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Coinbase

Coinbase Review
Trader's rating 2.8
Editor's rating 4.1

Our Experience

 

When testing the direct purchasing service, provided by Coinbase, we were relatively satisfied. After entering our debit card details it was saved as a payment method. We must notе that our card was 3D-secured, which appears to be a mandatory condition. Having your card stored in the website, as opposed to having to enter the details a second time (which is the case with some websites, dealing with external payment providers) is a huge benefit.

 

Here is a preview of the order screen:

The commission charged was slightly lower than the maximum of 4%, and we had full price transparency. When compared to the 8%, charged by Bitstamp (for direct card purchases), this is obviously preferable. The rate at which we bought Bitcoin was around €14 off the current market price, at GDAX. This is quite reasonable considering the fact we are talking about a volatile asset, trading around  €6,500 at the time of purchase. We tried comparing it with the rate provided by other exchanges, but the price differences (especially since we are talking about EUR trading) were much wider.

 

Trading Accounts

 

 

Account type Initial weekly limit Leverage Fees
Standard €325 None Up to 4%

 

Coinbase is one of the leading US companies in the world of crypto currencies. It operates two separate brands. One of them is Coinbase, a more retail consumer oriented platform for buying Bitcoin with fiat currencies, much like Bitstamp. On the other hand, GDAX (Global Digital Asset Exchange) is a more advanced crypto currency trading platform. This review will be focused on Coinbase.

 

The company, security of funds

 

Company Country Regulation
Coinbase USA NY BitLicense

 

Coinbase operates out of the US, with many subsidiaries around the world. It was the third company to be awarded the New York BitLicense. The story behind this license is quite controversial. In short, the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) wanted to make the Big Apple a “Bitcoin trading hub”, much how it is one of the major centers of traditional finance. The idea, dating from 2015 wasn’t met with much enthusiasm by the leading companies, as many of them preferred to avoid application. Among the dozen who did, Coinbase obtained the license in January of 2017. The entire process is apparently so time (and effort) consuming, a lot of other major players opted out of it, which makes the license borderline useless. 

 

When it comes to crypto exchanges, hacking is an important topic. That being said there haven’t been any major hacks at Coinbase, although numerous individual cases have been reported. Some involve the hackers going past the two-factor authentication barrier, which one would believe to be very secure.

 

As we mentioned above, Coinbase is the retail-oriented brand of the company. As such it accepts fiat currencies and allows an instant purchase of several coins (more on the list, later). The vast majority of user complaints against Coinbase involve the size of the commission fees which the company charges. They vary by region and payment method, but go as high as 4%.

 

In 2018, Coinbase acquired an e-money license from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which allows it to provide payment services in the UK and issue e-money. Abiding by the FCA requirements, Coinbase will be keeping clients in segregated funds and will observe operational standards on par with the other regulated financial institutions.

 

Additionally, Coinbase is backed by a lot of investors, including major players in “traditional finance”. This is another factor which fans of the decentralized aspect of crypto currencies do not enjoy. 

 

Trading conditions

 

Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)

Only a few coins are available at Coinbase, but they are the majors – Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. Don’t forget this is an entry-level service, which is aimed at people who are not that familiar with the world of crypto currencies. If you would like to buy less known coins (or altcoins), you could do that at another exchange, after transferring your newly acquired BTC/ETH/LTC there.

 

Weekly Limits

After verifying your e-mail, telephone, ID and credit card, at Coinbase, you can beginning purchasing coins. Our initial limit was €325 per week (via Credit Card). This may vary for you, based on your location (US clients will surely get a USD level). This level can be increased after you reach the maximum and some time has passed. This is done as a security measure and one should not feel frustrated about it.

 

Leverage

Coinbase does not offer margin trading. This is the more accepted practice, when dealing with crypto currencies. The forex brokers who offer Bitcoin trading, on the other hand mostly provide CFDs on it and margin trading is allowed. For a full comparison of trading crypto currencies on an exchange and with a forex broker read this post

 

Fees

The commission structure at Coinbase is one of its criticisms. If you decide to deposit via Credit Card, for instance, you can buy your chosen coin directly. While this may appear to be convenient, it comes at a price – for most countries the commission fee on such a purchase can go as high as 4%. 

 

Alternatively, you can fund your account with fiat currencies, which you can then use to trade. In that case the fees are set at 1.5%, which is pretty high. However if trading is what you are looking for, the company’s other brand – GDAX (as well as many others) are alternatives.

 


Trading platform

 

Coinbase does not provide a platform, as much as it offers an interface similar to an online banking application. Here is an overview (click to zoom-in):

 

 

There is a basic chart in the top section, allowing you to switch between the three supported instruments and multiple timeframes. On the bottom you have a column with all of your wallets with the company as well as a transaction history column. Overall, it doesn’t get any simpler than this. That being the case, we must reiterate, this is only the “real-money payments” brand of the company, while a more dedicated platform is also available at GDAX.

