Summary: Coinbase is a digital asset exchange founded in San Francisco, USA in 2012. The platform allows you to buy, sell and stake cryptocurrencies, as well as store them in a wallet on the exchange. Today, Coinbase has over 73 million users that are trading over $300 billion worth of cryptocurrency each quarter.

The exchange gained mainstream popularity in 2021 when it was the first cryptocurrency investing platform to go public on the NASDAQ. Furthermore, it has recently added additional versions of its platform including Coinbase Pro, which is offers advanced charting functions and Coinbase One, which offers no-fee trades in exchange for a monthly subscription fee.

Coinbase Exchange Highlights
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Coinbase Key Features

Although Coinbase might have been the first cryptocurrency exchange you heard of, the platform is yet to offer a large suite of features. You can still trade spot and futures markets, plus stake a variety of tokens, however, apart from that it doesn't support much else. Below we have provided a quick summary of Coinbase's key features:

  1. Derivatives Trading: Trade derivatives on multiple assets including Bitcoin, Ethereum, commodities and two stock index's (Bloomberg US Large Cap Index & SuperTech).
  2. Spot Trading: Buy and Sell over 220 cryptocurrencies on Spot markets with over 530 pairs.
  3. Crypto Staking: Stake 10 different tokens on Coinbase with yields (returns) up to 5.75% APY.
  4. Base Layer 2: Coinbase Base is Coinbase's new Layer 2 protocol built using the Optimism Stack. The chain is designed to support high-throughput for developers to deploy smart contracts and applications in competition with other L2s like Arbitrum and Optimism.
  5. Coinbase Wallet: The Coinbase wallet supports Ethereum and all EVM-compatible blockchain networks on its mobile app and browser extension. The mobile app also supports these networks; Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Stellar Lumens, and Ripple network.
  6. Learn & Earn: Coinbase offers a L2E (Learn-To-Earn) feature where users can participate in quizzes and courses about tokens to receive free cryptocurrencies.
  7. NFT Marketplace: Coinbase NFT is an on-chain marketplace similar to OpenSea and Rarible that offers all the same NFT projects like Bored Ape Yacht Club and Azukis.
  8. Coinbase VISA Card: A VISA card that can be used at 40M+ merchants worldwide. Users can load fiat currencies or crypto onto this card and spend it on real-life purchases.
  9. Borrow (Loans): This feature allows users to use Bitcoin as collaterol to take out loans up to $1M USD. Borrow is only available to residents of the US and interest is 8.7% APR. No credit check is required.
Coinbase Exchange.
Coinbase Exchange.

Is Coinbase trustworthy?

Coinbase is regulated by financial authorities in the UK, which gives it legitimacy in the eyes of its UK users. In the UK, Coinbase is regulated by the FCA under registration number 900635. It is not registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, meaning it is not regulated in the US.

However, the platform has implemented multiple layers of security, including 2-factor authentication and a host of other security features. All of Coinbase's USD cash balances are covered by FDIC insurance, up to a maximum of $250,000. Additionally, the platform stores a majority of its digital assets in secure offline storage.

Unfortunately, the exchange was subject to a cyber attack in 2021 where hackers were able to steal funds from 6000 Coinbase clients. In saying that, Coinbase did reimburse all of its customers stolen funds. In terms of security, Coinbase offers average protection but we recommend avoiding this platform if you're concerned about the safety of your funds.

Coinbase: Security.
Coinbase: Security.

Fees: Trading, Deposit & Withdrawal

Coinbase has extremely high fees compared to other cryptocurrency exchanges. It has an extensive and confusing fees schedule, you can refer to the list below for a break down of Coinbases Fees.

  • Deposit Fee: $10 - Fedwire, $25 - SWIFT, Zero Fee - ACH & SEPA - €0.15 EUR.
  • Withdrawal Fee: 1% fee to convert and withdraw your crypto to cash, plus network (gas) fees. $25 - Fedwire, $25 - SWIFT, Zero Fee - ACH, SEPA - €0.15 EUR & SWIFT GBP - £1 GBP.
  • Futures Trading Fee: The Maker/Taker rebate is 0.4%/0.6%.
  • Spot Trading Fee: Coinbase charges 1% fee on all cryptocurrency transactions.
  • Staking Fee: 25% commission on total rewards.

