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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  

 

FXTM

FXTM Review
Trader's rating 4.5
Editor's rating 5

Trading Accounts

 

Account type Minimum deposit   Minimum trade size Maximum leverage  Spreads (& Commission) Execution type
Cent  $10 0.01 1:500** from 1.5 pips  Instant
Standard  $100 0.01 1:500** from 1.3 pips Instant
ECN Zero.mt4 $200 0.01 1:500** from 1.5 pips  Market
ECN MT5 $500  0.01 1:500** from 0.2 pips + $2 / lot* Market
ECN $500  0.01 1:500** from 0.1 pips + $2 / lot* Market
PRO $25 000 0.01 1:500** from 0 pips Market

 

* Commission is calculated per standard lot of 100 000 currency base units (per side).
** Leverage depends on the country of residence, knowledge 
& experience of each Client.

 

FXTM offers a wide range of trading accounts, which may be categorized in two groups: Standard (Standard, CENT, and Shares accounts) and ECN (ECN MT4, ECN MT5, ECN ZERO and Pro).

 

In addition to the ones shown in the table above, there is a special account for trading in CFDs on shares, called Shares account, which is directly connected to NYSE and NASDAQ’s product price listings.

 

Furthermore, FXTM offers swap-free (Islamic) trading, available on all account types (except the MT5 one) and involve a fee of $ 1.7 per lot.

 

Micro, mini and standard lots are available on all account types.

 

Trading Conditions

 

Minimum initial deposit

In order to open an account with FXTM, one has to invest just $10, which is a symbolically low minimum initial deposit.

 

Spreads & Commission

Most of FXTM’s accounts are commission-free: Standard ones, as well as the ECN Zero and Pro accounts. Only ECN MT4 & ECN MT5 accounts involve a small commission fee of $4 (per standard lot round trip).

 

The floating spreads offered by this broker vary by account type. The tightest spreads are available on the ECN and Pro accounts; however, the latter is intended for institutional clients (with minimum initial deposit of $25 000), so we would recommend the ECN MT4 account. The typical spreads on these accounts amount to 0.4 pips on EUR/USD and if we include the commission (2 x $2), average trading costs for this pair are around 0.8 pips per lot, which is a very attractive offer.

 

Maximum leverage

High leverage levels are available with FT Global Limited – up to 1:1000. The broker utilizes a floating leverage system. 

 

However under Forextime Limited this is maximum up to 1:30.

 

As regards cryptocurrencies CFDs (available only in FT Global Limited), the maximum leverage available is 1:10, as they tend to be more volatile than traditional fiat currencies.

 

The Company. Security of funds

 

FXTM is a broker that truly suits the needs of traders of all skill levels and preferences. Its offering covers more than 240 tradeable instruments, including a number of currency pairs, various CFDs, as well as ctyptocurrencies. Keep in mind that trading CFDs on cryptocurrencies is only available under FT Global Limited.

 

Furthermore, clients of this broker may choose from market and instant execution, MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 trading platforms, and a wide range of trading accounts. Besides, this client-centric broker created an array of ways to provide its clients with effective trading knowledge and education. 

 

Forex Time (FXTM) was established in 2011 when one of the co-founders of Alpari separated from the Russia-based broker and launched one of his own under the FXTM brand. Since then, the company has opened a number of offices around the world, and is believed to be one of the fastest growing brokers in the industry. The latest of them is FXTM London office which opened its doors in April this year in order to better serve clients in the UK and Europe. Besides, the company is regulated in multiple jurisdictions:

 

Company

Country

Regulation

ForexTime Limited

Cyprus

CySEC

ForexTime Limited

South Africa

FSB

FT Global Limited

Belize 

IFSC

ForexTime UK Limited

UK

FCA

 

ForexTime Limited, doing business as FXTM, is licensed and regulated by some of the most reliable financial watchdogs worldwide - the Cyprus Commodities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) and UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Bothe governmental agencies require licensed companies to hold at least €730 000 as a proof of financial stability and to keep client funds must be held in segregated accounts and regulated entities are required to report to the Commission on a regular basis.

 

Furthermore, CySEC and  UK’s FCA apply compensation schemes as an additional guarantee to clients’ funds. All CySEC-regulated companies are members of the Investor Compensation Fund, able to provide compensations to a maximum of 20,000 EUR per person in the event of broker insolvency. Clients of FCA-regulated brokers, on the other hand, are insured up to 50 000 GBP each.

 

As both Cyprus and UK are (still) part of the EU, MiFID regulations apply, allowing companies licensed in those countries to operate in all EU Member States. In spite of this, FXTM is officially registered with a number of other EU regulators: Germany’s BaFin, Italy’s CONSOB, France’s AMF, Spain’s CNMV and Norway’s FSAN.

