Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange | January 2018 review

Coinbase is one of the world’s premier cryptocurrency exchanges and wallet platforms allowing Australians to buy bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin.

Very few cryptocurrency exchanges carry a name more prominent than Coinbase. The San Francisco-based company has 7.4 million users and counting and is available in 32 countries worldwide.

Naturally, Coinbase has several direct advantages for attracting cryptocurrency traders. In just five short years, it has managed to become an important cornerstone of the blockchain market.

  • Fees: Varies by transaction
  • Supported countries: 32 countries
  • Payment methods: Bank transfer, Credit/debit card, wire

Pros

  • High liquidity
  • Top crypto assets: BTC, ETH, LTC, BCH
  • Instant buy feature available
  • Easy to use
  • Insured bitcoin deposits available

Cons

  • Limited payment methods
  • Account monitoring
  • Mixed feedback on customer service

This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrencies or a recommendation to invest. Historic performance is no guarantee of future returns. As an investment class, cryptocurrencies are speculative investments and investing in cryptocurrencies involves significant risks – they are highly volatile, vulnerable to hacking and capital loss and sensitive to secondary activity. Before investing you should obtain advice and decide whether the potential return outweighs the risks.

What is Coinbase?

Founded in 2012, Coinbase is a virtual exchange that allows global users to buy and sell some of the world’s most popular cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. Importantly, it currently provides buyer-side services only in Australia, as well as a limited range of payment options compared to other countries.

Coinbase also provides wallet services and merchant services. It’s pretty much a one-stop shop for all cryptocurrency market players.

$10 of free bitcoin on Coinbase

Get US$10 in free bitcoin when you buy US$100 or more of BTC, ETH, BCH or LTC.

What cryptocurrencies can I buy?

  • Bitcoin
  • Litecoin
  • Ethereum
  • Bitcoin Cash

Available countries

Coinbase is available in 32 countries, including Australia.

There are variations in the available services, payment methods and fees that apply in each country.

Accepted payment methods

Australian customers have access to a limited number of payment methods when compared to other countries. These include:

  • Credit card (Visa and Mastercard)
  • Debit card

How much will it cost me to use Coinbase?

Although Coinbase does not charge a fee to use its wallet service, transferring cryptocurrency to an address outside the platform may result in a network fee. Network fees are set by the blockchain community.

For Australian customers, Coinbase charges a rate of 3.99% for credit/debit card buys.

How quickly will my funds be available?

Coinbase offers its "instant buy" feature in Australia, meaning credit/debit card purchases will be available instantly.

Are there any transfer limits?

Coinbase implements weekly buy and sell limits on all accounts. The company says it calculates your limits based on your account information. This includes verification and successful purchases made on the account.

If you want to increase your weekly limits, you need to verify your account by uploading a photo ID.

Is Coinbase secure?

Coinbase is not only the world’s largest bitcoin exchange, it’s also considered one of the safest. It’s backed by trusted investors and uses the latest technology to secure its platform.

The Coinbase Wallet is considered very secure, but this comes at a cost – the company controls your bitcoin. Larger amounts of bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash or Litecoin can be stored on the Coinbase Vault, which is protected by multiple approvers.

It should be stated at the outset that Coinbase collects a lot of information about its customers, including photo ID for those who want to up their weekly limits. A piece of photo ID is also required if you are purchasing with a credit card.

Customer support

Coinbase has an active support team, with the names of key support staff readily available on their site. However, the company’s customer support ratings have been mixed as of late, which reflects its growing user base. After all, bad ratings become more common on a platform with more than 7 million users.

That being said, Coinbase operates a real-time chat feature, where it resolves “thousands of customer issues” every day. You can also submit a request or contact the team members in the link above.

Pros & cons

Pros

  • One of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency exchanges, which means high liquidity
  • Access to a good selection of top cryptocurrency assets, including bitcoin and Ethereum
  • Instant buy feature available
  • Easy to use for beginners
  • Insured bitcoin deposits are available

Cons

  • Sell feature not available in Australia
  • Payment limited to credit/debit card
  • Accounts are monitored
  • Customer service has received mixed results

Next steps

If you’re looking for a bitcoin exchange that offers so much more, Coinbase is the logical choice. Depending on your account level, you can enjoy very high limits that enable you to buy cryptocurrency at your leisure.

