Coinbase Review

With more than 5,500,000 users as of this writing (and growing fast) Coinbase is one of the most widely used Bitcoin wallet services world wide.

Coinbase Wallet Cheatsheet
Coinbase Wallet Cheatsheet

With more than 5,500,000 users as of this writing (and growing fast) Coinbase is one of the most widely used Bitcoin wallet services world wide. Its main advantage is it’s simple to understand and therefore easy to use. It has all the necessary services to start your Bitcoin experience: wallet + bitcoin buy and sell services + easy send and receive.

Highlights:

Send and Receive: This is part of the basic Bitcoin network functionality all wallets provide.

Web: Coinbase is also known as the “PayPal of Bitcoin” because their user experience and services are similar, but applied to the digital currency. They strive to provide comprehensive web wallet, buy and sell, and merchant services.

Mobile App: They provide both Android and iPhone apps. All wallet services are included and they are synchronized with the web application meaning whatever you do in the app is immediately reflected on the website.

Key Backup: Since Coinbase hosts your wallet to provide all their services there is no backup functionality.

You Control Keys: As mentioned above, to provide their comprehensive services Coinbase needs to host your Bitcoins, this means your wallet’s public and private keys are kept in their servers and you access the Bitcoin network through them.

Market Information: They provide live price and transaction charts for basic investment and merchant services, but this is limited compared to other specialized websites.

Buy and Sell Bitcoins: They provide exchange services directly from the wallet, but users buy and sell from them since they are not an exchange. Their prices are very competitive and in line with market prices.

Blockchain Explorer: This is the ability to monitor everything that’s happening in the Bitcoin network directly from the source: the block chain. Coinbase does not provide this service although it’s not really necessary for basic wallet, market, and merchant services.

Link Bank Account: This is one of Coinbase’s key services that makes it so convenient especially to start exploring the Bitcoin market. Within the US users can link their bank accounts to their wallets so it’s easy to move money between their bitcoin wallets and their bank accounts. This service will be available in other countries soon.

Pay by Email/SMS: Just like PayPal invented this functionality to move money, Coinbase implemented this service to move Bitcoins around the world by using your email or cellphone. It is also possible to send Bitcoins this way to people who don’t have Coinbase accounts.

Merchant Services: Another of the key services Coinbase provides is the ability for merchants to sell and get paid in bitcoins. Sellers can use their “Pay”, “Subscribe”, and “Donate” buttons as well as implement their gateway with custom design.

Get your Bitcoin Coinbase Wallet here >>>

Updated: 1/25/2017

Coinbase vs Bitcoin Core vs Bitcoin Wallet Review – What Is The Difference?

This review was updated on June 8, 2015.

Millions of people around the world have heard and are curious about Bitcoin. Many are already using the digital currency and many more are planning to start using it in the near future. But the question everybody asks is:

What Bitcoin software or service should I use?

Hello Bitcoin >>>
Hello Bitcoin >>>

There are several solutions in the market, but the three of the most popular are Bitcoin Core, Bitcoin Wallet and Coinbase.

Bitcoin Core (formerly known as Bitcoin-Qt) is the original Bitcoin peer-to-peer open source software created by the network’s founder Satoshi Nakamoto. It is the core of the Bitcoin system and anybody can download it for free to their desktops. It contains the public ledger that lists every Bitcoin transaction in the system. When installed it turns your computer into a node in the Bitcoin Network.

Bitcoin Wallet is what is called a “thin client”. Created by Andreas Schildbach, a Bitcoin community engineer, it is also open source. It’s called “thin” because it doesn’t contain the Bitcoin public ledger and it needs to connect to the network through another Bitcoin server. This software is like any app on your smartphone and works on Android and Blackberry devices.

Coinbase is a private company based in San Francisco, California, that provides web and mobile Bitcoin services. The mission of the founders is to provide Bitcoin value added products for consumers and merchants. Their users deal with the company rather than directly with the network. Coinbase is recognized as “the PayPal” of the Bitcoin Network.

How do they compare?

The three services fulfill the basic functions of storing and keeping track of your Bitcoin account balance, but they differ in features and security format. Take a look at this comparison chart to see the differences:

Coinbase vs Bitcoin-Qt vs Bitcoin Wallet Chart
Coinbase vs Bitcoin Core vs Bitcoin Wallet Chart

And what does this mean for me?

