Complete Guide to Coinbase
Due to the increasing interest in cryptocurrencies, it is not surprising to find many investors seeking ways to participate in this financial industry through safe and secure exchanges. One of such cryptocurrency exchanges is Coinbase.
Coinbase was launched in 2012 as a place where cryptocurrency could be safely traded. With its headquarters in San Francisco, Coinbase has built a global reputation in over 32 countries through which more than 12 million customers are served. In 2013, Coinbase was reported to have the largest capital among start-ups in the cryptocurrency industry with large stakes in Bitcoin. To date, Coinbase operates a flexible system which allows its users to buy cryptocurrencies at a competitive price set according to the daily market situation. With over $40 billion being exchanged by its users since inception, Coinbase offers its customers flexible options such as the use of credit cards and bank transfers to fund their crypto wallets and perform transactions.
The fees charged to users on the Coinbase platform is dependent on the market rates, and the users preferred funding option. For example, funding wallets via credit card payments attract higher fees. However, the rates fall between 1.49% and 3.99% for all transactions. Overall, Coinbase offers the most competitive rates which is one of the reasons why the platform has witnessed a steady increase in its userbase over the years.
Coinbase reaffirms its commitment to providing a safe and secure exchange to all its users by carefully developing its products, before making them open to the public. Currently, the cryptocurrencies that can be purchased on the platform are Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin. However, the management has confirmed their willingness to consider the inclusion of more altcoins as soon as they can be vetted and affirmed to be safe for public transactions. Some crypto products being considered for inclusion on the platform include Bitcoin Gold and Ethereum Classic.
Coinbase has also shown its interest in attracting professional traders to use the platform by including the GDAX exchange among its services. In a recent report, the team behind Coinbase announced the introduction of lower fees charged for withdrawals on the site; this change was possible due to the inclusion of the Segwit powered Bitcoin wallets among its services.
Creating a Coinbase Account
Creating your Coinbase account is easy when you follow the steps described below:
- Account Information – The only information required from you is your name and an active email, after entering these details you will be prompted to enter a password. You will be prompted to confirm your email to proceed.
- Select an Account type – There are two account options, the individual and business account. The details of these accounts have been carefully described on the page to help you make a suitable choice.
- Contact number verification – Coinbase uses a two-step authentication process to protect its users. You will need to verify your phone number by entering a private code that will be sent to your phone.
- Choose a Payment Method – You will be presented with two options regarding payment methods used on the platform. They are credit card payments or bank transfer. Verifications will be done to ascertain that you are the legal owner of the account and details provided to be registered for the payment option you have chosen. While credit cards offer an instant transaction, bank transfers may be completed within four days. You will also be able to link your PayPal account on Coinbase for withdrawal of your earnings only after the sale of cryptocurrency.
- Purchasing Cryptocurrency – Once you have completed the processes described above, you will be free to buy cryptocurrency through the Coinbase exchange. But first, your account has to be funded via the payment method you chose earlier. Transactions are confirmed through a careful process to avoid mistakes. After sending your request, you will get a confirmation request showing the value of cryptocurrency you wish to buy and the fees for the transactions, after your consent (confirming the transaction) the value of cryptocurrency you have paid for will be credited to your Coinbase wallet.
How safe is Coinbase Exchange?
The cryptocurrency market cannot be easily predicted neither can one foresee a cyberattack, however users of Coinbase are protected by the reliable cybersecurity measures that have been implemented on the exchange.
In the United States, cryptocurrency exchanges are mandated to operate under the provisions specified by the state and federal laws which are made to protect the users of such platforms. Considering the regulations in the US, investors who use Coinbase are more secure than others who use exchanges operating from countries where the regulations are not as strict hence can be compromised to the detriment of investors. The confidence in using Coinbase has been heightened by the support from reputable organizations such as Ban of Tokyo, and the BBVA. Coinbase has continued to affirm its commitment to providing a transparent and innovative cryptocurrency exchange in accordance with the regulations and to protect the interests of its users.
