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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  

 

FBS

FBS Review
Trader's rating 4
Editor's rating 4.4

Trading Accounts

Account type Minimum deposit Minimum trade size Maximum leverage Average Spreads
Cent $1 0.01 lot 1:1000 2 pips
Standard $100 0.01 lot 1:3000 0.9 pips
Zero Spread $500 0.01 lot 1:3000 0 pips + $20/lot
ECN $1000 0.1 lot 1:500 from -1 pip + $6/lot

 

While most brokers provide several account type options, Clients of FBS are offered a choice of four. All of them offer market execution and the chance to trade in micro lots in Cent account for more precise risk management. Besides, FBS’s clients may choose between variable spreads, commission-free trading and zero spread plus commission.

 

In addition, FBS provides swap-free (Islamic) accounts as well as VIP Services. STP/ECN environment is also available with this broker.

 

Keep in mind that this broker does not provide financial services to residents of Belize, USA and Russia.

 

The Company. Security of Funds

 

Company

Country

Regulation

FBS Markets Inc.

Belize

IFSC

Tradestone Limited

Cyprus

CySEC

 

Established back in 2009, FBS is now a popular international broker which has won numerous awards. It offers its clients competitive trading conditions, wide range of trading accounts, payment methods, a choice of fixed and variable spreads, Metatrader 4 and MetaTrader 5, as well as various promotions.

 

Behind the brand is FBS Markets Inc., a company licensed and regulated by the International Financial Services Commission of Belize (IFSC).IFSC has very liberal control over forex brokers, but still, the regime in Belize is far better than those in other offshore jurisdictions.

 

In 2017 FBS, undertook an important step and got licensed in one of the most popular destinations for forex brokers – Cyprus. Its EU entity Tradestone Limited operates under the regulatory oversight of the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, a.k.a. CySEC.

 

Forex brokers licensed by CySEC must comply with a number of requirements regarding capital adequacy, transaction reporting, clients’ funds segregation, AML policies, etc. Besides, all licensed entities are members of the Investor Compensation Fund, which may cover a maximum of 20,000 EUR per person in the event of broker insolvency.

 

Furthermore, under the MiFID regulations every CySEC-regulated ibroker is entitled to operate throughout the EU and the EEA.  

 

Trading Conditions

 

Minimum Initial Deposit

One may open an account with FBS with just $1 – a symbolically low initial amount. In comparison, FX Choice (which also holds a license from IFSC) requires at least $100 as a minimum for opening an account, but it offers pure STP/ECN environment.

 

Average spreads & Commissions

According to us, the best spreads of FBS are offered on the ECN account type. Spreads on ECN account start from -1 pip (negative spread) and the commission is just $6 per lot.

 

In comparison, Fx Choice offers typical spreads amounting to 0.5 pips on EUR/USD, and commission of $3.86 per lot applies. For further information, you may look up real-time spreads of 15 leading brokers here.

 

Maximum Leverage

The maximum leverage levels available with this broker are among the highest in the industry, reaching 1:3000. While this may sound attractive, especially to traders on a small budget, since it allows them to operate with significantly higher amounts, keep in mind that higher leverage involves greater risk.

We advise traders to exercise caution when using higher leverage levels.

 

Trading Platforms

 

FBS provides its clients with a choice of two trading platforms: Metatradeer 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5).  Both platforms are offered as desktop, web and mobile versions.

 

MetaTrader 4 is the most popular forex trading platform. Equipped wirth a number of technical indicators, advanced charting tools, extensive back-testing environment, and a wide range of Expert Advisors (EA), it is preferred by most traders.  allowing clients to fully automate their trades. MT4 comes in desktop, and mobile versions.

 

As most MT4’s indicators and Expert Advisors (EA) are not supported on the MT5 platform, the latter is still in the shadow of its predecessor. Recently, however, a number of enhancements were made to the MetaTrader 5 and the hedging option was finally added to it and it gains popularity. What is more, Russian developer MetaQuotes announced it will no longer issue updates to the MT4 and will instead concentrate on the MT5.

More brokers using the MT5 can be viewed here.

 

Promotions

FBS runs a variety of promotions. At the time of writing this review the following bonuses are available:

 

- 100% bonus for deposit;

On the first day of each month, you will be able to withdraw as much profit received on the bonus funds as many lots you have traded within the previous month x3.

-Cashback program, allowing traders to receive up to $7 per lot.

 

Methods of Payment

 

FBS offers its clients a wide range of payment methods: credit cards (Visa, Visa Electron, Mastercard), bank wire, Skrill, Neteller, Perfect Money, OKPAY, YuuPay, LaoForexBoard, FBS Asia Exchanger.

 

Conclusion

 

FBS appears to be a decent broker, who has operated for more than 9 years and has won many awards. It offers reasonable conditions for trading in a variety of products through different platforms. Here are, in a nutshell, the advantages and disadvantages of FBS:

 

Pros Cons
   
Variety of platforms, MT4 available  No significant disadvantages
Competitive spreads (especially on ECN accounts)  
Low minimum deposits required  
Variety of promotions  
ECN/STP environment available  

 

Headquarters:  Suite 5, Garden City Plaza, Mountain View Boulevard, BELMOPAN, Belize, C. A.

Country: Belize 

Regulated by: IFSC, CRFIN

Website: www.IdnFBS.com

Bonus:

$5 no deposit bonus!
Open an account and get $5! No deposit required! 

100% Bonus
Get 100% on all deposits

FBS deposit insurance!
With FBS you can be sure that in case you lose your deposit FBS will return it!

FBS MasterCard
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Super Trader Contest for real accounts
Unlimited prize fund! 30 traders get 10$ for each traded lot and super gadgets.

FBS Pro Demo Contest 
Become a real professional of Forex Market. Prize fund: $1000 each month. 

Bonus for IB 
Every IB gets real funds for every real client acquired.


iPartner
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Share your secret of success

If you increased your Bonus $5 10 times and more, share your secret of success and get $7 from FBS!

Self-rebate

Trade with FBS and receive up to $ 15 per transaction additionally!
 

Awards:
 
2015 - Best ECN/STP Forex Broker
2015 - The Best Broker Insurance & Service. Excellent of The Year. 
2014 - Best Broker in Southeast Asia (Forex Report Awards by World Finance)
2014 – Best Broker Asia Pacific (International Finance Magazine)
2014 – Best Forex Brand Asia (Global Brands Magazine) 
2013 - Best Partnership Program (Masterforex-v)
2013 - Best Trading Platform (China Finance Online) 
2013 - Best Forex Broker South-East Asia (World Finance)
2013 - Best Broker in Asian Region (Forex Expo)
2012 - Best MT4 Platform (9th China (Guangzhou) International Investment & Finance Expo)
2012 - Best Forex Broker Asia (World Finance Awards)
2012 - Fastest Growing Forex Broker Asia (Global Banking and Finance Review)
2011 - Best Mini Forex Broker (World Finance Awards)
2010 - Best Mini Forex Broker (ShowFX World)
 

 

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