New to Coinbase Wallet? Learn all about it – how it works, key features, benefits, drawbacks, and step-by-step instructions to get started.
As cryptocurrencies continue to gain mainstream traction, choosing a secure place to store your assets is more important than ever. Coinbase Wallet aims to provide an easy-to-use solution for managing your portfolio across different blockchains all in one place.
This beginner’s guide will explain what Coinbase Wallet is, its key features and usage, pros and cons to consider, and how to get started.
What is Coinbase Wallet?
Coinbase Wallet is a mobile-first cryptocurrency wallet app that allows you to securely store a variety of digital assets.
Developed by major crypto company Coinbase, the Coinbase Wallet app enables you to:
- Generate and control your own private keys
- Securely store coins and tokens from multiple blockchains
- Make trades and transactions with supported assets
- Interact with decentralized apps and protocols
- Access your holdings from Coinbase Exchange
As a non-custodial wallet, only you control the private keys to your cryptocurrency holdings – not Coinbase themselves. This gives you sole access and control over your funds.
Setting Up and Using Coinbase Wallet
Getting started with Coinbase Wallet is simple:
- Download the Coinbase Wallet app on iOS or Android.
- Follow the prompts to set up a secure password and recovery phrase. This 12-word phrase lets you restore your wallet if you lose access.
- Transfer crypto into your wallet from an exchange or external wallet.
- Review your balances, transaction history, and interact with dApps.
You can now use Coinbase Wallet to:
- Send and receive supported crypto assets and ERC-20 tokens.
- Connect your wallet to decentralized apps and services.
- Securely store NFTs and collectibles.
- Stake certain coins to earn yield.
- Swap between assets right in the app.
Key Features and Benefits
Coinbase Wallet provides:
- Support for many major cryptocurrencies like BTC, ETH, DOGE, and ERC-20 tokens.
- Access to a wide variety of decentralized apps and protocols as they expand in crypto.
- Tight integration with Coinbase Exchange for easy transfers.
- Secure encryption and private key management not controlled by Coinbase.
- Mobile convenience allowing management on the go.
- An easy onboarding process for those new to crypto.
- Expanding features like staking, NFT storage, and token swaps.
Potential Drawbacks to Consider
However, there are some downsides to weigh:
- Closed source code decreases transparency.
- Limited blockchain support beyond Ethereum network tokens.
- Reliance on third-party infra like Infura instead of running own node.
- Privacy tied to a centralized company owning the app.
- Less flexibility and customization than some wallets.
- Fewer currency options compared to “multi-chain” wallets.
For U.S. cryptocurrency beginners, Coinbase Wallet offers a smooth fiat on-ramp and user experience.
The combination of mobile convenience, security features, and dApp integration makes it handy for managing a basic Ethereum-focused portfolio.
However, more advanced users may desire wallets with open-source code, broader blockchain support, and greater decentralization. As with any crypto wallet, do your own due diligence before choosing the right fit for your needs and holdings.