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Coinbase vs Gemini (2022)

Cryptocurrency is not regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority and is not subject to protection under the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme or within the scope of jurisdiction of the UK Financial Ombudsman Service. Investing in cryptocurrency comes with risk and cryptocurrency may gain in value, or lose some or all value. Capital gains tax may be applicable to profits from cryptocurrency sales.

Which is better: Coinbase or Gemini?

Coinbase is a solid choice for anyone that wants a simplified crypto trading experience, the ability to buy crypto with a credit card, and access to a handful of nifty features. On the other hand, Gemini is best for traders that want a highly regulated trading platform, slightly lower fees, and access to a wider range of supported cryptocurrencies.

In this Coinbase vs Gemini comparison, I’ll walk you through the differences between both companies. I’ll compare all the main things – including their features, fees, pros, cons, and more.

Let’s get started.

Quick Comparison

 CoinbaseGemini
Best ForTraders that want access to extra features and the ability to buy crypto with a credit card.Security-focused investors that want slightly lower fees and access to a wider range of supported cryptocurrencies.
Supported Cryptocurrencies50+70+
Payment MethodsUK bank transfer (via FPS)
SWIFT bank transfer
SEPA bank transfer
Debit and credit card
Crypto deposit
PayPal
UK bank transfers (via FPS)
CHAPS bank transfer
SWIFT bank transfer
Debit card
Crypto deposit
Instant Buy Trading FeesUnder £200: 0.50% spread + £0.99–£2.99 trading fee

Over £200: 0.50% spread + 1.49% trading fee
Under £150: 0.50% spread + £0.75 to £2.25 trading fee

Over £150: 0.50% spread + 1.49% trading fee
Exchange Trading Fees0.50% or less0.35% or less
Deposit FeesUK bank transfer (via FPS): Free
SWIFT bank transfer: Free
SEPA bank transfer: €0.15
Debit and credit card: 3.99%
Crypto deposit: Free
PayPal: Not Available
UK bank transfers (via FPS & CHAPS): Free
SWIFT bank transfer: Free
Debit card: 3.49%
Crypto deposit: Free
Withdrawal FeesUK bank transfer (via FPS): Free
SWIFT bank transfer: £1
SEPA bank transfer: €0.15
Debit and credit card: 2%
Crypto withdrawal: Varies
PayPal: 2%
UK bank transfer (via FPS & CHAPS): Free
SWIFT bank transfer: Free
Crypto: Free for first 10 each month, varies after
Account LimitsTrading: No Limit (Verification Level 3)
Withdrawal: £100,000
Deposit: £250,000 (via FPS)
Trading: No Limit
Withdrawal: No Limit
Deposit: No Limit
Security FeaturesTwo-factor authentication
Address whitelisting
Cold storage
Cryptoasset insurance
Two-factor authentication
Address whitelisting
Cold storage
Cryptoasset insurance
Fully registered FCA cryptoasset firm
New York BitLicense

Overview: Coinbase vs Gemini

Gemini and Coinbase are two of the best-known crypto trading platforms. Here’s a quick look at each firm to kick off our comparison.

What is Coinbase?

Founded in 2012, Coinbase is one of the largest cryptoasset trading companies on the planet. It was originally headquartered in San Francisco, but it’s now a fully remote company. The firm claims to have more than 68 million traders in more than 100 countries.

With Coinbase, traders can buy and sell crypto using the firm’s instant buy platform or its exchange (Coinbase Pro). The company also offers many additional crypto-related features, such as its crypto-backed debit card.

What is Gemini?

Gemini is a New York-based crypto trading platform that was founded in 2015 by the Winklevoss twins. The company is also a fully registered cryptoasset firm with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK.

As is the case with Coinbase, Gemini also has an Instant Buy platform and an advanced exchange (ActiveTrader). Gemini doesn’t have as many extra features as Coinbase, but its key benefit is that it’s one of the most security-focused crypto trading firms in the world.

Key Features

Most people initially come to Coinbase or Gemini to buy and sell crypto. But both companies offer more than just a simple trading terminals.

Coinbase supports both instant buy-type purchases through its broker service and trading capability on its exchange, Coinbase Pro.

