Coinbase, available to users in over 30 countries as of 2016, is the world's largest Bitcoin broker. Customers can buy bitcoin with a connected bank account, SEPA transfer, Interac Online, and many more payment methods.

This post contains affiliate links. Before reading more, an important disclosure.

Privacy  |  Details ›
Limits & Liquidity  |  Details ›
Speed  |  Details ›
Reputation & Regulation  |  Details ›
Fees  |  Details ›
  • High liquidity and buying limits
  • Easy way for new users to buy bitcoin
  • Instant buy available with credit card as backup
  • Cons
  • Limited payment methods
  • May track how its users spend bitcoin
  • Buy Bitcoin at Coinbase

    Is Coinbase safe? 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. Here we’ll review its brokerage, exchange, and wallet.

    Payment Methods Accepted

    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%
    Xfers Transfer Singapore instant SGD 1.49%
    Credit / Debit Card Australia instant AUD 3.99%

    *Note that the actual deposit of currencies into your Coinbase account is free. Coinbase then charges a 1% 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.

    coinbase buy

    The “buy bitcoin” section of Coinbase.


    Users must provide full identity verification and many personal details.

    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.


    United States

    U.S. customers will receive their bitcoins five business days from placing an order. Coinbase 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 is a regulated company and holds licenses in all districts in which it operates.


    Coinbase charges a flat 1% fee on all purchases.


    Canadian customers must pay a $1 fee on any transfers of CAD to a bank account. European users buying with a 3D secure debit card will be charged a 3% fee instead of 1%.

    Supported Countries

    Coinbase offers its brokerage services in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Singapore, and 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.

    Coinbase plans to enter the Latin American market in 2016.

    Customer Support

    Coinbase has a knowledge base and email support. Coinbase “Community” can be used to ask questions and get support help.

    Past Issues

    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.

    Coinbase Wallet Review

    coinbase wallet review

    Coinbase wallet history page.

    The above content reviewed Coinbase’s brokerage services. This section takes a look at the Coinbase Bitcoin wallet.

    Your “wallet” can be accessed on the web, or with Coinbase’s apps for iOS and Android. 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).


    Users may create three types of wallets with Coinbase: wallet, vault, and multisig vault.

    Wallet: Coinbase controls the private keys. You must trust that Coinbase will keep the keys secure. You must also keep your account password safe, and also the 2FA code if activated. Coinbase is a VC backed company with over $100 million in funding and likely has a very strong security setup. However, the point of Bitcoin is that users have the ability to control their own money. Coinbase can shut down your account and block access to your funds at any time.

    Vault: 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 hot wallet, you must trust Coinbase to secure vault funds. Vault accounts can also be shutdown by Coinbase at anytime.

    coinbase wallet review

    Coinbase multisig vault.

    Multisig Vault: 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.