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Coinbase review - overall score 4.6

Before reading the review, please take a moment to read our disclaimer.

Coinbase is one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges globally. Coinbase is based in the US and listed on the NASDAQ. In terms of trade volume and client base, Coinbase is bigger than its closest competitors such as Kraken and Binance.

Employees, client base and quarterly trade volume at Coinbase and its competitors
  Coinbase Kraken Binance
Client base (million) 56 6 15
Traded volume on exchange (quarterly, USD billion) 335 1.83 180
# of employees (source: LinkedIn) 2,100 175 2,800
Latest available data as of June 2021

Why is this important? It is not easy to determine how safe a cryptocurrency exchange is. In most cases, cryptocurrency exchanges do not qualify for deposit insurance programs, so you have to be especially thorough when selecting your provider. In general, it is a good sign if

  • the exchange has a sizable client base,
  • it has a robust traded volume per quarter,
  • it is an established company (e.g. it's been around for several years and has many employees),
  • or the company that operates the exchange is listed on a stock exchange.

Coinbase overall Pros and cons

Pros

Cons

• Solid company background

• High fees

• Easy-to-use trading platforms

• Limited selection of crypto coins

• High-quality educational materials

• No 24/7 or live chat support

Coinbase main features and highlights

🗺️ Headquartered in

USA

💰 Trading fees class

High

💰 Inactivity fee charged

No

💰 Withdrawal fee amount

$0-25 (depending on the withdrawal method)

💰 Minimum deposit

$0

🕖 Time to open an account

Less than 15 mins

💳 Depositing with bank card

Available

👛 Depositing with electronic wallet

Available (PayPal)

💱 Number of coins supported

70

💰 Products offered

Stablecoins, altcoins

Coinbase review
Coinbase fees - 1.0

Coinbase has really high trading fees and there is also a withdrawal fee for most withdrawal methods. As a plus, most deposit options are free and there's no inactivity fee.

Pros

Cons

• No deposit fees for SEPA, ACH and crypto

• High trading fees

• No inactivity fee

• High withdrawal fees for most methods

How we ranked fees

We ranked Coinbase fee levels as low, average or high based on how they compare to those of all reviewed crypto service exchanges.

First, let's go over some basic terms related to crypto service fees. Just as with brokers, what you need to keep an eye on are trading fees and non-trading fees.

  • Trading fees occur when you trade. These are mostly commissions, but some exchanges may also charge spreads (the difference between the bid and ask price).

  • Non-trading fees include charges not directly related to trading, like deposit and withdrawal fees, inactivity fees, conversion fees and bank transfer fees, among others.

In this review, we used two different calculation methods to represent the exchange’s fee structure in a comprehensive number. This means that we replicated the two most popular 'buy' scenarios for cryptocurrencies, as suggested by our clients. In this review, we calculate the

  • fees of an instant purchase - we buy a coin straight, for example with a credit card or other instant deposit

  • fees of a non-instant purchase - we first deposit in a fiat currency (USD, EUR, etc.), then convert the deposit into a coin

For both scenarios, we calculated with a $2,000 trade value, assuming 50,000 BTC/USDT as the market price, which means trading 0.04 BTC per transaction.

Coinbase trading fees

Coinbase trading fees are high. The fee structure was sometimes not transparent and it was difficult to understand.

Coinbase fees for instant purchases

Coinbase has really high instant buy fees. Most of this comes from the instant deposit by credit/debit card, which alone costs 3.99%. On top of this, there is a 0.5% spread cost you pay during the transaction.

Coinbase fees for a $2,000 trade
  Coinbase Kraken Binance

Fees for an instant purchase

$90 $105 $40

Description of instant purchase fees

3.99% fee charged for credit/debit card payments plus 0.5% spread 3.75% + €0.25 fee charged for credit/debit card payments 2.00% fee charged for credit/debit card payments

Fees for a non-instant transaction

$10 $5 $2

Description of non-instant purchase fees

Free deposit plus 0.5% spread cost 0-0.26% depending on cumulative trade volume in the last 30 days and whether you provide/take liquidity 0.012-0.100% depending on cumulative trade volume, whether you provide/take liquidity, and your BNB balance

The two most important fee elements when you do transactions on Coinbase are Coinbase's spread and Coinbase's fees. 

The Coinbase spread is roughly 0.5% of the trade value. The Coinbase fee is either a flat or variable fee, whichever is higher.

The Coinbase flat fee is charged if you buy/sell crypto under a certain amount, as per the table below.

