de | cn | ru
  VS.    

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  

 

FxPro

FxPro Review
Trader's rating 3.5
Editor's rating 4.5

Trading Accounts

 

Account type/Platform Minimum deposit Minimum trade size Maximum leverage Average Spreads Execution type
MT4
 
$100
 
0.01
 
1:500
 
fixed 1.6 pips
variable 1.4 pips
Instant
market
MT5 $100 0.01 1:500 1.4 pips  Market
cTrader $100 0.01 1:500 0.3 pips +$4.5* Market

 

*Commission is calculated per standard lot of 100 000 currency base units (per side).

 

Depending on the trading platform used, FxPro offers three basic account types – MT4, MT5, and cTrader (NDD). All three account types offer dynamic leverage up to 1:500 and micro tradeable lots.

 

Besides, FxPro offers its in-house built FxPro Markets platform.

 

In addition, the brokerage provides swap-free (Islamic) accounts to clients of the Muslim faith, as well as VIP services to high-net-worth individuals and those actively trading large volumes.

 

VIP clients benefit from free VPS service, no deposit fees, and receive trade recommendations, exclusive news reports and margin level alerts via email and SMS.

 

Trading Conditions

 

Minimum initial deposit

In order to open an account with FxPro, one has to invest $100, however the recommended minimum initial deposit is $500.

 

Spreads & Commission

FxPro offers a choice of fixed and variable spreads, commission-free (MT4 & MT5) and commission-involving (cTrader) accounts on an array of platforms.

 

In fact, the broker’s fixed spreads are quite good - 1.6 pips on EUR/USD, while most fixed-spread brokers provide such of 2 pips. FxPro’s variable spreads, on the other hand, are average – typical ones are around 1.4 (MT4 & MT5) or 1.2 pips (FxPro Markets) for the EUR/USD pair on commission-free accounts. The tightest spreads with this broker are available on cTrader accounts - 0.3 pips, however if we add the commission of $9 round trip, average trading costs per standard lot traded amount to around 1.2 pips.

 

In comparison, another major UK broker, IG, offers average spreads of 0.2 pips on its DMA accounts, where a commission of $5 per side per standard lot applies. For further information, you can check out the real-time spreads of 15 leading brokers here.

 

Maximum leverage

FxPro offers comparatively high leverage levels – up to 1:500. Despite the fact that such leverage levels are considered high, many other brokers offer leverage up to 1:500 or higher. In comparison, IG offers leverage up to 1:200.

 

In order to control the risk associated with it, the broker utilizes a dynamic forex leverage model on the MT4 and MT5 platforms, which automatically adapts to clients trading positions:

 

 

The Company

 

FxPro is an award-winning pure NDD broker that offers trading in on a range of instruments, including currency pairs, shares, spot indices, futures, spot metals and spot energies, on a selection of trading platforms. It provides its clients with access to top-tier liquidity, excellent trading conditions and the highest level of customer protection possible, including negative balance protection.  

 

What is more, FxPro demonstrates a long-term commitment to transparency, as it regularly publishes trades execution statistics (slippage & requotes data). This brokerage is excellent choice for both savvy and novice traders. Beginners can take advantage of the broker's educational resources – video tutorials, webinars, live hangouts, etc. For more advanced traders, there are additional analytical tools like Trading Central and Autochartist. 

 

FxPro is the collective brand name of FxPro UK Ltd., an entity regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and FxPro Financial Services Ltd., which is licensed by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) and the Financial Services Board (FSB) of South Africa. In October, 2017 the broker was granted a license to operate in the UAE from the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).

 

Company

Country

Regulation

FxPro UK Limited

UK

FCA

FxPro Financial Services Ltd

Cyprus

CySEC

FxPro Financial Services Limited

South Africa

FSB

 

Security of funds

 

Both FCA and CySEC apply certain rules and requirements to regulated firms, thus ensuring a good level of credibility. Cypriot and UK brokers must hold at least €730 000 in order to prove their good financial standing, and are required to keep customer funds in segregated accounts, separated from the company’s operating funds. 

