Coinbase started in 2012 and quickly jumped ahead of the cryptocurrency bandwagon. Now, it’s the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States of America, and its reputation for providing cutting-edge features, great liquidity, and a fair selection of trade options make it one of the best options available to investors of all experience levels.
Coinbase has evolved to become a potential one-stop-shop for crypto investments in many ways, and the value it adds to any portfolio is almost unmatched. However, it’s not without its nuances or potential concerns. So, let’s dive deeper into each aspect of this crypto juggernaut.
Feel free to click on the links above to jump to a specific section or continue to scroll through to learn everything you need to know before buying crypto on Coinbase.
Summary of Coinbase Review
Trading and transaction fees
0.5% to 4.5%
Supported Crypto Assets
50+ crypto assets
Crypto-to-Crypto Trading Pairs
60+ pairs with Coinbase Pro
Yes (iOS, Android)
Available Account Types
Coinbase Quick Summary
Coinbase UI and Ease of Use
One of the most important aspects of any cryptocurrency platform is its user interface. After all, you can’t make use of features and options you can’t even find, and a clunky system can cause you to miss out on a major ROI.
Luckily, Coinbase has had plenty of time to fine-tune its user interface and create one of the most user-friendly experiences on the market.
Besides only taking a few moments to sign up and flesh out your account, navigating the platform’s various features is a breeze. From the exchange page to your wallet information, everything is clearly labeled and distinguished from the plethora of other information on your screen, and each feature loads and operates about as smoothly as anyone can ask for.
Coinbase might feel somewhat cluttered to new users due to its large number of features, but a few moments of clicking around and exploring will quickly put any of your worries to rest as everything is laid out intuitively.
The layout for your trade statistics is even more impressive. Rather than burying your wallet value in tabs or menus, Coinbase conveniently displays the value of your wallet directly on the homepage of your profile to make it instantly noticeable.
All of this is also true for Coinbase’s mobile apps. The Coinbase platform, along with all of its features and trading options, are avail
As a bonus, Coinbase will even pay you in crypto for simply watching its tutorial videos. This not only gives you a crash course in how to use the platform and crypto in general, but it gives you a bit of starting capital, too.
Cryptocurrencies Available on Coinbase
Coinbase has a fairly diverse portfolio of coins for you to choose from, but it’s nowhere near the largest selection out there.
All of the biggest coins are available such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Etherium, and more. However, the selection of altcoins is lacking compared to many of the other exchanges on the market. This isn’t a problem for beginners, but it may be a turn-off for more experienced crypto buyers.
Here are all the coins currently available on the Coinbase exchange. However, this list will grow as Coinbase regularly adds new coins to better serve its users.
Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision
Bancor Network Token
Basic Attention Token
Universal Market Assess
Any of the above coins can be purchased within moments of creating an account, and they can be traded within a matter of clicks.
Coinbase Supported Countries
Coinbase is available in most regions where crypto isn’t banned in its entirety, and its list of available countries will grow as more countries warm up to cryptocurrency in the coming years.
For now, here’s a list of all the countries and regions Coinbase is available in.
Isle of Man
The United States
The United Kingdom
There is one notable point about this list, though. While Coinbase is legal across the mainland United States, it isn’t available in Hawaii as of the time of this writing.
How to Create a Coinbase Account
Creating an account with the Coinbase platform is completely free, and it only takes a few minutes to do. However, you are required to share a fair amount of information to comply with the platform’s user policies.
Here’s what you’ll need:
A government-issued photo ID.
A computer or smartphone with internet access (It is best to use a secure home network).
A working phone number connected to a smartphone device.
An up-to-date Chrome browser or Coinbase mobile app depending on the device you want to use.
The steps found below will work for both the desktop and mobile versions of Coinbase, and they can be completed in under 15 minutes.
Steps to Set Up a Coinbase Account:
If you use a desktop, you’ll want to start by going to the Coinbase website. Mobile users can start the process by downloading and opening the Coinbase app on their smart devices.
Once you’ve gotten to the site or app home screen, click the “Get Started” option. This will bring up a page that asks for your basic information.
