At the age of 56, I finally took the plunge into cryptocurrency (or “crypto”) last week. Like you, I have read, discussed, read, and discussed with my clients about the space and why they decide to move. However, I have been too timid, lazy, or simply did not want to admit it was “real” enough to open a crypto wallet.

Times have changed and so shall we. I’m not jumping in with my retirement funds, but a little investment to learn about crypto!

I took $100 from my kid’s inheritance and let it roll, baby roll (song reference please for complimentary resume review or cocktail of your choice.)

In this 4-part Series over the next few weeks, I discuss my journey regarding:

• Opening a Coinbase Account
• Buying Bitcoin with Coinbase
• Selling Bitcoin with Coinbase
• Getting my own Coinbase Wallet

Please keep in mind my background and mindset

• Born in USA/always lived in USA
• Worked for major corporations in the past/now for myself
• My money is held at one of the Big 3 US banks
• I use credit cards, debit cards and PayPal
• I’m a skeptic of crypto

Part I: Opening a Coinbase Account

Since I had heard that Coinbase was the standard for newbies like me, I went on my phone to create an account. I was not even sure what role Coinbase would play other than thinking they were my broker, like JP Morgan or TD Ameritrade.
After creating a skeleton account with my email and password, I was asked a series of Know Your Customer “KYC” questions. Pretty standard stuff.

Then, Coinbase asked for me to snap a picture of my driver’s license, both front and back. Ok. Had they prepared me at the outset that I needed this document, it would have been nice.

What if I didn’t have my license on me? I’m 56 and have not saved it on my phone. Am I the only one that hasn’t done this yet?
Ok, minor pain. Then the “Do you recognize these street addresses near where you used to live” questions came. They picked my old NYC address, the one with my ex-wife.

Thanks for reminding me, Coinbase. To be fair to them, I was married/divorced twice so it would be hard to pick one that didn’t remind me of my ex-wives. They showed me a bunch of streets that I had never heard of. I only spent 25 years in NYC.

The final question was “What highway was closest to your apartment on 24th street in NYC?” My frustration was mounting. Why was it mounting?

1. NYCers don’t pay attention to highway numbers, just names
2. After looking up the highways on Google Maps, I discovered none of the numbered highway choices were even close to NYC
3. So, maybe Coinbase is just for people in the suburbs?

After more research and questions, my account was opened.

Bottom Line

Ok customer experience:

• I was happy they actually had a Know Your Customer Process
• I was able to start setting up my account right away and did not have to wait
• I finally got set up and started buying (next week’s article)


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