About Coinbase

In business since 2012 and based out of San Francisco, CA, Coinbase is a web-based digital wallet that allows you to send and receive bitcoins. The company is backed by several large venture capital firms, and claims to hold 617,000 consumer wallets, 16,000 merchants, as well as integration with U.S. banks.

Coinbase holds a C- rating with the Better Business Bureau, which is based on two closed complaints within the past three years. From a customer satisfaction standpoint, the company appears to have a mainly positive reputation, though online reviews are somewhat scarce due to the company’s newness.

By far the most common complaint we found is the amount of time it takes for Coinbase to approve your transaction.

Bitcoin valuations are volatile (e.g. they change often – similar to stocks), so you may purchase yours at one price, but after the minimum four-day waiting period has passed, find that it has significantly increased or decreased in value. However, Coinbase’s newer Instant Buy feature appears to directly address this concern.

What are Bitcoins?

In order to understand the benefit of using a “digital wallet” such as Coinbase, it’s important to first understand what bitcoins are.

Bitcoins have been in use since 2009, and represent a digital peer-to-peer payment system. Each bitcoin represents one unit of currency, and are specially encrypted to prevent theft, and to prevent the same bitcoin from being used as payment more than once. While bitcoins were initially associated with “underground” enterprises, they have more recently become accepted by larger vendors, such as the popular blogging platform Wordpress, and the dating site OkCupid.

According to Coinbase, bitcoins are the “world’s largest alternative currency,” and represent a “total market cap of approximately $10.3 billion.”

How Coinbase Works

To begin using Coinbase, you’ll first need to sign up for an account, which simply entails entering your email address and choosing a password. After verifying your email address, you’ll be redirected to your user home page, which will include a quickstart guide. This will help you buy your first bitcoin, learn how to accept bitcoin payments, and invite friends and earn a $5 bitcoin credit. On this home page, you’ll also be able to quickly view your account activity, current balance, as well as the ability to send and request money.

In order to add bitcoins to your Coinbase wallet, you’ll need to connect it to a bank account or credit card (Visa only), and verify your phone number. The number of bitcoins you can purchase each day depends on your “level”:

  • Level 1 – Verify your email address and phone number, and link your bank account. This will then give you the ability to purchase up to 10 bitcoins per day, and sell up to 50 per day.
  • Level 2 – Complete a purchase, and verify your identity. You’ll then be able to purchase and sell up to 50 bitcoins per day.

When purchasing bitcoins, Coinbase gives you two options: Regular buys and Instant Buys. Regular buys will take four business days to process, while Instant Buys will allow you to receive your bitcoins “in seconds.” Once bitcoins have been added to your account, Coinbase securely stores them, and allows you to send them out as needed, whether you’re investing, paying friends, or shopping online.

Coinbase also allows online merchants to accept bitcoins as well, as a whole section of their site is devoted to creating a payment button. Here, you’ll be able to choose your payment type (Buy Now, Donation, or Subscription), button style, and item name, amount, and description. Once you’ve filled in this information, Coinbase will generate the appropriate code so the button can be added to your website.

Coinbase implements several features to keep your bitcoins safe and secure, including AES-256 and SSL encryption, two-factor authentication, the Coinbase Bug Bounty Program, and even extensive background checks on all Coinbase employees.

Coinbase Pricing

Coinbase is free to sign up for, but will charge you a 1% fee for every bitcoin transaction you make. As an example: As of the time of this writing, one bitcoin cost $852.70, which means that Coinbase will charge $8.53 as their transaction fee. While the price of a bitcoin may initially seem very high, keep in mind that you can purchase fractions of a bitcoin (e.g. 0.1 bitcoin = $85.20).

Pros:

  • Allows you to quickly and easily purchase, send, and receive bitcoins.
  • Can be used by individuals as well as online merchants.
  • Numerous security features help ensure you’ll never have to worry about theft.
  • Free to sign up, and only 1% fee on all transactions.
  • Backed by several large venture capital firms, and is based on the U.S. dollar.

Cons:

  • Newer company, so there aren’t a whole lot of online reviews.
  • Many customers complained of the minimum four-day wait time for bitcoins to be available in your account, though their Instant Buy feature seems to directly address this.

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34 Customer Reviews for Coinbase

Average Customer Rating: 1.4
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 3 4 star: 0 3 star: 0 2 star: 2 1 star:  29
Bottom Line: 9% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 34
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  • Dodgy customer service

    • Perth, Australia ,
    • Jul 11, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I opened an Australian dollar account and bought $50 worth of Ethereum quite easily as a test amount, only to find out later that my Australian Coinbase account does not yet have the ability to sell or cash out my Ethereum! The automated response to my complaint was very evasive and kept asking me to reword my complaint after every irrelevant answer. I have emailed Coinbase and was informed that they would take two days to respond.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • Tricks you on every transfer and deposit!

    You try to transfer the money from Bittrex to Coinbase and they take about $100 per Bitcoin. Also, they hit you when you take it out of your Coinbase account for another $40!

    Beware, they are doing this to everyone, and don't tell you anything about that!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Coinbase is no good - you have been warned!

    This company is no good. They have not only stolen the coins in my wallet, but the coins of MANY, MANY other people and everyone needs to transfer their coins out NOW to a wallet that you have full control over. You can't even get in contact with the nonexistent support team at the company.

