Founded in 2012, Coinbase is a virtual exchange that allows global users to buy and sell some of the world’s most popular cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin.
Coinbase is one of the world’s premier cryptocurrency exchanges and wallet platforms allowing users to buy bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin.Coinbase Is A San Francisco-based company has 9 million users and counting and is available in 190+ countries worldwide.
Naturally, Coinbase has several direct advantages for attracting cryptocurrency traders. In just five short years, it has managed to become an important cornerstone of the blockchain market.
Coinbase operates differently from traditional cryptocurrency exchanges. Instead of requiring users to trade on a market, Coinbase directly sells cryptocurrency to users at a set price (based off the current market price). This allows users to buy their cryptocurrencies more quickly than on an exchange. It also allows them to accept credit cards (in addition to bank transfers), something few exchanges offer. After users have verified their Coinbase accounts, they can then purchase cryptocurrency instantly.
How to Use Coinbase to Buy/Sell Cryptocurrency
In this step by step guide, I’ll show exactly how to buy cryptocurrency through Coinbase.
1) Signup and Verify Your Email Address
The first step is to create an account. Initially you will only be asked for your name, email, password, and state.
In order to setup a new account on Coinbase, a user can log on to www.coinbase.com. Click on the tab “Sign up” which then redirects to the registration window. Enter the details such as first name, last name, email ID and create a new password. Click on the checkbox “I’m not a robot” then “create account”. A verification email goes to the registered email ID that validates an authentic user. Once the verification is complete, the user can begin with trading.
$10 of free bitcoin on Coinbase
Get US$10 in free bitcoin when you buy US$100 or more of BTC, ETH, BCH or LTC.
What cryptocurrencies can I buy?
- Bitcoin Cash
Coinbase is currently available in 32 countries..
There are variations in the available services, payment methods and fees that apply in each country.*
- Czech Republic
- San Marino
- United States
- United Kingdom
*Supported for buys only, not sells, at the start of 2018.
Buy and Sell Limits
Buy and sell limits can vary by user location, payment method, and verification status. You can view your limits at any time, by viewing your account’s limits page. As a verified U.S. customer, you likely will be able to get these weekly limits fairly easily:
- $5,000 Buy through Bank Account.
- $50 Buy through Credit/Debit Card
- $50,000 Sell
You can apply for higher limits, if these limits don’t meet your needs. Your limits for instant purchases, like credit card purchases, may not be able to be increased.
Sending Cryptocurrency From Your Coinbase Wallet
The wallet on Coinbase allows you to easily store, send, and receive cryptocurrency. Sending Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin from your wallet can be completed in just a few steps:
- Navigate to the Send tab of your account.
- Choose the wallet you want to send from, effectively choosing what cryptocurrency you’re sending.
- Enter the amount you’d like to send.
- Enter the address you wish to send funds to.
- Send funds.
Receiving Cryptocurrency to Your Coinbase Wallet
Receiving cryptocurrency is also easy using Coinbase.
Navigate to your “Accounts” tab. Then, find the wallet where you want funds to go and click the “Receive” button.
You will then be provided with your account’s wallet address. Use this address in the send field of a transaction to receive cryptocurrency.
How quickly will my funds be available?
Coinbase offers an “instant buy” feature in certain countries, meaning credit/debit card purchases will be available instantly.
Are there any transfer limits?
Coinbase implements weekly buy and sell limits on all accounts. The company says it calculates your limits based on your account information. This includes verification and successful purchases made on the account.
If you want to increase your weekly limits, you need to verify your account by uploading a photo ID.
Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)
Only a few coins are available at Coinbase, but they are the majors – Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. Don’t forget this is an entry-level service, which is aimed at people who are not that familiar with the world of cryptocurrencies. If you would like to buy less known coins (or altcoins), you could do that at another exchange, after transferring your newly acquired BTC/ETH/LTC there.
After verifying your e-mail, telephone, ID and credit card, at Coinbase, you can beginning purchasing coins. Our initial limit was €325 per week (via Credit Card). This may vary for you, based on your location (US clients will surely get a USD level). This level can be increased after you reach the maximum and some time has passed. This is done as a security measure and one should not feel frustrated about it.
Coinbase does not offer margin trading. This is the more accepted practice, when dealing with cryptocurrencies. The forex brokers who offer Bitcoin trading, on the other hand mostly provide CFDs on it and margin trading is allowed.
The commission structure at Coinbase is one of its criticisms. If you decide to deposit via Credit Card, for instance, you can buy your chosen coin directly. While this may appear to be convenient, it comes at a price – for most countries the commission fee on such a purchase can go as high as 4%.
Alternatively, you can fund your account with fiat currencies, which you can then use to trade. In that case the fees are set at 1.5%, which is pretty high. However if trading is what you are looking for, the company’s other brand – GDAX (as well as many others) are alternatives.
Is Coinbase secure?
Not only is Coinbase widely recognized as the world’s largest bitcoin exchange, it’s also considered one of the safest. It’s backed by trusted traders and uses the latest technology to secure its platform.
The Coinbase Wallet is considered very secure, but this comes at a cost – the company controls your bitcoin. Larger amounts of bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash or Litecoin can be stored on the Coinbase Vault, which is protected by multiple approvers.
