Although Coinbase is considered one of the most reputable exchanges to trade Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum in the United States, there have been numerous problems, according to 134 pages of customer complaints filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the California Department of Business Oversight.
One customer reported sending USD 17,000 to a Coinbase account and seeing it vanishing. Customer service kept forwarding the complaint to other departments and the customer lost USD 5,000 during the slow process. Another customer reports confirming a wire deposit of USD 21,000, but Coinbase did not credit the account for weeks. One Coinbase customer reported that they were locked out of their account due to a glitch, and customer service did not help at all despite numerous calls resulting in temporary homelessness.
In most cases, customers the cardinal mistake of storing Bitcoin in a wallet where they did not control the private key. It is essential to control the private key to truly own Bitcoins otherwise, it is impossible to control and transact with Bitcoin independently. Many more complaints received by the SEC describe customers being locked out of their accounts and left without assistance to access their accounts for long periods of time.
With over USD 100 million of trading volume per day, many believe Coinbase to suffer from a lack of capacity in customer support. An attitude of nonchalance and unwillingness to help is a common theme in the SEC complaints.
The numerous problems customers of centralized exchanges have experienced is good evidence that decentralized exchanges are needed. Binance and Huobi are actively trying to move to decentralized platforms, which will put them beyond government control and give control of money back to users.
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