Coinbase Reaches 56 Million Users. Should You Open an Account?

by Lyle Daly | Updated July 21, 2021 - First published on May 15, 2021

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The numbers don't lie -- Coinbase is one of the world's top crypto exchanges.

As the first major crypto exchange to go public, Coinbase recently published its first quarterly earnings report. There was never any doubt about its popularity, but the report shows just how big Coinbase is, and its explosive growth in 2021.

The exchange now has 56 million verified users and $223 billion in assets. To give an idea of just how successful Coinbase was: It added 13 million verified users in the first quarter of 2021. That's more than it added in the last three quarters of 2020, when its user count increased by nine million.

Here are the most notable details from Coinbase's quarterly earnings report, and how to decide if you should get an account.

A big start to 2021 for Coinbase

Here are the numbers Coinbase reported for the first quarter of 2021, and how they compare to its numbers for the fourth quarter of 2020:

  • 56 million verified users, up from 43 million in the fourth quarter of 2020
  • 6.1 million monthly transacting users (or "MTUs," meaning users who make transactions each month), up from 2.8 million
  • $335 billion in trading volume, up from $89 billion
  • $223 billion in assets on platform, up from $90 billion
  • $771 million in net income, up from $177 million

Crypto has grown significantly in 2021, and Coinbase has been a beneficiary of that growth. Particularly impressive is its market share. Its $223 billion in assets on platform is 11.3% of the entire crypto market.

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Coinbase isn't the largest crypto exchange. According to CoinMarketCap, that honor goes to Binance. However, Coinbase is the largest exchange in the United States, based on its trading volume.

Coinbase is successful because it appeals to beginners as well as more advanced crypto buyers. Also, it has a wide selection of cryptocurrencies and top-notch security.

Coinbase has a user-friendly design on both its website and mobile app. It makes buying, selling, and trading crypto easy to understand for people new to crypto. Coinbase's fees are competitive, too, though the fee structure can be a little confusing.

Another nice feature for new users is Coinbase's collection of educational resources. Not only can you learn more about crypto, you can earn some free crypto for completing quizzes.

Those who want an advanced trading platform can use Coinbase Pro, which has real-time order books and charting tools. Coinbase Pro is available to all Coinbase users, and there are no extra fees to use it.

Security is a must for the best cryptocurrency exchanges, which Coinbase excels at. It keeps 98% of customer assets in cold storage, meaning they're offline and not on devices connected to the internet. All accounts have two-step verification, so you log in with your username, password, and a code Coinbase sends to your phone.

Should you open an account with Coinbase?

If you're looking for a user-friendly crypto exchange where you can do everything you need to, Coinbase is a great choice. It isn't the only choice, though -- there are other quality crypto exchanges to consider.

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The Gemini cryptocurrency exchange is another popular option that works well for beginners and more advanced users. It doesn't quite have the selection Coinbase does, but you can buy most of the major cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum. It also has a new user bonus, and offers interest through its Gemini Earn program, perks Coinbase doesn't have.

Kraken is worth a look for experienced traders who want more features. It has low fees, a strong crypto selection, and advanced trading tools, including short sales and margin trading options. But it's not beginner-friendly like Coinbase and Gemini.

Coinbase's popularity isn't just because it has been around for years. The exchange has a fantastic layout and all the features crypto traders need. Although there's plenty of competition, Coinbase is the clear leader in the United States right now.

DISCLOSURE: Lyle Daly owns Bitcoin and Ethereum. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Bitcoin.

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