September 28, 2021

Gemini vs Binance

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Binance is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. Gemini is a popular security-minded exchange. Are they safe and legit?

With so many crypto exchanges, it's hard to pick the right one.

Favored by high-volume traders, Binance and Binance.US are among the largest exchanges in the world.

On the other hand, Gemini is a security-minded exchange with a focus on regulatory compliance.

But there's plenty to consider before making a decision. Keep reading to decide which exchange is right for you.

What are Binance and Gemini?

Binance
Binance, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, was founded in Hong Kong in 2017 by Changpeng Zhao and Beijie Technology.

They've moved their offices several times, first from China to Japan in 2017, then to Taiwan in 2018. Since April 2018, they've been headquartered in Malta.

Binance has received a fair amount of regulatory scrutiny. They opened Binance.US, managed by BAM Trading Services and based in San Francisco, after Binance was banned in 2019. A separate company, Binance.US is currently one of the top 10 exchanges listed on Coinmarketcap.

Gemini
Based in NYC, Gemini is a security- and compliance-minded cryptocurrency exchange, as well as a fiduciary and a Qualified Custodian. They were founded in 2014 and started by offering secure trading of Bitcoin. They've since grown to support a fair range of crypto coins.

In 2016, they became the first licensed Ethereum exchange in the U.S., and the first licensed Zcash exchange in 2018. They are regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS).

Pros and Cons

Both Binance and Gemini are some of the most popular crypto platforms available on the market. Review these pros and cons to determine which crypto exchange is right for you.

Binance Pros and Cons

  • Competitively low fees
  • P2P trading
  • Good track record with security breaches
  • Secure Asset Fund
  • May intimidate new users
  • Not available in all states
  • Slow customer service response

Choose Binance if: If you're located outside the U.S.; you prioritize low fees

Gemini Pros and Cons

  • Beginner-friendly
  • Focus on security
  • More features available to U.S.
  • Government compliance
  • No margin trading
  • Slow withdrawals
  • Slightly higher fees

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

Where are They Available?

Binance
Binance is available worldwide with some restrictions in over 180 countries. The main platform is not available in the U.S., nor in the UK, (at the time of writing, it does not comply with U.K. anti-money laundering rules.)

Traders in America can take advantage of Binance.US, which has some differences from the original Binance platform, detailed below. It's offered in 41 U.S. states, but not the following:

  • Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, New York, Texas, Vermont, and Washington.

Gemini
Gemini is available in more than 50 countries, detailed in the chart below:

RegionCountries
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

What Cryptocurrencies Do They Support?

One of the main differences between Binance and Binance.US is which coins they offer.

Binance
Binance offers one of the largest numbers available in one place, over 500 cryptocurrencies and stablecoins. The full list can be found here, and includes all major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Binance.US supports a more limited but still substantial range of currencies, numbered over 50, including the following:

  • BNB, TetherUS, Bitcoin, VeThor Token, Ethereum, Storj, Harmony, Cardano, VeChain, EOS, Dogecoin, Stellar Lumens, Helium, Litecoin, Zilliqa, Matic Network, Elrond, Enjin Coin, Decentraland, Hedera Hashgraph, BUSD, Chainlink, USD Coin, Tezos, OMG Network, Solana, ICON, Algorand, QTUM, Basic Attention Token, Bitcoin Cash, Uniswap, Orchid, Ravencoin, Band Protocol, Zcash, Horizen, Dash, NEO, 0x, Ontology, Cosmos, Compound, Maker, MIOTA, Ethereum Classic, KyberNetwork, Waves, NANO, Augur v2, DAI, PAX Gold

Gemini
Gemini offers 41 cryptocurrencies and stablecoins, including the most traded coins:

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

Gemini vs Binance Features

In this section, review the features offered by Gemini and Binance, including trading, rewards, and more.

Cryptocurrency Exchange

Binance
The Binance exchange is the biggest in the world, offering high liquidity on a wide number of coins. With over 500 coins, they offer many multiples the variety of coins that Gemini does. Binance.US offers a much more comparable number.

On Binance, some coin pairs can be traded for up to 10x leverage. Limit, market, and stop orders are supported. While Binance.US offers a much more limited range of currencies, they support the same trading capabilities.

Gemini
While Gemini's main platform doesn't support limit orders and margin trades, their ActiveTrader feature offers more advanced trading options. And for those planning to implement dollar cost averaging or automate their investing, Gemini supports recurring buys.

We'll discuss fees, an important factor in choosing any exchange, in detail further down.

Earn Cryptocurrency / Rewards

Binance
You can earn staking rewards on a limited number of coins with Binance.US. Rates vary from coin to coin, and are estimated from 0.5% to 10%.

At time of writing, they offer the following coins, but they can change frequently:

  • QTUM, EOS, ONE, Vechain Staking Rewards, XTZ Staking, ATOM Staking, and ALGO Staking

Binance offers DeFi staking and Locked Staking to international users. Potentially higher interest rates are offered with locked staking in exchange for depositing your coins for fixed terms. Periods range from 15, 30, 60, to 90 days.

Interest rates range start at 1.49% and go as high as 33.12% for 64 locked staking and 11 DeFi staking coins. Rates are determined by which coins you choose to stake and your fixed term, if you take one.

Staking options are listed here.

Gemini
Gemini offers staking rewards on nearly all of the coins they support for trade, with rates ranging from 1.51% to 8.05%. Here's a sample of rates offered on popular coins:

Rewards Cards

Binance
International users will have access to the Binance Visa card. It has zero fees and can earn users up to 8% cash back on eligible purchases. And users can hold crypto in their Binance Funding Wallet and spend it when they need it.

U.S. customers won't be able to get a card from Binance.