As shown above there are several things to take into account when deciding what solution to use. It all boils down to your personal needs and your security preferences. These are the descriptions for each feature:

Send and Receive: The first thing you do when you get a Bitcoin wallet is to acquire your first bitcoins by selling products and services or by buying them. After that you need to be able to transfer them to pay for things or sell them. For this the features of Send and Receive are needed and the three solutions mentioned above provide this. They all also have the Address Book functionality that let’s you store names and Bitcoin addresses so it’s easier to manage your transfers.

Buy and Sell: If you need to buy and sell bitcoins as an investment or for payment purposes you can use Bitcoin exchanges. For this you need to transfer back and forth bitcoins to and from your exchange accounts. In the case of Coinbase it is the only one that has this service integrated into its wallet and merchant products. On Coinbase you can easily buy and sell bitcoins directly from your account without having to move them elsewhere.

Link Bank Account: When you link your Us dollar bank account with your Bitcoin account you can easily move money between them. Coinbase is the only one that provides this feature. In the case of Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin Wallet you need to handle the dollar transfers and payments separately from your bitcoin movements.

Pay by Email: PayPal pioneered the ability to send and receive money using your email account. Coinbase is emulating this by providing the same functionality but with your Bitcoin account. By entering their email addresses you can send bitcoins to anyone and anyone can send Bitcoins to you using your email address too. On Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin Wallet your need to use the 30 character Bitcoin address instead.

Merchant Services: If you use Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin Wallet you can get paid when you sell products and services by providing your Bitcoin address. This is a 30 character code that anyone can use to transfer the digital currency to your account. In the case of Coinbase they have taken this further by providing “Buy”, “Subscribe”, and “Donate” buttons that are linked to your account. These buttons can be installed in your website so your clients can pay just like they would by clicking your PayPal or other payment buttons.

Web: Coinbase is the only one that has web based services. This means you can open your Bitcoin wallet and fully manage it and use all their services on their website.

Desktop: Bitcoin Core is only desktop based and it is the only one of the three with a desktop app. You can use it on any Windows, Mac, Ubuntu, or Linux computer. It takes 1 day or more to download because it includes all the historic Bitcoin transactions ledger.

Smartphone: Bitcoin Wallet is only a mobile app and works on Android and Blackberry. Coinbase has a full service mobile app that works on Apple and Android and synchronizes with their web services.

You Control Private Key: To be able to transfer bitcoins in the network you need your public Bitcoin address and your private key which is secret. In the case of Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin Wallet your private keys are stored in the software and app which are only installed on your devices. This means they are not held anywhere else and you have exclusive control of your Bitcoin accounts.

They Control Private Key: In the case of Coinbase they control your private keys. This is because it is the only way they can serve as a gateway to the Bitcoin ecosystem and provide their value added services. It is more or less like a bank account: when you have dollar bills in your wallet you have full control of your money, but when you deposit them in the bank they have control of your money.

Security formats:

Bitcoin Core is considered the most secure and stable solution because users control their private keys and it is a node in the network. It’s downside is that it occupies significant space in your computer and it has less features than the other alternatives.

In the case of Bitcoin Wallet it is considered secure, users also control their private keys, and it is convenient because it is mobile and you can pay and get paid using QR codes.

Coinbase is as secure as the company and its technology are. Because users interact with Coinbase and thus indirectly with the network, they need to entrust their private keys to the company just like they would their money with PayPal or with a bank. Because Coinbase is compliant with federal and state regulations and counts with the support of important investors it is considered to be a safe Bitcoin service provider.

Conclusion:

If you want to be part of the Bitcoin Network and maybe even are planning to provide Bitcoin services in the future, the best alternative for you is to use Bitcoin Core .

For those who want a high level of security, but at the same time convenience and mobility then Bitcoin Wallet is the most suitable solution.

For a simple and full service experience Coinbase offers the best alternative. If you want to easily open a Bitcoin account, use it on the web and on your mobile device, and maybe even sell your products and get paid in bitcoins then the Coinbase Wallet is the best way to start.

Coinbase vs Bitstamp Review – Bitcoin Exchanges – What Is The Difference?

With Bitcoin’s popularity on the rise more and more people around the world are asking how to start using it and what are the best tools available.

The basic features with many services are the abilities to store, send, and receive bitcoins, but once this is solved the next natural step is to find a place to buy and sell the digital currency.

Coinbase and Bitstamp are two of the most popular exchange services especially among American users.

