Kraken vs Gemini

Kraken vs Gemini

Daniel Chan

September 22, 2021

Cryptocurrency

Gemini and Kraken are both popular cryptocurrency exchanges based in the USA. Gemini was founded in 2014 by the Winklevoss twins, with a security-first philosophy. They have created an exchange that is the most compliant and regulated in the world, complete with FDIC protection for USD. Kraken has been around since 2011 and is one of the largest exchanges in the world, with additional features such as margin trading, staking and futures contracts. How do you choose between these two American crypto exchanges? We'll have a look at the differences between the two and you can decide for yourself, based on your personal needs. I suggest Kraken over Gemini, for its lower fees, extra features, Live Chat support, and access to some popular top 10 coins that aren't available on Gemini.

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Fiat Currencies

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

USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CAD, CHF, AUD

Number of Coins

50+

50+

Buy/Sell Fees

0.25% / 0.35%

0.16% / 0.26%

Deposit Methods

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Bank Transfer (SEPA)

Bank Transfer (ACH)

Fedwire

PayPal

Credit Card

(not available in USA)

Debit Card

(not available in USA)

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, GBP, JPY, CAD, CHF, AUD

Number of Coins

50+

50+

Buy/Sell Fees

0.25% / 0.35%

0.16% / 0.26%

Deposit Methods

Cell
Cell

Bank Transfer (SEPA)

Bank Transfer (ACH)

Fedwire

PayPal

Credit Card

(not available in USA)

Debit Card

(not available in USA)

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
  • Over 50+ cryptocurrencies available
  • Insurance cover against theft of cryptocurrencies
Cons
  • Some big cryptocurrencies (ADA, XRP, DOT) not available
  • Higher trading fees compared to Kraken
  • Poor customer service - no live chat support
Pros
  • Well-established, trusted and secure crypto exchange since 2011
  • Easy-to-use interface perfect for beginners
  • Advanced features not found on other user-friendly platforms, eg: futures trading, margin trading, forex trading, OTC desk
  • Over 50+ cryptocurrencies and 7 fiat currencies supported
  • Live Chat support with a real person 24/7
Cons
  • No credit and debit card deposits in USA, while Gemini accepts debit card deposits

Gemini vs Kraken Fees

First, let's compare the different fees that Gemini and Kraken charge, to see which exchange is better value.

Deposit Fees

When you deposit fiat currency into Gemini, there may be a fee depending on which method you use. Bank transfers (ACH) are free and wire transfers do not incur a fee from Gemini, but your bank may charge you. Depositing by debit card into your Gemini account will incur a 3.49% fee.

When you deposit fiat currency into your Kraken account, there may be a fee based on the currency and deposit method you select. To give an  example, depositing USD using FedWire (MVB Bank) is free, but depositing USD with FedWire (Synapse) costs $5. Click here to find out what your deposit fees will be.

Trading Fees

On Gemini, you can buy and sell crypto directly from the exchange, or trade on the market. The simple method is to buy instantly from Gemini, and the fee they charge is a 0.5% 'convenience fee' plus a 'transaction fee' which varies based on your order amount and your fiat currency. I have included a table of transaction fees for USD. If you are purchasing crypto using other fiat currencies, check the fees here. To buy over $200 USD worth of cryptocurrency, the fee is 1.99% (0.5% convenience fee + 1.49% transaction fee).

For lower fees on Gemini, you can trade in the market, where the Maker fee starts at 0.25% and Taker fee starts at 0.35%. You can reduce these fees if you are trading large volumes over a 30-day rolling period as shown in this table.

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%

On Kraken, you can also choose to buy and sell crypto directly from the exchange or trade on the market. To buy instantly, Kraken charges a fee of 1.5%.

If you are trading on Kraken's market, the fees start at 0.16% for Makers and 0.26% for Takers. You can reduce your trade fee if you are a frequent trader, based on a tiered structure shown here. The reduction in fee is a lot easier to achieve on Kraken than on Gemini. With Kraken, once you trade $50 000 in a 30-day period, your maker and taker fees are reduced, whereas on Gemini, you need to trade $500 000 (ten times the amount!) before you reduce your fees, which are barely below Kraken's initial fee rate.


Withdrawal Fees

Gemini does not charge for fiat withdrawals from your account.

Gemini also gives their users ten free cryptocurrency withdrawals per month! There is no such thing as free crypto transfers, because there are transaction costs, but Gemini pays this for their customers for the first ten withdrawals each month. After your first ten withdrawals, the flat fee charged is based on the individual coin. Click here to find the withdrawal fees for the coins you want to buy.

Kraken may charge a fee when you withdraw fiat currency, based on the currency and method of withdrawal. To see a full list of withdrawal fees, click here.

Kraken's crypto withdrawals incur a flat fee to cover the transaction costs, varying based on the coin you want to withdraw. You can check all the coins and their respective withdrawal fees here.

Winner - Kraken

Kraken wins the fee comparison. Although Gemini offer ten free crypto withdrawals per month, their transaction and trading fees are higher than Kraken. To purchase crypto directly, Kraken's fees are only 1.5% compared to Gemini's 1.99%, and on the market, Kraken charges 0.16%/0.26% fee, compared to Gemini's 0.25%/0.35%.