    Moral of the story, stay FAR away and get a wallet with Blockchain or some place else where you have full control over your wallet, not Coinbase.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Very happy with Coinbase

    • Washington,
    • Jun 20, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I set up a Coinbase account about two weeks ago and bought $50 of Bitcoin and $50 of Ethereum. So far this $100 investment has doubled. I now have $200. I have learned that I can buy silver and gold using Bitcoin so when I am ready to cash out this is what I will do with my Bitcoin. Sign up was easy and the Dashboard and ability to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin make this the best Bitcoin wallet out there. Five stars.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 7 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Bunch of hacker code writers

    I tried to set up an account using Firefox and the IOS app. It gets the same error when trying to add a payment method: "Invalid expiration date." It asks for "MM/YY," and I even tried "YY/MM" with no luck. I went to the "Live" Support link, and it takes me to the auto-bot, and it just gives you standard credit card requirement information and a bunch of useless information for the problem. I then saw that if the info is not helpful, you can click on an email link to report the issue. When I put my email in, I get "Email address not valid."

    Sounds like a good scam; they get your money and then you try to talk to someone in support if you have an issue, good luck. Long story short, after the initial excitement of investing, I was crushed by these bonehead operators, and I am giving up on this. I tried a bunch of other sites that claim they do the same as Coinbase and will gladly take wire transfers to their account.

    Be careful! A lot of scammers and hacker code writers out there. Anyone have a suggestion for a valid and working site that does not have so many unresolved bugs. I mean come on, how does a site that can't even get their software to work correctly and after three days still can't get it working, or even a way to communicate it to them have any kind of real security? And you want to them to take your money?

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Coinbase steals money from me

    On May 16, 2017, Coinbase sent me an email that they are closing my account. If you used Coinbase, you will know that you also trade at GDAX with the same login information. Since the account is closed, I cannot log in into GDAX and withdraw my remaining balance I traded in GDAX. They said in the email that I can withdraw all money to external address, but they trick a customer because they hold a customer's money under a GDAX account. This is a tricky method that I guess they try to steal money from me. Otherwise, in the email, they should state that please log in to your GDAX account and transfer out all of my remaining balance.

    I suggest get out from Coinbase and GDAX while you still can, do it before ending up like me. My total balance is between 65,000 and 70,000 USD, depending on the market price of LTC.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    Comments (1)
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    • May 26, 2017

      bret

      In the last two days, have you been able to obtain your funds? I ask because I am looking into Bitcoin. From what I read on this website, the Coinbase is not the way to go. Do you have a more preferred wallet? Thanks.

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    No customer service - very bad experience!

    • London, England,
    • May 24, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    This institution is not trustworthy. I transferred funds to Latvia (wherever they are located), and it was kicked back without any explanation. I sent three emails to Coinbase to understand the cause of this kickback, however, no response was received in the last two weeks. I lost £65 ($84.25) and got nowhere. This institution cannot be trusted.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Coinbase closed account!

    I had over $11k in Coinbase, which I'd gotten as it nearly doubled in the month since I bought at $900. I sent 1 BTC to my blockchain wallet on May 11, 2017, and then sent it back to Coinbase on May 15th as "the spread" was $50 different, so why not make $50 for doing nothing? My "instant" send sat there as "pending," and the next day I got "Coinbase has decided your account should be closed for violations of the agreement,'' Total BS!

    Now it gets good as I only got 5.54 BTC out when I had to "close out" to an external wallet on May 17th, 2017. The send back from BLOCKCHAIN on the 15th was stollen, netting the scamming Coinbase 1BTC or $1,700 off of me for some rule breaking they never named as I was ONLY sending Coinbase to MYSELF. You sure can believe they NEVER answered a single email to their BS "support" email as to what the "violation" was. DO NOT store BTC in Coinbase or you will be sorry!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 8 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Bought small amount of bitcoin, now can't sell it and get out

    • Hawaii,
    • Mar 21, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    Coinbase said they no longer can operate in Hawaii. Ok, I can deal with that. They said to liquidate and get your money. Well, I've been going in circles to do just that, and it is NOT HAPPENING.

    POOR, poor service. Beware, I wouldn't trust them with any other funds, I can't even get back my $140+ USD. Sad.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 8 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Total rip off

    • New Jersey,
    • Mar 20, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    They stole money from me and then closed by account when I called them on it.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 12 out 13 people found this review helpful

    Warning, stay away from Coinbase

    • Panama City, Florida,
    • Mar 1, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    Coinbase is a site of criminal thieves that will steal your money. Stay away!

    Coinbase is not to be trusted. As with many other complaints I have seen, they have lost/stolen from me as well, they have no phone number posted anywhere to contact them, they will not answer to any complaints you have from the website, or if they do eventually answer to a problem from the website after several weeks, they will just tell you there is nothing they can do.

    I am contacting any and every review site I can find to warn as many people as I possibly can. I am opening a case with the Better Business Bureau, and any other authority I can contact.

    Do not use Coinbase; stay away!

    Anyone who has any way of contacting them directly or found a way of getting results, or anyone from the Coinbase corporate office that wants to contact me, email me please.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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Showing 1-11 of 34

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