To get started, visit Coinbase to create an account. By signing up, you’ll have access to the Dashboard feature as well as the FAQ section. You can then proceed to add your payment method to get started with buying cryptocurrency.

Coinbase exchange website

Frequently asked questions

Image source: Coinbase

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16 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    IgorDecember 26, 2017

    Can I purchase other cryptocurrency or just what is listed in your app?

    • Staff
      JoanneDecember 28, 2017Staff

      Hi Igor,

      Thank you for visiting finder, we are an Australian financial comparison website and general information service.

      The digital Currencies or other tokens that are not listed on their page are not supported by Coinbase. Coinbase is unable to process any transaction made using an unsupported Digital Currency.

      Hope this helps,
      Joanne

  2. Default Gravatar
    cathyDecember 23, 2017

    How do I cash in LTC from coinbase if I live in Australia?

    • Staff
      ArnoldDecember 28, 2017Staff

      Hi Lisa,

      Thanks for your inquiry

      I’m afraid the option to sell your coins directly Coinbase is not yet available. You may check more options on how to sell your bitcoins on other exchanges by clicking on this page. Some of the exchanges on the page I gave you allows deposits in AUD. Once someone decides to buy your coins the transfers can made automatically.

      Hope this information helps

      Cheers,
      Arnold

  3. Default Gravatar
    LisaDecember 17, 2017

    Hi – I am in Australia using an Australian Bank account. I want to understand – if I cannot cash out in Australian Dollars what does that mean in terms of getting the money out? Can I cash out in USD and then still send it to my Australian Bank Account? Thanks.

    • Staff
      ArnoldDecember 22, 2017Staff

      Hi Lisa,

      Thanks for your inquiry

      The option to sell your coins directly Coinbase is not yet available. If you want to know more about how to sell your bitcoins on other exchanges, please click on this page. Some of the exchanges on the page I gave you allows deposits in AUD. Once someone decides to buy your coins the transfers can made automatically.

      Hope this information helps

      Cheers,
      Arnold

  4. Default Gravatar
    ShaiDecember 15, 2017

    Hi,

    Can I transfer bitcoin to another person’s wallet in another country? If yes, how quick is the transfer service and what is the fees involved?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Staff
      HaroldDecember 15, 2017Staff

      Hi Shai,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      As per checking yes, it’s possible to transfer bitcoin to another person’s wallet in another country. Transferring bitcoin works exactly the same no matter which country you’re sending it to. The transfer and fees involved depending on how busy the bitcoin network is at the time of transfer.

      I hope this information has helped.

      Cheers,
      Harold

  5. Default Gravatar
    JustinDecember 13, 2017

    Hi,

    What is the best way to sell Bitcoin and ETH while waiting for the ‘selling’ option to be available in Australia? Thanks

    • Staff
      MayDecember 19, 2017Staff

      Hi Justin,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      There are exchanges that you can check on this page that let you sell Bitcoin in different ways and prices. On that same page, you can find a helpful on how you do the selling. While on this page, you would find great information about Ethereum/ETH and the exchanges that support this type of crypto.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      May

  6. Default Gravatar
    BarryDecember 9, 2017

    If I use coinbase as my exchange can I buy other cons other than the 5 listed such as Ripple, iota, dash etc
    Thank you

    • Staff
      LouDecember 25, 2017Staff

      Hi Barry,

      Thanks for your question.

      With Coinbase, you can only buy its supported currencies which include Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  7. Default Gravatar
    1redbackNovember 29, 2017

    Hi when will coinbase have the sell bitcoin option in Australia?

    • Staff
      MayNovember 30, 2017Staff

      Hi 1redback,

      Thanks for your question.

      At the moment, we don’t have information as to when the Coinbase sell feature be available anytime soon in Australia. If ever we have, we will immediately post and update our page. Just continue to check back for any updates.

      Cheers,
      May

  8. Default Gravatar
    JohnNovember 10, 2017

    When will the sell option be available in Coinbase in Australia

    • Staff
      RenchNovember 10, 2017Staff

      Hi John,

      Thanks for your inquiry. Please note that we are not affiliated with Coinbase or any company we feature on our site and so we can only offer you general advice.

      Unfortunately, the sell feature is not available in Australia. You may contact Coinbase directly by visiting their official site and inquire further.

      Kind regards,
      Rench

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