Coinbase Review: Beginners Guide on How to Buy & Sell Bitcoin
As the leading mainstream cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, Coinbase has become a standard on-ramp for new crypto investors. Coinbase offers a wide variety of products including cryptocurrency investing, an advanced trading platform, custodial accounts for institutions, a wallet for retail investors, and its own U.S. dollar stable-coin.
It was founded in 2012 and is a fully regulated and licensed cryptocurrency exchange in 40 U.S. states and territories. Coinbase initially only allowed for Bitcoin trading but quickly began adding cryptocurrencies that fit its decentralized criteria.
Its list expanded to include Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, XRP, and many others with the promise of more as long as its requirements are met.
- Solid variety of altcoin choices: Coinbase offers over 25 cryptocurrencies for investment, trading, and also staking.
- Extremely simple user interface: Coinbase is perhaps one of the easiest on-ramps to crypto investing. It is easy to sign up and buy cryptocurrencies within a matter of minutes. It also has a learning program that pays users cryptocurrency to learn more about how cryptocurrency works.
- High liquidity: Coinbase consistently ranks among highly liquid exchanges. This protects the investor from serious price slippage in an already volatile market.
Cryptocurrencies Available on Coinbase
Coinbase has a solid number of options to invest and trade in and has plans to add more to the list. The following currencies are listed right now:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- XRP (XRP)
- Chainlink (LINK)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision (BSV) (Send Only)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- EOS (EOS)
- Tezos (XTZ)
- Stellar Lumens (XLM)
- USD Coin (USDC)
- Cosmos (ATOM)
- Dash (DASH)
- Ethereum Classic (ETC)
- Zcash (ZEC)
- Maker (MKR)
- Compound (COMP)
- Basic Attention Token (BAT)
- Algorand (ALGO)
- OMG Network (OMG)
- Dai (DAI)
- 0x (ZRX)
- Kyber Network (KNC)
- Band Protocol (BAND)
- Augur (REP)
- Orchid (OXT)
Trading on Coinbase is an extremely easy process and geared toward a beginner. The platform can also be accessed through your android or iOS devices. That is to say, Coinbase does not offer any downloadable trading software and it is all browser-based, including its more advanced trading platform, Coinbase Pro.
When you log in you are immediately shown your portfolio balance and its performance in a selection of time frames like one hour, 24 hours, one week, and one year.
Moreover, a banner above your portfolio balance has a “Buy crypto” button where you can enter a dollar value and place market orders for whichever crypto you choose that Coinbase has available. This button also brings up the options to sell or convert your crypto or even set up recurring orders every day, every week, on the 1st and 15th, or once a month.
Coinbase uses a variety of safety measures for account holders. It is important to understand that any crypto on any exchange account is only as secure as the account holder makes them. It is imperative to use strong passwords and to utilize the available security features like two-step verification.
Coinbase has two-step verification, biometric fingerprint logins, insurance in the event that Coinbase itself is breached (this insurance does not apply if your account is breached due to your own lack of security measures), and also stores 98% of users’ funds in offline cold storage.
Digital currency is not considered legal tender and therefore is not backed by SIPC or FDIC. Coinbase provides insurance by pooling Coinbase balances and holding them in USD custodial accounts, USD denominated money market funds, or liquid U.S. Treasuries.
What’s more, Coinbase provides a solid amount of security in comparison to a number of other leading exchanges. This is one of the reasons why Coinbase is a great offering for those looking to safely get started investing in cryptocurrency.
That said, the premise of cryptocurrency is to remove intermediaries where possible and to be in total control of your own funds. While Coinbase does provide an easy entry to cryptocurrency investing, it is important to learn about proper cryptocurrency security and storage. Savvy crypto investors may use Coinbase Pro for its reduced fees and then withdraw their holdings to their own secure cold storage.
Opening a Coinbase Account
In conclusion, signing up for Coinbase is a very straightforward and easy process. First, you enter your name, email, and a password you wish to use. It will then tell you to verify your email. Next, Coinbase asks you to enter in your phone number to send a code that you must enter. Coinbase will later use this number to send two-step verification codes. After this stage, it will prompt you to enter your identification information.
Just like any bank account or investment account, you must prove your identity via state identification. For users in the United States, this will require a social security number. At this point, your Coinbase account will have been created and you would then be able to add your bank account, credit card, or debit card information to enable deposits and withdrawals so that you can start trading or investing.