Coinbase Pro Review (2021)

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Coinbase Pro Review (2021)

Summary

Coinbase Pro is one of the most popular crypto exchanges in the UK.

Just like with Coinbase, you can deposit GBP directly into Coinbase Pro quickly (and for free) with a UK bank transfer. You can then trade multiple cryptocurrencies on a growing number of GBP markets (which seem to have decent trading volume).

Fees are higher than many alternative crypto exchanges though (up to 0.5%). On the flip side, this is one of the most reputable crypto companies around and Coinbase Pro offers one of the easiest to use trading interfaces around.

Coinbase Pro is a crypto exchange that’s part of the wider Coinbase platform. It offers an advanced trading terminal that’s ideal for experienced investors.

In this Coinbase Pro review, we’ll do a deep dive into what Coinbase Pro is and how it works. We’ll look at the features that the platform offers for advanced traders as well as its advantages and disadvantages when compared to other exchanges.

Advantages & Disadvantages

Advantages

  • User-friendly interface on desktop and mobile devices
  • Nearly all features are available in the UK
  • Supports dozens of fiat-crypto and crypto-crypto trading pairs
  • Easy access to the regular Coinbase website
  • Good fee transparency

Disadvantages

  • No margin or futures trading
  • Limited supported fiat currency options
  • Identity verification required for all accounts
  • Slow response times from customer support

What is Coinbase Pro?

Coinbase Pro is a feature of the larger Coinbase platform, which offers a growing range of crypto-related services for people all across the world. Coinbase was founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam in order to make crypto accessible for as many people as possible.

Nowadays, Coinbase is one of the world’s largest crypto platforms. It has no official headquarters, but it was located in San Francisco until 2020. The company now boasts over 68 million users in 100+ countries. It also claims to have more than US$180 billion in assets on its platform.

Is Coinbase Pro safe?

As a part of Coinbase, Coinbase Pro is registered with the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) with register number 9000635. The firm is also registered with the US-based FinCEN as a Money Services Business.

On Trustpilot, the entire Coinbase platform has a 1.6* rating out of more than 5,790 reviews. Meanwhile, Coinbase Pro has a 2.4* rating out of more than 55 reviews.

Both of these ratings are low, however, they’re somewhat standard for the industry. Most of Coinbase Pro’s low rating reviews note the company’s slow customer support. Other users state that they’re frustrated with the company’s lengthy identity verification process.

That being said, these are both fairly common issues that you’ll find at a number of major crypto exchanges—not just Coinbase Pro.

As far as the security of its platform goes, Coinbase has never experienced a successful company-wide hacking attempt. Nevertheless, there was an incident in 2021 where about 125,000 traders received a false notification about changes that were made to their 2-factor authentication settings.

This notification was made in error and no accounts were compromised. To make amends for the security scare, Coinbase gave US$100 worth of Bitcoin to most affected account holders.

How Does Coinbase Pro Work?

The Coinbase Pro trading interface.

Coinbase Pro is a cryptocurrency exchange. This means that you can purchase crypto on the platform without the need to work with a middleman, like a broker.

Note that Coinbase Pro gives investors direct access to the firm’s exchange. Meanwhile, the regular Coinbase trading terminal actually routes trades to the Coinbase Pro exchange.

The standard Coinbase trading interface (portfolio tab).

With Coinbase Pro, you can place trades on the firm’s website or on a mobile app (iOS and Android). All of the company’s apps, including the Coinbase Pro app, are highly rated. Many account holders also find that the Coinbase Pro app is surprisingly streamlined for an advanced trading terminal.

Creating a Coinbase Pro account

Coinbase Pro is just one part of what Coinbase’s platform offers.

If you already have a Coinbase account, you can use your login credentials to sign into Coinbase Pro. Any information that you provided when verifying your existing Coinbase account will transfer to Coinbase Pro. However, you may also need to answer some additional identity verification questions before your Coinbase Pro account is active.

If you don’t already have a Coinbase account, you can simply navigate to the Coinbase Pro website and click the button to sign up. This will prompt you to provide and verify your personal information.

You’ll need to provide a copy of a photo ID when signing up for an account on Coinbase. UK-based investors can upload a photo of their driver license, passport, or another government-issued ID. You also need to answer identity verification questions before you can start trading.

