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Coinbase blocks trading for users in the UK. Why?


Did you receive a message in the last few days from Coinbase? It would be about how the latest FCA Financial Promotions rules mean that UK users need to complete two new tasks in order to provide Coinbase with additional information. If you haven’t, then you probably will. And many of you will find that you will not be able to trade once you try to complete the new tasks.

In August 2022 the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority set out its final policy and handbook rules for high-risk investments. This affects:

  • consumers investing, or who are considering investing, in high-risk investments.
  • authorised firms which approve financial promotions for unauthorised persons, whether high-risk investments or otherwise

High-risk investments include digital assets. But importantly, these changes were in effect from the 1st of December 2022. Now they have been updated. And the FCA has added more guidance. Namely:

“The FCA has offered cryptoasset firms registered or authorised by the FCA flexibility under a modification by consent to implement parts of the rules that require greater technical development. If their application is successful, they will have until 8 January 2024 to implement the 24-hour cooling period, client appropriateness testing and client categorisation features. All other measures of the financial promotions regime came into effect from 8 October 2023.”

What is the new Coinbase appropriateness test?

It didn’t take long for one of our editorial team to get the email from Coinbase. As we are digital assets and DeFi journalists we need to be using exchanges like Coinbase. But, even with our 5,5-year track record of covering in-depth stories about Binance, Chainlink, FTX, Coinbase and multiple digital assets like Hedera or Uniswap we found the new tasks bewildering.

A quick glance on Reddit showed that we were not the only ones.

“I did the trading questionnaire, and it says I can’t do any trading?” read one post. “I’ve just failed the quiz twice. Does anyone know how many days we have to pass it? Low-key getting worried,” read another. There were more.

We thought we would log in to check out what all the fuss was about. And maybe try to pass the test ourselves. Alas, what appeared to at first be a simple set of questions didn’t seem to be that simple at all:

Problem is that if you fail the test twice you need to wait 24 hours to try again. And if you fail then, it’s another 24 hours.

What questions does Coinbase ask?

Most of them appear to be standard. We took a screen shot of one of the questions to help our readers:

But as the system has now blocked our team for 24 hours, we can’t tell you much more. Except one very interesting thing. The Coinbase assessment suggests that users who fail read more on the topic of digital assets prior to starting again. What about if you are writing the topics and you still fail?

We approached Coinbase on X, formerly known as Twitter, but there was no response. We also tried to contact their customer services team, but a 38 minute wait was the minimum to speak to someone who would probably not be able to help anyway.

So what can a user do? Go to the FCA? Change exchange? Stop buying digital assets? Or is it actually because the Bitcoin ETF is about to be rolled out and Coinbase is not keen on sharing the spoils? Your guess is as good as ours. Since the email came in though, Bitcoin has gone up. And not just a tiny bit.

If any of our readers can suggest how to speak to Coinbase about this problem we would be delighted to update this story in order to help other unfortunate Coinbase users.

Author: Andy Samu

See Also:

South Korean Pension Fund Snaps Up Coinbase Shares | Disruption Banking

SEC inquiry & class action lawsuits catch Coinbase flat-footed | Disruption Banking

10 Responses

  1. I woke up to try trade this morning and was met with the assessment myself and I’m still failing it 6 hours later, I seem to have a different quiz though I think? I have a couple questions about if I’m a high net worth investor or a restricted investor but going through both options I’m still not allowed to trade? And I can go through it multiple times

  2. I got the email about the quiz, but haven’t had the option to do it yet. Does it come up as soon as you open Coinbase?

  3. Word to the wise … transfer all your Crypto assets out into a hardware wallet immediately. I pressed EXIT on the choice and made transfer. Don’t bother with the questionnaire till you are clear.

  4. Some questions you have no hope of knowing the answer and the online help doesn’t tell you either.

  5. Kracken’s version of the quiz was much simpler and I was able to figure out the answers. I therefore approached Coinbase’s with confidence. But no! I’ve failed it twice so far! I think I’ll have to enlist the help of ChatGPT… Coinbase have potentially shot themselves in the foot by using such complicated language. Or do they have a reason to bamboozle most of their customers??

  6. I believe this has nothing to do with anybody abilities in understanding what is involved crypto knowledge. More to do with less people buying lottery tickets leading charities to have less money. This is the hypocrisy the FCA brought forward to stop frèdom of choice its criminal.

  7. I’m new to crypto although it has intrigued me for quite a while.

    I tried to open a coinbase account this morning and I was hit with the “high net worth or restricted investor” question.
    I can’t seem to pass the test as a “restricted investor” no matter what what percentage I choose, so It seems I now have a login for coinbase but no chance of using the platform to buying anything.

    They’ve shot themselves in the foot if both new users and current users can’t get past the questions in order to access their platform!

    I do wonder if it’s got something to do with being in the UK 🤔
    Do I need to select a different country due to FCA rules? Maybe, but from what I’d read it seemed that coinbase was one of the platforms that allowed uk citizens to buy crypto 🤷‍♀️

    I guess I’ll try again elsewhere

  8. What the hell is going on with this ridculous ‘Quiz’? What on earth are Coinbase trying to do!I I have completed the quiz five times now and still are not able to pass despite googling the answers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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