Coinbase is a hosted web-based EWallet used for sending, receiving and storing bitcoins. This is not to be confused with the data structure in the blockchain which is also named coinbase. This also is not to be confused with a podcast series called Coinbase that was produced by AgoristRadio.com.
The service aims to be the easiest way to get started with Bitcoin. Its service is modeled to provide an experience familar to those who are comfortable using PayPal.
Coinbase allows users to purchase bitcoin by directly transferring money from a bank account. The exchange rate used is locked in at the time of purchase, but for first-time users the bitcoin is not available until the bank transfer completes, which takes three to four business days. For verified users, the bitcoin is available immediately.
Linking a bank account can be done using Instant Account Verification (by providing your bank account credentials) or through a Challenge Deposit method which takes 2-3 business days to complete.
Proceeds from selling bitcoins are sent as a direct ACH transfer to a linked bank account. The price is locked upon executing the sell and the funds arrive in the bank account in 2-3 business days.
This feature provides the ability to send bitcoin to an e-mail address or to a bitcoin address. The amount of bitcoin sent can be determined by entering a value in USD, which will be automatically converted to the equivalent value of bitcoin based on the current market exchange rate. If bitcoin is sent to an email address not currently registered with Coinbase, an account will automatically be created and a message will be sent to that email address prompting the user to verify the account and claim the bitcoin.
This feature provides the ability to request funds (denominated in either USD or BTC) through an invoice which is sent by email.
Payment buttons make it easy to accept bitcoin on any website by copying and pasting a few lines of code.
Payment pages allow merchants to accept bitcoin with a hosted checkout page on coinbase.com.
Callbacks allow for instant payment notifications to a merchant's website.
Payouts allow merchants to cash out bitcoin on a daily basis through a USD transfer to a linked bank account.
There are no fees for sending, receiving, or storing bitcoin.
The fee for buying or selling bitcoin with a bank transfer is a fixed 1% + $0.15.
The service was announced on June 29, 2012 and received seed funding from Paul Graham after going through the startup incubator Y-Combinator.
On October 26, 2012 the service launched its method to buy and sell bitcoins using a linked bank account.
On December 5, 2012 Coinbase launched its Merchant Tools.
On May 7, 2013 Coinbase announced that it had received five million dollars in funding led by the venture capital firm Union Square Ventures. It is the largest funding round to date for a bitcoin company.
On July 11, 2013 Coinbase launched instant buys for fully verified users.
- Coinbase website