TL;DR– If you’ve lost your ability to do two-factor authentication with Coinbase, you’re more or less paralyzed and can’t do anything with your account. Don’t fret! Depending on what your problem is, there are some quick solutions. If all else fails, the good news is that Coinbase is a US-based, publicly-traded company that has customer service. It may take some time, but they’ll get you back in action.
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Note: this same process below has to be followed (the ID upload and webcam selfie with 24-72 time for them to verify) for both switching to a new phone number and switching to a new email.
If you don’t have 2FA set up will all your crypto accounts on all your exchanges, for the love of God, please do so. The crypto space is fraught with fraud, hacks, and scams (unfortunately). Don’t give these fuckers an inch, and never give away your seed phrase or private keys.
Know that pretty much everything on Coinbase requires two-step verification.
Events on Coinbase that trigger two-step authentication
- An unidentified device is attempting to log in
- An attempt to log in from an unknown phone number
- Using your Coinbase account to send cryptocurrency elsewhere
Note that Authy isn’t supported by Coinbase anymore.
Do this first
If you’re experiencing problems signing in to your account using 2-step verification, go to the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and make sure your both your Coinbase and your authenticator apps are updated. If you’re logging in using a browser, same thing- check to make sure you’ve got the latest version of Chrome/etc. Also try clearing your cache and restarting your browser. On Google Chrome, you can do this by hitting Chrome–> Clear Browsing Data–>Last Hour/Last 24 Hours. I don’t see need to clear your history more than 24 hours.
Fix if you’ve lost your smartphone with your SMS/2FA authentication
1. Go to the Coinbase portal on your desktop (obviously, because you don’t have your smartphone anymore) and enter your email and password. Select sign in.
2. On the next screen, instead of entering an authentication code, select the I need help button on the bottom of the box.
Of the options that appear, select I need to update my phone number.
You’re asked to enter your old phone number and your new phone number. Then you need to take a selfie with your webcam and take a picture of your ID to upload. Coinbase will get back to you within 24-72 hours, and you’ll receive an email confirmation. After that, you’ll be able to sign in using SMS (text) confirmation with your new phone number.
Changing your email
Initially, this won’t be a problem if you still have your smartphone and two-factor authentication.
1. My recommendation here is to just change your email. For this, first go to Coinbase Accounts and log in using your email and password and 2FA. Then select the email address line.
In the new email address box, enter your new email address that you have access to and want to switch to. Click save.
2. You’ll have to log in to both emails and click the link for your email address to be changed.
If all else fails, go over to Coinbase’s Support Portal.