Coinbase Review – Is the Exchange legit?

Coinbase is one of the world’s largest and most popular cryptocurrency exchanges which offers a wide range of services that allows users to make cryptocurrency transactions. The exchange was founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehsram, making it one of the oldest cryptocurrency platforms around.  

As a crypto exchange platform, Coinbase offers the purchase of cryptocurrencies with fiat money like USD, EUR, and others. This unique feature makes it easy for users to buy cryptocurrencies with any currency of choice.

Coinbase Review - Is the Exchange legit?

The exchange platform is fully licensed and regulated with legal practices, and available to users in more than 55 countries around the globe. Users can buy with many forms of payment methods, which includes a debit card, credit card, bank transfers, PayPal, and several other payment options.

The US-based cryptocurrency broker has an easy to use and interactive platform, which makes it easy for investors new to cryptocurrency to get into buying and trading cryptocurrencies. Coinbase deals mainly in Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Litecoin (LTC) as well as other cryptocurrencies made available on the platform for users like Ethereum Classic and Bitcoin Cash.

Coinbase has a built-in wallet which enables you to store cryptocurrencies on the platform, but it’s recommended to move your cryptocurrencies to a hardware wallet. Coinbase has one of the most secure wallets around because the cryptocurrency exchange keeps almost all its assets in an offline storage system which can’t be hacked.

Coinbase can’t be used anonymously due to KYC requirements which restrict users from accessing the site unless they provide a government-issued ID and some other forms of verification methods.

Key Information

Attributes Details Verdict
Deposit/Buy Methods Bank Transfers, Card-based payment methods, and Cryptocurrencies. Coinbase offers multiple options in which to use for funding of an account.
Coins/Tokens Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Ox (ZRC), Bitcoin Cash (BCC) and several others. Offers a number of well-established cryptocurrencies to work with.
Fees Buying fees range between 1.49% and 3.99%, deposit and withdrawal fees vary on the methods used. The fees are reasonable but relatively higher than some other exchanges.
Security Multi-factor authentication with an AES-256-bit encryption system and insurance benefits. Coinbase offers full transparency in their approaches regarding security and has no records of a major hack.
Regulation Fully regulated. Coinbase is a regulated securities firm and acts as a broker-dealer.
Limits No deposit limits, withdrawal limits differ with each account level. Other factors like account age and buying history also determines the limits of the account.

Features

Coinbase has an interactive and convenient interface with a clean design that makes navigating the website easy for beginners. Coinbase is a secure and trusted platform because it only offers legit and verified cryptocurrencies, which makes it hard for users to be exposed to tokens that could be equities or securities.

Coinbase has a feature that makes fast and seamless transactions called ‘Instant Exchange’ which allows users to make transactions in fiat currencies that will be processed to Bitcoin for the receiver. This incurs no extra charges which make it a great feature to put to use.

The exchange platform has a Visa debit card called the ‘Shift Card’ that users can make direct transactions with. The card can be used to make payments, and an equivalent value of Bitcoin will be debited from the user’s wallet.

Signing Up

Access the exchange’s website platform, sign up with your name, email address, and password. The Terms of Use must be read and accepted to proceed with the account activation. Verify the email address, and you will be redirected to a page where you will be asked to confirm whether you will be creating an individual or business account.

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Coinbase has a two-factor authentication feature which makes the account more secure, and this can be done by simply verifying your phone number or by using other two-factor verification methods. This can be done by accessing the account settings and following the procedures available on the page.

Funding for Account

A Coinbase account can be funded by linked bank accounts, wire transfers, credit cards, and debit cards.

Bank Account

This is the best option for large and small amounts and takes up to 4-5 days to complete.

This can be done through two options, ‘Deposit Verification‘ and ‘Instant Verification.’

 Deposit Verification can be done by using the platform’s deposit verification process. Simply go to the ‘Accounts’ page, click on ‘Link a New Account’ and select ‘Bank Account’. A page will be loaded where bank logos are presented to the user to choose from.

  • If your bank is not included in the list, click on ‘Don’t see your banks? Search instead’. The search bar can then be used to locate the bank’s name.
  • After selecting the bank of choice, a message pops-up on which you would click ‘Get Started’. 
  • The bank’s account name, account number, routing number, and account type (Savings or Checking) will be requested and then filled. After filling the bank details, click ‘Verify Account.’
  • The name of the verified name of the Coinbase account must be the same as the name of the linked account. 
  • Deposit amounts can be verified by accessing the ‘Linked Accounts’ page and clicking the ‘Verify’ button for the bank account. This can be done as soon as the deposits are available on the account.
  • Instant verification requires a linked bank account that has to be provided to make use of this feature. 
  • Access the ‘Accounts’ page, click on ‘Link a New Account,’ then select ‘Bank Account’.
  • A screen will be displayed on which you would input the name of the bank account of choice. 
  • Input the login details of the bank account and once processed, the bank account will be linked and made available for use.

Wire Transfers

  • Access the ‘Accounts’ tab, select the USD wallet, and then click on ‘Deposit.’ 
  • Select ‘Wire Transfer’ from the ‘Deposit USD’ menu; the information displayed can be used to make a wire transfer in USD from your bank account.
  • Once the deposit is cleared, the funds will be made available in your Coinbase USD wallet. A wire transfer can only be made if the name of the US-based bank account matches the name of the Coinbase account.

Wire transfers can only be made from bank accounts linked to your Coinbase account which isn’t connected to any other Coinbase account.

Debit Card

Coinbase accepts MasterCard and Visa cards, and a photo ID verification is necessary for adding a card. Access the ‘Accounts’ page, click on ‘Link a New Account’ and input the card details.

