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Gemini and Coinbase are two of the most popular and highly rated crypto exchanges for U.S. investors. They also offer many of the same benefits and features. Both of them are beginner-friendly but also provide advanced platforms (Gemini ActiveTrader and Coinbase Pro) for users who want more trading features.
With each exchange, you get top-notch security, affordable fees, quality educational content, and the opportunity to earn interest on your holdings. If you're stuck between these options, keep reading for a detailed look at Gemini vs. Coinbase.
Gemini and Coinbase offer very similar transaction fees on their standard platforms. Their fee structures are a bit different on their more advanced platforms, where Gemini ActiveTrader is cheaper than Coinbase Pro when trading up to $50,000 per month.
On their standard platforms, both of these exchanges charge either a flat fee or a 1.49% fee depending on the transaction amount. The 1.49% fee is charged on transactions over $200 with Gemini and of at least $205 with Coinbase. For smaller transactions, each exchange charges the same flat fee based on the transaction amount:
Up to $10: $0.99
Above $10 to $25: $1.49
Above $25 to $50: $1.99
Above $50 up to $200 (Gemini) or up to $205 (Coinbase): $2.99
There can be additional charges depending on the payment method you choose. ACH transfers from a bank account are free with both exchanges. Gemini also offers free wire transfers, whereas Coinbase charges $10 for wire deposits and $25 for wire withdrawals.
These advanced trading platforms use maker-taker fee models. If you place an order at the market price that gets filled immediately, you pay the taker fee. If you place an order that's not matched immediately, you pay the maker fee. Gemini also has an auction feature with its own separate fees. Each platform bases the fees you pay on your monthly trading volume.
For the typical investor, Gemini ActiveTrader will likely be the more affordable choice. Most people aren't trading over $50,000 in crypto per month, and if you don't, then Gemini ActiveTrader offers lower rates.
However, anyone who hits the $50,000-mark in monthly crypto trading is better off with Coinbase Pro.
Coinbase has a larger selection of cryptocurrencies than Gemini does, although neither exchange is lacking in this regard. There are over 45 cryptocurrencies available for trading on Gemini and over 90 cryptocurrencies on Coinbase.
Gemini has plenty of cryptocurrencies you can buy, and it offers many of the biggest coins by market cap, as well as an assortment of smaller options. However, it's missing several major cryptos that are available on Coinbase, including:
Internet Computer (ICP)
While Gemini also has cryptos that you can't get on Coinbase, they're not that popular. Most of them are ranked well outside of the top 100. The only notable exception is Fantom (FTM), a fairly large crypto that is on Gemini but not Coinbase.
In addition, Coinbase has a much greater selection of stablecoins. It offers the following popular stablecoins that follow the U.S. dollar:
USD Coin (USDC)
Gemini has its own stablecoin, Gemini Dollar (GUSD), but it's not nearly as widely used as those other stablecoins.
Gemini offers two crypto wallets for its clients: Gemini Wallet® and Gemini Custody®. Gemini Wallet® is a hot wallet, which means that it's connected to the internet. It's also free to use. Gemini Custody® is a cold wallet, meaning it keeps funds offline in cold storage. There's an annual fee of 0.40% for using Gemini Custody® plus a $125 fee per withdrawal.
Coinbase offers a hot wallet called Coinbase Wallet. It's free to use, and unlike Gemini's wallet options, Coinbase Wallet isn't restricted to the exchange's clients. Anyone can download Coinbase Wallet and use it to store their cryptocurrency holdings.
Gemini and Coinbase are two of the best cryptocurrency exchanges in terms of security. They both have advanced security features, insurance on customer funds, and neither has been the victim of a hack.
Both exchanges have the following account security measures:
1. Two-factor authentication (2FA): A feature that requires two different types of authentication to log in to your account, such as your password and a code sent by SMS message to your phone. Gemini requires 2FA, whereas Coinbase offers it, but doesn't require it.
2. Approved withdrawal addresses: You have the option of creating an approved address list. If you do, withdrawals can only be made to those addresses.
3. Cold storage of crypto funds: Each exchange reports that it keeps the majority of its customers' crypto funds in cold storage for greater protection. Coinbase specifies that 98% of customer crypto funds are stored offline like this.
In addition, Gemini and Coinbase have insurance to protect customer assets. They each maintain insurance policies on all customer crypto funds kept in hot wallets, since this type of storage isn't quite as secure as cold storage. Cash deposits on each exchange are covered by the same FDIC insurance that most major banks have, which protects up to $250,000 per individual.
You can't go wrong with either Gemini or Coinbase. They're both top exchanges for a reason, as they provide user-friendly crypto trading platforms with excellent security and no real weaknesses.
Of the two, Coinbase has a notable edge in terms of cryptocurrency selection. If you plan to invest in lots of different coins, then Coinbase is likely the right exchange for you.
Gemini could save you money on transaction fees, assuming you use Gemini ActiveTrader and you trade less than $50,000 in crypto per month. There's not a huge difference in transaction fees between the two exchanges, but for long-term investing, even small amounts add up.
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