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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  

 

XM

XM Review
Trader's rating 3.4
Editor's rating 4.7

Trading Accounts

 

Account type  Minimum deposit  Minimum trade size  Maximum leverage  Average Spreads
Micro  $5  0.01 1:500 1.7 pip on EUR/USD
Standard  $5 0.01 1:500 1.7 pip on EUR/USD
Zero  $100 0.01 1:500 0.1 pips on EUR/USD + $7 / lot (round trip) 

 

XM offers its clients three types to choose from: Micro, Standard and Zero. You may choose from commission-free trading (in Micro and Standard accounts) or tighter spreads, involving commission fees and higher initial deposit (Zero account). The broker offers high leverage levels and floating spreads. Beginners can sign up for Micro accounts with as little as $5, and micro lots are available for trade on all accounts.


What is more, swap-free (Islamic) accounts are available, designated for clients who are not willing to earn interest for religious reasons.


The Company. Security of Funds

 

Company Country Regulation
Trading Point of Financial Instruments Ltd. Cyprus  CySEC
Trading Point of Financial Instruments PTY Ltd. Australia ASIC
     

Based on the sunny island of Cyprus, XM offers great trading conditions for trading in a wide range of instruments, including currency trading, CFDs on commodities, indices, precious metals, energies and stocks on two trading platforms (MT4 and MT5). What is more, XM provides ultra-fast execution (99.35% of all trades executed in less than 1 second), as well as awesome bonuses & promotions.

 

XM is a brand name of Trading Point Holdings Ltd, which wholly owns Trading Point of Financial Instruments Pty Ltd (XM Australia) and Trading Point of Financial Instruments Ltd (XM Cyprus).

  

CySEC and ASIC apply certain rules and requirements to regulated firms, which are not as stringent as those in the US, for instance, however they provide a good level of credibility. Besides, licensed brokers 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 Cyprus are covered by compensation schemes as additional guarantee to clients funds. All deposits with a Cyprus regulated forex broker up to EUR 20,000 per client are guaranteed by the  Investor Compensation Fund.

 

Currently, however, Australian forex brokers are not covered by any compensation scheme.

 

The XM group also includes Belize-registered XM Global, as well as Trading Point of Financial Instruments UK Ltd (XM UK), a company authorized by the Financial Conduct Austhority in the UK. It currently operates Trading.com brand. The latter is also expected to launch in the US, as XM has also applied for authorization with the National Futures Association (NFA). 

 

 

Trading Conditions


Minimum Initial Deposit

In order to open an account with XM, traders have to invest just $5. Such low minimum initial amount is rather attractive, as typically brokers require $100 - $300 as a start.


Spreads & Commissions

This broker offers variable spreads. The typical ones on commission-free accounts amount to 1.7 pips on EUR/USD. According to us, the conditions on the Zero account are better: spreads averaged 0.1 pips on EUR/USD and commission $3.5 per standard lot traded (per side). So, basically trading costs on the Zero account amount to around 0.8 pips, commission included, which is a great offer. What is more, you can open a Zero account with just $100.


Leverage
XM offers flexible leverage between 1:1 to 1:500. Using leverage means that you can trade positions larger than the amount of money in your trading account. Leverage amount is expressed as a ratio, for instance 50:1, 100:1, or 500:1. Assuming that you have $1,000 in your trading account and you trade ticket sizes of 500,000 USD/JPY, your leverage will equate 500:1.


Trading Platforms

 

When trading with this broker, you will be offered both MetaQuuotes;s platforms - the Metatrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5).

 

MT4 is an internationally acclaimed trading software, offering a full array of trading tools and features: more than 50 built-in technical indicators, advanced charting package, a wide range of Expert Advisors (EAs) and extensive back-testing options for them. Traders can download ready-made or create their own EAs and let the program do all the work, no human emotions involved. The MT4 with XM is availavle in all forms and shapes: desktop, web, and mobile.

What is more, XM provides MT4 MultiTerminal, which offers a practical and convenient way to manage multiple accounts simultaneously from a single interface (PAMM).

 

Recently MetaQuotes has been putting a stronger emphasis on the MT5: the hedging function was finally added to it and all versions of the platform have been ehanced. As a result, the number of brokers that support the platform has been on the increase. XM also followed suit and added it to its offerings. 


Besides, free Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting is offered to both new and existing customers of XM who deposit a minimum of $5,000 and trade at least 5 round turn lots per month. VPS hosting allows the execution of orders 24 hours, 5 days a week.


Promotions

 - Free VPS for clients who maintain a balance (Equity-Credit) USD 5,000 or currency equivalent. No end date for this promotion;

 - $30 Non-Deposit Trading Bonus for new clients only. No end date for this promotion;

 - The two-tier deposit bonus offers 50% deposit bonus up to $500 and 20% deposit bonus up to $5,000. No end date for this promotion;

 - The XM Loyalty Program offers the clients XM Points (XMP) per lot traded. These XMP can be redeemed at any time for credit bonus which can be used for trading purposes only. No end date for this promotion.

 

*Clients registered under Trading Point of Financial Instruments Ltd are not eligible for bonuses. 

 


Deposit/Withdraw Methods


XM accepts the most commonly used Local Payment methods today including Credit/Debit Card, Neteller, Skrill, Bank Wire Transfer, etc. Their coverage is quite extensive and adds more flexibility on adding funds into the account


XM covers all deposit and withdrawal transfer fees for payments made via Neteller, Moneybookers and all major credit cards (including VISA, VISA Electron, MasterCard, Maestro and China UnionPay). Additionally, all deposits and withdrawals above 200 USD processed by wire transfer are also included in our zero fees policy.


Conclusion


XM is a EU award-winning broker that offers wide range of trading products and account types on two great platforms under competitive conditions. What is more, it provides Negative Balance Protection, as well as lucrative bonuses to its clients. To sum up the above, here are the advantages and drawbacks with regards to this broker:

 

Pros  Cons
Well-regulated (ASIC and CySEC licenses) No significant disadvantages
Negative Balance Protection  
Low trading costs on the Zero account  
MT4 and MT5 available  
Attractive Promotions  
Fast execution speed  

 

Why XM?

- Licensed in UK and Australia
- Tight Spreads from 1 Pip
- Leverage up to 888:1
- Deposit bonus up to 5000 USD
- 24 Hour Support
- No Requotes
- Personal Account Managers
- Automated Trading
- Loyalty Program
- Phone Trading
- Hedging Allowed
- Islamic Account

Registered with

- FSA, UK 
- BaFin, Germany 
- CNMV, Spain
- AFM, Netherlands
- FI, Sweden
- FIN, Finland
- PSZÁF, Hungary
- CONSOB, Italy
- ACP, France
- KNF, Poland

Forex
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