• Gemini Features: ★★★★☆ 4/5
  • Coinbase Features: ★★★★★ 5/5
  • Gemini Ease of Use: ★★★★★ 5/5
  • Coinbase Ease of Use: ★★★★★ 5/5
  • Gemini Security: ★★★★★ 5/5
  • Coinbase Security: ★★★★★ 5/5
  • Gemini Fees: ★★★★☆ 4/5
  • Coinbase Fees: ★★★★☆ 4/5
  • Gemini Availability: ★★★☆☆ 3/5
  • Coinbase Availability: ★★★★★ 5/5

Gemini vs Coinbase [2022's Comparison]

Fact-checked
  • Gemini Features: ★★★★☆ 4/5
  • Coinbase Features: ★★★★★ 5/5
  • Gemini Ease of Use: ★★★★★ 5/5
  • Coinbase Ease of Use: ★★★★★ 5/5
  • Gemini Security: ★★★★★ 5/5
  • Coinbase Security: ★★★★★ 5/5
  • Gemini Fees: ★★★★☆ 4/5
  • Coinbase Fees: ★★★★☆ 4/5
  • Gemini Availability: ★★★☆☆ 3/5
  • Coinbase Availability: ★★★★★ 5/5

Best For

Gemini: is best for additional tools for investors; Coinbase: is best for beginners.

STRENGTHS

  • Coinbase: stores most of the user funds offline.
  • Gemini: User balances are insured up to $250,000.
  • Coinbase: Get paid for completing a short survey.
  • Gemini: Allows you to accumulate interest on your cryptocurrency holdings

WEAKNESSES

  • Gemini is available in 54 countries
  • Coinbase: high fees

Looking to grow and diversify your crypto portfolio or make money by actively trading in cryptocurrencies? Gemini and Coinbase are two of the most popular crypto exchanges in the world.

In this Gemini vs Coinbase comparison, we’ll evaluate them according to everything you need to know, such as:

  • What are Gemini and Coinbase?
  • Features
  • Ease of use
  • Security
  • Fees
  • Ratings and reviews
  • FAQs

What Are Gemini and Coinbase?

Gemini and Coinbase are both cryptocurrency exchanges. A cryptocurrency exchange is just like any other exchange that allows its users to trade fiat money, digital currencies, or other assets for crypto/digital currencies. Aside, from being two of the best Bitcoin trading platforms in the world, you can also use them to trade a number of other digital currencies, like Ethereum.

Both let you safely trade in cryptocurrencies with the aim of turning a profit. Whether you choose Gemini or Coinbase, both are great options for beginners and experienced traders alike. However, they are aimed at slightly different types of users offer different features, experiences, and support different countries and cryptocurrencies.

Gemini

Launched in 2014, Gemini Trust Company, LLC (Gemini) is a digital currency exchange that customers can use to buy, sell, and store their digital assets. Based in New York, the company is regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).

It was founded by the Winklevoss twins who were also behind Facebook. While Gemini is aimed at all crypto traders, it provides tools specifically designed for institutional investors as well. Users can passively earn income by investing money from their Gemini wallet in stablecoins.

Coinbase

Coinbase Global, Inc. is a cryptocurrency exchange platform that was started in 2012. It’s a remote-first company operating without any physical headquarters. However, it has grown quickly with over 56 million verified users, availability in over 100 countries, and more than 1,700 employees.

Coinbase is a modern and user-friendly platform with educational features like Learn to Earn Crypto. It allows you to earn passive income by staking your coin on crypto networks. This makes Coinbase vs Gemini a worthwhile comparison to make if you’re looking for the top crypto exchange today.

Features

After trying both platforms, you’ll find that both provide ample features to keep you busy.

You don’t have to actively hold positions to “own” crypto but can store your crypto money in your own, dedicated wallet. Combined with all their other features and capabilities, this makes them some of the best Bitcoin wallet alternatives aside from opening a dedicated Bitcoin wallet. Both also provide a huge amount of learning material to help you get started and understand cryptocurrencies and crypto trading better.

Choosing between Gemini or Coinbase comes down to their unique tools to passively earn income and use your crypto holdings in the real world.

What Features Does Gemini Offer?

Here are some of the most exciting features that make Gemini stand out:

The Gemini Earn Program

The Gemini Earn program allows you to accumulate interest in your cryptocurrency holdings. All you need to do is opt into the program and then choose how much of a particular cryptocurrency you’d like to invest. Gemini supports stablecoins like Gemini USD and Dai, offering as much as 7.4% interest compounded daily. There are also no Gemini limits on how much you can earn. Around 34 currencies are supported at the moment.

API Access

Gemini provides public API keys that allow you to integrate with third-party applications for trading in cryptocurrencies. This feature is great for fund managers or institutional investors who use more advanced tools in their crypto trading decisions and workflow.

Gemini Pay

Finding where you can use crypto payment methods for everyday purchases is often one of the most frustrating parts of getting involved with cryptocurrencies. Gemini has partnered with Flex to allow mobile payments at over 30,000 retailers, letting you spend crypto straight from your Gemini holdings. You can use the dollar-pegged Gemini USD (GUSD) to pay at 1:1 rates according to USD.

