Coinbase announces new increased fee structure

San Francisco based bitcoin startup Coinbase has increased their fee structure, making the announcement via their support site, where the new fee changes will go into effect on August 5th, 2016.

Coinbase which has the most venture capital investment in the bitcoin space, has changed their fee structure considerably. It has changed from a flat fee for all customers of 1% plus .15 cents to a variable structure based on country location and payment and deposit method, which is pretty common for exchanges that have customers worldwide.

The new fees for example for U.S. based customers are:

Payment Method for Purchase Effective Rate of Service Fee** ***
U.S. Bank Account 1.49%, with a $0.15 minimum
Coinbase USD Wallet 1.49%
Credit/Debit Card 3.99%
Payout Method for Sale Service Fee
U.S. Bank Account 1.49%, with a $0.15 minimum
Coinbase USD Wallet 1.49%
PayPal 3.99%
USD Deposit Method Fee
ACH Transfer Free
Wire Transfer $10 ($25 outgoing)

 

The fee structure varies for customers in Australia, Canada, Europe, Singapore, UK, and the U.S. In the update from the company, they wrote about the changes, stating:

Using our wallet services to send, receive and store digital currency is free. We even pay the network transaction fees which are included with most digital currency wallets.

Your conversion rate for buying or selling digital currency through our Conversion Service is calculated as the market rate of the digital currency on Coinbase’s GDAX platform, plus a spread of up to 50 basis points. The final rate will be quoted to you before you complete your transaction.

We charge fees to use the Conversion Service, which vary based on your location and payment method. In some cases we may charge a fee on transfers to and from your bank account. We will always notify you of the service fee that applies to your transaction, both at the time of the transaction and in each receipt we issue to you.

The new structure is a far cry from the once modest fees announced four years ago. A lot has changed in bitcoin since then, in particular bitcoin network fees.

If you take a look at the network fees chart over the past year via Smartbit shown below, you can see bitcoin transaction fees have been on the rise steadily over the past year. The last two weeks have shown a drastic increase from an average of .15 cents fee per transaction to .18 cents fee per transaction.

bitcoin-fees-smartbit

In addition, if you take a look at the fees chart via 21.co below which displays the current network fees and also predicts how much a bitcoin user should pay to get their transaction confirmed quickly, it shows that the current fee per transaction is .24-32 cents.

bitcoin-fees-21-co

Given the rise in bitcoin fees per transaction, it doesn’t come as much surprise that Coinbase has ended it’s modest fee structure.

Since Coinbase pays the bitcoin network transaction fees which are on the rise, they need a way to offset this cost, which seems to be revamping to an increased fee model.