Gemini vs Coinbase | Which is the Best USA Crypto Exchange?

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In this article, we will be comparing the two most famous and regulated crypto exchanges running in the USA. Both Gemini and Coinbase provide you with intuitive platforms to buy, sell, and trade crypto assets. However, let’s try to find out which one of these is better for your trading journey.

Summary (TL;DR) 

  • Both Gemini and Coinbase provide legal crypto trading services in the USA.
  • Gemini offers products such as Gemini ActiveTrader, Gemini Pay, Gemini custody, etc.
  • Coinbase also has a wide range of products such as Coinbase Prime, Coinbase Pro, Earn and Learn, etc.
  • Coinbase offers a better user interface when compared to Gemini.
  • You can use Gemini wallet to pay at more than 30,000 retailers across the USA.
  • According to Gemini, you can set up your account and buy bitcoins in less than 3 minutes on their platform.
  • Both Gemini and Coinbase have high fees; however, Coinbase charges a higher fee when compared to Gemini.
  • Security features are a priority of both the exchanges; however, Gemini provides industry-leading security services.
  • In case of a security breach, you can lock your account at Coinbase crypto exchange through a phone call.

What is Gemini?

Gemini is a licensed New York trust company founded by the Winklevoss twins. Yes, the brothers who laid the idea of Facebook. The exchange offers an intuitive crypto trading platform. It is the world’s first certified SOC 1 Type 1 and SOC 2 Type 2 crypto exchange custodian. 

Gemini Crypto Exchange
Gemini Crypto Exchange

Gemini crypto exchange offers its services to both individuals and institutions to buy, sell, and store crypto assets. The exchange provides products like Active Trader, Gemini custody, Gemini clearing, Gemini Wallet, Gemini earn, etc.

What is Coinbase?

Coinbase is one of the first legal crypto trading platforms in the United States of America. It offers an intuitive and rewarding trading platform. The exchange offers its services through three different segments. 

Coinbase trading platform deals with buying and selling crypto assets. Coinbase Pro is for trading crypto assets, and Coinbase Prime is for financial intuitions and brokerages.


Gemini vs Coinbase: Trading Options

While comparing the two most popular exchanges in the USA, we cannot skip how to gain returns on either platform.

Gemini Trading Options

Gemini provides a series of features such as Gemini clearing, custody, etc., and we will discuss them below:

Gemini Active Trader

Gemini active trader is the trading platform offered by Gemini to its users. Day traders mainly prefer the Active trader, and it can execute trades in microseconds. 

You can use limit, market-or-cancel, immediate or cancel, or fill or kill to execute your orders at Gemini active trader. There are also three modes to buy or sell crypto: continuous, auction, and block. 

Gemini Custody

Gemini is known to have the best security services in the crypto market, and hence it offers Gemini custody. This particular option allows you to store your assets in the highly secure institutional-grade crypto storage vaults at Gemini crypto exchange.

To learn more about storing your assets at Gemini, you can download the guide to Gemini’s crypto custody from here.

Gemini Clearing

Gemini clearing helps you buy/ sell crypto assets from an individual keeping the trade-off the order book. Gemini acts as a third party in peer-to-peer settlements ensuring pre-arranged transactions, timely settlements, and reducing risks. 

Both sides of the P2P settlements need to have their KYC completed. The trading parties also remain anonymous as Gemini does not publish their trade details in its market data feed.

Gemini Pay

Gemini provides you an option to pay using your crypto assets at more than 30,000 retail stores across the USA. You can do so by simply downloading the Gemini exchange app available on Google Play, Apple app, or galaxy store and use the Pay option to scan QR codes.

Gemini Earn

Gemini allows you to earn an interest of up to 7.4% APY on your crypto assets. You can buy or deposit any amount of crypto assets you wish to buy at Gemini and then sign up to Gemini Earn to get an interest in your assets. You can also transfer your assets (your original crypto + the interest) back to your trading account at any time.

