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- High liquidity and buying limits
- Easy way for new users to buy bitcoin
- Instant buy available with credit card as backup
- Limited payment methods
- May track how its users spend bitcoin
Is Coinbase safe?
Coinbase is the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange, so this is a common question.
Yes, Coinbase is a Bitcoin company based in San Francisco, and backed by trusted investors.
Coinbase is the world’s largest Bitcoin broker, and also offers an exchange, wallet, and developer API.
On this page we’ll review Coinbase and its brokerage, exchange, and wallet.
How Does Coinbase Work?
Coinbase’s simple interface aims to make it easy for first-time buyers to purchase bitcoins.
The most popular payment methods for Coinbase customers are buying with a credit card or debit card, and also using a bank transfer.
There’s a full guide at the bottom of this post that shows you how to buy on Coinbase using a credit card.
What Payment Methods Can You Use on Coinbase? What About Fees?
Coinbase supports 30+ countries. The payment methods available depend on your country.
|Payment Method||Countries||Funds Available||Currency||Fees*|
|Bank Transfer||USA||5-7 days**||USD||1.49%|
|Credit / Debit Card||USA||instant||EUR||3.99%|
|Credit / Debit Card||Canada||instant||CAD||3.99%|
|SEPA Transfer||Europe||1-3 days||EUR||1.49%|
|Credit / Debit Card||Europe||instant||EUR||3.99%|
|Credit / Debit Card||UK||instant||GBP||3.99%|
|Credit / Debit Card||Australia||instant||AUD||3.99%|
*Actual deposit of currencies into your Coinbase account is free. Coinbase then charges a 1.49% fee per purchase.
**U.S. customers may add a Visa or Mastercard credit card as a backup payment method. If a backup credit card is available, Coinbase “instant buy” will be enabled for up to $1,000 worth of bitcoin per week.
Credit card is the most popular payment method on Coinbase. This table compares Coinbase to other popular credit card exchanges.
|Coinbase||3.75%||USA, Europe, Canada||Buy|
Please note that fees are approximate and may vary based on your country or purchase size.
Does Coinbase Support Your Country?
Coinbase offers its brokerage services in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Singapore.
Coinbase also supports the following European countries:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
Is Your Privacy Kept While Using Coinbase?
Users must provide full identity verification and many personal details.
You will be required to take a picture of your driver’s license or passport if you are purchasing with a credit card.
Limits & Liquidity
Coinbase offers very high limits. Limits depend on your account level, which is determined by how much information you have verified. Fully verified U.S. customers may buy up to $50,000 worth of bitcoin daily.
European customers may have a maximum of €30,000 euro in their account at any time.
How Fast Does Coinbase Send You Bitcoins?
The time it takes for the bitcoins to arrive in your wallet and be spendable depends on your country and payment method used.
Credit/Debit Card: If a credit or debit card is used, delivery of bitcoins is instant once ID verification as been completed.
Bank Transfer: U.S. customers will receive their bitcoins five business days from placing an order when using bank transfer. “Instant Buy” becomes possible if a credit card is added to the account as a backup payment method.
Instant buy will allow fully verified users to buy up to $1,000 worth of bitcoin per week. Level 2 users with instant buy are able to instantly buy up to $100 worth of bitcoin per week.
Canadian EFT purchases take four days to complete.
Interac Online purchases are instant!
European users paying with SEPA transfer will receive bitcoin within 1-3 days.
Coinbase “Community” can be used to ask questions and get support help.
There have been reports that it tracks how its users spend bitcoin.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you buy bitcoins with PayPal on Coinbase?
Coinbase does not accept PayPal. Coinbase only accepts the payment methods listed above.
Is it Safe to Link My Bank Account to Coinbase?
Coinbase is a regulated company and holds licenses in all districts in which it operates.
It is backed by major US investors and is not a scam.
So, it’s safe to link your bank account but that does not mean you should ever store bitcoins with Coinbase.
Are There Cash Advance Fees for Buying Bitcoins on Coinbase with a Credit Card?
Buying bitcoins on Coinbase should not result in any cash advance fees. If this happens to you be sure to contact Coinbase support.
Who is Coinbase’s CEO?
Brian Armstrong is the CEO of Coinbase.
Coinbase Bitcoin Wallet Review
Coinbase controls all private keys, and acts more like a bank than a true Bitcoin wallet.
Coinbase should only be used to buy or sell bitcoin, and not to store funds (unless you use the Multisignature Vault).
You can read our guide on Bitcoin wallets to find a wallet that truly gives you full control over your bitcoins.