Coinbase vs Bitstamp comparison chart
Coinbase vs Bitstamp comparison chart

San Francisco based Coinbase is known as “the PayPal” of Bitcoin and its main focus is to provide easy access through simple and intuitive services for individuals, merchants, and investors.

Bitstamp is located in Slovenia and its mission is to be an efficient Bitcoin exchange solution with robust trading services and easy deposit and withdrawal of traditional currencies.

How do they compare?

Buy and Sell: Both services provide bitcoin/US dollar exchange services, but they differ in their style. Coinbase users buy and sell bitcoins directly from the company. They publish their bid and ask prices on their service and users can go to the “buy/sell” page to enter their orders. In the case of Bitstamp the company acts as an exchange where users buy and sell between themselves at the best prices offered on the system.

Link Bank Account: On Coinbase US customers can link their bank accounts to move dollars between their financial institutions and Coinbase. Once this is done the deposits and withdrawals are automatic each time they buy and sell Bitcoins. On Bitstamp this service is available for EU customers, US users can deposit and withdraw dollars by wire transfer.

Instant Orders: Once the accounts are setup and funds deposited users of both services can buy and sell bitcoins and both companies offer Instant Orders. This means that when users enter their buy and sell orders they are executed immediately at the best price available at that time.

Limit Orders: These orders consist of buying and selling at specific prices indicated by the users. Coinbase doesn’t support this type of order. On Bitstamp users can enter limit orders that stay open until they are either cancelled by the client or executed in the market.

Order Book:

Bitstamp - Order Book
Bitstamp – Order Book

An order book is a screen where all the bid and ask orders are published with the price and volume information so all buyers and sellers can see the depth and breath of the market. Bitstamp offers this feature in a chart and in list format. Because Coinbase doesn’t handle customer orders they only publish their own bid and ask prices with no volume information.

Holds Bitcoins: This is the ability to store and hold users’ bitcoins in their service. On both Coinbase and Bitstamp they hold and store Bitcoins for their customers. Users can also check their balances and account activities on both services.

Holds Dollars: This is the ability to store and hold customers’ dollars in their accounts. In the case of Bitstamp customers can deposit, store, and withdraw US dollars whenever they want. Because of compliance reasons Coinbase doesn’t yet hold dollars on their customer accounts. Each time users buy and sell bitcoins the dollars are deposited and withdrawn from their clients’ accounts in their financial institutions using the ACH automatic transfer system.

Other Currencies: For deposits and withdrawals Bitstamp supports US dollars, British pounds, and Swiss francs. In the case of Coinbase for now they only support US dollars within the United States.

Wallet Services:

Coinbase Wallet
Coinbase Wallet

Coinbase offers full wallet services that include the ability to send and receive bitcoins by email and SMS. In the case of Bitstamp users need to get wallet services from 3rd parties, but they can link them to their Bitstamp investing accounts.

Which one should I use?

If you live in the US and prefer an easy to use service with the ability to buy and sell bitcoins then Coinbase is your best option.

If you are seeking more advanced trading services with the ability to deposit and withdraw in other currencies as well then Bitstamp is your best alternative.

Coinbase vs Blockchain.Info Review – What Is The Difference? – Bitcoin Wallets

Coinbase vs Blockchain.Info Comparison Chart
Coinbase vs Blockchain.Info Comparison Chart

Millions of people around the world have heard and are curious about Bitcoin. Many are already using the digital currency and many more are planning to start using it in the near future. But the question everybody asks is:

What Bitcoin wallet should I use?

There are several solutions in the market, but currently there are two leading the way with value added services on top of the base Bitcoin protocol.

These two services are Coinbase currently serving 329,000 wallet users and Blockchain.Info which just in the last few days surpassed 500,000 wallet users.

Coinbase:

Coinbase >>>
Coinbase >>>

Coinbase is a private company based in San Francisco, California, that provides web and mobile Bitcoin services. Their mission is to provide Bitcoin value added products for consumers and merchants. Coinbase is recognized as “the PayPal” of the Bitcoin Network.

Blockchain.Info:

Blockchain.Info >>>
Blockchain.Info >>>

Blockchain.Info is also a private company, but based in York, United Kingdom. The company provides full Bitcoin market and block chain exploring information and wallet services. It is recognized as one of the first information and wallet services in the Bitcoin network and very well respected in the community.

How do they compare?

