from your Coinbase Bitcoin wallet. For things like dinner bills and gas purchases, Shift debits more than your purchase amount and refunds the remainder after the payment settles.
Shift has an initial fee of just $10, and you do not have to pay any fees related to exchanging Bitcoin for USD. You will also have zero transaction fees for domestic transactions during a limited time. Certain transactions may have other fees.
The default daily spending limit is set to $1,000 but can be lowered, and the daily ATM withdrawal limit is set to $200. Coinbase is working to expand the availability of the Shift Card but needs to take care of regulatory and legal matters.
What Is the Coinbase Referral Program?
The Coinbase Referral Program is a way for those who use Coinbase to earn money by referring their friends. You can visit the dedicated referrals page to get your referral link or to invite a friend via email.
Once your friends click the link, create an account, and initiate a buy or sell of at least $100 USD (or its equivalent) within 180 days of the account opening, you each get $10 USD (or its equivalent) once the order completes. At the time of writing, there is no limit to how many times you can take advantage of the referral bonus.
What Resources Does Coinbase Offer Developers?
Coinbase dedicates an entire section of its website to developers offering them tools, widgets and more. The Coinbase Digital API is right on the website, designed to make it simple to integrate supported cryptocurrencies into existing and new applications.
You can also find the Wallet API, a Buy Widget that lets customers buy Bitcoin in your app, Coinbase Connect, Merchant Checkouts, Notifications and the API for the GDAX exchange.
What Is Coinbase Commerce?
Coinbase Commerce is yet another tool from Coinbase. It is targeted at retailers and other types of merchants that want to start accepting payments via digital currencies. In designing Coinbase Commerce, the team made security a priority.
The tool works globally for borderless payments and is constantly improving as the development team works to enhance the existing offerings. Coinbase Commerce integrates with Shopify easily and lets merchants accept several blockchains. It is also customizable, without any need to write code.
How Does Coinbase Protect Customers?
Unlike with some crypto exchanges, all the digital currency Coinbase holds online is covered by insurance. In the event of a breach of this online storage, the policy would pay out lost customer funds.
The policy covers different kinds of security breaches including hacking, physical security and employee theft, but doesn’t cover individual accounts being compromised. For added security, less than 2 percent of all customer funds are held online, and the rest are in offline storage. All fiat currency is stored in custodial bank accounts or, in the case of some U.S. funds, U.S. Treasuries.
Because Coinbase operates within the United States, it has licenses for money transfers in most jurisdictions. Coinbase is registered with FinCEN as a Money Services Business and must comply with various consumer protection and financial services laws, including the USA Patriot Act and the Bank Secrecy Act.
To protect the information that you submit to Coinbase, the system uses bank-level AES-256 encryption on its services and sends traffic over SSL. Paper backups and drivers are distributed geographically within safe deposit boxes as well as vaults globally. The exchange also strongly encourages users to set up two-step verification.
Coinbase is a United States-based exchange designed to give users the ability to intuitively trade cryptocurrency. It is highly rated and follows U.S. regulations to deliver peace of mind. The interface is practical as well as easy to use, both on mobile and web versions. If you’re having issues with your Coinbase account, be sure to contact their customer support immediately.