Coinbase is a secure online platform that allows users to buy, sell, transfer and store cryptocurrencies. The crypto exchange has its headquarters in San Francisco, California. The platform currently offers to buy and sell services in 32 countries. However, its cryptocurrency wallet is available in over 190 nations.
The exchange also boasts over 20 million users around the globe with over $150 billion in digital currencies exchanged so far. In March of 2018, the platform announced its intention of adding support for ERC20 tokens.
The beginning of Coinbase
It was launched in June of 2012 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsan. Ben Reeves, the co-founder of Blockchain.info was also part of the team but left the project after differences arose between him and Amstrong on how the Coinbase wallet was supposed to operate.
In May of 2013, the company received a $5 million investment from Union Square Ventures making it the highest Bitcoin funded project as of that time.
In December of the same year, the exchange received a $25 million investment from Andreessen Horowitz, USV and Ribbit Capital.
The exchange began as a digital wallet where users would store their BTC online. Then, later on, it decided to venture into the brokerage space where users could buy and sell bitcoins.
As of 2018, the exchange is the largest broker of cryptocurrencies in the world.
Coinbase currently has two main products:
- GDAX (Global Digital Asset Exchange) – it records every transaction including the price levels and volumes of all crypto coins offered on the platform.
- API – a platform that helps developers build apps and merchants accept payments in cryptocurrency.
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States.
The user-friendliness of Coinbase has boosted its popularity
New users will find the 3.99% fee charged by the Coinbase when using a credit or debit card to buy tokens to be favorable when compared to other exchanges.
Also, most users find Coinbase to be simple to use easy to open an account. A new user needs to visit the website and open an account. Then they can choose their preferred mode of payment and start buying coins.
Setting up an account on Coinbase
Sign up: The first step to owning an account on Coinbase is by signing up. This will require an email address and you will need to create a password.
Private or Business account: After signing up, Coinbase will send you an email in order for you to confirm your email address. After you have confirmed this, you will need to select between an individual and a business account.
Telephone number verification: The next step will be the verification of your telephone number. Coinbase works with 2 Facto Authentification in order to further protect the account of their users.
Setting up of Payment method: With various payment options available for payments on Coinbase, the next step will be to select which options suit you best. The two most widely used options include; bank transfer, bank wire, bank transfer, and credit card purchases.
Bank transfers most take 1 to 4 days in the US while in the EU, SEPA could take 1 to 3 days for the transfer to be confirmed.
Coinbase will then send about 3 small test to and from your account to verify it.
Recently, they have also launched a free PayPal withdrawal option from their platform.
Ready for usage: After the above procedure has been completed, you can now buy any of the cryptocurrencies available on the exchange. After purchase, you will also be offered with a wallet where the coins can be stored on the exchange.
Tokens supported on the exchange
Coinbase currently supports a handful of coins among which include:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Ethereum Classic (ETC)
- 0x (ZRX)
The most anticipated Coinbase listing
One of the most anticipated Coinbase listings is XRP. For years now, many have continually looked forward to Coinbase support for Ripple (XRP). This anticipation is of great significance that in December of 2017, Ripple saw its price move from under $0.30 to near $4 based on rumors of Coinbase support for the token.
These rumors have continued over the months and whenever it sparks, the price of Ripple takes a move.
Recently, Coinbase has announced that it will be listing 31 new coins among which will be 4 ERC20 tokens Civic (CVC), district0x (DNT), Loom Network (LOOM), and Decentraland (MANA).
Many believe the time is now for Ripple (XRP) as it is currently the second largest coin by market cap. Also, the huge interest that is continually being showed by Coinbase clients could see an XRP support on the exchange
Some of the prominent features of Coinbase include:
- Buying and selling of virtual currencies on the exchange is relatively easy.
- Applications on the exchange are built on API.
- Facilitates free sending and receiving of crypto between merchants, online wallets and friends.
- The exchange takes security and backups seriously.
- It’s a one-stop shop wherein a single interface; the exchange offers an exchange, a wallet, and merchant tools.
Using Coinbase offers the following advantages:
- Users can make insured Bitcoin deposits
- There is an instant buy feature available.
- Using for beginners is easy.
- Being one of the most famous exchanges, it’s highly liquid.
- Users have access to the top crypto coins including Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Disadvantages of using Coinbase include:
- Limited modes of payment
- The platform offers only five crypto coins.
- Active monitoring of user accounts.
- Because the exchange works in unison with financial regulators, users have to pay taxes on profits made.
Recently, Coinbase was given the green light by U.S watchdogs to list an additional five crypto coins. If the move comes to fruition, it will make the platform one of the first federally regulated exchanges to trade virtual currencies regulators see as securities.
The go-ahead comes after FIRA and the SEC approved the platform to purchase three asset management ventures. The three companies include Keystone Capital Corp, Venovate Marketplace Inc, and Digital Wealth LLC.
Consequently, since these businesses are under federal oversight, this decision will allow Coinbase to offer tokens that authorities see as securities.