Setup Coinbase Account
Step by Step Instructions
In this chapter there are 5 steps to setting up a Coinbase account.
Note: Coinbase periodically changes the setup process so you may experience slight differences from what is presented here.
Step 1 – Decide how much to spend
I recommend your first transaction be a test transaction of between $10-$50. Once your confidence grows I would consider buying between $200-$400 to start. If you have more to spend then buy up to $1,000 or more. But remember, Bitcoin is still a bit of an experiment. There is a chance you’ll lose whatever you spend, so don’t risk all you money.
Step 2 – Decide which payment method to use
There are several types of payment methods that you can link to your Coinbase account:
- Bank transfer
- Debit card
- Wire transfer
- Apple Pay
- Google Pay
Tip: If you want to transfer your bitcoin out of Coinbase right away, then you’ll want to buy using your Debit Card. If you don’t mind waiting a few days before transferring it to an external wallet, then I recommend using your Bank Account to purchase. Coinbase charges a higher fee when using the Debit Card. Wire transfers can only be used for $25,000 or more.
|Bank Account (ACH)||Large and small investments||✔||✔||✔||✔||4-5 business days||1.49%|
|Debit Card||Small investments||✔||✘||✘||✘||Instant||3.99%|
|Wire Transfer||Large investments||✘||✘||✔||✔||1-3 business days||$10|
Step 3 – Determine which crypto buy
If you’re new to crypto, I recommend buying bitcoin to get started. When you’re ready to expand into other cryptocurrencies, I would then recommend ‘blue chip’ cryptocoins listed in the top 10 on coinmarketcap.com. These would include Ether (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), and maybe Ripple (XRP).
Step 4 – What is your purpose for buying crypto?
Think about why you want to own bitcoin. What is your purpose for buying crypto right now?
- To hold long term and use for retirement, education, or other
- To hold mid-term and sell after price goes up
- To hold short term and trade daily, weekly, or monthly for income
- To use as money to pay for goods or services
How you answer this question guides your future decisions. Your answer to this question will help you choose wallets and decide when to sell.
Step 5 – Set up an exchange account at Coinbase
Go to www.coinbase.com and click on Get Started link.
Enter your name, email address, and choose a password.
A verification email will be sent to your email address. Find it and click on it, then you’ll be taken back to Coinbase to continue with setup.
Two-step Verification – In this step you’ll be asked to enter your Country and your mobile phone number. Be sure to enter your phone number accurately. Once you click Send Code, retrieve the authentication code sent to your phone and enter as shown here. Then click Submit.
Once you finish the two-step verification process you will be taken to your Coinbase Home page. Click on icon or image in the upper right corner to finish setting up your details.
Inside Settings there are 9 tabs of information to review and complete for your account. I’ll walk you through each of them.
Settings – Profile
On the Profile tab you must enter your personal details including your birthdate, home address, and display name.
Settings – Preferences
On the Preferences tab you must enter your local currency, time zone, and email notification preferences.
On the Security tab you must enter your phone number (it may already be there), your 2-step verification choice and options. I highly recommend setting up the authenticator. I use Google Authenticator, but there are several on the market from which to choose. (Authy is another popular one). If you’re not comfortable with setting up the authenticator, then choose Text message. For the tech savvy, setup the Security key. At the bottom select the radio button for Any amount of cryptocurrency. Then click Save button.
Settings – Financial Services
If you have a Financial Services tab, turn on the rewards button.
Settings – Activity
The Activity tab is where you monitor any applications that are accessing your account. In this screenshot you can see the Coinbase Wallet application has access to the Coinbase exchange account. To the right you will see the application’s permissions. It’s a good idea to check this every so often. If there are applications you don’t recognize, delete them by clicking on the X to the right.
Settings – Privacy
On the Privacy tab you can request a copy of your personal data that Coinbase has on file. Once you review, you may request to have some of it deleted or updated if it’s incorrect. Considering that exchanges are a prime target of hackers, it’s a good idea to only have minimum required data about you on the site.
When you click on the Request Data link, a pop up will appear showing your options.
Settings – Payment Methods
On the Payment Methods tab you will set up your bank account to link to your Coinbase account. You may also want to link a debit card.
Note: Buying bitcoin with a debit card will allow you to immediately transfer it to a wallet outside the exchange. Remember the fees are higher when using a debit card to get immediate access. Buying with a checking account will cause your bitcoin to be held for about 3-5 days. Another option is to deposit fiat money (USD) into your USD wallet on Coinbase so that it’s waiting there for when you’re ready to buy.
Settings – API
The API tab is only for advanced users and will not be covered here. You do not need to create API keys to use Coinbase. API keys gives you an interface to allow other apps to access your account.
Settings – Account Limits
The Account Limits tab is where you will verify your identity. Once verified you can buy bitcoin with fiat money (USD) and then transfer it to another wallet.
Congratulations! Your Settings are complete for Coinbase.