IS CoinBase Bitcoin Really that Great?

Will CoinBase Cement Itself as the Best?

Coinbase has millions from investors, but does it offer anything that sets it apart?

What are the best options for cryptocurrency exchange?

Many people argue that CoinBase is the best, probably due to investor support. Even with this, the United States has been subjecting bitcoin companies to more regulatory scrutiny.  This is partly due to the fact that it’s a Silicon Valley based company.  Even with all the scandals and headline stories the United States is one of the most stable regimes at the present moment. Companies that wish to operate within the United States must comply with its rule of law. Many other bitcoin exchanges are subject to much less scrutiny by US standards.

CoinBase is always mentioned as the best exchange, but what sets it apart? CoinBase popped up on our radar a year ago and it has been shaping up really well since breaking onto the scene.

While we prefer exchanges that have low hassle in terms of verification processes CoinBase will benefit many segments of the bitcoin community. Namely those that need a high profile exchange with reputable backers for stability of the exchange. Not to say that the risk of the exchange collapsing is not there it always is.

CoinBase is a bitcoin wallet and exchange company headquartered in San Francisco California. Coinbase was founded in June 2012 and enrolled in the summer 2012 Y Combinator program. In October 2012 the company launched the ability to buy and sell bitcoin through bank transfers.

  U.S. Users Buying Bitcoin Instantly with Debit Cards

CoinBase recently announced the beta launch of a new feature that will handle the purchase of bitcoin instantly with US-based debit cards. The feature is already available for European users of CoinBase who can purchase bitcoin through credit and debit cards. This feature is not yet live but being rolled out after Beta testing is complete presumably.

Setting up an account is simple. Sign up for a CoinBase account. This will give you a secure place to store your bitcoin, and easy payment methods to convert your local currency into or out of bitcoin. Connect Your Bank Account After you sign up, connect your bank account. You’ll need to complete some identity verification steps before you can use the account. Once the verification steps are complete, you can start a purchase. Then you’re ready to begin trading on CoinBase and have capabilities to Buy and Sell Bitcoin.

CoinBase Wallet and Exchange

CoinBase has a user friendly interface making it easier to navigate

Obviously registering an account is straightforward however the most involved part of this is verifying your personal information as well as connecting your CoinBase account with a bank account. You must reside in a CoinBase licensing approved state they support USD, EUR, GBP, CAD and BTC currencies. For customers in the US, the USD wallet is only available to states where Coinbase is either licensed to engage in money transmission. CoinBase is supported in 32 countries. Currently most states within the US are CoinBase supported except for Florida, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, Virginia, Michigan, Kentucky, Minnesota, Wyoming, Alaska and Hawaii.

Image source: CoinBase.com

Pros:

  • Easy to Use interface
  • Secure, trustworthy and US based
  • They pay your transaction fees when you move your Bitcoin around

Cons:

  • Fees of about 1%
  • 3-5 day lag time for initial purchase
  • Not intended to be used for trading. (We Recommend Bitfinex for this)
  • Will occasionally cancel orders for ‘high-risk’ behavior (suspected motive is really to not honor the price)

CoinBase Takeaways

CoinBase has advantages in terms of ease of use, legitimacy through high profile backers, and security. You link a bank account to the San Francisco-based start-up, and then send them money to buy Bitcoin at the currently offered price. It’s user friendly and easy to navigate.

The main drawback I see is the same thing that gives it credibility ironically, is requiring full verification to use it. Bitcoin has part of its roots in being a way to move away from highly regulated mainstream banking by giving the user base complete power without interference from traditional high powered institutions such as the mega banking-mega corp industrial complex. Requiring verification and syncing a bank account make this exchange/wallet tied to the official banking system indirectly. Those who seek another avenue of financial instruments away from the traditional mainstream may be put off but those who can overlook these restrictions may find benefit using CoinBase as one of their exchanges and wallets for holding Bitcoins.

We have not yet verified our account there. Other exchanges we are using such as BTCe and Bitfinex allow partial capabilities without full verification which we like. CoinBase caters to those crypto coiners seeking protection of large institutionally backed platform. More adventurous more veteran coiners may be better suited trading and operating on exchanges that offer more flexibility in features and regulations and may be better off using other services less restrictive.

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