Coinbase – Is It Good?
According to some, Coinbase is the largest Bitcoin broker in the world. Their aim is to be the easiest way first-time buyers can get Bitcoin online. For more experienced users they also offer more complex forms of trading at lower fees and will even take your credit card!
However Coinbase can feel a bit more like a bank and a bit less like what people believe cryptocurrency should be. Also trading with a well-established platform comes at a cost since their fees tend to be higher than average
So how good is Coinbase? Is Coinbase the right option for you? How’s the buying process? And, most importantly, how does it stack up against other platforms?
What Does Coinbase provide?
Coinbase was launched in San Francisco all the way back to 2012. A year after it became the highest funded Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange startup in the world. Currently, Coinbase has raised over 400 million dollars from investors. With all the investors and the time that it has been operational, we’re sure Coinbase is definitely not a scam and you can buy as many Bitcoins as you want safely. They also provide 2FA for the security of their users.
The main service at Coinbase is buying and selling cryptocurrencies. Since they’re so well established, they’re the first choice for multiple beginners looking for a safe way to trade their fiat. Their website is very easy to navigate and they’re one of the very few exchanges that take credit cards! It’s surprising since most only take debit cards if any at all.
For more experienced traders, Coinbase also offers their Coinbase Pro service. It allows experienced users to trade Bitcoin and alt-coins at lower fees with more information available on their transactions and advanced options.
However Coinbase doesn’t really give you full control over your funds. With Coinbase you don’t have direct access to your coins; they store it for you. We always suggest you to get your coins outside of your exchange and transfer it to your personal wallet as soon as possible because it’s safer for you if the exchange collapses.
The main attractiveness of Bitcoin is not having to rely on any bank. Coinbase may be too big to collapse but not giving you direct access to your coins makes it feel like Coinbase is trying to become Bitcoin’s bank, kind of an oxymoron.
Coinbase also tracks how their users spend their bitcoins, which to many people removes the best feature of bitcoin — allowing anyone with internet access to have a free bank account. The amount of user data Coinbase shares with the US government (specifically the IRS – possibly other governments), is enough to assume all of your Coinbase transactions are monitored and use caution with this exchange.
Coinbase operates in over 100 countries including most of Europe, the USA and the rest of North America.
Coinbase Rates and Buying Limits
To get the best bang for your buck you always need to examine your platform’s fees. In the case of Coinbase, you’ll find that their fees may not be the most attractive part of their services. The fees will depend on your country and your payment method, with credit cards generating the higher fee.
Coinbase fee: 1.49-3.99%
In addition to their dynamic fees, Coinbase also charges a flat fee depending on the amount you trade. Coinbase may not be the most expensive option out there but you’ll definitely want to compare their fees with other options, especially if you’re more experienced than a beginner. You can also use Coinbase Pro for fees as low as 0.25%
Once you set up your account at Coinbase, you’ll only be able to buy small amounts of crypto. You’ll need to verify your information to start buying real amounts of Bitcoin and the limits will still be insufficient for large traders. For example, a US resident that has sent all of their personal information will have a limit of only $25,000 daily, which is the highest you can go.
- Credit Card Payment: While most exchanges only offer debit card options if any, you can purchase bitcoin with your credit card at Coinbase.
- Easy for beginners: Most beginners will see Coinbase as a nobrainer since it’s well established and easy to use.
- No anonymity: Coinbase follows KYC/AML protocols that require you to share a large amount of your personal information including your ID and the last four digits of your SSN.
- Tracking: There’s still a strong possibility that Coinbase will track your crypto and how you use it.
- Lack of control: Coinbase doesn’t allow users to control their keys.
Go to Coinbase
Is Coinbase Good For Bitcoin?
It’s hard to say if Coinbase is good for Bitcoin. On one side, with your currency being tracked and your information being shared with someone that is holding your money, it definitely feels like Coinbase is what Bitcoin shouldn’t be. Bitcoin is supposed to be a private (hence the “crypto” in “cryptocurrency”), decentralized coin and you lose that with Coinbase.
However it’s a great option for beginners who will be able to buy their first amount of crypto in an easy way, with a large platform that won’t scam them at lower fees than other platforms that are the same size.