Coinbase Cryptocurrency Exchange Review for Canadians 2018

In This Guide

One of the most popular, trusted and secure cryptocurrency exchanges and wallet platform in the world, Coinbase offers fast and easy purchases of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin.


  • Offers top crypto assets: BTC, ETH, LTC, BCH
  • One of the most popular exchanges – great liquidity, high volume
  • Easy to sign up and purchase – great for beginners
  • Nearly instantaneous purchases
  • Known, trusted ownership
  • High security (2 factor authentication via SMS or app)
  • Insured deposits are available


  • Limited deposit methods (debit & credit)
  • High fees of 3.99% on purchases
  • Does not currently support selling crypto in Canada
  • Customer service can be hit and miss

Why I Use Them

Coinbase was the first exchange I signed up for when I started investing in Bitcoin. It is still the fastest and most intuitive exchange to use and is therefore the perfect choice for cryptocurrency beginners who are looking for an easy way to get started with investing in digital currencies. Their onboarding processes are completely automated so I was able to sign up and get verified in under 10 minutes.

After investing a few hundred dollars with Coinbase, I decided to dive deeper and invest larger amounts, so I switched over to QuadrigaCX. You can read my review here.

What is Coinbase?

Founded in 2012 and based in San Francisco, California, Coinbase is a digital currency platform and wallet with over 13 million users, $217 million in venture funding and over $50 billion traded on their platform. They are one of the most popular, secure and trusted platforms for buying and securing cryptocurrencies.

NameDescriptionFoundedSupportedDeposit Methods & FeesTrading FeesWithdrawal Methods & Fees

One of the world's most popular and trusted platforms for buying and holding cryptocurrencies.2012BTC, LTC, ETH, BCHCredit & Debit - 3.99%No trading.Selling is not available to Canadians. Transfers to another wallet/exchange are free.

What Cryptocurrencies Can I Buy/Sell?

Coinbase currently offers 4 cryptocurrencies for sale:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Litecoin (LTC)

Available Countries

Coinbase supports 32 countries – including Canada. Fees, payment methods and the availability of other services vary from country to country.

Payment Methods Accepted & Deposit Fees

Coinbase features are considerably limited for Canadians compared to the features available to US customers. The payment methods available are:

  • Credit Card (Mastercard or Visa)
  • Debit Card

With these payment methods comes their “instant buy” feature, which really just means that the Bitcoin, Ether, etc you buy is available to use instantly after you click the Buy button.

They charge a (comparatively high) flat fee of 3.99% on all purchases by Canadians. Coinbase does not currently support purchases through Paypal in Canada (they do in the US).

Withdrawal Options & Fees

Coinbase does not currently offer Canadians the ability to convert digital currency to CAD or hold CAD on their account.

In order to sell your digital currency for Canadian dollars, or trade them for another currency, you must first transfer them to another exchange that supports selling bitcoin, ether, etc. for CAD. I highly recommend QuadrigaCX. You can read my review here.

Coinbase does not charge a holding fee to use its platform as a wallet or a transfer fee to send or receive supported digital currencies. However, regular network transfer fees apply (as determined by the rules of that blockchain).

Trading Fees

As mentioned previously, Coinbase doesn’t offer the ability to trade digital currencies for other fiat or digital currencies – only buying the supported digital currencies with CAD. However, the GDAX exchange which is owned by Coinbase offers trading of BTC/LTC and BTC/ETH.

Transfer Limits

After opening an account, you are limited to buying $200 worth of cryptocurrencies per week. Unfortunately other than verifying your account with a photo ID, there is no straightforward way to increase this limit. Coinbase determines your limit based on your account information and your buying history. In my case, after using the platform for a couple of months and spending $1000, my limit is now up to $1000 per week.

Is it Safe to Use Coinbase?

Coinbase is the largest Bitcoin exchange in the world and backed by some of the largest, most trusted venture capital firms and their platform is considered to be very secure as it uses the latest technologies.

It’s important to note that there have been a number of security breaches at various cryptocurrency exchanges over the years – most notably when 650,000 Bitcoins were stolen from Mt. Gox (a now defunct exchange) and recently $400 million from the Japanese exchange Coincheck.

Coinbase is one of very few exchanges that has never been hacked, which is why so many people around the world trust them to hold their digital currencies.

Coinbase collects a lot of information about their customers to ensure that they know everyone who is using their platform. In addition to requiring a strong password and 2 factor authentication via your email address and/or phone number, you can also use the IP security feature that keeps track of every IP address used to access your account and will notify you of any unrecognized devices.

Next Steps: How to Get Started

1) Sign up

To get started, visit Coinbase to create an account and fill in your name, email address and a strong password:

2) Add a Payment Method

Next, add either a debit or credit card to your account:

3) Buy

Finally, visit the buy/sell page to buy the cryptocurrency you’re interested in:

Verification Requirements

Coinbase complies with the US anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) laws, which is why they require personal information including email address, phone number and photo ID during the verification process.

Customer Support

As it is one of the largest exchanges in the world, Coinbase has a large and active support team. However, due the recent spikes in popularity of cryptocurrency, up to 100,000 people per day have been signing up for Coinbase which has caused some delays in support tickets being resolved. These growing pains have led to some mixed ratings of the platform, but I expect response times to improve once their support team has caught up with their rapidly growing customer base.

Answers to many of the most frequently asked questions on their Support Knowledgebase. They can also be contacted using the following phone number or email address:

Contact Information

1 (888) 908–7930
548 Market St #23008
San Francisco, CA 94104

Over to You

We’re interested to know – have you had a good or a bad experience with Coinbase? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

Disclaimer: This review of Coinbase should not be interpreted as a recommendation to invest. As an investment class, cryptocurrencies are speculative investments and investing in cryptocurrencies involves significant risk.

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