San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase today announced that it has added support for instant withdrawals in nearly 40 countries, including the US, the UK, and many in Europe.
The issue it claims to solve is that, heretofore today's announcement, withdrawals on Coinbase can take several days. Now they are, as the title suggests, more or less instant.
This means that anyone who needs to get their coins out in a jiffy, whether to avoid a crypto price crash or just to pay the rent, can do so in haste.
Per Coinbase's help page, in "most cases" withdrawals for users in these jurisdictions will be completed within 30 minutes, "however processing can take up to 24 hours." So, maybe not so "instant" at all, then. But it's a start!
One caveat, though, is that in the UK and Europe you'll have to use a Visa debit card that supports instant withdrawals. For the US, you can use either a Visa or a Mastercard.
The other is that time is money; "instant" withdrawals cost money, whereas regular withdrawals do not. In the US, it'll cost 1.5% of the total withdrawal, and a minimum of $0.55. In the UK and Europe, it'll cost up to 2%, and a minimum of £0.45 or €0.52.
“By enabling real-time card withdrawals through the Visa Direct capability, Coinbase is delivering a faster, simpler and more connected experience for its users," said Terry Angelos, who heads Visa's fintech department.
Coinbase’s instant withdrawals are quicker than other leading cryptocurrency exchanges. On Kraken, near-instant withdrawals are only available to business accounts, or those withdrawing lots of money.
But for those using Coinbase as purely a brokerage service, other service may be cheaper and just as quick. For challenger bank Revolut, fiat withdrawals are free and instantaneous, since it’s a bank.