Coinbase, available to users in over 55 countries as of 2020, is the world's largest Bitcoin broker.

We may receive compensation when you use Coinbase. This post contains affiliate links. Disclosure.

Pros
  • High liquidity and buying limits
  • Easy way for new users to buy bitcoin
Cons
  • Limited payment methods
  • May track how its users spend bitcoin
Buy Bitcoin at Coinbase

coinbase buy

Is Coinbase Safe?

Yes, Coinbase is a crypto company based in San Francisco, and backed by trusted investors. As of August 2020, it has raised over $547 million.

list of investments into coinbase
Coinbase's funding rounds

Coinbase is the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange and broker. With their exchange, called Coinbase Pro you make buy and sell offers to other users on the platform and Coinbase takes a cut of the deals.

With the brokerage, you simply buy crypto directly from Coinbase at the price they offer (there is no bidding on the brokerage side).

We will discuss Coinbase’s safety in greater depth in Chapter 1, but throughout this review, you will learn all the answers to your questions about Coinbase and its products.

Coinbase Compared

This table compares Coinbase to other popular exchanges.

  • Popular Exchanges
  • Coinbase
    • High liquidity and buying limits
    • Easy way for newcomers to get bitcoins
    • "Instant Buy" option available with debit card
  • Coinmama
    • Works in almost all countries
    • Highest limits for buying bitcoins with a credit card
    • Reliable and trusted broker
  • eToro
    • Supports Bitcoin, Ethereum & 15 other coins
    • Start trading fast; high limits
    • Your capital is at risk.

    This ad promotes virtual cryptocurrency investing within the EU (by eToro Europe Ltd. and eToro UK Ltd.) & USA (by eToro USA LLC); which is highly volatile, unregulated in most EU countries, no EU protections & not supervised by the EU regulatory framework. Investments are subject to market risk, including the loss of principal.

Please note that fees are approximate and may vary based on your country or purchase size.


Is Coinbase Legit?

is coinbase legitimate

Because of how famous Coinbase is, many wonder if Coinbase is a safe place to buy, sell and store Bitcoin and Crypto from.

In this chapter we will walkthrough the various types of safety coinbase is good and bad on.


The short answer is “yes, Coinbase is a legitimate cryptocurrency exchange and broker”. That is because of its high profile investors and highly regulated location (San Francisco).

Coinbase is very unlikely to run away with your money.


Coinbase's headquarters in San Francisco

Coinbase has also never experienced a hack despite holding lots of client funds that hackers would love to steal. This indicates that Coinbase does a very good job of keeping the platform safe for user funds.

In fact, Coinbase is so good at preventing hacks, it is able to keep its own users from falling victim to scams that happen off the platform:


coinbase twitter hack headline
Coinbase successfully prevented its users from sending some $280k of Bitcoin to the hackers who cracked twitter in mid 2020.


But the way it is able to prevent hacks like these from affecting users requires users to give up some privacy and control of their coins.

Like most Silicon Valley companies, Coinbase is not very good on privacy. If privacy is important to you, almost any other major US exchange would be better. Coinbase has also been known to freeze customer accounts as soon as they see anything that is suspicious. In most cases, this is meant to protect you from unauthorized users gaining access to your account but in some cases, this has also occured to customers for merely using privacy-enhancing technology like Tor and CoinJoins when using Coinbase.


coinbase prevents coinjoins from deposit headline
Coinbase is believed to block anonymizing Bitcoin transactions known as 'CoinJoins'.


Therefore, in terms of account security and truthworthiness, Coinbase is quite good (maybe the best). But on privacy, Coinbase scores low. If privacy is not a huge concern for you and you just want to buy bitcoin, Coinbase is a great choice. If privacy is important for you and you want to know more, you can check out Chapter 5.

Is it safe to store coins on Coinbase?

This all brings us to storage.

Heads Up!

Cash held in Coinbase wallets are FDIC insured up to $250,000. However crypto is not FDIC insured. You should move your coins off of Coinbase after buying.


