Coinbase Review for Canada 2022

Making Crypto Simple

Coinbase is one of the first crypto exchanges on the market, launched with the goal of bringing cryptos to a larger audience.

coinbase logo

In this review, we’ll examine Coinbase’s path to success and explore how the crypto initiative transformed itself into one of the world’s most trusted exchanges (even in Canada, as mentioned in our comparison of the best cryptocurrency exchanges in Canada). We’ll take a look at the platform’s security protocols, financial products, fees and discuss the prerequisites for opening a Coinbase trading account. Let’s get started!

About the Coinbase Exchange

Coinbase Global, Inc., the company behind the popular crypto exchange, is completely digitalized and operates exclusively online, with no physical offices. Based in the United States, Coinbase exchange offers global financial services to over 89 million users across 100 countries.

Coinbase homepage

The company’s workforce includes more than 3,700 employees who assist crypto enthusiasts in trading Bitcoin and altcoins effortlessly and securely. Coinbase has an estimated quarterly turnover of $547 billion. The platform is not only the largest and most popular crypto exchange in the US but one of the most liquid Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges in the world too as evidenced by these numbers.

At the time of this writing, Coinbase is ranked second in terms of average liquidity according to CoinMarketCap. This crypto trading platform is also the second most popular exchange in the world overall, based on criteria such as web traffic factor and trading volume.

The Coinbase Crypto Initiative

The Coinbase crypto initiative was launched in June 2012 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam. It all started when these two Airbnb and Goldman Sachs professionals left their respective jobs to follow the path opened by Bitcoin’s inventor, Satoshi Nakamoto, and his revolutionary blockchain technology.

Motivated by a $150,000 grant from the Y Combinator startup accelerator, Armstrong and Ehrsam set out to carve their own route to success by introducing some ground-breaking fintech solutions to the realm of digital money. The steady expansion of the Coinbase exchange eventually led to Armstrong’s and Ehrsam’s biggest accomplishment since the inception of their start-up – Coinbase’s debut on Nasdaq.

By becoming the first crypto exchange to enter the stock market, the exchange’s market valuation instantly rose to more than $100 billion.

Bitcoin and Supported Cryptocurrencies

Despite the fact that it primarily focuses on the most popular and liquid cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Dogecoin (DOGE), and USD Coin (USDC), Coinbase supports over 150 other altcoins and tokens.

Payment Methods

Payment options on Coinbase are often determined by the country of residency, depending on local and international rules that govern the provision of financial services. Direct deposit, wire transfer, instant cash out to a bank account, ACH transfers, PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, Visa or Mastercard-issued credit card/debit card, and many more options are available for funding your Coinbase account.

Coinbase supported cryptocurrencies

On Coinbase Pro, you cannot purchase cryptocurrency using a credit card. Wire transfers, bank account transfers, and wallet transfers are the sole payment options for Coinbase Pro.

Coinbase Fees and Limits

To begin with, Coinbase does not charge any fees for depositing assets to the digital wallet. The USD deposits to your account are also free of charge. However, the exchange will levy a flat fee to cover the processing expenses for your trades:

  • If the transaction is equal to or less than $0.99, it’ll cost you $0.99.
  • For a transaction higher than $10 but smaller or equal to $25, you’ll incur a fee of $1.49.
  • A transaction with a value between $25 and $50 will cost $1.99;
  • If you spend more than $50 but less than or equal to $200, Coinbase will charge you with $2.99 transaction fee.

If you go above $200, the fee is determined by the payment method:

  • Coinbase USD wallets or US bank account transactions will cost 1.49% of the total value;
  • Debit card or PayPal payments will be charged with 3.99% of the total transaction value.

Please keep in mind that the fees and limits for trading on Coinbase are dynamic and can change based on where you reside. The accepted payment methods aren’t the same for all countries, as well.

All trades on the primary Coinbase platform have a $2 minimum limit, whereas the maximum amount you can spend on the Coinbase platform in a single day is up to $25,000, depending on your location in the world. There are no minimum investment limits if you trade on the Coinbase Pro platform.

Features

Coinbase is a user-friendly platform that offers financial services to individual traders, businesses, as well as dApp developers. The cryptocurrency exchange offers several unique software solutions to help traders make the best of their crypto trades.

Coinbase Exchange

The first of the features is the widely used Coinbase exchange that facilitates cryptocurrency transactions. You can buy, sell, receive, swap, or transfer coins through this platform without having any prior experience in crypto trading.

