The crypto space is full of exchanges. Some big, some small, some are well known, while others are used by only a few dozen people. Some are legit, and some are scams.
We’ve already reviewed some of the top exchanges and let you know which ones you can trust. But with so many trustworthy exchanges, we now have to start comparing them to each other.
In this article, we’ll be making a Gemini vs. Coinbase Pro full comparison. Read on to get all the info that will help you decide which one is better for you.
Gemini vs Coinbase Pro Comparison Table
|Based In: New York||Based In: San Francisco|
|Cryptos Listed: BTC, ETH||Cryptos Listed: ATOM, ALGO, BTC, BCH, COMP, DAI, DASH, EOS, ETH, ETC, KNC, LTC, LINK, MKR, OMG, OXT, REP, XLM, XRP, XTZ, ZRX|
|Beginner Friendly: Yes||Beginner Friendly: Yes|
|Options For Advanced Traders: Yes||Options For Advanced Traders: Yes|
|Mobile App: Yes||Mobile App: Yes|
|Custody Insurance: Yes||Custody Insurance: Yes|
|Fees: High; can go up to 1.99%||Fees: 0.04%-0,05% depending on trading volume|
When comparing Gemini vs Coinbase Pro, we can see the main difference between Gemini and Coinbase Pro is the cryptocurrencies they trade-in. While both have a limited selection of tokens, Gemini trades in Bitcoin and Ethereum only, while Coinbase Pro has 21 tokens available.
What is Gemini?
Gemini is a New York-based cryptocurrency exchange that was launched in 2015. It’s a trusted company regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS) and currently operates in the US, Canada, the UK, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
Gemini aims to make buying cryptocurrencies both secure and straightforward and offer tools and features both for novices and more experienced traders.
- Novice and Advanced Trading Platforms: Users may choose between the Gemini™ exchange, aimed at novice crypto traders, and Gemini Active Trader™ for more experienced users.
- Mobile App: Available for both Android and iOS devices. It allows users to store cryptocurrencies as well as buy and sell tokens on the go. Samsung smartphone users in the US and Canada can connect Gemini to the Samsung Blockchain Wallet.
- Digital collectibles: Gemini powers a gateway where users can buy and sell digital collectible items (called “Nifties”).
- Custody service: Gemini offers an insured custody service for around 30 cryptocurrencies. They have 200 million USD in insurance coverage, more than any other crypto custody service.
- Referral program: Users can receive 10 USD worth of Bitcoin for referrals that join Gemini.
- Hardware Security Keys: Users can protect their accounts with a hardware key via WebAuthn
- Gemini Dollar (GUSD): Gemini’s’s stablecoin, pegged to the US Dollar.
- Gemini Pay: Using the mobile app, users can make purchases with cryptocurrencies in thousands of retailers in the US.
Gemini’s trading fees are a little more complicated than on other exchanges. First, they have different fee schedules for web and mobile trading. Also, users pay two fees when they make a trade: first, there’s a 0.5% “Convenience Fee”.
This fee works similarly to the “trading fee” on other exchanges. Considering the average trading fee on most crypto exchanges is around 0.2%, Gemini is on the expensive side. And users pay not only the Convenience Fee but also a Transaction Fee.
For up to 200 USD, the transaction fee will be between 0.99 and 2.99 USD. For trades over 200 USD, the transaction fee will be 1.49%.
In other words, if you want to buy over 200 USD worth of Bitcoin (or any other token listed on Gemini), you’ll pay a total fee of 1.99% (0.5 Convenience + 1.49 Transaction). This is exceptionally high.
Gemini was built with security in mind, aiming to make purchasing cryptocurrencies both comfortable and safe. They are compliant with SOC1 Type 1 and SOC2 Type 1 and Type 2.
Users may also choose to protect their accounts with a hardware security key via WebAuthn. From a security standpoint, Gemini is on par with the top crypto exchanges.
Gemini requires full ID verification to have full trading access. Users from the US will need to provide proof of identity via a valid ID, driver’s license, or passport. International users will typically have to provide both proof of identity and proof of residence (a scan of a bank statement or service or utility bill to the user’s home address).
There have been several user complaints about the verification process taking too long; over one month in some cases.
Is Gemini Legit?
Gemini is regulated as a trust company by the NYSDFS, so they are as legit as you can get.
New York-based cryptocurrency exchange Gemini was built with the idea of making cryptocurrency purchases both easy and secure. And they certainly have delivered on that.
Novices can buy their first tokens easily on the Gemini™ exchange, while the Gemini Active Trader™ platform is available for those who want more advanced features. They also have an excellent mobile app and offer insured custody for 30 cryptocurrencies.
On the downside, tokens available for buying and trading are limited to Bitcoin, and Ether and fees can be very high.
What is Coinbase Pro?
Unless you’re extremely new to the crypto world, you’ve probably heard of Coinbase.
