Cryptocurrencies have been all the rage in recent years. And this frenzy has no way of dying down anytime soon. As cryptocurrency enters the mainstream and becomes adopted by everyday companies, more and more people are looking to get into the crypto space. The crypto market continues to appeal to both novice and institutional investors due to its limitless potential for financial gain.
In its wake, prospective investors and traders are increasingly looking towards platforms like Gemini and Coinbase. These sites aid their customers with the safe trading of cryptocurrency and other digital assets. These two firms adhere to rigid regulations and are supported by large financial institutions, such as J.P. Morgan.
Both interfaces are intuitive and straightforward, making them ideal for newcomers. More advanced tools are available for seasoned traders with Gemini ActiveTrader and Coinbase Pro.
Before going any further, however, it is vital to understand the workings of a cryptocurrency exchange.
How do crypto exchanges work?
A cryptocurrency exchange works mostly like a regular exchange for assets like stocks. Although traditional exchanges adhere to set hours of operation, crypto exchanges are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
To purchase using the exchange, a buyer must first put in an initial investment. The storing of funds is also referred to as a wallet. Local currency and digital assets can be used for the purchase.
An exchange buyer places a ‘buy’ order, which is a request to get their hands on Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency at a price they choose. This and all the other buying and selling orders are included in the order book. Order books keep track of the amount of cryptocurrency that every participant wants to purchase or sell, along with the cost they are interested in.
The exchange essentially acts as a matchmaking service between the two mediums. It is essential to bear in mind that exchanges do not set prices. Instead, the law of supply and demand does. The exchange merely serves as the intermediary connecting the buyers to the sellers.
But choosing an exchange may not be an easy task. It would help if you considered multiple factors. Whether the exchange can operate in your country, payment options, fees, security levels, along a selection of coins are just a few of these factors.
So, are you comparing Gemini vs Coinbase? Whether you are aiming to open an account for monthly crypto trading or just for HODling, here is an in-depth comparison designed to enable you to select the best crypto exchange for your needs.
Gemini vs. Coinbase: Crypto selection
While both platforms have a wide selection of crypto coins to invest in, Coinbase takes the crown on this one. It has over 100 cryptocurrencies available for trade, offering a more extensive selection. These are continually updated.
Gemini does not fall short either. It offers over 40 crypto coins to its clients, including the largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization along with smaller alternatives. This is, however, except for some well-celebrated cryptos such as Stellar (XLM), Polkadot (DOT) as well as Cardano (ADA).
Gemini also offers digital currencies unavailable on Coinbase. However, they aren’t as well-known. The majority aren’t even included in the top 100. Fantom (FTM), a rather popular cryptocurrency, is perhaps the lone noteworthy exception.
Coinbase also takes the lead where stablecoins are concerned. U.S. dollar-based stablecoins, such as Tether and USD Coin, are pretty popular. Gemini’s stablecoin is the Gemini Dollar (GUSD), but it is less widely used than those other coins.
Coinbase offers services in over 100 countries, making it more convenient. Gemini, however, operates in over 60 plus countries, which may limit your choices in terms of area of use.
Gemini vs. Coinbase: Wallets
Your private key code for your crypto wallets must be stored offline for safety. This keeps your assets safe as the code cannot be accessed by anyone. Fortunately, wallets are offered by Gemini and Coinbase that enable you to store crypto funds. Two options for storage are available: hot and cold storage. However, only one of them offers cold storage.
The assets in hot storage can be accessed immediately if required. It is typically stored locally on a company’s online servers, i.e., hot wallets. Thus, being vulnerable to cyber attacks and threats.
Cold storage, on the other hand, is considered more secure. This is because it has no connection to the Internet and is kept offline. Connecting your cold storage mechanism to the Internet is only required when you need to conduct a transaction. Hence, making it a far superior choice regarding the security of your digital assets.
The Gemini clientele can choose between Gemini Wallet and Gemini Custody. The Gemini Wallet is categorized as a hot wallet; hence, the owner can access it online. Additionally, users can access it free of charge.
Gemini Custody, on the other hand, is a cold wallet. It is offline and hence at far less risk of being breached. However, with Custody, you are charged .40% (40bps) per year, plus $125 for every withdrawal.
Coinbase offers customers its wallet: Coinbase Wallet. Similar to the Gemini Wallet, it is also a hot wallet available freely. But what sets Coinbase Wallet apart is that it isn’t restricted to the exchange users. This means anybody can download it to store their cryptocurrencies.
