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Coinbase Product Update — February 5, 2018

By Zach Abrams


, February 6, 2018

, 3 min read time

Our mission is to make Coinbase the most trusted, safe, and easy-to-use digital currency exchange. We believe actions speak louder than words, so going forward we will be publishing weekly product updates on our blog, explaining new features we’ve shipped, issues that have come up and been resolved, and product changes that impact your Coinbase experience.

Identity verification improvements

Verify account

We saw record sign ups and activity in December. As a result of this growth, our identity verification systems were overwhelmed and many customers experienced significant delays in verifying their photo ID. This resulted in a poor experience for our customers. We’re sorry and determined to not have this happen again.

Over the last 8 weeks, our team has invested time upgrading our verification systems and integrating an additional ID verification vendor. We are now verifying nearly 90% of all customers who submit a photo ID. We are continuing to invest in improvements to our verification systems and later this week, we’ll be publishing a more detailed post specifically highlighting issues and improvements to identity verification.

Credit card purchases

Last week, some customers using credit cards started to see an additional “cash advance” charge on their card statement. This was the result of the MCC code for digital currency purchases being changed by a number of the major credit card networks. Banks and credit card issuers may now add cash advance fees to purchases of digital currency. Customers will notice this listed as a separate line item on their credit card statement.

These additional fees are not from Coinbase. Because these fees are charged directly by the bank or credit card issuer, unfortunately we don’t have a way of knowing when they might be charged or how much they might be. If you were charged additional fees, we recommend contacting your bank as you may be able to have these waived or receive information about switching to a card with lower fees.

For customers purchasing digital currency with a credit card, we added a warning about potential cash advance fees. However, we did a poor job messaging this to customers more broadly. We’ve since emailed customers with a linked credit card notifying them of this change. Going forward, we will notify customers of changes related to payment methods via our blog, email and Twitter.

Cash advance fee warnings

Additionally, last week some US banks began blocking credit card purchases of digital currency, most notably Chase, Bank of America, Citi and Capital One. All debit card transactions remain unaffected.

If your credit card is blocked or to avoid cash advance fees, customers can switch their payment method to a debit card or bank account. It will save you money, get you higher purchase limits, and it takes just a couple of minutes. Visit our payment methods page to get started.


We understand that trust in Coinbase is earned by ensuring that customers can do exactly what they want with their money. Any time a customer is unable to take action — buying, selling, depositing, withdrawing, sending, or receiving — we are not meeting customer expectations. We do not take issues like this lightly. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience as we scale. We’re working hard to consistently improve your Coinbase experience.

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