It should be stated at the outset that Coinbase collects a lot of information about its customers, including photo ID for those who want to up their weekly limits. A piece of photo ID is also required if you are purchasing with a credit card.
Coinbase has an active support team, with the names of key support staff readily available on their site. However, the company’s customer support ratings have been mixed as of late, which reflects its growing user base. After all, bad ratings become more common on a platform with more than 7 million users.
That being said, Coinbase operates a real-time chat feature, where it says it resolves “thousands of customer issues” every day. You can also submit a request or contact the team members in the link above.
- Two types of wallets are available:
- The first is really simple and made so that beginners can store their coins with peace of mind (wallet key security is managed by Coinbase).
- The second is called Multisig Vault and uses the “multi-signature” innovation which allows advanced users to self-manage security for their wallet keys. What does this mean? Well simply put: if Coinbase were to disappear then these users would still have control over their bitcoin. For those asking is Coinbase safe, this should partially answer your question.
- All deposits are insured. Now here is some serious security from Coinbase. That being said, if your password gets cracked or stolen then this would not be covered by their insurance policy. Always use a long and unique password.
- Many positive Coinbase reviews mention that sending cryptocurrency to other users (who also have wallets on the platform) is really easy and fast. I strongly agree with this. With all the recent backlog on the actual bitcoin network, the fact that Coinbase allows users to do off-chain transactions is a pretty sweet feature. No more idle waiting times while you worry about confirmations.
- In 2016 the site made PayPal BTC sales available to US users. This feature will soon be available to European users looking to sell their bitcoins for PayPal.
- It is possible to link a credit card, called Shift Card, to your account and then pay for daily purchases using your Coinbase balance. The system simply converts the coins into usd at the going rate at time of purchase. This feature is not yet available outside of the United States.
- First site among all the exchanges out there to have opened up a direct customer support telephone line.
- It’s true that we often read reviews about Coinbase stating that it’s one of the best places for new users and beginners wanting to get their first bitcoins. In this area the company receives so many recommendations owing to the fact that large investments were made to guarantee an impeccable user interface (UI) and experience (UX). Everything works right out of the box on all devices. There is even a smartphone app for android and iOS.
- In my opinion the lack of friction on-ramping from the existing financial infrastructure is thanks to strong partnerships with the latter. For example, some of the largest Coinbase investors include BBVA, NYSE, and Andreessen Horowitz.
- With our link you can get 10$ of free Bitcoin on Coinbase when you buy 100$ or more. Here’s the invite. Enjoy!
- Only available in three currency zones, the USA (dollar), Europe (euro), & Great Britain (GBP).
- They have a cap on how much cryptocurrency you can buy each week. Lots of investors are now looking to invest in large quantities of cryptocurrency, with a cap of $1,000 a week, they may well look to go elsewhere. For those looking to buy large amounts of cryptocurrencies try CryptoGo.
- You can only buy 4 cryptocurrencies; Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin. Those that are looking for a more diversified portfolio will have to look at different exchanges.
- Suffering from its own popularity, waves of people flock to signup each time the price rises. Such events cause significant delays for vetting and approving new accounts. Note that all major crypto exchanges are experiencing such issues.
- The downside of running a super safe exchange is that some customers get flagged and subsequently accounts get temporarily frozen. Extra vetting fixes this issue, but as waiting is no-ones favourite hobby people generally take to complaining on forums including reddit. I would go as far as saying that some good PR work would be needed to reassure the community.
- Picking up on my last point, Coinbase support really needs to be more present on reddit. I’m talking about r/bitcoin and r/Coinbase – where some customer issues have gone un-answered for over 24hours. Tweeting @CoinbaseSupport (on twitter) usually gets an answer within the hour, but still – reddit… it’s the front page of the internet.
- Some reviews complain that Coinbase care more about their investors than it does about their users. This point would need further clarification but interesting nonetheless.
- There are reports suggesting your coins may be tracked after withdrawing from the exchange. What does this mean? Being part of the Blockchain Alliance, Coinbase actively fights to avoid the use of digital currency in illegal and unlicensed activity. In other words – if you’re using the coins to gamble or to purchase frowned-upon substances, then don’t use Coinbase.
- Some sections of the bitcoin community resent Coinbase’s involvement in the current block size debate, or even the patenting of so-called inventions such as a bitcoin exchange or btc tip buttons. Yes – slightly excessive. Nevertheless actions like these will not have much of an impact for those looking to buy and sell btc, but feel free to look it up further if you are into the politics side of bitcoin.
- One issue we are seeing crop up a lot is the high fees Coinbase charges. Often up to 4.5% on a transaction, which is considerably more expensive than many other exchanges.
Coinbase is one of the major players in the cryptocurrency space. The company is focused on allowing people who are not familiar with Bitcoin and allows them an easy way of acquiring crypto currencies. While there isn’t any trading platform to speak of, the company has another brand (GDAX) which provides exactly that. We feel it would be much better for Coinbase to honestly state their trading fees are higher, but you can use your account at their other platform, in a big banner upon account creation. Here are Coinbase’s pros and cons: