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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66 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:  59
Bottom Line: 8% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 66
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  • 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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  • 2 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Misallocation

    • Dawsonville, GA,
    • Feb 7, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    They have terrible support and are clueless about your problem. I have multiple accounts listed to purchase and three times they have drawn from the wrong account of purchase and over drafted my checking account, after I check and recheck before purchasing.

    These are not honorable people. If your credit card does not process, they just proceed to overdraft your other listed accounts. They are clearly not an honorable business, which really scares me. They want to make as much as they can as fast as they can. Not a business I feel comfortable with.

    My advice would be to test the customer service before you deposit a penny. Then you would say "I will take my business somewhere else."

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Scammed!

    • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada,
    • Jan 24, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I cannot sell the bitcoins that I bought, cannot "cash out" my account at all, and there is no customer support. BEWARE!

    Anyone else from Canada should NOT use this program ever. Light your money on fire at home instead of going through this headache.

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

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Coinbase is a scam

    • New Jersey,
    • Jan 19, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I rarely write reviews but I joined this service so I could warn others about Coinbase. I did one trade and they froze my account saying my trade is illegal!!! My millennial kids laughed at me saying: "Hey, dad they usually only ban Heroin dealers!" I tried emailing Coinbase asking what I had done wrong, but they never replied. I can't find a phone number to call them. Really looks like a scam.

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

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Took my $60 and never posted my money to my account

    • Paramount, CA,
    • Jan 16, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Coinbase took $60 from me and never applied it to my account. They scammed me! There’s no known number to call about your money, and they give you an invalid email “support.coinbase.com.” Where the heck do you use that type of email at?! This company is a complete scam; don’t use this app you will be sorry!

    I would give this app -5 stars if it was possible.

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

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  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Coinbase impossible withdrawals

    • United Kingdom,
    • Jan 15, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    They want your money, but the bank verification and withdrawal method is an absolute nightmare. The support team is useless and just send links to things you have already done. I had to take a loss and sell bitcoins on as I couldn't withdraw after three weeks of trying. It's a scam!

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

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    • Jan 16, 2018

      Andy

      It's a criminal way how they deal with you unless you want to buy coins.

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Coinbase is a nightmare

    • South Florida,
    • Jan 6, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I've been unable to access my Coinbase account for months. I don't know what my balance is, but it is my opinion that Coinbase is locking users out of their legitimate accounts (I have my ID on the account, 2-factor authorizations, everything they've ever asked for) to drive the price of Bitcoin up. This is very reminiscent, in my opinion, of the Mt Gox scam that took place 5 years ago, and I have a feeling it's going to be really bad really soon.

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

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  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Unreliable, incompetent, and unprofessional

    This company should not even exist; they are grossly unprofessional and incompetent.

    I tried to transfer some funds, and they misplaced a comma. A company that deals in money misplacing a comma; that's just ridiculous. They gave me a confirmation screen with the correct amount on it, but after they transferred the wrong amount (meaning I had to transfer the rest over with another high BTC fee), I contacted support, but they just ignore me. I tried to re-draw all my BTC from the Coinbase wallet but it would not let me take anything.

    I had to guess what the fair amount of the BTC would be in the second I clicked accept, meaning I kept a few Euros in the Coinbase account that I cannot get back due to the high fees that would eat it up anyways. These are rip-off tactics.

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

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    • Jan 16, 2018

      Andy

      It's the lack of a support department. A joke.

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  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Untrustworthy

    • United Kingdom,
    • Dec 26, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    NOT trustworthy! NO security measures if targeted. ALL money LOST. NO response from Coinbase even to SECURITY BREACH email.

    I set up the highest security possible (following their advice to the letter), and the account was hacked within four days of setting up. I contacted Coinbase within a minute of receiving the security SMS asking if changes were fraudulent, at the email address given (trust@coinbase etc.). This should result in immediate action e.g., lock the account as security is breached. No response at all, no change to account, and no response to this date from Coinbase. It's now two weeks later and numerous subsequent emails and still no response. There is NO security if an account is breached. There is NO customer service if hackers target your account.

    Hackers must have intercepted a text for secure login so were sophisticated. Hackers changed the email linked to the account. No sign of Malware on the computer system, fully protected and all passwords for accounts are different. It's unclear at this point how information has been found. Does anyone have suggestions? It makes me wonder whether there has been leaks from Coinbase.

    Once in the account, hackers were able to disable the 2-step authentication for fund transfer, there is no time delay in actioning this so they transferred funds and deleted account within 3/4 minutes. This should not be possible! No response from Coinbase about this to date.

    Never use Coinbase.

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

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  • 8 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Coinbase is scam platform

    I started with Coinbase and as a client, I will never ever again be part of that scam platform.

    Their customer service is the worst I have ever seen, and I started to feel that something was not right with that company. They become very arrogant and army style responded, and they turned the whole concept of blockchain technology and revolutionary ideology to a gambling casino. I am truly disappointed about the founders of the company that are now trying to blame the employees. They are not brave enough to admit their hypocritical actions.

    I don't recommend anyone to sign up with this platform. I just changed to Gemini and I am really happy with them. At least the founder of Gemini is a true believer of the blockchain revolutionized ideology and not like those two guys from Coinbase, who one of the founders used to be part of JP Morgan and now is part of Coinbase. Coinbase founders all they think is to corrupt the whole the concept of the blockchain.

    Coinbase is a shame for blockchain and I hope people should think twice before they sign up with that company. Gemini is good and I do recommend anything except Coinbase. Regards.

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

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  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Exchange rate changed dramatically when I sold everything

    Hi. Tonight at 2.20 pm, I logged to sell my ETH BTC LTC.

    BTC it sold at $12791, I confirmed at $13800. LTC sold at $210, confirmed at $254 (even the graph BitCoin shows that the rate has never been under $235 today)! ETH at $660, small difference instead of $676.

    I am pretty sure their robot reduced the rate automatically when the purchase failed because I got 5 different errors each time I tried to sell.

    The difference tonight is $1130 because I sold $14,000 of my portfolio. I contacted the support by ticket and I got an automatic answer about fees between people.

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

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