Gemini vs. Coinbase – Forbes Advisor

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Gemini and Coinbase are two of the top crypto exchanges available on the market today.

Launched in 2012, Coinbase is available in more than 100 countries. The crypto exchange also offers a subscription service with more advanced trading tools called Coinbase Pro.

Competitor Gemini was founded by the Winklevoss twins in 2015. It supports more than 120 cryptocurrencies and provides a user-friendly experience.

Let’s take an in-depth look at the similarities and major differences between these two leading exchanges to help you decide which one is right for you.

Gemini vs. Coinbase: Similarities

Gemini and Coinbase offer a simplified user experience for beginners, an advanced trading platform for more serious investors and above-average crypto trading fees.

The two exchanges each support an extensive roster of cryptocurrencies for trading, plus a wide range of other services, such as crypto wallets and yield-generating products.

Staking is available on Coinbase for a handful of cryptos, notably Cardano (ADA) and Ethereum (ETH).

Until recently, Gemini only provided the chance to generate income from crypto through its Gemini Earn program. In August 2022, it announced plans to launch Gemini Staking for customers in the U.S. (excluding New York), Singapore and Hong Kong. Users will be able to stake ETH, Solana (SOL), Polkadot (DOT) and Audius (AUDIO).

Above-average fees are a drawback shared by Gemini and Coinbase, especially on their entry-level trading platforms.

Rates vary on Coinbase’s basic platform, typically around 0.5%. Coinbase Pro users who trade less than $10,000 in a 30-day period pay taker and maker fees of 0.6% and 0.4%, respectively.

Gemini’s basic platform users pay a myriad of fees. There is a 3.49% fee for purchases made using a credit or debit card, and other charges may apply. The platform charges a flat 0.5% “convenience fee” for mobile or web users.

Under a tiered fee system, web-based users pay a flat fee for trades up to $200. For trades more than $200, the fee is 1.49% of the web order.

Those looking for reduced fees on the Gemini platform might upgrade to its Gemini ActiveTrader platform—which uses a maker/taker fee schedule.

Binance.US or KuCoin might also be worth exploring if you’re looking for a lower-cost alternative.

Gemini vs. Coinbase: Differences

Here are the key differences between Gemini and Coinbase.

Available Cryptocurrencies

Coinbase supports more cryptocurrencies than Gemini: 150+ versus 120+, respectively.

Gemini accepts more fiat currencies than Coinbase. Gemini takes U.S. dollars (USD), Australian dollars (AUD), Canadian dollars (CAD), British pounds (GBP) and euros (EUR), among others. Coinbase only accepts USD, GBP and EUR.

Customer Service

Coinbase provides a more comprehensive customer service experience than Gemini, including phone, email and live chat support. With Gemini, you can only ask customer support questions via email.

Security and Hacks

If you’re worried about security, Gemini holds the advantage. It’s never been hacked, and it offers top-notch cybersecurity. The platform also provides insurance in case your digital assets are stolen.

Coinbase has suffered several major hacks. Between March and May 2021, hackers stole from the accounts of at least 6,000 Coinbase customers.

Educational Rewards

Both companies provide free educational materials like articles and videos if you’re trying to learn more about cryptocurrency. With Coinbase’s educational resources, you can earn free cryptocurrency rewards by working through educational quizzes.

Additional Services

Coinbase allows NFT trading, while Gemini does not. Gemini provides more tools for advanced investors, like incorporating its advanced trading platform in your own API.

Who Should Pick Gemini?

At Gemini, beginners will find it simple to get started on this easy-to-use platform. More advanced users should opt for Gemini’s ActiveTrader platform for its tools and research. The platform also boasts excellent cybersecurity.

Gemini is regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services, which means it must meet capital reserve requirements, cybersecurity requirements and banking compliance standards.

Frequent traders will find that Gemini charges higher transaction fees than other popular crypto exchanges. If you want to withdraw your crypto, you’ll be charged a fee—Gemini stopped offering free withdrawals in June 2022. Fees depend on what kind of crypto you withdraw.

Another con: Gemini does not offer phone customer service.

Gemini Pros

  • Variety of tokens and yield-earning products
  • Availability throughout the U.S.
  • Excellent security

Gemini Cons

  • Higher fees
  • Withdrawal fees
  • Limited customer support

Who Should Pick Coinbase?

Coinbase makes it quick and easy to set up an account, especially through Plaid. From there, you can easily navigate through platform features using their search bar, which makes it easy for beginners to set up their first cryptocurrency transactions.

Coinbase is one of the more comprehensive crypto trading platforms, offering more than 150 tokens, crypto wallets, crypto staking and NFT trading.

Coinbase provides customer service by phone, email and live chat. They also provide a comprehensive library of educational materials, where users can earn rewards by completing their crypto training courses.

On the regular exchange, Coinbase sets its fees at the time of the transaction, making it hard to predict what you’ll pay ahead of time. You need to prepare the order before seeing the fees you’ll be charged.

Coinbase’s fees can be on the high side, even the reduced rates on Coinbase Pro.

Coinbase Pros

  • Seamless user experience
  • Wide variety of tokens and services
  • Solid customer support and educational materials

Coinbase Cons

  • Complicated trading fees
  • Higher trading fees
  • Recently hit by a hack