Doesn’t store user funds
Number of cryptocurrencies:
0.99% to 3.90%
Doesn’t store user funds
Number of cryptocurrencies:
0.99% to 3.90%
A cryptocurrency exchange without a wallet? How does that even work?
This Coinmama review will look at one of the world’s most promising cryptocurrency exchange mediums and its unique backstory.
You will also learn why Coinmama goes against the grain on crypto wallets and why we think its insistence on cold storage is a blessing in disguise.
What Is Coinmama?
Coinmama is a cryptocurrency exchange headquartered in Dublin, Ireland. The company was co-founded in 2013 by Nimrod Gruber, its current Chief Operating Officer (COO), and Laurence Newman.
The organization styles itself as a disruptor of the traditional financial order and a facilitator of crypto success stories. As such, the company strongly advocates for decentralized finance.
In a short bio on the company’s website, Mr. Newman says Coinmama was born after he encountered difficulties finding a safe and reliable platform to buy Bitcoin.
Since its inception, the exchange has steadily increased its international coverage. By June 2022, the platform was available in 188 countries worldwide.
In the US, the exchange is available in all states except New York and Hawaii.
Who Is Coinmama Best for?
The platform is an excellent fit for beginner traders thanks to its easy-to-use interface and transaction deck. However, its high fees are prohibitive and unsuitable for fee-conscious investors.
How Does Coinmama Work?
Getting started with Coinmama is relatively straightforward. The cryptocurrency exchange has several verification stages. The first is designed to onboard new users, and the others to raise transaction limits.
What are the account requirements?
To operate a Coinmama account, you will need to meet a number of set requirements. The list of requirements becomes longer with an advanced account.
Level 1: This is where everyone with a Coinmama account starts. The platform asks you to provide some personal information, such as
- Phone number
- Residential address
- Zip code
You will then be asked to upload your government-issued ID, confirm your email via a link, and take a selfie with your national ID.
Once you upload your documents, the platform will take approximately 15 minutes to authenticate them. If everything checks out, you will be approved to start trading crypto on the site.
Level 2: Once you trade $2400 on the platform, you instantly become eligible for a $50,000 transaction limit.
All you have to do to qualify is:
- Provide a second government-issued ID such as an international passport, national ID, or driver’s license. Note that the documents will only be accepted if you scan them on both sides.
- Provide a utility bill. This can be a recent electric, internet, water, property tax statement, etc.
- To complete a KYC questionnaire. To raise your limit, the platform will need to know you a bit better, and this will be made possible by filling out the form.
Level 3: Once you close in on your $50,000 Level 2 limit, your eligibility to trade $1,000,000 worth of cryptocurrency becomes activated.
You will only have to log in to your account and upload an updated KYC questionnaire. The next step is to sit back and wait for news from the Coinmama verification team.
Level 4: Those who wish to trade higher amounts can contact Coinmama via email. Their request will be considered, and if approved, the platform’s team will walk them through the additional verification steps.
What Can You Buy/Sell?
As noted earlier, Coinmama doesn’t facilitate the exchange of coins between buyers and sellers. You can’t also exchange one cryptocurrency for another. Instead, the platform lets you buy and sell crypto where the transaction is strictly between you and the company.
For instance, if you are buying Dogecoin on Coinmama, you will transact with the company and not another user. You also can’t exchange the asset for another digital currency.
In that case, what does Coinmama’s crypto list look like?
|EOSIO||EOS (Not available in the UK)|
|Ripple||XRP (Not available in US & Canada)|
|Wrapped Bitcoin||WBTC (Not available in the UK)|
This list was applicable as of June 11, 2022. The company constantly expands its offerings based on safety, business prospects, and demand.
Are there limits?
Coinmama limits become bigger with a higher verification level, as illustrated below.
- Daily limit on debit/credit cards (buy): $5,000 over five orders
- Daily limit on wire transfers (buy & sell): $15,000 over ten orders
- Monthly limit on debit/credit cards (buy): $15,000 over 20 orders
- Monthly limit on wire transfers (buy & sell): $15,000 over 50 orders.
- Total limit on debit/credit cards (buy): $15,000
- Total limit on wire transfers (buy & sell): $15,000
- Daily limit on debit/credit cards (buy): $5,000 over five orders
- Daily limit on wire transfers (buy & sell): $35,000 over ten orders
- Monthly limit on debit/credit cards (buy): $30,000 over 30 orders
- Monthly limit on wire transfers (buy & sell): $50,000 over 50 orders
- Total limit on debit/credit cards (buy): $50,000
- Total limit on wire transfers (buy & sell): $50,000
- Daily limit on debit/credit cards (buy): $7,500 over five orders
- Daily limit on wire transfers (buy & sell): $50,000 over ten orders
- Monthly limit on debit/credit cards (buy): $40,000 over 30 orders
- Monthly limit on wire transfers (buy & sell): $100,000 over 50 orders
- Total limit on debit/credit cards (buy): $1,000,000
- Total limit on wire transfers (buy & sell): $1,000,000
The company doesn’t spell out the limits for this level since it is reserved for VIP members. As mentioned above, Coinmama advises those interested in transacting more to get in touch via an email address specified on the company’s website.
