I’ve been a huge fan of the concept of cryptocurrency. This is my Coinbase review based on my own personal experience with them and their customer support team. In 2015, I purchased some Bitcoin (BTC). It only took a few months before the value of Bitcoin went up. I noticed on my Coinbase account that they were offering the new cryptocurrency Ethereal (ETH). Since the value of Bitcoin already went up a good amount, I wanted to transfer it to ETH since I could get more shares. Boom or bust. This is where it snowballed into issues with money disappearing. First, let’s look at the main positive aspects of Coinbase.
1. Ease of Use – 5/5
Coinbase is very easy to use. It’s simple and straightforward. They have a really friendly dashboard where they currently have three cryptocurrencies available. Coinbase supports Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereal (ETH), and LiteCoin (LTC). Your portfolio shows your four “wallets” for where it stores your cryptocurrencies and cash. The Bitcoin Vault is the 5th default account where you can store your Bitcoin for safety.
The mobile version (iOS app shown below) is just as friendly. It has everything you need to make trades and track the tickers of the cryptocurrencies. You can also set alerts for your favorite cryptocurrencies to purchase or sell when it hits a certain price point. Combining this with a verified Paypal and Credit Card is convenient for instant transactions. I give them a full 5 out of 5 for ease of use in this Coinbase review.
2. Security – 5/5
“98% of customer funds are stored offline
Offline storage provides an important security measure against theft or loss.
We distribute bitcoin geographically in safe deposit boxes and vaults around the world.”
They are also insured in regards to both your digital currency and the funds in your wallet.
All digital currency that Coinbase holds online is fully insured. This means that if Coinbase were to suffer a breach of its online storage, the insurance policy would pay out to cover any customer funds lost as a result.
If you are a United States resident, your Coinbase USD Wallet is covered by FDIC insurance, up to a maximum of $250,000.
Lastly, Coinbase offers a Bitcoin Vault to keep your cryptocurrency safe. This offers additional security for a peace of mind.
“A vault can receive funds like a normal wallet, but in addition, it prevents funds stored there from being immediately withdrawn by adding additional security steps depending on the security settings you choose. You can also choose to split up ownership between multiple users and email accounts and require a subset of these users to approve of a transaction before it can be created or completed.”
In terms of security, our Coinbase review gives them another 5 out of 5.
3. Speed of Transaction – 4/5
Buying Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency is painfully slow. Coinbase does a semi-decent job about this. People who have never purchased cryptocurrency will be completely baffled by how long these transactions take. I know I was. Standard brokerage account transactions are virtually instant. My most recent purchase of Litecoin is going to take about 7 days. Their standard process through ACH bank transfer takes 4 to 5 business days or one week. This is a common complaint in their forums.
How to get Bitcoin instantly!
Coinbase does have instant transactions available. You have a couple options. Transfer money in advance to your Coinbase Wallet and have it ready to instantly make purchases. Link your credit or debit card to your account. Also, you’ll need to link your PayPal account and a form of ID for instant withdrawals from your account. They need to make this more clear for first-time users. It’s shocking to first-time users on how long the process takes. Equally shocked when I placed a sell order and attempted to transfer some funds back to my bank account.
It’s important to note that linking your Paypal account will require you to send them a picture ID of your driver’s license. Some people may not be comfortable with this. Lastly, linking your credit card will charge you a 3.75% transaction fee. So there’s a price to pay for instant purchases. Not to mentioned a lower limit on how much you can purchase. Since they have the instant option, I’ll give them 3 points for our Coinbase review.
4. Reliability – 3/5
Their reliability needs a ton of work and this is where my issues arise with Coinbase. It’s not uncommon to see their servers having trouble or even offline. This is a huge issue during trading hours and this fact alone brings them down to a 3 out of 5. However, they seem to be working on their servers constantly. This is where you can see the live status of their servers. Today, I was trying to add another credit card to my account and they have an issue with incorrectly giving CVN verification errors. Then it locks you out. On the plus side, they are aware of this. So, I guess that’s three points for being able to address their issues quickly and letting the public know that they are fixing them. This is where they get their +3 points in reliability for our Coinbase review.
5. Communication – 4/5
Finally, let’s look at communication and our $100,000 mistake for the last part of our Coinbase review.
There is no phone number. -1 points.
For something as big as financial transactions that can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, why is there no phone support? They only have email support (Email address: email@example.com). No phone number to contact. They have a support center, which is just a collection of articles that will only help with basic high level questions. So what happens when your money disappears into thin air?
Their email support responds within hours . +4 points.
I made my first transaction in my Coinbase account by selling my Bitcoin and then transferring it to my checking account. Then I transferred it back into my ETH wallet to purchase ETH when it was hovering around $1. It would have been easier if I could just directly take the sales and purchase ETH, but that wasn’t possible. The problem arose when I saw the money debited from my Coinbase wallet, but never saw it in my checking account. I waited and waited to see if it was maybe a delay and would show up in my checking account eventually. It didn’t. Finally, I emailed firstname.lastname@example.org for some help. Their automated canned response is below.
Seriously? The support center isn’t going to help resolve this issue with my missing funds.
Fortunately, they found out the problem.
Apparently I signed up using my business credentials and their system received an error. What’s confusing to me is that my business bank account is indeed under my own name. It is also under the name of my business, so I guess I can empathize that this was a legitimate reason. I really appreciated them resolving this in a timely manner. However, an error as large as this should have been noted! The two cancelled transactions never appeared on my account. Instead, they look like they never happened. Where did the money go? Vanished into thin air from my perspective when looking at my Coinbase dashboard. “Regarding your BTC sale, that was also cancelled, but the funds were not correctly credited back to your account.” Again, where did those funds go then?!
This experience left me questioning other mistakes that could possibly happen. I wasn’t challenging their integrity, but more so their reliability. Due to this mistake, I didn’t want to do further business with them at the time and missed out on my $1 share of ETH that was cancelled. I had an order for over 1000 shares. Today ETH sits at $181. 1000 shares would have been worth $181,000 today.
Coinbase review conclusion – “A-” Rating
I would recommend Coinbase. They are secure and insured. The website is relatively easy to use and painless. Coinbase app is also very straightforward. Remember to link your Paypal account and credit or debit cards for instant transactions. You don’t want to be asking why your transaction is going to take 5 days. Coinbase needs a customer support phone number. Finally, you’ll have to settle for emailing them at email@example.com or going to their support center. As long as you approach everything right the first time, you should have a 5/5 experience.
What do you think? Should I buy ETH today? Would you sign up after reading this Coinbase review?
Coinbase – Coinbase is headquartered in San Francisco and is the best platform for buying and selling digital currency. Instantly purchase Bitcoin, Ethereal, and Litecoin. Coinbase is secure and insured. 98% of customer funds are stored offline. Offline storage provides an important security measure against theft or loss. Read more about their security here. Sign up for free and get $10 of free Bitcoin when you buy or sell $100 of Bitcoin. If you’re interested in cryptocurrency, then Coinbase is your platform.