It's available in the following countries:

  • Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guiana, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guadeloupe, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Martinique, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Reunion, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden.

Gemini
Though it won't be launching until summer 2021, the Gemini credit card offered in partnership with Mastercard will offer 1% - 3% cash back on purchases real time, available in any cryptocurrency that Gemini supports.

Users can manage their card from their Gemini app, and there is no annual fee. Instant access will be available to citizens of all U.S. states. The cards will be produced in metal and are customizable.

Mobile Pay

Users outside the U.S. will have access to Binance Pay, a contactless mobile service which lets investors send and receive cryptocurrency from others. They can spend their crypto online or in person with funds stored in their Binance Pay Wallet.

It supports the following cryptocurrencies:

  • BTC, BNB, BUSD, ETH, ADA, ATOM, BCH, DASH, DOGE, DOT, EOS, ETC, FIL, HBAR, LINK, LTC, MATIC, NEO, PAX, QTUM, TRX, TUSD, UNI, USDC, VET, WRX, XLM, XMR, XRP, XTZ, ZEC, USDT, FRONT, STRAX, ONE, EGLD and SXP.

Gemini Pay is a very similar feature that is available in the U.S., and lets you spend your crypto at more than 30,000 retail locations across the country.

Cryptocurrency Wallet

Gemini
Users can store their crypto safely with the Gemini Wallet. It supports both a hot wallet and a cold wallet, so users can store their coins online or offline.

It's protected by insurance against theft of digital assets as well, meaning if someone does manage to steal your cryptocurrency, you should be able to be reimbursed.

For those who are interested in an even greater degree of security, Gemini Custody lets users store their digital assets safely offline in geographically distributed, controlled facilities insured for $200 million. This is the highest insurance coverage awarded to any crypto custodian.

Even funds held in cold storage can be traded with Gemini Instant Trade.

Binance
While you can store your coins directly on the Binance platform, they don't offer a specific wallet and recommend using Trust Wallet for keeping crypto safe.

Other Features

Both platforms have a number of unique features that are also worth considering.

Binance:

  • Crypto-backed Loans: LTVs up to 65%, margin call is set at 75%, liquidation at 83% LTV; Loan terms come in 7, 14, 30, 90, and 180 periods, with no penalties for early repayment; not available in U.S.

  • Liquid Swap: Automated market-maker (AMM) platform that allows for more stable prices and lower fees for large transactions

  • Smart Pool: Enables miners to earn rewards proportionate to their participation working together as part of a larger mining group

  • Brave Widget: Binance has released a widget that can be used to trade cryptocurrency through Brave, an internet browser that aims to protect user data

  • P2P Trading: Allows users to trade crypto amongst themselves with no fees; Users set their own prices and wait for other users on the P2P platform to fulfill buy/sell orders

  • NFT Trading: Supports the creation, sale, and purchase of NFTs, and you can even win them through their Mystery Box Playground; not available on Binance.US

  • Binance Futures: Allows users to trade certain coins at high rates of leverage, up to 125x
    • Account funding and balances payments are made in Tether (USDT)
    • Trading with leverage carries high risk

Gemini:

  • Gemini Clearing: Users can settle off-exchange crypto trades securely and safely
  • Gemini ActiveTrader: An advanced version of the trading platform for serious users, offering a range of trading options

Fees to Look Out for

It's important to take fees into account when choosing an exchange. While the price of a cryptocurrency should be fairly universal, fees determine the costs beyond the actual coin's value. If you're going to be trading frequently, fees become even more important.

Binance offers some of the lowest trading fees of all non-commission-free exchanges in the crypto space, which typically have a far more limited selection. Binance and Binance.US fees are similar, but not entirely the same, with slightly better rates for users outside the United States.

As you'll see in the chart below, Gemini offers quite normal fees compared to other popular exchanges, but not quite as low as those available on Binance or Binance.US.

Security

With the very real threat of hackers and thieves, and the lack of many of the features offered by traditional banks, security is a very real concern for cryptocurrency traders. Here are some of the security features offered by Binance and Gemini.

Binance:[1]

  • Two-Faction Authentication: Keep malicious actors from logging into your account
    • Currently supports 2FA vis SMS message and Google Authenticator, and Yubikey

  • Address Whitelist: Specify a list of specific crypto wallets to allow
    • Withdrawals that are confirmed by email
    • Prevents someone from withdrawing your assets without your knowledge

  • Secure Asset Fund for Users (SAFU): Binance pools 10% of transaction fees, and transfers it to its security fund
    • Can be used to repay investors in the event of a hack
    • Used in 2019 to pay users over $40 million

Gemini:[2]

  • Cold Storage: User crypto stored offline in geographically distributed, air-gapped system
    • Requires multiple employees to operate
    • The small amount of crypto kept 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: Limits where withdrawals are allowed

  • Rate limiting: Prevents brute force attacks

  • Encryption: Safeguards 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

In addition to their security features, Gemini has a policy of extreme regulatory compliance, seeking to stay ahead of any demands that state agencies might require of them. Binance, on the other hand, has a history of seeking paths forward that may put them under the scrutiny of regulators.

Bottom Line

Both Binance and Gemini have a lot to offer for new and experienced crypto traders, and you wouldn't be faulted for choosing either of them.

If price is your main determining factor, you'd be wise to choose Binance, as they will offer some of the best rates in the industry, barring commission-free exchanges. And their high liquidity ensures fewer trade-related price fluctuations.

Each exchange offers versions of the same useful features, such as staking, secure storage, and mobile pay, but users in the U.S. will find more of those features accessible on Gemini, while international traders may prefer Binance.

And for those worried about the legal future of cryptocurrency, especially in the United States, Gemini will probably prove a safer choice.

References

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Jeremy Harshman is a protector of art and writing 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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