Coinbase Trading Options

The exchange provides a series of services and even free crypto assets at times. Let’s look at them one by one:

Buy and Sell crypto

At the official website of Coinbase, you can buy and sell a vast number of crypto assets. However, before you begin buying and selling, you need to deposit crypto assets into your account. The platform also offers you $10 for setting up a recurring buy of $50.

Coinbase Pro

Coinbase Pro offers you a platform to trade several crypto assets securely. The platform, through its advanced trading options and charts, provides superior control for professional traders. Coinbase Pro also has insurance for its traders but a complex UI when compared to Coinbase. 

Coinbase Prime

Coinbase Prime is a primary choice of institutions, high net worth individuals, and corporate investors looking to invest and trade in crypto assets. Coinbase Prime offers various institutional tools such as algorithmic orders, OTC trading, etc.

Coinbase Learn and Earn Crypto

Learn and earn crypto is a unique service offered by Coinbase for its users. The platform teaches you some lessons on a particular crypto asset. It freely gives you some amount of that asset to get a hand on experience and trade in the crypto market.

Gemini vs Coinbase: User Interface

Our mind is most likely to be attracted by something with clean and creative design than a dull layout. This is where the user interface comes in; it is the most crucial part of a platform. Both, Gemini and Coinbase offer a clean and straightforward UI to their users.

At one end, Coinbase has an intuitive, colorful, and attractive user interface. On the other Gemini offers a clean and easy-to-use interface. In today’s world, Coinbase can be considered as the one with a better user interface.

Gemini vs Coinbase: Wallet

Crypto wallets are essential for you to store and use your crypto assets on the exchange. Hence it is evident that we must understand things about wallets at both of the platforms.

Gemini Wallet

Gemini offers Hot wallets for instant deposits and withdrawal. However, if you wish to store many crypto assets, you can use the institutional-grade cold storage system. World-class insurance underwriters ensure all your assets in the Gemini wallet do not suffer a loss at times of breach. You can learn more about the insurance policy at Gemini from here.

Gemini Wallet
Gemini Wallet

Coinbase Wallet

Coinbase wallet allows you to store all of your digital assets in one place. At Coinbase crypto wallet, all of your keys are protected with biometric authentication and Secure Enclave. The wallet allows you to pay your other friends on Coinbase, and you can easily do so from the Coinbase wallet mobile app.

Gemini vs Coinbase: Mobile App

In today’s world, remoteness is everything, and all of us desire to access all the services through the devices in our pockets. So in this section, we will be covering mobile apps of both platforms.

Gemini App

The Gemini Exchange app allows you to trade and manage your assets right from your smartphone. You can create alerts for market movements and open your positions at the right time. The exchange claims that you can create an account and buy your first crypto in less than 3 minutes.

Coinbase App

The Coinbase mobile app makes trading simpler by providing almost all of the necessary options on your device. The app offers a clean and intuitive user interface. However, there are speculations on the stability of the app, as the users frequently face delays.

Coinbase Mobile App
Coinbase Mobile App

Gemini vs Coinbase: How to buy Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is one of the most valuable assets in today’s world. Its value is ever rising and doesn’t seem to slow down any time soon. So we had to discuss the steps to buy bitcoins on either of the exchanges.

How to buy Bitcoin at Gemini?

Gemini offers a simple process to buy bitcoin, and you can follow the below steps to do the same:

  1. Firstly, visit the official website of Gemini and log into your account.
  2. Secondly, if you don’t have an account on Gemini, then create one, and complete the verification process.
  3. Thirdly, if you already have funds in your account, visit the header’s buy tab; if you don’t, deposit some funds through the funds’ section.
  4. Finally, choose bitcoin from the list of assets, enter all the details, and hit the buy button.
  5. As soon as the market meets your order requirements, the exchange will fill your order.

How to buy Bitcoin at Coinbase?

