Founded in 2012 in San Francisco, Coinbase is a custodial digital currency wallet with an integrated trading platform. It’s one of the most well-known companies in crypto. Millions of people have turned to it in the crypto hype phase of 2017 because it’s extremely easy to use for people looking to quickly buy bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.
Although Coinbase offers mobile apps the sign-up is best completed through their website on a desktop PC (parts of it can’t be done on mobile). To start, navigate to Coinbase.com and click on “Get started”. Sign-up with your email and choose a password. You should receive an email from Coinbase asking you to verify the email address, immediately after. Next, enter your country and mobile phone number. Make sure to give your primary phone number as Coinbase will use this phone number to authenticate you every time you log-in through their website. Once that’s done, Coinbase will ask you to provide you some personal information like your name, birthdate, address, current occupation and the source of your funds.
Once you’re signed-up and verified, you’re good to buy your first crypto. In order to do that, click on “trade” in the top right, choose the cryptocurrency and the amount you want to buy as well as the payment method you want to use. There are several payment options you can choose from. Generally speaking credit/debit cards are always the fastest method to obtain your crypto but also the most expensive. That’s because Coinbase itself incurs high costs for processing these transactions using services of so called payment providers. Coinbase for example, will charge you a 3.99% fee on your purchase if you use a credit card so you’re better off using your bank account. To make a bank account deposit, go to the “portfolio” tab in the navigation bar. You’ll see a list of all assets and your respective balances. Click on the fiat currency you want to fund your account with (in our case that’s Euro) and then click on “Deposit” on the screen. If you want to make a normal SEPA bank transfer, just enter your name, bank name and the amount you want to transfer. Then, head to your online banking and initiate the transfer using the transfer information displayed by Coinbase on the next screen.
This will take approximately 2-3 days to be processed after which you will receive an email from Coinbase notifying you of the arrival of your funds. After your funds have arrived you can simply buy cryptocurrency using your Fiat wallet as payment method.
As an additional perk Coinbase let's you earn 0.15% interest on USDC deposits. USDC is a stablecoin issued by a consortium of crypto exchanges and financial firms which Coinbase is a part of. If you hold more than $1 of USDC in your account, Coinbase will automatically distribute these rewards to you. This feature is only available to US customers though.
In certain countries Coinbase offers additional local payment methods that can be faster yet not more expensive than normal bank transfers. For users in central europe for instance, the instant bank deposit option SOFORT is available, whereby users authorize a transfer in their online banking and Coinbase instantly receives confirmation from SOFORT that the transfer has been initiated. For users in the Netherlands, the payment methods iDeal is available and works very similar to SOFORT.
You can manage your payment methods by going to “Settings” >> “Linked accounts”. If you choose to link your debit card for example, Coinbase will save the credit card number saving you time on the next instance where you buy crypto on Coinbase with your debit card. Linking your bank account on the other hand, has the benefit of “avoiding processing delays” according to Coinbase. With other words, it will be easier for Coinbase to match the incoming transfers to your account and you will receive the funds faster. Lastly, Coinbase offers users in the UK, US, Canada and Europe to withdraw their funds using PayPal. This can be convenient for some users as funds will arrive almost instantly into your PayPal account where you can use them to shop online, send to friends etc. Unfortunately, Coinbase doesn’t support buying with PayPal at this point.