Don’t try to deceive the system and use a fake email or location. You’ll be asked to verify your email in a later step, and your location will be verified via your ID.
Once you’ve filled in your name, location, email, and preferred password, you simply need to read the policy agreement and click “Create Account”.
1. Email Verification
To finish the basics of your account setup, you’ll have to verify that the email you gave is legitimate. Within a few minutes of finishing the first step, you’ll receive an email from [email protected]
This email will have an official link that is clearly labeled for you to click on. Once you do, you’ll be brought back to the Coinbase website and asked to sign in with the password you created and your verified email.
2. Phone Verification
Your phone number is how Coinbase will notify you if there are problems with your account, and it’s important to verify it. This process is easy, and you don’t even have to go looking for the option. You’ll be prompted the second you log into your account after verifying your email.
To do this, simply input your mobile phone number in the labeled field and click “Send”. The “Send” option will be renamed “Continue” on the mobile app. Within a few seconds to a few minutes, you’ll receive a text message with a 7-digit code inside.
Type your 7-digit code into the popup on the Coinbase website, or go back to the app and type it in if you’re a mobile user. Once you click “Submit” or “Continue”, your phone number will be verified.
It can take a few moments to get the SMS message, but if it doesn’t come in within a reasonable period, there is a “Resend SMS” option to send another code.
Your phone plan’s data rates will apply. So keep that in mind if you’re charged for texting. However, Coinbase doesn’t charge anything for this process.
3. Add Your Personal Info
This step is just like fleshing out a profile on any other site, but you’ll also need the last four digits of your social security number, and you’ll have to answer a few personal questions.
You’ll have to provide your name, birthday, address, and the last four digits of your SSN for basic info. The questions are basic and mostly pertain to who your employer is and why you want to use the platform. This is standard for a regulated crypto exchange.
Once you’re done, simply click “Continue” to move to the next step.
4. Verify Your Identification
Now, you’ll have to verify your identity. This is a basic process that involves giving them the information on your government-issued ID card, and it doesn’t take long at all.
For maximum protection of your account, we recommend you set up a 2-step verification app (TOTP).
You can use any apps that can generate a unique time-sensitive security code to secure your account. You should note that Coinbase no longer supports Authy for verification.
5. Add a Payment Method
Finally, you can’t expect to use crypto exchange without some sort of payment method to buy crypto. The same account will be used to exchange your crypto for fiat.
The process for this is different depending on your country, but if you go to the Coinbase website and click “Supported Countries” and click your country, you’ll receive in-depth guidance.
Despite having one of the highest fees on the market, these key features make Coinbase a top choice for buying cryptocurrencies in the U.S.
Wallet: All Coinbase users get their digital wallets. However, you do not control the keys to it. This is common in today’s crypto world, but it’s still a bad thing. Luckily, you can link your digital wallet from off-platform for more control.
Crypto Tutorials: Coinbase has a multitude of in-depth tutorials to show you how to buy and sell, and they teach you how to use the platform. Better yet, they pay you to view the tutorials!
Exchange: The Coinbase exchange gives you access to more than 50 different coins, and you can buy, sell, and trade coins with this feature.
Insurance: Coinbase insures the funds of all users against hackers.
Off-Site Cold Storage: Only 2% of your funds are stored online. The rest are kept on offline servers to protect against data breaches.
Mobile App: Most large exchanges offer a mobile app, but Coinbase offers one of the most streamlined apps available.
Coinbase Trading Experience
Coinbase is easily the most user-friendly option for buying, selling, and trading if you’re new to crypto. There’s a simple “Buy” button located near your wallet statistics on the homepage.
Once you click that button, you can type in the amount of fiat you want to spend, and then choose the coin you want to buy for that amount.
With this simple transaction process, you can buy, sell, or trade coins in a matter of clicks. This makes it one of the most streamlined trading experiences in the crypto world.
Fees are where Coinbase falls short in most cases. If you use a basic Coinbase account, you’ll get some of the highest trading fees possible. Coinbase Pro helps alleviate that burden, though.
Coinbase fee structure can be confusing to figure out. In addition to the spread fee (0.50%), you’ll pay the greater of either a flat fee or a variable percentage. The table below explains the flat fee structure for smaller transactions (up to $200).