Coinbase flat fees
Ranges Flat fee % of the upper limit
Equal to or less than $10 $0.99 9.9% 
Higher than $10 but less than or equal to $25 $1.49 5.7%
Higher than $25 but less than or equal to $50 $1.99 4.0%
Higher than $50 but less than or equal to $200 $2.99 1.5%

The Coinbase variable fee depends on the payment method you use and your location, as per the table below.

Coinbase variable fees
Location Payment method and fees
US

Standard buy - 1.49%

Buy with a debit card or PayPal - 3.99%

ACH deposit - free

Wire deposit - $10 ($25 for withdrawal)

UK/Europe

Standard buy - 1.49%

Buy with a debit card - 3.99%

SEPA deposit - free (€0.15 for withdrawal)

SWIFT - €5

'Faster Payments' deposit - free

Canada

Buy with a debit card - 3.99%

Sell through PayPal - 1%

Chile/Mexico/Singapore

Buy with a credit/debit card - 3.99%

Coinbase non-trading fees

Coinbase does not charge an inactivity fee or any account management fees. On the other hand, there are many cases when withdrawal fees are charged.

Coinbase deposit fees and options

As we have seen, Coinbase may charge a Coinbase fee when you deposit or withdraw. In the table below, you can see what the costs are for each deposit method and how they stack up against Coinbase's competitors.

Coinbase deposit fees and options
  Coinbase Kraken Binance

ACH

$0 NA NA

SWIFT

$6 $0 $0
Wire $10 $0 $0

SEPA

€0 €0 €0

Credit/debit card

NA* NA 1.8%

Electronic wallet

PayPal 2.5% NA NA

BTC deposit

$0 $0 $0

ETH deposit

$0 $0 $0

*Credit/Debit cards can only be used to instantly buy cryptos, but not for depositing money.

Coinbase review - Deposit & withdrawal

Coinbase withdrawal fees and options

Coinbase charges fees for most withdrawal methods.

Coinbase withdrawal fees and options
  Coinbase Kraken Binance

ACH

$0 NA NA

SWIFT

$6 $35 $30

Wire

$25 $0 NA

SEPA

€0.15 €0.09 €0.80

Credit/debit card

2% (with a minimum fee of €/£0.55) NA 1%

Electronic wallet

PayPal 2.5% NA NA

BTC withdrawal

Not disclosed in advance, just right before the transaction 0.000150 BTC 0.000011 BTC

ETH withdrawal

Not disclosed in advance, just right before the transaction 0.00170 ETH 0.00022 ETH

Coinbase review
Account opening - 3.3

Coinbase offers its services in more than 100 countries. Account opening is really quick and user-friendly, but the number of fiat currencies supported is limited compared with other exchanges.

Pros

Cons

• Available in many countries

• Limited number of fiat currencies

• Easy and quick account opening 

• Withdrawal fee for most withdrawal methods

Coinbase is available in 100+ countries, as per the table below.

Coinbase accepted countries
America Europe Asia and Pacific Africa
United States United Kingdom Hong Kong South Africa
Canada Germany India Angola
Mexico France New Zealand Benin
Argentina Italy Singapore Botswana
Brazil Spain Armenia Cameroon
Aruba Andorra Bahrain Ghana
Bahamas Belgium Brunei Darussalam Kenya
Barbados Bulgaria Indonesia Mauritius
Bermuda Croatia Jordan Namibia
Costa Rica Cyprus Kazahstan Rwanda
Curacao Czech Republic Kuwait Tunisia
Dominican Republic Denmark Kyrgyzstan Uganda
El Salvador Estonia Macao Zambia
Guatemala Finland Maldives  
Honduras Gibraltar  Mongolia  
Jamaica Greece Nepal  
Nicaragua Guernsey Oman  
Panama Hungary Philippines  
Trinidad and Tobago Iceland Taiwan  
British Virgin Islands Ireland Uzbekistan   
Chile Isle of Man    
Colombia Jersey    
Ecuador Latvia    
Paraguay Liechtenstein    
Peru Lithuania    
Uruguay Luxembourg    
  Malta    
  Monaco    
  Montenegro    
  Norway    
  Poland    
  Portugal    
  Romania    
  San Marino    
  Serbia    
  Slovakia    
  Slovenia    
  Sweden    
  Switzerland    
  Turkey    

Minimum deposit amount

There is no minimum deposit at Coinbase, similarly to other crypto exchanges.

Account types

Similarly to many other crypto exchanges, you can use a Standard or Pro account. The Coinbase Pro account is suitable for users who prefer advanced trading platforms and research tools.

Besides individual accounts, you can also open a business account.

