As the leading mainstream cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, Coinbase has become a standard on-ramp for new crypto investors. Coinbase offers a wide variety of products including cryptocurrency investing, an advanced trading platform, custodial accounts for institutions, a wallet for retail investors, and its own U.S. dollar stable-coin.
Coinbase was founded in 2012 and is a fully regulated and licensed cryptocurrency exchange in 40 U.S. states and territories. Coinbase initially only allowed for Bitcoin trading but quickly began adding cryptocurrencies that fit its decentralized criteria.
Its list expanded to include Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, XRP, and many others with the promise of more as long as its requirements are met.
- Solid variety of altcoin choices: Coinbase offers over 25 cryptocurrencies for investment, trading, and also staking.
- Extremely simple user interface: Coinbase is perhaps one of the easiest on-ramps to crypto investing. It is easy to sign up and buy cryptocurrencies within a matter of minutes. It also has a learning program that pays users cryptocurrency to learn more about how cryptocurrency works.
- High liquidity: Coinbase consistently ranks among highly liquid exchanges. This protects the investor from serious price slippage in an already volatile market.
- High fees when not using Coinbase Pro: Coinbase has high fees compared to some of its largest competitors. Many newcomers who use the standard Coinbase platform will be subject to these fees unless they use Coinbase Pro instead. Coinbase Pro is free to switch to and has lower fees and more features that could be overwhelming to new crypto traders.
- Users do not control their own wallet keys: This is consistent with many centralized exchanges but it still remains a con for all of them. When a user purchases cryptocurrency on an exchange it is stored in a wallet that Coinbase has control over. This means that the user does not have full autonomous control over their holdings which, in essence, is against the ethos of decentralized currency or finance. This can be avoided if the investor withdraws their currency to their own personal wallet, preferably a hard wallet.
- Not a large enough variety of altcoins for altcoin traders: Coinbase has a great variety of solid altcoin options for newer investors to dabble with, but those interested in seriously trading altcoins will not find too many here. That said, Coinbase plans on continuously adding more altcoins over time.
Cryptocurrencies Available on Coinbase
Coinbase has a solid number of options to invest and trade in and has plans to add more to the list. The following currencies are listed right now:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- XRP (XRP)
- Chainlink (LINK)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision (BSV) (Send Only)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- EOS (EOS)
- Tezos (XTZ)
- Stellar Lumens (XLM)
- USD Coin (USDC)
- Cosmos (ATOM)
- Dash (DASH)
- Ethereum Classic (ETC)
- Zcash (ZEC)
- Maker (MKR)
- Compound (COMP)
- Basic Attention Token (BAT)
- Algorand (ALGO)
- OMG Network (OMG)
- Dai (DAI)
- 0x (ZRX)
- Kyber Network (KNC)
- Band Protocol (BAND)
- Augur (REP)
- Orchid (OXT)
- Trade Experience
Trading on Coinbase is an extremely easy process and geared toward a beginner. The platform can also be accessed through your android or iOS devices. Coinbase does not offer any downloadable trading software and it is all browser-based, including its more advanced trading platform, Coinbase Pro.
When you log in you are immediately shown your portfolio balance and its performance in a selection of time frames like one hour, 24 hours, one week, and one year.
A banner above your portfolio balance has a “Buy crypto” button where you can enter a dollar value and place market orders for whichever crypto you choose that Coinbase has available. This button also brings up the options to sell or convert your crypto or even set up recurring orders every day, every week, on the 1st and 15th, or once a month.