October 21, 2021

Coinbase vs Gemini

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Coinbase and Gemini are two leading trading platforms where you can trade Bitcoin and other popular cryptocurrencies. But how do they stack up?

If you're new to the crypto space, finding your perfect exchange may be daunting.

As two of the most popular crypto platforms, Gemini and Coinbase are worth a look. But is one better than the other? And what fees do they charge?

In this review, we'll look at useful features, coin selection, security, fees and more, to help you make the best decision. Keep reading to see how they compare.

What are Coinbase and Gemini?

One of the most prominent cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinbase was founded in 2012 and is based in San Francisco. They started by offering the ability to buy/sell Bitcoin via bank transfer. Since then, they've grown rapidly and now offer a wide variety of coins and features.

Coinbase is known for being a beginner-friendly exchange with a desktop site and mobile app. There is a price to pay for the ease of use they offer, as Coinbase fees are high compared to other exchanges.

Users can find lower fees with Coinbase Pro, a standalone app geared toward expert traders.

Founded in 2014, Gemini is a NYC-based digital currency exchange and custodian. It got its start providing secure trading of Bitcoin, and now it supports a growing range of crypto coins.

In 2016, the security and compliance-minded exchange became the first licensed Ethereum exchange in the U.S., and the first licensed Zcash exchange in 2018. Gemini is regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS).

Gemini is also a Qualified Custodian and a fiduciary.

Pros and Cons

Coinbase and Gemini are both popular crypto exchanges that offer comparable features, fees, and user-friendly interfaces. Review the below pros and cons to determine which exchange is right for you.

Coinbase Pros & Cons

  • Beginner-friendly
  • More coin offerings
  • No successful hacks
  • Available in more countries
  • Attempts to sell user data
  • No private keys
  • No phone support

Choose Coinbase if: You're completely new to crypto, or you want advanced trading features with Coinbase Pro

Gemini Pros and Cons

  • Beginner-friendly
  • Focus on security
  • Government compliance
  • Extra trading features
  • No margin trading
  • Slow withdrawals

Choose Gemini if: Security is your top priority; you're concerned about the legal future of crypto

What Cryptocurrencies Do They Support?

It's valuable to know what cryptocurrencies are available to trade when picking an exchange.

Coinbase supports 66 different cryptocurrencies and stablecoins at time of writing, but they're adding more all the time:[1]

Full list of supported coins on Coinbase
  • 0x
  • 1inch
  • Aave
  • Algorand
  • Amp
  • Ampleforth Governance Token
  • Ankr
  • Augur
  • Balancer
  • Bancor Network Token
  • Band Protocol
  • Basic Attention Token
  • Bitcoin
  • Bitcoin Cash
  • Cardano
  • Cartesi
  • Celo
  • Chainlink
  • Civic
  • Compound
  • Cosmos
  • Curve DAO Token
  • Dai
  • Dash
  • Decentraland
  • district0x
  • Dogecoin
  • Enjin Coin
  • Enzyme
  • EOS
  • Ethereum
  • Ethereum Classic
  • Filecoin
  • Gitcoin
  • iExec RLC
  • Internet Computer
  • Kyber Network
  • Litecoin
  • Loopring
  • Maker
  • Mirror Protocol
  • NKN
  • NuCypher
  • Numeraire
  • OMG Network
  • Orchid
  • Origin Token
  • Polkadot
  • Polygon
  • Ren
  • Stellar Lumens
  • Storj
  • SushiSwap
  • Synthetix Network Token
  • Tellor
  • Tether
  • Tezos
  • The Graph
  • UMA
  • Uniswap
  • USD Coin
  • Wrapped Bitcoin
  • yearn.finance
  • Zcash

Gemini currently offers 41 cryptocurrencies and stablecoins to choose from:[2]

Full list of supported coins on Gemini
    • 0x
    • 1inch
    • Aave
    • Amp
    • Balancer
    • Bancor Network
    • Barnbridge
    • Basic Attention Token
    • Bitcoin
    • Bitcoin Cash
    • Chainlink
    • Compound
    • Curve
    • Dai
    • Decentraland
    • Dogecoin
    • Enjin Coin
    • Ethereum
    • Filecoin
    • Gemini Dollar
    • Injective Protocol
    • Kyber Network
    • Litecoin
    • Livepeer
    • Loopring
    • Maker
    • Orchid
    • PAX Gold
    • Polygon
    • Ren
    • Skale
    • Somnium Space
    • Storj
    • Sushiswap
    • Synthetix
    • The Graph
    • The Sandbox
    • Uma
    • Uniswap
    • Yearn.finance
    • Zcash

Where are They Available?