Investors with Coinbase can also access a slew of other features, including:

  • Coinbase Earn: A fun way to earn free crypto just by watching short educational videos.
  • Coinbase Staking: Lets you stake certain cryptocurrencies right from your Coinbase account.
  • Coinbase Pay: Send or receive crypto from anyone with a Coinbase account.
  • Coinbase Card: A Visa debit card that lets you spend crypto in your account on daily purchases. Head to my Coinbase Card review for more information.
  • Coinbase Wallet: A non-custodial software wallet. It’s available as a mobile app and browser extension. Check out my Coinbase Wallet review for more on that.

You can learn more about these features in my Coinbase review and my Coinbase Pro review.

Like Coinbase, Gemini also has an instant buy-type trading terminal and an advanced crypto exchange, ActiveTrader.

In addition to crypto trading, Gemini also offers the following features:

  • Gemini Earn: Lets you accrue interest on more than a dozen cryptocurrencies.
  • Gemini Pay: Allows you to use your crypto balance to pay for goods and services at dozens of major retailers.
  • Gemini Credit Card: A Mastercard that lets you earn crypto rewards on all purchases. It’s not currently available in the UK.

Learn more about all these great features in my Gemini review.

When it comes to their crypto trading platforms, Coinbase and Gemini are neck and neck in terms of functionality. But as far as extra features go, Coinbase has the clear advantage.

Winner: Coinbase

Supported Cryptocurrencies

UK investors can trade more than 50 cryptocurrencies on Coinbase. However, some of the coins and tokens available for trading on Coinbase aren’t available on Coinbase Pro and vice versa. You can head over to their full list of supported cryptocurrencies to learn more.

Gemini currently supports trades of more than 70 cryptocurrencies. But you can only trade Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) with GBP on ActiveTrader. Check out the full list of Gemini’s supported cryptocurrencies for more information.

Winner: Gemini

Payment Options

Coinbase supports the following payment methods for UK-based investors:

  • UK bank transfer (via FPS)
  • SEPA bank transfer
  • SWIFT bank transfer
  • Debit and credit card
  • PayPal (withdrawal only)
  • Crypto deposit

But traders using Coinbase Pro can only fund their accounts with UK bank transfers (via FPS) and SEPA bank transfers.

With Gemini, you can use the following payment methods in the UK:

  • UK bank transfers (via FPS)
  • CHAPS bank transfer
  • SWIFT bank transfer
  • Debit card
  • Crypto deposit

The main difference is that Coinbase supports credit card payments, SEPA bank transfers, and PayPal withdrawals while Gemini doesn’t. Plus, I’ve personally found that it takes longer for UK bank transfers to credit to a Gemini account than it does with Coinbase.

Winner: Coinbase

Fees

Coinbase and Gemini have equally complex fee schedules.

Let’s go through it.

Instant Buy & Sell Fees

When you trade using Coinbase’s instant buy service, you’ll pay a 0.50% spread fee plus a transaction fee. These transaction fees are:

Trade ValueFees
< £30£0.99
£10 to £25£1.49
£25 to £50£1.99
£50 to £200£2.99
> £2001.49%

With Gemini, you’re also charged a 0.50% ‘convenience fee’ plus one of the following transaction fees for instant buys:

Trade ValueFees
< £7.50£0.75
£7.50 to £20£1.25
£20 to £50£2.00
£50 to £150£2.25
> £1501.49%

The Instant Buy fees for Coinbase and Gemini are very similar. But you’ll get a slightly better deal with Gemini on most of your fees – especially for smaller transactions.

Exchange Fees

Gemini and Coinbase both use maker/taker fee schedules for trades placed on their respective exchanges.

