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.
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.