• Coinbase overview – What is Coinbase?
  • Coinbase alternatives
  • Coinbase pros and Cons
  • Coinbase at a glance
  • Ho to buy, sell and send crypto safety
  • FAQ about Coinbase crypto exchange

Coinbase Overview – What is Coinbase

Coinbase Global, Inc., known as Coinbase, is a cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam. It went public on the Nasdaq exchange on April 14, 2021, becoming the first publicly listed cryptocurrency exchange in the process.

Users in over 100 countries depend on Coinbase to send and receive around 170 cryptocurrencies, but its primary business location is the U.S., where Coinbase ranks as the largest cryptocurrency exchange by trade volume.

Coinbase was once based in San Francisco, California, but since it transitioned into a “distributed” company, meaning that it decentralized its operations and has no physical headquarters. Very meta.

The company claims it supports over 13,000 crypto institutions, boasts a workforce of more than 4,000 employees globally, and, at the crypto market peak, boasted $7.9 billion in daily trading volume. However, the 2022 bear market hit Coinbase, and its share price, like a rock – trading volume dwindled and the share price dropped a staggering 86.5% over the year.

However, does this falling share price and trading volume suggest that Coinbase’s goose is cooked, or does it still deserve to be considered the crypto giant that many still believe it to be? Let’s find out.

Coinbase alternatives


Binance is Coinbase’s primary competitor. It was founded in 2017 in Hong Kong by Chanpeng Zhao (known as CZ), a software developer. Binance quickly rose to the top of the cryptocurrency exchange rankings due to its focus on altcoin trading and offering its users access to over 200 cryptocurrencies and tokens.

Some of the standout features of the Binance exchange are:

  • Spot/Margin and Futures trading: Binance provides expert, hobbyist, or professional traders trading terminals and margins designed to match their trading expertise.
  • Lending: Binance users can create a new income stream with their cryptocurrency holdings by lending it out and earning interest.
  • Staking: Binance offers staking features that allow users to earn significant yields from staking their holdings.
  • Crypto Sub-account: This Binance feature allows users to manage up to 200 Binance accounts for their friends, family or clients.


Robinhood is a fintech company founded in 2013 by Vladimir Tenev and Baiju Bhatt. The company enables its users to buy and sell stocks, cryptocurrencies, ETFs, options, and American depositary receipts (ADRs).

In September 2022, the company launched a crypto wallet as part of its plans to double down on cryptocurrencies as a growth channel. Robinhood currently offers support for just seven cryptocurrencies, which is great if you hate choice.

Robinhood is famed for its commission-free trading with stocks, but, as Gametsop traders found out in 2021, Robinhood simply funds its bills elsewhere in exchange for valuable trading data. The same applies with crypto – trading is free, but comes at a cost. However, many newcomers won’t know about this and will simply revel in commission-free trading, which is a huge draw.


Kraken was launched in 2011 by Jesse Powell after he saw firsthand how not to run an exchange when trying to get Mt. Gox back online earlier that year. Kraken has built a solid reputation over the years as a safe, trustworthy exchange and offers support for over 120 coins and other crypto trading features. The exchange has built a reputation as a platform that offers low fees, pro features, and good security features.

Some of the standout features of Kraken are:

  • Pro: Kraken offers this feature for expert traders who need more robust trading tools, detailed information, active charts, order books, and lower trading fees overall.
  • Futures: This derivatives platform by Kraken allows users to speculate on cryptocurrencies using complex trading strategies. Users can enter long or short positions and maximize their potential returns using up to 50x leverage (although it shouldn’t be attempted by the faint hearted). Kraken allows users to collateralize their positions with cash, cryptocurrencies or stablecoins.
  • Low Fees: Kraken offers low fees that match competing platforms, but you need to be a whale to make the most of the low fees on the platform – 0% is achievable if your trade size exceeds $10 million. Told you you needed to be a whale. Average joes like us have to settle for a maximum fee of 0.26% on spot trading transactions worth $50k and below.


Crypto.com was founded in 2016 by Bobby Bao, Gary Or, Kris Marszalek, and Rafael Melo. The exchange grew from its early days in Hong Kong into a global crypto powerhouse that serves over 10 million customers globally, and is very popular with first timers. The exchange offers over 250 cryptocurrencies to users in 90 countries, a crypto wallet, and an NFT marketplace.

Some of the standout features of Crypto.com are:

  • Visa Card: Crypto.com has partnered with Visa to provide its users with a debit card that allows holders to leave their parents’ basement and spend their crypto in the real world. It offers tiered benefits like 8% cashback and a full refund for subscription fees on Netflix, Spotify, Amazon Prime, and others. Users’ tiers are determined by how much Crypto.com’s Cronos (CRO) token they stake for six months. If you are a baller who can stake up to $400,000 in CRO tokens, you get bonuses like airport lounge access and private jet partnership.
  • Low Fees: Crypto.com offers active crypto traders on its platform fees as low as 0.10% to 0.16% taker fee per order, with the possibility of being charged 0% if you stake CRO and a 0.04% to 0.10% maker fee. Crypto.com also charges a 0.015% to 0.04% taker fee and a 0% to 0.025% maker fee on derivatives.
  • Security: Crypto.com stores users’ assets in cold storage to keep them safe from hackers, while fiat deposits are stored in traditional banking institutions to benefit from insurance and government protection. Except for the time they sent $400,000 worth of ETH to a different exchange by accident. But hopefully they’ve learnt.