Coinbase account types
Account type Description
Personal account A Coinbase base account used for personal trading
Business account A Coinbase base account for business entities, used for trading

How to open an account

We really liked that account opening was easy and quick at Coinbase. Our account was verified in a few minutes.

What are the steps for account opening?

  1. Go to Coinbase's website
  2. Click 'Get started'
  3. Enter your name, email address and password
  4. Verify your email
  5. Add your phone number
  6. Select your country of residence
  7. Add your address and answer a few questions about your employment status
  8. Add basic info, like email address, username, password, country of residence
  9. Verify your identity by uploading your passport / national ID.
  10. You're done! Verification will take only a few minutes.

Coinbase review - Account opening

Deposit and withdrawal of fiat currency

Once you have opened your account, there are three ways to get started:

  • Buy cryptos directly using credit/debit cards or electronic wallets
  • Deposit fiat currencies to your account and buy crypto using this fiat currency
  • Deposit crypto to your wallet

We don't recommend buying directly with a credit/debit card, as it's really costly. Having said that, it can be a great option if you want to get into a position immediately. Below, you can check the conditions for fiat currency deposits.

Fiat currency deposit/withdrawal options

Normally, the simplest deposit option would be to use your credit or debit card, but this is not possible at Coinbase. You can only use credit/debit cards to buy crypto directly.

Coinbase deposit options
  Coinbase Kraken Binance
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/debit card No No Yes
Electronic wallets Yes No No

You can check here how much each deposit/withdrawal method costs.

Fiat currency selection

Coinbase accepts the following fiat currencies:

  • USD
  • EUR
  • GBP
  • CAD
  • SGD
  • MXN
  • CLP

This selection of fiat currencies is limited compared with that of Binance.

Also, exactly which of these currencies is available for you depends on your country of residence. For example, EU customers can only use EUR as a fiat currency.

Fiat currencies at Coinbase vs similar crypto exchanges
  Coinbase Kraken Binance
Number of fiat currencies 7 7 31

Coinbase review
Research & platform - 3.6

Coinbase has easy-to-use trading platforms, with great extra features like API access. On the other hand, order types and charting tools are limited.

Pros

Cons

• Easy-to-use trading platforms

• Limited order types

• Extra features, including order book or API access

• Poor charting tools

Coinbase provides two trading platforms. There is a simple trading platform dedicated to beginners, where you can deposit, buy and convert coins/fiat currencies, but you can't use advanced tools like API or an order book.

Coinbase Pro, Coinbase's other platform, is suitable for traders looking for more advanced tools. You can use multiple order types and some advanced tools here.

Coinbase's trading platforms are available only from your browser. There is also a native app for iOS and Android which makes it easy to buy and sell crypto assets directly from your mobile device.

Web Platform

Look and feel

Coinbase's basic web platform is easy to use and well-designed. We could find all features easily and quickly.

The platform consists of the following sections:

  • 'Home' section shows the aggregate value of your portfolio and some other features like a referral program
  • 'Portfolio' section shows your portfolio's breakdown for each coin
  • Under 'Trade', you can buy/sell/convert cryptos
  • You can find great educational tools if you click 'For you'
  • You can see notifications about password changes or trade executions if you go to 'Notifications'
  • In the top right corner, you can easily change your profile's settings and you can also generate transaction reports

Coinbase review - Base trading platform

The Coinbase Pro platform offers additional features compared with the basic platform, including a charting tool, limit/stop order types, and other advanced research tools (e.g. API or order book).

Coinbase review - Pro trading platform

Login and security

Two-step authentication is required for all logins. When you log in, the system sends you an SMS with the code. We think this is a great security feature.

Placing trades

Coinbase platforms provide a limited number of order types:

  • Coinbase's basic platform only lets you place market orders. On the plus side, you can set daily/weekly/monthly purchases.
  • Coinbase Pro allows market, limit and stop orders as well.

This is not a particularly impressive selection, as other crypto exchanges provide up to 5-7 order types.

Coinbase review - Base trading platform - Order types

Coinbase review - Pro order types

Charting tools

Coinbase has limited charting tools. On Coinbase Pro, you can use the EMA indicator in two setups: EMA12 and EMA26. By contrast, Binance, a competitor of Coinbase, provides 80+ indicators.

Mobile Investment Platform

Coinbase is available on both iOS and Android. In this review, we tested Coinbase on Android.

Look and feel 

Coinbase's mobile platform is well-designed and easy to use, similarly to Coinbase's basic web platform. The same features are available on the mobile app as on Coinbase's web platform.

