Coinbase is one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, in both user numbers and the sheer volume of crypto traded on the platform.
It’s up there with the best crypto exchanges; there is little doubt about it. But what makes Coinbase so good? What makes Coinbase one of the best crypto exchanges?
1. Ease of Use & User Interface
Let’s start with one of the most important Coinbase features: its ease of use. Crypto exchanges always strive to make things easier for users, but the ease of use has been Coinbase’s identity since its launch.
Although the Coinbase user interface has become a little more cluttered in recent years, with the addition of new features and cryptocurrencies, the overall design and flow of both the Coinbase app and desktop site remain intuitive.
Indeed, the Coinbase Android and iOS apps are highly rated, and this is one of the reasons many suggest newcomers to crypto use Coinbase for their first Bitcoin purchase.
2. Number of Cryptocurrencies
When Coinbase first launched in 2012, Bitcoin was the only crypto you could buy. Of course, in 2012, the cryptocurrency market as a whole was still young, and there weren’t the thousands of cryptos we know today.
Now, Coinbase supports heaps of cryptocurrencies for spot trading, and there are even more available on Coinbase Pro (Coinbase’s more advanced trading tool, which we’ll talk about in a moment).
On Coinbase, you can buy the regular blue-chip cryptos you’d expect to see, like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Dogecoin, but also more obscure coins like Aptos, Liquidity, Mina, and plenty more.
In short, you’re highly likely to find the cryptocurrency you want to buy on Coinbase.
3. Opportunities to Earn Free Crypto
Coinbase was one of the first cryptocurrency exchanges to pay its users to learn about crypto. Coinbase’s learning rewards are a great way to earn some free cryptocurrency, and all you have to do is follow the steps on your screen.
In the old days, payments were made in better-known cryptos. For example, at the time of writing, you can earn $4 of The Graph (GRT), $3 each of Chain (XCN) and AMP (AMP), with many more learning and earning opportunities.
You’re not going to become a crypto whale overnight, but who is saying no to free crypto?
4. Coinbase Pro Is Available for Experienced Traders
In fact, switching to Coinbase Pro could save you a few bucks here and there in transaction fees, so switching could be worth your while.
The biggest difference between Coinbase and Coinbase Pro is the trading interface. Where Coinbase lets you make spot trades, Coinbase Pro is a fully-fledged trading platform with more advanced features. Its trading interface looks different, and you can trade between cryptocurrency pairs, set different buy and sell orders, and much more.
Like Coinbase, it’s not difficult to use, but as Coinbase Pro has more features, it’ll take you a little while to get up to speed.
5. Proof of Reserves and Liabilities
Coinbase is one of a handful of cryptocurrency exchanges to publish its proof of reserves, including liabilities. It’s part of a wider push for transparency in the crypto world following the disastrous collapse and bankruptcy of FTX, a leading crypto exchange.
Coinbase was already considered a safe haven among the madness before the FTX market madness. A Coinbase blog published in June 2022 addressed the issue directly, months before FTX overextended and caused a run on its self-issued crypto.
Many banks and financial institutions use customer funds for commercial purposes, including lending and trading, meaning that they often hold only a fraction of their customer assets at any given time. Coinbase always holds customer assets 1:1. This means that funds are available to our customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year.
Furthermore, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong published a series of tweets confirming the company doesn’t get involved with such practices, keeping user funds safe and secure.
That Coinbase underwent an official stock market Initial Public Offering (IPO) also means that the company would have had to open its books up to auditors, who approved the company and its finance for investment.
6. Coinbase Is Secure
The crypto world has more than a few security issues. Coinbase has one of the better security track records and has suffered few breaches over the years.
However, when you’ve been in the crypto game for over a decade, you’re bound to experience some issues. For example, in 2021, around 6,000 user accounts were breached, resulting in the loss of cryptocurrency. That said, it appears the breaches came from a phishing attack, which means the information wasn’t stolen from Coinbase but rather directly from the users.
The Coinbase text scam is a common crypto SMS-based phishing attack you should be aware of!
Coinbase keeps the majority of its crypto-holdings in cold storage wallets (as opposed to an internet-connected online wallet). With the funds held securely offline, there is less chance of a catastrophic breach. It’s not out of the question, but it mitigates some risk.
Furthermore, Every Coinbase user should switch on two-factor authentication. It adds another layer of security, requiring a second form of verification before your account will unlock. Again, it’s not foolproof, but it helps.
Coinbase Isn’t Perfect, But It’s a Great Option
No cryptocurrency exchange is perfect. If it was, we wouldn’t hear about crypto exchanges going under, playing fast and loose with user funds, performing rug pulls or other scams on users, or any of the other numerous issues.
But, Coinbase has been operating for over a decade at this point, and despite its documented issues, which it does have, it has also fared better than other crypto exchanges.
So, whether you’re brand new to crypto or have been HODLing for years at this point (diamond hands, of course), Coinbase still holds a place in the crypto-sphere for you.