What you might not know is that Coinbase has two different platforms: Coinbase itself (aimed at novice users and offering an easy way to start buying cryptocurrencies) and Coinbase Pro, designed for expert traders, offering them advanced features with lower fees.
So Coinbase is an easy-to-use platform that lets you buy cryptocurrency. But there is little to no crypto trading on Coinbase.
Realizing that there was a lot of untapped potential in cryptocurrencies, Coinbase launched GDAX (Global Digital Asset Exchange) in 2015 to offer more advanced options to expert traders.
Later, in May 2018, Coinbase announced that they would be adding some new features and rebranding GDAX as Coinbase Pro.
Coinbase Pro Features:
- Coinbase API: The API includes both a web socket that can get real-time access to market data and allows programming trading bots for automating transactions.
- Mobile App: For convenient, on-the-go trading. Available for both Android and iOS devices.
- Insured Custody: All balances are covered by FDIC insurance, up to 250.000 USD per customer.
- Advanced Trading Options: Coinbase Pro allows both stop and limit orders. Margin trading is also available, although not to all users.
Coinbase Pro Fees:
Coinbase Pro doesn’t work with a single, fixed trading fee. Users are placed in “Pricing tiers” according to their trading volume during the previous 30 days.
The first tier is for users with 30-day trading volumes up to 10.000 USD, and the maker fee for this tier is 0.5% (higher than average). For the next tier (10.000-50.000 USD), the maker fee is 0.35%.
Fees can be as low as 0.04%, but you need to have a trading volume of over 1 billion USD to get it.
Coinbase Pro Security:
Users can choose one of three methods to protect their accounts. The first option is receiving single-use keys via SMS. The second involves single-use keys generated by 2FA (Two-Factor Authentication) software like Authy or Google Authenticator.
Finally, users can choose a hardware security key as long as it supports the U2F/WebAuthN standard. Coinbase Pro security is on par with all top crypto exchanges.
Coinbase Pro Verification:
Verification for Coinbase Pro accounts varies according to the user’s country but generally consists of a two-fold process. One of them will be providing a government-issued ID like a passport, driver’s license, or ID card.
The second one could be a second ID or completing a set of identity-verification questions. The process is generally fast and can be achieved from Coinbase’s mobile app.
Is Coinbase Pro Legit?
Coinbase, Coinbase Pro’s parent company, is one of the most trusted cryptocurrency exchanges, having been around since 2012.
User accounts are insured for up to 250,000 USD by FDIC insurance, and they are registered with FinCEN (the US Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network). So, yes. They are legit.
Coinbase Pro Review
If you’re new to the cryptocurrency world and are just looking to buy some Bitcoin or Ether to hold either to protect your money’s value or hoping the price will skyrocket, then Coinbase Pro probably isn’t the best option for you.
After all, Coinbase Pro’s’s target audience is expert, high volume crypto traders. This type of user gets the advantage of advanced options, but many might find the coin selection very limited.
Even though Coinbase Pro’s 21 cryptocurrencies are a lot more than Gemini’s two, there are exchanges out there that list hundreds of cryptocurrencies.
Also, if you’re a low-volume trader, other exchanges offer fees that are lower than Coinbase Pros. But if you happen to be among their intended users, then Coinbase Pro is worth checking out.
Gemini vs Coinbase Pro… Wrapping it up
We’ve taken a look at two excellent cryptocurrency exchanges: Gemini and Coinbase Pro. However, each company offers two separate platforms: one for novice traders (Gemini™ and Coinbase) and one with advanced features for experienced traders (Gemini Active Trader™ and Coinbase Pro).
If you’re a novice user taking your first steps in crypto, you’ll likely appreciate the many features that Gemini offers, and the Gemini Pay program is an excellent example of a company making cryptocurrencies usable in the real world.
Coinbase might be more straightforward for buying your first tokens, but Gemini lets you do more with them. Coinbase also has high deposit and withdrawal fees, which can mean a lot of money in the long run.
So, for novices, Gemini takes the edge. Things are different for active, experienced traders. These users are a bit less interested in the everyday, real-world usability of crypto tokens and more in trading them to make money.
For them, Coinbase Pro might be a better option than Gemini Active Trader™ due to two main reasons: Coinbase Pro has a broader selection of tokens and generally lower fees, especially if they’re high-volume traders.
What about you? What kind of crypto trader are you now, or are you likely to be in the future? Now that you’ve read this Gemini vs Coinbase Pro comparison, you have the information you need to choose which exchange platform suits you best.
Jesus Cedeño is a certified doctor turned cryptocurrency expert, writer, and investor who lives in New York City. Jesús specializes in cryptocurrency product reviews, tutorials & technical analysis. Follow him on LinkedIn to stay up to date on his latest work on blockchain, decentralization and crypto investments.