Coinbase Review – What Is Coinbase?

Coinbase Wallet >>>

Coinbase Wallet >>>

Coinbase, one of the premier bitcoin wallet services in the world, launched their new website design today so I am taking the opportunity to review their service and tell everybody that I think it is time to open a bitcoin wallet.

I say this not only because I opened my own, but because while the majority are still analyzing if bitcoin will be a valid currency or not, I say it is a store of value, an exchange mechanism, and a unit of account, therefore it is already a currency.

The question then is where to open a bitcoin wallet. There are many services based in many countries, but Coinbase is a very appealing alternative for the regular consumer who needs a smart and practical solution.

Coinbase is a bitcoin wallet, a place where you can buy, sell, send, and receive bitcoins, and a solution for merchants to get paid in bitcoins.

This is a description of the Coinbase bitcoin service features:

It is compliant: The company is based in San Francisco in the US and they are compliant with state and national regulations regarding financial markets and money transfer rules. This is very good in an environment where some services are struggling with regulations and some others are plain shady.

It is connected to the US dollar financial system: Coinbase makes a point of providing an easy way to handle, buy, sell, and pay with bitcoins. Their wallet account can be linked to your regular bank account and this makes it easy and secure to exchange bitcoins with dollars and vice versa and thus to transfer money between your bank account and your Coinbase wallet.

It is backed by the best VC’s and investors: The Coinbase founder team is brilliant and you can watch my interview with Fred Ehrsam here, but they also count with very strong backing of sophisticated investors like Fred Wilson’s Union Square Ventures, Y Combinator, IDG Ventures, and FundersClub. They have all expressed the reason for investing in Coinbase was the smart strategy and potential of the company and bitcoin in general.

The CoinBase Wallet:

Coinbase wallet >>>

The wallet is like an account. You have an address for the wallet that works like an email address where you can send and receive bitcoins instead of emails. As you can see in the image above, on the wallet you can buy and sell, receive and send bitcoins, track your activity and account balance, and establish recurring payments. It basically provides all the services of a regular bank account, but with the access and benefits of bitcoin and the bitcoin global network

Limits and verifications: Because Coinbase is compliant with normal banking regulations they have account limits and verification steps for you to store, buy, and sell bitcoins. When you open a wallet you can’t buy and sell bitcoins unless you verify your email, phone number, and link a bank account. Once you do this you are in level 1 which lets you buy up to 10 bitcoins and sell up to 50 per day with a 4 day settlement period. When you verify your identity and complete the first transaction, your wallet will pass to level 2 after a 30 day waiting period. In this level you will be able to buy and sell 50 bitcoins per day and the trades will settle immediately.

Sell and get paid with bitcoins:

Coinbase - Accept Bitcoin Payments >>>

Coinbase – Accept Bitcoin Payments >>>

The merchant service is as easy to use as the wallet. It works just like the PayPal buttons and merchant payment service. As you can see in the image above, the cost to get paid is 1% of the value of the transaction in dollars. If you sell merchandise or services and get paid in your wallet with bitcoins the service is free. Coinbase only charges 1% for the amounts you actually withdraw to your dollar based bank account.


We are all curious about bitcoin, how it works and its safety. For this Coinbase is the perfect solution to open your first bitcoin wallet to buy and sell, send and receive, and even get paid when you sell products and services online or offline.

Demo: The Bitcoin Wallet, Buy And Sell Bitcoins, And Get Paid With CoinBase By Co-founder Fred Ehrsam

About Donald McIntyre

From stock broker to internet entrepreneur, to financial adviser, to Newfination! Donald McIntyre started his career on Wall Street in 1992 working as an Investment Consultant for UBS Securities and then for Smith Barney Inc. In 1999 he started, a financial portal for Latin America, with the support of investors SoftBank and Carlos Slim. In 2002 Donald started McIntyre S.A. to provide financial advisory services to Carlos Slim’s Inbursa and after 2004 opened the practice to private clients. In January of 2013 he started Newfination to help consumers discover the best new finance services to manage their money.

21 thoughts on “Coinbase Review – What Is Coinbase?

  1. Bad advise. Online wallets will be plundered when time is right. Never trust online or hybrid wallets! Apart from that I see no innovation by this service expect the possibility of diversification maybe.

      • Donald.McIntyre Nivel Haha, of course! But use armory with cold storage :) Seriously and for the newcomers: It is not unsafe to store a small amount of bitcoins (worth less than 100$) on any online site as you can supposedly live with loosing them and the probability is very low. It is in any way safer than storing them on your desktop without proper backups of your files, which can be be a little challenging to arrange. If you have lots of coins please look up cold storage systems. To play around use any of the large online walltet providers.

