Coinbase Australia Review 2022: Fees, Features, Pros & Cons
Coinbase Australia Review: Our Opinion
Coinbase is one of the five best crypto exchanges globally, with billions in daily trading activities. The exchange offers a decent line-up of crypto assets, several advanced functionalities for sophisticated crypto traders, and an earning program for Aussie investors.
Coinbase is quite simplistic in its offerings. Its beginner-focused interface makes it easy for users looking to take the first plunge into the crypto space. However, the platform charges one of the highest fees in the Australian space, and its limited support for deposit and withdrawal methods in Australia makes it a not-so-good choice for many.
Intro/Company Overview About the Exchange
Coinbase was launched in 2012 by Computer Engineer Brian Armstrong and former Goldman Sachs trader Fred Ehrsam. Their initial objective was to enable crypto enthusiasts to buy and sell Bitcoin during the rise of the foremost cryptocurrency.
Originally founded in San Francisco, US, Coinbase has since switched its corporate headquarters to full remote in line with its growing global presence. The exchange now supports thousands of coins besides Bitcoin. Its success largely lies in its goal to make it easy for beginners to buy and sell crypto.
Coinbase features a crypto learning hub for beginners. The platform also incorporates the learn-to-earn model, as learners get rewarded with cryptocurrencies when they complete their learning tasks.
In terms of global relevance, Coinbase became the first new generation exchange to list on the Nasdaq trading floor in April 2021 through its COIN stocks. The crypto exchange has continued to expand its operations beyond the shores of native America and is present in over 70 countries.
Coinbase serves as the stepping stone for beginners to invest in cryptocurrencies. However Its Subsidiary, Coinbase Pro, offers advanced trading tools, lower trading fees and higher trading volumes for more advanced investors or high-frequency traders. The crypto exchange can easily be accessed via the Coinbase app; via iOS and Android, and desktop computers. All supported platforms come with the same user-friendly interface for ease of trading.
Funding a new Coinbase account depends on the user’s region and can be quite limited. For instance, the Australian exchange allows investors only to fund their accounts using a debit card and there’s no option to deposit with an Australian bank account. Whereas, investors in other regions have access to payment methods like Google Pay, ApplePay, bank wire transfers, automated clearing house (ACH) transfers, and credit cards.
In terms of regulation, Coinbase is regulated by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in the US and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK. The crypto exchange works in compliance with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Center’s (AUSTRAC) rules on anti-money laundering (AML) laws.
Users also have access to insurance funds, but this covers limited fiat currencies: USD, EUR, and GBP cash balances.
Coinbase has continued to grow its service offering since making its debut in 2012. Below, we explore some of the impressive features of the cryptocurrency exchange:
1. Highly Intuitive
When Coinbase first debuted, its main goal was to make it as simple as possible for its consumers to purchase, sell, and exchange Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. So far, this has been its superpower. The crypto exchange and trading app is clean-cut, easy to navigate, and has a user-friendly interface. Australian users can make their first crypto purchase using fiat currency within a minute.
2. Low Minimum Deposit
Coinbase is geared towards retail investors as it offers a low minimum deposit of 2 AUD; this way, Australian investors can start trading and purchase crypto with little capital.
3. Coinbase Pro
As we mentioned earlier, Coinbase has a more advanced platform for advanced traders and investors called “Coinbase Pro”. This comes with advanced trading tools, insurance cover of up to $250,000, lower Coinbase fees, and access to real-time market data.
4. Coinbase Wallet
Investors are offered a non-custodial software crypto wallet to retain full control of their crypto holdings. This way, they can easily secure their cryptocurrencies without the platform’s involvement. With the Coinbase Wallet, investors can store all supported coins and NFTs and access thousands of decentralised applications (dApps) from their mobile devices or browser.
Cryptocurrencies Available on Coinbase
Coinbase offers up to 9,500 crypto assets in total. However, Australian investors have access to just 160+ coins and tokens; including popular assets like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Binance Coin, and several other popular altcoins.
Can you Buy and Sell NFTs on Coinbase?
Coinbase has an NFT marketplace that showcases some of the most iconic works of NFT creators. Popular names like CryptoPunks, Bored Ape Yacht Club, Otherside Metaverse, and their creators are supported. NFT lovers can easily browse through and make an offer on the collectibles they appreciate.
