Coinbase is a digital/cryptocurrency exchange founded in June 2012 with its headquarters based in San Francisco. Services offered include the arrangements of transactions between buyers and sellers for a percentage-based commission payable on all executed deals on fiat, Litecoin, bitcoin, and Ethereum currencies in more than 32 countries as well as bitcoin storage and transaction in over 190 countries.
Founded by Fred Ehrsam, Brian Armstrong and Ben Reeves, the company originally launched services to trade bitcoin via bank transfers, after Reeves parted ways with the team. Coinbase received investment worth US$25 million near the end of 2013 from Union Square Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and Rabbit Capital. The company enjoyed massive growth and by 2012 had over 1 million users. During 2014, Coinbase formed several partnerships with Dish Network, Expedia, Dell, Time Inc and Overstock, which enabled these firm to accept payments in bitcoin. In the same year, the company also added their bitcoin payment processing platform to PayPal, Braintree and Stripe.
Coinbase received a US$75 million investment led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson, from several banks and the USAA and launched its US base bitcoin exchanged named Coinbase Exchange, while it also started offering services to traders in Canada in 2015. The closure of Vogogo in Canada led to Coinbase’s announcement of ending services in August, and by May 2016 it rebranded its Coin Exchange to GDAX – Global Digital Asset Exchange. One of the highlights in 2017 was obtaining a BitLicense to trade in Litecoin and Ethereum, granted by the New York State Department of Financial Services. Near the end of 2017, the US Internal Revenue Service ordered Coinbase to declare users that spent $20,000 or more during the year. Approximately 13,000 Coinbase customer were affected and warned that the company would provide the IRS with their details.
In 2018, Coinbase informed its clients of an early stage project titled Coinbase Ventures that would focus on cryptocurrency and blockchain related companies. Coinbase Ventures announced in May that it invested in Compound Labs, which marked the start-up of Ethereum and by January 2019 all trading in Ethereum classic ended due to the suspicion of an attack on the network.
Licensing & Regulation
Coinbase complies with the regulations and laws in all jurisdictions it trades in and in the USA, Coinbase Inc operating as Coinbase Pro and Coinbase are regulated and licensed in most jurisdictions. The company is also registered with FinCEN as a money service business and complies with consumer protection and financial services laws such as the USA Patriot Act, as well as the Bank Secrecy Act requiring Coinbase to maintain records of all transactions for five years, report certain transactions and to verify the identities of all clients. Coinbase focus on providing traders with the safest possible platform and as part of its GDPR efforts continues to improve its management practices and internal data controls. The company also strongly recommend that all clients should activate 2-factor authentication on all devices.
Coinbase offers both an Android and iOS mobile app. The iOS app is available on the App Store and available free to all iPhone users. The easiest way to download the app is to visit the App Store from your iPhone and to search for the Coinbase – Bitcoin Wallet app.
Android users can visit the Google Play store from their mobile device and need to locate the Bitcoin Wallet-Coinbase app. With the company concentrating on reliable, fast and efficient mobile services, currently, the apps are only available to Android and iOS mobile devices. The website offers assistance and tutorials providing mobile users with information on how to verify their identities on the mobile app, payment method additions and purchasing via the 3D Secure card.
Brand & Functionality
Coinbase has served over 20 million clients in the 32 countries supported and had successfully completed transactions worth $150 billion in digital currencies. The company’s goal is to provide the world with an open financial system not controlled by a single company or country, while it prioritises being the most trusted and easiest to use. Coinbase’s values are based on clear communication, positive energy via its optimistic outlook regarding the future and creating solutions instead of criticism as well as offering high quality serves, completing each task with pride and focussing on the 20% in order to gain the 80% of the impact. The list of supported countries include Singapore – Asia, Australia, Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Spain, Sweden, Slovenia, San Marino, Slovakia, Portugal, Norway, Poland, Romania, Netherlands, Malta, Monaco, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Ireland, Hungary, Isle of Man, Iceland, Greece, Guernsey, France, Gibraltar, Estonia, Finland, Denmark, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Austria, Andorra, Belgium and Croatia. With Coinbase supporting most of the popular digital currencies, registering a new account takes only a few minutes.
Registration starts by selecting the Get Started option. Two options are available including individual and business accounts. The individual option requires the applicant’s name, email and a password and the account is only available to persons 18 years or older. Once completed a verification email arrive in the potential client’s inbox almost instantly and the link attached confirms the email address.
Once registered, new traders get to select from country-specific payment methods, the available selections include payment methods for UK, Australian, Canadian, Singapore, European and US traders. The minimum deposit required is 50 in most currencies, and as a new client, you get to select from payment methods such as credit cards or bank transfers. By selecting the credit card option, a screenshot of the card is needed. Once the payment method is set up, the new client can purchase cryptocurrencies. Any associated service fees will be identified by Coinbase prior to the purchase.
Coinbase offers several different product options, including Coinbase Pro, Coinbase Commerce, Coinbase Prime and developer platform. By selecting Coinbase Pro, individuals gain access to trade in several digital assets. The benefits of Coinbase Pro are that no fee on maker trades is offered and volume-based discount are available on taker fees that could be as low as 0.01%. Coinbase Professional trading offers access to a diversified liquidity pool via a professional trading platform. The Pro offers advanced trading services such as OTC block trading and margin finance. The fee structure at Coinbase features a taker fee or 0.30% on $0 up to $10 million, 0.20% on $10 million up to $100 million and $100 million or higher 0.10%. Cryptocurrency trading includes Litecoin LTC, Bitcoin Cash BCH, Bitcoin BTC and Ethereum ETH.
Coinbase ensures fair trading via a strict set of trading rules. This allows traders only able to place an order once they have a relevant asset or an available balance that are sufficient to cover both the value of the order as well as the fees. Once an order is placed that quantity of the asset is subject to hold and the trader gets to place the order as a market, stop or limit order. Market orders are used to sell or purchase the quantity specified at the price of the existing order book. Limit orders are used to sell or purchase the specified quantity at a specified price.
Coinbase is constantly looking for ways to ensure clients enjoy safe and convenient services and at the start of 2018 Barclays announced its banking deal with the major cryptocurrency exchange. The deal provided Coinbase with access to a UK lender bank, and it means that the trader was also granted an e-money license, offering clients a faster payment scheme. Other banking options available include Bank Transfers, Wire Transfers a well as Debit and Credit Cards.
Coinbase offers comprehensive online support managed by an active supports team. The website offers a detailed FAQ section with answers on all the most generally asked questions as well as several guides. The most popular customer support service remains the real-time chat feature enabling users to submit requests directly to the support team, while other communication options also include email as well telephone assistance offered via a number displayed for US customers. The customer supports team serves well over 20 million users and enjoys quite a good rating.
Coinbase provides online traders with safe, secure access to trading, selling or purchasing, and utilising cryptocurrencies in more than 33 countries, while the company serves over 20 million professionals, institutions, and customers. In 2018, Coinbase also added several services such as Coinbase Prime and Coinbase Custody, plus by adding Caspian, clients had access to the best elements. The benefits included the extensive market data of Coinbase as well as a deep pool of liquidity that perfectly combined with the seamless trading tools offered by Caspian.