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Coinbase Crypto Exchange Review USA 2021

If you’re interested in cryptocurrency or bitcoin exchanges, there’s a good chance you’ve already heard of Coinbase. It would be near impossible to go into any Coinbase US review without mentioning they’re the largest in the country.

It’s a position they’ve earned, with a reputation built over nearly a decade of dependable, versatile and broadly appealing service. With more competition than ever, it’s no small thing that we say Coinbase crypto lives up to the hype. But how do they remain relevant amongst ever-improving competition? This Coinbase review is about uncovering exactly that.

coinbase review usa
Pros & Cons of Coinbase
  • Largest crypto exchange by trading volume in the US
  • Huge selection of cryptocurrencies
  • Excellent usability and security
  • Coinbase Pro is ideal for more experienced users
  • Lack of live customer support

Security, Usability, Look & Feel - Our Coinbase review

Whether it’s our Coinbase analysis, a Binance review or a Kraken review, nothing is more important than security. Considering their Coinbase crypto exchange is the largest by trading volume in the US, serious security flaws would be a surprise for our Coinbase review USA. Based on all of our research – which we’ll go into greater detail in a dedicated section of our Coinbase review – we consider Coinbase safe and their security to be excellent.

Coinbase Highlights
  • Massive choice of cryptocurrencies
  • A trusted and secure brokerage
  • Great for new and experienced traders

Another area in which Coinbase excels is in the useability of its interface. Your standard Coinbase account is all about making the buying and selling cryptocurrency as easy as possible and our Coinbase crypto review would say it’s mission accomplished. Coinbase Pro is aimed at more experienced traders, and is thus more complicated to use but has the benefits of not just lower fees but a staggering scale of information and functionality. We’d say that as much as is possible, it’s made as straightforward as could be imagined.

Whatever platform you use, though – Pro, mobile app – they all work seamlessly on a technical level. There’s even bonuses, like with their Coinbase referral code program, and even they’re incredibly easy to use. A triumph all round.

Coinbase: How to Trade

We mentioned when talking about customer service in our Coinbase crypto review that one of its strengths is how well it explains itself. Nowhere does it do a better job than when it comes to the basics of how to trade. Here, we’re going to give you step-by-step help so you can see just how intuitive a platform Coinbase truly is.

Step One: Create an account

This depends on whether you want to go desktop or mobile. You can either start on their website or through the apps available on Android and iOS. You’ll be asked to enter a bunch of standard information from your name to state, and to read and accept the user agreement and privacy policy. Do make sure all this information is correct as they’ll likely ask for it later. Click ‘Create account’ (sign up button mobile) and step one is out the way.

Step Two: Email and phone verification

You’ll get an email through the address you provided. Select “verify email address”, click the link and sign back in using your email and password. That’s all there is to it. A similar thing will happen through your phone: you’ll get a code sent and you can enter that to verify your number. Job done.

Step Three: Add personal information

More questions here: it’s all simple stuff like your name and date of birth but also questions about what you want to use Coinbase for, your occupation and source of funds.

Step Four: Verify your identity

This is why it’s so important to make sure all that information is correct. Here you’ll be asked to provide proof of your identity through things like passports or a driver’s license. You can, and should, also sign up to two-step verification at this point.

Step Five: Set up a payment method

The last step in getting your account up and running is setting up a payment method. We’ve run through plenty of the details of what’s available elsewhere so won’t repeat ourselves here. Fill in the usual info and you’re good to go. Bank accounts can usually be instantly verified, but there’s a deposit verification system if that fails.

Step Six: You’re ready to buy

Hit trade on the desktop or app version (it’s on the upper-right side). Click on ‘buy field’ and choose the asset you would like to purchase. Type in how much you want to buy and pick your payment method. Check it’s all correct on the preview buy section, hit ‘buy’ and you’re good to go. You can withdraw them to a wallet, or leave them where they are.

Selling works in much the same way. Go to your portfolio, go to trade, hit ‘sell’, tell them what you want to convert it to and how much and confirm. That’s the basics of how to trade on Coinbase.

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SIPC - Securities Investor Protection Corporation (USA - not governmental)
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Payments - A choice of payment options at Coinbase

As this is a Coinbase US review – as suggested earlier in our Coinbase exchange review segments – our focus is on that audience. This means that here, we’ll be talking about payment methods available for US customers at the Coinbase crypto exchange. There are others available for their international audience.

Options include bank account, debit card, wire transfer, and PayPal. In terms of being available for both a Coinbase withdrawal and a Coinbase deposit, both bank account and wire transfer work, while debit card and PayPal are only available for deposit. Transactions are instant for debit card and PayPal, but can take 1-3 business days for wire transfer and 4-5 for bank accounts. That’s why the latter are recommended for larger investments.

The Coinbase minimum deposit is stated as $25. Coinbase withdrawal fees depend on payment type and location, but for instance, instant card withdrawal is up to 1.5% beginning at 55c.

Customer Service - Email and social media support available

There are a few different ways to contact Coinbase support. However, we’ll start this part of our Coinbase crypto review by telling you the limitations of their customer service.

There is, at the time of writing, no live agent support over the phone line. You can, however, call them in the case of an emergency to disable your account if you have reason to believe that it has been hacked. There’s also no live chat service. These two areas are something that were cited as disappointments by many during our Coinbase crypto review research. Considering they provide so much on their platform for so little though, it’s understandable.

It’s not like nothing is available. Email and social media are both direct lines of contact between you and the site. There’s no set time for responses, but our experience was a couple of days. They also get you to give as much information as possible to provide the most detailed response. The best part of the customer service in this Coinbase crypto exchange review though is how well the Help and information parts of the site are written. It’s not perfect, but understandable in its limitations.

