Coinbase Review 2021 | The bank rate
Coinbase offers its customers an “all crypto, all the time” trading platform that provides one of the largest selections of cryptocurrencies in one place. The exchange’s Pro platform has clear competitive pricing, but unfortunately the basic level of service offers expensive trading and keeps its complex fee structure hidden. Coinbase allows customers to take custody of their cryptocurrency holdings and allows them to earn wagering rewards (income), which is rare among the handful of brokerage houses that even support cryptocurrency trading. .
Traders looking for crypto stocks on the sidelines of stocks or options may want to take a look at Interactive Brokers, which has just introduced low-cost trading in a handful of cryptocurrencies. Other names to consider include Gemini and eToro, both of which are crypto-focused brokers.
- Crypto-only traders
- Active traders
- Custody and staking rewards
Coinbase at a glance
|The minimum balance:||25 $|
|Negotiable securities:||103 cryptocurrencies|
|Cost per transaction:||Base level : Rates ranging from 1.49 to 9.9%, plus a margin of 0.5%
Pro level: Sliding scale starting at 0.5% and decreasing with volume
|Customer service:||Email, phone for emergency assistance, 24/7 chat. Deployment of 24/7 telephone support by the end of 2021.|
|Account fees:||Inactivity fee of $ 10 per month after 12 months of no connection|
|Mobile app:||The Coinbase mobile app is available on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store|
Pros: Where Coinbase Stands Out
Coinbase Pro commissions
Coinbase stands out from much of the bunch in its commission structure, but only if you use the exchange’s Pro service level. (For more on the base level of service, see below.) At the Pro level, you will pay a fee of at least 0.5% for a monthly transaction volume of less than $ 10,000. But you may be able to reduce these fees even further by using the exchange volume-based pricing.
The pricing structure for Pro is staggered, so the fees go down as you trade. What you pay depends on your total dollar transaction volume over the previous 30 days. Coinbase also uses a maker-taker pricing model, so if you add liquidity to the market (a maker) or take liquidity (a taker), you will potentially be charged different fees.
For example, if you trade less than $ 10,000 in a month, the maker and taker pay 0.5%. Trade between $ 10,000 and $ 50,000, and both pay 0.35%. Above this level, the costs begin to diverge. A monthly transaction volume of between $ 50,000 and $ 100,000 would give takers a commission of 0.25% and manufacturers 0.15%. And the fees end up going down even more, but you’ll have to trade huge amounts of cryptocurrency for that to make a difference.
The all-inclusive fee compares well to eToro, where the spread mark-up fee starts at 0.74% and goes up to several percent, although this is more than Interactive Brokers, which charges 0.12 to 0, 18%, depending on your monthly volume (with a $ 1.75 per trade minimum).
Selection of cryptocurrency
Coinbase has an enviable selection of cryptocurrencies you can trade – 103 at last count – and that should prove to be wide enough for everyone except the purest crypto trader. You will get the most popular cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano, Solana, XRP, and dozens more to come. So you will probably find what you are looking for here.
This is in stark contrast to other brokers or financial apps that advertise crypto trading but only offer a handful of the most followed coins. For example, Robinhood offers to trade just seven cryptocurrencies – which is even better than many brokers – while Interactive Brokers has just started trading four cryptos.
If you are looking for something other than crypto on Coinbase, you will be out of luck. If you want to trade stocks, options and ETFs while only accessing the most popular crypto coins, Robinhood, Webull or Interactive Brokers could be good alternatives, however.
Unlike brokers who focus more on trading, Coinbase allows you to take custody of your crypto assets yourself. The exchange offers its own crypto wallet, or you can bring your own wallet. Either way, you can choose the solution that best suits your needs. And this is unusual in the world of trading, with most traditional brokers not allowing you to hold your own assets.
Coinbase also allows customers who hold cryptocurrencies with them to participate in staking rewards. Staking is like earning interest on a bank account, but with very different risks. Staking generates income from your holdings as they are used to validate transactions in a given cryptocurrency, and Coinbase shares that reward with you.
Customers can currently earn wagering rewards on a few cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum and Tezos. The exchange handles the technical side of things, and additional coins – or fractions of them – are added to your account on a set schedule.
Cons: where Coinbase could improve
Transparency of fees
It can’t be said any other way: if you’re using Coinbase’s core platform, you’ll be hard pressed to come up with a fee schedule before actually making a transaction. In fact, Coinbase has gone out of its way to hide its fee schedule, deliberately obscuring the once public – and confusing – fee list.
Now, to be clear, you will be able to see your trading commission, but only right before you are ready to place your trade. In an age of very transparent pricing, it’s a serious blow to the business if they can’t provide a list of trading fees so you can make a good judgment.
Why is Coinbase doing this? It’s not clear, but the broker’s high fees for their base level are probably a big part of it. And this is further corroborated by the broker’s good fee disclosure for its Pro platform – where its costs are competitive with those of its competitors and, in many cases, beat them.
Basic level trading commissions
It is advisable to avoid Coinbase’s basic service level if you can and go straight to its Pro level, given its lower price. How much are the commissions on the base level? Well, frankly it’s hard to say (see above). But the most recent data suggests you’ll be paying a lot on a percentage basis.
Let’s break down two of the most common fees from the latest published fee schedule and see what traders would pay if they bought $ 1,000 in Bitcoin:
- 1.49% fee, if paying from a Coinbase dollar bank account or wallet
- A 0.5 percent spread markup
If you are using Coinbase entry level, you will be affected by at least 1.99% fee. And they go up from there, because the company uses a sliding scale. Want $ 10 worth of Bitcoin? You have to pay a fee of $ 0.99 – or 9.9% – plus that 0.5% margin – for 14.9% all-in. And it’s not just one side of the deal, either. You will be hit from side to side.
The effective percentage decreases until your purchase is $ 200, then the broker switches to a fee depending on your payment method, starting at 1.49% (as above) and going up to 3.99% if you are using a debit card. And you will continue to pay that spread markup on top of that.
That’s a slew of confusing fees and markups for all payment methods, and it can be hard to navigate. So it’s best to skip the entry level and jump straight to Pro’s competitive pricing.
At the end of the line
Coinbase makes a good choice if you are looking for a place to trade cryptos:
- Its large selection of popular cryptocurrencies means you’re likely going to find what you want to trade, but you will only be able to trade cryptos here.
- Customers have the opportunity to earn wagering rewards and can take custody of their holdings themselves.
- Commissions on the Pro platform are competitive, but clients who trade small volumes on its entry-level platform should seriously consider looking elsewhere.
Robinhood is a good alternative if you want to trade only some of the more popular cryptocurrencies, especially if you want to keep costs down. Another alternative is Webull, although his selection is even narrower than Robinhood’s. Another broker that offers stock, options, and crypto trading is savoureuxworks, a newer player with an attractive commission structure.
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