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How to Use Coinbase: A Beginner’s Tutorial

Coinbase is the third-largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume.

With Coinbase, you can buy and sell cryptocurrency like Bitcoin.

The exchange is available in 100+ countries including the United States, France, and Singapore.

They are also the first cryptocurrency company that went public in the United States.

Coinbase has a simple user interface that is great for beginners.

You can use various payment methods to buy cryptocurrencies including bank account, deposit, PayPal, and debit card.

However, Coinbase charges a fee that is a bit higher than other exchanges like Binance.

Coinbase charges a fee of 1.49% to 3.99% depending on your country and the payment method that you’re using.

To avoid these fees, you can use Coinbase Pro instead.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to use Coinbase to buy cryptocurrencies.

How to use Coinbase

To use Coinbase, you need to sign up for an account and verify your identity.

Then, you can add a payment method to buy cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Signing up for a Coinbase account is a bit complicated because you need to go through the Know Your Customer (KYC) process.

The KYC process requires you to provide your information and verify your identity.

Cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase need to follow the compliance and regulatory standards set by the government.

Hence, you need to go through the KYC process for safety reasons.

Once you’ve verified your identity, you’ll be able to buy and sell cryptocurrencies on Coinbase.

But first, you need to add a payment method.

If you’re living in the US, you can add a wide range of payment methods.

However, you’re not allowed to buy cryptocurrencies on Coinbase in some countries.

So before you sign up for Coinbase, you need to check if your country is supported on the exchange.

Here’s how to use Coinbase:

  1. Sign up for a Coinbase account
  2. Verify your identity
  3. Add a payment method
  4. Buy a cryptocurrency

1. Sign up for a Coinbase account

How to use Coinbase

Get a $10 USD Bitcoin bonus: https://www.coinbase.com/join/lim_di1.

The first step is to create a Coinbase account.

You can use this link to sign up for a Coinbase account: https://www.coinbase.com/join/lim_di1 ($10 USD Bitcoin bonus).

Firstly, download the Coinbase app on the App Store or Google Play Store.

You can also visit the Coinbase website to create an account.

In this guide, we’ll use the Coinbase app.

However, if you’re using the desktop version of Coinbase, you can still follow this guide as the steps are similar.

Once you’re on Coinbase, tap on “Get Started”.

After you’ve tapped on “Get Started”, you’ll land on the “Create your account” page.

Enter your first name, last name, email, and password.

Then, check the checkbox to certify that you’re 18 years of age or older.

Next, tap on “Start” to continue to the next step.

Coinbase verify your email

After you’ve tapped on “Start”, you need to verify your email.

Check your inbox for a verification link from Coinbase.

Then, click on the verification link to verify your email.

Once you’ve verified your email, you need to provide your information.

This includes your phone number, citizenship, date of birth, and address.

You’re also required to state your purpose, source of income, how much crypto you expect to trade, and the industry that you work in.

This is part of the KYC process that customers are required to go through before they can open an account.

2. Verify your identity

Coinbase verification

After you’ve provided your information, you need to verify your identity.

There are 3 ways to verify your identity.

This includes your ID Card, Driver’s License, and Passport.

If you’ve selected the “ID Card” option, you need to take a front and back photo of your ID.

Coinbase proof of address

After verifying your ID, you need to upload proof of address.

This is because regulators require Coinbase to collect a second document to verify your address.

There are 3 ways to verify your address.

This includes a Bank Statement, Utility Bill, or Credit Card Statement.

Select one of the options and upload the document to verify your address.

3. Add a payment method

Coinbase add a payment method

After you’ve provided your information and verified your identity, your Coinbase account will be successfully created.

Now, you’ll be able to buy and sell cryptocurrencies on the app.

But first, you need to add a payment method.

Firstly, log in to your Coinbase account if you haven’t already.

Then, tap on the “Settings” icon on the bottom navigation bar.

If you’re using Coinbase on a desktop, click on your profile picture followed by “Settings”.

If you haven’t added a payment method yet, you need to do so.

To add a payment method, tap on “Add a payment method”.

After you’ve tapped on “Add a payment method”, you need to select the payment method that you want to add.

In countries like Singapore, you can only use a credit or a debit card to buy cryptocurrencies on Coinbase.

In this example, we’ll use the “Credit/Debit Card” option.

Firstly, enter the name on your card.

Next, enter your card number, expiration, and CVC.

Lastly, enter your postal code and tap on “Add Card” to add your card to Coinbase.

4. Buy a cryptocurrency

Now that you’ve added a payment method on Coinbase, you’ll be able to buy cryptocurrencies!

In this section, you’ll learn how to buy Bitcoin on Coinbase.

Firstly, tap on the reverse icon on the bottom navigation bar.

If you’re using Coinbase on a desktop, click on the “Buy/Sell” button on the top navigation bar instead.

Buy cryptocurrency on Coinbase

After you’ve tapped on the reverse icon, a navigation drawer will open.

On the navigation drawer, you’ll see multiple options.

This includes “Buy”, “Sell”, “Convert”, and others.

Tap on “Buy” to buy a cryptocurrency with cash.

After you’ve tapped on “Buy”, you’ll land on the “Select asset to buy” page.

On the page, you’ll see a list of cryptocurrencies that you can buy on Coinbase.

Tap on the cryptocurrency that you want to buy.

For example, if you want to buy Bitcoin, tap on “Bitcoin”.

Buy Bitcoin on Coinbase

After you’ve tapped on “Bitcoin”, you’ll land on the “Buy Bitcoin” page.

Firstly, enter the amount of Bitcoin that you want to buy (e.g. $10).

Keep in mind that there might be a limit on how much cryptocurrency you can buy.

Then, tap on “Preview buy” to see a preview of your order.

Coinbase order preview

After you’ve tapped on “Preview buy”, you’ll see a preview of your order.

This includes the Bitcoin price, payment method, purchase, fee, and total.

Tap on “Buy now” to buy Bitcoin.

You can check your portfolio balance by tapping on “Portfolio” on the bottom navigation bar.

Selling cryptocurrency on Coinbase is similar to buying, but instead of tapping on “Buy”, you need to tap on “Sell”.

You’ve successfully learned how to buy a cryptocurrency on Coinbase!


All in all, Coinbase is a great cryptocurrency exchange for beginners.

If you’re an experienced user, Coinbase might not be suitable for you as it has high fees and a lack of features.

If so, Coinbase Pro or Binance may be a better option for you.

Coinbase Pro charges a fee of 0% to 0.50% while Coinbase charges a fee of 1.49% to 3.99%.

On the other hand, Binance has a 0.1% fee.

Further reading

How to Use BlockFi: A Beginner’s Guide

How to Transfer Crypto from Coinbase to Trust Wallet

3 Ways to Contact Coinbase


About the author

Lim How Wei

Lim How Wei is the founder of followchain.org, with 8+ years of experience in Social Media Marketing and 4+ years of experience as an active investor in stocks and cryptocurrencies. He has researched, tested, and written thousands of articles ranging from social media platforms to messaging apps.

Lim has been quoted and referenced by major publications and media companies like WikiHow, Fast Company, HuffPost, Vice, New York Post, The Conversation, and many others. One of his articles about the gig economy was quoted by Joe Rogan who hosts The Joe Rogan Experience (arguably the most popular podcast in the world), in the This Past Weekend podcast by Theo Von.

In his free time, Lim plays multiple games like Genshin Impact, League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Hearthstone, RuneScape, and many others. He creates guides, walkthroughs, solutions, and more on games that he plays to help other players with their progression.