Where can I get a passphrase for the API?

Documentation says I should be able to set a passphrase while creating a new API key, but I don’t see any field for doing so. Has there been an update to the API not requiring passphrases?

Hello @acheong87, Thank you for taking an interest in trying out Coinbase APIs. For the details regarding your concern, we will check on this for you with our team. We will get back to you once we have more information. Keep in touch!


I am not sure why they need to check-in on this, but when you create an API key, there is a “Passphrase” field below the “Permissions:”

Note: I am pretty sure there is no passphrase for the Coinbase API, but there is one for the Coinbase Pro/Exchange API (yes, they have two different APIs). This might be the source of the confusion.


Hello @acheong87, when creating a new API key on the Pro website, you will see an option to set a passphrase (see screenshot), you may refer to this link for the step-by-step instructions. If you have done these steps, but still do not have the passphrase, can you give more info or a screenshot of your issue?


Ah! I’m sorry. @Magi was on point—I didn’t realize there were 2 different APIs. I was on plain Coinbase instead of Pro. Thank you!

Hi @camille.decastro, since keys generated on Coinbase (not pro) don’t provide a passphrase, does this mean it’s impossible to authenticate with the API using the keys generated on Coinbase?

The documentation on this says CB-ACCESS-PASSPHRASE is required in the headers, so how would this work without one? Maybe providing an empty string or something like that would work?

I’m trying to place limit orders through the Coinbase API and so I believe I need this authentication to work. I have no such issues using the Coinbase Pro API but I also want it to work with the Coinbase API.

Thank you!

Hello @Ace! The answers to your questions are as follows:

  1. Coinbase Pro and Sign in with Coinbase (Coinbase API) have dissimilar API key authentication methods.
  1. If you’re trying to place a limit order using the Orders endpoint in Sign in with Coinbase (Coinbase API), unfortunately, this is not possible.
  • Coinbase Pro and Sign in with Coinbase have different API endpoints.
  • Sign in with Coinbase has the capability to buy/sell and send/receive cryptocurrencies while Coinbase Pro can place orders, and track market data.
  • You can’t use the API endpoints of Coinbase Pro in Sign in with Coinbase and vice versa.
  • All endpoints available for Coinbase Pro are listed in https://docs.cloud.coinbase.com/exchange/reference/.
  • All endpoints available for Sign in with Coinbase are listed in the Wallet API Endpoints section and Data API Endpoints section.

I hope this helps. Thank you!


Hi @riza.espiritu, this is extremely helpful, thank you!
That is unfortunate that limit orders are not supported with Sign in with Coinbase, but I am happy to have that cleared up.

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Hello @Ace , we’re always happy to help! Please reach out in the future if you need anything else. Thanks!


It’s unclear why they need to check in on this.Although when creating an API key, you have a “Passphrase” field below "Permissions:”