Coinbase Inc. is a digital currency wallet and platform where merchants and consumers alike can buy, sell, store, bill and pay with the range of the major modern digital crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, against 32 established national fiat currencies. Coinbase is based in San Francisco, California, U.S.A. and was founded in 2012. In January 2017, Coinbase obtained a “Bitlicense” from the New York State Department of Financial Services, which authorizes the company to provide virtual currency business operations in New York. Coinbase Inc. is a privately-owned company, and has raised over $117 million from investors to date. As of May 2017, it had more than 7.4 million registered users.
Bitcoin is the most widely used digital currency, with a total market capitalization of more than $40 billion as of July 2017. At the same time, it was believed that Litecoin had a total capitalization of about $1.5 billion, while Ethereum’s capitalization stood at approximately $20 billion – about half the size of Bitcoin. To place these amounts in perspective, the Swiss Franc in 2010 was reported by the Swiss National Bank to have approximately $52 billion in cash circulation, which suggests that the total capitalization of the Swiss Franc would have been about $634 billion, meaning that digital currencies are reaching a total capitalization equal to about one-tenth of the Swiss Franc. This provides an illustration of the relative importance by size of the three major digital currencies.
The Bitcoin network is made up of thousands of computers run by individuals all over the world. Digital currency wallet solutions have arisen due to the perennial twin problems of storage and security. Although it is possible to store and manage digital currencies on personal computers, it is risky and insecure process that is imprudent to attempt. We have all heard stories about people with millions of dollars in Bitcoins stored within crashed hard drives that cannot be recovered! Digital wallets such as Coinbase provide a safe, secure, and easy-to-use platform for the full range of digital currency management needs.
Coinbase provides two core products: a Global Digital Asset Exchange (GDAX) for trading a variety of digital currencies on its professional asset trading platform, and a user-facing retail exchange of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin for a few major fiat currencies.
GDAX is best summarized as simply a trading platform which may be used to trade three digital currencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin) with the U.S. Dollar, the Euro, and each other. For example, Bitcoin may be traded against the U.S. Dollar, the Euro, Ethereum, and Litecoin. GDAX offers an order book functionality so you can see the true depth of the Exchange’s market while the market is open. GDAX runs a market-maker fee model, charging spreads as well as additional fixed commission if you are deemed to be a “price taker” and not a “price maker”. For example, for Bitcoin/USD, this commission begins at 0.25% and is discounted down once you are trading more than 1% of the average daily market volume. The benchmark Bitcoin/USD pair typically has a spread a little below $1, which at the current rate of exchange equates to approximately 0.04% of the nominal value, and this is certainly competitive.
Coinbase Retail Exchange
Coinbase offers an API for developers and merchants to build applications and accept payments in three digital currencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin). As of 2017, the company offers full buy/sell trading functionality in more than 25 countries, while the wallet is available for use in 190 countries worldwide.
This screen presents a beautiful dashboard, including the functionality to flip between three crypto-currencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. The headline shows the current live market price of the selected crypto-currency in your home currency or other currency of choice, as well as its percentage change over the displayed historical period. A historical price chart is also displayed, from the past hour to past several years, and may be amended as desired.
Below the price chart, the left-hand side is devoted to a list of recent transactional activity details within your wallet. The right-hand side displays the quantity and value of your present holdings in each of the three digital currencies. It is possible from these sections to drill down and view details by account, as each digital currency is held within its own dedicated wallet. Finally, you can view details by vault, which is where the wallets are stored.
This screen is where buying and selling operations in any or all of the three digital currencies Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin may be conducted.
This screen is where the user can manage their real-world “cash” transactions in digital currencies. The Send function allows you to make payments to third parties, by email or by Bitcoin address. The Request function allows you to “invoice” third parties by requesting that specified payments are made to you.
There are several tools provided which you can customize to enable more sophisticated and optimal operations:
Addresses – new addresses may be generated and their associations with your accounts managed.
Recurring Transactions – just as you can with most banking applications, you can set up regular payments in the form of recurring transactions.
Reports – generate reports for your own records, accounting and taxes!
Fiat currency transactions may be made by major credit and debit cards, PayPal, SWIFT transfers, and EFT payments.
Choosing a high-quality digital currency wallet is an important and unavoidable part of participating in the “Bitcoin bonanza”. Digital currencies are hot investments, and are becoming a location of major day trading and swing trading action. If you are looking for an all-in-one wallet and digital currency trading/exchange platform, you would do well to give this well-established, high-quality company a try.Back to Top
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