Coinbase offers a small exchange service in the fact it has limited coins only offering Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin but its often the first step into Crypto. Because you can buy the coins with a debit/credit card and also bank transfers. It also allows you to withdraw your crypto coins back into your banking system. Although I heavily recommend using the banking transfers over using a credit card due to lower fees.
Does it work? my first steps into crypto involved me transferring money from my bank into Coinbase and then into Bitcoin. Because once you get it into Bitcoin you can transfer it into other markets for trading into other coins such as NEO, LISK and many others that aren’t on the Coinbase exchange.
In the same way if you do trading on Bittrex for example you can then cash your gains into Bitcoin and then back to Coinbase to transfer back to your bank.
Right now there are limited ways to get money in and out of crypto from FIAT but this is rapidly changing due to the growth in the market and new technologies. Things like TENX cards are revolutionising how people can withdraw and spend Crypto at the same time its still new and not keeping up with demand. ETCH is looking to become an instant payment platform which will also have some unique features reaching into the real world at the same time while technology catches up using Coinbase exchange may be the easiest alternative until that day arrives.
If you do sign up with Coinbase please feel free to use my link for a free $10 once you invest over $100