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Gemini and Coinbase are two of the most popular crypto exchanges in the world, especially among US-based investors.
However, since both firms offer similar features, determining which one to use can be a challenge. To help you out, we’ve put both exchanges to the test in this head-to-head match-up.
In this Gemini vs. Coinbase review, we’ll clue you into the features, pros, and cons of both crypto exchanges. That way, you can spend less time researching your future crypto exchange and more time investing.
|Fees||0.50% per trade + transaction fee ($0.99 fixed fee – 1.49% of order value), 3.49% of order value for debit/credit card purchases||0.50% per trade, 3.99% for debit/credit card purchases, and 1.49% for Coinbase wallet or bank account purchases|
|Apps||Mobile (iOS and Android)||Mobile (iOS and Android)|
|Promotions||Earn up to $10 in BTC||$5 worth of free BTC|
|Buy (Deposit Method)||Bank transfer and wire transfer||Bank transfer, debit card and PayPal|
|Sell (Withdrawal Method)||Bank transfer and wire transfer||Bank transfer|
|Verdict||Beginner-friendly exchange with good security features and ability to earn interest on holdings||User-friendly exchange with excellent liquidity and extensive directory of crypto assets|
Overview Gemini vs. Coinbase
Coinbase and Gemini are two powerful crypto exchanges where you can trade digital assets with ease. Here’s a brief overview of each exchange.
Gemini is a New York-based crypto exchange that was founded in 2014. The firm is run by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and makes crypto trading accessible to everyone.
It is also one of the few exchanges that operate in every US state and it is a licensed exchange through the New York State Department of Financial Services. Gemini is also a New York trust company, which means that the firm must put account holders’ interests above its own. Read our full Gemini review to learn more.
Coinbase is a multinational crypto exchange that was founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam. The company has no official headquarters and it operates in more than 100 countries.
The exchange offers a range of crypto-focused features and, as of 2021, the company claims to have more than $90 billion in assets under management. This makes Coinbase one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges. Read our full Coinbase review to learn more,
Gemini vs. Coinbase: Main Features
Both Gemini and Coinbase are feature-laden exchanges. Let’s take a look at the features of each company.
|Cryptocurrency Supported||40+ (Including BTC, ETH, LTC, BCH, ZEC, FIL, DOGE, LINK, MANA)||50+ (Including BTC, ETH, LTC, ALGO, ADA, DAS, DOGE, DOT, MATIC, UNI)|
|Fiat currency supported||USD, AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, SGD, HKD||USD, GBP, EUR|
|FDIC Insured||Yes (U.S. Dollars)||Yes (U.S. Dollars)|
|Social / Copy Trading|
Gemini’s primary feature is its crypto trading platform. The firm has two platforms where investors can buy and sell cryptocurrencies.
The basic Gemini trading platform is a straightforward way to trade crypto. It lets you place market orders that are immediately credited to your account. Meanwhile, the firm’s ActiveTrader platform offers advanced charting tools and additional order types for experienced investors.
Gemini also provides an easy way for investors to earn interest on their crypto assets through Gemini Earn. This feature offers interest rates of about 1% to 7.5% on certain cryptocurrencies.
Other important features from Gemini for high net worth traders include Gemini Clearing and Gemini Custody. With Gemini Clearing, traders can place large transactions over the counter with the support of the firm’s dedicated trading desk.
Gemini Custody provides a high level of institutional security for investors that don’t want to be in charge of managing their assets. This service has an annual 0.4% custody fee but can be a good choice for investors with large amounts of crypto.
Finally, Gemini offers two ways to use and earn crypto. The firm’s Gemini Pay feature lets you use crypto to pay for purchases at thousands of US-based retailers. Alternatively, the Gemini Mastercard is a streamlined way to earn crypto rewards on your daily transactions.
Main Features Overview
- ActiveTrader – Gemini’s advanced trading platform for experienced crypto traders
- Gemini Earn – A simple way to earn interest on crypto in your portfolio
- Gemini Clearing – This OTC service facilitates large crypto transactions off the open exchange.
- Gemini Custody – Gemini’s custody service lets investors store their digital assets in secure, institutional-grade facilities.
- Gemini Pay – A straightforward way to purchase goods and services with crypto
- Gemini Mastercard – The firm’s rewards credit card that earns you free crypto on your purchases
Coinbase is a feature-rich exchange with a streamlined interface. As with Gemini, Coinbase lets you buy and sell crypto on two different platforms.
