Tag Archives: wallet

Coinbase Overview – Pros & Cons, Security, and Fees

Coinbase is one of the biggest cryptocurrency companies around, supporting over 100 countries, with more than 30 million customers around the world.

Coinbase has a wide array of services but their main service allows users to buy and sell Bitcoins through a bank account, credit card, and debit card. The rates you’ll get on Coinbase are fair in general, however, the customer support is terrible.

Overview 

Coinbase first came into existence in San Fransisco, California, the USA, in the year 2012. Coinbase still has its headquarters in San Fransisco. However, now it has offices in multiple cities all across the US. Coinbase has started out only as a Bitcoin brokerage service (selling Bitcoins directly to customers), but additional services were added along the way. Coinbase is fully regulated and licensed. The company has raised over $540m from leading investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, Rabbit Capital, and The NYSE.

Services

Coinbase brokerage

The main service Coinbase offers is a brokerage service for buying and selling cryptocurrencies. On the downside, one of the main complaints users have towards Coinbase is the lack of control of users over their own funds. When you open a Coinbase account you don’t have direct access to your coins and you don’t get any private key or a seed phrase. Coinbase stores your coins for you – it’s the equivalent of putting your cash at the bank, you don’t own it, the bank does.

Coinbase Pro

Coinbase Pro is a cryptocurrency trading platform. As opposed to the traditional Coinbase brokerage service, which simplifies buying cryptocurrencies at a premium, Coinbase pro is aimed at more experienced users. Coinbase pro allows users to trade several cryptocurrencies including BTC, ETH, LTC, BCH, and ZRX. Fees are considerably lower than the brokerage service and there are advanced trading options as well.

Wallet 

In 2018 Coinbase launched their independent mobile wallet for iOS and Android. The wallet stores the private keys on the user’s device and only they have access to the funds. This brings Coinbase full circle as it started out as a wallet, transitioned to an exchange only (claiming that they are not a wallet) and now they are offering wallet services again.

Fees

Coinbase has an incredibly convoluted fee system that is also quite expensive if you are not using Coinbase Pro. The cost of trading on Coinbase’s standard platform is quite high in comparison to its competitors.

Buying Limits

Once your Coinbase account is set up you will be able to buy a small amount of Bitcoins until you raise your limit. In order to raise your limits you will need to do the following:

  • Provide and verify your phone number
  • Provide and verify your personal information
  • Provide and verify your photo id

If you are a fully verified US resident you can reach the highest limit which is currently $25K a day. Limits may also be set depending on the payment method you choose to buy the cryptocurrencies. For example, ACH transfer has higher limits than credit card purchases on Coinbase.

How safe is coinbase?

Coinbase uses premium security features, and all you need to do is maintain the security from your side. Coinbase offers biometric security, two-step verification, and insurance in case there is a breach at coinbase. However, this insurance is not valid if you perform any act of carelessness.

Pros and Cons

A solid variety of altcoin choicesHigh fees when not using Coinbase Pro
Extremely simple user interfaceThe user does not control wallet keys
Very high liquidityMay not have as many altcoins as some other exchanges

Bottom line

Coinbase is an ideal tool for new crypto investors who may not have any other investment experience. While the standard platform is overpriced, its features, like its learning to program and the ability to easily set up recurring purchases, provide the inexperienced with a clear path to becoming invested and actually understanding cryptocurrency.

Those with more trading experience will find that Coinbase Pro is a cheaper and more robust option, but it is still lacking in terms of features. If you wish to trade seriously, you may find that Coinbase is not the right fit for you. Overall, Coinbase is designed with the beginner in mind.

What is Ethereum ? – Practical uses of Ethereum

Ethereum is a blockchain platform with its own cryptocurrency, called Ether (ETH) or Ethereum. It is open access to digital money and data-friendly services for everyone – no matter your background or location. It’s a community-built technology behind the cryptocurrency ether (ETH).

What’s an Ethereum wallet?

Ethereum wallets are applications that let you interact with your Ethereum account. Think of it as an internet banking app – without the bank. Your wallet lets you read your balance, send transactions, and connect to applications. You need a wallet to send funds and manage your ETH.

Your wallet is only a tool for managing your Ethereum account. That means you can swap wallet providers at any time. Many wallets also let you manage several Ethereum accounts from one application.

Types of wallet

  • Physical hardware wallets that let you keep your crypto offline – very secure.
  • Mobile applications that make your funds accessible from anywhere
  • Web wallets that let you interact with your account via a web browser
  • Desktop applications if you prefer to manage your funds via macOS, Windows, or Linux.

Practical uses

Ethereum allows you to move money, or make agreements, directly with someone else. You don’t need to go through intermediary companies.

Here are 5 practical uses of Ethereum:

1. It can be used in the healthcare system to securely store and share patient information.
2. Smart contracts can be used to make risk-free, direct transactions.
3. It can be used to improve the current election polling system by making it more transparent and secure.
4. It can be used as a decentralized data storage facility.
5. It can be used to build decentralized apps (DAPPS).

Interesting Facts

Here are 3 interesting facts about Ethereum:

1. Programmers of Ethereum created a custom programming language called ‘Solidity’.
2. Unlike other cryptocurrencies, Ethereum’s currency ‘Ether’ doesn’t have a maximum number of coins. This makes it an inflationary currency.
3. Ether mining was originally based on the Proof-of-Work mining principle, but developers have since planned to switch over to Proof-of-Stake in the future.

Criticisms 

Ethereum faces the same criticisms that all cryptocurrency platforms face:

  • Cryptocurrencies may or may not be a bubble about to burst (again). This debate has been going on since at least 2017, a year during which Bitcoin’s value seesawed between about $20,000 and about $3,000.
  • Each of these networks is eating up a vast amount of energy. Cryptocurrency miners, in particular, are devoting a huge amount of computing power to the process of validating transactions. 

Is Ethereum Better Than Bitcoin?

Unlike the Bitcoin blockchain, the Etherium blockchain was not created to support a cryptocurrency. The Ether cryptocurrency was created to provide an in-house currency for applications built on the Etherium blockchain.

In other words, Etherium has wider ambitions. It wants to be a platform for all kinds of applications that can store information safely.

Despite their differences, the two are the creators of virtual currencies that have become rivals in the investing world. And virtual currencies are just that: They are coins that have no physical existence but are represented by a string of code that can be exchanged at a price agreed upon by a buyer and a seller.