How to Open a Coinbase Account to Buy Bitcoin (2024)

Buying Crypto

This is an introduction to buying Bitcoin for those new to cryptocurrencies in general and to Bitcoin in particular. The first step is to create an account on a website where you can buy some crypto (elsewhere we’ll look at how to hold your cryptocurrency in your own ‘wallet’).

Here I’ll show you how to create an account at Coinbase.com. It claims to be “the most trusted platform in the UK for buying, selling and trading crypto” and is certainly very well known worldwide. As well as being popular it is also easy to use. It is not the cheapest nor the most fully featured platform and so we’ll look at other platforms later (like Nexo.com) for those more experienced with cryptocurrencies. Coinbase is, however, good for newcomers.

The process has got more onerous over the years, unfortunately, probably due to the UK government’s increasing requirements for financial institutions to follow Know Your Customer (KYC) rules. If you look through the process below in advance you’ll understand what you need to do before you get on the Coinbase website.

Opening a Coinbase Account

Go to the following website: https://www.coinbase.com/en-gb/

When you follow that link you’ll see a webpage like the following:

Coinbase UK Home Page (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase UK Home Page (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)

Then go through the following steps.

  1. Click on the Sign up button, enter your email address and click Continue:
Coinbase Sign Up Page (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Sign Up Page (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)

3. Enter your first and last name and a secure password.

A good place to get a password is PasswordsGenerator – choose a length of 16 characters and include symbols, numbers and upper and lowercase characters. Make sure at this point that you record the password somewhere, e.g. in a new document. You will need a lot of passwords when dealing with cryptocurrency and the general rule is that if you lose the password you can lose the money! Get into careful organisation now.

If your password is suitably secure you will see the green lines below the password box as shown below. Make sure the check box is ticked, and press Create free account. You may need to pass a Captcha at this point.

Coinbase Create Account Page (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Create Account Page (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)

4. You’ll come to the Verify email screen:

Coinbase Verify Email Page (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Verify Email Page (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)

Go to your email interface (Outlook, Gmail or whatever) to find the email and click on the Verify Email Address button:

Coinbase Verification Email (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Verification Email (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)

5. You should now be able to login to Coinbase with the email and password you provided:

Coinbase Sign In (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Sign In (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)

At which point you may be emailed a code to enter:

Coinbase Sign In Code (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Sign In Code (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)

7. Once logged in you will have a bunch more questions to answer:

Coinbase Sign In email option (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Sign In email option (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Sign In phone (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Sign In phone (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Sign In citizenship (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Sign In citizenship (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)

8. Enter your date of birth and home address and answer some questions:

Coinbase Sign In personal information (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Sign In personal information (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Sign In personal information (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Sign In personal information (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)

9. Next we have to get through all the KYC and ‘be careful crypto is dangerous’ warnings and questions. Most people reading this will be Restricted Investors:

Coinbase Sign In KYC (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Sign In KYC (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Sign In KYC (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Sign In KYC 1 (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Sign In KYC (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Sign In KYC 2 (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Sign In KYC (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Sign In KYC 3 (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)

10. Finally, if you have had the patience, you will have got through all the KYC requirements:

Coinbase Sign Up (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Sign Up (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)

11. Next, you have to do identity verification, again most likely due to government requirements for Anti-Money Laundering (AML). For most people the simplest option is likely to be uploading a scan or photo of the back and front of their driving licence:

Coinbase Sign Up identity verification (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Sign Up identity verification (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Sign Up identity verification 2 (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Sign Up identity verification 2 (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Sign Up identity verification 3 (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Sign Up identity verification 3 (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)

12. After you press the Upload button you will get an acknowledgement:

Coinbase Sign Up identity verification 4 (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Sign Up identity verification 4 (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)

It’s worth keeping this window open until it completes; if you try to sign out you may have to start again. At some point it will complete (in the example shown it took less than 5 minutes) and you will be signed into your new account on Coinbase:

Coinbase Sign Up success (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Sign Up success (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)

At this point let’s take a break, and we’ll continue setting up inside your account in another article. By all means now take a look around the Coinbase platform and see what features are available to you.

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