 

As a further guarantee to clients’ funds, all companies regulated in UK and Cyprus are covered by compensation schemes as additional guarantee to clients’ funds. All deposits with a UK regulated forex broker up to £50,000 per client are guaranteed by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) - UK’s statutory compensation scheme for clients of authorized financial services companies. Similarly, Cypriot Investment Firms are members of the Investor Compensation Fund, which is able to pay compensation up to 20,000 EUR, If the company is in default. 

 

What is more, FxPro Financial Services Limited is also licensed by the Financial Services Board (FSB) as a Financial Services Provider. South Africa is lately gaining popularity as a forex broker destination.

 

Trading platforms

 

FxPro supports MT4, MT5, cTrader and proprietary FxPro Markets platform.

 

FxPro Markets is the latest addition to the broker’s suite of trading platforms, available for web and mobile devices. It is a comprehensive, all-in-one trading solution, enabling clients to create and manage their trading accounts, deposit funds, and trade the markets, etc.

 

In spite of the number of improvements made to MT5 lately (and most importantly the hedging option added to it), MetaTrader 4 is still preferred by most brokers and experienced traders. That is why most brokers support it. MT4 provides an advanced charting package, lots of technical indicators, extensive back-testing environment and a variety of Expert Advisors (EAs).

 

MT4’s successor, MetaTrader 5, allows the execution of orders in several financial markets and stock exchanges through a single trading account. This platform also features advanced charting package, trading and analysis tools, alerts, signals, and customizable indicators. 

 

Last but not least, FxPro offers access to cTrader platform, which is custom-made for use in NDD environment.  cTrader is fast, easy to use and provides pricing transparency and tight spreads.  The cTrader suite includes a PC, web and mobile versions, as well as automated trading software cAlgo.

 

FxPro provides ultrafast execution: 99.9% of orders executed within 50ms. In addition, its clients may run their MT4 Expert Advisors or cAlgo robots on the Virtual Private Server, without even needing to keep their trading terminal running.

 

Payment methods

 

Clients of FxPro Financial Services Limited are offered a wide range of payment methods: Bank transfer, Credit/Debit Card (including Visa, Visa Electron, Visa Delta, MasterCard, Maestro International, Maestro UK), PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, China UnionPay, mPay, FasaPay (for Indonesian clients), Webmoney (for Russian clients), Moneta, Boleto (for Brazilian customers), Netbanx (for Chinese customers), eProtections (for Japanese customers).

 

Clients of FxPro UK Limited may use only Bank transfer and Credit/Debit Card.

 

Withdrawals are proceeded by the broker’s Client Accounting Department within 1 working day.

 

Conclusion

 

FxPro is one of the most prominent names in the forex industry. The broker operates as a Hybrid Agency Model broker, offering Negative Balance Protection and enabling clients to access top-tier liquidity, wide range of trading platforms and financial instruments with lightning-fast execution. It is well-regulated and extremely reliable with its long-term commitment to transparence. Here are, in a nutshell, the advantages and disadvantages with regards to this broker:

 

Pros Cons
Strong regulation  No major disadvantages
Negative balance protection  
Multiple trading platforms offered  
Competitive spreads & pricing  
High leverage levels offered  
Pure NDD brokerage  
Fast execution speed  

 

 

Headquarters: Karyatidon 1, Ypsonas 4180, Cyprus

Tel: +357 25 969 222; Fax: +357 25 969 269; 
Email: [email protected];

Country: Cyprus, UK

Regulated by: FxPro Financial Services Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission under the license number 078/07

FxPro UK Ltd (a subsidiary of FxPro Financial Services Limited) is authorised and regulated by the FSA (Registration No 509956) 

Website: FxPro.co.uk

Forex
de | cn | ru