Coinbase: An AWS story

Arjun Chauhan
3 min readSep 21, 2020

Cloud computing has been one of the most prominent key to success of various startups all around the world. This doesn’t mean that only benefit of cloud computing is enjoyed by startups. All the big boys of the market including the likes of Netflix, CocaCola, Siemens have been utilizing the cloud computing for a better functioning of their services and business.

Today I would like to share a success story of Coinbase which is a digital currency exchange that utilized the power of cloud computing on AWS for providing a better and more secure experience for their users.

What’s Coinbase?

Coinbase is a platform for online cryptocurrency trading. It was founded in 2012 and is headquartered at San Fransisco. Currently it’s market value is at 8 billion USD. So it is a pretty successful startup.

Why go Cloud?

Cloud is like a boon for startups. No matter what field of technology we consider, it can be benefited but cloud computing at an aggressively low cost. The one biggest barrier for any startups is limited financial resources. Usually the startups are not backed by financers to provide a free flow of funds and this can go on for a while and if they are not lucky enough, many great ideas get scrapped off just because of the financial constraints.

Cloud computing provides pay-as-you-go facility so that you pay only for the resources that you use without any overhead. This is also backed by the benefits of not worrying about the big hardware, or security or their reliability. All these are taken care of by the cloud service provider. So all attention can be paid to providing a better idea development while the cloud handles the rest .

Some of the big cloud service providers include:

  1. Amazon Web Services
  2. Google Cloud
  3. Microsoft Azure

Now we can analyze about how Coinbase used AWS cloud services to get an idea of the flexibility and use case of cloud services.

One of the major feature we consider a while making transactions is security and protection against fraud hence Coinbase needs to provide a seamless experience for consumers while taking steps to secure the environment in which they operate.

For this, the company relies on artificial intelligence (AI) using machine learning tools from Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Identity theft to login using a fake account is a very common yet serious problems for such platforms that deal with direct transaction of millions of dollars daily. For this Coinbase uses machine learning algorithms so as to check the user faceID while logging in. It is a common practice that the fraudster often use the same photo for multiple IDs, as they would otherwise have to edit the face in several places on the ID.

Using Amazon SageMaker, a tool to easily build, train and deploy machine learning models, engineers at Coinbase developed a machine learning-driven system that recognizes mismatches and anomalies in sources of user identification, allowing them to quickly take action against potential sources of fraud.

It is very easy for users to move to any other platform and hence optimization on the part of companies is very much needed to keep the customers from choosing any other platform.

The insights gained from building anti-fraud algorithms also allow Coinbase to tailor experiences based on user types — a simple and intuitive way to segment retail-level investors who buy and hold, versus sophisticated pro users who trade a lot.


All these give a good idea on how useful cloud computing can be if applied correctly and efficiently. The use cases of cloud computing are immense and more and more firms and startups are integrating it in their business.

Cloud provides an easier access of expensive hardware without any headache of managing these resources explicitly. Apart from these it also provides almost all technology integration to run on cloud in the most optimized way possible.

Due to all these advantages the day isnt far when on-site resource management would become a thing of history