License & Security - A fully-licensed exchange

We said earlier in our Coinbase crypto exchange review that their security was excellent, so what exactly makes them stand out so much? Well, security features include two-step verification, fingerprint logins for their app, cold storage of the overwhelming majority of user funds and insurance in the case of Coinbase scams. There’s also additional help on locking down your mobile account, securing your email, utilising the Coinbase vault and generally avoiding Coinbase scams. If you desire additional security, you could always transfer your funds to a hardware wallet too.

SIPC - Securities Investor Protection Corporation (USA - not governmental)

The license they hold is also a vital consideration for our Coinbase US review. Well, the relevant license for the Coinbase crypto exchange actually depends on the state agency. For instance, in Pennsylvania, they hold a license from the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities. You can find a complete list and details on the dozens of licenses they hold on their site.

Reputation and Customer Feedback – Positive customer ratings

It’s tough to write a Coinbase review without it being in the shadow of incredibly lofty expectations. A big part of this goes beyond simple popularity – although that’s certainly a very positive sign – and is more to do with their incredible reputation. Coinbase is the cream of the crop when it comes to reputations for this kind of service: its history, critical and customer feedback is all top-notch.

Obviously, no platform is perfect. We’ve heard some people disappointed by the lack of live chat, but overall, theirs is one of the best in the world.

Coinbase Crypto

Cryptocurrencies - Our Coinbase crypto review

There’s no doubt part of the popularity that Coinbase enjoys is down to the incredible number of cryptocurrencies available. One thing that’s really important to note – and we get into some specifics in the next part of our Coinbase exchange review – is that there’s some difference in terms of the availability in Coinbase cryptocurrency. Because this is a Coinbase review USA, we’re going to only list out those available at the time of writing to a Coinbase review USA audience.

Coinbase Highlights
  • Massive choice of cryptocurrencies
  • A trusted and secure brokerage
  • Great for new and experienced traders

These include: AAVE, ALGO, ATOM, BAL, BANND, BAT, BCH, BNT, BSV, BTC, Celo, COMP, CVC, DAI, DASH, DNT, EOS, ETC, ETH, FIL, GRT, KNC, LINK, LRC, MANA, MKR, NMR, NU, OMG, OXT, REN, REP, SNX, UDC, UMA, UNI, WBTC, XLM, XRP, XTZ, YFI, ZEC and ZR. Additional options like GNT and LOOM are also available for Coinbase Pro users: their platform for more advanced traders.

It’s an astounding selection of supported currencies for the Coinbase US customer, many of which are open for buying, selling, Coinbase deposit and Coinbase withdrawal. Although the specifics here are not comprehensively laid out, the coverage is vast. A truly world-class start to our Coinbase crypto review.

Fees - Are there any Coinbase fees?

Before we get into this part of our Coinbase review properly, we’d just like to say how refreshing it is for Coinbase trading to be as transparent and easy to understand in its fee structure as it is. Once again, this is a Coinbase US review aimed at the Coinbase US customer, so we’ll be using that currency for the relevant information.

Coinbase charges a spread of 0.5% for both buying and selling cryptocurrency. So, that’s 1/200th of its total value, for a point of reference. The spread could go up or down based on the volatility of the Coinbase markets, which is something that’s obviously beyond their control.

Additionally, there’s a fee of 99c for transactions less than $10, $1.99 for transactions between $10-$25  and $2.99 for anything more than $50. Currency conversions have a spread margin of up to 2% with no separate fee. Credit transactions have the same percentage. All other relevant regional transactions can be found on the site, such as a 3.99% fee for US debit card transactions. Finally, storage using their wallet service is completely free.

If these fees seem high, one of the key benefits of Coinbase Pro is an entirely different approach to Coinbase trading fees for those looking to get the best Coinbase price. Here you’ll pay between nothing and 0.5% for each transaction based on the number of transactions made that month. The latter option provides some of the most competitive fees around.

Jurisdictions and Limits - Are there any limits on the Coinbase crypto exchange?

Just as impressive as the amount of Coinbase crypto options is the number of countries their service is available. At the time of writing, they’re available across countries in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa.

Coinbase Highlights
  • Massive choice of cryptocurrencies
  • A trusted and secure brokerage
  • Great for new and experienced traders

However, buys and sells are only available in certain counties, including the US, UK, Australia and Canada. The full list of countries is available to view on the site. The other countries available – of which there are over 100 – are only limited to conversions. Additional applicable limitations include the cryptocurrencies available, which we mentioned before and you can get a full list on the site, as well as the payment methods which can be utilised.

All that said, our Coinbase US review readers generally get few restrictions in comparison to many other countries, because it’s based in the US and that’s such a key market. Coinbase is, after all, the biggest in the country.

Overall Conclusion - One of the best US crypto exchanges

We have to go along with the popular consensus here and conclude our Coinbase review by saying they really are as good as they claim to be. Are they absolutely perfect? No, but no platform is. And the negatives they have are understandable. The fees on the regular version of Coinbase are justified largely through the convenience they offer. And we’d still say that for beginners, that continues to represent great value. You can also go with Coinbase Pro if you prefer, so this is more of a choice than a flaw.

More customer service options would be great, but they do such a good job of making things easy that you’ll likely not need more assistance. Most importantly though, any flaws pale in comparison when you look at all the things they do well. They have excellent security, an incredibly intuitive platform and an alternative option suitable for experts. Combine this with an astounding amount of assets to trade and Coinbase has one of the broadest appeals of any exchange.

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