Gemini vs. Coinbase: Security Features
Security is a significant concern when it comes to investing or crypto trading. The last thing anyone would want is for their hard-earned money to disappear.
Gemini and Coinbase have a reputation for offering the best secure crypto exchange experiences available today. Both cryptocurrency exchanges ensure high-grade security to protect customer assets. As a result of their strict adherence to U.S. regulations and intense levels of security, these cryptocurrency exchanges are highly sought after by investors.
Both Gemini and Coinbase exchanges support two-factor authentication (2FA). This type of login requires two forms of authentication, like an SMS code. Other options for your two-factor authentication (2FA) are available as well. These include landline/voice call or TOTP such as Duo or Google Authenticator.
Coinbase claims to store 98% of its customers’ assets in cold storage, which means they’re stored offline for better protection. Another great way this crypto exchange stays ahead of any hackers and attacks is with its Bug Bounty program. This program offers rewards to those that bring any security vulnerabilities to light.
Gemini offers its users address whitelisting. With whitelisting, users can approve specific wallet addresses to move their currencies. As a result, only withdrawals to these addresses will be permitted. Gemini also stores most of its customer’s assets offline as well.
Furthermore, Gemini and Coinbase provide insurance coverage to cover customer assets. Gemini Wallet protects security breaches and fraud. Coinbase also offers users funds insurance.
Unlike the insurance provided by Gemini, the policy does not provide coverage for misuse and access to your account. Only breaches of Coinbase’s systems are covered. Deposits made on each exchange are protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance, which protects up to $250,000 for each individual.
Offering robust security capabilities, any one of these two platforms would be a good pick if security is your primary concern.
Gemini vs. Coinbase: Transaction Fees
Both crypto exchange platforms have comparable pricing models.
With Coinbase, you should be aware of three different types of transaction fees: spread fees, flat fees, and variable fees. The margin or spread fee amounts to 0.5% of your transaction. This is an amount that will be deducted regardless.
In addition to this, the crypto exchange also deducts either a flat fee or a variable fee. These fees differ based on your transaction method, the region, and the coin you are using.
For the flat fee, a transaction amounting to under $10 will carry a transaction fee of $0.99. Total transaction amounts that fall between $10 to $25 carry a charge of $1.49. For above $25 and below $50, $1.99 will be charged. And for amounts greater than $50 but less or equal to $200, a flat fee of $2.99 will be applied.
The variable pay for Coinbase is determined by the location of the customer and the method they use to purchase cryptocurrency. If your payment method for purchase or payout method for sale is through your U.S. Bank account or your Coinbase Wallet, a standard 1.49% will be charged per transaction.
However, if you use your Debit Card for carrying out a transaction, you will be slapped with coinbase fees of a 3.99% charge.
For example, imagine purchasing $40 worth of crypto using your Coinbase wallet as a method for payment. You will first be charged the 0.5% spread fee. Your flat fee would amount to $2, and your variable fee would come out to be $0.60. Since the flat fee is higher, your total trading fees would work out to $2.20. This is above 5% of your transaction amount.
Gemini also charges its customers a convenience fee of 0.5% on all transactions. This is the same as Coinbase’s spread fee. The flat fee structure is pretty much the same as Coinbase.
The only difference is that trading fees of 1.49% are deducted for Gemini users with total transaction amounts of over $200. As for Coinbase, the same rate applies for amounts over $205. Availing the ACH bank transfer system is free with both services.
However, if you plan on making a wire transfer, Gemini may be the way to go. This is because you can make free wire transfers using Gemini. In contrast, Coinbase charges deposit fees and withdrawal fees of $10 and $25, respectively.
Coinbase Pro vs Gemini ActiveTrader
Fee structures may be comparatively different on the advanced platforms. These platforms are meant for high-level investors. However, the regular ones are aimed more towards beginners that are just trying to dip their toes in the crypto market.
Gemini ActiveTrader and Coinbase Pro use a maker/taker model for charging their consumers. You will be considered a take and charged a taker fee if your order gets filled immediately. This means if you buy or sell using a market order, then your order will likely get filled immediately. This will qualify you for a taker fee.
You will be regarded as a market maker; however, if you place a limited order instead of a market one, that is not filled right away. Therefore, liquidity is added to the market by waiting for a taker to fill your order. Market makers are seen as valuable to the platform and hence, charged a lower fee.
