Last update: Jun 9, 2021

Gemini Vs. Coinbase: Ultimate Comparison

When you are ready to start buying, selling, and trading Bitcoin, it’s best to be certain that the platform you’re using is legitimate, which is why we created this Gemini vs. Coinbase comparison. Many people can attest to the prevalence of hacks and exit scams posing to be secure exchanges. Fortunately, there are two very well-known cryptocurrency platforms you can use based in the United States.

Gemini vs Coinbase

Name Founded Countries Cryptocurrencies Trading Pairs FIAT Trading Fees Withdrawal fees
Gemini Visit Gemini 2015 50+ 50+ 30+ 0.50% per trade plus a fixed fee for trades under $200 or 1.49% for trades over $200, 3.49% debit or credit card purchase Cryptocurrency: Up to 0.002 BTC & 0.001 ETH Other: None
Coinbase Visit Coinbase 2012 100+ 328 129 up to 3% 3.99%

Gemini and Coinbase have garnered plenty of credibility since their launch, both establishing platforms that are known for being safe and secure.

It’s no coincidence that these exchanges are well-known in the mainstream world as the place to go when you need to buy crypto.

But how do these exchanges compare with one another?

Which one is safer?

Which one is cheaper?

Which one is the best one for you?

Read on to get a detailed, in-depth look at what Gemini and Coinbase have to offer.

Pros and cons

Let’s take a glance at some of the pros and cons of both Gemini and Coinbase cryptocurrency exchanges.

Gemini pros and cons

Pros

  • Strong security features
  • Easy signup process
  • Great for traders of any level
  • Fully licensed
  • Offers multicurrency wallet

Cons

  • Only supports a limited number of digital currencies
  • Charges both convenience and transaction fees
  • Few education resources for traders

Coinbase pros and cons

Pros

  • Access to the most popular cryptocurrencies on the market
  • Easy to sign up and use
  • Plenty of educational opportunities
  • Great for new traders
  • Low minimum required to open account

Cons

  • Higher fees than most other platforms
  • Doesn’t support lesser-known altcoins
  • Payment methods are limited

History

Gemini

Gemini

Gemini has been in New York City since its launch in 2015.

Well known Winklevoss twins Tyler and Cameron, started the platform with the settlement money they won from their lawsuit with Mark Zuckerberg.

They began investing in Bitcoin and other popular cryptos and decided to bring the same opportunity to others.

For those of us who aren’t as clever as Cameron and Tyler, the name Gemini is a clever play on words since it’s the zodiac sign associated with twins.

The platform is known for having security features that focus on protecting user funds, so you know your digital assets are safe in your online wallet.

Coinbase

On the other side of the USA sits Coinbase, located in San Francisco, California.

Established in 2012, the exchange has grown and expanded throughout the last decade as interest in Bitcoin and other altcoins continues to gain traction.

Coinbase has increased the number of crypto assets it supports and the number of members in its core team as a true sign of growth.

Coinbase is a worldwide exchange, even though it is located in the US and abides by its governing agencies.

This is easily observed since it was the first cryptocurrency exchange to agree to the regulations set forth by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Submitting to the SEC hasn’t impacted the exchange’s growth. From 2015 to today, the platform continues to show significant growth, as has the amount of trades performed on a daily basis.

With more than 35 million users from around the world and over $220 billion in trading volume since it launched, it’s easy to see why Coinbase is one of the most popular exchange platforms on the planet.

Wallet
Coinbase

One of the most popular sites to get started with crypto is Coinbase. This well-known wallet not only lets you buy, sell, and trade coins but also lets you earn more through short videos and courses. It’s a solid option for anyone new to the world of cryptocurrencies.

Learn about cryptocurrencies and more by visiting Coinbase today.

4.7/5
Visit Coinbase

Credibility

What makes these exchanges worth using? How do we know they’re reliable and valid?

Is Gemini safe to use?

When it comes to cryptocurrency platforms and exchanges, Gemini is regarded as one of the most reliable and trustworthy in the industry.