Create an account with Coinbase

Since this platform is intended to aid newbies in the crypto trading industry, the user interface is simple and uncluttered. There are also a few basic trading methods that help newbies (or any trader who wants quick and simple transactions) to easily swap their favorite coins.

The basic Coinbase platform provides a very easy trading solution for inexperienced traders but charges higher trading fees compared to the Coinbase Pro platform.

Coinbase Pro

Experienced crypto traders can enjoy many advantages of the Coinbase Pro platform and its sophisticated trading instruments. Coinbase Pro provides more developed trading tools and more complex financial instruments for seasoned traders, allowing them to have complete control over their trading operations.

Coinbase PRO sign in

Coinbase Pro is built upon the former GDAX platform architecture and features extensive charting of market fluctuations, which is extremely beneficial to traders who are looking for the most profitable trading position. This sophisticated platform also grants access to their API keys to enable third-party applications to communicate with your Coinbase profile to further enrich your trading experience.

Finally, Coinbase Pro users can benefit from 0.50% lower trading fees per transaction, levied according to the maker fee/taker fee model.

Coinbase Wallet

The Coinbase Wallet is an innovative piece of software that provides you with ultimate control of your funds. This non-custodial built-in wallet will help you store your coins in a safe manner, but will not retain any of your personal information. In this way, you are in complete control over your digital assets housed in the Coinbase wallet.

Coinbase wallet

You do not need to download the Coinbase Wallet to store your cryptocurrencies. Users of the trading platform can simply create their digital wallets and integrate their bank accounts for a more convenient exchange of digital assets. Coinbase also enables a selection of third-party payment processing systems and solutions to handle the payments on commercial online trading sites.

Coinbase Earn

The platform enables users to earn free cryptos through the innovative, highly entertaining, and educational reward program entitled Coinbase Earn. You can watch a short video to learn more about a specific currency and take a brief quiz to assess your knowledge. If the results are satisfactory, Coinbase Earn rewards you with the coin.

Coinbase crypto earn

USD Coin (USDC)

The USD coin, also referred to as a stablecoin, is a cryptocurrency with a fixed price. This digital currency’s value is pegged to the corresponding fair value of the US Dollar in a 1:1 ratio. Simply put, you can always exchange 1 USD for 1 USDC.

The USDC currency was created on the Ethereum network as an ERC20 token. The basic function of the USD currency, which represents the digital form of the US dollar, is to transfer the US dollar more swiftly from digital wallets to other crypto exchanges and entities that accept crypto, without the need of a centralized financial institution.

On Coinbase, the USDC holders with Level 2 verified accounts are eligible for USDC incentives if they keep these coins in their account for an extended period of time. Even a single dollar’s worth of USDC is sufficient for a user to qualify for Coinbase crypto rewards.

Coinbase Card

This cryptocurrency exchange also offers a Coinbase Card, which allows you to spend your coins and USD fiat currency with ease while earning up to 4 % cashback in crypto rewards.

Coinbase visa card

Registering a Coinbase Account

You need to meet several criteria to open a trading account with this exchange. First of all, you need to be over 18 to be eligible for trading cryptos on Coinbase. Also, you’ll be asked to provide your full name, a verified email, phone number, strong password, as well as your country of residence and the preferred payment option.

Furthermore, you’ll need to go through the KYC process of user authentication while filling out the application form for your Coinbase account. This protocol requires submitting sensitive information that we’ll explore next.

Verification Requirements

Coinbase complies with a number of regulations and security standards, including the KYC procedure. The platform demands a number of personal details and documents to authenticate your identity when registering your account. If you’ve ever opened a brokerage account, you’ll be quite familiar with the process.

For instance, you’ll be prompted to provide a valid, state-issued ID. This can be a driver’s license, identification card, passport, or government-issued photo ID. Please keep in mind that Coinbase does not recognize passports issued by the United States as substantial proof of your identification. It should go without saying that school identification cards and medical cards are also ineligible.

Is Coinbase.com Safe to Use?

Coinbase safeguards the cryptocurrency exchange, as well as the accounts and assets of its users and clients, with bank-level security. This regulated platform stores over 98% of the customers’ assets and private keys in safe deposit boxes (i.e. cold storage).

