Coinbase is one of the most popular crypto exchanges in the world. Even though there are many great Canadian crypto exchanges like Coinsmart, many Canadians would still want to use global players in the crypto world. We made a Coinbase account to see if it’s worth using in Canada. Here is our Coinbase review.
Coinbase Canada Summary
Coinbase was founded in 2012 and it is based in the US. It is known for being the go-to exchange for complete beginners thanks to its simple user interface. Coinbase had its initial public offering in 2021 and trades as COIN on the NASDAQ. Coinbase is one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world in terms of trading volume.
Pros & Cons
- Easy for beginners
- Great UI
- Wide range of cryptocurrencies
- Learn to earn crypto
- Educational resources
- Secure and compliant
- High fees
- Advanced tools only in Coinbase Pro
- Poor customer service
- Exchange has frequent downtime
- No Interac e-transfer
- Limits on your purchases
- No CAD bank support on Coinbase Pro
- 3.99% buy fee (extremely high)
- 0.50% fee per trade
- Spread up to 2% for crypto-to-crypto trades
Coinbase has several great features which make it a good crypto exchange for beginners.
It has a large amount of educational resources on its website and a learn and earn program. You can answer simple quiz questions and win crypto when you get the answers correct. The questions are so easy you are almost guaranteed to get them right. It’s a nice way to get your first cryptocurrencies, which you can trade or sell.
The Coinbase card is not available to Canadians yet, but it’s worth mentioning. You can spend USDC and receive a number of rewards such as cashback when using it.
If you’re looking to send crypto as a gift to someone, you can do that easily with Coinbase. Enter their email, type your message and then select the cryptocurrency you wish to send them. The gift option is a clever initiative by Coinbase to get more first-timers onto their platform.
Similarly to the gift option, you can use Coinbase Pay to pay anyone crypto. Enter their email or phone number and select the amount of crypto you wish to send them. It’s convenient for paying people in crypto quickly and easily.
Coinbase Registration & Verification
Registering on Coinbase is straightforward but not the most simple. Coinbase requires a lot of information which is a bummer.
Sign up with your email address, name, and phone number then verify them. Next, you’ll need to fill out all other details including your address and source of funds.
Next, upload your ID document.
If your account cannot be automatically verified, then you will need to submit your documents, including a proof of address, to the compliance team. It took our team 8 days to verify the account with Coinbase! that’s insane.
Coinbase Fees Review
- 3.99% buy fee
- 0.50% fee per trade
- Spread up to 2% for crypto-to-crypto trades
Coinbase has some of the highest fees of any crypto exchange. Coinbase can get away with high fees because of their reputation for being the best place for novice traders to go to buy crypto. A novice trader needs simplicity and security which Coinbase provides. Nevertheless, the fees are extremely high. For example, Coinsmart charges only 0.2% trade fee.
You cannot deposit Canadian dollars via bank transfer or Interac e-Transfer. Canadians are limited to buying crypto on Coinbase using card payments, which incurs a high fee. Even if you were to use Coinbase Pro, there is a 0.50%/0.50% maker/taker fee per trade, which is high. For Canadians looking for a simple way to buy crypto there are far cheaper options out there (you can check this list of crypto exchanges in Canada).
Coinbase Currencies & Deposit Methods For Canadians
You cannot connect your Canadian bank account to Coinbase which is another downside for Canadians. The only way to buy crypto is to use a credit or debit card but there is a high 3.99% buy and sell fee that comes with that. Additionally, your bank may not allow the transactions to go through.
Security and Safety
Is Coinbase safe for Canadians to use? Yes, Coinbase is one of the safest crypto exchanges. First, it is a public company so it is fully regulated in the US and must be transparent with its shareholders. It is registered as a Money Services Business with FinCEN.
Coinbase also holds 98% of bitcoin and other assets in cold storage. Wallets and private keys are encrypted and employees must pass a criminal background check.
To protect your account, Coinbase sets up two-factor authentication on all accounts, though it is SMS 2FA which is not the safest. You can instead set up Google Authenticator or use a security key.
Coinbase Mobile and Desktop app
On the Apple App Store, Coinbase has a 4.7-star rating with 1.5 million+ ratings. On Google Play it has a 4.4-star rating with 600,000+ ratings.
The Coinbase app is the same as its desktop version. You can buy, sell and trade crypto, view simple charts, and your overall portfolio.
The desktop version of Coinbase has more accessible features including the learn and earn program, referrals, and educational resources.
Coinbase is extremely easy to use. It’s signature blue and white colour scheme is easy on the eyes and makes the whole interface simple to navigate. There aren’t many options when it comes to buying and selling. Simply click the buy or sell button and follow the onscreen steps. You don’t need to worry about depositing funds or transferring between fiat wallets.
As far as user experience goes, Coinbase is one of the best exchanges.
Coinbase also offers Coinbase Pro for more experienced traders. It has advanced charting, order books and order types. However, you cannot use credit or debit to buy crypto on Coinbase Pro. You can only make ACH or wire bank transfer deposits from USD accounts, GBP via SWIFT, or EUR via SEPA. If you only have a Canadian account, then you won’t be able to deposit funds to Coinbase Pro.
Another downside to using Coinbase is its account limits for Canadians. You will be limited to buying $375 CAD per week, which is very low. You can increase your limit by buying more crypto each week with your selected payment method, but it’s not really worth it. There are far better crypto exchanges out there that do not limit Canadians on how much crypto they buy. You can buy crypto with Bitbuy, for example, by depositing funds straight from your Canadian bank. Bitbuy also offers far cheaper trading fees and a user experience that is just as good as Coinbase.
Coinbase Customer Support
Something that repeatedly lets Coinbase down is its customer support. It has live chat and email support, and recently it implemented 24/7 phone support. Coinbase did this because it had countless complaints saying how bad its customer service is.
Many people say their requests are ignored, verification takes days, withdrawals take days, and overall customer service is not good. Coinbase has a large amount of customers so they probably are inundated with support tickets, but many people have complained of Coinbase support, so it’s something they need to improve. They have a 1.6-star rating on Trustpilot.
Is Coinbase legit for Canadians? Yes, Coinbase is one of the biggest crypto exchanges in the world and probably the most well-known along with Binance. While it’s user interface is excellent and buying crypto is easy, Coinbase falls short for Canadians. Buying crypto is difficult because of the limits and lack of payment methods, plus it’s extremely expensive. Add to that the poor customer service and Coinbase is simply not worth using for Canadians.
If you’re looking for a Canadian crypto exchange that offers simplicity, low fees ad superior customer support that replies within a day (which is a must-have if you deal with financial assets) we can highly recommend Coinsmart. Check more in our Coinsmart review.