This is largely due to exchange being regulated by the NYDFS (New York State Department of Financial Services.)

As a result, Gemini has earned that much more credibility as they relate to both institutional and retail investors.

Additionally, the Winklevoss twins recently announced the launch of Nakamoto, Ltd, which will provide Gemini with the highest level of insurance provided in the crypto industry.

If that doesn’t give the exchange credibility, I don’t know what will.

Is Coinbase safe to use?

The platform gave itself a significant credibility boost when it announced its plans to go public.

Coinbase will offer shares on Nasdaq under the symbol COIN.

With over 43 million investors from more than 100 countries, it’s hard to not to take the platform seriously.

After years of scrutiny and skepticism, Coinbase is finally gaining legitimacy as Bitcoin continues to gain traction in the mainstream trading community.

As interest in cryptocurrencies grows, so too does the credibility of well-known platforms like Coinbase.

Security

Crypto Security

I don’t know about you, but no matter where I keep my money, I want to know that it’s secure.

Fortunately, both Gemini and Coinbase are at the top of their game when it comes to providing security for their respective platforms.

Gemini security features

Gemini takes security seriously.

It believes that protecting customer assets is of the utmost importance and prioritizes its platform.

You’ll notice a security-first mentality throughout the platform, which can be the deciding factor for many investors when choosing a cryptocurrency exchange.

Gemini looks to security any time it develops new features or builds new products for its platform.

This is clearly seen in any protocols or underpinned technologies that the exchange uses.

Plus, most assets are kept in an offline storage system for safekeeping. Only a small amount is held in Gemini’s online wallet.

Gemini also uses strong governance and internal controls to provide additional security. Account and system access is granted based on an employee’s role, so a Gemini worker doesn’t have access by default.

The platform uses the principle of least privilege, which means only the number of employees necessary to complete a task have the necessary privileges.

One other item worth noting is that the platform regularly submits itself to external evaluations and audits to ensure that it’s performing as well as possible.

These audits and other security features are what make Gemini one of the best security exchanges on the market.

Additional features that make the exchange so secure include KYC/AML requirements, 2FA (Two-Factor Authentication), whitelisting addresses, top-grade information encryption, and rate-limiting, which prevents brute force hacks.

Coinbase security features

When it comes to security for its account holders, Coinbase uses multiple processes and methods. The platform stresses that it can only be as secure as a user allows them to be.

That’s why Coinbases suggests strong passwords and authentication methods like 2FA for all users.

In addition to 2FA, Coinbase uses biometric fingerprint logins, along with insurance to protect your assets if the platform suffers a breach.

However, keep in mind that the insurance won’t apply if your account is compromised due to lax security measures on your part.

Since cryptocurrencies aren’t yet viewed as legal tender, it’s not backed by the FDIC or SIPC. That’s why Coinbase provides insurance on its custodial accounts.

Additionally, the site keeps most of the crypto in cold storage, so if a breach does occur, hackers don’t have access to the funds.

Coinbase vs. Gemini: Fees

Fees

Fees can make or break a platform. Charge too much, and users will leave. Charge too little, and the exchange loses money.

Let’s take a look at how these platforms find the right balance with the fees they charge.

Coinbase fee structure

One of the things about Coinbase fees is that they can be sneaky. With a challenging fee schedule, it can be tough to know exactly how much you’re going to pay for a transaction.

That’s not to say it’s impossible, so let’s get into the details.

The first thing to know is that no matter what, when you buy crypto on Coinbase, you’ll pay the market price, along with a transaction fee of 0.5%, so long as it’s under $200.

With most transactions on the platform, you’re going to pay a fee of around 1.49%. But if you decide to use your credit card to buy Bitcoin, the platform charges a 3.99% fee.

Unfortunately, fees are a major sticking point for more experienced users who buy, sell, or trade on Coinbase. As you can see, it’s tough to get a solid idea of what to expect.