Coinbase review - Mobile trading platform

Login and security

Logging in for the first time requires two-step email authentication. After that, you can use passcodes.

Placing trades

You can use the same order types as on Coinbase's basic platform.

Coinbase review - Mobile order panel

Charting tools

There is only a basic charting tool you can use on the mobile app. It can show only the price trend for the last hour/day/week/month/year but is not suitable for any kind of in-depth analysis.

Coinbase review
Customer service - 1.5

Coinbase offers limited customer service. There's no live chat, phone or any 24/7 support, although there's a great FAQ page and you can reach out to Coinbase on various forums.

Pros

Cons

Great FAQ support

• No 24/7 support

Forum presence

• No live chat or phone support

You can contact Coinbase only via email (in the form of a ticketing system). Submitting a ticket is really easy. You just have to go to Coinbase's website and click ''Contact us', then select the product and the topic you have a question about. There's also a chatbot and a great FAQ page.

Similarly to some other exchanges, Coinbase is also present on some third-party forums, dispersing advice in relevant threads.

Still, we really missed live chat support, as this is the most convenient support channel in our opinion. This also means there is no 24/7 support at Coinbase, even though this could be a useful feature for many customers across the globe.

Coinbase review - Customer service

Coinbase review
Product selection - 2.0

Coinbase has a great selection of the most important cryptocurrencies, though still lagging far behind Binance. Another drawback is the lack of margin or derivative trading.

Pros

Cons

• Good selection of the most important currencies

• No margin or any derivatives trading

 

• Selection falls well short of Binance

Available coins at Coinbase
0x 1Inch Aave Algorand AMP Ampleforth Governance Token Ankr Augur Balancer
Bancor Network Token Band Protocol BarnBridge Basic Attention Token Bitcoin Bitcoin Cash Cardano Cartesi
Celo Chainlink Chiliz Civic Compund Cosmos Curve DAO Token Dai Dash
Decentraland District0x Dogecoin Enjin Coin Enzyme EOS Ethereum Ethereum Classic Filecoin
Gitcoin iExec RLC Internet Computer Keep Network Kyber Network Litecoin Livepeer Loopring Maker
Mirror Protocol NKN NuChyper Numeraire OMG Network Orchid Origin Protocol Polkadot Polygon
Quant Ren REPv2 SKALE Solana Stellar Lumens Storj SushiSwap Synthetix Network Token
Tellor Tether Tezos The Graph UMA Uniswap USD Coin Wrapped Bitcoin XRP
yeam.finance Zcash              

Coinbase has a great selection of the most popular coins including BTC, Dogecoin, Ethereum, BTC Cash, etc; though this is by no means the biggest selection on the market.

Number of coins available at Coinbase vs. competitors
  Coinbase Kraken Binance
# 73 56 400+

Unlike Kraken or Binance, Coinbase doesn't provide any margin trading or derivatives trading.

Coinbase review - Product selection

Coinbase review
Safety

Coinbase is one of the largest crypto exchanges, with high revenues and a huge client base, while the company is also listed on NASDAQ; all great indicators when it comes to safety.

Pros

Cons

• Listed on NASDAQ

• None 

• High revenue and big client base

 

Is Coinbase regulated?

Before we dive deeper into this question, please take a moment to read our disclaimer.

Cryptocurrency exchanges do not qualify for deposit insurance programs, as they are not savings or financial institutions. Therefore no, this service is not regulated in the same sense as broker services are. Still, there are a few signposts that may help you judge the safety of crypto exchanges. Among others, it's worth checking whether the service:

  • is listed on an exchange
  • has a long track record
  • has significant volumes traded on its platforms
  • has a big client base and workforce
  • vows to guarantee FDIC/SIPC insurance on deposits

At the time of our review, Coinbase was the only crypto exchange listed on a stock exchange. Coinbase went public on NASDAQ in April 2021.

In comparison with its closest competitors, Coinbase has a large customer base, trade volume and revenue. These are all great signs for Coinbase's safety.

Coinbase and its competitors' fundamentals
  Coinbase Kraken Binance
Revenue (USD million) 1,277 16.4 NA
Year of revenue data 2020 NA NA
Client base (million) 56 6 15
Foundation date 2012 2011 2017
Traded volume (quarterly, USD billion) 335 1.83 180
Guarantees of an investment protection scheme (for staking or any service) FDIC for cash for US customers NA NA

Is Coinbase secure and safe?

Coinbase trading platforms use two-factor authentication to make your account more secure.

Regarding safety, you should be aware that in most cases, crypto exchanges face less stringent regulations than brokers. Investor protection schemes like SIPC in the US or FSCS in the UK are not available for investors of cryptocurrency exchanges.

