Coinbase Wallet Review 2020: Is It Different Coinbase Exchange?

Coinbase wallet is a standalone crypto vault developed by the San Francisco based tech-startup and one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges – Coinbase. The wallet is online-based and free to all. The wallet has gained over time a reputation and massive following in the crypto industry not just because of its close association with the Coinbase Exchange but also due to its safety, accessibility, and support for numerous digital coins. Coinbase wallet is also is one of the few hot wallets that have never been hacked.

In this Coinbase wallet review, we take a look at some of its key operation and security features that make it one of the most popular crypto wallets. We also explore the ease of using the wallet – from the registration process to sending and receiving coins to the wallet.

Coinbase Key features:

Straightforward and user-friendly interface: The Coinbase crypto wallet has a friendly and easy to use interface. It is also overly simple, making navigation easy for both experienced and beginner crypto traders.

Seamless transfers to other wallets: Sending digital assets from your Coinbase wallet to another Coinbase wallet or a different cryptocurrency vault is easy and straightforward. 

Free to acquire: The Coinbase crypto wallet is free. And unlike the Coinbase exchange that is only available in a handful number of countries, virtually anyone in the world can download and use the Coinbase crypto wallet.

Highly customizable wallet addresses: When creating a Coinbase wallet account, you will need to come up with a unique username. And instead of sending coins to the complex and lengthy wallet addresses, the uniqueness of these usernames has made it possible for Coinbase users to send coins to usernames instead of addresses when exchanging cryptos from one Coinbase wallet to another. 

Non-Custodial wallet: Coinbase is a non-custodial crypto wallet implying that the coins aren’t held on Coinbase servers but stored in the app in your device. You, therefore, have real-time access and full control over your private keys. 

Integration with other online wallets: The Coinbase wallet easily integrates with some online crypto wallets like MyEtherWallet and Metamask with ease.

Security features:

Password protected with 2FA features: The most important security feature for any crypto wallet is arguably its password. But Coinbase seeks to enhance this further by introducing the two-factor verification security option, which uses your mobile phone number.

Biometric and auto-lock security options: In addition to the passcode and 2-step security protocols, the Coinbase mobile app wallet also supports other biometric security options such as the Face ID and fingerprint security systems. It also has the timed auto-lock system that closes the wallet app after a few minutes or hours of inactivity.

Double encryption: Coinbase further argues that the data held in the Coinbase wallet app, especially the private keys and passwords, are highly encrypted. According to their website, the wallet app employs the 256-bit encryption and has also received the Federal Government approved FIPS-140 certification.

Recovery seed: When signing up for the Coinbase wallet, you will be provided with a 12-word recovery seed. You can use this to recover your private keys if you ever lose the phone or forget the password to the wallet.

Currencies supported

Coinbase wallet is a multi-currency wallet that supports all the popular cryptocurrencies, ERC-20 tokens, and ERC 721 collectibles. These add up to around 100 coins, which include Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethreum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Ox, and QTUM.

Coinbase wallet cost and other fees

Whereas acquiring the crypto wallet is free, you will be charged for its use. Sending coins from the wallet to another attracts highly variable transaction fees.

Additionally, the Coinbase wallet doesn’t maintain a transaction fee structure. You, therefore, won’t know how much you will be charged for the coins transfer until after you have initiated the transaction.

Setting up the Coinbase wallet:

How to install a Coinbase wallet app:

Step 1: Start by downloading and installing the Coinbase Wallet App: Google Play Store for Android phone users and the iOS App Store.

Step 2: If you are new to the Coinbase wallet, select the “Create a New Account” option to create a Coinbase wallet app. If you already have a Coinbase wallet app and are you are looking to recover lost private keys, use the “Recover account” option.

Step 3: Choose a unique username.

Step 4: Choose a login option. You can either choose to create a six-digit passcode or the Biometric Face ID login option.

Step 5: The app will then present you with a 12-word recovery phrase as your account backup. Write these words down on a piece of paper and store it safely. You will need them to recover your private keys should you lose access to your phone or forget the wallet app password.

Step 6: You can now start transferring digital currencies in and out of the Coinbase wallet app.

Sending and receiving coins:

To receive funds into your Coinbase Wallet:

Step 1: Open and log in to the Coinbase wallet app.

Step 2: Open the coins and tokens icon and click on the type of coins you want to receive.

Step 3: Click on the receive option and copy the wallet address, or print the QR code provided and present it to your sender.

To send payments from your Coinbase Wallet:

Step 1: Open and log in to the Coinbase wallet app.

Step 2:  Open the coins/Tokens tab and click on the coins/token you wish to send.

Step 3: Select the send payments icon.

Step 4: On the send payments tab, enter the receiver’s wallet address, scan their address QR code, or key in their Coinbase username.

Step 5: Enter the number of coins you wish to send, confirm the address or user name, and click send.

Coinbase hardware wallet pros and cons:


  • The Coinbase wallet app has one easy and straightforward registration process.
  • The wallet has multiple security features that include a passcode and biometric features such as Face ID.
  • The wallet app is free of charge 
  • The wallet integrates with other third party hot wallets like MyEther Wallet and Metamask
  • The wallet has the backing of one of the safest and most reputable cryptocurrency exchanges


  • One may consider the number of coins supported by the Coinbase wallet app relatively limited
  • The wallet doesn’t support anonymous trading
  • It is hosted online, and this compounds the threat of a possible breach
  • The wallet is institutionally owned, implying that they may track how you invest and spend your coins
  • The wallet app isn’t hierarchically deterministic

Coinbase wallet compared to competitors:

Comparison with hot wallets:

The Coinbase wallet app is more secure than most wallet apps. It has many advanced security features like Biometrics, supports two-factor authentication, and is also highly encrypted. Additionally, whereas most hot wallets have suffered varied extents of security breaches, the Coinbase wallet app has never been compromised. The downside to the use of Coinbase is that unlike most crypto wallet apps like Mycelium that integrate with hardware wallets to add a layer of security and broaden the number of cryptos they can support, Coinbase doesn’t.

Comparison with hardware wallets:

Hardware wallets like Trezor and Ledger Nano S are more secure and have hardier security safeguards than Coinbase. The wallet app is, for instance, a soft target for remote hacks where anyone who gains access to your device remotely can easily clear your accounts. Hardware wallets have on-device buttons with the sole purpose of authorizing transactions. Plus, they tend to support more crypto coins than most wallet apps.

Customer support:

Coinbase customer support is relatively average. On their website is a quite elaborate FAQ page addressing some of the most common user queries. You, however, can only contact their support via social media or email. The wallet app doesn’t have phone support or the live chat feature.

Verdict: Is the Coinbase wallet app safe?

Three primary factors make the Coinbase crypto wallet a must-have for a budget cryptocurrency investor/trader. First, it is free to acquire. Secondly, it has some of the most advanced security features, including biometrics: fingerprint, and face ID. Lastly, it is closely associated with one of the most reputable cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. It is mostly ideal for low-volume crypto traders. But ensure that you also invest in solid antivirus software for both your phone and computer before installing the wallet app.