 

What is more, FXTM (ForexTime Limited) is licensed by the Financial Services Board (FSB) of South Africa as a Financial Services Provider. The broker holds a category 1 license to act as an Intermediary in Securities and Instruments (Shares, Money market instruments, Bonds, Derivative instruments).

 

In line with CySEC proposiotions and ESMA guidelines introduced in 2016, FXTM announced it ensures that losses will never exceed the total available funds in client accounts. Actually, this means that the broker’s clients cannot lose more than they have deposited - a policy also known as negative balance protection.

 

Trading platforms

 

As we have already mentioned, FXTM supports both MetaQuutes platforms: MT4 and MT5. The broker offers both of them as desktop, web and mobile versions (for iOS & Android devices) and makes regular updates.

 

In spite of the number of enhancements made to MT5 lately (and the final introduction of hedging on both desktop and web versions), MetaTrader 4 is still preferred by most brokers and experienced traders. It provides an advanced charting package, lots of technical indicators, extensive back-testing environment and a variety of Expert Advisors (EAs). Thanks to its ease of use, MT4 is also suitable for beginner traders, for they can also find their way around it quite easily.

 

MT4’s successor, MetaTrader 5, allows the execution of orders in several financial markets and stock exchanges through a single trading account. The platform features advanced charting package, trading and analysis tools, alerts, signals, and customizable indicators. Besides, MetaQuites has recently made many significant upgrades to it, such as adding a tool for analyzing exchange markets, news management improvement, and most importantly the hedging feature.

 

For clients who prefer automated trading strategies through Expert Advisors (EAs), FXTM offers a designated forex VPS service, and technical traders can take advantage of the Trading Central technical analysis tool – free of charge. Besides, FXTM offers advanced copy-trading solution, called FXTM Invest.

 

Promotions

FXTM regularly organizes various promotions and trading contests, as it strives to offer its clients the best trading opportunities and to empower their skills and knowledge. These are mainly held by FT Global Limited where Terms & Conditions Apply.

 

At the time of writing this review FT Global Limited offers Loyalty Cashback program, where traders can get $2 – $5 rebates per lot anyone who deposits $10 up to $10000, based on their deposit value. Meanwhile, new clients switching from another broker get $4 for every lot they trade. (T&Cs apply)

 

In addition, FT Global Limited offers a Refer-a-friend bonus of $25 ONCE a referral becomes active (T&Cs apply).

 

Payment methods

 

FXTM offers various secure payment methods, including credit/debit card payments, Bank Wire transfers, and numerous E-wallets, such as Skrill, Neteller, Alsfa-Ckick, WebMoney, Western Union, Payza, dotpay, Yandex, Qiwi,and Baidu Pay. 

 

The above depends on your country of residence. 

 

Conclusion

 

ForexTime is a global and award-winning broker with clients from over 180 countries. It offers a wide array of almost everything: tradable products, trading accounts & platforms, payment methods, execution types, you name it.

 

Pros  Cons
Solid regulation (FCA, CySEC) No major disadvantages
Variety of tradable products (incl. cryptocurrencies in FT Global Limited only) and trading accounts offered  
Tight ECN spreads, low-cost trading
Low minimum initial deposit & commission fees  
Flexible leverage levels offered  
Negative Balance Protection  

 

Country: Cyprus

Regulated by:  CySEC (Cyprus), IFSC (Belize)

Licensed by the Financial Services Board (FSB) of South Africa, with FSP No. 4661

Website: www.forextime.com 

Promotions: 

Loyalty cashback programme

Switch to ForexTime

 

WHY FXTM

✓ Regulated broker.

✓ Advanced risk management and segregation of client funds held in top-tier banks.

✓ SWAP-free option available. 

✓ Leverage up to 1:1000.

✓ Tight spreads starting from 0 pips.

✓ 120+ instruments including currency pairs, Spot Metals, CFDs on Commodity Futures, CFDs on ETF’s and Indices and Share CFDs.

✓  Variety of tailor-made account types to suit the needs of any type of trader. 

✓ Full feature trading platforms available on multiple desktop and mobile devices. 

✓ Various secure and trusted payment methods. Including credit/debit card payments, E-wallets and Bank Wire transfers. 

✓ Investment programs such as FXTM Invest. 

✓ Regular Live and Demo Contests with amazing cash prizes (terms and conditions apply).

✓ Online forex courses and webinars for proper trader education.

✓ Local seminars held in different places around the world. 

✓ Daily in-depth fundamental analysis articles and videos.

✓ Customer Support team that speaks your language.

✓ Cutting edge mobile application to ensure you keep track of the markets at all times. 

Forex
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