One rule that you should follow with any exchange (not just Coinbase) is that you should never store your Bitcoin or other crypto on an exchange. After you buy crypto from Coinbase, you need to move it to a wallet you control that is off of Coinbase.

ledger nano x
The Ledger Nano X is our top pick for where to store your coins after you buy them from Coinbase.

Why?

Becuase as we mentioned before, there are a lot of hackers that would love to steal all the coins off of Coinbase (and every other exchange). While Coinbase has never suffered a hack, that doesn’t mean they never will. If they do get hacked, you are unlikely to ever get your coins back.

Thankfully, it is incredibly easy to move them off the exchange as soon as you buy them.


How Does Coinbase Work?

does coinbase work

Before we get into how to set up an account on Coinbase or show you how to buy crypto, it's worth taking a look at Coinbase's paltform in greater detail.

In this chapter, we will cover some specific metrics that will matter when you use the Coinbase Platform


How Does Coinbase Work?

Coinbase’s simple interface aims to make it easy for first-time buyers to purchase bitcoins using payment methods you are used to.


coinbase app and desktop trading view
Coinbase's clean UI makes it easy to use for beginners.


The most popular payment methods for Coinbase customers are buying with a debit card, and also using a bank transfer.

There’s a full guide that shows you how to buy on Coinbase using a debit card in Chapter 5.

However the experience of using Coinbase is not the same for every country. Below, we cover which countries are supported by Coinbase, which payment methods they accept, and we also cover the kinds of fees each resident will pay in their country depending on the payment method they use to buy crypto.

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:

Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Gilbraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and United Kingdom.

coinbase supported countries
You can find all of the specifics of each country on Coinbase's country page.


In North America, Coinbase supports Canada, the USA and Mexico.

In South America, Coinbase only supports customers in Chile via debit card payment.

Please note that fees are approximate and may vary based on your country or purchase size.

Coinbase Supported Coins

Coinbase supports dozens of coins, but which ones you can buy and sell depends heavily on which country you live in.


coinbase supported coins
Some of the coins offered on Coinbase and sorted by country.

You can see the full list of coins offered at Coinbase’s help desk.

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.

Method Limits Time Before You can Withdraw
Debit Card Up to $7,500/week Instant once debit clears
ACH Transfer $25k/day (cumulative ACH limit) Majority of customer can withdraw within 5 business days
Wire Transfer Unlimited Instant once wire clears

European customers may have a maximum of €30,000 euro in their account at any time.

Coinbase Payment Methods

Coinbase’s fees are quite high. Credit and debit card purchases are charged a 3.99% fee and bank transfers are charged a 1.49% fee.


coinbase account funding options
Coinbase supports only 3 payment methods: debit cards, wire transfers, and bank transfers.


Heads Up!

Coinbase supports 100+ countries. The payment methods available depend on your country, but fees are fairly similar.

Deposit Fees and Deposit Times

Payment Method Countries Deposit Time Currency Fees*
Wire Transfer USA 5-7 days USD 1.49% + $10
ACH Transfer USA 5-7 days USD 1.49%
Debit Card USA instant USD 3.99%
Debit Card Canada instant CAD 3.99%
SEPA Transfer Europe 1-3 days EUR 1.49%
Debit Card Europe instant EUR 3.99%
Debit Card UK instant GBP 3.99%
SEPA Transfers UK 1-3 days GBP 1.49%
Debit Card Singapore instant SGD 3.99%
Debit Card Australia instant AUD 3.99%
Crypto Deposit** World variable** variable variable**


WARNING

You may be wondering why credit cards aren't on this list. Coinbase no longer accepts credit cards as a method of account funding except in Australia. That means Coinbase does not accept Discover, Visa, or American Express credit cards.

Coinbase users in nearly any country can convert between cryptocurrencies, but cannot always convert local currency into crypto.


QUICK TIP

For lower fees, you may want to use Coinbase Pro. It is more complex but is worth learning if you will be making a lot of trades and buys.