The firm’s basic trading platform is a simplified way to buy crypto. This platform only supports market orders; however, it also lets you set up what Coinbase calls “recurring buys.” Doing so creates an automatic investment schedule for the crypto of your choice to help grow your portfolio.
Alternatively, the Coinbase Pro platform offers a more immersive trading experience with customizable price charts and advanced order types.
Although Coinbase doesn’t offer interest on crypto, they do support some crypto staking. The firm also offers Coinbase Earn, which is a rewards program where you can get free crypto for watching educational videos.
With Coinbase, you also have access to a crypto-backed Visa debit card called Coinbase Card. This feature lets you use your crypto to make purchases anywhere that Visa is accepted.
Last but not least, the firm offers a Private Client service for ultra-high net worth individuals. This service provides access to institutional research, an account manager, and asset management for an improved investing experience.
Main Features Overview
- Coinbase Pro – Coinbase’s premium exchange platform for advanced traders
- Coinbase Earn – A fun and educational way to earn free crypto from watching videos.
- Coinbase Staking – The firm’s staking feature lets you stake supported crypto to earn rewards on your assets.
- Coinbase Card – With the Coinbase Card, you can use your crypto assets to pay for daily purchases.
- Coinbase Private Client – Coinbase Private Client helps ultra-high net worth individuals manage their crypto assets.
- Recurring Buys – A simple way to grow your portfolio by establishing a regular crypto investing strategy
Gemini vs. Coinbase: Cryptocurrencies Supported
If an exchange doesn’t support your preferred crypto, it won’t be useful for your investing strategy. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the cryptocurrencies supported on Gemini and Coinbase:
Currently, Gemini supports more than 40 cryptocurrencies, including:
However, the firm continuously adds new coins to its exchange, so you can expect this list to grow in the near future.
Coinbase currently offers about 50 cryptocurrencies for US-based investors. These include:
But, as with Gemini, Coinbase also plans to add more supported cryptocurrencies to its exchange soon.
Gemini vs. Coinbase: Wallet
No exchange is complete without a way to store your digital assets. As such, both Gemini and Coinbase offer several different crypto wallets for account holders to use. Here’s what you need to know:
The Gemini Crypto Wallet is the firm’s hosted hot wallet. All account holders get access to this wallet as it’s where your coins are deposited whenever you purchase crypto through the exchange.
What’s unique about Gemini’s hosted wallet is that it boasts advanced security features. Most assets held in these hosted wallets are kept in an institutional-grade cold storage system. Funds in these wallets are also insured through the company’s Digital Asset Insurance.
Although Coinbase provides hosted hot wallets to all their account holders, the firm also offers an additional free personal hot wallet.
The Coinbase Wallet gives you access to your private keys so you can have control over your assets. This wallet supports more than 500 different tokens and provides you with access to certain ICOs (initial coin offerings).
Anyone can create a free Coinbase Wallet by downloading it from the Apple App or Google Play stores. Once you have a Coinbase Wallet, you can set up transfers from your Coinbase account or any other wallet with relative ease.
Gemini vs. Coinbase: Security
Security is a key concern for any crypto investor. Here is what you need to know about Gemini and Coinbase’s security features before you start trading.
Gemini markets itself as a security-focused crypto exchange. With the firm, you get premium security features, such as advanced encryption and multi-factor authentication.
The company stores most of its assets in offline wallets that are locked in secure facilities across the world. US dollar funds held in a Gemini account are also FDIC-insured up to $250,000 and the company has a Digital Asset Insurance Policy on crypto assets.
Coinbase uses advanced technology to keep its clients’ assets secure. The firm employs AES-256 encryption, two-step verification, and paper backups to ward off hackers.
Additionally, Coinbase stores 98% of customer assets in offline wallets that are located in vaults across the globe. The company also holds US dollar funds in FDIC-insured accounts.
Gemini vs. Coinbase: Customer Support
Should you have a problem with your account, you need to know that you’ll have access to customer support. Here’s what customer service you can expect from Gemini and Coinbase.
Gemini’s customer support is facilitated through its online help pages, which provide answers to the most commonly-asked questions. Gemini also has a chat support bot to help you quickly navigate these help pages.
Note that Gemini does not have phone-based customer support. But you can email their support team if you have a question about your account.
Coinbase maintains an online help portal where you can get guidance with your account. The company also has a chat support bot that can help answer your questions.
