Coinbase Review 2022

7.65 / 10
Cryptocurrency exchange
7.7 / 10
Recommended by Cryptomaniaks
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Reviewed by
Nicholas W.
Senior Writer

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In this 2022 Coinbase review, I will examine what Coinbase is, its history, the team, the pros and cons of the platform, and more.

Whether you’re an institutional or retail investor, you don’t want to pay high fees or use a slow trading platform with an inadequate selection of tokens. There are plenty of bad exchanges out there, so it is essential to choose a good one.

Should you consider Coinbase as your exchange? Are the fees reasonable for both retail and professional investors? 

Should you create an account today?

Let’s dive in!
 


Coinbase Review: Homepage


 

1. Key Takeaways 

I understand you may not have enough time to read my full Coinbase exchange review, so here is an actionable summary to help you.
 

Pros of Coinbase

One of the most reputable exchanges around.
Pros Description (Normal): 
Operating since 2012, listed on Nasdaq, and has a BitLicense from New York State Department of Financial Services.
Simple and easy to use.
Pros Description (Normal): 
Coinbase is the best exchange for crypto newcomers.
Coinbase Earn offers $30+ in free crypto.
Pros Description (Normal): 
Fun to learn about new cryptos and get free crypto!
Large number of cryptocurrencies.
Pros Description (Normal): 
Coinbase offers over 100 cryptocurrencies to purchase.

 

Cons of Coinbase

Cons Title (Bold): 
Limited altcoins.
Cons Description (Normal): 
Most altcoins are Ethereum-based, with limited or no trading for other major blockchain cryptocurrencies.
Cons Title (Bold): 
High Transaction Fees compared to other centralized exchanges.
Cons Description (Normal): 
Coinbase Pro offers much better fees!
Cons Title (Bold): 
Customer support problems.
Cons Description (Normal): 
This has been the main complaint against Coinbase, although they have committed to hiring more staff.

 
 

2. Background

Year founded: 
2012

Headquarters: 
No HQ, incorporated in Delaware

Fiat Currencies: 
USD
EUR
GBP

Coins Available: 
Bitcoin
Ethereum
Dogecoin
Tether
Cardano
Polkadot
Bitcoin Cash
Litecoin
Solana
USD Coin
Avalanche
SHIBA INU
Crypto.com Coin
Wrapped Bitcoin
Uniswap
Chainlink
Polygon
Algorand
Stellar
Axie Infinity
Decentraland
TerraUSD
Filecoin
Ethereum Classic
Cosmos
Dai
Tezos
The Graph
EOS
Aave
Loopring
Maker
Enjin Coin
Quant
Chiliz
Zcash
Amp
Dash
Compound
Celo
IoTeX
Curve DAO Token
Basic Attention Token
OMG Network
yearn.finance
SushiSwap
Horizen
Livepeer
Voyager Token
UMA
Ankr
Perpetual Protocol
Synthetix
Bancor
0x
Paxos Standard
Ren
XYO
SKALE Network
Storj
1inch
OriginTrail
Fetch.ai
NuCypher
Polymath
Cartesi
Function X
Numeraire
COTI
NKN
Civic
Orchid
iExec RLC
Badger DAO
Band Protocol
Gala
Rally
PlayDapp
Keep Network
Rari Governance Token
Alchemy Pay
TrueFi
Augur
Orion Protocol
Mirror Protocol
Request
Enzyme
ARPA Chain
LCX
Balancer
DFI.Money
BarnBridge
DerivaDAO
Ampleforth
Tellor
Rarible
district0x
Assemble Protocol
SUKU
Harvest Finance
Kryll
Bounce Token
mStable USD
Kyber Network
Internet Computer
Origin Protocol
Powerledger
Ethereum Name Service
Jasmy
Tribe
Braintrust
Mask Network
Alchemix
Radicle
Adventure Gold
Clover Finance
QuickSwap
Gitcoin
Rai Reflex Index
GYEN
Wrapped LUNA

Products and Services: 
Spot Trading

Markets: 
368

 

 
 

3. Reputation and Security 7.0/10

Coinbase scamming will not happen, as they are one of the most trusted and secure exchanges around. However, their customer service is notoriously bad, although they are working to improve this. 

Let’s dive into the details!
 

Coinbase License and Insurance

Is Coinbase legit? Absolutely. They have a BitLicense, one of the most stringent business licenses for virtual currency activities from the New York Department of Financial Services. 

