Gemini vs Coinbase

Gemini vs Coinbase

Daniel Chan

September 23, 2021

Cryptocurrency

Gemini and Coinbase are two very popular US based cryptocurrency exchanges. Gemini is an extremely security-focused exchange that is the most compliant and regulated in the world, including FDIC protection for USD. Coinbase is the largest American crypto exchange, and been around since 2012, making it one of the oldest exchanges in operation. Which one is the better exchange of the two, and which should you go with? In this comparison article we will take a look at various aspects where Gemini and Coinbase differ and you can work out which is best for your needs. It is a close call, but I think Gemini just edges out Coinbase, with lower fees and a more compliant and regulated platform.

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Fiat Currencies

USD, AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, SGD, HKD

USD, EUR, AUD, GBP, CAD, MXN, HRK, CZK & 10+ more

Number of Coins

50+

70+

Buy/Sell Fees

0.25% / 0.35%

Varies

Deposit Methods

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Bank Transfer (SEPA)

Bank Transfer (ACH)

Fedwire

PayPal

Credit Card

Debit Card

Apple Pay

SWIFT

Skrill

SOFORT/iDEAL

Cryptocurrency

Features

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User-friendly

Mobile app

Live Chat

Security

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2FA

Biometric security

ISO 27001 certified

Offline cold storage

Website

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Fiat Currencies

USD, AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, SGD, HKD

USD, EUR, AUD, GBP, CAD, MXN, HRK, CZK & 10+ more

Number of Coins

50+

70+

Buy/Sell Fees

0.25% / 0.35%

Varies

Deposit Methods

Cell
Cell

Bank Transfer (SEPA)

Bank Transfer (ACH)

Fedwire

PayPal

Credit Card

Debit Card

Apple Pay

SWIFT

Skrill

SOFORT/iDEAL

Cryptocurrency

Features

Cell
Cell

User-friendly

Mobile app

Live Chat

Security

Cell
Cell

2FA

Biometric security

ISO 27001 certified

Offline cold storage

Website

Pros
  • Extremely secure and compliant crypto exchange
  • Free fiat withdrawals and ten free crypto withdrawals per month
  • Mobile app available for iOS and Android
  • Lower fees than Coinbase
  • Insurance cover against theft of cryptocurrencies
Cons
  • Some big cryptocurrencies (ADA, SOL, DOT) not available
  • Fewer cryptocurrencies supported compared to Coinbase
  • Poor customer service - no live chat support
Pros
  • Coinbase privately insures their own platform so your funds are safe in the event there is a hack
  • Simple and user-friendly interface
  • Only takes a few minutes to register and start trading
  • Over 70+ cryptocurrencies available
  • Extremely secure and trusted platform
Cons
  • Complicated fee structure that is higher than Gemini
  • Customer service lacks live chat support - email assistance only

Gemini vs Coinbase Fees

Let's begin by looking at the various fees charged by Gemini and Coinbase, to see which is better bang for your buck.

Deposit Fees

When depositing fiat currency into Gemini, you can use bank transfer (ACH), wire transfer, or debit card deposit. These are the fees for each payment method:

  • Bank transfers (ACH): free
  • Wire transfer: free (your bank may charge a fee)
  • Debit card: 3.49%  

When you buy crypto on Coinbase, you either pay at the time of purchase, or you can pre-fund your account by depositing fiat currency first. These are the two methods and fees for US residents:

  • Bank transfer (ACH): free
  • Wire transfer: $10

Trading Fees

With Gemini, you can either buy and sell crypto straight from the exchange, or trade on the market. For newbies, the easiest way is to buy straight from Gemini, and they charge a 'convenience fee' of 0.5% as well as a 'transaction fee' that varies based on the size of your order and which fiat currency you use. These are the transaction fees for USD, but if you wish to use a different currency, click here to see the appropriate fees. If you purchase over $200 USD worth of cryptocurrency, the fee will be 1.99% (0.5% convenience fee + 1.49% transaction fee).

By trading on Gemini's market, you access lower fees when buying and selling crypto. Instead of 1.99%, you pay only 0.25% maker fee and 0.35% taker fee. If you are a high-volume trader, your fees can be discounted based on your trading volume over the previous 30-day period. See the table below for the entire tiered pricing structure.

30-day Trading Volume (USD)

Maker Fee

Taker Fee

$0 - $500 000

0.25%

0.35%

> $500 000

0.15%

0.25%

> $2 500 000

0.15%

0.25%

> $5 000 000

0.10%

0.15%

> $10 000 000

0.10%

0.15%

> $15 000 000

0.00%

0.10%

> $50 000 000

0.00%

0.075%

> $100 000 000

0.00%

0.05%

> $250 000 000

0.00%

0.04%

> $500 000 000

0.00%

0.03%

Coinbase has a similar fee structure to Gemini, when buying and selling crypto directly from the exchange. There is a spread fee of 0.5% plus a 'Coinbase fee' which is the larger of the 'flat fee' or the 'variable fee', shown below.  