Withdrawal Fees and Withdrawal Times

Withdrawal Method Country Withdrawal Time Currency Fees
Wire Transfer USA 1-2 work days USD $25
ACH Transfer USA 3-5 work days USD free
Cryptocurrency World 0-3 days variable variable
Paypal US, CA, UK, EU instant USD, CAD, GBP, EUR variable
SEPA Transfer Europe 1-2 work days EUR free
Debit Card Europe 0-1 days EUR 2%
Debit Card UK 0-1 days GBP 2%
SEPA Transfers UK 1 work day GBP 1.49%

The time it takes for the bitcoins to arrive in your wallet and be spendable depends on your country and payment method used.

USA icon

United States

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.

Debit Card: If a 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.

canada icon

Canada

Canadian EFT purchases take four days to complete. Interac Online purchases are instant!

EU icon

Europe

European users paying with SEPA transfer will receive bitcoin within 1-3 days.

Customer Support

Coinbase has a knowledge base and email support.


Coinbase email support page
Coinbase's email support page.


Coinbase “Community” can be used to ask questions and get support help.

Coinbase Compared

This table compares Coinbase to other popular exchanges:

  • Popular Exchanges
  • Coinbase
    • High liquidity and buying limits
    • Easy way for newcomers to get bitcoins
    • "Instant Buy" option available with debit card
  • Coinmama
    • Works in almost all countries
    • Highest limits for buying bitcoins with a credit card
    • Reliable and trusted broker
  • eToro
    • Supports Bitcoin, Ethereum & 15 other coins
    • Start trading fast; high limits
    • Your capital is at risk.

    This ad promotes virtual cryptocurrency investing within the EU (by eToro Europe Ltd. and eToro UK Ltd.) & USA (by eToro USA LLC); which is highly volatile, unregulated in most EU countries, no EU protections & not supervised by the EU regulatory framework. Investments are subject to market risk, including the loss of principal.

Crypto to Crypto Trading

Customers from over 100 countries can trade crypto to crypto. Coinbase recently launched this feature.


Step-by-Step Guide to Using Coinbase

guide to using 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”.

coinbase homepage

You will then be directed to begin setting up your account. Fill in your name, email, password, and location. Complete the captcha, then certify that you are over 18 and agree to the Coinbase user agreement and privacy policy.


coinbase signup page


After continuing, access your email and follow the verification link.


coinbase email verification


Select your country and add your phone number.


coinbase phone number form


A 7-digit code will be sent to your phone, and you will be directed to enter this code.


coinbase SMS confirmation


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.

ID Verification

Before you ask, No, you cannot bypass Coinbase ID verification. If you could, no one would do it. Unfortuinately, Coinbase will simply lock you out of purchases until you have finished verification.

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.

This means customers must divulge a large amount of personal information, including the last 4 digits of their SSN and photos of their ID. To understand how this information is used, read Coinbase’s privacy policy.

illustration of photo ID
Coinbase requires all its users to provide a government issued ID in order to buy and sell crypto.

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 required to submit a photo ID.


coinbase ID verification screen


You can upload a driver’s license or other photo ID with a webcam, a mobile camera, or a file upload.

If the photo fails to verify, make sure the photo is clear and no parts of the ID are obscured. If you still cannot verify your ID, then contact Coinbase support.

Once your photo ID is verified, the ID verification process should be complete.

Verification Levels

Coinbase has different levels of verification that affect how much money you can invest and how you can send and receive it.

Level Requirement Benefit
Level 1 Verify phone number
  • Invest up to $9,500
Level 2 Verify personal information
  • Invest an unlimited amount of money
  • Make wire transfers in and out of account
  • Store USD in your account
Level 3 Verify ID
  • Send and receive digital currencies

Optional: Set Up Additional Security

After you verify your ID, you’ll want to increase the security of your account by enabling 2-Factor Authentication (2FA).

Even though this step is optional, we reccomend you do it to prevent hackers from gaining access to your account. If you want to set this up later, skip to Chapter 4.

To do this, first select the settings tab.


coinbase settings tab


Within the settings page, select the security tab.


coinbase 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.


coinbase enable two factor authentication


Enter the 7-digit code sent to your phone.