Coinbase Bitcoin Wallet Security
Users may create three types of wallets with Coinbase: wallet, vault, and multisig vault.
Coinbase Bitcoin Wallet
With the Coinbase wallet, the company controls your bitcoins and you must trust that they keep your coins secure.
You must also keep your Coinbase login and account password safe.
Coinbase is a VC backed company with over $100 million in funding and likely has a very strong security setup. The point of Bitcoin, however, is that users have the ability to control their own money. So, move your bitcoins into a wallet you control after you buy.
Also note that Coinbase can shut down your account and block access to your funds at any time.
Coinbase offers a unique solution for securing larger amounts of bitcoin.
Bitcoin stored in a Vault account can be protected by multiple approvers. If a user adds two approvers to his vault, both must confirm that the withdrawal is valid before it processes.
All withdrawals from Vaults take 48-hours to process. The time delay provides a safety net:
If you see a withdrawal was requested that you did not make, the withdrawal may be cancelled.
Like the regular Coinbase wallet, you must trust Coinbase to secure vault funds. Vault accounts can also be shutdown by Coinbase at anytime.
Coinbase understands that many users want complete control over their funds.
Its multi-sig vault is a 2 of 3 wallet, where Coinbase has one key, one key is shared, and the third key is held by the account holder.
Any two of the three keys allows spending of funds. If Coinbase goes down, you still have both the shared key and your own key. Funds cannot be held because the shared key is encrypted with your password.
Your name, phone number, email, and a number of other personal details are required. Coinbase knows your addresses and balance at all times and can connect this with your identity and IP address. You must trust Coinbase’s nodes to verify transaction data.
Because Coinbase has buy/sell features, it must follow all KYC laws. There have been reports that it tracks how its users spend bitcoin.
Each payment request uses a new address, which helps prevent other users from connecting Bitcoin addresses together.
Coinbase received a score of 11 out of 100 from the Open Bitcoin Privacy Project’s Spring 2015 report.
Coinbase USD Wallets
A Coinbase USD wallet will let you store dollars in your Coinbase account. There are a few advantages to using a Coinbase USD wallet:
- You can store dollars in your account so that when you do want to purchase bitcoins you don’t have to wait five days for a bank transfer to process.
- You can spend bitcoins online without exposing yourself to Bitcoin’s volatility.
Coinbase Debit Card
Shift Payments released a debit card that connects to your Coinbase account. It uses your Coinbase balance as the debit card’s source of funds, allowing you to spend bitcoins at any merchant accepting Visa.
How to Use Coinbase
Buying cryptocurrency can be a confusing process, with the multitudes of exchanges payment methods available. One of the best exchanges for beginners is Coinbase, a San Francisco based cryptocurrency exchange.
Coinbase offers fiat onramps, or the ability to purchase coins with traditional fiat currencies. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash can all be purchased with fiat on Coinbase.
While Coinbase is beginner focused, the process of setting up an account, adding funds, and purchasing currencies can still be less than straightforward. This guide will teach you every you need to know about Coinbase.
Creating an Account
To set up an account, first visit the Coinbase website and click “Sign Up”.
After continuing, access your email and follow the verification link.
Select your country and add your phone number.
A 7-digit code will be sent to your phone, and you will be directed to enter this code.
After entering the code, you may or may not be directed to verify your ID. If you are not, then your account set up is finished for now. If you are directed to verify your ID, that is the next step covered.
Even if you’re not prompted to verify your ID now, you will want to do so anyway, because sooner or later you must verify your ID to purchase or continue purchasing cryptocurrency.
Because Coinbase is based in the US, they must abide by KYC/AML laws. Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti Money Laundering (AML) laws require businesses to verify the identity of their customers. These laws are in place to prevent money laundering or other criminal activities from occurring.
If you were not prompted to verify your ID directly after entering the SMS code, you do so by clicking the “Buy/Sell” tab. Then select the “Submit ID + Photo Verification” button.
You will then be directed to fill in your personal information.
After filling out this information, you’ll be require to submit a photo ID.
You can upload a driver’s license or other photo ID, and can upload with a webcam, a mobile camera, or a file upload. You will be required to upload a clear photo of the front and back of the idea. The photo verification may take a few minutes.
Once your photo ID is verified, the ID verification process should be complete.
After you verify your ID, you’ll want to increase the security of your account by enabling 2-Factor Authentication (2FA).
To do this, first select the settings tab.
Within the settings page, select the security tab.