Coinbase is available in over 100 countries. Not every country receives the same services, as you can see in the table below:

RegionBuy, Sell and ConvertBuy and Convert
North AmericaThe United States, CanadaMexico
EuropeAndorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia Finland, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United KingdomN/A
South AmericaN/AChile

Any other supported countries offer conversion services only. The list is on Coinbase's supported countries page.

Coinbase supports EUR, USD, and GBP.

Gemini is currently available in more than 50 countries:

North AmericaUnited States, Canada, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands
EuropeAustria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom
OceaniaAustralia, New Zealand
South AmericaArgentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru
AsiaHonk Kong, India, Israel, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Vietnam
AfricaEgypt, Nigeria, South Africa

Coinbase vs Gemini Features

Coinbase and Gemini both offer a range of features for crypto traders. Let's take a look at how they compare.

Cryptocurrency Exchange

In terms of variety of coins, Coinbase has outdone Gemini by a fair margin, with roughly 66 to Gemini's 41. However, unless you're looking for a particularly obscure cryptocurrency, it's likely you'll be able to find it on both platforms.

If you're interested in limit orders and margin trades, neither are supported by Coinbase or Gemini.

For those planning to implement dollar cost averaging, Gemini users have the ability to make one-time purchases or set up recurring buys.

Fees, an important factor in choosing an exchange, will be covered in detail further down.

Earn Cryptocurrency

Coinbase offers staking rewards up to 5% on a limited number of coins. They currently support 6 coins with different rates of return:

  • Ethereum - 4.50%
  • Algorand - 4.00%
  • Cosmos - 5.00%
  • Tezos - 4.63%
  • Dai - 2.00%
  • USD Coin - 0.15%

Coinbase is relatively new to the staking sphere. It is reasonable to assume that they'll add more coins in the future.

Gemini offers staking rewards on a much wider variety of coins than Coinbase does, with rates ranging from 1.35% to 8.05%. Here's a representative sample of popular coins:

Looking for more ways to earn on your crypto? Crypto interest accounts let you earn interest on your holdings. Find out who offers the highest rates and the best security in our guide.

Rewards Cards

In collaboration with Visa, Coinbase has plans to release a debit card that offers rewards to users while allowing them to spend their crypto. It isn't available yet, but when it is, it will be accepted anywhere Visa debit cards are.

There will be no annual or sign-up fee, and up to 4% cash back rewards on every purchase.

The Gemini credit card, launching summer 2021 in partnership with Mastercard, will offer 1% - 3% cash back on purchases real time, available in any cryptocurrency supported by Gemini.

There is no annual fee, and you can manage your card from your Gemini app. Instant access to the customizable metal cards will be available to citizens of all U.S. states.

Cryptocurrency Wallet

Coinbase offers a standalone Wallet app where users can store their cryptocurrency and manage their private keys. There are both custodial and non-custodial options, and you don't need a Coinbase account to use it.

The Coinbase Wallet is available anywhere in the world.

The Gemini Wallet offers users a secure way to store their cryptocurrency, in either a hot wallet or offline in a cold wallet that they manage.

It provides insurance against theft of digital assets, which means if someone manages to steal your cryptocurrency, you should be able to be reimbursed.

Additional Features

Coinbase offers limited crypto-backed loans to holders of Bitcoin.

  • They charge 8.00% APR, due monthly.
  • The minimum you can borrow is $10,001.00, which requires a BTC deposit worth $25,002.50.

