As I'm sure most of you know, Coinbase is currently the largest Bitcoin broker out there, and they also sell Ethereum, BCH, and Litecoin. If you've ever used Coinbase, then you know that it's possible to waste days getting your account verified, only to be rewarded with extra delays on all of your cryptos. Today I'm going to cover some of the reasons you should NEVER use Coinbase, and also some of the more secure and anonymous ways to buy BTC and altcoins.
The first major issue with Coinbase is account verification. Coinbase markets themselves as an easy service that provides cryptocurrencies with Credit Card and Debit Card transactions. This is just wrong... So wrong. In order to buy any coins with a credit card, you need to submit information including your address, social security number, pictures of your driver's license, birthdate, and more. This is bad news for me because I wouldn't even be comfortable giving that information to my grandma, but the real issue is that all of that verification takes a whole lot of time to go over, and with coinbase receiving hundreds of new customers every day, they aren't exactly "efficient" at the process. You can still buy coins with a bank transfer, but that will likely take over a week to complete, and you still need to put in a few key details, and together this still allows them to track how you spend your Bitcoin. Also, if you're under 18, or even accidentally put in the wrong birthdate, then coinbase will lock up the buying and selling features of your account, which is why most people get Coinbase in the first place. How great.
Delays And "Partially Degraded" Service
Another huge problem with Coinbase is their never-ending (purposeful???) transaction delays. After having enough with Coinbase yesterday, I decided to send all of my Ethereum to my Exodus wallet so they wouldn't get lost. Fortunately for me, ten minutes after I sent some ETH as a test transaction, Coinbase issued a delay for bitcoin that will cause withdrawals to take over 12 hours... Great. It's been 16 hours now and still pending, but hopefully, I'll get them in the next ten days. However, these aren't the only delays that Coinbase experiences on the regular; Coinbase is constantly plagued with a variety of delays, including (but not limited to) ID Verification, Deposits, Buying/Selling, Creating New accounts, Wire Transfers, Bank Transfers, and basically every single thing that could possibly go wrong. I Couldn't even sign up for their mobile app because I kept on getting the same error when trying to create my account. These delays can be extremely frustrating, and some users never see their cryptos returned to them.
Bad Customer Support
Coinbase is essentially the Comcast of the cryptocurrency world. Their customer service is constantly overwhelmed, likely by all the issues with Coinbase in the first place. Because of this, customer support prioritizes a few issues like lost Bitcoin, and if you have any other issues with your account, it's very likely that you will never hear back from them, and you still might not hear back from them if you have a "priority" issue. It really seems that Coinbase doesn't care about their users anymore (or they want a couple extra bucks). Either way, Coinbase has essentially the worst customer support of any coin exchange out there. Do yourself a favor and look at the recent reviews online and on the app store, and you'll see all of the problems they've allowed to occur.
The RIGHT Way To Buy Crypros
If you're like me and you don't want some random kid from a foreign country having your credit card number and social security number, then you should probably buy your coins using a safer method. Firstly, you're going to need a hardware wallet or software wallet on your computer (you can look this up online, but I might make a tutorial on this shortly). Secondly, sign up for Binance on your computer or mobile device if you want any altcoins, they also have a mobile app that you can download from their website. The safest way to get Bitcoin is to find a trusted friend or relative who is willing to sell you some at a good price, but this isn't always an option. The next best thing is a Bitcoin ATM, but this includes some fees. Find a Bitcoin ATM locator, and go to the one closest to your location. Put in cash and send them to your binance wallet (Or your software/hardware wallet if you only want BTC), and then convert them and send the new altcoins to your hardware/software wallet. It might cost about 5% more than coinbase, but at least you have your money. Also, you might have to BS your age if you are under 18, but don't worry, the transaction will still go through.
The Anonymous Method
This method is reserved for those who are paranoid about the government, or anyone who is concerned about their transactions being traced. Do NOT use your coins for criminal activity or tax evasion. This is illegal. Please record your capital gains taxes whenever you cash out. Now that that's over with, its time to get to the good stuff. Install a trusted VPN and TOR and open them both up. Go to localmonero.co, and find someone close by willing to sell monero for cash. You should have a software or hardware monero wallet for this with a fully synched blockchain, do NOT use a phone wallet. After you get your coins, get all of your keys from your wallet, and store them on a flash drive for safe keeping. Once you are 100% sure all of your information is safe, uninstall Tor and delete your software wallet. Your XMR is now safe, and you can convert them to other coins using Binance when you want to spend them.
Overall, no matter how paranoid you are, Coinbase still sucks. There are much better ways to buy cryptocurrencies, and you shouldn't have to give out all of your personal information. Bitcoin was created for anonymity, so we should be using it for that purpose. If you pay a couple extra percent on your coins, don't worry. BTC is still young, and will likely raise a couple thousand dollars in price before it stabilizes, and you can also upcharge them a bit when you sell your coins. Thanks for reading, and good luck! Check out my page and follow me for more! (Also while I was writing this I finally recieved my ethereum from Coinbase about 17 hours later than I was supposed to).