Coinbase platform security

This exchange also employs 41 security officers, one of whom is a military veteran in charge of safeguarding Coinbase’s physical premises, where the exchange maintains users’ funds and private keys. Coinbase also employs a cryptography expert with a Ph.D. degree in digital security who safeguards the crypto trading platform’s digital infrastructure.

Both Coinbase and Coinbase Pro support two-factor verification through SMS or the Google Authenticator. Coinbase Pro allows you to set specific withdrawal addresses for your crypto assets as another layer of security. Whitelisted addresses help you keep your funds safe in case of unauthorized access to your account.

Coinbase Insurance of User Assets

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC insurance) protects Coinbase’s USD deposits of up to $250,000. Please be aware that this insurance policy does not apply to cryptocurrency deposits on your account.

Coinbase Custody

Coinbase Custody is a New York Department of Financial Services-regulated firm that works independently from the Coinbase exchange to provide secure offline storage systems. Coinbase Custody safeguards the digital assets of Coinbase users by storing them in segregated accounts.

Coinbase Canada Customer Support

Coinbase provides live phone assistance to US/International (Canada included) Coinbase.com users 24/7, so you can obtain immediate answers to your queries. Users have access to both a toll-free and a standard phone number for this service.

Coinbase customer support and help center

If you want to obtain a solution to your query and are in a hurry, there is also a 24/7 live chat available through the exchange’s support page. Finally, you can send an email support request or contact the customer support staff via one of Coinbase’s social media platforms, such as Twitter.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • One of the most user-friendly crypto exchanges in the industry;
  • Deep liquidity;
  • Wide selection of supported cryptocurrencies;
  • 98% of the funds are kept in cold storage;
  • The Coinbase Pro traders can enjoy the benefits of lower trading fees;
  • You can use your credit/debit card for making Coinbase purchases;
  • 24/7 live chat and phone support;
  • Superb physical and digital security measures.

Cons

  • Complex transaction fee structure;
  • The basic Coinbase platform charges relatively high fees;
  • You can’t use your credit card for Coinbase Pro purchases;
  • Account registration requires a great deal of personal information.

Conclusion

Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange is committed to providing customers with the best possible trading experience. The exchange has gained widespread popularity partly because of its simple trading instruments, but mostly as a result of its outstanding security measures.

The trading platform is one of the most liquid and user-friendly trading platforms in the cryptocurrency ecosphere. Cryptocurrency traders of all levels of expertise consider Coinbase a reputable exchange.

However, while beginners may be happy with the platform’s simplicity, the more experienced traders might find Coinbase’s hefty fees to be a stumbling block on their path to a prosperous future in the crypto world.

It seems like the Coinbase executives were expecting this kind of response from professional traders, so they enabled lower fees for the market makers who contribute to the exchange’s liquidity on the Coinbase Pro platform. And this is exactly what every highly professional cryptocurrency exchange should do, i.e. intuitively anticipate and thoughtfully consider users trading needs and preferences.

Sign Up with Coinbase

Frequently Asked Questions

Coinbase is openly cooperating with the Secret Service and the IRS to make the crypto ecosystem less anonymous. The Secret Service has paid $183,750 to utilize Coinbase’s blockchain analytics service. Coinbase had offered its advanced analytic algorithms to both the IRS and the DEA before this agreement.

The CEO of Coinbase, Brian Armstrong, has decided to comply with as many financial regulations as possible and collaborate with the Secret Service on the de-anonymization of the cryptocurrency space, despite efforts by the crypto community to maintain its anonymous nature. Learning from the bad security experiences of some of the earliest crypto exchanges (such as the hack of the Japanese-based Mt.Gox exchange), Armstrong was determined to provide the highest level of security for both the trading platform and the personal finances of the users. 

As Coinbase had agreed to merely supply blockchain analytics that are already available to everyone, Armstrong reassured the cryptocurrency community that this collaboration would have no influence on Coinbase’s commitment to decentralization of financial services in the long run. 

Yes. Coinbase not only offers an iOS and Android-supported mobile app for trading on the go, but it also offers a Coinbase Wallet mobile app for storing your digital assets securely. The exchange’s mobile app is similar to the Coinbase’s web-based platform, and quite simple to navigate. You can swap and stake cryptocurrencies and take advantage of other exchange features with the app. 

The Coinbase and Coinbase Pro crypto trading platforms are available on practically every continent on the globe, making its financial services widely accessible. In addition to New Zealand, 18 countries in North America, 8 South American states, 39 European countries, 21 countries in Asia, and 13 African countries are supported by the exchange so far.