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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76 Consumer Reviews for Coinbase

Average Consumer Rating: 1.3
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 5 4 star: 0 3 star: 0 2 star: 2 1 star:  69
Bottom Line: 7% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 76
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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Alerted them of fraud, got back in a week or two, never tried to resolve

    • New York, NY,
    • Nov 4, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    SEC, FINRA, all government agencies should investigate!

    Even though one tells them there's fraud involved, they haven't gotten back to me for a week or two, thus holding me accountable for approximately $1000. Furthermore, even if currently reach customer service, they have no way to resolve it, as they pass it up to above, even though agreeing I am 100% right. I get a generic letter from the company subsequently with no explanation or rudimentary understanding of events, just denying trying to figure all out, as they should apologize.

    Stay away, as to this day, as of a year ago, I can't get anyone to speak to have authority to resolve the issue, let alone look into it!

    No customer service!

    No fraud intervention!

    No interest in curbing fraud and remedy!

    They DON'T CARE! SEC, FINRA, and the US Government should definitely open multiple inquiries, as they can fix a $1000 mistake of theirs on a fraud I had alerted them to, yet don't have the manpower to do so!

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Worst customer support I've ever experienced

    • State College, PA,
    • Oct 25, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Coinbase has the worst customer service of any company in the world.

    There are 6200 customers who are using Coinbase with our mining pool who are in limbo because Coinbase has not replied to four times we have tried to contact them over the course of 34 days. This level of service is unacceptable. The customer service is so bad that criminals have taken over their Reddit forums and are now impersonating Coinbase staff, "helping" desperate people get support. They post a number to call and then try to get the user to install executable files that allow them to steal money from Coinbase! If Coinbase actually replied to its tickets, nobody would trust these criminals.

    Avoid Coinbase at all costs. bitFlyer is a much more reputable exchange, and every ticket I have ever submitted to them has been answered within three hours.

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

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  • 1 out 2 people found this review helpful

    They will take your money!

    • Philadelphia, PA,
    • Oct 19, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    It's this simple - if you invest with Coinbase, they will eventually take your money and cost you thousands in fees. This is my opinion and personal experience.

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Coinbase stole $600 from me

    • Ohio,
    • Oct 17, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I opened a Coinbase account about a year ago and all was fine until I wanted to change my e/m associated with my account.

    I did everything they required which took over a month because of their ineptitude and run around.

    I now have a new account with my new e/m, but they won't transfer the money in my old account to my new account.

    I have been given the classic run around and have finally given up all hope that anything will get resolved. How hard is it to assign a new e/m to my account? It is just a way to steal my money!

    BEWARE! Do not use Coinbase.

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Referral offer

    • Brooklyn, NY,
    • Oct 14, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    We need to get what we were offered and promised! It's a contract!

    The issue here, I think, can be that the person which I sent a referral to used my original email address when I registered with Coinbase almost a year ago, and which I gave to her to register for Coinbase, while she didn't have any spare email for that time. So their automated system probably detected duplicate email address, which already received a referral offer a year ago. But the person who got a referral has her own name, social security, account number; it's not a duplicate profile! And referral offer was under her name!

    We contacted Coinbase many times, they are not willing to help, or even to understand what the issue is and why it's not triggering the referral offer for both of us.

    They should manually give me $10 and my friend $10 as stated in their referral program. We triple checked every requirements have been met on our side!

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

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  • 9 out 10 people found this review helpful

    Coinbase - fraud, scams, money-laundering and corruption

    • Panama City Beach. FL,
    • Jul 5, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    WARNING, Coinbase is poison!

    On Friday, 06/30/17, I had been notified that Coinbase, LLC had unilaterally WITHOUT authorization initiated a multitude of transactions. Prior to this close to 30 ETH had magically vanished from our "Wallet."

    After I had notified Alex H, Supervisor of FRAUD with Coinbase that if it would be impossible to email myself anything. Especially since their graphics department forgot to put the letter "g" in my Gmail address. After I had notified Coinbase that I desired to close my account in a PROFESSIONAL matter they immediate locked me out of my ability to access my "Wallets." They owe my daughters approximately $50K.

    Join me in the fight: Coinbase is poison to the Blockchain and are engaged in money-laundering, corruption, scams, and more!

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

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    Comments (1)
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    • Jul 6, 2018

      William H.

      Coinbase Helpline: +1(855)7500786 Toll-Free Helpline.

