Coinbase Wallet does not support the Monero network, so you can’t buy and store XMR directly in your wallet. You can however buy the wrapped version of XMR. This is an indirect way to get exposure to Monero if you are hell-bent on using the Coinbase Wallet. In this post, I will show you how to buy wrapped XMR and I will explain what it is. I will also provide clarification on some other digital assets that appear to be XMR on the Coinbase Wallet but are not. We’ll also talk about alternatives to using Coinbase Wallet for buying XMR on the actual Monero Network.
Types of XMR you can buy on Coinbase Wallet
When you visit the swap tab on Coinbase Wallet you will find the following XMR coins:
On the Ethereum Network
- EXMR FDN (EXMR)
- 0xMonero (0XMR)
- Wrapped Monero (WXMR)
Using the Binance Smart Chain
- 0xMonero (0XMR)
- 0xMonero (0XMR)
What is wrapped XMR?
Monero is a separate blockchain from Bitcoin which is a separate blockchain from Ethereum and so on. When you buy Monero you can’t send it to someone with a wallet on Ethereum.
The two blockchains are incompatible and don’t talk to each other.
To address this issue the crypto industry devised a way to reflect native coins of one chain onto another chain.
The way this works you send your Monero to an intermediary. In the case of wrapped Monero, the intermediary is an exchange called BTSE.
Once it receives your Monero, BTSE will issue a token called WXMR.
This is an ERC-20 coin that represents your XMR that BTSE is holding on your behalf until you ask for it back.
You can ask for it back by giving them WXMR on the Ethereum blockchain.
They will subsequently burn the WXMR and give send you the same amount in XMR to your Monero wallet address. By burning WXMR BTSE ensures that each WXMR is backed by XMR.
This way this price peg will hold.
There are a whole lot of issues with this method for Monero users.
Drawbacks of buying wrapped XMR on Coinbase Wallet
- First of all, WXMR is not Monero. It is a token that sits on Ethereum which is a public ledger that is open for anyone to see. So you can forget about privacy using WXMR.
- It has a very low market cap at the time of writing of just over $1Mn
- You need to have faith in BTSE.
- The token was launched in 2021 but has not gotten much traction.
- The Monero community doesn’t particularly like it. See the Reddit discussion here
The benefits of buying wrapped XMR on Coinbase wallet are that:
- You don’t need to set up another wallet (see why you should own more than one wallet)
- You can use the WXMR on decentralized apps. For example, you can put it into a liquidity pool to earn a yield via exchange fees
- It reflects the price of XMR. If the only reason you want to hold XMR is price speculation and you don’t care about the privacy angle then WXMR is for you.
How to buy wrapped XMR on Coinbase Wallet
- Open your wallet and navigate to the swap tab
- Select the Ethereum network
- Select any crypto you want to convert to WXMR in the From field
- Select WXMR from the To field
- Coinbase Wallet will warn you that this is an unverified token. Click on Continue
- Enter the amount you want to purchase in dollar terms
- Click on Find best price
- Review the details and click on buy.
- You will now see you wrapped XMR as part of your crypto portfolio
Coins that are disguised as XMR
What is 0XMR?
Despite having the letters XMR in the name 0XMR is not Monero and neither is it a wrapped version of Monero. 0XMR is a privacy coin with a fixed supply that has been created on the Ethereum Network. Its purpose is to act as a substitute to Monero in case the Monero Network is banned. It’s not a very solid logic but you can find the coins whitepaper here and the official site here
What is EXMR FDN (EXMR)?
I could not find any information don’t EXMR. Please avoid using it. The official website is not available and Etherscan shows a fully diluted market cap of $25K for this coin which means it’s a defunct project.
Alternative wallets to store XMR
If you want to buy the non-wrapped version of XMR then you need to use a different wallet to Coinbase Wallet. Here are some recommendations. Check out my post on the best Monero wallet for a comprehensive list.
Wallets that support XMR
- Monero GUI wallet for desktop
- Monero desktop CLI for desktop
- Feather wallet for desktop
- MyMonero wallet for all devices
- Edge wallet for mobile phones
- Freewallet for mobile phones and web based wallet
- Elite wallet for mobile phones
- Stack wallet for mobile phones
- XMRWallet for a web wallet
- Monero hardware wallets such as Ledger and Trezor devices
- Cake wallet for all devices
- Exodus wallet for all devices
- Monerujo for Android devices
- Zelcore for all devices
- Guarda for all devices
- Monero.com for all devices
What to look for in a Monero crypto wallet:
- For small amounts of Monero, you want a wallet that encrypts your private keys on your device.
- A desktop wallet will be slightly safer than a mobile app. Mobile wallets are good for making transactions on the go.
- Use a wallet that does not ask for personal information such as an email address or require verification
- If you want to buy Monero directly with a Debit card, Credit card, or a transfer from your bank account search for a wallet that integrates with third-party providers who facilitate converting fiat currencies to crypto.
- If you want to convert from one cryptocurrency to another within the wallet make sure it has a built-in exchange
- Open source wallets are considered to be more robust
- Fees: many Monero wallets charge no fees other than the network fee for sending and receiving XMR
- Ease of use: this is a personal preference but some wallets are easier to use than others.
- Check the security features: PIN, fingerprint ID, two-factor authentication, passwords and recovery phrases
- Does the wallet have a web browser extension so that you can participate in DeFi?
Why Coinbase does not list Monero
Monero is a privacy-focused coin that uses ring signature technology and stealth addresses to obscure transactions and addresses. Unlike coins that live on a public ledger such as Bitcoin, government authorities can’t trace Monero transactions. This has led some countries such as Australia, South Korea, and Japan to ban or restrict the use of Monero. In the US there is no regulation against using Monero (See Is Monero Legal in the US) however a number of exchanges including Coinbase have opted not to list the coin. Some major exchanges such as Binance and Kraken still list XMR so if you don’t want to set up a cryptocurrency wallet you can buy it there.
Exchanges that sell XMR
About Coinbase wallet
Coinbase Wallet is a decentralized non-custodial wallet which means you are in complete control of your private keys. Coinbase Wallet supports all coins on the following blockchain networks:
- Stellar Lumens
At the time of writing it does not support the Monero blockchain
Coinbase Wallet is separate from the Coinbase crypto exchange even though both are developed by the same team. If you want to delve deeper check out my post on What Is the Difference Between Coinbase and Coinbase Wallet?
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