Flat fee

Transaction value

Fee

$10 or less

$0.99

$10 to $25

$1.49

$25 to $50

$1.99

$50 to $200

$2.99

Variable fee

Payment Method/Payout Method

Effective Rate of Conversion Fee

US Bank Account

1.49%

Coinbase USD Wallet

1.49%

Debit Card or PayPal

3.99%

Instant Card Withdrawal

up to 1.5% of any transaction and a minimum fee of $0.55

Withdrawal Fees

Gemini does not charge any fees for fiat withdrawals from the exchange.

Gemini also offers ten free cryptocurrency withdrawals per month! Cryptocurrency withdrawals always incur a transaction cost, but Gemini pays this on behalf of their customers for the first ten transfers each month. After your first ten withdrawals, there will be a flat fee charged which varies based on the coin. Click here to determine the withdrawal fees for all cryptocurrencies found on Gemini.

Coinbase's fiat withdrawal fees vary based on your payment method and geographical location. These are the most popular payment methods along with their corresponding fees.

Bank Transfers (SEPA): €0.15
US Wire Transfer: $25

Note: Coinbase does NOT support fiat withdrawals in Singapore and Australia, due to reasons explained here.

When withdrawing crypto from Coinbase, you are charged a fee based on the estimated standard network fee for the coin you are withdrawing. It is not a static fee, but it changes based on how busy the network is for the selected coin.

Winner - Gemini

Gemini wins the fee comparison with lower trading fees using the market, free fiat withdrawals, and ten free crypto withdrawals per month.

Gemini vs Coinbase Deposit Methods

Gemini is fairly limited in its deposit options. It only accepts Bank transfer (ACH), Debit card, Wire Transfer and Cryptocurrency.

Coinbase on the other hand supports a large number of deposit methods: Bank transfer (ACH), Credit card, Debit card, Bank transfer (SEPA), PayPal, Apple Pay, Fedwire, SWIFT, SOFORT/iDEAL, Cryptocurrency.

Winner - Coinbase

Coinbase wins this section with a clear margin, with many payment options that aren't available on Gemini.

Gemini vs Coinbase Features 

Besides the fees, another major factor to consider when looking for a crypto exchange is what features are on offer. Gemini and Coinbase both have plenty of features on their platforms, but I won't mention them all in detail in this article. I will select some features that I think make them unique, and if you are interested in reading about their full range of features, check out my Gemini review (here) and Coinbase review (here).

Gemini has a feature called Gemini Pay, where you can spend your crypto directly at over 30 000 retail locations across the USA using the Gemini App on your mobile. The transactions are private, no fees are charged, and it is simple to use - all you need to do is scan your phone with the barcode reader to make the purchase.

Gemini offers an extremely secure crypto storage method called Gemini Custody to protect your crypto if you are a long-term crypto investor. Gemini Custody is custom-built by technical experts in cryptography, finance and security, regulated as a New York State Trust Company and has $200 million in insurance coverage - the largest limit of any crypto custodian in the world. You will have peace of mind that your digital assets are safe, with the knowledge that even a cybersecurity breach will not harm you, since there is insurance cover. It is free to set up Gemini Custody, with no minimum account limits, and flexible pricing based on your personal custody needs. Gemini will work closely with you to create a custom-made price plan.

Coinbase has a feature called Coinbase Earn, where you get paid free crypto to watch short educational videos about crypto. The videos are only 3 minutes long, and after each video you receive rewards. A current offer is for Compound coin: watch three videos and receive $9 of COMP crypto.

Coinbase has created a Wallet app that you can download on iOS or Android devices. Google Play store shows over 1 million downloads with a 4.3-star rating from 24K reviews. With the Coinbase Wallet, you can do more than just store crypto safely. You will gain access to a wide range of decentralised innovation; you can participate in airdrops and ICOs, collect NFTs, browse decentralised apps (DApps), and send crypto to anyone around the world.

Winner - Gemini

Gemini and Coinbase both have lots of features, but Gemini Pay, Gemini Custody, Gemini Dollar and Gemini Earn are all great features that set it apart from Coinbase.

Gemini vs Coinbase Security

Gemini is an exchange that is built with a security-first philosophy making it extremely safe for users. Gemini operates on three principles: defending against external threats, protecting against human error and guarding against misuse of insider access. To understand the extent of security measures Gemini employs to protect users, read about it here. Gemini maintains the highest standards of operational compliance of any crypto custodian or exchange, having completed SOC 1 Type 1 & Type 2, SOC 2 Type 1 & Type 2 examinations, and awarded ISO 27001 certification. Gemini even has insurance cover to protect users in case there are any hacks.