Coinbase review
Education - 3.8

Coinbase has high-quality educational tools. There are many articles and videos, all of which are well-structured and well-designed. On the negative side, there is no demo account.

Pros

Cons

• Quality educational texts

• No demo account

• Great educational videos

 

At Coinbase, you have access to the following educational tools:

  • An education section on Coinbase's website
  • Educational materials available if you log in to Coinbase's trading platform
  • Videos and webinars on Coinbase's Youtube channel

We really liked the quality of Coinbase's educational materials. They're frequently updated and customers can easily understand the various concepts discussed.

Coinbase even provides the opportunity to earn crypto by learning. If you click 'Get more crypto', you can earn cryptocurrencies if you complete some courses created by Coinbase. This is a superb feature.

On the negative side, there's no demo account. We think that demo accounts are the best way to learn how to trade on a platform.

Coinbase review - Education

Coinbase review
Extra features

Coinbase has some interesting extra features, including a debit card and a staking service. However, margin or derivatives trading are not available.

Pros

Cons

• Crypto card

• No margin or derivatives trading

• Staking

 

Coinbase Card

You can use Coinbase's Visa debit card to spend your crypto directly. There are some fees and limitations though that you should be aware of when using this service.

Coinbase Card
  For UK and EU customers For US customers
Issuance fee £/€4.95 NA
Daily spending limit £/€10,000 $2,500
Daily ATM withdrawal limit £/€500 $1,000
Transaction fees Domestic purchases are free; international purchases cost 0.2% Spending USDC is free, but transactions with other coins cost 2.49%

Staking

At Coinbase, you can participate in transaction validation, called staking. This process is similar to mining and you can earn staking rewards on your holdings. However, the commission for this service is a minimum 25%.

Coinbase review
Bottom line

Coinbase is one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the US. It's listed on NASDAQ stock exchange, and it has strong revenue numbers and a large customer base.

On the plus side, Coinbase has a solid corporate background, provides an easy-to-use trading platform, and its educational materials are high quality.

There are some drawbacks to Coinbase, though. Trading fees are really high, its crypto coin selection is limited, and customer support lacks live chat and 24/7 options.

Feel free to try Coinbase, but be very careful as crypto exchanges are not overseen by financial regulators.

If you come across anything that you think would be nice to include in this review, let us know at [email protected].

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This material and any information contained herein is provided to You for information purposes only. BrokerChooser is not making any recommendation or soliciting any action based on the information contained herein or making any offer, solicitation or recommendation to invest in a particular investment or undertake any course of action.

This information is furnished to You with the express understanding that it does not constitute investment or any other advice and You will determine, by seeking your own independent advice, the economic risks and merits as well as the legal, tax and accounting consequences of taking any course of action, adopting any investment strategy and/or investing in any asset. Furthermore, BrokerChooser does not provide tax, accounting or legal advice either, hence if You require advice in relation to such matters, You should consult your respective tax, accounting or legal advisers.

Recent performance of several crypto currencies might make it tempting to start trading digital currencies. However, You should be aware that these assets are extremely risky, they tend to be much more volatile than more traditional investments such as stocks, bonds or fiat currencies etc., hence it is of utmost importance that You seek your own independent advice with respect to the economic risks and merits as well as the legal, tax and accounting consequences of taking any course of action, adopting any investment strategy and/or investing in any crypto currency, crypto asset and/or crypto commodity.

You should also be aware that in most cases, crypto exchanges face less stringent regulations than brokers and other regulated financial intermediaries; and that investor protection schemes such as schemes of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation in the United States or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme in the United Kingdom are not available for investors using crypto exchanges.

Please note that this material and all the information contained herein are derived using various proprietary and non-proprietary sources deemed by BrokerChooser to be reliable. It is not necessarily comprehensive and its accuracy cannot be assured. In addition, the information and analysis contained in this material are based on professional judgement and may vary from conclusions or analysis provided by other qualified professionals asked to perform similar analysis. Moreover, this material and the information contained herein are subject to modification, change or supplement without prior notice to You.

Author of this article

Ádám Nasli

Author of this article

Ádám is a motivated finance expert with over two years of experience in banking and investment, and a professional degree in this field. He's eager to help people find the best investment provider for them, and to make the investment sector as transparent as possible.

Ádám Nasli

Broker Expert

Ádám is a motivated finance expert with over two years of experience in banking and investment, and a professional degree in this field. He's eager to help people find the best investment provider for them, and to make the investment sector as transparent as possible.

Everything you find on BrokerChooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology

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