Coinbase SMS Verification

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 Lastpass Authenticator or onto your phone.


lastpass authenticator
LastPass Authenticator is our favorite 1-time password generator.

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.

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.


Coinbase add 2 factor code


With 2FA set up, your account will be much more secure.


How to Buy and Sell on Coinbase

how to buy and sell on coinbase

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.

Adding Payment Methods

To add a payment method, first select the “Settings” tab in the top middle of the page.


coinbase settings tab


Within the Settings page, select the “Linked Accounts” tab.


coinbase linked accounts


Click the “Link a New Account” button.


coinbase link new account


You will then be able to select which payment method to add.


coinbase choose account type to link


Debit Card

debit card icon

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.

Debit card purchases also have high fees at 4%.

To link a debit card, select that option then fill out your debit card information.


coinbase select debit card


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.


coinbase two deposits verification


Bank Account

bank account icon

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.


coinbase link bank account


Then choose your bank from the list.


coinbase supported banks


After choosing your bank, enter your bank user ID and password.


coinbase bank login


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.


coinbase add routing number


Purchasing Cryptocurrency

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.


coinbase buy bitcoin
The "buy bitcoin" section of Coinbase. Very easy to use for first-time buyers..


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 (unless you are a UK or EU resident). You must sell using either a bank account or a USD account that will hold your money on Coinbase.

Depositing/Sending Cryptocurrency

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 receive bitcoin


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.


coinbase wallet address


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.

WARNING

Be sure to send only to wallets of the same type of cryptocurrency. If you choose Bitcoin on the following screen, only send Bitcoin. Do not, for instance, send Bitcoin Cash or Litecoin. If you do, you will lose the coins forever.


coinbase send btc


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.


coinbase send bitcoin confirmation


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.


Privacy on Coinbase

privacy on coinbase

Coinbase offers some of the best uzer experiences of any exchange on Earth.

It's also able to protect you from making mistakes or falling victim to hacks.

In this chapter, we will discuss what you give up to in order to get these benefits: privacy.

Is Your Privacy Kept While Using Coinbase?

When you sign up for an account on Coinbase, your name, phone number, email, and a number of other personal details are required.

You will be required to take a picture of your driver’s license or passport if you are purchasing with a debit card. This is all normal procedure for a regulated exchange like Coinbase where they must comply with KYC and AML laws.

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.

hacker icons


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.

As far back as 2014, There have been reports that Coinbase tracks how its users spend bitcoin.

This suspicion was confirmed as recently as 2019 when it was revealed that Coinbase had acquired Neutrino.


coinbase acquires neutrino headline


Neutrino is a tech company focusing on analyzing blockchains in order to discover the identities behind addresses on those chains. Coinbase acquired this company so that they could reduce the privacy of Bitcoin users everywhere.

It is also worth noting that many of Neutrino’s employees also worked for and/or founded a spyware company called hacking team. Hacking Team sold its products to authoritarian governments in the Middle East to spy on their people and journalists.

Coinbase also recently attempted to sell its data to the Internal Reveneue Service (IRS) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). And it was successful in winning the contract to sell its data to the Secret Service.


coinbase supports IRS and DEA headline


If buying coins privately is your goal, Coinbase is not the best option. If you need coins quickly and easily, then Coinbase is a good choice.

Coinbase Compared

This table compares Coinbase to other popular exchanges:

  • Popular Exchanges
  • Coinbase
    • High liquidity and buying limits
    • Easy way for newcomers to get bitcoins
    • "Instant Buy" option available with debit card
  • Coinmama
    • Works in almost all countries
    • Highest limits for buying bitcoins with a credit card
    • Reliable and trusted broker
  • eToro
    • Supports Bitcoin, Ethereum & 15 other coins
    • Start trading fast; high limits
    • Your capital is at risk.

    This ad promotes virtual cryptocurrency investing within the EU (by eToro Europe Ltd. and eToro UK Ltd.) & USA (by eToro USA LLC); which is highly volatile, unregulated in most EU countries, no EU protections & not supervised by the EU regulatory framework. Investments are subject to market risk, including the loss of principal.


