Coinbase Cryptocurrency Wallet Review

A user-friendly non-custodial cryptocurrency wallet with low fees

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Coinbase

Coinbase

Investopedia’s Rating
3.3

Our Take

Launched in 2018 by Coinbase Inc., Coinbase Wallet is our best pick for low costs. Coinbase Wallet is a non-custodial cryptocurrency wallet that enables users to buy and store a wide range of crypto assets, access decentralized applications (dApps) across multiple blockchains, and store non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Easy to use for beginners

  • Supports a large number of crypto assets

  • Access to decentralized applications (dApps) across multiple blockchains

  • Only charges network fees

Cons
  • Coinbase has a history of bad customer support

  • Code is not open-source

Key Takeaways
  • Coinbase Wallet supports 44,000+ crypto assets across multiple blockchains.
  • The non-custodial wallet enables users to access web3 via mobile and a browser extension.
  • Coinbase Wallet allows users to earn interest on their digital asset investments.
  • The wallet comes with lower fees than most of its competitors.
Company Overview

Coinbase Inc. was founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam to enable people to seamlessly buy and sell Bitcoin (BTC)

In the early years of the crypto markets, the San Francisco-based company quickly grew to become the leading platform to buy, sell, and store Bitcoin thanks to its user-friendly application. Coinbase later added other cryptocurrencies, such as Litecoin (LTC) and Ethereum (ETH), to provide digital asset investing to the masses. 

In addition to serving retail customers, Coinbase also launched Coinbase Pro, Coinbase Prime, and Coinbase Custody tailored to professional and institutional investors. 

Over the years, Coinbase’s mission changed from its original roots of providing easy access to Bitcoin to “increasing economic freedom in the world.” In line with that mission, Coinbase launched Coinbase Wallet in 2018 to provide a non-custodial wallet that allows users to access decentralized applications (dApps) while retaining complete control over their funds.

Coinbase

Coinbase

Investopedia’s Rating
3.3
Type of wallet Mobile, Chrome Extension
Price  Free 
Fees Customizable transaction fees 
Number of cryptocurrencies supported  44,000+ 
Bitcoin and Ethereum supported?  Yes 
Earn (staking/rewards)  Yes 
Customer Service  Help Center, Support Tickets, Live Chat, Phone Support 
In-App Features  Buy, Swap, Earn 
Hardware Compatible  Yes 
SPV or Full Node  Simplified Payment Verification (SPV) 
Mobile App  Yes. Android, iOS 

Features

Coinbase Wallet is a non-custodial crypto wallet that enables users to securely store 44,000+ digital assets, interact with decentralized applications, and manage their Ethereum-based NFTs.

Currently, Coinbase Wallet supports the Bitcoin, Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Polygon, Stellar, and Ripple network, as well as numerous Ethereum Layer-2 solutions, such as Arbitrum and Optimism. 

Users can swap Ethereum- and Polygon-based assets directly within the app’s decentralized exchange feature. Non-Ethereum and Polygon assets can be purchased using the in-app crypto buying option. 

Additionally, Coinbase Wallet allows users to seamlessly earn interest on their crypto assets within the user-friendly mobile wallet. 

Arguably one of the most exciting features of Coinbase Wallet is that it allows users to manage their Ethereum-based NFTs. NFTs enable artists, creators, and brands to sell digital art, collectibles, music, and more that are verifiably unique thanks to the tokens’ underlying technology, called the blockchain. 

Finally, the decentralized wallet does not charge any wallet fees – only blockchain network fees – making it one of the best low-cost crypto wallets on the market. 

Security

Coinbase Wallet puts a strong emphasis on security. 

First and foremost, the wallet is a non-custodial (or decentralized) wallet, which means only the user has access to their wallet’s private keys. So even if Coinbase’s servers are compromised, attackers would not be able to access Coinbase Wallet users’ funds. 

The wallet also enables users to set a PIN or password (depending on whether it is the mobile or browser extension version) and provides biometric verification for mobile app users.