Coinbase Pros and Cons

What follows are some of the pros and cons of Coinbase crypto exchange:

  • Quick KYC verification
  • Poor customer support
  • Low account minimum
  • Some fees (such as the spread) are not very transparent 
  • Simple process to buy, sell, and transfer cryptocurrency
  • Updates with layout changes require time to adjust to
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Some transaction costs are not competitive
  • Very secure
  • Educational content could be more insightful
  • Market updates with push notifications on mobile
  • Mobile app has bugs
  • Offers discounts on high-volume trades
  • Opportunity to earn free crypto
  • Smaller cryptocurrencies and alt-coins are not supported 
  • Two-factor authentication can be burdensome sometimes

Coinbase strengths

Advanced trading features

Coinbase offers advanced traders the following trading features:

Coinbase Pro: Gives users access to full-fledged trading tools like real-time market data, charting tools, trade history, and an API that allows them to develop advanced trading bots. USD balances on Coinbase Pro are insured by the FDIC up to $250,000. It also has a simple order process so you can trade from day one.

Coinbase One: Coinbase One is a subscription VIP service that offers users $0 trading fees, 24/7 phone support, account protection for accounts with $1 million or more, and a pre-filled form 8949. The primary benefit of the Coinbase One subscription for those of us who don’t have millions lying around is the 0% trading fees, but to justify the $29.99 subscription, you’ll need to be trading actively every day.

Over 170 cryptocurrencies available

Gone are the days when you could name on one hand the coins that Coinbase supported. Now you can trade the latest and not so greatest altcoins to your hearts’ content, with new ones getting added on a regular basis. Coinbase still lags behind other exchanges however, so if your tastes are a little more niche you may have to go elsewhere.

Coinbase crypto debit card

The Coinbase crypto debit card is offered by Coinbase in partnership with Metabank and Visa. Like with Crypto.com, the card allows Coinbase users to spend crypto or USD at all outlets where Visa cards are accepted. Coinbase charges 0% annual fees and 0% ATM fees and allows users to earn rewards every time they make purchases using the card, but there are other fees just for using it, so make sure you read up first and don’t get a shock.

Coinbase card users get the following cashback rewards when they spend the following cryptocurrencies:

  • U.S.D. Coin: 1%
  • Dai: 1%
  • Ethereum: 1%
  • Bitcoin: 1.5%
  • Amp: 2%

Coinbase Shortcomings


Coinbase is significantly more expensive to use than its counterparts. Despite the fee review and update in September 2022, Coinbase is still over 600% more expensive than competitors like Crypto.com. The Coinbase wallet is also about 5x more expensive on transactions like swaps than competing wallets.

There are logical reasons why Coinbase is more expensive, such as higher compliance costs because it is regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, compared to Crypto.com, which is based in Singapore. However, whatever the reasons for it, higher fees are never attractive to the average crypto user.

Coinbase at a glance

Minimum trade
Trading and transaction fees
Trading fees range from 0% to 0.4% for makers and 0.05% to 0.6% for takers depending on the amount.

Coinbase charges a 25% commission for staking.

Other transaction fees vary based on the network.

Crypto-to-crypto trading pairs
About 550.
Website Transparency
Coinbase is very transparent. All critical information is available in the help center.
Storage offering
Users can store their assets on the Coinbase wallet or other hosted wallets, self-custody wallets, or hardware wallets.
Staking offering
Rewards on a handful of coins, with rates up to 5.75%
Mobile app
Coinbase’s mobile app is intuitive and easy to use, which is excellent for newbies. But advanced traders will have a better experience on a desktop.
Customer service
Phone, email and chat.

How To Buy, Sell, and Send Crypto on Coinbase

This section provides all the information you need if you’re keen to get started with Coinbase. If you’re buying, bear in mind that it typically takes 3-5 hours for a purchase or sale of cryptocurrencies to appear in your account. Coinbase charges a 0% fee when transacting between two Coinbase accounts, but it sets a fee for buying or selling transactions on cryptocurrency networks. The transaction fee will be displayed on the “Order Review” page.

Buying Crypto on Coinbase

Method 1: How to buy crypto on the Coinbase website

If you don’t have a Coinbase account, that’s the first thing you’ll need to take care of. It’s easier to sign up on the website, but not massively so. Here’s how to do it.

