Coinbase is one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange platforms. The San Francisco-based company was founded in June 2012 and has grown to become a giant in the space. and is one of the top 4 most valuable crypto-companies in the world.
Coinbase earned $1 billion in revenue in 2017, but the exchange’s brightest days might still be ahead. Coinbase has made a number of huge changes in the last 12 months. They’ve rolled out new products – like digital asset custody services for institutions. They’ve rebranded core products – like turning GDAX into Coinbase Pro. They’ve made big acquisitions – like paying $100 million for Earn.com.
To date, Coinbase has exchanged over $150 billion in digital currencies. The platform serves over 20 million customers in 32 countries.
If you wanted to understand the crypto industry, then you need to understand Coinbase and its products. Today, we’re reviewing Coinbase’s core products, including their products and services for consumers, advanced traders, institutions, and businesses.
Coinbase’s “Consumer” product is their basic exchange service. Since launch, Coinbase has made it easy to buy and sell digital currencies online. With Coinbase’s payment platform, you don’t even need to access a complicated exchange interface. Instead, you can buy bitcoin with a credit card or bank transfer just as easily as you would buy a product from Amazon.
Today, Coinbase’s Consumer platform is catered strictly to individual traders. Once you’ve signed up for the platform, you can buy and sell digital currency. You’ll pay high fees than you would if you were interacting with an exchange. However, it’s a convenient and user-friendly way to buy cryptocurrencies.
Some of the core features of Coinbase’s Consumer platform include:
Manage your Portfolio: Buy and sell popular digital currencies and track your portfolio from a single location.
Setup Recurring Buys: Coinbase has a popular feature called “recurring buys” where you can purchase a pre-set amount of digital currency on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
Vault Protection: Give your digital funds an extra layer of security by storing them in a vault with time-delayed withdrawals.
Mobile Apps: Coinbase offers iOS and Android apps.
Multiple Digital Currencies: Coinbase is famously picky with the digital currencies it supports. Today, however, the platform supports bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), and Litecoin (LTC).
Coinbase’s Toshi is a browser for the Ethereum network – similar to MetaMask. With Toshi, you can run distributed apps (Dapps) in your browser and get universal access to Ethereum.
Toshi is available in the form of an iOS or Android app. Key features of the app include:
Instant Global Payments: Toshi lets you manage ETH tokens and ERC20 tokens, among other Ethereum network tokens. You can store your money, send it to an app, or transfer it to others.
Secure Messaging: Toshi has end-to-end encrypted chat built in, allowing you to communicate with people and apps in a secure way.
App Ecosystem: Browse third party apps powered by the Ethereum network.
Coinbase launched Toshi as a free API toolkit back in 2014 – before Ethereum was ever launched. The platform was originally designed as a complete implementation of the bitcoin protocol. Coinbase re-launched Toshi as an Ethereum wallet and Ethereum browser in 2017.
In April 2018, Coinbase purchased Earn.com for $120 million. It’s the company’s largest and most significant acquisition to date.
Today, Earn.com lets you perform basic online tasks and get paid in bitcoin. A company might pay users to answer a survey, for example.
Or, celebrities and high-profile businesspeople use Earn.com to create a paid email system: users can pay, say, $100 to ensure their email gets a reply from a major venture capital investor. Anyone can create a professional profile on Earn.com, then start receiving paid messages. This system can be used by celebrities, in-demand employees, businesspeople, and more.
Ben Horowitz uses Earn.com, as do Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, among many others. You can even contact Brian Armstrong, CEO and co-founder of Coinbase, through Earn.com in exchange for $5.
Earn.com is powered by bitcoin. You’ll need to spend bitcoin to contact certain individuals. Or, you can receive bitcoin for answering survey questions.
Coinbase offers a digital currency platform to retailers called Coinbase Commerce. The platform allows retailers to safely and easily accept digital currency payments. Coinbase Commerce is built on the Coinbase platform, which means you get the same security as you do with all Coinbase products.
One of the advantages of Coinbase Commerce is that you can accept payments worldwide. There’s no geographical limits on where your customers have to e from.
Coinbase Commerce can also easily be customized to meet the needs of your business. Coinbase’s customization tools let you change your dashboard without writing any code.
With Coinbase Commerce, you can accept the top four digital currencies available for trading through Coinbase, including bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin. Ethereum Classic, although available for trading on the main Coinbase platform, is not yet accepted through Coinbase Commerce.
For Advanced Traders
Coinbase describes its Coinbase Pro platform as being “for advanced traders”. That’s because Coinbase wants “average” traders to pay high fees on their Consumer platform.
In reality, Coinbase Pro is just the rebranded form of GDAX. You get a standard-looking exchange interface, complete with a price chart, trade history, and orderbook. If you’ve used other popular cryptocurrency exchanges, then you’ll get a similar experience with Coinbase Pro.
Anyone who had a GDAX account prior to May 2018 will automatically have a Coinbase Pro account. You can login and begin trading as normal.
GDAX, or Global Digital Assets Exchange, was one of the two core products launched by Coinbase. The company’s exchange platform was originally called Coinbase Exchange, but rebranded to GDAX in May 2016. Today, Coinbase is moving forward with the name Coinbase Pro.
