Dear Lifehacker, I bought bitcoin through Coinbase, now I am told I can't yet sell digital currency in Australia. Is this so? If not, is there a way in which I can transfer my bitcoin to another exchange to be able to sell it? Thanks What-The-Fine-Print.
I see you’re interested in the bitcoin craze and you have used Coinbase to buy bitcoin. As you may be aware, Bitcoin is a decentralised digital currency – there are no banks or institutions that look after the money. As such, it is a global currency and can be bought and sold by basically anyone with an internet connection.
Coinbase is an intermediary between you and your valuable, precious bitcoin. In fact, Coinbase is just your bitcoin wallet. Essentially, without advanced knowledge of the way in which bitcoin works, the system it is relatively difficult for novice users to execute buying and selling. However, places like Coinbase will allow you to buy and sell bitcoin via their service so you don’t have to do any of the more complicated work. Coinbase makes buying and selling bitcoin a little bit more like trading on the stockmarket - you use your real money to buy bitcoin and you can track the value of the cryptocurrency in almost real-time.
The problem you have run into is that Coinbase allows Australians to buy bitcoin, but not to sell bitcoin. According to their website, Coinbase are “working to add the ability to sell digital currency for Australia soon” so the first thing I would suggest is contacting them to see how far away this might be. If you don't have to wait long, just hold onto your bitcoins. 2017 has seen the value of bitcoin rise pretty dramatically so you might even see their value increase!
One of the negatives of using an intermediary like this is you have to create an account and connect your banking details to it which takes away the pseudonymity of using a cryptocurrency, one of the major appeals of using it in the first place.
Fortunately, if you want to send your digital currency elsewhere, Coinbase has a step by step guide to doing so. This should allow you to send your bitcoin from your Coinbase account to another wallet address or email address, which hopefully will allow you to sell bitcoin. There are a wide range of online facilities to sell bitcoin in Australia.