Frequently Asked Questions

faq icon


In this chapter, we will answer some of the most commonly asked questions about buying Coinbase's products and services

It's updated regularly, so there is a good chance we've already answered any questions you may have.

What is the Coinbase Network Fee?

The Coinbase network fee is not actually a fee charged by Coinbase. The network fee is the fee the blockchain is charging you to send your coins.

For instance, if you are sending Bitcoins to yourself from Coinbase, the Bitcoin blockchain will charge coinbase a fee to send the coins, since it is the sender who pays all the fees. When Coinbase charges you a network fee, they are just passing on the fee of the blockchain to you so you can pay them back.

What is Coinbase Wallet?

Coinbase wallet is a non-custodial wallet developed by Toshi Holdings Ltd., which is owned by Coinbase.


coinbase wallet images


Unlike the Coinbase app, which lets you buy and sell coins and manage your fiat and coin holdings on the Coinbase platform, Coinbase wallet is like other mobile wallet apps where the private key to your coins is held on your mobile device.

You do not need a Coinbase account to use Coinbase wallet.

In short: when you store your coins on Coinbase, you do not control them. When you store your coins on the Coinbase app, you do control them.

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.

Who is Coinbase’s CEO?

Brian Armstrong is the CEO of Coinbase.


bryan armstrong portrait
Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase

Why is Coinbase telling me my funds are on hold?

Sometimes when there is lots of trading activity happening on Coinbase, their system gets overloaded with requests and funds can get locked up. Unfortunately, there is very little you can do about it except wait. You can try contacting customer service, but in most cases they will tell you the holds are automatically flagged by bots and there is nothing they can do about it.

How long you will have to wait for your funds to be released is also inconsistent. Some people have waited months.


reddit thread on coinbase freezing accounts


For withdrawals of dollars. its the same. You may have your funds put on hold and you may just have to wait.

Does Coinbase Accept Paypal?

As of November 2019, Coinbase began to accept paypal as a way to withdraw money from the sale of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency purchases on the platform. You still cannot use paypal to buy crypto though.

Why Isn’t Paypal Working with Coinbase?

There are many reasons Paypal may not be working with your Coinbase account.

If you are trying to buy crypto using Paypal, Coinbase will not allow this. If you are trying to sell crypto and take the money from that sale through Paypal, then its possible your region does not allow you to do this (US, EU, UK). Only Canada is allowed to do this.

Finally, make sure your Paypal account is properly integrated with your Coinbase account. To do this, you need to make sure your identity is fully verified with Coinbase. Once that is done, go to Settings -> Linked Accounts and click “Link a new account”. On Mobile, you go to settings -> “Add a Payment Method”.


coinbase link new account


Once there, you can select Paypal, and you will be prompted to login to Paypal. If you do not see Paypal as an option,it means Paypal is not supported on Coinbase in your region yet.

Does Coinbase Charge to Convert Between Cryptos?

Yes, the fee varies based on volume.

Common Coinbase Scams

thieves icon


In this chapter, we will go over some of the common scams you need to be aware of regarding Coinbase.

Many scammers pretend to be Coinbase in order to get you to hand over your account info.

Let's review the most common ones.


coinbase technical support

Technical Support Scams

Coinbase will never initiate contact with you via the phone. If anyone calls or emails you claiming to be from Coinbase, be very suspicious, especially if they ask for personal information.

Coinbase reps will never ask for our password or 2 factor auth codes. Be especially vigilant if anyone asks for remote access to your computer.

Coinbase will never ask for your password, two-factor authentication code or remote access to your computer.

david farmerDavid Farmer Coinbase Support

giveaway scams

Giveaway Scams

Many scammers will pretend to be Coinbase or famous personalities on social networks like twitter.

In many cases, the scammers will claim that Coinbase is doing a crypto giveaway and that all you need to do is send them a small amount of crypto so they know what address to send your money to.


coinbase twitter scam


In reality, the scammer will keep the money and never send you anything.

Coinbase is not likely to do a giveaway like this at any time. Even if they did, they do not need you to send them any crypto in order to send you coins.