Generally, if your transaction amount is under $50,000 worth of crypto each month, Gemini ActiveTrader will charge you a lower fee. But if you’re trading over $50,000 worth of crypto each month, Coinbase Pro will prove cheaper for you.
So, if high transaction fees are a huge concern for you, Coinbase fees may appear too steep to you. In this case, Gemini would be a better choice.
Gemini vs Coinbase: Unique Attributes
Coinbase is a San Francisco-based company. CEO Brian Armstrong founded the company in 2012. Gemini, meanwhile, is a New York-based company founded in 2014 by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss. The twins are an early part of Facebook and are now very dominant in the crypto space.
Both Coinbase and Gemini offer their customers a wide range of exciting features. The Gemini Earn program pays interest on cryptocurrency investments among them.
Also, as part of Gemini’s Gemini Pay program, consumers have the option of purchasing a plethora of retail items using cryptocurrency. You have the option to pay with the Gemini Dollar (GUSD), bitcoin, litecoin, ether, bitcoin cash, as well as zcash.
Additionally, this crypto exchange allows public access to API keys, allowing easier integration with third parties. Also, the exchange provides additional private client service to its wealthy clients and investors. Among the services is research regarding trends and institutions and financial and asset management for improved portfolio decisions.
Conversely, Coinbase promotes the academic knowledge of its users using articles and videos. In fact, as an incentive, once users get done with the projects mentioned in these videos, they become eligible for a percentage of free crypto coins.
With Coinbase, you also get a constant newsfeed within the application. The newsfeed provides you with new information daily on the crypto market.
Furthermore, Coinbase offers its customers to receive price alerts for desired cryptocurrencies. Alerts allow them to stay on top of trends within the crypto world.
Gemini vs Coinbase: Customer Support
Quick and practical support from the customer support team at your exchange is vital. In any account issues, you will require quick assistance to help you overcome them. Customer support is also necessary for any queries before you open your account and guide you through the onboarding process.
Coinbase offers customer service via email and social media as well. You can receive help with your Coinbase account via an online help portal. Chatbot support is not available to tackle more general queries. But if you need your account locked right away, you do have the option to contact Coinbase Support on the phone.
Gemini offers Bot assistance to its customers. This allows for a much quicker and easier solution to your problems. It maintains a FAQs section to help its users from the get-go. It has an improved help center that responds to queries within 24 hours. With Gemini, however, you do not get call service, and support needs to be availed of through email only.
Gemini vs Coinbase: Apps
With its user-friendly interface and incredible design, the Coinbase app is among the best in the industry. It is targeted more towards novice investors. It also does not shy away from providing educational news and information to its users.
It is easy to navigate, but you get an informative details page when you select your crypto. The charts are simple, line graphs making them appealing and easy to understand. Scrolling down, you’re provided with a summary and critical metrics, such as market cap, supply, and trading activity. Coinbase also beats the competition when it comes to app ratings.
The Gemini exchange App is also relatively simple, easy to use, and aimed mainly at beginners. It is easy to explore. When you click on crypto, you get a details page similar to the one on Coinbase.
You get a line graph, a summary of important information, and the key metrics. However, not as much information as coinbase is provided. Therefore, the Coinbase exchange app has a slight advantage in this regard.
Gemini vs Coinbase: Pros And Cons
- Provides institutional-grade security
- No fee for wire transfers
- Slightly cheaper than Coinbase
- Chat Bot available for queries
- User-friendly app
- Gemini Earn program
- Available in limited countries
- Does not have major stablecoins
- Can be a little complicated for beginners
- A wide range of cryptocurrencies is available
- Can be accessed in over 100 countries
- Highly secure for crypto assets
- Beginner-friendly interface
- Coinbase Pro available for institutional investors and traders
- High trading fee
- Slightly complex fee structure
- Does not have chat support
Both cryptocurrency exchange platforms, Gemini vs Coinbase, offer similar and unique services to their clientele. Your choice will vary depending on your preferences.
For instance, if you’re new and want to try out your luck at cryptocurrency trading, Coinbase may be the better trading platform. It may also be the better choice if you’re planning on investing and trading niche digital assets.
But if you’re looking for lower trading fees along with the ability to earn passive income off your investment, Gemini is ideal for you. If security is your top concern, any secure platforms will do.
Both Gemini and Coinbase are useful and practical to get the job done and more. All in all, it all comes down to your priorities and needs. Nevertheless, you can’t go wrong with either of these options when picking the best cryptocurrency exchange.