Coinbase does not charge for this service; users only need to pay the price of the NFT and the accompanying gas fees for executing the transaction.
The costs charged by Coinbase are among the highest in the Australian trading market. We give a thorough breakdown of the charges investors may incur while utilizing the cryptocurrency exchange below:
Coinbase charges between 0.5% and 4.5% for buying and selling cryptocurrencies. This is the highest among Australian crypto exchanges.
The Coinbase Pro platform offers a much lower trading fee of 0.06%. This is trading volume based and can drop to as low as 0% for high-volume traders.
Coinbase only accepts deposits of AUD through debit cards. However, this option comes with very high fees. Charges are up to 3.99% for debit card deposits and a further processing fee of 0.5%.
Bank transfer is no option for Australian users.
Investors can only fund their accounts using their debit cards; this creates limitations on purchasing crypto. Our Coinbase Australia review also shows that investors can only transfer their assets to another exchange to be converted to AUD and withdraw fiat currency.
In terms of protecting investors’ money, Coinbase upholds the highest standards. According to the stated global financial laws, new Australian users must undergo a compulsory know-your-customer (KYC) process to verify their accounts. This usually includes uploading personal details and a government-issued ID card.
Besides this, the platform incorporates industry-leading security features, like the popular two-factor authentication (2FA), offline cold storage, data encryption, password management using bcrypt algorithm, Coinbase Vault for added security, biometric logins, and a ‘Lock My Account’ functionality. There is also an insurance cover, which is majorly targeted at US investors and European users.
Looking to earn passive income from crypto? Check out Coinbase Earn.
The staking service covers up to nine popular PoS and stablecoins, including Ethereum, Solana, Algorand, Tezos, USDT, USDC, DAI, Cosmos, and Cardano tokens. Users can earn free crypto between 0.15% and 5.75% p.a. by locking up their coins and tokens. Coinbase Staking is also retail-friendly; users can earn with as little as 1 AUD.
Staking operates like an interest-bearing savings account; locked crypto generate new ones during a specific window. The practice is common amongst PoS networks and is meant to secure the protocol.
Opening a Coinbase Account
Getting started on Coinbase is easy. To open an account, follow these detailed steps:
Create an Account
Navigate to the Coinbase website and tap the ‘Get Started’ button. Investors are to fill in their first and last name and email address and insert a strong, unique password (minimum of 8 characters) in the registration portal.
Tick the terms and conditions box and tap the ‘Create Free Account’ icon to proceed to the next stage.
Since Coinbase is a centralized crypto exchange, it requires new users to complete its KYC process. This is in line with recognised global financial laws and is meant to verify the details of the customer. To do this, tap on the ‘Buy/Sell’ icon; since the details have not been verified, a popup icon showing ‘Submit ID’ will appear. Tap on this, and select a means of identification.
Coinbase requires users to submit their driver’s license or another government-issued ID card. Ensure the details in the uploaded ID document tally with the details presented during the first stage of the registration. Once completed, the exchange would set about verifying the supplied details within a few days.
For investors in Australia, Coinbase only supports deposits via debit card. To fund a Coinbase account in Australia, tap on the ‘Payment Method’ icon and insert the debit card details. Insert how much AUD to deposit and tap on ‘Deposit’ to execute it.
Once the funds are safely in the account, the final step is to select and buy the crypto you desire.
For instance, if an investor wants to buy Ether, simply type ‘ETH’ into the search bar.
Click ‘Buy Ethereum’ and insert how many tokens are to be purchased. The crypto asset would automatically be added to the investor’s Coinbase account.
The overall trading experience is laid-back and simple and anyone with basic computer skills can easily buy and sell cryptocurrency as well as send and receive them. The exchange can be accessed on mobile Android or iOS devices for those who prefer trading on the go while the web-based platform provides a much larger trading option.
Investors can easily view their overall investment portfolio on the main dashboard and also access other platform functions like ‘Pay’ and ‘NFTs.’ The crypto market runs every second of the day which means customers can invest at any time without thoughts of the market closing.