Buying crypto using the Coinbase Pro browser interface

Once your Coinbase Pro account is active, you can access the web exchange by heading over to the Coinbase Pro website and logging in.

The Coinbase Pro exchange is far more complex than the Coinbase web exchange. However, it is probably one of the simplest trading interfaces I’ve come across.

To place a buy order on the web exchange, do the following:

  • Select a trading pair (e.g., BTC-GBP) by clicking on the ‘Select Market’ button on your screen.
  • Press ‘Buy’ in the ‘Order Form’ section of your screen.
  • Choose your order type (e.g., market, limit, stop).
  • Enter your order total.
  • Confirm your order total and any fees.
  • Press ‘Place Buy Order’ to complete your purchase.

If you submitted a market order, your crypto should be immediately available in your portfolio. Funds from limit and stop orders will be available in your portfolio once the trade is executed.

Buying crypto using the Coinbase Pro mobile app

For mobile-savvy investors, Coinbase Pro offers an iOS and Android app. Using this app, you can access the Coinbase Pro trading terminal, view your portfolio, and transfer funds.

To place a trade on the mobile app, open the app, log in, and do the following:

  • Click the ‘Markets’ button on the bottom of the screen.
  • Select the trading pair (e.g., ETH-GBP) of your choice.
  • Press the ‘Buy’ button.
  • Choose your order type (e.g., market, limit, stop).
  • Type in your order total.
  • Press ‘Preview Order’.
  • Confirm your order total and any transaction fees.
  • Press ‘Place Buy Order’ to complete your purchase.

As is the case with the web-based exchange, funds from market orders on the app should be immediately available in your portfolio. All other orders will appear in your portfolio when the trade is executed.

Supported Countries

Coinbase Pro is available in all 100+ countries where Coinbase operates. This includes the United Kingdom, the US, Canada, and nearly every country in the European Union.

However, while Coinbase operates in more than 100 countries, it doesn’t offer the same services around the world. For example, investors in some countries, like New Zealand, can’t buy crypto; instead, they can only convert crypto from one coin to another.

For more information, check out Coinbase’s complete list of supported countries to see if the firm operates in your area.

Supported Cryptocurrencies

Generally speaking, all 50+ cryptocurrencies available on the regular Coinbase platform are available on Coinbase Pro. This includes most major coins, such as:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ether (ETH)
  • Tether (USDT)
  • Polkadot (DOT)
  • USD Coin (USDC)
  • Cardano (ADA)
  • Solana (SOL)
  • Chainlink (LINK)
  • Stellar Lumens (XLM)

Keep in mind that not all coins on the platform are available in all countries. To check if a coin is available in your area, head to the Coinbase Asset Directory.

Payment Methods

As is the case with the regular Coinbase platform, the payment and account funding options on Coinbase Pro vary greatly depending on your geographic region.

UK-based investors can fund Coinbase Pro accounts using British Pounds (GBP), Euro (EUR), and cryptocurrencies. Your funding options include:

However, Coinbase Pro does not support PayPal transfers, debit or credit card purchases, or non-USD wire transfers.

With regards to cryptocurrency transfers, you can send supported coins to your Coinbase Pro wallet using your account address.

Alternatively, you can transfer crypto between your Coinbase and Coinbase Pro accounts. This process is quick and efficient, but you must manually transfer funds between your accounts. That’s because crypto in your Coinbase account isn’t automatically available in Coinbase Pro.

Coinbase Pro Fees

Coinbase Pro is relatively transparent about its fee schedule, particularly when it comes to trading fees. Trading fees on Coinbase Pro are charged using a maker-taker system. The fee schedule is as follows:

Monthly Trading VolumeMaker FeeTaker Fee
$10,000 or less0.50%0.50%
$10,000 to $50,0000.35%0.35%
$50,000 to $100,0000.15%0.25%
$100,000 to $1 million0.10%0.20%
$1 million to $20 million0.08%0.18%
$20 million to $100 million0.05%0.15%
$100 million to $300 million0.02%0.10%
$300 million to $500 millionFree0.08%
$500 million to $750 millionFree0.06%
$750 million to $1 billionFree0.05%
$1 billion or moreFree0.04%

Your fee tier is determined by your 30-day trading volume. Note that fee tiers are calculated in USD. This means that any crypto-to-crypto trades or crypto purchases you make using GBP or EUR will be converted to USD to calculate your fee tier.