For more specific issues, you can email the Coinbase customer support team. If you have a Coinbase Card, you can also call the support team for debit card-related issues. However, the company does not have a phone number for general account questions.
Gemini vs. Coinbase: Fees
If there’s one thing that both Gemini and Coinbase are known for, it’s their convoluted fee schedules. So, let’s take a closer look at the pricing structures at each firm:
|Trading Amount||$500 (Daily)||$25,000 (Daily)|
|Trading Fees||0.50% per trade + transaction fee ($0.99 – 1.49% of order value)||0.50% per trade + transaction fee ($0.99 – $2.99)|
|Pro Trading Fees||ActiveTrader: 0.00% – 0.35%||Coinbase Pro: 0.00% – 0.50%|
|Bank Account||$0.99 to 1.49%||1.49%|
|Instant Card Withdrawal||N/A||Up to 1.5% of any transaction and a minimum fee of $0.55|
|Wire Transfer||Free||$10 ($25 outgoing)|
Gemini currently has different fee schedules for web and mobile trades than it does for its ActiveTrader platform.
For web and mobile trades, all transactions are charged a base “convenience fee” of 0.50%. Transactions of less than $200 also pay a flat-rate fee of $0.99 to $2.99, with larger trades incurring a smaller fee. Meanwhile, trades over $200, pay a 1.49% fee.
|Total Trade Amount||Fee|
|Less than $10||$0.99|
|More than $200||1.49% of order value|
Trades on the ActiveTrader platform use a maker-taker fee schedule that varies depending on your 30-day trading volume. Investors with a higher trading volume pay less, and the fee for this service varies from 0.35% to 0.0%.
|Pricing Tier||Taker Fee||Maker Fee||Auction Fee|
In addition to trading fees, Gemini charges withdrawal fees on crypto if you withdraw a single type of cryptocurrency more than 10 times a month. The fees for withdrawals depend on the crypto in question.
Gemini also charges a 3.49% fee for debit card deposits, but other deposit types are free.
|Gemini Dollar (redemption)||Free|
|Debit Card Transfer||3.49% of total purchase amount|
Coinbase’s fee structure is very similar to Gemini’s. That’s because the firm charges different fees for its standard trading platform and Coinbase Pro.
The standard Coinbase platform charges a spread fee of 0.50% of your order total plus either a flat fee or variable transaction fee charge. The flat fee charge ranges from $0.99 to $2.99 per transaction for trades of less than $200, with smaller trades incurring a higher fee. Meanwhile, trades over $200 pay a fee of 1.49% of the order total.
|Total Trade Amount||Fee|
|Less than $10||$0.99|
Coinbase Pro uses a maker-taker trade schedule that varies from 0.50% to 0.0% based on your 30-day trading volume. In this system, makers also pay less than takers.
|Pricing Tier||Taker Fee||Maker Fee|
|Less than $10K||0.50%||0.50%|
|$10K – $50K||0.35%||0.35%|
|$50K – $100K||0.25%||0.15%|
|$100K – $1M||0.20%||0.10%|
|$1M – $10M||0.18%||0.08%|
|$10M – $50M||0.15%||0.05%|
|$50M – $100M||0.10%||0.00%|
|$100M – $300M||0.07%||0.00%|
|$300M – $500M||0.06%||0.00%|
|$500M – $1B||0.05%||0.00%|
Finally, Coinbase charges deposit fees of $1.49 to $3.99 per deposit, depending on your payment method. Incoming wire transfers also cost $10 and outgoing wires cost $25. However, there are no fees for ACH transfers.
|Coinbase USD Wallet||1.49%|
|Wire Transfer||$10 ($25 outgoing)|
Gemini vs. Coinbase: Platform and App
Coinbase and Gemini both strive to be user-friendly exchanges that appeal to a range of crypto investors. Here’s how both firms’ platforms perform in real life.
All of Gemini’s platforms feature a seamless layout and interface. The firm’s web-based portal offers access to its basic trading platform and ActiveTrader, which you can switch between with relative ease.
For mobile crypto investing, Gemini has a single app. This app provides access to most Gemini features, including Gemini Pay and Gemini Earn. However, you can’t access the ActiveTrader platform or Gemini Custody’s features from the mobile app.
In general, Coinbase’s platforms are streamlined and user-friendly. The company’s web-based interface supports its basic and advanced trading platforms as well as its staking and Coinbase Earn features.
