Is Coinbase Safe? What is Coinbase?

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Coinbase is a popular name associated with Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency; but after reading mixed reports and reviews, you may be wondering: 'is Coinbase safe to use?' If so, then read on.

If you’re reading because you’re still debating – ‘is Coinbase safe?’ – Beginners Crypto Guide can assure you that Coinbase is the most trusted, easy-to-use Bitcoin broker, exchange and digital wallet on the market for both seasoned investors and beginner users.

Is coinbase safe?

What is Coinbase?

Coinbase is more than just a wallet for digital money. It’s a platform which makes it is possible to store, transfer, buy and sell digital currencies and cryptocurrencies, with the most popular being Bitcoin.

Coinbase has two core products in it’s business model; a broker exchange and a professional trading platform named GDAX.

The two are completely independent from one another and other variations also exist. The broker exchange is the Coinbase site we know and recognize (and are reviewing!). This appeals to crytpo-newbies and retail consumers. GDAX was created for the hardcore big-bucks trading guys.

The broker exchange is available at or by downloading the mobile app –Coinbase.

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A Brief History

Now we understand what Coinbase is, here’s a quick review of what they’ve been doing in the past 8 years:

  • 2012 – Coinbase was founded by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam in San Francisco, USA.
  • 2014 – The company grew to one million users and secured insurance covering the value of Bitcoin stored on their servers.
  • 2014 – Coinbase launched their vault system as a service for secure Bitcoin storage.
  • 2014 – Coinbase formed partnerships with the likes of Dell and Expedia allowing these firms to accept Bitcoin payments.
  • 2015 – Coinbase said it raised $75 million in January, which is the single largest venture-capital fundraising by a Bitcoin-related startup.
  • 2015 – PayPal, Stripe and Braintree were also added to the list of traditional payment companies accepting Bitcoin payment.
  • 2018 – The company was valued in October at $8 billion, making it worth more than all but the top three cryptocurrencies that trade on the platform.
  • 2020 – In reaction to the newly-named ‘Black Thursday‘ crash of March 12th, Coinbase saw record-breaking trading activity during this period. $1.3 billion in fiat and cryptocurrency were deposited onto Coinbase during the sell-off. They saw double the usual number of new-user signups, and triple the typical number of active traders.

Reported Concerns

  • 2018 – In February Coinbase reported that some customers had been overcharged in error for credit and debit purchases of cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrency payments were processed as cash advances, meaning that banks and credit card issuers could begin charging customers cash-advance fees for cryptocurrency purchases. Originally Visa blamed Coinbase for this error. However the latest statement from Visa and Worldpay on the Coinbase blog confirms: “This issue was not caused by Coinbase.
  • 2019 – Coinbase acquired Neutrino, an Italy-based “blockchain intelligence platform” startup. This raised concern among some Coinbase users with Neutrino’s history and connection with ‘The Hacking Team’, an internet surveillance technology service for governments. Have you heard of White Hat Hackers? (also known as “ethical hackers”) These talented hackers are employed by organizations to proactively find gaps and attempt to establish security holes via hacking into private networks, applications and endpoints to better test their defenses in preparation before a real attack occurs. The internet needs White Hat Hackers. Not all hackers are motivated by greed.
  •  Quartz reported that the number of monthly customer complaints against Coinbase jumped more than 100% in January of that year, to 889. What they didn’t tell you was that during the period between January 2017 and January 2018, the user increase jumped from less than 1 million, to 11.1 million in 12 months! According to the site first saw a million users in July 2017, with peak monthly usage at 11.1 million users in January 2018. That’s a massive decrease in complaints!

Why is Coinbase safe to use?

  • Coinbase has been voted number one in the majority of all ‘Best Wallets for Bitcoin‘ posts.
  • This is primarily down to the simple, easy-to-use interface and painless transactions between buying, selling and trading a variety of cryptocurrencies.

NOTE: the amount of available assets (cryptocurrencies) and transaction fee is dependent on your location.

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Coinbase has some of the best transaction fees around, and you can get started with as little as $1.99!

The transaction fee is taken off the amount you’re willing to spend. For example:

buying bitcoin on coinbase
Screenshot buying Bitcoin on Coinbase

You pay $10 and will receive $9.01 in BTC$0.99 will be taken as a transaction fee from Coinbase. (This figure may vary.)

Coinbase is ideal for first-time crypto buyers and beginners in trading in cryptocurrencies.

For larger amounts of trading, Coinbase may not be the ideal platform. It’s also worth mentioning that Coinbase is NOT the best method for storing large quantities of Bitcoin. If you’re hodling large amount of crypto it is always advisable to store it in a hard wallet. The quote below outlines the analogy quite well. We will soon be reviewing the best methods of storing large amounts of cryptocurrency, so stay tuned!

"Think of [Coinbase] as your regular wallet. You use it to store small amounts of cash but not your life savings. Large amounts of crypto is best stored in an external hard wallet."
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Coinbase future of money
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Coinbase is the best  wallet and exchange platform for beginners to start buying and trading cryptocurrencies.

Coinbase appears to be a major force in the modern crypto space, backed by high-end investors, it has moved from strength to strength, with a huge influx of users and newly available cryptocurrencies swarming the market.

How well Coinbase suits your needs ultimately depends on the type of cryptocurrency investor you are. Though Coinbase may be the number one cryptocurrency platform for beginners, it might not be the most ideal for those who are looking to trade a wider selection of digital assets on a larger scale.

Whether you’re looking to invest substantial amounts of Sats (aka satoshi’s/Bitcoin) or not, we feel that Coinbase is a safe and simple way of getting in to the world of Crypto.

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We hope you now understand a bit more about Coinbase and that when asked ‘is Coinbase safe?, you feel more confident.  Let us know in the comments below!


Ready to get started with Coinbase? Click here to find out how to buy Bitcoin on Coinbase!

Want to learn more about where Bitcoin came from? Click here!

Or click here to discuss: Is Bitcoin is a safe investment?

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This is NOT financial advice. Beginners Crypto Guide does NOT OFFER formal nor informal financial advice and accepts no liability for such service. You should always do your own research before making any financial decisions.