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Understanding Crypto Payments

Coinbase Commerce 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.

By contrast, when customers pay for something with crypto, they use a wallet to push the payment (a crypto amount and wallet address) to the merchant. Cryptocurrency payments are push payments.

Charges and Transactions

When a customer requests to pay with cryptocurrency, we create a charge representing the expected payment. A charge is like a request for payment in the form of an amount and blockchain address -- the amount to paid and a blockchain address to which the customer should send it.


A charge generates a unique payment address per cryptocurrency because currencies live on sepearate networks. This 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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