Meanwhile, Coinbase maintains separate apps for its regular trading platform, Coinbase Pro, and the Coinbase Wallet. All of these apps are highly rated and easy to navigate. However, having to switch between different apps can be a hassle.
Gemini vs. Coinbase: What We Like (Pros)
There are plenty of things to like about Coinbase and Gemini. Here’s a look at some of the top advantages of both exchanges:
- Available in all 50 US states and Puerto Rico
- Security-focused platform with crypto insurance
- Ability to earn interest on crypto assets
- Access to a crypto rewards credit card
- Gemini Pay lets you use crypto for daily purchases
- Includes basic and advanced crypto trading platforms
- Crypto custodial services available
- Offers an OTC trading service for large transactions
- Available in more than 100 countries, including the US
- Opportunity to earn free crypto by watching videos
- Access to a free hot wallet with control over your private keys
- Crypto-backed Visa debit card for daily purchases
- Easy-to-set-up recurring buys on supported crypto
- Option to stake selected coins for rewards
- All account holders can use the Coinbase Pro platform
Gemini vs. Coinbase: What We Don’t Like (Cons)
Although Coinbase and Gemini are two of the top exchanges in the world, there are some aspects of each platform that don’t quite impress. Here are some key drawbacks to keep in mind:
- No option to control your private keys
- Fees on some withdrawals
- High fees on debit card transfers
- Fewer supported crypto options than Coinbase
- Not available in all 50 US states
- Doesn’t offer insurance on crypto assets
- Charges high fees for deposits and wire transfers
- No option to earn interest (just staking rewards)
Who Is Gemini For?
Gemini is a great exchange for crypto investors that prize security and convenience above all else. Although the firm’s fees are quite high, Gemini’s user-centric interface, fantastic additional features, and availability in all 50 US states make it a popular choice for US-based investors.
Additionally, Gemini is a nice choice for traders that want to earn passive income off of their crypto assets, thanks to the firm’s Gemini Earn feature. Its crypto rewards credit card and crypto-backed payment system also make it a solid option for traders that see crypto as the currency of the future.
Who Is Coinbase For?
Coinbase’s intuitive platform and user-friendly design make it a suitable option for new crypto investors. At the same time, Coinbase’s advanced trading platform and staking features provide functionality for more experienced investors.
As with Gemini, Coinbase’s high fees aren’t ideal for investors that are looking to keep costs low. However, if you’re willing to pay extra for convenience and access to a slew of other features like a crypto debit card and crypto rewards, then Coinbase is a sure bet.
FAQ Gemini vs. Coinbase
Here are our answers to some of your most commonly asked questions about Gemini and Coinbase.
Which Is Safer, Gemini or Coinbase?
Both Gemini and Coinbase employ high-end security features to help keep your crypto secure and both companies have FDIC insurance on US dollar funds. However, only Geminimaintains insurance on customer’s digital assets. So, while there is always a risk with storing crypto, Gemini has a slight edge over Coinbase in terms of asset security and insurance.
Which Is Cheaper, Gemini or Coinbase?
Coinbase and Gemini have very similar fee structures and they both charge the same fees for trades placed on their basic trading platforms. But, Gemini has lower fees for its advanced trading platform and the firm doesn’t charge a fee on bank account deposits. So, Gemini is slightly cheaper than Coinbase.
Which Is Better, Gemini or Coinbase?
Gemini and Coinbase are similar crypto exchanges, so it’s hard to say that one is universally better than the other. If you want to earn free crypto and get a crypto debit card, Coinbase is likely the better choice. Alternatively, if you’re looking for new ways to earn passive income on crypto and you want high-end security, Gemini is a solid option.
Coinbase and Gemini are two powerful exchanges that serve as useful tools for traders looking to make the most of their crypto investments.
Both firms offer similar functionality when it comes to trading crypto. Therefore, the difference between Gemini and Coinbase comes down to the additional features that each company offers.
If premium security and the ability to earn passive interest on your crypto investments are your top priorities, then Gemini might be your go-to choice. Alternatively, if you’d rather have a personal hot wallet, a crypto-backed debit card, and the ability to earn free crypto online, then Coinbase is a worthy option.
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Gaby is a freelance writer and self-employed business owner with a personal interest in all things finance-related. She has a passion for educating others on how to make the most of their money and loves writing about everything from taxes to crypto.