You can also earn rewards in cryptocurrencies like Amp, The Graph, and Stellar Lumens by watching educational videos and taking quizzes that usually take 1-3 minutes, and earn about a dollar a minute.

Coinbase Pro offers advanced trading options with lower fees than the main Coinbase platform.

With Gemini Custody, you can store your digital assets safely offline in geographically distributed, controlled facilities that are insured for $200 million, the highest insurance coverage awarded to any crypto custodian.

You can still trade instantly from cold storage with Gemini Instant Trade.

Gemini Clearing lets users settle off-exchange crypto trades securely and safely.

Gemini Pay lets you spend your crypto at more than 30,000 retail locations across the U.S.

Gemini ActiveTrader is an advanced version of the trading platform for serious users.

Curious about how Coinbase and Gemini compare to other exchanges? Check out our comprehensive guides to the best Coinbase alternatives and best crypto exchanges overall.

Fees to Look Out For

Fees are an important factor in choosing an exchange. As you can see in the table below, Coinbase and Gemini offer very comparable fees, with nearly identical transaction fees and spreads.

Where they do differ is that Gemini does not charge separate fees for bank account or wallet purchases, while Coinbase does.

Ultimately, when it comes to fees, which platform you choose probably won't make much of a difference here.

For more advanced traders who are focused on fees, Coinbase Pro is a significantly cheaper option.


Security is always a concern when it comes to managing your money, and especially crypto. There are inherent risks involved in trading cryptocurrency, including theft. Both Coinbase and Gemini take several precautions in order to keep your crypto safe.

Coinbase's security features:

  • Biometric Login

  • Insurance
    • Independent insurance for coins lost to cybersecurity breaches or employee theft, up to $250,000
    • USD balances up to $250,000 are FDIC insured

  • Cold Storage
    • 97% of user funds are stored offline

  • Two-Factor Authentication
    • SMS or Google Authenticator

  • Address Allowlisting
    • Choose which wallet addresses you will allow to withdraw funds

Gemini's security features:

  • Cold Storage
    • Majority of crypto is stored offline in a geographically distributed, air-gapped system that requires multiple employees to operate
    • The small amount of crypto they do keep online has protection of a FIPS 140-2 Level 3 rating or higher, and is insured

  • Two-Factor Authentication
    • Required to login or make withdrawals
    • Supports WebAuthn hardware security keys

  • Address Allowlisting
    • Can be used to limit where withdrawals are allowed

  • Rate limiting
    • To prevent brute force attacks

  • Encryption
    • To safeguard personal information

  • Multiple Signatories
    • Required to transfer crypto out of cold storage

  • Controlled Facilities
    • Objects of value, such as private keys, are not stored in company offices

As a security-focused exchange, Gemini employs more stringent security measures than Coinbase does.

Additionally, those who are privacy-minded should be aware that Coinbase has made (or attempted to make) arrangements to sell user data to government agencies, including the U.S. Secret Service, the IRS, and the DEA, according to publicly available information.

Bottom Line

In terms of cryptocurrency trading, Gemini and Coinbase provide roughly comparable services. Their fee structures are nearly identical, and while Coinbase does offer a wider variety of coins, the difference may only be relevant to those interested in the less-traded cryptocurrencies.

Gemini has slightly better security features, but you can probably feel fairly comfortable keeping your currency on either exchange.

Coinbase may be more appealing to novice traders, but Gemini is by no means a difficult exchange to use either, and with Gemini Clearing and ActiveTrader, they have more options for more experienced investors.

Regarding secondary offerings, Gemini's staking offers a much greater variety and potentially better rates than Coinbase's does. Both offer crypto rewards cards, Coinbase's with a potentially higher rate of return, but Gemini's with a wider range of rewards options.

All things considered, both platforms are reasonable choices for your crypto trading needs, though Coinbase's history suggests the privacy-minded may want to look elsewhere.



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Jeremy Harshman is a creative assistant at CreditDonkey, a crypto comparison and reviews website. Write to Jeremy Harshman at jeremy.harshman@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

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