Here at Coin Pursuit, we take pride in our thorough research, and the ability to bring the clearest definitions and latest developments in the digital currency world to our members. From time to time, we also like to take an in-depth look at the companies that help shape the industry. Today, we're gonna take a look at one of the most popular and successful companies in the market: Coinbase.
Coinbase was founded on June 20, 2012, and in the short period of time since then, this San Francisco-based company has built a reputation of being one of the most trusted and secure Bitcoin wallet services in the world. Though they're chiefly known for their wallets, they also offer a market where you can buy and sell Bitcoins, and trade with merchants all around the globe. This gives them a list of features that helps them operate as an exchange—and compete with other major exchanges, as well.
One of the features Coinbase highlights on their web page is their US bank integration; this may seem a little confusing and almost counter-intuitive to some folks, so we'd like to take a moment to describe what that means. While it's true that once purchased, Bitcoins—like other cryptocurrencies—are stand-alone financial tools that are independent of governments and corporations, it takes regular legal tender like US dollars to buy them in the first place. That's where the bank integration comes in; when you sign up for an account with Coinbase, you can purchase Bitcoins with your traditional currency—and sell them back, too, if you wish. Beyond these types of transactions, your Bitcoins aren't linked to your bank account in any way. Before you buy or sell Bitcoins, by the way, Coinbase will let you know what the current market value is for the digital currency—so you'll know exactly what you're getting or selling, whichever the case may be.
Wow...all that, and we haven't even gotten to the wallets yet! These are Coinbase's pride and joy, and the foundation upon which their reputation has been built. As they'll tell you on their “About Us” page, Coinbase currently has over 445,000 consumer wallets registered; this easily makes them one of the biggest wallet services in the world. Bigger doesn't always necessarily mean better, but Coinbase took this into account—and their wallet features and attention to details that are important to investors are what make them so popular.
First and foremost, there's security. Like most wallet services, Coinbase uses cloud computing; that means your account information—and your currency—is stored on third-party servers. What's critical here is that this information be kept offline unless it's needed for a transaction. Online information can be hacked, and therefore stolen, so the more often the info's kept offline, the better. Coinbase keeps 90% of their stored wallet data offline at all times. What's more, to even access your account requires not only a user name and password, but a unique code as well, adding one more layer of security to your data—and your investment. That's not all, either; for a comprehensive look at the security features Coinbase offers, we recommend a look at their Security page.
Coinbase offers easy mobile use, as well. Their wallet is available for the Android operating system, and they also feature a short message service (SMS) function for transactions. SMS (also known as text messages) can be used to buy, sell and exchange Bitcoins. Coinbase created a Bitcoin wallet for Apple's iOS operating system, but unfortunately less than a month after its introduction, it was rejected from the Apple Apps Store. Their third-party payment guidelines are quite strict, and this is an obstacle many wallet companies have been facing. You can find more information on this topic in this article.
Finally, there's trade capability. Coinbase has this covered, with over 14,000 merchants signed on who accept Bitcoins as payment for their goods and services. For security, ease of use and popularity, Coinbase's Bitcoin Wallet sets a high bar and standards that many other wallet services emulate. They're certainly worth your consideration.
As always, Coin Pursuit invites you to let us know how we can keep our page the dynamic resource it is for all cryptocurrency topics. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, by all means touch base with us; we'd love to hear from you!
For more information on Cryptocurrency wallets visit our wallets section.
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