Furthermore, they are listed on the Nasdaq, forcing them to follow even more rigorous reporting and compliance laws. Along with other U.S. exchanges, they are required to have a Money Transmitter License and comply with anti-money laundering (AML), know-your-customer (KYC), and countering financing of terrorism (CFT) policies. 

Coinbase has insurance against criminal theft of cryptocurrencies, but this does not apply to losing your crypto.
 

Security Features

Coinbase uses the standard SSL and 2-factor authentication security features. As they also have custody and institutional services, Coinbase uses payment industry best practices for their site. 

Wallets and private keys are stored using AES-256 encryption, an encryption standard that has never been hacked. All accounts must have strong passwords, and be 2FA enabled. 

Coinbase employees are required to encrypt their hard drives, use strong passwords, and enable screen locking.
 

Complaints Received

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), from June 2020-2021, Coinbase received the most customer complaints compared to the other largest exchanges operating in America, Kraken, and Binance.US. Coinbase received 1,060 complaints while Binance.US received 184 complaints and Kraken 34. 

The CFPB also received 755 complaints about Coinbase’s digital wallet from 2017 to April 2021. For comparison, PayPal and Square received 4,431 and 1,202 complaints, respectively, in that same time period. 

Brian Armstrong discussed the rise of complaints in a 2021 Reddit AMA, saying the market’s recent bull run had overwhelmed their customer support, leading Coinbase to hire more people than the entire customer support team before 2021. He pledged Coinbase would do better. 

Many reviews and complaints cite their lack of actual customer service, with only automated responses to their queries. Their support page is designed to not contact someone. It’s just an endless loop of help articles.
 

Team

Coinbase is led by Brian Armstrong, a former Airbnb engineer, co-founding with Fred Ehrsam in 2012. Armstrong has been CEO since then. 

Of note, Coinbase with Circle and Bitcoin miner company Bitmain formed Centre, which launched the stablecoin USD Coin, pegged to the US dollar. 

Like many other crypto leaders and executives, Armstrong is active on social media. Coinbase is the first cryptocurrency exchange to be publicly listed on the Nasdaq. 

In May 2020, during the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, Coinbase announced they were becoming a “remote-first” company, hence the lack of a formal headquarters.
 
 

4. Supported Countries

Before I move forward with the essence of my Coinbase review, make sure you live in one of these Coinbase supported countries where buying, selling, and conversions are available:
 

US United States
CA Canada
GB United Kingdom
RU Russia
DE Germany
FR France
IT Italy
ES Spain
UA Ukraine
PL Poland
RO Romania
NL Netherlands
BE Belgium
CZ Czech Republic
GR Greece
PT Portugal
SE Sweden
HU Hungary
BY Belarus
AT Austria
RS Serbia
CH Switzerland
BG Bulgaria
DK Denmark
FI Finland
SK Slovakia
NO Norway
IE Ireland
HR Croatia
MD Moldova
BA Bosnia and Herzegovina
AL Albania
LT Lithuania
MK Macedonia
SI Slovenia
LV Latvia
EE Estonia
ME Montenegro
LU Luxembourg
MT Malta
IS Iceland
AD Andorra
MC Monaco
LI Liechtenstein
SM San Marino
VA Vatican


See All Authorized Countries

Even if you don’t live in one of these countries, other Coinbase features, including sending and receiving crypto, Coinbase Vault, and storing funds, may be available to you.
 
 

5. Exchange Features 8.0/10

Order Types Available

Coinbase offers limit, market, and stop orders. Coinbase does not have any advanced trading options; those are in Coinbase Pro. 

A limit order is an order to buy or sell a specified quantity at a specified price. 

Market orders buy or sell an asset at the best available price of existing orders, usually immediately. 

Stop orders buy or sell if the price gets “worse” than the specified price. 
 

Staking / Interest-Earning Accounts

Coinbase offers staking for several coins, where you earn interest on your coins, and Coinbase can do whatever they want with the coins. With a proof-of-stake coin like Tezos or Cosmos, you earn a certain percent interest while Coinbase likely earns more; otherwise, they wouldn’t offer this service.

Starting in the latter half of 2021, Coinbase offered ETH 2 staking, allowing users to earn interest on their ETH during the upgrade to Ethereum’s proof of stake model. 

Staking on your own would require a minimum of 32 ETH, so this is a nice option to earn interest on your ETH, but it is locked until Ethereum 2.0 launches. 

Interest rates are less than the interest you would earn if you staked the coin yourself; otherwise, Coinbase would not earn a profit on staking. 

