Coinbase is a seriously professional outfit and that is perfectly reflected in their sign-up process. During our Coinbase review, we found the process to be very straightforward. A great benefit was that you can even sign up via the Coinbase mobile app – perfect for part-time investors or those on the go. The Verification process begins with a simple email verification and then a typical KYC – like any you would find at a reputable exchange like eToro. Documentation can easily be uploaded on the website or the mobile app, and you’ll just need some government ID, proof of address, and proof of funds just in case.
Currently, there are 117 tradeable cryptocurrencies at Coinbase – and many more on the Coinbase Pro account – but traders can watch more than 1,000 on their platform. This is important because Coinbase does consistently make new cryptocurrencies tradable on their platform and famously, caused a trading spike when they launched Dogecoin on their platform.
Beginner traders will have no problem navigating the Coinbase platform. Experienced traders have the essentials but may wish to upgrade to Coinbase Pro for more extensive charting tools and better pricing. The Coinbase dashboard is bright, clear and very easy to understand. Even the most novice trader will have no issue understanding trade sizes, pricing, and market movement. Tradeable cryptocurrencies are displayed on a simple scrollable dashboard, and you can sort by factors such as price, gainers, losers, and you can create a watchlist.
Placing an order is an easy task too. The mobile app and web platform are very much the same and both are totally intuitive. Simply find an asset you’d like to buy and choose trade. All you’ll need to do is choose a value and make the purchase. It couldn’t be simpler than that!
Australian citizens will have access to two different Coinbase accounts. That is Coinbase and Coinbase Pro. During our comprehensive Coinbase review in Australia, we tested both. You can’t maintain two different account types at Coinbase. So, what is Coinbase Pro? It is a platform where individuals can trade digital assets with insurance backing – but only USD balances receive protection.
Pro account holders also benefit from unlimited trading amounts, more trading options – such as stop orders – and around 250 supported cryptocurrencies compared to the 117 currently available on the standard account. The fee structure differs on the pro account too with variable fees between 0 and 0.50%.
Other than that, the accounts are actually very similar. Both feature an AES-256 encrypted wallet, Coinbase breach insurance, and the same security features. Coinbase Pro is clearly targeted towards the serious trader. There aren’t really any serious analysis tools on the standard platform. But the Pro account features advanced charting tools and crypto-to-crypto trading pairs.
There are two trading platforms available to traders. That is the web-based trading platform and the mobile app trading platform. The mobile app is available on both Android and iOS devices and can be downloaded via the Google Play or App Store – much like AxiTrader App. The basic platform features a logbook, charting capabilities depending on your account type, and a basic ordering process. Even the Coinbase Pro ordering window is straight forward with the added trading options clearly displayed and accessible.
The platform is entirely built-in and there is no need to download any third-party programs like MetaTrader 4. Using the trading platform as a basic user, you’ll find the standard account will help take the confusion out of trading. The price window is easy to follow, and the order window is so simple it results in fast trades. It’s basically perfect for those who want to buy cryptocurrency as a medium-long term investment before selling.
Those who want to day trade or make more often, and consistent trades will likely want to switch to the Pro account to access more advanced trading tools that can support more complex trading strategies.
Payments at Coinbase really aren’t fantastic if you’re an Australian customer. We were disappointed to learn during our Coinbase review in Australia, that the only accepted payment method was debit cards and that they were strictly limited to purchasing cryptocurrency. Traders cannot sell crypto assets back to AUD and withdraw to their debit card. Understandably, this sounds like an issue. The workaround, as offered by Coinbase FAQs, is to transfer your assets to another wallet or exchange where you can then sell them – this does essentially make Coinbase a “buy only” platform in Australia.
Out of the huge list of countries that Coinbase operates in, only Australia and Singapore suffer with this issue. Further research identified that this is because Coinbase won’t let traders sell cryptocurrencies if debit card payments are the only available banking option. So, for now Australians will have to stick it out until another method is supported at Coinbase.
Coinbase also does not accept credit cards. So, Australians will only be able to use a Visa or Mastercard debit card to directly buy cryptocurrency – you can’t fund your account and purchase at a later date either.
Fees – How much will it cost me?
In Australia, the Coinbase fee structure works a little differently at times. This is because you don’t need to pre-fund your account through a deposit like in other countries. So, you can’t be charged deposit fees since you can directly purchase cryptocurrency at the immediate point of sale instead. The only payment method accepted for cryptocurrency purchases is debit cards. The 3.99% fee per transaction is rather high when compared to other exchanges like CAPEX. Since you can’t sell cryptocurrency at Coinbase in Australia, you won’t see any withdrawal fees either.
There are trading fees at Coinbase. During our Coinbase Australia review, we were charged a 0.5% trading fee on top of the 3.99% debit card fee on a purchase – so each transaction costs us a total of 4.49% per transaction. In total, these fees are higher than the market average in our opinion.
