fbpx

Coinbase Review

Benzinga Money is a reader-supported publication. We may earn a commission when you click on links in this article. Learn more.
securely through Coinbase's website

1 Minute Review

Coinbase is one of the Internet’s largest cryptocurrency trading platforms. From Bitcoin to Litecoin or Basic Attention Token to Chainlink, Coinbase makes it exceptionally simple to buy and sell major cryptocurrency pairs. 

You can even earn cryptocurrency rewards through Coinbase’s unique Coinbase Earn feature. More advanced traders will love the Coinbase Pro platform, which offers more order types and enhanced functionality.

Though Coinbase doesn’t offer the most affordable pricing or the lowest fees, its simple platform is easy enough for complete beginners to master in as little as a single trade.

Best For

  • New cryptocurrency traders
  • Cryptocurrency traders interested in major pairs
  • Cryptocurrency traders interested in a simple platform

Pros

  • Simple platform is easy to operate
  • Comprehensive mobile app mirrors desktop functionality
  • Coinbase Earn feature rewards you with crypto for learning about available coins

Cons

  • Higher fees than competitors
securely through Coinbase's website

Why Coinbase Over Others?  

Coinbase users enjoy the following benefits over other cryptocurrency exchanges:

  • Easiest to use. Coinbase has an intuitive layout. Quickly find balances, compare prices and place purchase and sale orders with just a few clicks.
  • Intuitive mobile app. Coinbase’s easy-to-navigate design also extends to its mobile app. If you’re new to crypto trading and prefer to use a mobile app, Coinbase’s mobile app offers you an easy entry into the market.
  • Better pricing with Coinbase Pro. Though fees on Coinbase are higher than average, Coinbase Pro offers more competitive pricing, along with an enhanced set of tools and order options. 

Brokerage Quick Summary 

Tradable assetsCryptocurrencies
PlatformBeginner-oriented; easy to use and understand. Advanced trading options available with Coinbase Pro.
Mobile appFully-operational, mirrors desktop web-trading platform
Account minimum2.00 of digital currency
Available account typesTaxable

Coinbase Fees, Commissions, Margin Rates and Account Minimums

Coinbase offers 2 account types: Coinbase and Coinbase Pro.

  • Coinbase accounts are aimed at beginner traders and focus on straightforward UI and easy-to-navigate pricing. Though very few trading tools are offered to Coinbase users, new traders may prefer the simple layout and simple pricing.
  • Coinbase Pro accounts are aimed at more experienced traders. With a Coinbase Pro account, you have access to more advanced charting and analysis tools, as well as a variety of order types.

Pricing varies depending on which type of Coinbase account that you have. Coinbase users enjoy the most straightforward pricing:

  • For orders valued at less than or equal to $10, you’ll pay a flat-rate fee of $0.99 per order.
  • For orders valued at more than $10 but less than or equal to $25, you’ll pay a flat-rate fee of $1.49 per order.
  • For orders valued at more than $25 but less than or equal to $50, you’ll pay a flat-rate fee of $1.99 per order.
  • For orders valued at more than $50 but less than or equal to $200, you’ll pay a flat-rate fee of $1.99 per order.
  • For orders valued at over $200, you’ll pay a variable percentage of 1.49% of your total order value. For example, if you purchase $1,000 worth of Bitcoin, you’ll pay $14.90 in fees.

This pricing is higher than competing cryptocurrency exchanges, especially at lower volumes. High-volume traders can enjoy more favorable pricing with a Coinbase Pro account. Coinbase Pro account holders use the standard maker/taker fee schedule instead of a flat-rate pricing system.

  • You’ll pay the maker fee when you add liquidity to your order by placing a limit order below the ticker price for a buy order or above the ticker price for a sale order.
  • You’ll pay the taker fee when you remove liquidity from the market by executing an order at the market rate.

Though this fee schedule can be more difficult to understand, it’s more affordable to trade using the maker/taker system than Coinbase’s standard flat-rate pricing. Below, you can view Coinbase Pro’s current pricing. 

Coinbase Pro users enjoy more favorable pricing over Coinbase users. However, fees are still higher than competing cryptocurrency exchanges. 

The rate that you’ll have access to will vary depending on your total trading volume for the last 30 days. You may also face additional fees of up to 4% depending on your funding method.

Though Coinbase Pro fees are more affordable when compared to Coinbase accounts, these fees are still higher than most competing cryptocurrency exchanges. For example, you can browse competing exchange Kraken’s maker/taker fee schedule below:

Coinbase Pro’s fee schedule is less beneficial than other cryptocurrency exchanges. 

Margin trading is currently available to Coinbase Pro users. Coinbase charges a fixed, annualized interest rate of 8% when using margin to trade. Coinbase calculates what you owe on an hour-by-hour basis, and you’ll only be charged interest when you have an open buy or sell order using margin.   

Coinbase Usability

If you’re new to the world of cryptocurrency trading, you may want to choose a Coinbase account over a Coinbase Pro account. After getting a handle on the basics of buying and selling crypto, you can easily upgrade your Coinbase account to a Pro account to enjoy more tools and more favorable pricing.

Some of the features that make the platform exceptionally easy-to-use include:

  • Quick signups. Signing up for a Coinbase account takes less than 10 minutes in most cases. Simply enter a little personal information and verify your identity to start trading.
  • Easy price calculations. Coinbase makes navigating the cryptocurrency market simple. On your dashboard, you can see an overview of the market and sort by gainers, losers and pricing. You can even track the movements of cryptocurrencies not available to trade on Coinbase. 