Core features of Coinbase Pro include:
Easy API: Coinbase Pro has a Websocket feed that lets you easily gain access to real-time market data. The trading API, meanwhile, lets you develop secure, programmatic trading bots.
Insurance Protection: Unlike most other exchanges, Coinbase Pro insures customer funds. All USD assets held in Coinbase Pro’s online storage are fully insured by FDIC insurance up to a maximum of $250,000 per customer. Digital assets, however, are not insured.
0% Maker Fees: Coinbase Pro doesn’t charge any maker fees, which means the people who post trades will not pay a fee. Taker fees, meanwhile, are set at 0.30%, dropping to 0.20% if you have more than $10 million in monthly trading volume and to 0.10% when you have over $100 million in monthly trading volume.
Coinbase recently launched its Asset Management platform at am.coinbase.com. That platform lets you get exposure to all assets listed on Coinbase through the Coinbase Index Fund. Today, the Coinbase Index Fund is available to accredited investors in the United States.
Key features of the Coinbase Index Fund include:
Multiple Digital Assets: The index fund tracks the top five cryptocurrencies available for trading on Coinbase, broken down roughly by their market share. Today, the fund holds the following coins and amounts:
- Bitcoin (BTC): 72.03%
- Ethereum (ETH): 19.05%
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH): 5.97%
- Litecoin (LTC): 2.12%
- Ethereum Classic (ETH): 0.83%
Low Fees: The Coinbase Index Fund charges a 1% annual management with no additional performance fee.
Secured by Coinbase: “Assets protected by Coinbase’s industry-leading security standards,” explains the Coinbase Asset Management website.
Minimum Investment: The Coinbase Index Fund has a minimum investment of $250,000 USD. As mentioned above, it’s only available to US-resident, accredited investors.
In May 2018, Coinbase made another big acquisition, purchasing the decentralized exchange Paradex. Paradex, like other decentralized exchanges, lets you exchange coins within your wallet without trusting storage on a centralized exchange.
The exchange offers dozens of different tokens available for trading, including plenty of assets you won’t find on the main Coinbase Consumer trading platform or the Coinbase Exchange.
Key token pairs include Aragon, Airswap, Basic Attention Token, Binance Coin, Civic, Kyber, Huobi Token, OmiseGo, STORJ, TrueUSD, and 0x.
Overall, Paradex makes it easy to trade tokens directly from your wallet with no trading fees, no custodianship, and no account sign-ups. It’s how a decentralized exchange should work.
Coinbase Prime is Coinbase’s professional trading platform for institutional clients. Institutions can access the same liquidity pool that underpins all Coinbase products using a professional, institutional-grade trading interface.
Institutional Trading Services: Coinbase Prime lets you get access to advanced institutional trading capabilities, including features you don’t see on other Coinbase trading platforms. You can access margin finance, for example, high-touch execution, OTC block trading, and execution algorithms. Institutions can access the central limit order book through the Web GUI, FIX API, or third party platforms like TT.
Dedicated Institutional Coverage: Coinbase has a dedicated team of institutional coverage professionals based in New York City. This team will guide institutions through the onboarding process, provide advice on execution strategies, and offer ongoing customer support.
Trusted and Secure: Coinbase Prime aims to be the most trusted and secure trading platform for institutional investors. With that goal in mind, Coinbase has setup a surveillance, legal, and compliance team hailing from diverse backgrounds, including the CFTC and SEC. Hot wallets are insured, while digital currencies are stored in Coinbase’s custody architecture.
Coinbase’s digital asset custody service comes with an initial setup fee of $100,000 and a minimum deposit amount of $10 million. Coinbase also charges 10 basis points in monthly fees.
Today, Coinbase can store the five core digital assets available for trading on its platform, including bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ethereum Classic. Coinbase plans to add support for ERC20 tokens in the near future.
Key features available with Coinbase’s digital asset custody service include:
Dedicated Coverage: Institutions get dedicated coverage from Coinbase’s Institutional Coverage team in New York City and Los Angeles.
SLAs on Fund Transfers: SLAs on fund transfers, including guaranteed response times for moving assets.
Insurance: Digital assets stored with Coinbase Custody are covered by Coinbase’s insurance policy.
Multi-User Accounts: This feature is currently labeled as “coming soon”, but will allow custom user and organizational controls across all your accounts.
To launch Coinbase’s digital asset custody service, the firm partnered with SEC-registered broker dealer and FINRA member ETC, a Los Angeles-based electronic transaction clearing and custody service provider.
Today, Coinbase has attracted a number of major names to its custody service, including WaldenBridgeCapital, Polychain Capital, Multicoin Capital, and Autonomous Partners.
Coinbase is one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges and service providers. available in dozens of countries worldwide, the US-based company has made a number of major acquisitions to expand its influence across the crypto industry. They recently won a bitcoin payment patent that helps secure checkouts with a crypto wallet that will be utilized in the future. We also saw the recent news of a possible Coinbase Crypto ETF with help and consulting from $6 trillion dollar asset manager BlackRock as well.
The products listed above are what Coinbase offers now – but stay tuned to see what Coinbase may offer next.