Prospective VIP members undergo an advanced Know Your Customer (KYC) verification process before they are cleared to trade.
How to Trade Crypto on Coinmama
All you have to do is log in and choose the coins you want to buy or sell.
Coinmama’s user interface is one of its biggest strengths. Its cryptocurrency trading tab is neat and the options to buy and sell are prominent on the page.
The first step you will take is to select the crypto you want. The platform displays rates in USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, and AUD.
You will then enter the payment method from a list of supported options. These include:
- Credit and debit cards (Visa and Mastercard)
- Apple Pay
- Google Pay
Unfortunately, the platform doesn’t support American Express, Discover, PayPal, and ACH transfers.
To complete the transaction, you will key in your wallet address and wait for it to be credited. This typically takes an hour.
Selling crypto on the platform comes with several conditions.
- The least amount of cryptocurrency you can sell is $200
- You must be located within the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA)
If you qualify, you must log in to your account, access the trading tab, select the sell option, and key in the amount you want to sell. To transfer the coins, you will send them to Coinmama’s wallet address. Scanning a specified QR code also does the trick.
The platform typically pays sellers within a few business days.
What are The Perks of Using Coinmama?
With no shortage of cryptocurrency exchanges in the market, what are some of the features that would prompt a new user to choose Coinmama over any other platform?
- Loyalty Program: Coinmama is often faulted for its high fees compared to other exchanges like Crypto.com. However, the company runs a three-tiered loyalty program where users enjoy reduced fees the more they buy/sell.
- Higher transaction limits: Another aspect that users get to enjoy is the ability to buy or sell more than they would on some other platforms.
- Multiple payment options: Coinmama also offers flexibility as it supports various payment options. These include Visa and Mastercard cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and SEPA transfers.
The platform’s fees range from 0.99% to 3.90%, which is higher than virtually every other exchange in the industry.
Coinmama also factors in a spread designed to offset the volatility associated with digital coins. Because of this reason, the company doesn’t specify the exact rate.
The company also charges an additional “express fee” for select payment methods and locks the rate for an extended period. The payment methods include Google Pay, Apple Pay, Skrill, and NETELLER.
Notably, Coinmama fees are also determined by factors like order size, loyalty level, and market conditions.
Speaking of loyalty, Coinmama runs a three-tiered program that rewards users with lower fees the more crypto they buy and sell.
- Crypto Curious: The rate at this level is 3.90% per buy or sell transaction, which applies to users who post under $5,000 worth of transactions over 90 days.
- Crypto Enthusiast: Users are promoted to this level if they maintain a minimum cumulative transaction amount of $5,000 over a rolling 90-day period. Once you reach this milestone, you will be eligible for a 3.41% fee.
- Crypto Believer: To be elevated to this stage, you must post an $18,000 cumulative transaction amount over the 90-day period. If your numbers align with the requirements, you will be in line for a 2.93% fee.
Despite its phenomenal growth, the cryptocurrency industry grapples with several security issues, including hacking and scam artists.
No cryptocurrency exchange is immune to cyber security incidents, but Coinmama has taken various measures to protect users’ funds.
The platform does not have a custodial wallet system meaning it does not store users’ funds. When you buy cryptocurrency on the platform, you must provide an address where the coins will be sent.
The company has a detailed help center that guides users on setting up cold (offline) wallets. It also includes tips on securing your cryptocurrency, such as setting up a strong password and information on wallet address formats.
Coinmama also doesn’t store or record users’ details, such as bank account or credit card information which significantly reduces the possibility of being hacked.
Account-holders can also enable two-factor authentication as an extra layer of security, although it is not a requirement.
Coinmama is also pretty much safe against scammers compared to other platforms.
Why? It does not facilitate trades between buyers and sellers.
At this stage, we must point out that in February 2019, Coinmama reported that hackers had infiltrated its systems and gained access to 450,000 emails in a series of attacks dating from August 2017 and back.
This was part of a large-scale breach that affected 30 companies and 841 million users.
An investigation into a fraud incident that occurred in December 2018 revealed that hackers had acquired data associated with 1.4 million Coinmama accounts.
Is Coinmama Regulated?
Coinmama is a subsidiary of Cmama LTD, which is a regulated money services business registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center of Canada (FINTRAC).
As part of its compliance in-tray, the company is required to carry out Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering procedures designed to curb money laundering and terror financing.
This is why users are taken through an advanced level of verification procedures before their account limit is raised.
Most crypto enthusiasts treasure fast and quality customer support. Coinmama excels in customer service.
For an industry that is yet to get wholesale approval, a quick helping hand is reassuring.
Coinmama offers support to its users between 7 am and 1 am (UTC/GMT) via email, its AI-powered chatbot, direct online message, or support requests.
There is also a whole bunch of helpful customer support material on the company’s FAQ section and help desk.
The exchange only has an Android app. This locks iOS users from accessing services on mobile, which pales compared to competitors.
The Android app is just as functional as its website version. Once you install the software, getting verified takes a few minutes, and you can begin trading immediately.