Scroll down to the “Two-Factor Authentication” section, and make sure the verification code is set for any amount of digital currency. Then select the “Enable Authenticator” button.
Enter the 7-digit code sent to your phone.
After you enter the SMS code, Coinbase will generate an authenticator code for you. This will allow you to use 2-Factor Authentication.
2FA is a security measure that generates unique codes based on your authenticator secret code. To use it, download a 2FA app such as Google Authenticator onto your phone.
After downloading, add the Coinbase authenticator code to the app. You can do this by scanning the QR code or by manually entering the authenticator code. The app will now generate 2FA codes for Coinbase that change every few seconds.
Because the codes change so often, someone attempting to breach your account would need to have access to your phone in order to access your funds. Even if they steal your username and password, they wouldn’t have the 2FA code unless they had access to your phone as well.
Be sure to write down your authenticator secret code and store it somewhere safe. If you get a new phone, or it is lost or stolen, you will need this code to receive 2FA codes.
With 2FA set up, your account will be much more secure.
Adding Payment Methods
Before buying your cryptocurrency, you will need to add a payment method. Coinbase offers 3 payment methods: Debit card, bank account, or wire transfer. In this guide we will cover purchasing with a debit card or with a bank account.
To add a payment method, first select the “Settings” tab in the top middle of the page.
Within the Settings page, select the “Linked Accounts” tab.
Click the “Link a New Account” button.
You will then be able to select which payment method to add.
Debit cards are best for purchasing smaller amounts quickly. Any debit card purchase will instantly transfer the cryptocurrency to your account, which is best if you want to quickly trade it for another cryptocurrency.
However, debit cards have much lower purchase limits than other payment types. Their limits may start as low as $300 per week.
Additionally, debit card purchases have high fees, at 4%. And while Coinbase is headquartered in America, their payment processor runs through the UK, so your card may be hit with an additional foreign purchase fee, depending on your card and where you live.
To link a debit card, select that option then fill out your debit card information. Unfortunately, if you only have a credit card, you cannot use it at this time.
After filling out your card information, Coinbase will send 2 pending charges to your account. To verify your card, enter the the last 2 digits of the charge. You will not be charged for these transactions. If you see 3 charges, ignore the charge that is $1.00.
Bank Accounts are better for larger purchases, but they are not immediate like debit cards.
When you make a purchase with a bank account, the price you pay is locked in the moment you purchase, but you will not receive your cryptocurrency until 4-5 business days have passed.
So if the value of the currency you bought goes up over that time, you will have made money. Of course, if the value goes down, you will have lost money. Additionally, you don’t own the funds until the 4-5 business days have passed, so if you want to trade for another currency, you’ll be unable to do so until the time passes.
However, bank account purchases do have some major upsides. The limits on bank accounts are much higher, starting at $7,500 per week. The fees are also much lower, at 1.5%.
To link a bank account, select it from the payment method selection. Then choose your bank.
After choosing your bank, enter your bank user ID and password.
If this method fails, or if you cannot find your bank, you can manually add your bank account by giving your routing number. You’ll then be sent 2 deposits to verify. This process will take around 5 business days, as opposed to the other method, which offers instant connection.
With your account all set up, you can finally buy some cryptocurrency!
Click the “Buy/Sell” tab at the top of the page.
Select the type of cryptocurrency you want, the payment method, and the amount in dollars.
You will then be directed to confirm your purchase.
You may also have to enter your 2FA code to confirm the purchase.
Selling cryptocurrency is a very similar process. The main difference is that you cannot sell using a credit card. You must sell using either a bank account or a USD account that will hold your money on Coinbase.
To deposit cryptocurrency to your Coinbase account, or to send it to another account, first select the “Accounts” tab.
To deposit currency, navigate to your desired cryptocurrency then select “Receive”.
Coinbase will then generate an address for you to send your cryptocurrency to. Be sure to send only that cryptocurrency to that wallet. For example, you cannot send Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash to the same wallet, or one will be lost. Also, be sure to use your own address and not the example one shown in the picture.
To send cryptocurrency to another address, click the “Send” button.
Next, enter the desired recipient address and the amount in dollars that you would like to send. Be sure to send only to wallets of the same type of cryptocurrency, or it will be lost.
You will then be required to enter your 2FA code to complete the transaction. You will also notice an additional miner fee for sending currency. This fee does not go to Coinbase, it is sent the miners who keep the network running.
Now that you know how to set up an account, buy/sell, and deposit/withdraw, you should have all the knowledge you need to start buying and trading.
Review by: Jordan Tuwiner
Rating: 4.2Visit coinbase.com
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