Step #1: Create an account

  • Create an account on Coinbase
  • Fill in details like Name, Email, and Password
  • Verify that you are 18 years of age or aboveVerify your email address
  • Setup two-step verification to secure your account
  • Add a bank card to your account

Step #2: Buy Crypto

  • Click “Buy & Sell” in the header menu to activate a pop-up menu
  • Verify your ID: You have to verify your ID before you can buy or sell on Coinbase
  • Input contact information
  • Submit a Passport, Driver’s license, or National ID card
  • Complete verification
  • Click “Buy & Sell” in the header menu
  • In the pop-up menu, you will have three options – Buy/ Sell/ Convert.
  • Ensure the “Buy” option is active
  • Check the list of cryptocurrencies in the “Buy” tab (in the middle of the pop-up) and pick the cryptocurrency you want to buy
  • Check the “Pay With” tab to pick your preferred payment method Click on the “$0” and enter the amount you want to purchase
  • Click on “Preview Purchase”
  • Review the “Order Preview” pop-up to ensure everything is in order
  • Click “Buy now” to finalize your purchase

Method 2: How to buy crypto on the Coinbase mobile app

Want to go mobile? Here’s how (we’ll assume you’ve already registered):

Launch your Coinbase app

  • At the top of the dashboard, you will find the following options: Buy/ Sell/ Send/ Convert.
  • Click on ”Buy”
  • Scroll down the list of cryptocurrencies available for purchase or use the search bar to find your preferred crypto
  • Select the cryptocurrency you would like to buy
  • Enter the amount you would like to buy
  • Click on the “Preview Buy” button at the bottom of the page
  • Review the transaction details on the “Order Preview” page
  • Click “Buy now” to finalize the purchase

Selling Crypto on Coinbase

Method 1: How to sell crypto on Coinbase Website

Made a healthy profit and want to cash out? Here’s how through the website:

  • Login to your Coinbase account
  • Click “Buy & Sell” in the header menu.
  • In the pop-up menu, click on the “Sell” option.
  • Search for the crypto you want to sell in the “Sell” tab or use the search bar
  • Select the cryptocurrency you want to sell
  • Enter the amount you want to sell or click “Sell all” to offload the asset entirely
  • Select where you want funds from the sale deposited into
  • Click the “Preview Sell” button
  • Review the transaction details
  • Click “Sell now” to complete the sale

Method 2: How to sell crypto on Coinbase mobile app

Need to cut your losses on the go? Here’s what to do:

  • Launch the Coinbase app
  • At the top of the dashboard, tap on “Sell”
  • Scroll down the list of cryptocurrencies available for purchase or use the search bar to find your preferred crypto
  • Select the cryptocurrency you would like to sell
  • Input the amount you would like to sell or click on “Max” to offload the entire asset
  • Select where you want your funds deposited into
  • Click on the “Preview Sell” button
  • Review the transaction details
  • Click “Sell now” to finalize the sale

How to send crypto on the Coinbase website

Method 1: Sending crypto on Coinbase Website

Want to send us a few bitcoin for our work educating the masses? How kind of you! Here’s how to do it on the Coinbase website:

  • Click on the “Send & Receive” button in the header menu
  • In the “Pay with” tab, select the cryptocurrency you want to send
  • Input the amount you want to send
  • Input the mobile number, email address, or crypto wallet address you want to send to
  • Click “Continue”
  • Review the order details
  • Click “Send now” to finalize the transaction

Method 2: How to send crypto on the Coinbase mobile app

Can’t wait until you get home to top up our wallet? You’re too kind. Here’s how to do it on your mobile:

  • Launch the Coinbase app
  • At the top of the dashboard, click “Send”
  • In the “Pay with” tab, select the cryptocurrency you want to send
  • Input the amount you want to send
  • Input the mobile number, email address, or crypto wallet address of the recipient (with mobile, you can also scan a QR code or just pick a contact from your phonebook)
  • Click “Preview send”
  • Review the details
  • Click “Send now” to finalize the transaction

Coinbase FAQs

Q: Can Coinbase can be trusted?

A: Coinbase is registered as a Money Services Business with FinCEN. it holds a New York BitLicense and maintains “licensure in nearly every U.S. state”. Some services the platform offers, such as Coinbase Pro, are insured by the FDIC. As a result, Coinbase is one of the tightest regulated crypto exchanges around, meaning it can’t just shut down and run of with your Bitcoin.

Q: Is Coinbase good for beginners?

A: Coinbase is a big favorite with crypto virgins, and for good reason. It offers a blog, help section, tips and tutorials to help beginners get up to speed with how everything works, although they could be more insightful. The UI is also straightforward and intuitive, which is ideal for first timers nervous about what they’re doing.

Q: How do I get my money out of Coinbase?

A: Want to take your money elsewhere? Follow these steps to cash out your funds from Coinbase:

  • Login to your account
  • On the side-bar menu on the left of your screen, open “Assets”
  • Select your fiat currency account
  • If it is empty, start by swapping your cryptocurrency for fiat
  • Click the fiat account on the list
  • In the fiat account assets page, open the “Wallet” sub-menu
  • On the right side of the screen, click “Cash Out”
  • Click “Cash out all”
  • Click “Continue”
  • Select a destination: Instant cash out to a debit or credit card / Standard cash out to a bank account
  • Click “Continue” to submit your order for processing
  • Coinbase will send you an email confirmation once the transaction is processed