Coinmama User Reviews
As it is commonly said, the proof is in the pudding. In the cryptoworld, the experiences of others are invaluable for new users and existing ones who are constantly expanding their knowledge.
In that case, what do users who already have an experience using the platform have to say about it?
On this particular site, the sentiment is balanced. Approximately half of the reviews we analyzed were positive, while the other half were negative.
The positive comments expressed satisfaction with customer service, ease of use, and international coverage.
The negative comments expressed disillusionment with regular glitches on the Coinmama website and verification and suspension of accounts. They also took issue with the high fees charged by the platform.
A few users called Coinmama a scam but didn’t give tangible reasons to back their claim.
Better Business Bureau
As of June 12, 2022, there was no record of Coinmama customer reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB). A search of the word Coinmama yielded no results meaning that even a rating was unavailable.
Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. For some, Coinmama is a revelation and a cure to a niggling problem. For others, it doesn’t quite measure up to some of its competitors.
Whichever side of the divide you fall, you would probably be interested in knowing how Coinmama stacks up against the best crypto exchanges. We capture this in great detail below.
Coinmama vs. Coinbase
The obvious place to start when comparing the two is pricing. Coinmama’s fees which range between 0.99% and 3.90%, are on the higher end of the spectrum.
Coinbase employs a tiered system where fees range between $0.99 for trades of $10 or less and $2.99 for transactions worth $50 – $200. Trades above $200 are subject to a percentage fee rather than a fixed fee.
Another significant variation between the two is the minimum deposit amount. Coinmama has a minimum deposit of $30 (buy) and $100 (sell). The minimum you can have in your Coinbase account is $2.
Another notable difference is the number of cryptocurrencies supported by the two platforms. As of June 12, 2022, Coinmama supported 16 cryptocurrencies while Coinbase supported 100+ currencies.
That’s not all. During the specified period, Coinmama supported five fiat currencies compared to Coinbase, which allowed three.
Coinmama vs. Binance
For starters, Coinmama doesn’t support wallets – something Binance users don’t have to worry about.
It is also of note that Binance has the lowest fees in the industry ranging between 0.02% and 0.1%. Coinmama, on the other hand, is the antithesis of its peer and is known to charge the highest fees in the industry, starting from 0.99% to 3.90%.
Given its widespread adoption worldwide, Binance supported 500+ cryptocurrencies as of June 12, 2022. The platform was light years ahead of Coinmama, which supported 16 coins.
Binance also supported more fiat currencies (15) compared to Coinmama’s five.
The Cayman Islands-headquartered company also offers unique features such as margin trading and crypto loans. These aren’t available on Coinmama.
Coinmama vs. Kraken
Although Kraken was established earlier than Coinmama, the latter supports five fiat currencies, two more than the former.
The trend of Coinmama’s fees being higher than almost every other platform is replicated here. At a maximum of 3.90%, Coinmama’s fees are significantly higher than Kraken’s, which pegs its fees at 0.26%.
One similarity between the two exchanges, though, is their global presence. Coinmama is supported in 188+ countries, while Kraken was available in 176+ countries as of June 2022.
Which is worse?
Losing all your hard-earned money to scammers because you were angling for lower fees or paying considerably higher fees and securing your money?
While Coinmama has its weaknesses, we conclude it is certainly worth a try, especially for users who place a premium on security.
But at the end of the day, only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches.
- User-friendly interface
- Wide range of payment options
- Stellar safety features
- International presence (except US sanctioned countries)
- Reasonably high spending limits
- Higher fees than most providers
- Limited range of digital currencies
- Doesn’t facilitate exchange of crypto between buyers & sellers
- No wallet
- No iOS app
Is Coinmama safe?
Yes, it is. Coinmama doesn’t store users’ funds since it doesn’t have wallet functionality. Instead, once you buy digital currencies from the platform, the coins get sent to an address you specify. The company recommends using cold (offline) wallets for optimum security.
Is Coinmama legit?
Coinmama is a legit cryptocurrency exchange operated by Cmama LTD, a monetary services business registered with FinCen and FINTRAC.
How long does it take for Coinmama to verify?
Coinmama has various verification stages. The first level is the onboarding process that admits new users. At this stage, verification typically takes 30 minutes.
Is Coinmama available in the US?
Coinmama is available in all American states except Hawaii and New York. The platform allows users based in the US to buy cryptocurrency via bank cards (Visa & Mastercard), Apple Pay, Google Pay, Skrill, and SEPA transfers.
Does Coinmama have an app?
Yes, but only for Android. Coinmama does not have a mobile app for iOS users. This is in stark contrast to most exchanges that offer an app for both operating systems.
Can you withdraw money from Coinmama?
If you choose to sell your cryptocurrency on the platform, you will be provided with a list of options. At this juncture, you’ll choose your preferred method before hitting the sell button.
Which is better: Coinbase or Coinmama?
Coinbase beats Coinmama on almost every metric. It supports more digital currencies. It also has lower fees and a lower minimum deposit. Coinbase also stacks up well to Coinmama on security, the latter’s biggest strength.
We hope this Coinmama review has enlightened you on the platform’s merits and what to look for in case you don’t go with it.