The card will be temporarily debited twice, and the two amounts can be found on your online banking statement. These two amounts will then be used to complete the process of adding and verifying the card.

The card can be used to purchase on the ‘Buy’ page by choosing the card on the payment options. Linking new cards are no longer supported on Coinbase, additional fees are charged for purchases made with the card.

Trading

Buy and Sell options can be easily accessed on Coinbase; the ‘Trade’ feature can be selected on the top-right corner of the application or the website. Buying and selling can be done by making use of the same system in which you would choose a coin/token, the wallet, and payment methods.

Buying or selling in fractions is more common due to the high rates of buying bitcoins in whole. Input the amount of money you would like to buy/sell, and the system responds with the amount in coins/tokens.

Withdrawal of Funds

Withdrawal of funds on Coinbase is generally fair and secure. The funds available in the account can be withdrawn through a bank account, wallet transfers, and PayPal.

  • To transfer to another wallet, the wallet address of the exchange is required. Simply click on the ‘Accounts’ option in the menu header and locate the cryptocurrency purchased. Input the address of the wallet and click ‘Send.’
  • The wallet will receive the funds, which can be converted back to local currency. A transfer between exchanges can take up to 10 minutes.

Transaction Fees

Coinbase incurs charges for every transaction made on the platform, the fees are added to the total amount of the order made. The amount of the fees depends on the size of the order being made. The selling fees for Coinbase is 1.49% of the total order, a reference of the charges incurred is made available for the users.

  • For transactions made with a U.S bank account, trades under $200 are charged 4% of the total amount while those over $200 are charged 1.49%.
  • Other fees can also be incurred outside the Coinbase platform like Bank fees from the user’s bank. A Coinbase Pro account can be used to avoid charges and taxes on the exchange, which means you can make transactions on the open market with fewer charges restrictions.
  • The difference between the standard Coinbase and Coinbase Pro account is that the former is a broker while the latter is an exchange.

Limits

Coinbase accounts have transaction limits that vary in each country because of differences in the verification status and payment methods. The restrictions of an account can be accessed on the account’s limit page. The account’s limit depends on the account’s level; the identity of a user has to be verified to upgrade the account’s level and increase the limits of such user account.

Users can raise their limits by applying for higher limits, but they do not generally pertain to credit card transactions.

Security and Privacy

Coinbase boasts of anti-fraud measures that ensure transactions are secure. The verification levels also add to the system’s security with each level having its own transaction limits. The exchanges are highly regulated with policies and methods that make the system transparent.

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The exchange’s website runs on a fully encrypted SSI (https), and AES-256 encryption is used to secure the users’ passwords and OAuth tokens.

Updates/Developments – 21 Nov 2019

Coinbase is 100% but scammers will make use of various ways to take advantage of its popularity. Be aware of these fraudulent schemes as enumerated below.

Technical Support and Impersonation Scams

  • Never give support staff (or anyone else for that matter) remote access to your machine. This effectively gives the scammer full access to your computer, online financial accounts, and digital life
  • Never give out your 2FA (2-Factor Authentication) security codes or passwords. Coinbase support will never ask you to share sensitive authentication credentials
  • Never accept outbound calls asking for your confidential personal information. Be aware that scammers can spoof legitimate phone numbers when conducting outbound calls
  • Only contact Coinbase via the phone number listed on https://support.coinbase.com/ or via email on https://support.coinbase.com/customer/portal/emails/new
  • Never send digital currency to external addresses on behalf of alleged support agents. Coinbase staff will never ask you to send digital currency to external addresses

Giveaway Scams

  • While Coinbase Earn does offer a legitimate method for earning cryptocurrency, Coinbase does not engage in any giveaways.
  • These payments cannot be reversed and Coinbase will never ask you to send cryptocurrency to external addresses.  Never send digital currency to giveaways under the guise of address verification
  • Coinbase’s legitimate social media profiles are listed in this help article. Any other profiles should be considered fraudulent

Investment Scams

  • Be skeptical of websites or services promising high returns or unrealistic investment opportunities. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is
  • ​Only send cryptocurrency to trusted third parties. Search for publicly verifiable reviews or articles involving the recipient
  • ​Watch for grammatical errors in communications or on websites. Scammers often make grammar or spelling mistakes
  • ​Research the organization thoroughly. Check consumer-protection websites, make telephone calls, and send emails to verify authenticity

Loader or Load-up Scams

  • Never provide your passwords or security codes to third parties under any circumstances
  • Report any “loaders” to Coinbase and to the platfrom where they are advertising their credit card fraud

Telegram Scams

Coinbase has no official presence on the Telegram messaging platform. All varieties of scams can be found on this platform that target Coinbase users, including fraudulent payment bots and giveaway scams. Read this blog post for more information on Telegram scams.

Employment Scams

  • All legitimate job postings will be posted on www.coinbase.com/careers No other URL should be trusted for job listings
  • All legitimate communications with Coinbase recruiters will come from @coinbase.com email addresses
  • Please report any impersonations or fake job recruitment scams to [email protected]

Phishing

  • One of the best ways to avoid phishing sites is to always make sure you’re accessing https://www.coinbase.com directly.
  • sourcePhishers will often use URLs like www.c01nbase.com to conduct these scams. Detailed information on phishing can be found in this blog post.

Source: https://support.coinbase.com/customer/en/portal/articles/2313972-avoiding-digital-currency-scams

Conclusion

Notably, Coinbase is an excellent exchange for investors who intend to trade cryptocurrencies safely. The option of trading in fiat makes it one of the best cryptocurrency exchanges to make transactions.

Coinbase’s funds are also insured to ensure that customers are entitled to recover funds lost in the event of a hack or security breach; giving it an edge over other crypto exchanges.