Coinbase is a Cryptocurrency broker out of San Francisco California, that helps consumers convert and buy Cryptocurrency with Fiat (USD.)
It is one of the largest Cryptocurrency brokerages with roughly up to 100,000 users a day to their exchange.
They are a direct cryptocurrency brokerage which sets their price, meaning, unlike other exchanges, you have to buy at a stable price that is set by them and not the seller.
THE HISTORY OF COINBASE
In June of 2012, Coinbase was started by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam as a enrollee in the Y combinator startup.
Then in 2013 Coinbase received a series A funding of $5 million for growth while later that year receiving another $25 million by Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, and Ribbit Capital.
In 2014 they started their growth process building partnerships with major retailers such as Overstock, in order to help businesses accept bitcoin payments, as well as acquiring the blockchain explorer service Blockr.
As time continued Coinbase received a $75 million investment and launched their coinbase-exchange for professional traders (as the investment came from USAA, The New York Stock Exchange, and others.)
In may 2016 they added Ethereum to their main Coinbase site while changing the coinbase-exchange to GDAX which allows for a variety of cryptocurrency exchanges.
Later they added Litecoin to the lineup and obtained the Bitlicense in order to become more credible in U.S.
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FEATURES OF COINBASE REVIEW
Ability To Use Multiple Currencies:
Coinbase allows users to buy cryptocurrencies with USD, Euros, and the British Pound (GBP).
They also allow you to use your bank account, credit card, and debit card which most cryptocurrency exchanges don’t allow you to do.
All Deposits Are Insured:
While much of cryptocurrency is about keeping your money away from the banking system, since Mt.Gox failed many exchanges take precautions.
Coinbase deposits are insured, which isn’t to say your password or someone hacking your account isn’t, but what you put in is kept safe once deposited.
They Allow A Quick and Easy Process For Buying Their Currencies:
With many exchanges going from USD or fiat to Cryptocurrency can take up to 10 days, while with coinbase you can upload your credit/debit card and immediately get the cryptocurrency when your payment clears.
This allows many people to buy coins and transfer them easily when there are crazy prices or trends they would like to buy.
Kraken and Bittrex can overwhelm people with all their options and their variety of coins, while Coinbase is very simple to use.
Users can choose from three coins: BTC, LTC, and ETH
After that, you then buy your currency and have it stored on their site (granted we recommend moving your currency to a wallet where you own the private ID).
When you want to sell, you simply press sell (or transfer to the site then sell) and receive your funds back in USD.
Cryptocurrency Credit Card Linking:
Coinbase allows you to link something called a Shift Card to your account.
This shift card allows you to pay for daily purchases with your coinbase balance by converting coins into USD and allowing you to spend them on the spot.
THE CONS OF USING COINBASE
More Account Verification and Frozen accounts:
Since Coinbase is such a secure and higher tech company, even insuring your deposits, they require an extensive credit check.
They require Social Security, I.D., Address, and a few more metrics which can leave some users feeling weird about using this.
Occasionally, users get flagged for suspicious behavior which results in their accounts getting frozen for a period of time.
Being a brokerage account, Coinbase sets their prices and their fees for both purchasing and transferring coins.
When transferring fiat to Coinbase here are the fees:
- U.S. Bank account - 1.49%, with a minimum of $0.15
- Coinbase USD Wallet - 1.49%
- Credit/Debit Card - 3.99%
- 1% variable fee based on the amount of your transaction but subject to a minimum fee of $1.00 and a maximum fee of $50 (“Variable Fee”) and, depending on the region and payment type identified below, a fixed rate percentage of 2.49% ("fixed fee").
Decent Customer Service Rates Because of High Capacity:
While Coinbase is one of the only cryptocurrency exchanges to have a phone-call customer service line, they are a bit slow.
With the high influx of people coming to Coinbase everyday, it may take some time to get your support request answered and fulfilled.
WHAT GCA THINKS OF COINBASE
When it comes to convenience and ease of use, we typically choose Coinbase.
Coinbase is one of the goto methods for us at GCA to buy cryptocurrency fast, using a debit or credit card and transferring immediately when we are purchasing a new coin.
It’s also our recommended exchange for anyone diving into cryptocurrency for the first time, as it is easy to use and hard to get confused (but make sure you are buying in the amount and with the method you want before pressing buy.)