Bitcoin is reaching all time highs, Ethereum is surging along with it, and Litecoin is holding steady. I’ve bought into Ethereum, but I missed the surge from $20 or $30 a few months ago to $190 to $220 this past week. The problem with buying any cryptocurrency is the shady marketplaces you have to buy from. Most of the cryptocurrency markets want to use money orders, wire transfers, or other sketchy payment methods. There is also the worry around whether the marketplace is secure. The now infamous Mt. Gox was one of the largest cryptocurrency markets and wallets which inevitably failed after a massive hack. The attack wreaked havoc with the price of Bitcoin but raised concerns about where the safest places to buy, sell and store all your crypto-coins. The site I trust is Coinbase, here’s why!
Coinbase is insured and properly registered
By far, Coinbase is one of the few marketplaces where you have to verify your identity, provided passports or other IDs, and connect bank accounts to use all the sites features fully. Coinbase splits your wallets up; Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, and USD. The cryptocurrency is insured through what sounds like a private insurance company, but either way, they have taken steps to never loss all their customer’s money. Another large step taken is they only store 2% of clients funds online, the rest is store offline. The offline funds are on encrypted drives around the world, on a stop-gapped server, and on paper copies should something happen to the digital copies. All total, you should feel safe Coinbase has taken the proper steps to keep your Bitcoin, Ether, or Litecoin safe from hackers or other thieves.
The USD wallet is also FDIC insured, which means the United States Federal Government guarantees the funds up to $250,000. The fiat currency (government issued money) is stored in customer bank accounts and isn’t owned by Coinbase. They’re operating a bank, as such, they’re registered as a money service with FinCEN.
Beyond the insurance and government registration, Coinbase takes security seriously. Each account needs two-factor authentication, which is a process where you type a password then get an email/text with a verification code. It ensures you and only you can access your account. Even if your password is compromised, you’ll have the second layer of security to ensure no one will access your account.
Coinbase is hands down the best place to buy, sell, and store all your digital currencies. While verifying your identity, attaching bank accounts, and having to jump through hoops to buy Bitcoin or Ether is a pain, it is the best way to do it. I know doing all that can seem counter to what Bitcoin is, but it makes Bitcoin a more mainstream currency that anyone can invest in. With the rise of Bitcoin and Ethereum, more people are going to invest in the currency to hopefully make a quick buck. Coinbase is the safest place to do that sort of investing. If you’re going to use Bitcoin anonymously, I’d stay away from Coinbase and use other privacy-minded markets for buying and selling.
Do you have another market or online wallet you’d recommend? Maybe I missed the mark on Coinbase being the safest, securest, and easiest to use? Tell me in the comments below what you think!