Many exchanges offer staking for Proof of Stake coins, and it's a nice way to earn interest on your crypto without the hassle of using DeFi or delegating to a validator. 

For stablecoins like USDC and Dai, Coinbase may lend these, put them to work in DeFi or use them in leveraged trading. Coinbase may offer more staking in the future. 
 

Coin Interest
Ethereum 2.0 4.5%
USD Coin 0.15%
Tezos 4.63%
Algorand 4%
Cosmos 5%
Dai 2%

 

Exchange Token

Coinbase does not offer an exchange token to lower fees or invest in. 

However, Coinbase is the only exchange publicly listed on the stock market. Owning Coinbase stock (COIN) does not offer any trading discounts.
 

Asset Classes

Coinbase only offers spot trading of cryptocurrency. You can hold NFTs in their wallet app but cannot purchase NFTs through Coinbase. 

For more advanced asset trading, Coinbase Pro will have more options for you.
 

Market Share

Coinbase is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S. by volume, with ~$4.5 billion in the past 24 hours. 

Internationally, Coinbase ranks in the top 10, eclipsed only by some newer exchanges and Binance.
 

OTC Desk

An OTC desk acts as a dealer for anyone looking to trade an asset instead of an order book matching buyers and sellers. Coinbase does not offer an OTC desk on its app.
 

Wallet

Coinbase has its own cryptocurrency wallet, called Wallet, on the app store. You can keep hundreds if not thousands of ERC-20 tokens in the wallet, and NFTs too. 

The app has a browser tab, allowing you to connect to DeFi apps right from the wallet. You manage your own private keys in the wallet. 

Coinbase Wallet cannot be connected to your bank account to buy cryptocurrencies. Note that there is likely a network fee to transfer crypto to and from Coinbase and Coinbase wallet. 

Don’t forget your 12-word recovery phrase in case you forget your password or lose access!
 

Academy

Coinbase has a variety of educational articles covering crypto basics, how to set up a crypto wallet, and a Coinbase Bytes newsletter. 

They do not have a dedicated academy or part of the app for this.
 

Earn

Coinbase offers Coinbase Earn, where you get free crypto for learning about that crypto, usually $3. Watch a video, answer a question about the video, and earn $1. 

This is educational and also gives you free crypto. The amount varies on the crypto they offer, between $29 and $40. The app will display the offer for the free crypto on the homepage.
 


Coinbase Review: Learn and Earn Pages

Leverage

Coinbase’s mobile app does not offer leverage trading. Most exchanges that operate in the U.S. do not offer leverage or no longer offer leverage as of 2021 with increased regulatory scrutiny.
 
 

6. User Experience 

Coinbase mobile is a phenomenal trading app. Easy to use, easy to understand, and easy to navigate. 

It was the first exchange I used and is perfect for beginners. I’ve had some problems understanding other exchanges and their apps but no such thing with Coinbase. 
 

Platform Functionality

Coinbase’s mobile app is very user-friendly for those new to crypto. Coinbase was the first exchange I used, and I didn’t have any problems understanding how to trade or deposit funds. 

Since Coinbase only offers spot trading, there isn’t any confusing trading screen filled with graphs and numbers.
 


Coinbase Review: Trading Screen

Ranked by the average liquidity of their tokens, Coinbase is 6th out of all exchanges. Meaning you shouldn’t expect large price fluctuations when trading cryptocurrency.
 

Design and Appearance

Coinbase mobile has one button where you buy, sell, convert, send, and receive crypto, and cash in and out. Its homepage has a section of the latest crypto news, usually five articles within the past day. 

There is also a For You section, with tabs for Education, News, and Get more crypto. These articles cover account security, introductions to NFTs, bank usage of stablecoins, and much more. 
 


Coinbase Review: Trade Button Options

Registration Process

The registration process for Coinbase was easy and quick. For U.S.-based users, a driver's license is all you need to verify your ID. The verification process should be done within a day. 

Those outside the U.S. can use a government-issued photo ID, national identity card, and passport. 

Uploading a picture of your ID is best done using your phone’s camera on Coinbase’s mobile app.
 
 

7. Fees 7.0/10

Coinbase trading fees are not the cheapest. There are Coinbase fees for transactions and fees for some payment methods. Coinbase does not have an exchange token to lower fees. Coinbase transaction fees are subject to fluctuation, with a flat fee for the smaller transaction amounts in the table below. 
 