With Coinbase Pro, the fee schedule is:

Monthly Trading VolumeMaker FeeTaker Fee
$10,000 or less0.50%0.50%
$10,000 to $50,0000.35%0.35%
$50,000 to $100,0000.10%0.25%
$100,000 to $1 million0.10%0.20%
$1 million to $20 million0.08%0.18%
$20 million to $100 million0.05%0.15%
$100 million to $300 million0.02%0.10%
$300 million to $500 millionFree0.08%
$500 million to $750 millionFree0.06%
$750 million to $1 billionFree0.05%
$1 billion or moreFree0.04%

With Gemini’s ActiveTrader, the fee schedule is:

30-Day Trading VolumeTaker FeeMaker FeeAuction Fee
< $500,0000.35%0.25%0.25%
≥ $500,0000.25%0.15%0.20%
≥ $2,500,0000.25%0.15%0.10%
≥ $5,000,000≤ 0.15%≤ 0.10%≤ 0.10%

For traders with less than $50,000 in monthly trading volume, Gemini’s ActiveTrader offers the best deal on fees. But if you trade more than $50,000 worth of crypto each month, you’ll generally get a better deal with Coinbase (though the difference in fees is quite small).

Deposit & Withdrawal Fees

Investors with both Gemini and Coinbase are subject to certain deposit and withdrawal fees. These fees include:

 CoinbaseGemini
UK Bank TransferFreeFree
Credit & Debit Card3.99%3.49%
Crypto DepositsFreeFree
SWIFT Bank TransferFree (Deposit)
£1 (Withdrawal)
Free
SEPA Bank Transfer€0.15NA
PayPal2%NA

When it comes to fiat and crypto deposits, both Coinbase and Gemini are fairly evenly matched. The one difference is that Gemini has slightly lower fees for debit card purchases.

As far as crypto withdrawals go, Gemini is a clear leader.

Both companies charge fees for crypto withdrawals that vary depending on the coin in question.

However, Gemini gives you 10 free crypto withdrawals per calendar month. This might not seem like much, but it can make a big difference when network fees for various cryptocurrencies are high (e.g., like Ethereum).

Winner: Gemini

Limits

With Coinbase, UK-based traders are limited by their verification level.

If you complete photo ID verification with Coinbase, you’ll get a £250,000 daily deposit limit and a £100,000 daily fiat withdrawal limit via UK bank transfer (FPS). On Coinbase Pro, your daily deposit limit is $50,000 – but you can request a limit increase. There are no trading or crypto transfer limits with Coinbase.

Gemini has no limits on how much you can deposit from a UK bank account at once. If you send less than £250,000 your funds will be sent via FPS. Larger transactions are sent via CHAPS. There are no crypto deposit or withdrawal limits either, but you can only buy $500 worth of crypto using a debit card each day.

Winner: Gemini

Security

Gemini and Coinbase both take a lot of steps to protect you from hacking attempts.

Coinbase protects its platform using high-level encryption, cold storage, address whitelisting, and two-factor authentication. The firm also states that it has an insurance policy to protect client assets after a security breach, but it doesn’t provide much information about the policy terms.

Gemini takes similar steps to protect client assets. It uses offline, air-gapped cold storage for most client assets, two-factor authentication, address whitelisting, and high-end encryption for its platform. Gemini also has insurance to protect client cryptoassets, though (like Coinbase) it’s not clear how much this policy is worth.

But when compared to Coinbase, Gemini has the edge where security is concerned.

Gemini was also the first crypto exchange to complete both the SOC 1 Type 1 and SOC 2 Type 1 and Type 2 security examinations. On top of that, they’re a fiduciary and a New York Trust company with a New York BitLicense. Finally, Gemini is the only one of these two companies that’s a registered cryptoasset firm with the FCA in the UK.

Winner: Gemini

The Bottom Line

Gemini and Coinbase are two very popular crypto brokers and exchanges, but each one is designed for a specific type of trader.

Here’s what I think is better about Coinbase:

  • Lower fees if you’re looking to buy with a credit or debit card.
  • Lots of extra features besides crypto trading.
  • Great liquidity on Coinbase Pro, even on GBP trading pairs.

And here’s what I think is better about Gemini:

  • Can work out cheaper if you’re funding your account with a UK bank transfer.
  • You can trade a wider range of cryptocurrencies.
  • As there’s less to get distracted by, it’s a bit more intuitive if you just want to buy/sell cryptocurrencies (and nothing else).

Ultimately, Coinbase and Gemini both offer a lot to love for crypto traders and one isn’t necessarily better than the other. What’s important is that you select the perfect platform for all your crypto investing needs.

Any Questions?

Thanks for checking out this comparison of Coinbase vs Gemini.

Got a question about either of these options?

Let me know in the comments below!

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