Gemini vs Kraken Deposit Methods

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

Kraken accepts a wider range of deposit methods: Bank transfer (ACH), Fedwire, SWIFT, Wire transfer, Apple Pay, Google Pay, SEPA, Debit/Credit card (excludes some countries, such as USA), Bank transfer (OSKO), PayID, FPS/BACS, CHAPS, SIC and Cryptocurrency.

Winner - Kraken

Kraken easily wins this, with significantly more options for users all around the world. The downside is that Kraken doesn't accept debit and credit cards in the USA. If you are a US resident and you want to use debit card, you can do so on Gemini.

Gemini vs Kraken Features 

An important factor to consider when choosing a cryptocurrency exchange is the range of features it offers. Gemini and Kraken are both bursting with features, but I won't discuss them all at length here. I will highlight a few that set them apart, but if you want to learn about everything these exchanges offer, you can have a read of my Gemini review (here) and Kraken 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. There are no fees involved, transactions are private and it is simple to use. Gemini Pay is accessible from within the Gemini mobile app, and you just need to scan your phone with the barcode reader to make the purchase.

Gemini offers an excellent and secure method called Gemini Custody to store your crypto if you are a long-term HODLer. It 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 can rest assured your funds are safe, knowing that even a cybersecurity breach will not affect you, as there is insurance cover. Gemini Custody is free to set up, with no minimum limits, and flexible pricing based on your custody requirements. Gemini will work with you to create a custom-made price plan to suit your needs.

If you have been around crypto for a while, you have probably heard of staking. Kraken offers staking, so you can earn interest on your cryptocurrency while you invest. You can even stake fiat currencies (USD and EUR) which is not supported on most other exchanges. Rewards are paid twice a week, and you can compound your future rewards to grow your investment even more. You can stake these assets on Kraken right now.

Kraken also has forex trading for crypto traders who are looking for other assets to trade. Although Kraken is not a fully-fledged forex platform, it is not a bad place to start for those that want to dip their toes into a new market. You can access low trading fees, a professional trading interface, and industry-low minimum orders of 10 units of base currency. Currently you can trade any of these 9 trade pairs. 

Kraken has an excellent customer support team, that I cannot find in most large cryptocurrency exchanges. Usually the only assistance you receive is a bot providing automatic answers and sometimes a ticketed support option. Kraken stands out with its 24/7 Live Chat, as well as phone and email ticket requests.

Winner - Kraken

Kraken wins because it is such a feature-packed exchange. Kraken offers staking, forex trading, margin trading, OTC desk and more that are not covered here. Their 24/7 Live Chat support is also another excellent function that Gemini does not have.

Gemini vs Kraken Security

Gemini's security-first philosophy makes it an extremely safe cryptocurrency exchange. They operate on three principles: defending against external threats, protecting against human error and guarding against misuse of insider access. To fully appreciate the depth of security measures Gemini employs to protect users, read here. Gemini maintains the highest standards of operational compliance, having completed SOC 1 Type 1 & Type 2, and SOC 2 Type 1 & Type 2 examinations, as well as receiving the ISO 27001 certification. Gemini is the world’s first cryptocurrency custodian and exchange to demonstrate this standard of financial operations and security compliance. Gemini also has insurance cover to protect users in case of any theft or cybersecurity breaches.

Kraken is also a crypto exchange with robust security measures to safeguard users' funds and personal information. They store 95% of their digital assets offline in air-gapped geographically distributed cold storage, and their servers are secured in cages with 24/7 armed surveillance. Kraken is a longstanding exchange that offers financial stability, with full reserves, healthy banking relationships and the highest standards of legal compliance, with regulation by FinCEN.

Winner - Gemini

Gemini and Kraken are both highly secure crypto exchanges, but Gemini has built its platform from the ground up with security in mind, and this makes it the winner here. They have the highest levels of compliance and security, and insurance cover just in case the unfortunate occurs.

Verdict - Kraken

As two of the most popular exchanges in the USA, you would expect the comparison between Gemini and Kraken to be close. So who wins out of the two, and why? 

Kraken is the clear winner for me. Kraken has more deposit options, lower trading and transaction fees, and more features including Live Chat support. That's not to say Gemini is bad; Gemini has positives such as industry-leading compliance and security, insurance cover, ten free crypto withdrawals each month and the ability to deposit with debit card in the US. 

A disadvantage common to both of these exchanges, is that they only support 50+ cryptocurrencies. If you only want to stick to the popular coins, this may not be an issue, but note that even some of the top ten coins by market cap aren't available on Gemini. For example, Cardano (ADA), Ripple (XRP) and Polkadot (DOT) are not available on Gemini, but you can find them all on Kraken. If you are after a wider selection of coins, Coinbase offers over 70+ cryptocurrencies, and KuCoin has an impressive 250+ coin selection.

Overall Winner - Kraken

Kraken wins overall, with lower fees, more deposit options and excellent features, including 24/7 Live Chat support.

Still Researching?

If you want to know more about these two exchanges before making a decision, you will find these articles useful: Gemini review & Kraken review. If you live in the USA, I would also recommend reading this article about the best crypto exchanges in the US. Here is a comparison table with some key information.

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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