What Features Does Coinbase Offer?

Coinbase also has a number of unique offerings that distinguish it from other crypto exchanges:

Earn Passive Income by Staking Eligible Crypto

Another useful feature to earn some more crypto on the side is to take advantage of staking. Some cryptocurrency protocols allow users to earn more crypto by contributing to the network. Basically, you stake a share of your balance on the network which acts as a security deposit for facilitating transactions. It’s easily one of the most unique features I found while researching for my Coinbase review. Some supported cryptocurrencies are ALGO, ATOM, and ETH.

Earn by Learning About Crypto

This is another new and fun way of earning crypto I uncovered during my review of Coinbase. All you have to do is watch short explainer videos about certain cryptocurrencies and get paid for completing a short survey. Most offer around $3 to $10 with some going as high as $59 in earnings per video. They are usually short, around 3 min, and the questionnaires are straightforward.

Access Your Money Through PayPal and Your Coinbase Card

If you already use PayPal, you’ll probably find this to be one of the most convenient payment methods to move your crypto holdings around. You’ll also soon be able to apply for a Coinbase VISA debit card which allows you to make payments and ATM withdrawals anywhere a VISA is accepted. This card has no annual fees and provides 4% cashback on transactions. It might also be a good way to avoid the international fee Coinbase would charge you normally.

Ease of Use

One thing that separates both Gemini and Coinbase from their competitors on the crypto market is their intuitive platforms. Bear in mind, however, that both platforms require you to be 18+ with a government-issued ID.

To sign up for Gemini, you just need to head over to their website and then click “Get Started.” From here the process is pretty straightforward:

  • Provide basic information like your name, email, and password
  • Type in your phone number to receive the verification code
  • Enter the verification code and log in to the dashboard

Before you start trading, you’ll need to add a funding source as well as verify your identity by uploading documents and providing your residential address.

Signing up with Coinbase is very similar. Go to the website and click “Get Started.” Then:

  • Enter your name, email, and password
  • Verify your email by clicking the link in the email sent to your inbox
  • Coinbase will now ask for your phone number to send a verification code
  • Log in to the dashboard

Before you can start trading or earning crypto, you’ll also need to verify your identity and provide a funding source.

Whether you’re using Apple or Android, you can find a native Coinbase or Gemini app for your device in their respective official app stores.

In terms of the overall user experience, Coinbase has a somewhat more modern and attractive dashboard. However, I found Gemini’s slightly more intuitive and easy to use, mostly thanks to simpler and clearer navigation.

Security

Whenever you transact online, the security of your money is obviously a huge concern. Both Gemini and Coinbase are well-established platforms with good security track records. The only incidents are of user accounts being hacked, but this has more to do with account security than the actual platform. That said, both have implemented numerous security features to help users reduce the risk of this happening.

Is Gemini Safe?

  • Two-step authentication: You are required to set up 2FA in order to log in to your account as well as complete transactions. This takes the form of a short security code sent by text or by using the Authy app.
  • FDIC-insured USD Balances: User balances are insured up to $250,000 by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
  • Compliance and Certifications: Gemini is subject to regulations enforced by the New York Department of Financial Services. They are the first crypto exchange to complete a SOC 1 Type 2 exam, SOC 2 Type 2 exam, and earn an ISO 27001 certification. This proves that Gemini takes security very seriously.
  • Cold Storage: Gemini claims that most funds are kept offline in cold storage protected by FIPS 140-2 Level 3 security or higher. Their hot wallets have achieved the same standard.
  • Approved Address Lists: You can restrict your crypto withdrawals only to approved addresses with a 7-day holding period.

Gemini also uses secure infrastructure utilizing Transport Layer Security (TLS) connections. It hashes, salts, and encrypts passwords as well as uses rate-limiting to prevent brute force attacks.

Advanced users like institutional investors can also set user access role permissions for employees or stakeholders.

Is Coinbase Safe?

  • Cold Storage: Like Gemini, Coinbase stores most of the user funds offline, up to 98%. The data is copied, AES-256 encrypted, and copied to FIPS-140 USB drives and paper backups.
  • Two-step Authentication: Accounts are also secured using 2FA either with a text message or using the Google Authentication app.
  • FDIC-insured Balances: USD balances are insured up to $250,000 by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
  • Finance Industry Best Practices: All communications are secured using TLS connections and wallets and keys are stored using AES-256 encryption. Passwords are also hashed using bcrypt with a cost factor of 12. Coinbase’s security is on par with almost any other financial institution.
  • Insured Hot Storage: Coinbase also insures the 2% portion of user balances stored online in their hot wallets.

Fees

Like any exchange, it’s important to understand the fees involved so that you avoid unexpected surprises and can trade more accurately. Due to the nature of their commodities, crypto exchanges can have more complicated fee schedules. Here, we’ll look at how Gemini and Coinbase compare in this aspect:

Gemini

There are a number of stacking Gemini fees that can get quite complex. The fees even take into account what method you use to trade. For example, API and ActiveTraders are typically charged much lower fees than standard mobile and web users.

