Coinbase is one of the best-known cryptocurrency exchanges.
In fact, it is supposed to be one of the world’s largest bitcoin brokers.
They are currently serving 32 countries.
This exchange based in San Francisco currently has over 7 million users.
In fact, Coinbase is one of the most active exchanges providing cryptocurrencies.
It has several advantages and attracts huge traders.
Therefore, a Coinbase review is very relevant at the moment.
The question that most beginners want to know is Coinbase legit?
Is Coinbase safe?
It is pertinent to ascertain whether this currency is legit and safe?
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Origin of Coinbase
The exchange is operational from 2012.
Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam are the key founders..
They have served about 4 million customers.
Their largest customer base is in US, UK and Brazil.
It is often seen as the most convenient way to take a position in Bitcoin.
They are famous for the smooth and painless quality of service.
From Credit cards to PayPal, SEPA transfer and EFT, they have a huge network of partnerships.
These bank partnerships facilitate the easy transaction of money.
For many first time Coinbase users, this is one of the primary catalysts.
Then I am sure you will wonder why does it attract such animosity?
Time and again, there are questions about how safe and legit it is?
Well, in many ways Coinbase acts like a conventional bank.
Therefore, needless to mention that not everyone will like it.
A lot of people turn to Bitcoin as an easy money making opportunity.
So in that case, many people may not like the additional accountability.
Therefore the animosity is quite natural.
Therefore some Coinbase reviews also raise concerns about how legit its operations are.
The Coinbase Operation Module
So how exactly does Coinbase work?
The interface is relatively simple.
This makes it a convenient option for beginners.
When you are a first-time bitcoin buyer, this gives a safer alternative.
You can buy bitcoins using a credit card, debit card and even bank transfer.
So as an exchange, it provides sufficient flexibility without compromising security.
It provides a wide range of deposit and withdrawal options.
It also facilitates instant transfer between Coinbase users.
Overall, the user experience ensures a smooth and hassle-free experience.
This is also a one-stop shop for all kinds of cryptocurrencies.
You can even buy Ethereum and other Alt Coin apart from Bitcoin.
Is Coinbase Safe?
An important part of the Coinbase review is to know is Coinbase safe?
A pool of stable investors support this Exchange.
The list includes Reddit co-founder, Alexis Ohanian.
It also includes Bank of Tokyo and the Digital Currency Group.
There are three elements to it.
1. How Safe Is Your Fund?
Available details indicate that Coinbase keeps your money separately.
Their operational fund is in a separate account.
In fact, the customer’s funds are kept in different bank accounts.
So the advantage is they don’t deploy your funds for their operation.
The customer funds are returnable even in case of Coinbase bankruptcy.
In fact, over 98% of the customer money is offline.
You have a wide range of vaults and safe deposits world over.
So the chance of hackers getting access and potential theft is much lesser.
The entire online deposit is insured by Lloyd’s.
In fact, US residents who have Coinbase wallets get a FDIC insurance cover.
The maximum FDIC cover is as much as $250,000.
2. Is the Operation Legit?
This is another major concern in terms of safety.
Compliance with US laws is mandatory.
This is because it is operational in the United States.
So, this cryptocurrency exchange complies with Bank Secrecy Act.
It also adheres to USA Patriot Act and is registered as a Money Service business.
As a result, Coinbase has to follow a certain set of rules and regulation.
Moreover, it operates in 31 other countries.
So it has to follow a certain set of norms in most of these countries as well.
Every country has its set of regulations.
A company has to follow these for effective operation.
3. Are Your Personal Details Safe with Coinbase?
If you want to know is Coinbase safe, it is important to figure out personal safety.
In this context, it offers some distinct security features.
It offers users 2-factor authentication.
You can even use third-party alternatives for maximum security.
This also gives you the option to track all activity online.
You can also get a notification about any new login.
Moreover, the Coinbase support system is available 24×7.
So you can report any unauthorized login attempt instantly.
That increases the relative accountability.
Needless to mention that it makes these accounts safe too.
Users can be confident about avoiding any breach.
This is particularly useful for newcomers.
They are prone to making mistakes and Coinbase offers sufficient security against most.