If you’re interested in sorting it out for yourself, you can see the full coinbase fee schedule here.

Even though Coinbase fees are more than other platforms in the market, they aren’t taking advantage of its users. The higher rates are used to make cryptocurrency trading as simple and easy as possible for users.

You won’t find a lot of technical jargon or complex tools on Coinbase. Additionally, you can trade freely with other Coinbase accounts, so there are a few benefits to use the exchange.

Gemini fee structure

All orders on the Gemini platform are subject to either a convenience or transaction fee, depending on the type of transaction.

Convenience fees on the platform are 0.5%, however, the transaction fee will depend on the amount of the transaction.

As you would expect, the more you move, the larger cost, but the smaller the fee. For example, if you move more than $200, you’re going to pay a 1.49% fee.

Another option more experienced traders might consider is Gemini’s ActiveTrader platform.

These fees are calculated based on your previous 30-day trading volume. An automated tracker monitors your trading volume and charges you the appropriate fees whenever you perform a transaction.

What does that mean?

It means the more trading you do, the better your rates.

So, if you do a lot of trading, Gemini’s ActiveTrader option is a secure and trustworthy option.

Of course, if you’re not as experienced or looking for a way to get into trading, you’ll pay more in fees until you’re able to ramp up. Like it or not, Gemini rewards those with more experience with its ActiveTrader platform.

What is special about Coinbase?

Here are some of the unique features you can expect to see when using the Coinbase platform.

User-friendly

Coinbase is well-known as one of the easiest platforms to navigate. This easy-to-use exchange offers excellent tools and applications for those just getting started in the world of digital assets.

Its simple and clean user interface makes the site perfect for anyone, no matter what their experience.

Trusted Cryptocurrencies

Since the exchange is often used as a way for beginners to get started in the market, Coinbase does everything it can to provide a sense of trust and security.

That means only using trusted cryptocurrencies, which is why you won’t see a long list of coins available on the exchange.

Asset exchange

If you need to send funds through Bitcoin but want to use a fiat currency like USD, Coinbase offers an “Instant Exchange” option.

Instead of using fiat to purchase BTC and then sending it off, you can use your fiat to send you Bitcoin in a single quick transaction.

Pay with your preferred fiat and the exchange will convert it to the cryptocurrency for you.

What is special about Gemini?

Exchange At Glance
Gemini

Gemini is a regulated cryptocurrency exchange, wallet, and custodian that makes it simple and secure to buy bitcoin, ether, and other cryptocurrencies.

3.9/5
Visit Exchange

Even though Gemini doesn’t offer as many cryptocurrencies as other exchanges, it still offers plenty of features. Here are a few you’ll enjoy almost as soon as you sign up.

Amazing interface

Gemini offers a platform that is both functional and beautiful. Some might find the big buttons and obvious text obnoxious, but I like the way it makes using the exchange nice and simple.

If the only thing you need to do is buy digital coins without trouble, then it’s harder to get much easier than this.

Mobile application

With the platform’s mobile application, you can make buy, sell, and trade your favorite crypto on the go.

So long as you don’t need to make complicated or complex trades, the mobile app will work just fine when you’re away from your laptop.

You can buy cryptocurrencies with the press of a button no matter where you are.

Easy payments

When Gemini partnered with crypto payment company Flexa, users immediately gained the ability to pay large retailers with their digital assets.

Now, you can use your BTC at Whole Foods, Home Depot, GameStop, and even Nordstrom, which is a huge step in the right direction toward crypto adoption.

Excellent customer service

You’ll get excellent customer support anytime you need it when using Gemini. The exchange is chock full of great tidbits that help you find the answer to your questions or problems.

Plus, if you need help from a person, you can use the trading platform’s ticketing system, which usually replies within 24-hours.

Supported Cryptocurrencies

Coinbase available Cryptos

Something worth noting about Coinbase is that not all digital assets receive the same support. The crypto you’re using may have buying, selling, and trading limitations.