Despite a stellar reputation and being one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, they do have weaker support than many other platforms such as what we saw in our Kraken review. During our Coinbase review, we found 3 methods of contact outlined by Coinbase. Your options in Australia are to message Coinbase via email web form, direct message or tweet them on Twitter, or you can reach Coinbase via phone.
The email webform will use the email you signed up with and there are a few drop-down boxes to better specify your query. We provided extensive detail in our emails and that certainly ensured that the responses we received were extremely relevant and useful. A common method these days is to contact an exchange via their social media platforms, and it seems Coinbase are embracing that. Twitter should only be used for general queries, and they won’t Direct Message any account related issues for obvious privacy reasons.
There is a phone support service at Coinbase, but it is automated and only available for account breaches. Should you feel your account has been compromised, traders can call Coinbase Support and have the account temporarily disabled. We did notice a chatbot feature on the website during our Coinbase review, but its function was to achieve nothing more than point to appropriate areas of the support section.
So, in a nutshell, the only way you can realistically reach an agent at Coinbase is via email. This is certainly a major drawback compared to many other major exchanges that offer significantly more accessibility to real-life support. Despite the lack of contact means, Coinbase did respond to our emails in a timely manner, typically 24 – 48 hours, and the responses were useful and relevant.
In Australia, Coinbase is not licenced to sell cryptocurrency and there is no deposit insurance on offer. Coinbase is not registered with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), nor are they ISO 27001 certified. Normally, that would be a big red flag.
However, Coinbase are not a normal cryptocurrency exchange, and their reputation makes a big difference. For example, in the UK, individual accounts are protected up to £15,000 and in the US, all USD accounts are protected up to $250,000 by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). It’s also important to note that Coinbase are a publicly-traded company, further emphasizing their stellar reputation. Our Coinbase review uncovered that this exchange is also insured in the event of business failure or theft, and your assets would be protected.
Advantageously, cryptocurrency at Coinbase is stored on paper backups and offline USB’s that are geographically distributed around the globe, where they are stored in secure vaults. Our Coinbase review noted that 98% of all its digital assets were stored in offline storage and has purchased crime insurance to ensure customers’ assets are safe.
A unique bonus feature of Coinbase is the Coinbase Earn function. This is available to Australian customers and sees users earning cryptocurrencies for viewing educational material. All you need to do is watch videos about a particular cryptocurrency and then successfully pass a very simple quiz. Do all that and traders will walk away with free cryptocurrency for their efforts. Additionally, traders can earn more cryptocurrency through Coinbase’s referral program.
During our Coinbase review in Australia, we spent some time in the Coinbase Wallet – a crypto wallet and DApp browser. Unlike many other cryptocurrency exchanges, the user’s private keys are stored on their personal mobile device, rather than on a centralised exchange. Transferring tokens between the Coinbase Wallet and coinbase.com was a very easy process.
Security is paramount at Coinbase. Users can leverage two-factor authorization and even biometric security to prevent unwanted access to their accounts. Coinbase also offers advice on how to avoid scams. As such a huge target, many criminals will try and create a Coinbase scam – Coinbase offers advice on how to tell if the content or message is from them or a fraudulent actor.
We were hoping for a demo account during our Coinbase review but unfortunately, this is not something offered by this exchange. We recommend checking out our Plus500 review for free demo accounts. How does Coinbase make up for this? With totally comprehensive education tools, that’s how. Just head to the Coinbase Learn section to access a range of beginner guides, market analysis by experts, trading tips, and in-depth articles on almost every cryptocurrency you can think of. These tools are in both written and video form and the videos are really a cut above the competition. Some exchanges look like they just through a video together with stock footage, but Coinbase has a genuine theme and look to their videos that is consistent throughout.
Finally, Coinbase also offers a massive blog. The Coinbase blog is totally varied too and features articles ranging from basic finance to company news. Contributors of the Coinbase blog review products, produce institutional analysis, and offer many articles centred around security and engineering.
With plenty of coverage in global news and now a publicly-traded company, Coinbase are one of the most popular and well-trusted cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. For several years now, Coinbase has been available to the Australian market.
Coinbase offers Australian residents between 100 and 250 cryptocurrencies to trade from on a basic trading platform that any beginner will pick up instantly. With plenty of educational tools and an intuitive ordering system, beginner traders will have plenty of means to learn how to trade.
There are some limitations though. Australian residents will suffer from a serious drawback where traders are unable to sell cryptocurrencies on the Coinbase platform. While Coinbase does suggest workarounds for this issue, traders shouldn’t need to, and it is understandably a big enough problem to be a deal-breaker for many. However, with hundreds of cryptocurrencies and such a great reputation, new traders will still have plenty to benefit from this exchange.