Frozen Account Controversy
One of the biggest concerns with Coinbase is the closed accounts.
There are many complaints about the forcible closing of accounts.
But this is also because the company’s operation is strictly linked to banking norms.
Coinbase practices anti-money laundering and KYC regulations.
So in many ways, it operates just like your conventional bank.
In fact, this is one of the few Bitcoin exchanges with regulatory approval.
Therefore, it replicates the operation module of the bank.
Moreover, Coinbase also tracks the spend trends of the clients.
So many users look at this as an invasion into their privacy.
In case, it creates a dispute with their algorithms, they can shut the account.
So if you want to gamble or buy contraband, this may not be the best fund source.
Though you will get your money back in case of account closure, it can be difficult.
Moreover, recovery of the money is both time taking and costly.
Another steady complaint that you hear about Coinbase is withdrawal difficulty.
Almost every third or fourth review online is about how difficult it is to withdraw money.
Given the strict KYC they follow, any type of discrepancy can add to your woes.
You will end up with your account blocked or completely shut.
This kind of blacklisting also affects your credit history as a bitcoin trader.
So one advice to all Coinbase users is they should read the FAQ clearly.
Make sure that you follow every pre-condition properly.
Also, avoid steps like resale of bitcoin to other exchanges.
This will make sure that you have a glitch-free user experience.
The Pros of Coinbase
On an average, the internet community has the varying opinion on the Coinbase review.
There is a segment that highlights the superior user experience.
But at the same time, there are equal number of voices raising concerns about how safe it is?
So a simple option is to tally the pros and cons of using this Bitcoin exchange.
Let us look at the advantages first.
A convenient and simple user experience is the biggest advantage undoubtedly.
But that apart, there are many others as well.
In many ways, they also help address the various concerns.
1. Widespread Availability
The Coinbase exchange is functional in 32 countries.
This means it also operates in multiple currency zones.
As a result, any Bitcoin/Cryptocurrency trader can access it from anywhere.
Moreover, you can undertake transactions in the dollar, euro, pound and many others.
Your geographical position does not impact your transaction.
Their software can address the different demands of international customers.
For beginners, this can be of particular advantage.
It helps them create a wide variety of deposit and withdrawal opportunities.
If you know other coinbase users, you can easily undertake instant transfers too.
2. Ease of Operation
Users have to undertake a series of verification steps to set up an account.
But once that is over, accessing the account is quite simple.
If you verify your ID, you can buy as much as $1000 worth bitcoins on a weekly basis.
You can use any type of payment method from credit card to bank transfers.
Also, you can even use this Exchange to buy other AltCoins.
You can buy Bitcoin Cash or Ethereum as well.
However, you must remember that Coinbase will not convert to Bitcoin Cash.
You have to undertake proper procedure to convert in case of fork.
They also enabled Bitcoin Cash availability by PayPal.
3. Range of Wallets
This is another big advantage when you are dealing with Coinbase.
You have a wide range of wallets.
So whether you are a beginner or a pro, you can use it with convenience.
In the first type, Coinbase handles the wallet key security.
This means that even beginners can use it without worry.
You can store your coins here conveniently without worrying.
The Multisig Vault is the other option for Coinbase users.
As the name indicates, it needs multiple-signature authentication.
So if you are asking is Coinbase safe, this will assuage your fear.
4. Well Insured Deposits
This is another important feature of this Bitcoin Exchange.
All deposits on this exchange are insured.
So even if you lose your password or account hacked, you have insurance cover.
This is, in fact, one of the biggest concerns with bitcoin transaction.
A simple miss can result in deep losses but not anymore.
So in case of a theft, you don’t end up losing everything.
You can hope to get back some amount of money.
Moreover, the insurance covers also address your concerns about is Coinbase legit.
Insurance companies have strict compliance norms.
They are unlikely to provide cover to an illegitimate organization.
Moreover, for beginners, this makes the transaction safe.
For beginners especially, this is a big advantage.
It instills confidence in their overall operation.
5. Active Customer Support
It is one of the first Bitcoin Exchange with active customer support.
The Coinbase representatives are available 24×7.
