Coinbase - Quick Overview

Coinbase is a really popular crypto exchange, and is the largest in the USA. What makes it so widely used, and is it suitable for Australian users? The quick answer is that Coinbase is not a great choice in Australia, due to two main reasons. The first is that the fees are much higher than Australian crypto exchanges, and the second, more pressing issue is that you cannot withdraw AUD from the exchange. There is no option to sell your crypto and withdraw fiat currency to an Australian bank account. For a more suitable exchange in Australia, read our list of the top exchanges (found here).

Our top suggestions for alternatives to Coinbase are:

#1. CoinSpot - More secure crypto exchange & over 360+ coins available

You can read our full CoinSpot review, or look at our CoinSpot vs Coinbase article.

#2. Swyftx - More coins than Coinbase & Demo Mode to practise trading

You can read our full Swyftx review, or look at this Swyftx vs Coinbase article.

#3. Digital Surge - Much lower fees than Coinbase

You can read our full Digital Surge review, or look at our Digital Surge vs Coinbase article.

If you still want to learn more about Coinbase, then keep reading and see whether the benefits outweigh the disadvantages for your personal situation.

Coinbase Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Largest cryptocurrency exchange in the USA
  • Over 160+ coins available
  • Simple interface that is great for newcomers to crypto
  • Very secure exchange, using cold storage of 98% of crypto assets
  • Crime insurance cover for additional user protection

Cons

  • Cannot sell your cryptocurrency in Australia
  • Not possible to withdraw AUD to your bank account
  • Fees to purchase crypto are too high (4.49%) in comparison to competitors

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Coinbase Features

Simple Interface

Coinbase has gained so much popularity in the USA because it is made with beginners in mind. The platform is really easy for anyone to use, even with no prior crypto experience. The sign-up and verification process is also quick and simple, so you can get started buying crypto as soon as possible.

160+ Cryptocurrencies

Coinbase has a decent range of over 160+ coins. While it's not as wide of a selection as some of the Australian crypto exchanges, such as CoinSpot (360+ coins), Swyftx (320+ coins),and Digital Surge (300+ coins), there is still enough to choose from. Of course, all the most popular cryptocurrencies such as BTC, ETH, SOL and ADA are available to purchase.

Earn Free Crypto by Watching Educational Videos

Coinbase has a feature called Coinbase Earn, where you are rewarded in free cryptocurrency when you watch short videos. This is an excellent way to learn about new coins while getting paid for it! For example, you can earn $3 in COMP token by watching a short 3 minute video about COMP. The videos that are available change from time to time, so you can keep checking back to see if you can earn more.

Coinbase Pro for Advanced Users

If you are an experienced crypto investor or trader, you can opt for a separate exchange called Coinbase Pro. On Coinbase Pro you can access much lower trading fees, advanced charts, more order types, and trading tools. 

Coinbase Fees & Deposit Methods

Coinbase charges high fees compared to other cryptocurrency exchanges in Australia. You are also limited in your payment methods when using Coinbase in Australia. There is no option to deposit AUD into your Coinbase account, before purchasing crypto. If you want to buy crypto, you have to pay for it at the time of purchase, using your debit card. The fee incurred when using your debit card is 3.99%, plus there is an additional 0.5% base fee charged. This comes to a total of 4.49% in fees to buy some crypto.

When it comes to selling cryptocurrency, this is the first downfall of Coinbase for Australians. There is NO OPTION to sell your cryptocurrency if you are an Aussie Coinbase user. You can only purchase crypto, and transfer it to another crypto exchange, or a personal wallet. To learn about why this is the case, read this Coinbase article.

The second problem with Coinbase for Australians, is that you cannot withdraw any AUD from the exchange. This is linked to the inability to sell your cryptocurrency on the exchange. 

Coinbase Security

You can trust Coinbase with your funds, as they are extremely secure, and store 98% of their cryptocurrency offline in cold storage. They utilise security measures such as 2FA, data encryption, biometric logins, and storage of USB drives and paper backups geographically distributed globally in safes.

Coinbase even carries crime insurance cover to ensure that their users are always protected, even if the exchange is hacked. You can find out the extent of their insurance cover here.

Coinbase Summary

Coinbase is a great app for beginners in the USA, but it hasn't adapted well for the Australian market. The fees are much higher than competitors in Australia, and there is no option to sell crypto in Australia, nor can you withdraw AUD. These are very basic functions needed from any crypto exchange, so I would not recommend Coinbase for Aussie users. If you are after a simple exchange like Coinbase, I would suggest you try out CoinSpot. It is a very user-friendly platform, with over 360+ coins, 24/7 Live Chat support, and you can earn interest on 21 coins. You can also have a look at my article on the best crypto exchanges for Australians (read here), with plenty of detailed info.

Frequently Asked Questions

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About the Author Andy Carter

Andy Carter is the CEO of Freedom Dividend, where he teaches you about dividend income that can change your life for the better. As a financial expert, Andy explores securities investing (stocks & shares) with an aim to provide a steady flow of income, enough to sustain you in your life.

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