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How to send crypto from Coinbase — an easy guide for beginners

How to send crypto from Coinbase
How to send crypto from Coinbase (Image credit: Future)

"How to send crypto from Coinbase" is one of the most popular cryptocurrency-related Google search queries, so we're jumping at the opportunity to give the people what they want: a good ol' how-to on moving digital assets from one platform to another.

The process may seem complicated at first, but it's a total breeze as long as you have one key component: the crypto address of the receiving wallet. A crypto address, a long alphanumeric string of characters, tells the blockchain where your digital assets should go. 

The step-by-step guide below tells you how to figure out the receiving wallet's address, allowing you to safely transfer your funds from Coinbase to your desired platform.

How to send crypto from Coinbase

As mentioned, the first step in sending crypto is determining the address of the receiving wallet. All crypto platforms have different user interfaces, however, most will have a "receive" or "deposit" button that reveals the address. Others, like MetaMask and the new GameStop Wallet, have the crypto address front-and-center on the UI at all times, ready to be copied.

For this tutorial, we'll be using MetaMask, the world's most popular web 3.0 wallet, as the receiving wallet so you can get gist of how sending crypto works.

1. Snag the receiving wallet's crypto address and copy it. On MetaMask, you can find it under the account name. On the Coinbase Wallet (a digital-wallet app that's different from Coinbase's crypto exchange platform), you can find it by clicking on "Receive."

How to send crypto

How to send crypto (Image credit: Future)

2. Sign in to Coinbase and tap on "Send/Receive."

3. In the "To" field, paste the copied crypto address.

4. Under "Pay With," click on the asset you want to send.

5. Input the dollar amount you'd like to transfer out of Coinbase.

How to send crypto

How to send crypto (Image credit: Future)

6. You can leave the note field blank, but for what it's worth, you can use this as an avenue to leave a public message on the blockchain regarding your transaction. 

7. Hit "Continue." A confirmation window will appear telling you how much the receiver will get after Coinbase and network fees. If you're OK with what you see, click on "Send now."

Now, you must wait for the crypto to reach the receiver's wallet. Don't be alarmed if it doesn't arrive right away. Some networks are slower than others. For example, if you're sending Solana, you'll likely get it in seconds. Ethereum, on the other hand, could take several hours during busy, congested periods. 

Precautions to take while sending crypto from Coinbase

There are several precautions you must take when sending crypto from Coinbase. The most important one is to ensure that you're sending it on the right network. For example, you cannot send Bitcoin to MetaMask; MetaMask doesn't support native BTC.

To give you another example, if you're sending USDC (a stablecoin) to KuCoin (a crypto exchange), you may be tempted to use a network called KCC because it's cheaper, but unfortunately, you can only use ERC-20 (an Ethereum-based network) if you're sending it from Coinbase. Fortunately, an error message will typically appear if you attempt to send a digital asset to the wrong network. As such, you won't lose your funds.

Lastly, watch out for fees! The Ethereum network is notorious for its expensive gas fees. Send Ethereum on Sunday nights (or the wee hours of Monday morning)  — fees are often lower during this time and your transaction may go through more rapidly.

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!