This is a very common scam that doesn’t always involve impersonating coinbase, so don’t ever fall for it, regardless of who you think is offering the giveaway.

phishing scam icon

Phishing Scams

This is a very common ploy where a scammer created a website that looks exactly like Coinbase (or any other exchange) and tries to lure you to that url instead of the real coinbase.com.

Once you input your credentials, the site will tell you that the credentials are not correct and to keep trying new usernames and passwords. While you do this, a bot is taking those credentials and trying them on the real coinbase so they can withdraw any funds you have on deposit.


reddit thread fake coinbase site
A user on reddit reporting a fake version of Coinbase's website.

The best way to combat this scam is to always type in coinbase.com into your browser by hand. Do not use shortcuts or follow links in emails or on twitter. URLs can be hidden in hypertext and you won’t even notice you are on a dummy site unless you check the site headers yourself.


fake coinbase site
This is how real a fake coinbase website can look - hint: check the url.

telegram icon

Telegram Scams

Scammers on Telegram will often pretend to be Coinbase hoping you reach out to them for tech support. Do not give any personal information about yourself at all to anyone on Telegram claiming to be with Coinbase. As Coinbase notes,

Coinbase is NOT currently active on Telegram and any entity making claims or representations that they are affiliated with Coinbase Support are unauthorized to do so and should NOT be trusted.

coinbase logoCoinbase Support Team


Coinbase vs Coinbase Pro

coinbase vsd coinbase pro

It would be easy to confuse Coinbase for Coinbase Pro.

However, the two platforms are really quite different.

In this bonus chapter, we will discuss the biggest differences between Coinbase and its Pro product.


Coinbase is one of the most popular Bitcoin brokers – in fact, its user base has surpassed that of stock brokerage Charles Schwab. Coinbase’s popularity skyrocketed in 2017, along with the price of Bitcoin.

Coinbase Pro – also owned by Coinbase – has also seen a similar amount of growth.

What is the difference between Coinbase and Coinbase Pro?

Buying cryptocurrency is confusing, especially if it’s your first time.

Coinbase Pro is for more advanced users. It has features like bid ask spreads, price charts, order books, market orders, limit orders, and stop limits can be overwhelming to take in all at once for new buyers.


coinbase pro trading view


Coinbase is designed for ease of use, targeting first time buyers. Their simplistic platform makes it easy for anyone to buy or sell Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, regardless of their prior experience.

Users can buy or sell using a bank transfer or debit card while enjoying high liquidity. The website doesn’t display fancy price charts, nor does it show any form of order book. The only options available to Coinbase users are to buy and sell.


coinbase accounts view


Coinbase has a simple and easy to understand interface (see image above).

Coinbase Pro only allows you deposit using ACH bank transfer (USA), SEPA transfer (Europe), or wire transfer.

Coinbase’s basic buying platform is perfect for the Bitcoin buying beginner – however, its simplicity comes at a cost.

Coinbase vs Coinbase Pro Fees

When compared to Coinbase Pro, Coinbase’s fees are pretty hefty. They charge a 3.99% fee on debit card transfers and a 1.49% fee on bank transfers.

Coinbase Pro, on the other hand, charges significantly less than Coinbase. If you play your cards right, you won’t have to pay a cent – that’s right, zero trading fees.

Coinbase Pro charges 0.1% to 0.25% for taker trades, and no fees at all for maker trades. As long as you place limit orders, you won’t have to worry about paying a fee.


CoinbaseCoinbase Pro
Debit Card Fees
3.99%
N/A
Bank Fees1.49%0.0% - 0.25%
Easy to Use
Coinbase Review Coinbase Pro Review
Go to Coinbase Go to Coinbase Pro

What’s more, if you have a Coinbase account, you already have a Coinbase Pro account. Simply log in to Coinbase Pro with your Coinbase credentials. Better still, you can transfer funds instantly between Coinbase and Coinbase Pro.

Coinbase vs Coinbase Pro Price

Coinbase’s price is based on the Coinbase Pro price, but is usually somewhat higher. This means Coinbase has somewhat of a hidden premium.