    • NivelI do not believe Coinbase is purely about innovation. They are doing what needs to be done. The Bitcoin community, for the time being, needs a dependable e-wallet service that will attract the not-so tech savvy merchants and curious, upcoming Bitcoin users. I see this service as an ice breaker to the realm of all things Bitcoin.

  2. Plundered by whom and how?  Coinbase keeps 90% of their stored coins offline and has strong protection on the remaining 10%.  As for innovation, who else lets you buy and sell instantly from your bank account and what other service charges just 1%?  They also have a complete merchant service.  That sounds pretty innovative for an online wallet.

    • Liberty1 By someone holding a court order.  This is distinct from the plundering that takes place from your Bitcoin-QT wallet by the dude who shows up at the head of a SWAT team.

  3. If you have money in Paypal, it could be plundered.
    If you have money in a bank, it could be plundered.
    OK, we got that out of the way.  Coinbase is an awesome solution for the common American.

    • IRespectYou Okay okay, I will stop bashing them now. But they are not better than the others, that is all I am saying. And if my bank plunders my money, I can sue them. If someone steals my bitcoins, I can only go home and cry.

        • Donald.McIntyre Nivel IRespectYou Unfortunatly there is no good service for online wallets. The “best” imo is the wallet from blockchain but only if you use the browser extension. The risk of code-injection is heavily reduced by this measure. As it is a hybrid wallet (as opposed to coinbase) all your keys are decrypted only within your local memory, if no the code you execute is not tempered with. Also choose very good passwords (100+ jibberish chars) and store them with a secure program (e.g. Lastpass) and use 2-factor anywhere! This might sound very paranoid, BUT Bitcoin is a hackers money. All hackers in this world will try to hack you. They will and have abused any weak spot they find.

  4. I am firmly against online wallets, except maybe for petty cash transactions.
    But I use, and am thoroughly satisfied with Coinbase for purchasing and selling bitcoin conveniently.
    I do not use their simplified wallet, it is fairly pointless. Yes, it allows you to use e-mail like names for accounts… but, for something you should be as seriously concerned about security as bitcoin… Well, I’ll just say, if you cant be bothered to take the time to figure out the traditional client, let alone armory, then you likely are the sort of person who has a password1, and probably cut way to many corners to be using bitcoin at this point in its life.
    But for purchasing, its the sweetest experience out there, particularly once you reach the third account level (called Level 2 for some reason). Not having to wait, and I mean not ONE second to have up to 50 coins daily at your disposal. For me its priceless, first tried my newly-acquired instant transaction last weekend for 27 BTC that I needed to fully exercise a very lucrative call option on bitfunder. I had way more than I could use outright, and I didn’t want to just waste them by having to sell, buy, sell, buy (which would still have been very profitable), I wanted to hold the shares, as the long-term (and soon to expire) option made the dividends 4 times the %ROI versus current stable price. It was truely a perfect transaction, no waiting for the ACH system to clear the transaction, no international wires, just 2 clicks and I had what I needed within 10 seconds, ready to be immediately sent anywhere in the world at my every whim. 
    Not to mention, it felt good to be just given $2600 in “cash” just for figuratively holding out my hand and saying give, NOW!
    Try that at YOUR bank Bitches!

  5. Pingback: Coinbase Review – It’s Time To Open Your First Bitcoin Wallet

  6. billyzamps  I am sorry to hear that. I use and review Bitcoin-QT, Bitcoin Wallet, Blockchain, Coinkite,, and Coinbase. In terms of simplicity I would say the ranking is:
    1. Bitcoin Wallet (only Android and very few simple features).
    2. Bitcoin-Qt (also veru basic features and need to wait for the blockchain to dowload, it takes 24hs!)
    3. Coinbase (yes, it has security steps and checks, but the others are worst!)
    4. Blockchain (the password has to be 16 characters and the user ID they give you is like 20 characters)
    5. Coinkite and BIPS (both easy to use -though similar security procedures- but not widely used in the market yet, I prefer some user critical mass to assure continuity of the company!)

  7. Rolfe Samonte Hello Rolfe, i just tried it and it’s working, but the company expanded its customer support team, you should get a quick response if signing up is still a problem for you, this is their support page:

  8. Pingback: Bitstamp vs Mt.Gox Review - Bitcoin Exchanges - What Is The Difference? | Newfination

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