Coinbase Review: A+
In my mind, nothing comes close to Coinbase in terms of ease of use and security. You link a bank account to the San Francisco-based start-up, and then send them money to buy Bitcoin at the currently offered price. They wait up to a few days to ensure your transaction clears (Bitcoin is a murky financial area, and they don’t want to risk identity theft or other problems until they have banks on their side), and then give you access to your coins. 30 days after you have a successful transaction, you can add a credit card to your account to enable “instant buys” of up to 1 BTC per day. Their platform is very popular, and justifiably so–it makes owning and managing your coins very simple. They also take excellent security precautions–two-factor authentication on log-in AND on send, keeping the VAST majority (97%!) of their coins in offline storage, and so on. They are an excellent way to enter the Bitcoin ecosystem, and an excellent way to integrate Bitcoin into your business, if you’re so inclined.
What aren’t they? They AREN’T an exchange. They aren’t a trading platform. If your goal is to do what I do, you don’t want to be using Coinbase for your day-to-day trading.
- Backed by Andreessen Horowitz
- Biggest US player, focused on merchant integration
- Easy platform for buying and selling
- Good way to get money into the ecosystem
- High fees and long waits make it unsuited for trading. It’s more like Western Union than like Scottrade.
- Easy to use! No harder than PayPal
- Secure, trustworthy, American
- Good customer service
- They pay your transaction fees when you move your Bitcoin around
- $5 free on your first $100 of Bitcoin through my referral link
- Fees of about 1%
- Long lag time for initial purchase, and later purchases over 1BTC makes it hard to profit from market movement over the short term
- Slightly higher than market price for purchase
- Really just not intended to be used for trading
Ease of Use: 8/10
Trading Utility: 3/10
Customer Service: 8/10
Would I recommend it to my mother? I did.