The cheapest way to get native USDC on Base

Native USDC recently launched on Base. In this post we're going to walk through how to buy USDC on Coinbase with no commission and then withdraw it to Base for just a few cents. So let's get started!

Note: While Coinbase doesn't charge any commission for exchanging from fiat to USDC, there may still be a credit card processing fee (from the credit card processor) or bank wire fee (from the bank) depending on what kind of payment method is being used to transfer fiat to Coinbase.

What is USDC?

Before we dive in, let's quickly touch base on what USDC is. USDC, or USD Coin, is a type of cryptocurrency known as a stablecoin. It's pegged to the US dollar, which means 1 USDC is always worth 1 USD. It's a great way to get into the crypto world and maintain increased stability alongside the price swings and volatility of digital assets like $ETH.

What is Base?

Base is an Ethereum Layer 2 (L2) network developed and incubated inside Coinbase. Base is aimed to be a secure, low-cost, and developer-friendly environment for building decentralized applications (dapps). Base aims to make onchain the default online interaction, with the objective of bringing millions of developers and billions of users into the global cryptoeconomy.

Step 1: Setting up a Coinbase account

If you doesn't already have a Coinbase account, here's how to get one:

  1. Go to and click "Get Started".
  2. Fill out details and get verified – Always use a strong, unique password.
  3. Verify email address and phone number – This adds an extra layer of security to the account.
  4. Set up 2-factor authentication – This is a must.

Step 2: Buying USDC on Coinbase

Buying USDC with fiat on Coinbase is commission-free. It's simple process:

  1. Log in to your Coinbase account and head to the dashboard.
  2. Search for "USDC" using the search box
  3. Utilize the "Buy/Sell" menu that will appear.
  4. Enter the amount to be purchased in USD.
  5. Select a payment method (like a bank account or debit card).
  6. Click "Buy USD Coin" – And voila! USDC has now been acquired.

Step 3: Getting a Base Address from a supported Wallet

Base is supported by all major crypto wallets like Coinbase Wallet, MetaMask, and more. This means you don't need to sign up on Base's website to get an address. Instead, you can find your USDC address within your chosen wallet. This address should start with a '0x' followed by a series of numbers and letters, and it's your unique identifier for receiving USDC.

Step 4: Withdrawing USDC to Base

The final step is sending USDC from Coinbase to Base.

  1. Back on Coinbase, click on "My assets" on the left side of the page.
  2. Find USDC and click on "Primary balance".
  3. Use the "Send/Receive" box on the right side of the page.
  4. Enter the Base USDC address (the '0x' one mentioned earlier) into the recipient field. Important note: if this is the first transfer to this address always do a small test transfer to make sure the USDC is successfully received before transferring the full amount.
  5. Enter the amount of USDC to send.
  6. Click "Continue" and verify the transaction details.

Transferring USDC to Base will only set one back a few cents. That’s right, just pennies.

Final Thoughts

Stablecoins like USDC provide a fantastic gateway to getting onchain. They offer the stability of fiat currency with the benefits of crypto—like quick transfers and lower fees.

And by using Coinbase, you can easily step into the space without significant costs while also leveraging one of the industry's most trusted companies.