For example, as I write this the price on Coinbase Pro is $8917.16 but the price on Coinbase is $8,962.35. So Coinbase has marked up its prices somewhat.

Coinbase Compared

This table compares Coinbase to other popular exchanges:

  • Popular Exchanges
  • Coinbase
    • High liquidity and buying limits
    • Easy way for newcomers to get bitcoins
    • "Instant Buy" option available with debit card
  • Coinmama
    • Works in almost all countries
    • Highest limits for buying bitcoins with a credit card
    • Reliable and trusted broker
  • eToro
    • Supports Bitcoin, Ethereum & 15 other coins
    • Start trading fast; high limits
    • Your capital is at risk.

    This ad promotes virtual cryptocurrency investing within the EU (by eToro Europe Ltd. and eToro UK Ltd.) & USA (by eToro USA LLC); which is highly volatile, unregulated in most EU countries, no EU protections & not supervised by the EU regulatory framework. Investments are subject to market risk, including the loss of principal.

Coinbase Pro vs Coinbase Liquidity

As far as Coinbase Pro’s liquidity goes, you won’t have to worry. Deposits of USD, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and BCH to your Coinbase Pro wallet are unlimited. Individuals can withdraw up to $10,000 per day and businesses can withdraw up to $50,000 per day. Higher withdrawal limits can be made available to you upon request.

Supported Countries

Coinbase Pro and Coinbase support almost the same countries.

Both Coinbase Pro and Coinbase support the following 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, United States.

Customers from Singapore, Canada and Australia can only use Coinbase, but are not able to use Coinbase Pro.

Mobile Use

Coinbase has mobile apps for Android and iOS.

There is no mobile app for Coinbase Pro, although the mobile version of the site works quite well on tablets and smartphones.

Withdrawal Fees

Coinbase makes you pay the standard Bitcoin transaction fee, which is usually about $0.10.

Coinbase Pro has no withdrawal fees and pays the Bitcoin, ether and litecoin transaction fees for you.

Footnotes

* Actual deposit of currencies into your Coinbase account is free (unless you use a wire transfer). Coinbase then charges a 1.49% fee per purchase.

** Coinbase does not charge for crypto deposits. The only fee you will pay to deposit any crypto into Coinbase is the transaction that the blockchain of the coin you are depositing charges you. The speed of that deposit also depends on how much network congestion there is on the blockchain. Coinbase requires a different number of confirmations on chain before they credit your account. For isntance, Coinbase requires 3 confirmations for Bitcoin.

Rating: 4.2

Buy Bitcoin at Coinbase

Coinbase Alternatives


BitpandaBitpanda Read Review

Bitpanda is a Bitcoin broker based in Austria. It offers a wide range of payment methods and has good prices.

CEX.IOCEX.IO Read Review

CEX.IO allows for the buying of bitcoins for low fees via credit card. Customers can also purchase for free with bank transfers.

Coinbase ProCoinbase Pro Read Review

Coinbase Pro is an exchange run by San Franisco based Coinbase. It has been active since 2015 and supports Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether and Bcash trading.

CoinmamaCoinmama Read Review

Coinmama is a bitcoin broker based in Israel. They specialize in selling bitcoins for credit card to nearly anyone in the world.

eToroeToro Read Review

eToro is a trading platform that supports users from nearly any country. It supports Bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, Zcash and many other coins.

eToro USAeToro USA Read Review

eToro is a trading platform based in the United States. It supports Bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, Zcash and many other coins. This ad promotes virtual cryptocurrency investing within the EU (by eToro Europe Ltd. and eToro UK Ltd.) & USA (by eToro USA LLC); which is highly volatile, unregulated in most EU countries, no EU protections & not supervised by the EU regulatory framework. Investments are subject to market risk, including the loss of principal.

KrakenKraken Read Review

Founded in 2011, Kraken is a cryptocurrency spot exchange that also offers futures contracts and margin trading.

LunoLuno Read Review

Luno is a Bitcoin broker that supports Europe, South Africa, Nigeria, Indoensia and Malaysia.