You’ve probably been hearing a lot about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies lately. Maybe you’ve even done a little research and want to start trading yourself.
Where do you start?
Which exchange sites are worth your time?
While we can’t decide for you, we can share what we know about different platforms. Today we’re going to tell you about Coinmama.
Coinmama was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in Israel (the site is registered in Slovakia). The site was created to provide a safe, simple, and fun way for users to buy cryptocurrency. They believe anyone who wants to get started in altcoins should be able to buy them quickly and easily.
Coin mama serves customers in over 200 countries. In the US, it is registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network at a money service business (MSB).
What makes Coinmama so appealing, and different than a lot of exchanges, is the fact that you can purchase crypto with your debit or credit card (Visa or Mastercard) or even via a Western Union transfer. The ability to buy with your card means that your purchases go through instantly since you don’t have to wait for your bank account to be verified and then for ACH transfers to be processed, which can take several days.
At this point, the only crypto supported by Coinmama are Bitcoin and Ethereum (ether), but they’ve said that they’re planning on adding more crypto in the future.
Unfortunately, they haven’t released any information about when other altcoins might be added or what those coins may be. They do accept any fiat currency, though, which is unique for an altcoin marketplace. (All prices are displayed in USD and EUR, however.)
With that in mind, how does Coinmama stack up to other marketplaces and is it safe?
In this review we’ll give you the facts so you can decide for yourself.
What does it cost to use Coin mama? This exchange is a bit more expensive than others, even though you’re only able to purchase, not trade.
Many people are willing to pay higher fees in order to get their bitcoin and ether instantly. Other platforms charge much less but you may be waiting weeks to get all of the necessary information verified and money transfered from your bank account.
If you’re willing to pay, you’ll be charged a 5% fee when you deposit funds from your credit or debit card in addition to a 6.3% transaction fee on each purchase. That’s just over 11% per transaction, not including any fees charged by your bank, credit card company, or Western Union.
Before purchasing any crypto, you’ll need to verify your identity. This is standard procedure for crypto exchange sites and is a pretty quick process on Coinmama. During registration, you’ll provide your full name, birth date, gender, address, and credit or debit card number. Once you’ve opened your account, you’ll verify your identity.
There are different levels of verification, with each level allowing you to purchase more crypto. With each level, it’s important to make sure the scan and photos are clear and contain your entire ID. If your photos are blurry or parts of your ID are cut off, your verification is likely to be denied, and you’ll have to submit your documents again.
If your information is clear and easy to read, verification is quick, taking anywhere from just a few hours to a day. It can take a week or more on other exchange sites (learn more here).
To verify your identity at the first level, which allows you to purchase up to $10,000 total, you’ll need to provide a photo or scan of your government ID, a selfie with your government ID and a piece of paper with "Coinmama" and today's date written on it.
The second level, allowing you to buy up to $50,000 total, requires a second form of ID, as well as a photo or scan of a utility bill to prove your residence. To reach the third level and have your limit lifted to one million USD, you must fill out a form and submit it to Coin mama.
Once your account has been verified, you’ll be able to purchase up to USD 10,000 worth of bitcoin/ether per day with your debit/credit card or Western Union transfer.
When deciding on a cryptocurrency trading site, it’s important to do your research. The best way to get a feel for the platform is to read or watch reviews from several different sites, have a look in altcoin forums to see what people are saying, and look around the Coinmama site yourself. Don’t rely on one review or forum, make sure you check out several to get a well-rounded view of the platform.
Coinmama is a legitimate way to buy bitcoin and ether but is it safe to use? We think so. One of the things that makes it so safe is that it doesn’t hold its user’s funds. The crypto you purchase is from their own holdings. In addition, they don’t offer wallets for you to store your altcoins with them, making the site even less attractive to hackers.
A wallet is necessary for anyone dealing with crypto so you should have one before acquiring digital currency on any platform.
In addition, the site never holds your credit/debit card information and any personal information shared with Coin mama is encrypted and stored on secured servers dedicated to storing this information. Thanks to these security measures, they’ve never experienced any security breaches, which is a really impressive feat.
We mentioned in this review that the site serves users from 217 countries including the USA, but it’s important to note that, depending on your location, you may not be able to use all of the features on the site. A full list of the countries supported is available on their support site.
Additionally, the site is only available to users in certain USA states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas , Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
On their website, they say that they’re actively adding new states. If your state isn’t currently supported, check their support page for updates or ask to be notified of updates via email.
Despite the limited amount of crypto offered, Coinmama is still a popular marketplace to purchase bitcoin and ethereum. Is it right for you, though? That all depends on your needs. If you’re looking to get started in cryptocurrencies, it might be a good choice for you.
Before jumping in, you should think about what you might want to do with your digital currencies in the future. If you think you’ll want to start trading, it might be better to start on a platform that will allow you to do that. If you just want to invest in altcoins and purchase them, Coinmama might be right for you.
If you’ve decided that it is a good fit for your needs, how do you get started? It’s actually pretty straightforward.
You won’t be able to make any purchases until your identity is verified. To do this, log in, go to your account, and click “Verify your Account” in the menu on the left side of the screen.
For standard verification, you’ll submit a scan or photo of your government ID. From there, you’re free to choose your verification level and the amount of information that you send to Coinmama. The higher your level of verification, the more you’re able to buy. For higher levels, you’ll need a second form of ID and a utility bill.
When your account has been verified, usually takes no more than one business day, you’re almost ready to buy crypto. Before you can make a purchase, you need to have a wallet set up, so your funds have somewhere to go. Electrum, Multibit, and Mycelium are all popular choices that are great for beginners. Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to make your first purchase!
To buy bitcoin or ethereum, log in to your account. You will see a menu at the top of the screen with the options “Buy Bitcoin” and “Buy Ethereum.” Simply click on the altcoin you’d like to buy, enter the amount you’d like, and click “buy.”
You’ll be prompted to choose your method of payment (Visa, Mastercard, or Western Union transfer) and then you’ll have to enter your wallet address. Before finishing your purchase, you’ll need to confirm your wallet address by clicking a link in an email Coinmama will send you.
That link will take you to a screen to finish your purchase. Simply fill out the information and click “Pay Now!” and you’re done!
You’ll see the crypto in your wallet as soon as your payment method and wallet have been confirmed. From there, you’re free to spend your crypto or transfer it to another marketplace to sell or trade.
If you read this review carefully, you now know that Coinmama is a legit, safe site but caters to very specific needs: buying bitcoin and ether.
For those wanting to get started in the world of crypto by simply purchasing altcoins, Coinmama might be a good choice. Those wanting to get involved in selling and/or trading digital currencies would probably be happier with another marketplace like GDAX, Coinbase, or Binarycent.
As always, be sure to do your own research and read reviews and find the platform that is best for you. Only you can decide what meets your needs.