Create watchlists, monitor price movements and track your portfolio on Coinbase’s simple and intuitive desktop. 

  • Simple order placements. If you’re searching for the easiest way to buy cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Chainlink, Coinbase is an excellent place to begin. After linking your account funding method, simply click on the button titled “Trade,” enter the asset you want to buy or sell, choose your dollar amount and place your order. 

Select the cryptocurrency you’d like to buy, enter the amount of money you want to spend and instantly place an order with just a few clicks.  

Coinbase Education

Coinbase offers a comprehensive set of education tools that go beyond information on how to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. In addition to platform assistance, Coinbase also makes it easy to learn about the cryptocurrencies that you’re buying and selling and what makes each token unique. Some of Coinbase’s most unique education features include:

  • Coinbase Earn. Coinbase Earn is Coinbase’s education center that rewards you when you learn more about the platform’s offerings. Watch videos to learn how each coin operates and what investors use each offering for. When you’re finished watching, test your skills by answering questions about the practical use cases and framework of each token. You’ll be rewarded with small crypto deposits directly into your account whenever you get an answer correct. 

Fun, educational and rewarding, Coinbase Earn offers you free cryptocurrencies just for learning more about the tokens you can buy and sell.  

  • News notifications. Want to be immediately updated when something happens in the world of cryptocurrency? Coinbase serves you direct notifications from sources like Decrypt and TheBlock directly on your profile. Simply click on the bell notification icon to read the most recent headlines and stay up-to-date. 

Browse crypto news and keep your finger on the pulse of the market with Coinbase’s native newsfeed.  

Coinbase Customer Support

Coinbase offers users a few ways to contact customer support:

  • By email. To get in touch with Coinbase’s team by email, fill out a contact form on the website. For the fastest possible service, Coinbase recommends that you use the email account that you signed up with when filing your request and provide as much detail as possible regarding your question or problem.
  • By phone. Coinbase offers telephone support for compromised accounts only. If you’re located in the United States, you can access Coinbase’s team via phone by calling 888-908-7930. Coinbase doesn’t offer specific hours of availability for phone service.

Currently, no specific phone option exists for men and women with hearing limitations. 

Coinbase Offerings

Coinbase currently supports the purchase and sale of the following cryptocurrencies in the United States:  

  • Algorand (ALGO)
  • Cosmos (ATOM)
  • Band Protocol (BAND)
  • Basic Attention Token (BAT)
  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Compound (COMP)
  • Dai (DAI)
  • Dash (DASH)
  • EOS (EOS)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Ethereum Classic (ETC)
  • Kyber Network (KNC)
  • Chainlink (LINK)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Maker (MKR)
  • Numeraire (NMR)
  • OMG Network (OMG)
  • Orchid (OXT)
  • Augur (REP)
  • USD Coin (USDC)
  • Stellar Lumen (XLM)
  • Ripple (XRP)
  • Tezos (XTZ)
  • Zcash (ZEC)
  • 0x (ZRX)

Coinbase Pro users can buy and sell all of the tokens listed on Coinbase along with the following additional assets:

  • Civic (CVC)
  • District0x (DNT)
  • Golem (GNT)
  • Loom Network (LOOM)
  • Decentraland (MANA)

Select cryptocurrencies are not available to residents of New York. You can view a full list of domestic and internationally supported cryptocurrencies on Coinbase’s FAQ. 

Coinbase Mobile App

Coinbase extends its easy-to-use platform to the mobile offering. Some of the features we love on Coinbase’s mobile app include:

  • Simple order placements. Placing a buy or sell order on Coinbase’s mobile app is just as simple as on the desktop platform. Tap the convert button, choose what you’d like to do, select your cryptocurrency, and place your order all in under 1 minute.

Place orders in as little as 60 seconds with Coinbase’s app, available as a free download for both Apple and Android.

  • Enhanced newsfeed. Coinbase’s native app news feed is comprehensive and updated frequently. Enjoy articles from sources like Bloomberg, CoinDesk and more — directly from the app.  
  • Enhanced security features. Coinbase’s mobile app offers a number of advanced security features. Enable 2-factor authentication, fingerprint scanning, security notifications and more with the touch of a button.

The Coinbase app is available as a free download for both Apple and Android devices. Coinbase also offers an individual Coinbase Pro app for both Apple and Android devices, which is equally comprehensive and intuitive in its feature. 

Coinbase Overall Rating

Understanding the cryptocurrency market can be difficult, especially for new investors. Coinbase’s simple and intuitive platform offerings can be a welcome change of pace for anyone getting involved in crypto for the first time. 

Coinbase’s ordering system is incredibly simple — even the more advanced Coinbase Pro platform is easy to navigate for complete beginners. Coinbase’s desktop offering is equally as simple as its mobile app, and you can even earn cryptocurrency by learning more about Coinbase’s offerings through Coinbase Earn.

There’s no way to deny that Coinbase doesn’t have the most affordable pricing. Both Coinbase and Coinbase Pro fees are higher than competitors like Kraken. However, for new investors, these slightly higher fees can be worth the expense for Coinbase’s intuitive and no-nonsense platform.