It's important to mention that these fees are not the norm amongst other cryptocurrency investing platforms. Most exchanges typically provide fee deposits and withdrawals, below 1% for spot markets and 0.02%/0.06% for the Maker/Taker rebate. For the lowest trading fees in the world, we recommend using the Bybit exchange.

Supported Cryptocurrencies

On Coinbase, there are 222 supported tokens and 536 cryptocurrency pairs. For the full list of available assets, you can visit Coinbases Assets.

Coinbase Derivatives.
Coinbase Derivatives.

Can I use Coinbase on Mobile?

Yes, in addition to its web-based exchange, Coinbase is also supported on both iOS and Android devices. The Coinbase app on the Apple app store has achieved an incredible 4.7 stars from 1.7 million reviews and is ranked #27 overall in the Finance category. On the Google Play Store it's rated 4.1 stars from 730K reviews.

Coinbase App - iPhone Screenshot.
Coinbase App - iPhone Screenshot.

Coinbase Staking 'Earn'

In addition to cryptocurrency trading, the Coinbase platform also offers staking on 10 tokens with yields up to 5.75%. The exchange offers two types of staking, the traditional staking method and 'DeFi Yield' which is only applicable to DAI and Tether. Refer to the list below for a summary of the available staking tokens and their APYs (Annual Percentage Yields).

  • Algorand (ALGO) - 5.75% APY (Staking)
  • Cardano (ADA) - 2.6% APY (Staking)
  • Cosmos (ATOM) - 5% APY (Staking
  • Dai (DAI) - Variable (DeFi Yield)
  • Dai (DAI) - 0.15% APY (Staking)
  • Ethereum (ETH) - 3.28% APY (Staking)
  • Solana (SOL) - 4% APY (Staking)
  • Tether (USDT) - Variable (DeFi Yield)
  • Tezos (XTZ) - 4.63% APY (Staking)
  • USD Coin (USDC) - 0.15% (Staking)

Pleas note that Staking and DeFi Yield is available in 70+ countries, however, DeFi Yield is only available to residents outside the US. To see if you're in one of the eligible countries, you can visit Coinbases Staking Eligibility Terms. It's important to check these terms as some countries only support selected tokens.

Coinbase Earn (Staking).
Coinbase Earn (Staking).

Coinbase Base

Coinbase Base is a new Ethereum Layer 2 (L2) network designed to provide a secure, low-cost, and developer-friendly way to build decentralized apps or "dapps" onchain. Base leverages the security and scalability of Ethereum, along with Coinbase's experience building crypto products, to create an open ecosystem for anyone to build on. Base aims to serve as a bridge between Ethereum L1, other L2s, and other L1 ecosystems, making it easy to build multichain applications. Base is open source, and its underlying software is available to everyone.

Coinbase plans to decentralize Base over time, and developers can build on Base today using the RPC testnet endpoint or choosing from Node providers. Coinbase is committed to making onchain more accessible, cheaper, and safer for users, and Base is a significant step in that direction.

Does Coinbase offer 24/7 customer support?

Coinbase offers a live chat feature but it is only available to existing, verified users. You cannot contact support unless you have already signed up to the exchange and completed KYC requirements. If you have an account, you can also reach them via email or phone.

In addition to its in-built contact methods, the Coinbase team has a variety of online communities where you can contact the support team including DiscordTwitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit, TikTok, Instagram & YouTube. Coinbase is not yet supported on Telegram.

Coinbase: Help Centre.
Coinbase: Help Centre.

Alternative exchanges to Coinbase

As previously mentioned in this review, Coinbase is not a very secure or affordable cryptocurrency investing platform. If you are looking for an exchange that offers higher security, more features and assets or lower fees, you can refer to the list below for a quick summary of the best Coinbase alternatives.

  1. Bybit - Best for low fees & large selection of tokens. This exchange also does not require KYC (identity verification).
  2. Binance - Best for crypto investing and trading features plus high security.
  3. eToro - Best for most diverse range of assets including crypto, stocks, commodities, indices, fiat currencies and ETFs.

If you would like to learn more about these platforms, you can visit our Bybit Review, Binance Review & eToro Review.

Final Thoughts

Coinbase is not a recommended crypto exchange as it has significantly higher fees than a majority of exchanges, offers minimal security and doesn't have a wide range of assets to invest in. Furthermore, it has limited features and the UI can be confusing for crypto beginners.