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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  

 

FP Markets

FP Markets Review
Trader's rating 4.6
Editor's rating 4.8

Trading Accounts

 

Account type Minimum deposit  Minimum trade size  Maximum leverage Typical Spreads
Standard  $100  0.01  1:500 1.45 pips 
ECN Raw $1000  0.01  1:500  0.45 pips + AUD $3.5 / lot (per side)

 

FP MARKETS offers its clients a choice of two live account types: Standard commission-free one, and RAw account which provides tighter spreads, but also involving a commission.


Micro lots are available for trade on both account types and, of course, the broker also provides free Demo accounts, which are always appreciated by inexperienced traders.


The Company. Security of Funds


FP MARKETS (FPM) is a CFD and forex provider specializing in Direct Market Access (DMA) trading, that has over 10 years of experience.


The company behind the FP MARKETS brand is First Prudential Markets Pty Ltd., which holds an Australian Financial Services License and is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). The broker also has an European entity, First Prudential Markets Ltd.., which holds a license from the the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), but does not offer financial services yet.


ASIC requires licensed companies to meet certain requirements and to comply with various rules. Clients’ money is to be kept in segregated trust accounts. As for the minimum capital requirement, forex brokers must hold at least $ 1 million in order to prove their good financial standing. In comparison, UK’s FCA requires forex brokers to possess at least 730 000 EUR and Cyprus’ CySEC – 1 000 000 EUR.


Unlike many EU-based brokers, however, Australian ones are not covered by any compensation scheme. FCA-regulated brokerages, for example, fall under Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which protects consumers up to £50,000 per person per company.


Despite the regulation and the requirements set to Australian brokers, one should be aware of the risks of trading Margin FX and CFDs. Returns and gains are not guaranteed. ASIC, the Australian Government nor any other person guarantees any funds in your account.


Trading Conditions


Minimum Initial Deposit
Traders are required to deposit $100 in order to open an account with FP MARKETS, which is an average initial amount.


Average Spreads & Commissions

FP MARKETS offers variable spreads, the typical ones on its commission-free account amounting to 1.45, and the ones on the ECN Raw accounts averaging to 0.45 pips on EUR/USD. Considering that commission of $3 per standard lot per side applies on the Raw account, trading costs of such account holders amount to a little over 1 pip, which is a competitive pricing.


For further information, you may look up real-time spreads of 15 leading brokers here.


Maximum Leverage
Clients of FP MARKETS use leverage ratios up to 1:500 and such maximum leverage level is considered high. Some jurisdictions cap leverage to levels significantly lower than this (i.e. 1:50 in the US), because higher leverage involves higher risk of heavy losses in excess of initial investments.


Trading Platforms


FP MARKETS offers its customers several trading platforms: MetaTrader 4 (MT4), MetaTrader 5, and its in-house IRESSTrader, specialized in CFDs trading.


MT4 is the most widely used forex platform, available to FPM’s clients as PC, Mac, iPhone/iPad and Android versions. MT4 provides all the tools and resources a trader needs: a number of technical indicators, advanced charting package, extensive back-testing environment and a wide range of Expert Advisers (EAs). By using EAs traders may sit back, while the software does all the work, as Expert Advisers allow full automatization of trades.


If you are running EAs, it is vital that your platform is Internet connected 24 hours a day. The best solution in this case is VPS and FP Markets has partnered with TradersColo and BeeksFX VPS, to provide a customized low latency solution for their clients. The VPS seamlessly connects traders to the Equinix NY4 grid using cutting edge technology and providing excellent execution.


What is more, there are Multi Account Manager MAM/PAMM options on MT4. MetaFX has developed a stand-alone console to assist Multi Account manages in trading. The MAM/PAMM offered are customizable and user friendly.

 

As MT4 will soon be phased out, the broker launched trading in the latest version of MetaQuotes software - MetaTrader 5. It has most of the great features of MT4 (such as the great charting, and EAs), as well as some new ones. Most importantly, the MT5 offer traders the opportunity to trade an extended number of instruments from a variety of asset classes. 


As regards FP Markets’ proprietary platform IRESSTrader, it provides its clients with access to DMA CFDs with industry leading execution, a wide ranges of order types, stop-loss, live news feeds, international data, complete market depth and charting facilities.


IRESSTrader is a web based platform you can access from any PC or even a mobile device.


Methods of Payment


FP MARKETS offers its clients a variety of deposit/withdrawal methods: via credit/debit card, bank wire, BPAY, AstroPay, Neteller, Skrill, China UnionPay.


Depending on the depositing method, clients may use the following currencies: AUD, USD, SGD, CHF, GBP, CAD, HKD, JPY, EUR, and NZD.


Conclusion


FP MARKETS is a reliable Australian STP broker, offering competitive conditions for trading in variety of assets, including Bitcoin (with leverage 1:10). These can be traded on three trading platforms with NDD execution (no conflict of interest). To sum things up, here are the advantages and drawbacks with regards to FP MARKETS:

 

Pros  Cons
Low cost of trading, NDD execution No significant doisadvantages
ASIC-regulated  
Many platforms available (MT4, MT5, as well as a proprietary one)  
High leverage levels  

 

Headquarters: FP Markets Pty, Ltd Level 5, Exchange House, 10 Bridge Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Country: Australia

Regulated by: ASIC

Forex
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