Less than or equal to $10
More than $10 but less than or equal to $25
More than $25 but less than or equal to $50
More than $50 but less than or equal to $200
Coinbase flat fees. Data source: Coinbase
After exceeding $200, you will be charged on a percentage basis, which varies depending on your payment method.
US bank account
Coinbase USD wallet
Debit card purchase
$10 ($25 outgoing)
Coinbase percentage-based fees. Data source: Coinbase
For example, if you buy $100 of Bitcoin with a U.S. bank account or Coinbase USD Wallet, your fee will be 1.49% of the total transaction ($1.49). Since the flat fee is greater than 1.49%, you’d pay $2.99.
If you choose to pay with a debit card or PayPal, the fee would change to 3.99% of the total transaction ($3.99). You’d pay $3.99 since the variable percentage fee is greater than the flat fee.
Both of those fees are removed for Coinbase Pro users. Instead, Pro users will pay a single Maker or Taker fee that scales based on the volume of their transfers.
Remember these fees are always subject to change and can vary depending on your location and financial institution.
Is Coinbase Safe and Secure?
Coinbase is one of the most secure crypto exchanges available. Besides storing your crypto in “cold storage” to keep it inaccessible to online hackers, it also has some of the most cutting-edge security measures in place.
However, the platform has had some trouble before. Don’t let this sway you away from the platform, though. It is incredibly well protected, and if a worst-case scenario presents itself, Coinbase insures your funds.
And also Coinbase is a publicly traded company in the U.S., so they have a lot to lose by way of reputation. Anyway, the most common form of safety issue comes from users themselves, and Coinbase can’t do anything about it. Keep your login information and account access to yourself.
As we mentioned earlier, every Coinbase user gets a Coinbase wallet. It’s a basic cryptocurrency wallet that holds your funds perfectly well. Anyone can download, regardless of whether or not they have a Coinbase exchange account.
However, it has a major shortcoming: You don’t control the keys. This is how most exchange-provided wallets work, but it’s still a con.
Coinbase allows you to link your third-party wallet in case you don’t want to use their wallet. We recommend going with a “hard” option that gives you complete control.
Coinbase Pro Version
Coinbase Pro offers two distinct advantages over its basic counterpart. First, you get the simplified fee system we outlined earlier. Second, you gain access to advanced tracking and charting features that allow you to make more informed trading decisions.
Upgrading to Coinbase Pro is completely free, and it can save you money in fees if you trade in large volumes. However, it’s a bit complicated for beginners. When you first log in, you might be intimidating as it’s designed with professional traders in mind. If you’re just starting out and learning about cryptocurrency, the pro version is not for you.
You need an active account to sign up for Coinbase Pro, if you don’t have one you can directly sign up to Coinbase Pro. Keep in mind, you cannot use credit cards to buy crypto with Coinbase Pro.
Less than $10,000
$1 million-$10 million
$10 million-$50 million
$50 million-$100 million
$300 million-$500 million
Greater than $500 million
Coinbase Pro fee structure. Data source: Coinbase
Who Is Coinbase Best For?
Coinbase is a great option for anyone looking to invest in cryptocurrency, but its easy-to-use interface, paid tutorials, and simple setup makes it perfect for beginners or amateur investors who are looking to make a quick trade or two on occasion.
More experienced traders may want to go with an option that offers more advanced tracking features and altcoins, but those aren’t necessary for beginners.
Coinbase is a great all-around platform that gives beginner investors a solid starting point to grow with. Its Coinbase Pro features also make it more suitable for serious investors than the base version is.
There’s a clear reason why Coinbase is the largest exchange around: The quality is obvious and a lot of effort went into streamlining the experience.
However, it’s not the perfect option for everyone. So, take the time to go through our other in-depth exchange reviews, and perhaps you’ll find your next favorite crypto platform to start earning big bucks.
Coinbase is a pioneer in the cryptocurrency exchange business and should be one of your top choices for buying, selling, and trading crypto. However, the fees and lack of customer support can be a major downside for some people.
Crypto tutorials you get paid for watching
Large coin selection
Easy for beginners to learn buying, selling, and trading