In our previous review we have recommended the simple yet multifunctional online brokerage platform Cubits. Today we’d like to introduce Coinbase, the heavyweight of the Bitcoin brokers.
In 2015, the company managed to attract venture investors. Their $75mil funding allowed Coinbase to leave the competitors far behind. The platform positions itself as the leader among Bitcoin brokers in the U.S. as well as worldwide. And it has every right to do so.
Out of all brokers available in the marketplace, Coinbase appears to be the most complete product. The company provides brokerage services in the U.S. and Canada, as well as in 26 European countries. Users can access a very liquid Bitcoin dollar exchange market. Euro and pound sterling markets are also available.
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All Bitcoins are insured against theft, 97% of all digital currency is kept in a personal offline “cold storage”. U.S. customers are able to link Coinbase to their bank accounts and deposit/withdraw money for free. EU clients can transfer money via SEPA, while users from the UK are welcome to use their credit/debit card as well as bank transfer services.
Coinbase preaches Bitcoin legalization. The company aims to make online payments as secure as possible. In order to reach their goal, the developers work closely together with regulators. Such cooperation requires the platform to meet certain KYC/AML standards.
Not every member of the Bitcoin community is happy with such alliance, but the company owners believe that their approach will allow quicker Bitcoin adoption by the U.S. government and will make their customers feel more secure and protected.
How to open an account
In order to open an account, you will need to provide the system with your full name and confirm email address. Once you’ve submitted a verified bank account, you will be able to purchase Bitcoins.
The platform operates via two-tier system. If you wish to upgrade your account to tier 2 and increase your transaction limit, you will need to confirm your address and phone number, and enter the last 4 digits of your social security number. After completing a questionnaire to confirm your identity and 30 days wait time, you will become a tier 2 user.
Coinbase offers the most robust security system in the marketplace. You won’t need to worry about your coins being stolen. Private keys responsible for accessing “cold storage” are fragmented and stored between hard drives and paper. There is also a backup for every piece should any of them get lost.
Coinbase provides a number of customizable protection methods including two-factor authentication upon login and withdrawal. Users are able to set a transaction limit. Account owner receives a notification once the limit is reached.
We’ve got some good news for mobile users. Unlike Cubits, Coinbase took time to create an outstanding mobile app for Android and iOS, allowing the users to access the full functionality of the desktop platform. During the initial sign-up, the account is secured by two-factor authentication. You will also be required to confirm your email. PIN protects the app from unauthorized access. Another important feature is disabling your app if your phone has been stolen or lost.
The Coinbase professional support team is happy to answer your emails 24/7. The fastest reply is normally possible during weekdays. Another communication option is the instant chat available on the U.S. working hours.
Don’t let the regulators involvement deter you from trying out the platform. Unless you’re looking to use Bitcoin for money laundering or to hide your wealth, Coinbase could be the perfect solution for you. The company takes user protection very seriously while making your experience as comfortable as possible. Who knows, Coinbase might as well be the perfect Bitcoin broker we’ve all dreamed about.