Fund deposits are supported for debit cards and the user’s account would be credited within minutes. But this comes with a hefty fee of 4% plus. For withdrawals, Coinbase Australia only allows for crypto transfers to other platforms or wallets and there’s no bank transfer option. On Coinbase, customers do not have access to advanced trading indicators like EMA, SMA, and RSI tools. Users can only buy and sell cryptocurrency.
To access this exclusive option, investors would need to use its Pro platform. This supports much deeper liquidity and market types as well as lower fees. It is meant for sophisticated investors but Coinbase allows its customers to directly access the advanced trading platform without registering for an entirely separate account.
Much like other top cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinbase has a customer support team to help users buy and sell their preferred digital assets. Users with issues can easily contact the Coinbase team through a live chat option operated by a virtual assistant bot. The support team can also be contacted through an email form available on the Coinbase Help platform.
Customer satisfaction is a mixed turf on the Coinbase platform. On the popular review website Trustpilot, out of a series of 47 reviews, the majority scored Coinbase a 1-star. 86% of users who took part in the review felt the exchange’s services were still below par. However, 4% of those who reviewed say the exchange deserves a 5-star rating. Most of the complaints point to its poor customer support system, which means the exchange still has a lot to address in this area.
Does Exchange offer Education?
Coinbase offers an educational service for its customers called Coinbase Learn. Here, investors can learn different crypto subjects on long and short-form content. There are also video tutorials for more detailed walkthroughs. Coinbase rewards users with free crypto in return for taking the time to learn.
Is Coinbase right for you?
Coinbase is a global crypto trading icon, but is it the best for Australian investors? The response to this largely depends on the user’s specific needs. The exchange ticks the right box for Australian investors looking for a beginner-friendly means to transition into crypto. Its healthy line-up of 160+ coins can also meet the needs of most newbies. High-volume traders can take advantage of lower fees and deeper liquidity on the Coinbase Pro platform.
However, Coinbase might not be the best cryptocurrency exchange for fee-conscious investors. Several Australian cryptocurrency exchanges and Coinbase alternatives charge lower fees for trading on their platforms. For instance, CoinSpot charges a market order of 0.1% for trades compared to Coinbase’s 4.5%. Even the limited deposit option of only using a debit card makes it not quite suited for the broader Australian investing landscape.
Coinbase commands a lot of investor attention due to its strong appeal to investors. The platform is easy to use and clean-cut, with bold graphics and no ambiguous statements. Given this, investors can make their first investment within a short period of signing up. Also, its extensive lineup of ecosystems means investors can earn through staking and learning, store their digital assets and collectibles, and even access more advanced tools on its Pro platform.
However, our Coinbase Australia review has discovered that the exchange is not all roses and butterflies. It lacks enough payment methods for Australian investors and charges a sizable fee for buying crypto. This makes it not so ideal for retail investors looking to cut down on fees.
Our extensive analysis of the Australia Crypto Exchanges doesn’t stop here. You can also read about our Coinjar Review as an alternative to Coinbase or you can check out our Guide on the best crypto exchanges available to Australians to choose the right crypto exchange for you among our picks.
Most frequent questions and answers
Yes, Australia is one of Coinbase’s supported countries. Aussie investors can easily trade 160+ coins while enjoying several other platform functionalities.
Unfortunately, Coinbase does not support direct withdrawal of AUD. This is because the platform only allows investors to buy crypto with no commensurate sell function. The only way to withdraw coins is to transfer them to a platform like CoinSpot that supports fiat withdrawals.
No Australian banks are directly supported on the Coinbase platform. A debit card transaction is the only acceptable means to fund an account.
The only way to buy crypto is by making a deposit using a debit card. This limited deposit method largely makes Coinbase an exchange unsuitable for Aussie investors.
Coinbase charges the same amount across all the countries it operates in. Investors are charged between 0.5% and 4.5% for trading fees for its regular platform. Debit card deposits are charged 3.99% alongside a 0.5% base transaction fee, putting the total deposit fee at 4.44%.
We always try to provide the most accurate information available, and make sure our team follow through.
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Skrumble.com provides all its content for informational purposes only, and this should not be taken as financial advice to buy, trade or sell cryptocurrency or use any specific exchange. Please do not use this website as investment advice, financial advice or legal advice, and each individual’s needs may vary from that of the author. This post includes affiliate links with our partners who may compensate us.