Coinbase is also a crypto exchange with multi-layered security such as 2FA (2-factor authentication), biometric logins (fingerprint and face ID), and data encryption, with USB drives and paper backups stored in safes and vaults distributed geographically around the world. All Coinbase employees have to pass a criminal background check, and they all use encrypted hard drives. Coinbase stores 98% of digital assets in offline cold storage, with crime insurance cover to protect against losses from theft. For more information about how users are covered by the insurance policy, read here.

Winner - Gemini

Gemini and Coinbase are both crypto exchanges that rank very highly in terms of their security, but

Gemini is the winner of this section. Gemini has always focused on security as their first priority, and they have the highest levels of compliance and security, plus insurance cover in case anything unfortunate happens.

Verdict - Gemini

Gemini and Coinbase are two of the best crypto exchanges in the US, so this was a close comparison, but Gemini wins by a small margin.

Gemini and Coinbase are quite similar in many regards, but Gemini has lower trading fees on the market, free fiat withdrawals and ten free crypto withdrawals each month. This combined with the industry-leading security and compliance is the reason why many crypto traders and investors use Gemini.

A criticism of both Gemini and Coinbase is that their range of coins is not as great as some other exchanges. Gemini has 50+ cryptocurrencies and Coinbase supports 70+. If you're an investor that is only interested in popular coins, you may not find this an issue, but it's worth nothing that even some of the top ten coins by market capitalization are not found on Gemini. For example, Cardano (ADA), Solana (SOL) and Polkadot (DOT) are very popular cryptocurrencies, but they are not supported on Gemini. You can find these on Coinbase instead. If you were interested in an exchange with a lot more coins, have a look at KuCoin, which has a huge 250+ coin selection.

Overall Winner - Gemini

Gemini beats Coinbase with lower trading fees, free fiat withdrawals, ten free crypto withdrawals each month and tighter security and compliance. 

Still Researching?

To find out more in-depth information about Gemini and Coinbase, you can follow these links: Gemini review & Coinbase review. If you are a US resident, you might find this article about the best US crypto exchanges helpful. I've also included a comparison table with some key information below.

Comparison Table of the Best Crypto Exchanges in the USA

eToro
Gemini
Uphold
Crypto.com
Coinbase
Coinmama
Crypto Exchange
Crypto Exchange
eToro
Gemini
Uphold
Crypto.com
Coinbase
Coinmama
Fiat Currencies
Fiat Currencies
USD
USD, AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, SGD, HKD
USD, GBP, EUR, CHF, AUD, JPY & 21 more
USD, AUD, CAD, CHF, EUR, GBP, NZD, SGD, JPY & 10+ more
USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, MXN, HRK, CZK, DKK & 10+ more
USD, EUR, AUD, CAD, GBP, JPY
Cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrencies
BTC, ETH, BCH, XRP, DASH, LTC, ETC, ADA & 20+ more
BTC, ETH, BCH, DOGE, LTC, ZEC, ZRX, MKR, BAT, AAVE & 40+ more
BTC, ETH, ADA, DOGE, COMP, DOT & 50+ more
BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP, CRO, ADA, DOT, SOL, DOGE & 140+ more
BTC, ETH, ADA, DOGE, SOL, DOT & 70+ more
BTC, BCH, ETH, DOGE, ADA, LTC, XRP, XTZ, LINK, UNI
Deposit Methods
Deposit Methods
PayPal, Debit card, Credit card, Wire transfer, Online banking
Bank transfer (ACH), Debit card, Wire Transfer, Cryptocurrency
Bank Transfer (ACH), Bank Transfer (SEPA), Debit/Credit Card, Wire Transfer, Faster Payments Service, SWIFT, Cryptocurrency
Bank Transfer (ACH), BPAY, SEPA, Credit/Debit card, PayPal, TransferWise, Fedwire, SWIFT, Cryptocurrency
Bank transfer (ACH), Credit card, Debit card, Fedwire, PayPal, Apple Pay, Cryptocurrency
Credit card, Debit card, Fedwire, Apple Pay, Google Pay
Trading Fees
Trading Fees
Fees included in the spread
From 0.25% (maker) and 0.35% (taker)
Fees included in the spread
Exchange: from 0.4%, App: Free (included in spread)
0.5% + flat fee ($0.99 - $2.99) OR variable fee (1.49% - 3.99%)
2.86% - 3.90% (depending on loyalty level)

Marketplacefairness.org provides all its content for informational purposes only, and this should not be taken as financial advice to buy, trade or sell cryptocurrency or use any specific exchange. Please do not use this website as investment advice, financial advice or legal advice, and each individual's needs may vary from that of the author. This post includes affiliate links with our partners who may compensate us. 

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