As shown in the comparison chart above there are several things to take into account when deciding what solution to use. It all boils down to your personal needs and your security preferences. These are the descriptions for each feature:

Send and Receive: The first thing you do when you get a Bitcoin wallet is to acquire your first bitcoins by selling products and services or by buying them. After that you need to be able to transfer them to pay for things or sell them. For this the features of Send and Receive are needed and the two solutions mentioned above provide this. They also have the Address Book functionality that lets you store names and Bitcoin addresses so it’s easier to manage your transfers.

Buy and Sell: If you need to buy and sell bitcoins as an investment or for payment purposes you can use Bitcoin exchanges. For this you need to transfer back and forth bitcoins to and from your exchange accounts. In the case of Coinbase it has this service integrated into its wallet and merchant products. On Coinbase you can easily buy and sell bitcoins directly from your account without having to move them elsewhere. Blockchain doesn’t offer this service, but they do provide links to their partner exchanges.

Link Bank Account: When you link your US dollar bank account with your Bitcoin account you can easily move money between them. Coinbase provides this feature. In the case of the Blockchain Wallet you need to handle the dollar transfers and payments separately from your bitcoin movements.

Pay by Email: PayPal pioneered the ability to send and receive money using your email account. Coinbase is emulating this by providing the same functionality but with your Bitcoin account. By entering an email address you can send Bitcoins to anyone and anyone can send Bitcoins to you using your email address. On the Blockchain Wallet you need to use the 30 character Bitcoin address instead.

Merchant Services: If you use the Blockchain Wallet you can get paid when you sell products and services by providing your Bitcoin address. This is a 30 character code that anyone can use to transfer the digital currency to your account. In the case of Coinbase they have taken this further by providing “Buy”, “Subscribe”, and “Donate” buttons that are linked to your account. These buttons can be installed in your website so your clients can pay just like they would by clicking your PayPal or other payment buttons.

Web: Both services have web based services. This means you can open your Bitcoin wallet and fully manage it and use all their services on their website.

Mobile: Both Coinbase and Blockchain have full service mobile apps that work on Android and iPhone and synchronize with their web services.

Wallet Backup: Only Blockchain lets you download, store on your DropBox or Google Drive, send by email, or print on paper your Bitcoin wallet private and public keys. In the case of Coinbase they host your keys in their servers.

Block Chain Explorer: This is the reason Blockchain.Info gave itself this name. They provide a full view of all the transactions and analytic data of what is happening in the Bitcoin network.

You Control Private Key: To be able to transfer bitcoins in the network you need your public Bitcoin address and your private key which is secret. On Blockchain.Info they generate and keep an encrypted copy of your keys on their servers, but as mentioned above, you also have full access to download or back them up therefore you have control of your keys.

They Control Private Key: In the case of Coinbase they control your private keys. This is because it is the only way they can serve as a gateway to the Bitcoin ecosystem and provide their value added services. It is more or less like a bank account: When you have dollar bills in your wallet you have full control of your money, but when you deposit them in the bank they have control of your money.

Security formats:

Since storing and holding Bitcoins in the network is done through 2 security keys, one public and one private for each wallet, then the question of who holds the keys becomes the main safety issue.

Blockchain.Info: They generate this pair of keys when you open your wallet, but they keep the “custody” of the keys. The advantage they provide though is that you can download, export, or print your keys if you wish to back them up in an external place outside of their servers. This provides an additional level of security because if the company disappears you still have access to your Bitcoins by having your public and private keys. You just need to download or go to another wallet service and import your existing keys there to access your money again.

Coinbase: As mentioned before, because they provide additional services for users and merchants, on Coinbase your wallet is as secure as the company and its technology are. Because users interact with Coinbase and thus indirectly with the network, they need to entrust their security keys to the company just like they would their money with PayPal or with a bank. Because Coinbase is compliant with federal and state regulations and counts with the support of important investors it is considered to be a safe Bitcoin service provider.

Conclusion:

For a simple and full service experience Coinbase offers the best alternative. If you want to easily open a Bitcoin account, use it on the web and on your mobile device, and maybe even sell your products and get paid in Bitcoins then the Coinbase Wallet is the best way to start.

For more advanced users who wish more control and flexibility then Blockchain.Info is the best option. Although it doesn’t offer merchant or trading services, its open model permits the Blockchain Wallet to easily interact with third party providers like Bitcoin exchanges and other services.