Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange | August 2018 review

Buy bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin with your credit or debit card on one of the world's biggest crypto exchanges.

Coinbase is recognised as one of the world’s premier cryptocurrency exchanges and wallet platforms, allowing Australians to buy bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin. The San Francisco-based company has millions of users around the globe and is available in 33 countries worldwide.

But is Coinbase the right crypto buying and selling platform for you? Keep reading for a comprehensive review of Coinbase's features, fees, payment methods and more.

Product Name Coinbase Digital Currency Exchange
Fiat Currencies AUD, USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, CNY & 50+ more
Cryptocurrencies BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC
Deposit Methods Credit card, Debit card
Trading Fee Fees vary
Deposit Fees Credit/debit card: 3.99%
SEPA: €0. U.S Bank transfer: 1.49% (US$0.15 min.)
Coinbase USD wallet: 1.49%
ACH Transfer USD: $0
Wire transfer USD: $10
Withdrawal Fees SEPA: €0.15
U.S Bank transfer: 1.49% (US$0.15 min.)
Coinbase USD wallet: 1.49%
Wire transfer USD: $25

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
Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade.

What is Coinbase?

Coinbase Coinbase

$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.

Last verified

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, so it’s pretty much a one-stop shop for all cryptocurrency market players.

In July 2018, Coinbase also announced that users in Australia, the UK, Spain, France, Italy and the Netherlands would be able to use the platform to exchange cryptocurrency for a range of gift cards. Offered through a partnership with WeGift, this instant and fee-free service allows you to use your crypto to buy digital gift cards for a host of major retailers.

What cryptocurrencies can I buy?

  • Bitcoin
  • Litecoin
  • Ethereum
  • Bitcoin Cash

Available countries

Coinbase is available in 33 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:

  • Debit card
  • Credit card (Visa and Mastercard)*

* As of February 2018, new credit cards are no longer supported by Coinbase. Note that while existing credit cards may be supported by Coinbase, certain credit card issuers may block cryptocurrency-related transactions.

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 may need to verify your account by completing several of the following steps:

  • Verifying your phone number
  • Providing your personal details
  • Providing photo ID
  • Establish a purchase history by buying and selling through the exchange

Is Coinbase secure?

Not only is Coinbase widely recognised as one of the world’s largest bitcoin exchanges, it’s also considered one of the safest. It’s backed by trusted traders 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 cryptocurrency. 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 and a comprehensive online support centre featuring a range of guides and answers to frequently asked questions. However, the company has received some mixed customer support ratings, which reflects its growing user base. After all, bad ratings become more common on a platform that has served more than 20 million users.

That being said, Coinbase operates a real-time chat feature and gives users the option to submit a support request, get in touch via email or phone a USA-based customer service number.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • One of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency exchanges, which means high liquidity
  • Instant buy feature available
  • Easy to use for most beginners
  • Insured bitcoin deposits are available
  • Option to cash out your crypto for a range of gift cards

Cons

  • Sell feature not available in Australia
  • Payment limited to credit/debit card for Australian users
  • Accounts are monitored
  • Customer service has received mixed reviews
  • Only provides access to a limited selection of cryptocurrencies

Next steps

If you’re looking for a cryptocurrency broker that's secure and easy to use, Coinbase is a viable option well worth considering. However, before choosing any crypto broker or exchange, make sure you've thoroughly researched its features and compare it with other platforms to decide whether it's right for you.

To get started, visit Coinbase and create an account by providing your name and email address. You can then verify your account and add your chosen payment method to get started buying cryptocurrency.

Coinbase interface
The Coinbase website Coinbase

Frequently asked questions

Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.
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18 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    DbgJune 8, 2018

    Hey i am fr Australia and I want to know that GDAX which is now coinbase PRO, can i trade bitcoin in gdax or coinbase pro being Australian citizen? And also one more thing, if i buy or sell bitcoin through my Australia bank account is there any TAX i have to pay for trading cryptocurrency?

    • finder Customer Care
      ArnoldJune 8, 2018Staff

      Hi Dbg,

      Thanks for your inquiry

      Yes, You are able to trade with GDAX in Australia. GDAX currently operates in Australia, the United States, Europe (including the UK), Canada and Singapore. However, GDAX currently only offers limited crypto-to-crypto pairs in Australia: ETH/BTC and LTC/BTC

      All traders using GDAX have the responsibility to self-report and pay taxes on
      all taxable gains. It would be best to consult with your accountant or tax advisor to ensure that you file
      and pay taxes correctly.

      For more information about GDAX, how it works and its corresponding fees, Please click on this link.

      Hope this information helps

      Cheers,
      Arnold

  2. Default Gravatar
    IgorDecember 26, 2017

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

    • finder Customer Care
      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

  3. Default Gravatar
    cathyDecember 23, 2017

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

    • finder Customer Care
      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

  4. 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.

    • finder Customer Care
      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

  5. 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.

    • finder Customer Care
      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

  6. 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

    • finder Customer Care
      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

  7. 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

    • finder Customer Care
      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

  8. Default Gravatar
    1redbackNovember 29, 2017

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

    • finder Customer Care
      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

  9. Default Gravatar
    JohnNovember 10, 2017

    When will the sell option be available in Coinbase in Australia

    • finder Customer Care
      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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