• Coinbase Login | Buy Coins At Coinbase

    Introduction

    Coinbase is one of the most popular Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges. It has offered a reliable on-ramp for BTC since October 2012 and started adding altcoins in 2016.

    Coinbase is secure, has a good record as a custodian, but falls short in the privacy department. It also has some of the highest fees in the business.

     

    This review aims to present the most in-depth analysis of the Coinbase exchange. It scrutinizes Coinbase’s background, security record, services, user friendliness, accessibility, and costs.

    But let me be very clear from the get-go: We do not recommend ANYONE use Coinbase. It’s respect for your privacy is beyond atrocious and there are plenty of alternatives worth using.

     

     QUICK TIP: The best place to store coins after you buy is not on an exchange. You need to buy a hardware wallet like a Ledger or Trezor to store them yourself.

    BUY COINS AT COINBASE

    Pros and Cons

     

    Pros

    Cons

     Clean inerface that is easy to
     use
    Overly intrusive KYC
    Fast KYC
    Extremily high fees
    Lots of coins to choose from - for Bitcoiners, this is a con
     Owns and utilizes a chainalysis company linked to spyware rackets
     
    Tries to sell its analytics to the IRS and the DEA
    The platform goes down and prohibits withdrawals often - stuck money
    Often locks users accounts without any explanation and does not return the money
     
    To millions of bitcoiners, Coinbase is the first exposure to financial sovereignty. It has been around since late 2012 and has since sold and bought bitcoins. Coinbase is also known for its intuitive and straight-forward.

    You don’t have to think too hard about how anything works. You make payments with your credit card, receive the coins in your wallet, and may then transact. Playing with the Coinbase wallet is very educational for later stages of the rabbit hole. As a feature, you get to pay your friends by their name (and not by their BTC address).

     

    Another pro of Coinbase is that it has a great record for security. Though hackers have targeted the exchange in the past, they never managed to steal any funds. So if you’re going to use any custodian, then Coinbase is one of the safest choices.

     

    Last but not least, up to $250.000 of every user’s individual funds are covered by FDIC insurance. This is yet another reason why institutions and merchants should use Coinbase. Regular users are also insured – yet it’s USD that everyone would receive, not bitcoins.

     

    Coinbase’s biggest con is privacy. The exchange tracks your transactions and it’s hard to escape its panopticon. In 2019, Coinbase has even hired employees from Hacking Team. The organization is notorious for helping oppressive authoritarian regimes surveil and arrest dissidents.

     

    In plain language, this means that Coinbase conspires against Bitcoin’s anonymity. They want to associate Bitcoin addresses with identities. So every satoshi entering the Coinbase exchange receives rigorous blockchain analysis. Also, it’s likely that even transactions out of Coinbase get tracked. Transacting bitcoins on Coinbase may be worse for privacy than even PayPal. And it’s because you also compromise the privacy of people who transacted with you.

     

    Then there’s the issue of high fees. Coinbase’s convenience and ease of use come at a cost: when you buy bitcoins, the fee is 1.49% to 3.99%. The lower fee is for US bank accounts and a Coinbase USD wallet. The higher fee is for debit cards and the Coinbase card. Some more conditions and thresholds are in place depending on your bank and region. If the wallet interface is simple and clear, then the fee structure isn’t.

    The last notable con of Coinbase concerns the nature of custodianship. Are the coins still yours if you need to wait for Coinbase to check transactions? When you try to move your coins from the Coinbase Wallet to your hardware wallet, delays can happen. And if you try to transact with blacklisted addresses, your funds may get stopped.

     

    The exchange does some checking and registers your receiving address. This means that your coins are still tracked for a few steps (about 5 transactions). Coinbase will claim that they do it for customer security. In reality, you’re surveilled by their financial panopticon. This mechanism is against the purpose of Bitcoin and permissionless transactions in general. It also threatens Bitcoin’s fungibility.

    Is Coinbase Safe?

    Coinbase is not FDIC insured and only insures against hacks and theft. Coinbase states in their legal policies that it “carries crime insurance that protects a portion of digital assets held across our storage systems against losses from theft….our policy does not cover any losses resulting from unauthorized access to your personal Coinbase…account(s) due to a breach. That said, Coinbase has never had a breach or loss from a hack and their security team is known to be among some of the best in the industry.

    Coinbase Background

    Coinbase started operating in late 2012 and has since expanded in 32 countries. It services hundreds of jurisdictions and has a record of being compliant with law. In March 2017, Coinbase has obtained BitLicense – a mandatory step to operate in New York. BitLicense has a reputation for its strictness, as only compliant exchanges get it. Coinbase is also known to report users’ financial data to the IRS.

     

    As of 2017, Coinbase’s capital exceeds $1 billion. Early investors include Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures, Andreesssen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, and Ribbit Capital. Later on, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, New York Stock Exchange, and USAA have also joined the list.

     

    Coinbase’s two founding members are Brian Armstrong (current CEO) and Fred Ehrsam. They borrowed the company’s name from the Bitcoin coinbase (a technical term which designates the first transaction in every Bitcoin block, which transfers newly-minted coins to the lucky miner) and grew beyond initial expectations.

     

    At first, Coinbase serviced users looking to buy bitcoins with linked bank accounts. But in a couple of months, the exchange also launched merchant tools. This enabled businesses to accept BTC payments and receive fiat. In those early days, it was a great tool to increase awareness and adoption.

    Coinbase has been a Bitcoin-only business until 2016. It was on July 21st 2016 that the company announced that it would support Ethereum. Since then, the company has kept on distancing itself from the values of Bitcoin. Instead, it embraced “crypto” and the “blockchain” industry. It also started financing more non-Bitcoin projects.

     

    Rebranding the Coinbase Exchange as GDAX (Global Digital Assets Exchange) marked an important first step. Afterwards, more altcoins got listed: Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum Classic, and so on. Coinbase’s shift towards the “blockchain industry” also became evident in the tweets of CEO Brian Armstrong. Observers will notice that he rarely mentions Bitcoin and often refers to it under the larger umbrella of “cryptocurrency”.