However, this fee schedule is only for crypto-to-crypto trades or fiat to crypto trades. If you make a stable pair trade with Coinbase Pro, you’ll pay no fee for maker orders and a 0.01% fee for taker orders. As of the time of writing, stable pairs on the platform include:

  • BTC – WBTC
  • GBP – USDC
  • GBP – USDT
  • EUR – USDC
  • EUR – USDT
  • USDT – USDC
  • DAI – USDC
  • DAI – USD
  • PAX – USD
  • PAX – USDT
  • USDT – USD

Other than that, Coinbase Pro doesn’t have much else by the way of fees. There are no account minimums or account maintenance fees on the platform. The only other major fees are deposit and withdrawal fees. These fees vary based on your funding method and are as follows:

Payment MethodDeposit FeeWithdrawal Fee
UK Bank Transfer via FPS (GBP)FreeFree
SEPA Bank Transfer (EUR)€0.15€0.15
ACH Bank Transfer (USD)FreeFree
Wire Bank Transfer (USD)$10$25
Crypto TransferFreeFree

Finally, network fees may apply for crypto transfers made to or from your account. The only exception is transfers to and from your Coinbase account. In these situations, Coinbase covers the network fee on your behalf.

Limits

All account holders on Coinbase Pro are subject to certain funding and trading limits.

The most important limits to note are the platform’s deposit limits. These limits include:

Payment MethodDaily Limit
UK Bank Transfer via FPS (GBP)£250,000
SEPA Bank Transfer (EUR)Varies
ACH Bank Transfer (USD)Varies
Wire Bank Transfer (USD)Unlimited
Crypto TransferUnlimited

However, most fiat currency deposit limits are not set by Coinbase Pro. The FPS transfer deposit is set by the FPS network. Meanwhile, SEPA and ACH transfer limits are set by your financial institution.

The starting Coinbase Pro withdrawal limit is $50,000 per day. Interestingly, this limit applies to an equivalent amount in all currencies—both fiat and crypto.

For example, you can only withdraw $50,000 worth of BTC or ETH in a given day. You’re also limited to the equivalent of $50,000 worth of GBP withdrawals in a day. But, you can request an increased daily withdrawal limit in your account settings.

Finally, all accounts have unlimited trades on Coinbase Pro. However, certain assets might have base order minimums and maximums. You can check the current base order minimums and maximums on the Coinbase Pro Markets page.

Main Features

Crypto Exchange

The primary feature of Coinbase Pro is the firm’s crypto exchange. This is what you see when you log in to the platform on the website or on the mobile app. On the exchange, you can make fiat-to-crypto trades or even crypto-to-crypto trades, the latter of which is not available on many other platforms.

However, what makes the Coinbase Pro exchange unique, especially when compared to the regular Coinbase trading terminal, is its advanced charting tools. While you might be able to get more powerful charts on the Cryptowatch platform on Kraken, the Coinbase Pro charts are arguably more accessible for non-professional investors.

The primary charting tool on Coinbase Pro is a price chart. With this feature, you can view a trading pair’s historical pricing data. This chart is fully customizable and you can adjust its time range, overlay, and chart type (e.g., line or candlestick).

Additionally, the Coinbase Pro exchange gives you a depth chart. A depth chart is a representation of a trading pair’s order book. This gives you insight into real-time trends in bid and ask orders for an asset.

Advanced Order Types

Another key feature of the Coinbase Pro exchange is its support of advanced order types. Coinbase Pro currently allows market, limit, and stop orders.

To be fair, there are other exchanges that support a wider range of order types. For example, Gemini’s ActiveTrader allows market, limit, and stop-limit orders. It also supports a range of limit order types, like Immediate-or-Cancel, Fill-Or-Kill, Auction-Only, and Maker-or-Cancel.

However, when compared to many other exchanges, the ability to place limit and stop orders is a major bonus to Coinbase Pro. These order types give you more control over your trades to help you keep costs at a minimum.