At Coinbase, to buy bitcoins, all you need is an account and some funds in your account. However, you can still follow the below steps to do so:

  1. First of all, visit the official website of Coinbase.
  2. Now, if you don’t have an account, then create one. If you do have one, then log into your account.
  3. The next step would be depositing some funds in your account.
  4. So go to the Portfolio tab and click on the deposit funds button.
  5. Now head back to the dashboard and click on Buy/ Sell from the header.
  6. Then choose bitcoin as a buying option, enter the amount you wish to buy, and hit the button.

Gemini vs Coinbase: Fees

One of the most critical aspects that you must keep in mind while making a trade is the fees you are paying for the trade. Hence, in this section, we will be comparing the fees of both exchanges.

Gemini Exchange Fees

Gemini offers a series of services and has a wide range of fee structures based on the service you are using.

Gemini Deposits and withdrawals Fees

All the wire transfers and crypto deposits at Gemini are free, except deposit through debit cards with a fee of 3.49% of the total purchase amount. The exchange charges a fee of 0.001 BTC per BTC withdrawal. To learn about withdrawal fees on various assets, you can click here.

Gemini ActiveTrader Fee Schedule

The exchange determines your net trading fee depending by you gross trading volume across all of its order books. You can calculate your maker, taker, and auction fee based on your trading 30-D trading volume with the help of below table:

30-Day Trading Volume in (USD Notional)Taker FeeMaker FeeAuction Fee
≥ $500,0000.25%0.15%0.20%
≥ $2,500,0000.25%0.15%0.10%
≥ $5,000,0000.15%0.10%0.10%
≥ $10,000,0000.15%0.10%0.00%
≥ $15,000,0000.10%0.00%0.00%
≥ $50,000,0000.075%0.00%0.00%
≥ $100,000,0000.05%0.00%0.00%
≥ $250,000,0000.04%0.00%0.00%
≥ $500,000,0000.03%0.00%0.00%

To learn about other types of fees at Gemini, such as the custody fee schedule, API fee schedule, web fees schedule, etc., you can click here.

Coinbase Fees

Coinbase allows you to buy crypto assets using various methods such as debit cards, Paypal, etc. However, the platform also charges a significant fee based on your location and payment option. You can observe the fees for traders from the USA in the below table:

Coinbase Fee For Us Customers
Coinbase Fee for US customers

At Coinbase Pro, when an order gets filled, you have to pay a taker fee between 0.04% to 0.5%, which depends on a tiered system. You can observe the taker and maker fees for different tiers in the below table:

Pricing TierTaker FeeMaker Fee
$10 – 50K0.35%0.35%
$50 – 100K0.25%0.15%
$100K – 1M0.20%0.10%
$1- 10M0.18%0.08%
$10 -50M0.15%0.05%
$50 – 100M0.10%0.00%
$100 – 300M0.07%0.00%
$300 – 500M0.05%0.00%
$500M +0.04%0.00%

Gemini vs Coinbase: Security

All of us want our assets to be in world-class security. Both of these exchanges provide you with the best security options; however, let’s find out which one’s better?

Gemini Security

Gemini is famous for providing the best security options in the crypto market. The exchange primarily adheres to three security principles:

  • Defending against external threats: Gemini trading platform uses cold storage with FIPS 140-2 Level 3 or higher ratings. All the private keys are generated, stored, and managed at HSMs for their lifetime.
  • Protecting against Human error: The exchange uses Two-factor authentication whenever you attempt a login or withdrawal. The exchange encrypts your password and all other personal information at rest and also in transit.
  • Protection from misuse of inside access: Multiple verifications of different individuals are required to transfer funds out of Gemini’s cold storage. Even the CEO and President of Gemini do not have permission of withdrawals from cold storage vaults even if they are together.
Gemini Security
Gemini Security

Coinbase Security

You can classify Coinbase security into the following part:

  • Offline cold storage: The exchange stores almost 98% of its assets in offline cold storage vaults. The exchange insures the assets stored online for users if there is a breach in security.
  • 2 step authentication: Coinbase uses 2-factor authentication on all its platforms. The exchange also separately stores your application credentials from the database.
  • The Coinbase Bug Bounty program: Coinbase offers a bug bounty program through Hackerone. You can receive up to $50,000 on reporting a bug to the platform.
Coinbase Security
Coinbase Security

Gemini vs Coinbase: Customer Service

If you ever face any issue with a service provider, you look up to their customer service for more help. Gemini and Coinbase offer an exclusive customer support service. Let’s understand how they stand to help you out.