While Coinbase.com users have fallen victim to fraud and hacks, Coinbase Wallet’s code has not reportedly been compromised or posed any security risks to its users. Coinbase.com is Coinbase’s centralized digital asset management and exchange platform that operates separately from Coinbase Wallet.

While all leading cryptocurrency wallets provide a high level of security for your crypto assets, improper security practices on behalf of the user can lead to a complete loss of funds. Never share your wallet’s login details, recovery phrase, or private keys with anyone.

Privacy and Anonymity

Coinbase Wallet is a non-custodial wallet, which means only the user has control over the wallet's private keys. There is no need to provide a name, email address, or any other personal information to use Coinbase Wallet, resulting in a high level of user privacy and anonymity. 

Setup 

You can use Coinbase Wallet on mobile (Android and iOS) or as a browser extension. Let’s take a look at how to set each one up. 

Browser Extension

If you prefer to access decentralized applications (dApps) on your computer, you will probably prefer to use the Coinbase Wallet browser extension. The extension has a clean and simple user interface and is primarily for active dApp users. 

Setting up Coinbase Wallet as a browser extension is easy. All you need to do is access coinbase.com/wallet, click on “Download Coinbase Wallet,” and add the extension to your internet browser. 

Once you can view the Coinbase Wallet icon in your list of browser extensions, click on it to start the wallet creation process. Click “Create new wallet” and securely store the 12-word recovery phrase to back up your wallet. Once you have confirmed that you have noted down your recovery phrase, you can start using the wallet in your browser. 

Mobile App

The mobile version of Coinbase Wallet is more user-friendly for beginners as it clearly outlines all of the wallet’s features. For example, once you have transferred funds to your Coinbase Wallet or bought crypto within the app, you can start earning interest on your crypto assets with a few clicks in the app. 

Setting up Coinbase Wallet on your smartphone is also a fairly straightforward process. Download the app from the App or Play Store, depending on your device’s operating system, and then click on the app icon. 

You will be asked whether you want to create a new wallet or restore an existing wallet. If you have already set up Coinbase Wallet as a  browser extension, you can use the recovery phrase to access the same wallet on mobile as well. If you want to create a new wallet, you click on “Create new wallet,” and securely store (and then confirm) your new wallet’s recovery phrase. 

Once that’s done, you can start using Coinbase Wallet on your smartphone. 

Customer Service

While Coinbase has always put user-friendliness at the center of its products, customer service has historically been an issue. 

Cost & Fees 

Coinbase Wallet is free and does not charge any wallet fees. However, users are required to pay blockchain transaction fees when they send funds or interact with a smart contract. Smart contracts are autonomous programs based on what/if-based scenarios that automatically execute when predetermined conditions are met. They enable developed to build decentralized blockchain applications. 

What’s more, transaction fees are customizable, so users can decide how much they want to spend on blockchain fees. The more users pay in fees, the faster the transaction will settle. 

Final Verdict

Coinbase Wallet is a leading crypto wallet that enables users to store a wide range of digital assets (including NFTs) and access web3 applications on mobile and via a browser extension. As a non-custodial wallet, Coinbase Wallet users have complete control over their digital assets and how they choose to use them. 

Existing Coinbase users will enjoy the integration between Coinbase.com and Coinbase Wallet for seamless crypto purchases, while all users benefit from Coinbase Wallet’s low fees. 

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Everything You Need to Know About Blockchain Wallets

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Methodology

Before you transact in and store cryptocurrencies, you should have a suitable crypto wallet in place. We conducted a comprehensive review process of the top cryptocurrency software wallets to help you determine the wallet that fits your needs.

Our review process is built around a quantitative ratings model that weighs key factors like security, costs, privacy, usability, customer support, and features according to their importance. Our team of researchers gathered over 40 data points and conducted extensive research for each of the 19 companies we reviewed. Our team of writers, who are experts in this field, then test drove each wallet to lend their qualitative point of view.

Our model gave preference to companies with the strongest security measures and reputations. Companies with rich features, such as supporting a large number of crypto assets, giving users the ability to sync with hardware wallets, and allowing for fee customization, also ranked highly. 

Read our full methodology.

Article Sources

Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. Coinbase. "Our Mission, Strategy and Culture."