Skip to Content

Why did Coinbase return my money?

There are a few potential reasons why Coinbase may have returned your money rather than completing a transaction or holding your funds in your account:

Failed Transactions

One of the most common reasons Coinbase returns funds is if a purchase or withdrawal transaction fails to complete. Here are some scenarios where this could occur:

Insufficient Funds

If you attempt to make a purchase or withdrawal for an amount greater than your available Coinbase balance, the transaction will fail and the funds will be returned to your account. This is to prevent overdrafts.

Buy Limits Exceeded

Coinbase enforces limits on the maximum amount users can purchase per transaction or over a rolling time period, usually $25,000 per day. Attempting to buy more than your limit will lead to a canceled order.

Sell Limits Exceeded

Similarly, Coinbase also sets limits on the value of cryptocurrency you can sell at once, depending on account age and verification status. Going over this limit will cancel the sell order.

Network Issues

Sometimes a transaction may fail due to problems with the cryptocurrency network rather than an issue with your account specifically. This can happen if the network is congested or temporarily unavailable. Your funds will be returned if the transaction cannot be completed.

Fraud Prevention Measures

Coinbase has advanced fraud detection systems in place to watch for suspicious activity and prevent funds from being lost to bad actors. Here are some examples of actions that may trigger a hold or return of your money:

Suspicious Deposits

If Coinbase suspects funds deposited to your account were obtained illegally or without authorization, they may place a hold and return the funds to the sender.

Unverified Account Activity

Accounts that are not fully verified may have lower send and withdrawal limits in order to reduce fraud risk. Sending amounts over the limits for your verification level may result in canceled transactions.

Sudden Large Withdrawals

Rapidly withdrawing large amounts without warning is considered risky behavior by Coinbase. They may intervene and return the funds if money movements seem highly abnormal for your typical account activity.

Compliance With Regulations

As a regulated financial services company, Coinbase must comply with anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) regulations in the jurisdictions where it operates. This includes screening transactions and returning funds in certain scenarios:

Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Restrictions

Coinbase must adhere to OFAC restrictions that prohibit transacting with individuals, organizations, or governments sanctioned by the U.S. government. If they determine your transaction violates these sanctions, they will deny service and return any funds.

Geographic Restrictions

Certain features and services are restricted based on geographic location and local regulatory obligations. Attempting to perform prohibited transactions based on where you live may result in canceled orders.

Mandatory ID Verification

To comply with KYC regulations, Coinbase requires all accounts to submit formal ID verification at certain activity thresholds. They may return funds if your account reaches these limits before completing verification.

Account Security Actions

Coinbase may take actions to secure your account in response to potential security risks, including returning funds, as explained below:

Unusual Login Activity

If Coinbase detects suspicious or unrecognized login attempts to your account, they may freeze sends and withdrawals temporarily as a security precaution and require you to re-verify your identity.

Mandatory Password Resets

If there are concerns your account password may have been compromised, Coinbase may initiate a forced password reset. This will return any pending withdrawal transactions and require you to create a new password.

Disabling Accounts

In severe security incidents, Coinbase may completely disable your account until issues are resolved. All funds will be returned and sends/withdrawals disabled during this process.

How to Get Your Money Returned by Coinbase

While security measures and failed transactions can lead to returned funds unintentionally, you can also voluntarily request Coinbase to return your money in certain cases using these steps:

Cancel Pending Transactions

If you have a buy, sell, or withdrawal in pending status, you may be able to cancel it manually on Coinbase to put the funds back into your account.

Reject Incoming Transfers

When another user sends you funds on Coinbase, you will have the option to accept or reject the transaction before the transfer completes.

Request Account Closure

You can close your Coinbase account entirely and return your remaining balance to your linked bank account or wallet address.

Common Reasons for Coinbase Returning Funds

To summarize, here are some of the most common specific scenarios that may result in Coinbase returning your money or cryptocurrency rather than processing a transaction:

Reason Description
Exceeding buy limits Attempting to buy more cryptocurrency than your max permitted amount
Exceeding sell limits Attempting to sell more cryptocurrency than your max permitted amount
Insufficient funds Attempting to withdraw or purchase more funds than available in your Coinbase account
Unverified account activity Sending cryptocurrency over the limits for unverified or partially verified accounts
Failed network transactions The cryptocurrency network is congested or unavailable so transactions cannot complete
OFAC sanctions Attempting to transact with an individual, organization, or country under U.S. sanctions
Account security risk Unusual account activity triggers added security protocols like holds or account closures
Mandatory ID verification Not completing required identity verification when account activity thresholds are met
Canceling orders Manually canceling buy or sell orders before they complete

Troubleshooting Tips When Coinbase Returns Funds

If your money is returned by Coinbase unexpectedly, don’t panic. Here are some troubleshooting tips:

Check account notifications

Carefully review any notification emails or popups from Coinbase explaining the reason for the returned funds. This will help you understand what happened.

Verify your transaction details

Double check that the amount, addresses, and other details are correct on transactions that failed. Incorrect info can cause a failure.

Check transaction status

For buys, sells, or withdrawals, you can check the status in Coinbase to see if it is marked “canceled” or “failed” to identify what went wrong.

Ensure sufficient balances

Check that you have enough USD, cryptocurrency, and trading limits available in your account to cover the transaction amounts attempted.

Review account restrictions

Be aware of any account-level restrictions specific to your verification status or location that may limit transactions.

Contact customer support

If you cannot determine why your funds were returned, reach out to Coinbase customer support for assistance investigating the issue.

Preventing Failed Transactions and Returned Funds

You can take various steps to help avoid having your money sent back and ensure smooth transactions:

Maintain sufficient account balances

Keep enough USD and cryptocurrency in your Coinbase account to fully cover any purchases, trades, or withdrawals you need to make.

Understand your limits

Be aware of your max purchase amounts per transaction as well as your daily/weekly limits based on account verification level.

Finish identity verification

Completing full identity verification removes restrictions and raises limits for sending, receiving, buying, and selling.

Check network status

Before transacting, check Coinbase Status ( to make sure networks are operating normally.

Double check details

Carefully review all transaction details before confirming to avoid errors resulting in failures.

Spread out activity

If making large transactions, consider breaking them into smaller amounts over time to avoid triggers and holds.


Coinbase returning your funds can be annoying but is often due to policies designed to keep accounts secure and prevent mishaps. By understanding the reasons it occurs, verifying your transaction details, checking available balances and limits, and contacting support, you can get the issue resolved. Catching problems early and confirming transaction specifics carefully will help avoid surprises and keep your money where it should be – working for you within your Coinbase account or crypto wallet.