The best Bitcoin platforms. Part 2: Coinbase
In our previous review, we’ve introduced the most successful European-based Bitcoin startup. Today, we want to tell you about Coinbase, a company based in the U.S. Thanks to venture backing of $75 million U.S. Dollars in 2015, the company was able to leave the competitors far behind. As of now, its market value has hit $400 million, making Coinbase the biggest regulated Bitcoin brokerage in the U.S. and in the world.
In our opinion, Coinbase is the most complete online Bitcoin brokerage platform presented on the market. Even at a glance, you can notice that every single detail is well thought out. Aside from the U.S., Coinbase services are available in 26 European countries and Canada, and provide the customers with very liquid Canadian dollar, euro and pound sterling trading markets. Every Bitcoin is insured against theft and cyber attacks. FDIC insurance is available for USD wallets.
U.S. users are able to link their bank account and make direct payments/withdrawals for free. SEPA transfer is available for European clients, while UK users can make a deposit via credit/debit card as well as bank transfer.
Coinbase isn’t an anonymous exchange platform, which makes users with an orthodox view on Bitcoin quite unhappy. The brokerage works together with regulators to create a safe and regulated product. It’s not necessarily a bad thing: such approach contributes to Bitcoin getting legalized and adopted worldwide. However, such cooperation requires the platform to meet certain AML/KYC standards. Either way, unless you are aiming to use Coinbase for illegal trade or to hide your assets, you’ve got nothing to worry about.
Coinbase is a fast-developing product that can turn out to be that perfect Bitcoin brokerage we’ve all been dreaming about.
Every account receives a Coinbase wallet that can be used for sending and accepting Bitcoins. The level of wallet security is quite impressive: 97% of all Bitcoins are stored in a so-called “cold storage”, blocking any external access. Such storage can be compared to a bank safe.
How to create an account
In order to create an account, you will need to provide the system with your full name and confirm your e-mail address. You won’t be able to purchase Bitcoins without valid bank account information.
Coinbase offers a two-tier verification system. If you want to raise your transaction limit, the platform will require additional information, such as your address and phone number, as well the last 4 digits of your social security number. After completing an identity questionnaire and the 30 days wait time, you will become a tier 2 user.
Unlike Cubits, the U.S-based company took time to create amazing mobile apps for iOS and Android. After downloading the app you will have access to the full functionality of the desktop version. Two-factor authentication is available upon login for the initial sign up. You will also be asked to confirm your e-mail. The app is protected with PIN. The app disable feature secures your data if your phone is stolen or lost.
Transaction speed depends on the money transfer option you have chosen to use for your Coinbase account. For example, a bank transfer can take up to 5 days, while the purchase made with a credit card is processed instantly. The platform charges 1% transaction fees + any fees that come with your desirable payment method.
Coinbase’s professional support team is available 24/7. The fastest e-mail replies seem to be given during weekdays. You are also welcome to approach the client support via instant chat on U.S. business hours.
Same as every other Bitcoin brokerage, Coinbase has its pros and cons. You won’t find a safer platform when it comes to storing your Bitcoins. Coinbase provides its users with an incredibly high level of security and insurance management. The company preaches the mainstreaming of Bitcoin which requires the involvement of regulators. Despite the platform appearing to be overzealous at times, we would still recommend it as the best brokerage solution available at this point.