 

Methods of payment

 

When it comes to the methods of payment available at Coinbase, they include Bank Transfer, Credit/Debit Card and PayPal (only for US clients). While we discussed the transaction fees above, it’s worth pointing out that no additional fees are charged for crypto currency transfers to other exchanges or wallets.

 

Conclusion

 

Coinbase is one of the major players in the crypto currency space. The company is focused on allowing people who are not familiar with Bitcoin and allows them an easy way of acquiring crypto currencies. While there isn’t any trading platform to speak of, the company has another brand (GDAX) which provides exactly that. We feel it would be much better for Coinbase to honestly state their trading fees are higher, but you can use your account at their other platform, in a big banner upon account cration. Here are Coinbase’s pros and cons: 

 

Pros

Cons

New York BitLicense Few altcoins available
No major hacks yet High trading fees
Accepts Bank Transfers and Credit Cards  
Easy to use interface  
Ability to transfer crpyto to wallet  

 

Coinone

Coinone Review
Trader's rating 0
Editor's rating 4

Trading Accounts

  

Account type Leverage Trading fee Deposit Fee
Standard 1:4 0.10% None

 

Coinone is one of the major Korean cryptocurrency exchanges. If you are enthusiastic about blockchain technology, you should know a few things about them even if you don’t plan on trading with them. As you may know the trading activity on Korean exchanges has been relatively high in recent times and even determines the short term price swings.

 

Coinone Advantages

 

Established local player – Coinone has been around since 2014 and the team behind this exchange looks very solid. There aren’t any reports of a major hack at this exchange, which is not the case with one of their major competitors – Bithumb.

 

High level of Security – Security seems to be a top priority for Coinone, as the company includes multi-signature wallets, two-factor authentication  (2FA) and cold storage. While there is no 100% guarantee of future safety, these factors are nice.

 

Low Fees – The costs of trading at Coinone are very competitive, with the offers by other exchanges. With a 0.10% maximum fee (which goes even lower, if you trade bigger volumes) this exchange is one of the cheapest. As a comparison, Kraken, another otherwise solid exchange charges up to 0.26%. 

 

Korean Bank Transfers accepted – Coinone accepts fiat currency deposits, via bank transfer. That being said, only Korean bank accounts can be registered with this exchange.

 

>>Get Bitcoin with a credit card<<

 

No fees on deposits – Unlike most other exchanges, this one does not charge fees on deposits (regardless of the methods of payment). Most services accepting fiat currencies charge something in the 2-10% range. 

 

7 coins available – The current list of coins available at Coinone includes: BTC, BCH, ETH, ETC, XRP, QTUM and LTC. This may be more than enough for some users, but there are those who are willing to explore exotic digital assets. If you are looking for more altcoins, be sure to checkout Bittrex and Cryptopia.

 

Leverage is available – Unlike most exchanges, Coinone  offers margin trading, with a maximum leverage ratio of 1:4. That being said this involves borrowing coins from other traders. This can be a costly and tedious process, so if you are looking to speculatively trade Bitcoin a forex broker may be a better alternative.

 

>>Bitcoin forex brokers<< 

 

Trading with such a company usually allows even higher leverage, but may not be suitable for long term positions. Read more here.

 

Nice trading platform – The “Pro Charts” feature of Coinone is very nice, when compared to some of the other crypto-exchanges. Here is a preview (a live chat is also included, click to zoom-in):

 

 

 

Coinone Disadvantages

 

Focus on Korea – Dealing with this company if you are not Korean will be hard, or even impossible, as they require having a local bank account. It is technically possible, but you will have to go through a lot of hassle.

 

Trading only against KRW – While this exchange offers several altcoins they can’t be freely traded against one another. Some clients may even see this as a positive, but at the end of the day, having the ability to quickly convert one coin into another will be viewed highly by others.

 

Few negative user reviews – We couldn’t find many user reviews on this exchange in English, but there were a couple of complaints regarding slow payments.

 

Withdrawal fees – These are not the miner fees associated with a given blockchain, rather fees which go to Coinone. They aren’t that big, but will still annoy some users. Here is the breakdown:

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

Coinone is one of the leading Korean cryptocurrency exchanges. They have been around since 2014 and acts as an entry level service for locals. Additionally the company provides access to “Jikgu” payments (a term used for Koeran online shopping from other countries).

 

The actual exchange platform is rather well-designed, which is probably one of the contributing factors to this venue’s popularity. At the time of writing of this review, they are only surpassed by Bithumb, in terms of BTC/KRW trading volume.

 

That being said, Bitcoin trading is not regulated in Korea, so if you are looking for a safer alternative, you may try with a forex broker.

 

>>Trusted forex brokers, offering Bitcoin<<

 

While we review this exchange from an outsider’s point of view (as the company is heavily focused on the domestic market), we generally like what we see. Here is a summary of this exchange:

 

 

Pros Cons
Established local player Focus on Korea
High level of security Trading only against the KRW
Low fees Few negative user reviews
Korean Bank Transfers accepted Withdrawal fees
No fees on deposits  
7 coins available  
Leverage is available  
Nice trading platform  

 

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