With its easy-to-navigate tools and sleek design, Coinbase makes it easy to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. Thanks to these advantages, Coinbase has become one of the most popular crypto platforms in the UK. Despite its popularity, the platform’s fees can be extremely high, which means that most investors will be better served using its lower-cost service, Coinbase Pro, or even another trading platform entirely, as soon as they get on board. will feel comfortable.
*The amount of the fee varies depending on the amount of the purchase and the method of purchase. For orders over £200, buying with a debit card incurs a 3.99% fee, while buying by bank transfer in the UK only incurs a trading fee of 1.49 %.
- Wide selection of cryptocurrencies to trade
- Low account minimum
- Convenient user experience
- Expensive and difficult to understand pricing structure
- To get lower fees, you have to use a different Coinbase platform
Who should use Coinbase?
People new to the crypto world will appreciate how easy it is to buy cryptocurrency using Coinbase. But novices may not fully appreciate how high the cost of this convenience can be. Small trades can easily rack up fees equivalent to 15% of their price, severely hampering the ability of your investment to grow.
That’s why we suggest even newbies consider switching to Coinbase’s trading platform, Coinbase Pro, as soon as they can. This reduces fees to a more reasonable, although still relatively high, 0.60% for transactions up to a value of £7,701 ($10,000).
You can drop as low as 0.10% on competing platforms like Binance.com or 0.30% on Gemini’s beginner-friendly ActiveTrader.
Beyond the higher-than-average fees, there’s a lot to like about Coinbase. It has a strong reputation for security and stores the vast majority of customer assets offline to reduce the risk of hacking. It also offers a unique educational platform called Learn and Earn which rewards users with crypto as they progress through lessons.
Coinbase’s most user-friendly offering, its namesake platform Coinbase, charges higher fees for its convenience and simplicity than you might get anywhere else, even on its sister crypto trading platform, Coinbase Pro.
First is the so-called “spread fee,” which Coinbase says is typically 0.50% of your transaction. It is essentially the difference between the price Coinbase pays for a crypto and what it sells it for.
Then there’s the aptly named “Coinbase Fee”, which depends on the size of your purchase, the fiat currency you use to make it, and how you pay. These fees are the higher of a flat rate or a variable percentage, which can be a little confusing to understand.
Here’s how flat fee works for UK buyers:
- for transactions of £10 or less, the fee is £0.99
- for transactions over £10 but less than or equal to £25, the fee is £1.49
- for transactions over £25 but less than or equal to £50, the fee is £1.99
- for transactions over £50 but less than or equal to £200, the fee is £2.99
After going over £200, the fee structure changes to be percentage-based, determined by how you pay for the crypto:
- 1.49% for UK bank transfers
- 3.99% for debit cards.
Fees for purchases over £200 can be up to 1.5% of any transaction with a minimum of £0.55.
Coinbase Pro fees are much lower and simpler and adhere to a standard maker/taker model. Taker fees apply when you make a trade and they are executed immediately, reducing the overall liquidity available on the exchange. Maker fees are charged for orders that aren’t filled immediately, creating cash and earning you possibly lower fees.
It is possible that part of your order will be considered a taker and the rest a maker, depending on how much of your order Coinbase is able to move at one time. These fees are good to keep in mind, but you won’t have a choice in how your order is fulfilled. You may also receive a rebate based on the amount you traded in the previous 30-day period.
Either way, the 0.50% fee on transactions under £10,000 is well below the 1.49% (plus spread) you’d pay on Coinbase itself.
*Note: Rates in effect from April 2022.
With its higher than average fees, why has Coinbase become one of the most popular destinations to buy cryptocurrencies? Here are some reasons:
Ease of use
Coinbase is incredibly easy to use. Registration takes no time at all, and you can then link a UK bank account to your account, the recommended way to minimize transaction costs.
The interface is bright and simple to navigate. A search bar helps you browse the myriad crypto offerings available, from Bitcoin to Tellor, and you can set up purchases to recur continuously.
For those who are a bit more weedy, Coinbase allows you to exchange selected cryptos for other cryptos, which means you can convert your Litecoins to Augur, for example. Keep in mind that this conversion comes with a 2% transaction fee.
Coinbase has built its reputation as a secure place to buy and sell crypto. This was a particularly salient statement after the Mt. Gox Eventwhen around 850,000 Bitcoins were stolen in 2014. Coinbase has never experienced such a calamity.
The platform claims that 98% of consumer funds are stored offline in various locations around the world, which helps to further strengthen the security of digital assets. Coinbase stores your crypto in its free wallet service, although you can choose to store your crypto in a third-party wallet.
You will need to perform two-factor authentication to log into your account. There are also biometric fingerprints and AES-256 encryption on private keys.
Coinbase also offers crime insurance that will protect some of your digital assets against theft and cybersecurity breaches. However, this insurance only kicks in if the Coinbase platform itself is compromised and does not cover individual accounts.
Additionally, cryptocurrency held in your accounts is not covered by the protection of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
Through its Learn platform, Coinbase rewards users with cryptocurrencies as they complete courses. Interactive Instagram Stories-style lessons take less than 10 minutes each, and rewards normally range from $1 (£0.77) to $5 (£3.85) of whatever coins users learn.
Those who hold certain coins in their Coinbase accounts are eligible to earn rewards if they let Coinbase stake them or use them as collateral to verify transactions for proof-of-stake cryptocurrencies, like Ethereum. Coinbase takes 25% of staking profits as a fee.
While Coinbase is designed for newcomers, more advanced traders might be interested in Coinbase Pro. You can use the same credentials on Coinbase and Coinbase Pro.
Coinbase Pro offers a full crypto trading experience, with advanced charting capabilities and a wider variety of order types, from market to stop and limit. And, perhaps most importantly, it charges significantly lower trading fees and allows free transfers between Coinbase and Coinbase Pro wallets.
Cryptocurrencies available on Coinbase
Currently, you can trade the following major cryptocurrencies on Coinbase:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Gimbal (ADA)
- Dogecoin (DOGE)
- Tether (USDT)
- Bitcoin Money (BCH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Uniswap (UNI)
- Chain link (LINK)
- Stellar Lumens (XLM)
- USD coin (USDC)
- Polygon (MATIC)
A complete list of cryptocurrencies available on Coinbase can be found on its website.