Mobile and web users are charged a flat 0.5% “convenience fee” on top of the fees listed in the below schedule:

Web Order Transaction Amount Transaction Fee
≤ $10.00 $0.99
> $10.00 but ≤ $25.00 $1.49
> $25.00 but ≤ $50.00 $1.99
> $50.00 but ≤ $200.00 $2.99
> $200.00 1.49% of your Web Order value

Both ActiveTraders and API users can get fees as low as 0% if they maintain trading volumes of greater than $15 million over a 30-day period.

Coinbase

So, how does Coinbase vs Gemini fees compare? Coinbase’s fees are similar in price but are even more complicated because they can vary depending on your transaction method as well. For typical buy/sell transactions for cryptocurrencies, Coinbase charges a standard 0.5% spread which may fluctuate somewhat with market conditions.

On top of that, they charge a “Coinbase fee” which is determined by taking the larger amount between a fixed schedule of fees for different transaction sizes or from the variable fees that depend on your country and transaction method. For transactions over $200, there is no added spread.

Transaction Amount Flat Fee
<= $10 $0.99
$10 < and <= $25 $1.49
$25 < and <= $50 $1.99
$50 < and <= $200 $2.99
> $200 $1.49

Here is an example of the variable Coinbase fees for users transacting in USD:

Payment Methods for Purchase/Payout Method for Sale Effective Rate of Conversion Fee (after waiver)
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

 

USD Deposit Method Effective Rate of Deposit (after waiver)
ACH Transfer Free
Wire Transfer $10 ($25 outgoing)
PayPal 2.5%

So, for example, if you buy $100 worth of Bitcoin using your USD bank account or USD wallet, you’ll be charged 2.99% since it’s higher than 1.49%.

Availability

Gemini is available in 54 countries worldwide. All major countries are supported across the major regions, such as the US, Canada, UK, Japan, and Singapore. In South America, only Chile, Peru, Argentina, and Brazil are available, while only Nigeria, Egypt, and South Africa are supported in Africa.

Coinbase has much broader availability, being accessible in 100+ countries globally. Coinbase works with countries in Asia (20), South America (8), and Africa (13). The only notable country available on Gemini but not on Coinbase is Australia. Surprisingly, neither platform supports Germany.

Gemini vs Coinbase: In a Nutshell

Gemini Rating 

(1-5)

Coinbase Rating 

(1-5)

Features
  • Gemini Earn Program
  • API access
  • Buy at selected retailers with Gemini Pay
  • Trade 45 cryptocurrencies
4/5
  • Stake crypto holdings for passive income
  • Earn by watching videos about cryptocurrency
  • Access money through PayPal
  • Trade 50+ cryptocurrencies
5/5
Ease of Use Minimal and simple interface 5/5 User-friendly and modern interface 5/5
Security -Two-factor authentication

-FDIC-insured USD balances up to $250,000

SOC 1 Type 2 exam, SOC 2 Type 2 exam, and an ISO 27001 certification

-Stores percentage of balances in a cold wallet

-Approved Withdrawal Address List

5/5 -Two-factor authentication

-FDIC-insured USD balances up to $250,000

-Hot wallet insured balances up to 2%

5/5
Fees -0.5% spread

-Transaction fees

-Trading fee of $0.99 to $2.99 based on the trading amount or 1.49% for trades over $200

4/5 -0.5% spread

-Transaction fees

-Trading fee of $0.99 to $2.99 plus min. 1.49% of trade

4/5
Availability 54 countries 3/5 100+ countries 5/5

Bottom Line

You can’t go wrong with either platform if you want to start trading in cryptocurrencies. When it comes to a head-to-head Gemini vs Coinbase comparison, the main difference is that Gemini provides some additional tools for investors while Coinbase is aimed more at beginners. However, both allow you to passively earn crypto, learn more about crypto trading, and trade in a large variety of fiat currency/crypto pairings.

FAQ

Is Gemini more secure than Coinbase?

Both Gemini and Coinbase are extremely secure platforms that use top industry standards and best practices. However, Gemini has taken the extra steps of completing the SOC 1 Type 2 exam, SOC 2 Type 2 exam, and earning an ISO 27001. Both platforms ensure balances up to a degree, use encryption, and provide offline cold wallet storage.

Is Gemini better than Coinbase?

It depends on what you are looking for. Via its programmable API, Gemini provides better integration and tools for institutional investors. The feature Gemini Pay also allows you to pay directly from your Gemini wallet at various retailers. However, in this Gemini vs Coinbase comparison, we found that Coinbase had many similar features.

Is Gemini a good crypto exchange?

Yes, Gemini is one of the most popular crypto exchanges in the US and globally. It also maintains very high-security standards, deals in a wide variety of cryptocurrencies, and provides an intuitive and easy-to-use platform.

ABOUT AUTHOR

I learned a lot about finance after working for a digital marketing company specializing in investing and trading stocks, forex, etc. After that, I got exposed to other verticals such as wealth management and personal finance, which further improved my understanding of the financial world.