This post contains affiliate links. Before reading more, an important disclosure.
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.
Coinbase Buying Tutorial (Credit Card/Debit Card)
Coinbase lets you buy bitcoins instantly with a credit card or debit card. Here are step-by-step instructions to help make the buying process easier for you.
1. Create an Account on Coinbase
Once you create an account, confirm your personal details and login. You may be asked to upload a scan of ID. Once you’ve logged in, continue to the next step.
2. Navigate to account settings
Navigate to the top right corner and click on your name. There should be a drop-down menu where you can click “Settings”. Then click “Payment Methods” on the menu at the top and you should see something that looks like this:
Click on “Add Payment Method” in the right corner.
3. Click “Credit/Debit Card”
4. Enter your Credit/Debit Card Information
Note that Coinbase only accepts Visa and Mastercard credit/debit cards at this time.
You should see a confirmation like the one below. If so, your credit/debit card has been successfully added!
6. Buy Bitcoins!
Go to the buy page and you should see a widget that looks like the image below:
Enter the amount you want to buy, and click “Buy Bitcoin Instantly”. Your coins will then be delivered to your Coinbase wallet!
Review by: Jordan Tuwiner
Rating: 4.2Visit coinbase.com
BitPanda is a Bitcoin broker based in Austria. It offers a wide range of payment methods and has good prices.
CEX.IO allows for the buying of bitcoins for low fees via credit card. Customers can also purchase for free with bank transfers.
Coinhouse, based in Paris, France, lets users in France buy bitcoin with a 3D secure credit card or debit card, or with Neosurf prepaid cards.