Gemini vs Coinbase: Which crypto exchange is better?

We compare these 2 well known cryptocurrency exchanges to find out how they stack up.

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Gemini and Coinbase are reputable exchanges that have set some precedents in the areas of anti-money laundering, consumer protection and cybersecurity. Coinbase earned its position as one of the most popular exchanges in the world through its friendly and easy-to-follow interface. Meanwhile, Gemini’s simple and user-friendly platform is also an attractive option for new investors. So which exchange has the edge?
Crypto is unregulated in the UK; there's no consumer protection; value can rise or fall; tax on profits may apply*.

Round 1: Vital statistics

Gemini Cryptocurrency ExchangeCoinbase Digital Currency Exchange
Overall rating★★★★★★★★★★
Costs rating★★★★★★★★★★
FCA-registered
Exchange locationUK/USUS
Offers a debit card
More InfoMore Info

Gemini has a base in the UK and is registered with the UK watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Although cryptocurrency isn’t regulated in the UK, it means Gemini has passed checks for money laundering and terrorism financing. US-based Coinbase is not on the FCA’s crypto asset firm register, but its continued presence in the US means that it is one of the most reputable exchanges operating in the market.

Winner: Tie

Round 2: Supported coins

Gemini Cryptocurrency ExchangeCoinbase Digital Currency Exchange
Number of tradeable crypto assets106256
More InfoMore Info

Coinbase has an extensive range of coins available, including several obscure altcoins. Gemini supports a smaller number but includes the major ones. In the past, it has been slow to adopt some of the more notable new coins. But you’ll most likely find what you need with both platforms. Overall, Coinbase wins out for hosting more cryptocurrency pairs and typically having higher liquidity levels.

Winner: Coinbase

Round 3: Supported fiat currencies

Gemini Cryptocurrency ExchangeCoinbase Digital Currency Exchange
Number of supported fiat currencies723
More InfoMore Info

Once again, Coinbase’s range of fiat currencies is larger than Gemini’s. This highlights its presence in multiple countries. However, for UK users the main point is that both Gemini and Coinbase support GBP for deposits and withdrawals.

Winner: Coinbase

Round 4: Fees

Gemini Cryptocurrency ExchangeCoinbase Digital Currency Exchange
Minimum deposits£10£50
Deposit FeesCrypto: None
Wire transfer: determined by your bank
Debit card: 3.49%
ACH: Free
Wire transfer: $10
SEPA: €0.15
SWIFT: Free
Trading FeeActiveTrader:
Taker fee - 0.03-0.4%
Maker fee - 0-0.2%
Maker fee: 0.00-0.4%
Taker fee: 0.05-0.6%
Withdrawal FeesNone (for 10 withdrawals and below per month)ACH: Free
Wire transfer: $25
SEPA: €0.15
SWIFT: £1
Deposit methodsDebit card, Apple Pay, Google Pay, SWIFTBank transfer, Credit card, Cryptocurrency, Debit card, PayPal
More InfoMore Info

Gemini’s fee structure lets it down, as it can vary depending on the platform being used to trade. So if you use your mobile app to trade, your fees will be different from those via the web platform. Typically, if you use its ActiveTrader platform then you can access more competitive fees. In contrast, Coinbase’s fees may not be the most transparent but they are competitive within the Pro version of the platform, which is free to access once you’ve been verified.

Winner: Coinbase

Round 5: Wallets

Gemini takes its wallet security seriously: It has an insured hot wallet and an institutional-grade cold storage system. The main difference between Gemini’s offering and Coinbase’s is that the latter is a self-custodial wallet. This means you maintain control of your digital assets. It also offers more functionality in that it provides a bridge to the decentralised web, allowing you to earn yields or grow your NFT collection.

Winner: Coinbase

Round 6: Ease of use

Coinbase is one of the world’s most used cryptocurrency exchanges. Its interface is one of the easiest to use, which makes the likelihood of mistakes small. Gemini is also a good option for new investors. It has a friendly user interface as well as the ability to upgrade to an advanced platform. Both platforms lend themselves to inexperienced and experienced traders alike.

Winner: Tie

Round 7: Security

Both Gemini and Coinbase rate pretty highly for security. Gemini has never experienced a hack and has a robust insurance plan in place. Coinbase did experience a hack in 2021 but reimbursed all affected customers. It also has significant insurance in place and regularly conducts SOC audits.

Winner: Tie

Verdict: Is Coinbase better than Gemini?

Coinbase narrowly edges Gemini out purely due to its size and liquidity. They are evenly matched in terms of security and ease of use. Coinbase’s fees are probably slightly more competitive, but it is the number of coins and its liquidity levels which mean that Coinbase can offer new investors that tiny bit more. While there’s no denying Gemini is a versatile exchange, Coinbase nudges ahead with features including its cryptocurrency debit card and its Coinbase Earn programme.

*Cryptocurrencies aren't regulated in the UK and there's no protection from the Financial Ombudsman or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Your capital is at risk. Capital gains tax on profits may apply.

Cryptocurrencies are speculative and investing in them involves significant risks - they're highly volatile, vulnerable to hacking and sensitive to secondary activity. The value of investments can fall as well as rise and you may get back less than you invested. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. This content shouldn't be interpreted as a recommendation to invest. Before you invest, you should get advice and decide whether the potential return outweighs the risks. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

Written by

Kate Steere

Kate Steere is an editor at Finder, specialising in fintech, banking and cryptocurrency. She has previously written for The Motley Fool UK and Fitch Solutions, where she covered a wide range of personal finance topics and kept a close eye on market trends. Kate has a Bachelor of Arts in Modern History from the University of East Anglia. When not working, she can usually be found curled up with a good book or heading out for a run. See full profile

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