Mobile Trading

As we’ve mentioned, you can place trades on Coinbase Pro using the firm’s dedicated Coinbase Pro app. The app is available on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

Having an app isn’t a major feature in its own right (most exchanges have an app nowadays, anyway). But, Coinbase Pro is one of the few advanced exchanges that allow you to access the platform’s complete set of features on a mobile device. In fact, on the Coinbase Pro app, you can use the same charting tools you get on the web-based exchange.

Meanwhile, Gemini’s ActiveTrader, which is one of the most comparable platforms out there, isn’t available on mobile devices. That said, while the charting tools on the Kraken Pro app are arguably more powerful than those on the Coinbase Pro app, the Coinbase Pro app is more accessible to people with less trading experience.

Portfolios

While Coinbase Pro is primarily an exchange, the firm offers hosted hot wallet services. This wallet is where your funds are stored until you transfer them off the platform.

One of the more unique features within the Coinbase Pro hosted hot wallet is the ability to create portfolios. With this feature, investors can establish up to 10 portfolios in their accounts for free.

Doing so lets you create multiple trading strategies without the need for multiple accounts. With each portfolio, you can view balances, download trading reports, and create unique API keys. You can also instantly transfer funds between portfolios.

To establish a portfolio, simply navigate to the portfolio section of the Coinbase Pro exchange. From here, you can create, edit, or delete portfolios in your account (note that you can’t delete your default portfolio).

Additional Coinbase Features

All Coinbase Pro account holders can get quick access to the full suite of Coinbase features by logging into the regular Coinbase platform.

Some of the features available on the platform include:

However, these features aren’t available in all geographic locations.

You can check out my review of Coinbase to learn more about each feature.

Security & Insurance

Coinbase Pro employs a number of security strategies to keep your account safe. This includes multi-factor authentication, enhanced encryption, and a dedicated security team.

Additionally, Coinbase Pro supports address whitelisting. This allows you to limit crypto withdrawals from your accounts to verified external addresses.

As far as insurance goes, Coinbase Pro uses the same insurance policy as the rest of Coinbase. The company states that it has an insurance policy that protects most digital assets on its platform from theft. However, it doesn’t state how much this policy is worth.

Additionally, US dollar funds held on the platform are FDIC insured up to $250,000. For all other fiat currencies, including GBP and EUR, Coinbase holds these funds in custodial accounts that aren’t used for corporate purposes or platform operating expenses.

Coinbase Pro Alternatives

If Coinbase Pro isn’t the right exchange for your needs, you have many other options.

The closest alternative to Coinbase Pro is Gemini, a US-based firm that operates in more than 60 countries.

The Gemini ActiveTrader interface.

Gemini offers a number of features, including a crypto-backed payment system, an interest-bearing account, and a crypto rewards credit card. The firm’s ActiveTrader terminal is also similar to Coinbase Pro in terms of its layout and functionality, though it offers additional order types.

For investors that want access to more advanced trading features, like margin and futures trading, Kraken is a solid choice. Kraken is available in nearly every country and it has very low trading fees. Additionally, Kraken offers staking, OTC trades, and access to the powerful Cryptowatch trading terminal.

CoinJar is another option worth checking out. You can make quick (and free) GBP deposits via a UK bank transfer into your account and then trade using CoinJar Exchange. Like Coinbase Pro, this gives you access to advanced order types and charting capabilities – but with lower fees.

The CoinJar Exchange interface.

The Bottom Line

Coinbase Pro is a powerful exchange that offers a lot of functionality for crypto investors.

The platform offers relatively low-cost trades, an abundance of trading pairs, and easy access to a slew of additional features on the regular Coinbase website. Its graphic interfaces are also user-friendly, which is an advantage when compared to popular alternatives that I’ve checked out.

But, Coinbase Pro doesn’t offer as many advanced trading features, like margin or futures trading. It also requires identity verification before placing trades, which can be a hassle and isn’t required by some alternative cryptocurrency exchanges.

All things considered, Coinbase Pro is a quality option if you’re looking to take your trading to the next level without giving up the features that you can get on the regular Coinbase website.

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