Trade Amount Flat Fee
<$10 $0.99
$10-$25 $1.49
$25-$50 $1.99
$50-$200 $2.99

Above these transaction amounts, Coinbase will charge a variable fee which can change depending on the day, cryptocurrency and buying method. 

For example, buying $1,000 of BTC would have a $14.68 fee or a 1.468% fee. A much higher fee compared to Binance or Coinbase Pro, Coinbase’s professional trading platform. 

Overall, Coinbase charges a 0.5-10% fee, with the 10% fee only for the smaller transactions above. Coinbase does not display its fee schedule on its website.

There may be fees for specific payment methods too. However, hooking your bank account up to Coinbase via an ACH transfer is the best option as it has no fee. 

Coinbase does not offer margin trading, so there are no Coinbase margin fees.
 

Payment Method Fee
U.S. bank account or Coinbase wallet 1.49%
Debit card 3.99%
Instant card withdrawal Up to 1.5% (minimum $0.55)
Wire transfer $10
ACH transfer  Free
Crypto conversion 2%

 
 

8. Payments 10.0/10


Coinbase Review: Payment Method Options

Deposit and Withdrawal Methods

Cashing in and cashing out are available using the same button as buying or selling crypto. There aren’t any Coinbase deposit fees using the below deposit methods. 
 

Deposit Methods

Bank Account
Link your bank account to buy crypto, with buy orders being processed instantly. Coinbase recommends this.

Wire transfers
For investing large amounts without limits. It is recommended for purchases greater than $25,000.

Gift Card
Redeem a Coinbase gift card. These are typically small amounts, and the funds are added directly to your account.
 

Withdrawal Methods

Coinbase withdrawal is easy and fast. Coinbase fiat withdrawals are easily made with your bank, taking one to three business days without any fees. 

You can also add a Visa or Mastercard debit card, transferring instantly for free. PayPal and wire transfers are also options. 

Coinbase minimum withdrawals depend on the coin being withdrawn, as do the Coinbase withdrawal fees.
 

Pairs Available

Coinbase has hundreds of trading pairs available, over 300 at the time of this writing. Almost all of their crypto listed can trade against fiat, BTC, and ETH.
 

Limits 

The Coinbase minimum deposit depends on the payment method you are using. See the table below for more information. The same is true for the Coinbase withdrawal limit.
 

Transaction method Limit
Bank purchase/deposit $35,000 per day
Card purchases $7,500 per week
PayPal purchases $1,000 per day
Apple Pay purchases $7,500 per week
Google Pay purchases $7,500 per week
PayPal withdrawals $25,000 per day
Instant Sends $1,000 per day
Wire Transfers No limit

 
 

9. Customer Service 5.0/10

Coinbase is notorious for having poor customer support. On mobile and computer, their customer support page makes it very difficult to contact an actual person.  

You have the option to submit a request or chat with a virtual assistant. The only way to talk to someone is in the emergency you need to lock your account or need Coinbase Card US support. 

Not having live chat with a real person is a major disappointment, as crypto can be confusing, and problems can quickly arise. However, as mentioned earlier, Coinbase is hiring more customer support staff to improve its service.
 
 

10. Noteworthy Features 10.0/10

Coinbase has various tools and apps for businesses, institutions, and traders, including Coinbase Prime, Coinbase Pro, Coinbase Bytes newsletter, a Visa Debit Card, and others. 

Compared to other exchanges, like Binance or Kriptomat vs. Coinbase, Coinbase has higher fees and is more prevalent in the United States. At the same time, Kriptomat is based in Estonia, and Binance is the largest international exchange.

Is Coinbase safe? Absolutely- Coinbase keeps 98% of their coins in cold storage, meaning hackers cannot access the vast majority of their (your) funds. This is a significant feature as they own the private keys to your coins, not you. 
 
 

Coinbase Review: Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed this review of Coinbase

Coinbase is the top exchange in the US for crypto newcomers with excellent security, rigorous compliance, and an easy-to-use app. 

If you’re a more experienced crypto trader, check out some of the other top exchanges like Binance, Coinbase Pro, or Kraken with better customer service and lower fees.
 

About CryptoManiaks
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We are CryptoManiaks.  Collectively, we have over 25 years of experience in the crypto world and are all passionate about guiding people through the complex world of crypto investing.

Written by

Nicholas W.

Scientist by day, crypto enthusiast by night. I love learning about real-world applications of cryptocurrencies and teaching others about these new technologies. When not working or writing, you’ll find me racing triathlons or rock climbing.

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