Coinbase is the best platform for cryptocurrency traders looking for convenience and traders who want to easily convert one cryptocurrency to another. It accepts several payment methods, including ACH transfers from a bank account, debit cards, money wires, and PayPal. ACH transfers are the most cost-effective option, because you can deposit money from a bank account without any extra fees. Coinbase offers two separate trading platforms. The standard Coinbase platform is easier to use, so it’s great for beginners. Coinbase Pro is the more advanced option where customers can view real-time order books, use charting tools, and save on fees.
Coinbase has higher fees than other cryptocurrency exchanges. Its fee structure is a confusing combination of elements that depend on two factors:
- Coinbase charges a spread of about 0.5% for cryptocurrency sales and purchases; rates may be higher or lower depending on market fluctuations.
- Coinbase also charges a fee, the greater of either a flat fee or a variable one depending on the amount purchased and the payment type.
So if you purchase $100 of bitcoin through your U.S. bank account, the flat fee would be calculated as $2.99, along with the spread, which is the difference between the bid and ask price of the currency.
By comparison, Coinbase Pro’s pricing model is more straightforward, although fees have risen slightly over the last year. It’s based on your monthly trading volume and liquidity of the asset at the time of purchase; if immediately available, you’re charged a “taker” fee, and if your order needs to wait for a buyer, you are charged a “maker” fee. With Coinbase Pro, deposits and withdrawals must be made through a bank account; no card purchases are allowed. Wire transfer fees still apply.
As you know cryptocurrency exchanges are not protected by the FDIC or the SIPC. However, all of the digital currency Coinbase holds online is insured. The company says it holds less than 2% of customer funds online, with the rest stored in offline cold storage – away from possible online breaches. Moreover, if it were to suffer a breach of its online storage, “the insurance policy would pay out to cover any customer funds lost as a result.”
It should be noted that the company’s insurance covers only losses related to Coinbase cybersecurity or employee theft; it doesn’t work with compromised passwords.
If your funds are held in U.S. banks, they are insured up to $250,000 per individual by the FDIC.
Pros of Coinbase
- User-friendly interface
- Easy sign-up process
- High liquidity for supported digital assets
- Strong security
- FDIC insured
- Accessibility in 100 countries
- More than 150 cryptocurrencies to choose from
- Educational tools
Cons of Coinbase
- Debit cards only available in limited countries
- High fees compared to other exchanges
- Limited number of coins which are available for staking
- No control of your own private keys when you keep coins on your account
Coinbase is one of the safest and largest exchange platforms with a host of services and products. Recently, the company has announced that it plans to add 2000 employees across product, engineering and design in 2022. So, it is going to be even better.