Coinbase is a hosted web-based EWallet used for sending, receiving, and storing bitcoins. Users can also connect a U.S. based bank account to buy and sell bitcoin via bank transfer. This is not to be confused with the data structure in the blockchain which is also named Coinbase.
The service aims to be the easiest way to get started with Bitcoin, modeled to provide an experience familiar to those who are comfortable using PayPal.
Coinbase allows users to purchase bitcoin by directly transferring money from a bank account. Although the exchange rate is locked in at the time of order placement, the Bitcoin is not released for four business days. Verified users are allowed to create instant-purchases, which credits the Bitcoin to their account before the bank transfer clears.
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. The bank verification process is very similar to the relevant procedure at PayPal.
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 both email and Bitcoin addresses. The amount of bitcoin sent can be determined by entering a value in either USD (converted to Bitcoin based on the current exchange rate) or Bitcoin. 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 without exchange rate risk.
Coinbase also offers an API for custom applications or merchant integrations.
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. This fee is waived on automatic sell orders made using their merchant instant-exchange functionality.
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 was the largest funding round to date for a bitcoin company.
On July 11, 2013, Coinbase launched instant buys for fully verified users.
On December 12, 2013, Coinbase announced Series B funding of $25 million dollars led by the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. It is the largest round of funding received by a bitcoin company.
On February 27th, 2014, Coinbase announced that 1 Million consumer wallet accounts have been opened on their platform .
- Coinbase.com website