“With the IPO and stronger regulatory oversight, Coinbase is moving more into the spotlight, where there is or will be more visibility and convenience,” she said.

One of the most frustrating aspects of Coinbase, according to some users, is that a real person doesn’t seem to be reading their complaints.

“There’s no one on the other side,” said Cheryl Hung, a marketing consultant in Los Angeles.

Ms. Hung said she and her fiancé Paul Hwang started investing in cryptocurrencies in 2019 and chose Coinbase because it was a “big, reputable company” for sure. But in January someone stole $ 26,000 worth of cryptocurrency from their account. They said they had no idea how that happened.

“We just lost all the money we could have used to work on a house or get our lives going,” Hwang said.

The couple turned to Coinbase for help but said they received superficial email responses. An automatic reply was displayed when trying to test Coinbase’s phone line. After The Times inquired about her case, Ms. Hung received another email from the company with more information about her account.

According to Coinbase, real account managers have responded to inquiries.

For most Coinbase users, legal recourse is also limited. According to the Company’s Terms of Service, users agree to resolve disputes through a private arbitration or small claims court rather than pursuing a class action lawsuit.

That did not stop Mr Pierre from complaining. Mr Pierre, who worked for Coinbase in 2017 and 2018, said he initially found the decentralized format of digital currencies “exciting”. But after losing his Coinbase savings, he sees the value of traditional, regulated institutions like banks that he can fall back on “in times like these”.

“I’m less excited now,” he said.