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Understanding Crypto Payments

The Coinbase Commerce API lets you accept cryptocurrency peer-to-peer and is a true push system.

Push vs Pull Payments

When customers pay for something with a credit card, their information is used to pull the payment from them. Traditional payments are mostly pull payments.

Cryptocurrency payments are push payments. By contrast, when customers pay for something with crypto, they use a wallet to sign and send a transaction to the merchant.

Charges and Transactions

When a customer requests to pay with cryptocurrency, we create a Charge representing the requested payment. A Charge has its own unique hosted page and URL. A payer may connect their wallet and submit a transaction in order to complete the purchase. URLs provided by Commerce can be converted into QR codes for seamless interactions.


A charge generates a unique payment link and a Universally Unique Identifier (UUID). The UUID helps us associate customers to their payments.

When a customer makes a cryptocurrency payment, they generate a transaction that is broadcast to the cryptocurrency network for validation.

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