Here's what Coinbase is and how to use it to buy and sell cryptocurrencies

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COINTodd Haselton | CNBC

Coinbase will be the first major crypto business to go public in the U.S. when it begins trading on Wednesday. At a reference price of $250 a share ahead of the NASDAQ direct listing, the company is worth about $65.3 billion on a fully diluted basis.

Maybe you’ve never heard of Coinbase. Or maybe you’re confused about what it even is. Here’s a quick explanation:

Coinbase is an app that lets you buy and sell all sorts of cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin and about 50 others. You can also use Coinbase to convert one cryptocurrency to another, or to send and receive cryptocurrency to and from other people. Like stock trading apps you may already be familiar with, Coinbase shows you the current price and trends for cryptocurrencies, a look at your portfolio of holdings and news stories about the industry.

Here’s how to get started and how to buy and sell cryptocurrencies with Coinbase.

How to get started with CoinbaseCoinbaseTodd Haselton | CNBC

Coinbase is easy to set up but requires some information, including your legal name, home address, date of birth, last four digits of your social security number and how you plan to use Coinbase. That’s to comply with federal regulations. Here’s how to begin.

Download the Coinbase app for iPhone or Android.Open Coinbase and tap “Get Started.”Create an account with your email address and tap “Start.”Verify your email by tapping a link that was sent to your inbox.Enter your phone number and verify it by entering a code that was texted to you.Enter in your name, date of birth and last four digits of your social security number. Note: you need to be at least 18 years old to use it.Enter your address.Choose how you will use Coinbase, either for investing, online payments, online purchases or for investing in other exchanges.Confirm your source of income.Tap “Let’s Go.”Now you’ll start to link your bank account. Search for your bank.Log into your bank account using the username and password you normally use for banking.Select the bank account you want to link to Coinbase for purchases and tap “Continue.”

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