So Coinbase users can easily access the exchange for any type of help.
This is a big advantage to new users.
Often the lack of understanding can result in serious problems.
Coinbase in this context works like a conventional financial agency.
They actively help users in understanding the various nuances.
However, the overall rating is fairly mixed.
But, in many ways, it also reflects the increasing user base.
However, on a 7 million user base, it is difficult to please all.
6. Wide Spread Partnership
Well, the superior user experience is surely commendable.
But a major trigger for this is the strong network of partnerships.
This means that customers are able to get a smooth and glitch-free service.
As a result, the offering is aligned better with customer needs.
Some of their biggest investors include NYSE, BBVA and Andreessen Horowitz.
You get the advantage of professional and technical expertise in one go.
This also answers questions about is Coinbase legit?
Such big names are unlikely to back an organization that is not legit.
Needless to mention that it is a major advantage.
The Coinbase Review: Cons
But that said, there are some pockets of concerns as well.
Coinbase users have posted mixed reviews.
Often they have been impacted by their own success as well.
When an organization grows at a phenomenal pace, there are problems.
The huge user interest can also lead to significant issues.
You have to make a careful consideration about the efficiency of the resources.
The pace of additional resource addition is also crucial.
In many ways, it can go a long way in creating a better balance.
1. Tackling the Huge Inflow
Given the recent Bitcoin performances, Coinbase is seeing huge demand.
This means a relatively large number of people are gathering to sign-up.
That can surely slow down the approval process.
A lot more people are applying, but the relevant rate of signups are taking time.
But this is not a Coinbase problem alone.
In fact, most major exchanges are going through this problem.
They cannot ramp up their service suddenly.
This is a gradual process and takes time.
As a result, it is a wait and watch policy and needs gradual service enhancement.
This is not something that can be addressed in a hurry.
2. The Price of Safety
In many ways, Coinbase also has to pay the price of being super safe.
As a result of the strict regulatory compliance, customers get flagged down easily.
As a result, their accounts also get frozen quite easily.
While the additional safety norms help, they also annoy those impacted.
Therefore, it is natural the extra vetting is time-consuming.
So there is a lot of anomalies in the system.
The Exchange needs to incorporate some meaningful awareness campaigns.
They have to make customers aware of the extent of safety and legitimacy. There
3. Tracking Transactions
This is one of the most common concerns in Coinbase reviews.
The average allegation is that Coin can be tracked even after withdrawal.
Many investors look at it as a breach of privacy.
They question the need for such extensive monitoring.
Well, the fact is that Coinbase is part of the Blockchain alliance.
This means they actively prevent the use of cryptocurrencies for illegal purpose.
So you cannot hope to use the money you make on Coinbase for illegal activities.
You cannot use it for gambling or any other unlicensed act.
So this is what makes your transaction safe and legit.
If you ask me, I will rather go with this disadvantage.
It guarantees long-term safety of my transaction.
That apart, there are concerns about Coinbase addressing investor concerns.
But those types of discussion are in the realms of assumptions.
There is no distinct proof of this.
You cannot ascertain these in any way.
Overall Conclusion of Our Coinbase Review
Therefore, we can conclude that a Coinbase review will at best be mixed.
You cannot look at any one factor in isolation.
There is a mix of some extremely positive elements and some pockets of concern.
Remember every exchange will be more worried about attracting and making money.
It is wrong to expect any exchange for that matter to act on behalf of the customers.
For me, Coinbase holding the private keys is a major worry.
Remember whoever holds the private key controls the money after all.
The multi-sig Vault surely offers additional security, but it is never same as personal holding.
But one thing is for sure.
You cannot use Coinbase for illegal activities.
But that said, Coinbase hardly conforms to the Bitcoin principles.
Though it is convenient, cheap and popular, it works like a conventional bank.
However, it is a great option for newcomers to enter the cryptocurrency space.
It is not strictly for Bitcoin users, but Ethereum owners can use its relative success.
A lot of people seek comfort in this conventional charm.
It is no doubt a very safe and legit opportunity.
It is well capitalized and safe.
But at the same time, it is a convenient investment opportunity.