With that in mind, here are some of the coins the platform supports:

If you want to check out the full list of cryptocurrencies Coinbase supports, you can see them here.

Gemini available Cryptos

Gemini Exchange

While you won’t have access to all cryptocurrencies on the market, Gemini does its best to support the most popular ones.

Here’s a list of the coins you can buy, sell, and trade on the exchange:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Zcash (ZEC)
  • Dai (DAI)
  • Basic Attention Token (BAT)
  • Cardano (ADA)
  • Polkadot (DOT)
  • Compound (COMP)

Many other coins are available on the platform, supported by Gemini’s ActiveTrader, mobile, and website applications. For a complete list, click here.

Deposit methods

How to deposit money on Gemini

If you want to use Gemini to buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrencies, there are several ways to fund your account.

Debit cards

Once your account is verified with the exchange, you can use your debit card to add funds.

If you don’t like using fiat currencies and don’t have cryptocurrencies, you can use your Visa or Mastercard debit card.

Keep in mind that you can’t use credit cards or prepaid cards with the platform.

Cryptocurrencies

If you already have digital coins, you can use them to fund your account.

The exchange accepts plenty of cryptocurrencies, including BCH, ETH, BTC, BAT, LTC, and ZEC.

You’ll need an external crypto wallet to start the transfer of funds to your unique Gemini wallet.

Fiat currency

You need to connect your bank account to the exchange if you want to use fiat currency to fund your account.

You can use wire transfer, direct deposit, and ACH bank transfer to add funds.

If you live outside of the US, don’t worry. With an international transfer from your country, the platform will automatically convert your local fiat to US dollar to fund your Gemini account.

How to deposit money on Coinbase

There are only a few ways to deposit funds into your Coinbase account, but the exchange does try to make it as easy and convenient as possible.

Debit cards

Like Gemini, Coinbase accepts Visa and Mastercard debit cards.

However, the exchange will not accept prepaid debit cards or any other type of card that does not have a billing address.

Wire and bank transfers

Any user on the exchange can use wire and bank transfers to fund their account.

Usually, these deposits will navigate through the ACH system of your bank.

You can expect it to take 3-5 business days to hit your account.

PayPal

Last on the list is PayPal, which is a deposit method not supported by many cryptocurrency exchanges.

Even with Coinbase, it’s not supported for all countries. Still, if you live in a supported country and want to use PayPal to fund your account, you can do so.

Supported countries

Supported Countries

Gemini supported countries

You can access Gemini from a wide range of countries spread across six different continents.

Here are some of the more well-known countries the exchange supports:

  • United States
  • Canada
  • Brazil
  • Austria
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom
  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore
  • Australia
  • South Africa

For a full list, you can visit the platform’s website here.

Coinbase supported countries

You can access Coinbase from over 100 countries around the globe.

Here’s a list of just a few of the countries supported:

  • United States
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Singapore
  • Romania
  • New Zealand
  • Monaco
  • Chile

Of course, this is not a complete list. To find out whether or not the exchange supports your country, visit the site here.

Which exchange is better for beginners?

While Gemini is an excellent exchange in its own right, I have to go with Coinbase as a better platform for those new to crypto.

It greatly reduces barriers to entry into the market.

New users will discover that the platform is beginner-friendly and easy to understand. Sure, trading fees on the exchange are more than you’ll likely find elsewhere, but in my opinion, the tradeoff is worth it.

Not only does Coinbase make it easy to fund your account, but it goes about teaching users about blockchain technology through educational lessons.

Through these lessons, users can also earn cryptocurrency, which they can then hold on to or trade.

This isn’t to say that Gemini a good exchange, but from my vantage point, Coinbase is one of the best in the industry for beginners.

Avatar of andrejilisin
author Andrej Ilisin

A serial entrepreneur working primarily with digital assets. He's the CEO of Sharp Capital, a company that focuses on growing online businesses. Andrej is also huge crypto, chess, and CrossFit enthusiast.