Regarding the financial management, Coinbase provides financial insurance all users’ investments stored online as a guarantee. In addition, Coinbase separates investor’s funds which are held in separate bank accounts safely, while it relies on its fees and investment from partners to run the operations. This means the users’ funds are safe even if an unforeseen financial catastrophe occurs. In view of preventing cyber hacking and attacks, Coinbase stores users cryptocurrency in offline storage facilities, hardware wallets and paper wallets which are distributed in random deposit boxes globally.
Users will be required to go through a two-step authentication process during login. This process includes the receipt of security codes via SMS or following the authentication prompts on third-party applications such as Google Authenticator. While Coinbase is not liable for lost funds (because users are strongly advised to use offline wallets to store cryptocurrency), notifications will be sent out via email, or SMS if the system detects changes in devices or IP address used to access a user’s account.
24/7 Customer Support
A lot of useful information about the Coinbase exchange has been made available in the FAQ section; However, users can contact customer support via email when necessary. Replies should be expected within three days, and all efforts will be made to resolve customer’s issues.
The services offered by Coinbase can be accessed in any of the following countries:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States.
Transaction Limits on Coinbase
The initial transaction limits offered to users is dependent on their country of origin. Coinbase acknowledges that some users may require higher transaction limits based on the volume of their trades hence the provision given to users who can apply for an increase in their transaction limits. This option is however not open to users who chose the credit card payment option and applicants will be subjected to a comprehensive verification process before their requests are granted. Coinbase customers in the US can be awarded limits as high as $50,000, and EU customers can get $30,000. Transaction limits can be verified by following the link published on the account limit web page on the site.
Cryptocurrency Based Transactions
Transactions done through Coinbase are secure and fast. Users can receive, hold and transfer cryptocurrency on the platform.
- You will be required to indicate the wallet where you wish to receive cryptocurrency. Once you have selected the wallet, the address will be generated which can be sent to the sender who will proceed to transfer the agreed cryptocurrency value to your wallet.
- Transferring coins is done in a similar process, once you have the wallet address that should be funded; enter the wallet keys and the value to be transferred. After clicking the send button, your transfer request will be processed.
All Coinbase users are eligible to get the Visa debit card also called the Shift card for a fee of $10. It can be used in some US states to make purchases at stores where Visa debit cards are accepted at zero transaction or conversion fees (Bitcoin to USD) for domestic purchases.
Coinbase Introduces GDAX
Coinbase announced its decision to create a separate platform for users who wished to trade in cryptocurrency. It was called GDAX and launched in 2015. On this new platform, users can buy and sell cryptocurrency after funding wallets via bank transfer.
By using GDAX, users could avoid the higher fees charged by Coinbase for transactions. All existing Coinbase users have corresponding GDAX accounts and the login details remained the same.
Is it Right to Monitor Transactions?
Coinbase has been accused in the past of monitoring customers’ transactions such as recipients of transfers. In its defense, it can be said that Coinbase monitors these transfers to protect its community. Customers are strongly advised not to transfer cryptocurrency to gambling sites or other suspicious recipients through Coinbase. While Coinbase seeks to increase the safety of its platform while adhering to the regulations provided by the government agencies, some customers have frowned at the monitoring activities.
How Often Are There Downtimes on Coinbase
There have been some downtimes on the platform caused by a sudden spike in demand for Coinbase services due to market price fluctuation. During downtimes, it will not be possible to perform transactions on the site which can be frustrating.
Coinbase has released official announcements and progress reports regarding this issue. Apparently, the development team is working round the clock to ensure that the occurrence of downtime is remarkably reduced. Since its launch, Coinbase has recorded only a few hours of downtime; moreover, according to the reports, plans are underway to ensure that the platform can adequately cater to the needs of existing and new customers.
With the introduction of innovative services in addition to existing offer, it is apparent that Coinbase plans to remain as one of the top cryptocurrency exchanges in the industry. While it offers users a secure platform to transfer and receive cryptocurrency in line with its policies, Coinbase continues to emphasize the need to store coins in the offline personal wallet which are safer and protected by the users’ private key.
Notably, one of the easiest platforms to use for crypto trading, Coinbase offers a unique opportunity to new and existing traders to start their experience in the crypto space with a customer-oriented and friendly exchange platform.