Coinbase is the world’s largest bitcoin broker and web-wallet. The company was started in June 2012 by two friends, Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam. Anyone can sign up for an account at Coinbase, but trading activity is limited to members of only 32 countries, though. The rest cannot exchange bitcoins for fiat currency; they can only buy bitcoins.
Coinbase receives mixed reactions from its client base with the critics saying it is a terrible company with poor customer support, and on the other hand, the fans say that Coinbase haters are the scam artists that Coinbase punishes ruthlessly.
Over the years, the online exchange has grown in leaps and bounds, and at present, the company stats are quite impressive.
- $6.5 Billion worth of exchanges
- 32 countries supported
- 4 million Customers
The reason why Coinbase has become such a sensation across the world is down to its ease of use; the account boasts an intuitive design, favored by trade novices. Besides bitcoin, Coinbase also carries out transactions of other digital value tokens, like ether.
Being an exchange first, Coinbase provides a P2P platform for buying and selling bitcoins in the allowed countries, and as for the restricted countries, users may only buy bitcoins. Another one of its product is the API issuance to developers and merchants so they can build APPS.
- Intuitive design
- Credit card and debit card support
- Instant purchases from verified cardholders
- API for developers
- Insured bitcoin deposits
- Partnership with banks
In light of the many scams taking place round the exchanges, Coinbase has taken drastic measures to ensure enough security for its users. All the Coinbase accounts have a wallet for sending and receiving BTC’s. If the site bots detect any sort of malicious operation coming from your account, they’ll summarily shut down your account.
Types of Wallets
- Bitcoin Wallet
You only need a username and a password to access the online bitcoin wallet. It is the simplest wallet technology, but yet the easiest to hack.
- Coinbase Vault
This wallet is best for keeping large amounts of BTC’s. It has tight security measures. It operates on multiple approvals. Basically, someone cannot withdraw or add to your account, without your express permission.
- Multisig Vault
This is the most secure type of wallet. It has strong security features that make it hacker proof. Unlike the Bitcoin Wallet or Coinbase Vault, the Multisig Vault offers a customer some level of control over his BTC’s, and this is because the wallet has three keys, of which two are kept by the account holder.
Time and again, Coinbase gets caught in a storm, but these three controversies have invited most criticism.
- Monitoring customer spending habits; apparently, Coinbase tracks down how a customer spends their BTC’s, and if you spend them on porno sites or gaming sites, be sure to lose your account. Coinbase purports to have signed a contract that obliges them to ensure responsible use of BTCs.
- Patents; Coinbase has applied for the property rights of technologies that are obviously not theirs, e.g. wallets. This is against the philosophy of the Crypto-economy.
- Affiliate earnings; apparently, Coinbase may withhold your affiliate earnings sighting technical issues.
- Closeness to banks; Coinbase received a lot of support from venture capitalists at the beginning, and this may explain its close ties with the banks. But digital assets are designed to be transferred without middlemen (like banks) and for that reason some customers consider Coinbase an immoral company.
Coinbase is great for buyers!
Coinbase seems to have a rapacious relationship with money; its decisions are always designed to bring them more of it, for this reason, this apparent lack of a cause, Coinbase is a dangerous animal. Its main advantage is in its wide client base. Coinbase makes for an ideal bitcoin market, and it is advisable that you buy through their platform, relocate your BTC’s to your hardware wallets before Coinbase does another crazy move.
For traders, if you can stand the inconvenience of having your account frozen multiple times, then, by all means, continue using Coinbase.