A new feature from Coinbase Wallet allows for the transfer of crypto through a link that can be sent through some of the most popular social media sites and messaging apps as the crypto exchange looks to make its service accessible to a wider market.
“Users can now send money on any platform that they can share a link,” Coinbase said in a Dec. 5 blog post, naming apps like iMessage, Telegram, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.
There’s no payment fee when sending USD Coin (USDC), a U.S. dollar stablecoin Coinbase co-launched in 2018 with its issuer, Circle.
Send money anywhere you can send a link.
Easily. Instantly. For free.
⤷ https://t.co/CKyLu1wYEw pic.twitter.com/XX9YaZZEPm
— Coinbase Wallet ️ (@CoinbaseWallet) December 5, 2023
Clicking the link will take the recipient to their device’s app store to download Coinbase Wallet — if not already downloaded — where they can create a wallet in one click, Coinbase noted.
If the funds aren’t claimed within two weeks, they will be returned to the sender.
Coinbase also made a “simple mode” for its wallet to help new and less savvy tech users, only showing basic functions like buying, sending, receiving and viewing assets.
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Coinbase said the new feature aims to solve complexities with international bank wire transfers, which it claims often come with hefty fees and paperwork and can take up to five business days for the funds to arrive.
However, it could entice malicious actors to start pushing fake Coinbase links to scam victims, according to a spokesperson from blockchain security firm CertiK. Scammers in particular may target email addresses known to be associated with Coinbase, they added.
Blockchain security Beosin made a similar comment to Cointelegraph, noting that while they believe the functionality of the Coinbase Wallet is secure, there is a “greater concern” around a user’s ability to discern phishing links.
“According to the official design, the provided links are solely used for fund transfers, and when the recipient clicks on the link, the funds are directly received. We consider this design to be secure.”
“However, our greater concern lies in users’ ability to discern phishing links, which often exhibit the following characteristics:
After clicking the link, users are prompted to initiate a transferRequests for signatures on unverified dataClicking the URL redirects users to other malicious third-party websites.”
Coinbase’s share price has increased over 300% so far in 2023 to $140, but is still down 59% from its all-time high of $343 on Nov. 12, 2021, according to Google Finance.
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Update (Dec. 8, 3:49 am UTC): This article has been updated to include comments from Beosin.