Gemini Customer Service

You can reach out to Gemini customer support team through the “Email us” option on the bottom of any window. You can also raise a request through the Help Desk option below the ‘email us’ choice. The platform also provides an extensive FAQ for your help.

Coinbase Customer Service

At Coinbase, you can raise your issue from the contact us button at the bottom of every window. On the next window, you can choose the Coinbase product you’re facing a problem with and then select all the appropriate options from the Dropdown. Finally, enter your email and message in the box at the bottom and hit the submit button.

You can also call Coinbase customer support if you believe that your account has been breached. You can call on the following Coinbase customer service phone number to lock your account:

+1 888 908-7930 (USA/ International)

0808 168 4635 (UK)

1800 200 355 (Ireland)

Gemini vs Coinbase: Pros and Cons

Gemini Pros and Cons

Gemini is considered the most secure platform in the crypto market. You can only email customer support in case of security issues.
Gemini provides a mobile with a clean and easy-to-use interface. The fees is a bit higher as compared to other crypto exchange platforms.
Gemini pay allows you to use your crypto to pay at more than 30,000 stores in the USA.
Gemini offers Gemini earn where you can gain interest on your crypto assets.
Gemini Pros and Cons

Coinbase Pros and Cons

Coinbase offers to Earn and Learn, where you receive free crypto assets. Coinbase mobile app is attractive but lags at some point.
Through the Coinbase wallet, you can send your crypto assets to your friends rather than addresses. The fee structure is quite difficult to interpret.
The exchange has a beginner friendly user interface.Coinbase crypto exchange platform owns allegations from the year 2016 of monitoring its users accounts.
Coinbase Pros and Cons

Gemini vs Coinbase: Conclusion

The USA’s government has strict regulations on crypto assets. Yet, both Gemini and Coinbase provide their crypto trading services in the USA. When we compare the two platforms, it is evident that just one cannot be the best in every aspect. On the one hand, Gemini offers a better mobile app, security, and lower fees. On the other Coinbase offers a better UI, free crypto, and better support.

It is entirely up to you to choose a platform depending on your need. However, if you’re a beginner, you can select Coinbase as it offers a better user interface. And if you wish to go deeper into trading, you can go with Gemini as they have lower fees.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Gemini better than Coinbase?

When we compare both the exchanges, there are certain aspects where Gemini is better, and then there are somewhere it’s not. Gemini proves to be better at security, mobile app, and lower fees. In contrast, Coinbase has a better UI and support system.

How to transfer Bitcoin from Coinbase to Kraken?

You can log into your Coinbase account and then visit the send or receive section from the header. Then you can select the send option and enter the wallet address of the receiving account. Finally, just hit the send button.

How to delete a Coinbase account?

You can go to your profile and then move ahead to the settings section. Now, click on the Activity at the top and then scroll to the bottom. Now you’ll be able to see an option to close an account. Make sure you don’t have any funds in your Coinbase account before you delete it, else you might lose your assets.

Is Gemini a good place to buy Bitcoin?

Gemini is a trusted New York-based crypto exchange platform. It is particularly more popular among financial institutions seeking to invest in cryptocurrency. Hence, we can say that Gemini is an excellent place to buy bitcoins in the USA legally.

Is Coinbase safe?

Yes, Coinbase is safe. The platform comes out to be the among the handful of exchanges that offer insurance through FDIC>

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