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Coinbase Review

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If you know any cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase is probably the one you’ve heard of. This is because of a market share of 64.7% as of March 2020. But it’s important to look at this review as a Coinbase Canada review because Coinbase’s features are different in every country.

Coinbase Review: Features, Fees, and More

Coinbase features

  • An advanced trading platform (but not advanced enough to have stock exchange style graphs like Binance does)
  • One-on-one investment advice for high net-worth clients through a private client platform
  • Cryptocurrency mobile wallets for retail investors that have a seed phrase that help holders access their crypto from anywhere securely
  • Buy cryptocurrency using fiat currency through a debit card, credit card and bank transfer (only a debit card and Paypal are available for Canadians)
  • The ability to take courses on different cryptocurrencies and earn those same cryptocurrencies as a result
  • A commerce platform that allows businesses to accept cryptocurrency as a payment method and convert it to fiat.
  • In some countries, Coinbase offers a cryptocurrency credit card or Visa card that make it easier to buy and spend crypto with a corresponding digital app in the Google and Apple app stores (coming soon to Canada)
  • Dedicated customer service team that can be accessed from any country at any time.
  • 99% of Coinbase’s assets are hacker-resistant in an offline wallet and the 1% online is insured
  • They have their own stablecoin tied to the U.S. dollar called the USDC

Coinbase fees

Coinbase is known to have high and complicated fees among cryptocurrency exchanges. Let’s break them down:

  • When buying with a debit/credit card: 3.99%
  • When using a bank account: 1.49%
  • When doing a wire transfer: $10 (fixed)
  • Crypto conversion: 2%
  • Transactions less than or equal to $10: $0.99
  • Transactions more than $10 but less or equal to $25: $1.49
  • Transactions more than $25 but less or equal to $50: $1.99
  • Transactions more than $50 but less or equal to $200: $2.99

The free Coinbase Pro account for larger transactions has lower and more straightforward fees:

Pricing Tier Maker Fee Taker Fee
Less than $10k 0.50% 0.50%
$10k – $100k 0.35% – 0.25% 0.35% – 0.15%
$100k – $1M 0.20% 0.10%
$1M – $10M 0.18% 0.08%
$10M – $50M 0.15% 0.05%
$50M – $100M 0.10% 0.00%

*Current as of November 2021

Coinbase user accessibility

The accessibility of Coinbase is its standout feature. Its dashboard is designed so those completely new to cryptocurrency can instantly use the platform with little to no learning curve. If you can navigate online banking, you can use Coinbase. Signing up for an account is a matter of completing an online login, verifying your identity and clicking a few buttons.

Buying and selling is as easy: enter an amount, put in your debit card or PayPal information and execute the transaction with no lag or wait time.

The only drawbacks are, your payment and withdrawal options for buying crypto are limited in Canada. You can only buy crypto with a credit or debit card and you can only withdraw (not purchase) crypto using PayPal. You can visit Coinbase’s website to find more information on Coinbase’s payment methods for Canadians.

What is Coinbase?

Coinbase is an American mobile cryptocurrency exchange allowing anyone to buy or sell cryptocurrency right from their smartphone. Founded in 2012, it was the first major U.S. cryptocurrency company to go public when it started trading on the Nasdaq in April 2021. It has over 73 million verified users in over 100 countries, trading $327 billion in quarterly cryptocurrency volume, which makes it one of the most used cryptocurrency platforms in the world.

It allows you to buy and sell over 75 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and more. Like many other exchanges, it also allows you to convert one cryptocurrency into another, and send and receive cryptocurrency to or from anyone.

Like a stock ticker, Coinbase also keeps you plugged in to the larger cryptocurrency world. It lets you see the current prices of each of its supported cryptocurrencies and whether their value is trending upward or downward over time. They also provide investment services for high net-worth cryptocurrency investors as part of their private client investment advisor services.

In addition to its main buy-sell capabilities, Coinbase also offers a separate mobile, self-hosted cryptocurrency wallet app where users can securely store their cryptocurrencies without needing a Coinbase account. This provides additional security by reducing the risk that Coinbase could ever walk away with your crypto (they don’t host the wallets on their website).

How does Coinbase work?

Just because Coinbase has users in over 100 countries, doesn’t mean its supported in yours. So before you download the exchange or wallet app, make sure it can be used from the following list. Also, check that the features you want are available in your country.

After that, go to Coinbase.com and enter your e-mail. Once you click “Get Started,” a new window will pop up asking for your full name, a strong password, and your age (you cannot use Coinbase if you’re under 18).

Once you click “Create an Account,” you’ll need to provide your phone number for two-step account verification. Once this is done, Canadian registrants will be asked to provide a debit card or Paypal account information for purchasing and withdrawing cryptocurrency.

You don’t have to purchase cryptocurrency right away. You can transfer any crypto you may have from your other wallets and exchanges.

Coinbase: Pros & Cons


  • Easy-to-use design and dashboard make it accessible to those new to cryptocurrency

  • Coinbase Wallet makes it easy to send cryptocurrency using just a username

  • High liquidity

  • Coinbase Earn that pays its users in cryptocurrency to learn more about cryptocurrency


  • Not many altcoin options

  • High fees (lower if you get the pro version)

  • Limited buy/sell payment and withdrawal options in Canada

  • Customers can’t control private keys that give access to their cryptocurrencies

The Bottom Line

Coinbase’s ease-of-use makes it a good choice for those new to crypto and need a bit of guidance to get started. However, if you’re Canadian, the expensive fees and limited payment and withdrawal options will likely have you looking for an alternative once you’ve got your feet under you in the crypto world.

Frequently Asked Questions

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