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Fraudulent company

    • Toronto, Ontario, Canada,
    • Jun 23, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I live in Canada and, in 2014, I bought two bitcoins at Coinbase. Today I tried to sell one of them and was notified by Coinbase that, because I live in Canada, I could not sell them. What kind of nonsense is that? They let you buy but don't let you sell.

    Stay away from this outfit. They STEAL!

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

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  • 4 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Fraudulent and scam site

    • New York,
    • May 26, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Basically, my account on Coinbase had been hacked on December 28, 2017. About two weeks later on January 21, 2018, my account was hacked again. Both times all the funds were taken out.

    During the time nobody was logged into my account according to the IP address and times that this happened. Also during the time my account was hacked since my bank and credit card were linked, the hacker decided to withdraw funds from my account. Somehow, some way somebody was able to get into my account without logging in to remove BTC and charge my bank account over $2k. I was the only person with my IP address to log in way after these transactions were facilitated. There is no way I logged in without my IP address showing up during this time.

    I logged in several hours later to find my account empty again and another bank charge. I was forced to close my bank account and also lock my Coinbase account so no further fraud would be committed on my account as to what Coinbase had told me. It has taken several months for this to get sorted out and nothing at all has been sorted out during these past 6 months. The only thing that happened in these 6 months is Coinbase locking me out of my account and were taking several weeks to respond to my customer support tickets which have not gotten resolved.

    So at this point, we know my account was hacked two times. I was forced to close my bank account, Coinbase is fully aware of the situation. Coinbase is also aware that I have a pending charge that was not authorized, not any IP address login at the time. Coinbase is also aware that the pending charge is a fraudulent charge and Coinbase claims I must fulfill the pending transaction in order to reinstate my account. This does not make sense at all. How can you say you protect us and our money when you can clearly see a fraudulent pending transaction? How are my funds securely stored in a Coinbase vault and I'm still experiencing fraud in my account with another pending transaction?

    Coinbase claims I must pay this fraudulent pending charge of $2k in order to reinstate my account.

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

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    No control over money. Conflicting explanations for sell price drop. "send" (to other wallets) amounts remain low way too long.

    Overall, it's super inconvenient and frustrating to not have the ability to use your bitcoin, especially while its value is dropping. You wait a week to see the transaction on bank account statement, then at least another week for the bitcoin to be spendable. Debit card transactions are faster, but it still takes too long for the BTC to become actually available.

    I've had it since the 25th of April, and after hundreds of dollars and numerous transactions, I can only spend $30.00 worth of bitcoin online (balance is around $600.00). Until the market changes, I just want to find BTC deals for goods and services; the currency doesn't hold much promise for me at the moment so I'd like to trade it for something else that does and Coinbase won't allow it. The idea of cryptocurrency can be quite noble, but with vendors like Coinbase, I'm not so sure many people will want to go through the trouble and expenses. I haven't seen the benefits of using crypto through Coinbase yet. I will take my business elsewhere as soon as someone gets back to me with some answers to my questions.

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

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  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Stay away, do not use Coinbase

    • North Carolina,
    • Apr 17, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    This place is terrible, DO NOT use them!

    I used them to buy Bitcoin on 2/1 ($175) and on 2/4 ($120), and those are the dates drafted from my bank account on 2/14 and the exact same amounts were deducted from my bank account again. I received an email stating it was some sort of malicious attack and that if money was not returned in a couple days to contact my bank, which is what I did. I specifically told my bank personnel that the transaction from the 14th was not authorized and Coinbase told me to have them return that to me.

    I received and email two months later saying my $120 transaction of Bitcoin was rejected. I called Coinbase to find out what was going on and the lady who answered the phone was an absolute moron and I could not get thru her thick skull that I was double billed. I have checked my bank statements twice now I was only returned the double-billed amounts that took place on the 14th. She was supposedly sending the problem to an "account specialist" and would get a reply in 5-7 business days, but it has been a couple of weeks now and I have heard nothing from them.

    Basically, they have stolen $120 from me. I have reported them to the BBB as well as to the Attorney General of North Carolina to get this resolved. Stay away from this company; they are a scam.

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

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  • 2 out 10 people found this review helpful

    New user

    • El Paso, TX,
    • Feb 19, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I opened Coinbase for the first time two days ago. Everything seems going well. I had no problems making several transactions. It was smooth so far. I believe some people have no patience or are awkward on how to use it. Only thing is can't find live support, but I think they will in the future when they expand staff.

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

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