Sam Bourgi is a contributing writer to Finder.com, where he specializes in Canadian markets. He has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes.
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.
Coinbase and the impending bitcoin hard fork
There is a high likelihood that the bitcoin blockchain will fork at least once some time in November, 2017. Different exchanges may have different policies concerning how they will operate both during and after forks. Coinbase has announced that it will support the SegWit2x fork. Here are some tips on managing the fork:
It’s safest to move your funds out of exchanges prior to the fork.
It’s advisable to avoid making bitcoin transactions during the time of the fork.
The best place to store your funds during the fork is in a fully offline wallet, such as a hardware wallet or paper wallet.
Following the fork, some exchanges may support only one branch of the fork, while others may support both. Before moving your funds back to an exchange, make sure they are supporting your preferred branch of the currency.
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 any cryptocurrency.
There are variations in the available services, payment methods and fees that apply in each country.
*Currently supported for buys only.
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)** 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.
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 only, 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?
Not only is Coinbase widely recognized as the world’s largest bitcoin exchange, 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 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.
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.
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
Sell feature not available in Australia
Payment limited to credit/debit card
Accounts are monitored
Customer service has received mixed results
If you’re looking for a bitcoin exchange that offers many features, Coinbase is a viable option. Depending on your account level, you may be able to enjoy very high limits that enable you to buy cryptocurrency at your leisure. However, as stated earlier, you need to conduct research into the platform before making a decision to buy.
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.
Frequently asked questions
In addition to setting up a complex password and 2-factor authentication, you’re also encouraged to use the Coinbase IP login feature to make your account more secure. This tool allows you to check IP login activity and verify devices anytime.
As a US-based company, Coinbase must comply with stringent know-your-customer and anti-money laundering (KYC/AML) laws. That is why photo ID is required in the verification process.
The easiest way to increase your weekly buy and sell limits is to upload your photo ID for verification purposes.
Coinbase does not currently support payments through PayPal.
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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