Kraken vs Gemini Compared: Which Is Better?

    Kevin Groves
    Posted by: Kevin GrovesUpdated Feb 18th, 2023

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    Kraken and Gemini are both top cryptocurrency exchanges that have grown in popularity in recent years. But which one should beginners use? In this Kraken VS. Gemini review, we will provide a summary of each exchange, a brief overview of the products and services offered, pros and cons, supported cryptocurrencies, a comparison of their fees and how safe they are to use. This comparison will start with Kraken followed by Gemini. If you want to read a detailed overview of Kraken or Gemini, click on the exchange review links below. 

    Kraken vs Gemini: Quick Overview

    PromotionNone available at this timeNone available at this time
    Supported Cryptocurrency222117
    Deposit MethodBank transfer, wire transfers, SWIFTBank transfer, wire transfers, debit card
    Max. Trading Fee0.2% (fiat), 0.16% / 0.26% (crypto)0.5% (fiat), 0.35% / 0.25% (crypto)
    Live Chat SupportN/AYes
    Mobile AppYesYes
    Overall Rating
    HedgewithCrypto Score
    HedgewithCrypto Score
    4.8/5Our ratings take into account the ease of use, fees, deposit methods along with the exchange's reputation. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.
    Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarHalf Star
    Visit Kraken
    HedgewithCrypto Score
    HedgewithCrypto Score
    3.5/5Our ratings take into account the ease of use, fees, deposit methods along with the exchange's reputation. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.
    Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarEmpty Star
    Visit Gemini
    ReviewRead our full Kraken reviewRead our full Gemini review

    In-Depth Comparison: Kraken vs. Gemini

    Kraken Overview

    Kraken is a digital asset exchange that connects willing cryptocurrency buyers and sellers on an intuitive trading platform. The company is based in San Francisco after being founded in 2011 by Jesse Powell and officially launched in 2013. The exchange offers its products and services to individuals around the globe with support for several countries and fiat currencies that can be swapped into digital currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. Moreover, accredited investors in the USA can access the crypto margin trading platform to trade with leverage.

    Kraken Pros:
    • Regulated exchange in the United States
    • Buy, trade and sell over 54 different cryptocurrencies and even Forex (e.g. EUR/USD)
    • Multiple payment methods to deposit fiat
    • Advanced trading platform to trade crypto
    • Competitive fee schedule for traders
    Kraken Cons:
    • User interface is a little dated and difficult to use

    Gemini Overview

    On the other hand, Gemini is a private New York trust company that was founded in 2014 by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, commonly known as the "Winklevoss twins". The company is a cryptocurrency exchange and custodian that provides a simple, elegant and easy-to-buy, trade, store and sell digital assets. The exchange was voted as the best crypto exchange in 2019 and maintains a high level of security that has built a solid reputation in the industry as a trusted digital asset provider. 

    Gemini Pros:
    • Beginner-friendly, elegant and simple to use
    • Licensed and regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS)
    • Supports fiat deposits in USD, GBP, CAD, EUR, SGD, HKD and AUD
    • Ability to earn interest on crypto up to 7.4% APY
    • Can set recurring orders and price alerts
    Gemini Cons:
    • Not suitable for trading
    • No futures or margin trading
    • 0.5% trading fees a little high

    Gemini vs Kraken: Which Exchange Is Bigger?

    Kraken is ranked 4th largest in terms of traffic, liquidity, trading volumes, and confidence in the legitimacy of trading volumes reported. Based on data, Kraken has a 24-hour trading volume of $2.4 billion at the time of writing. The largest volume trades are for the Bitcoin/USD pairs on the leverage derivatives market followed by the spot exchange which is approximately $368,944,498.

    kraken market capkraken market cap

    In comparison, Gemini has a smaller market presence than Kraken and is currently ranked 14th largest. Approximately 58% of the exchange's volume is the buying and selling of Bitcoin against the US Dollar with 24-hour trading of $149,721,464.

    Based on the spot trading volume and liquidity, Kraken is a significantly larger exchange than Gemini for cryptocurrency buyers and sellers using fiat currency such as the USD and EUR. Moreover, Kraken has deeper liquidity for crypto-to-crypto trades making it the better platform for day trading crypto. But which exchange is better for beginners? To make this assessment, we will need to compare the exchange's features and benefits.

    Supported Countries

    Kraken and Gemini are top cryptocurrency platforms based in the USA that are highly regulated by FinCEN and other Government authorities around the world. Both exchanges allow citizens in multiple countries to buy and sell crypto with local fiat money using a bank transfer or debit card purchase. Accepted countries include the United States, Europe, UK, Australia, Singapore, Africa, New Zealand, Canada and many others.

    Which Exchange Is Easier To Use?

    The user experience is an important consideration for beginners that are looking for the best way to buy Bitcoin with local currency. The process to create an account, complete identity verification, link a payment method and purchase cryptocurrency should be fast, simple and safe to use. Kraken and Gemini offer very different user interfaces, so which is better for beginners?

    kraken user interfacekraken user interface

    Taking a look at Kraken first, the user interface to purchase crypto is designed like a cryptocurrency trading platform. Kraken's features an advanced trading platform that comes with a variety of orders such as market, limit and stop-limit to time and entry or exit.

    However, this may come across as confusing at first for new users that don't understand these types of orders. Using Kraken to place orders is basic and takes time to get used to. While Kraken is a superior exchange for serious crypto traders, is not suitable for beginners and can come across as complicated to use.

    gemini user interfacegemini user interface

    By comparison, Gemini does not offer a trading platform for crypto-to-crypto swaps. The exchange is purpose-designed to streamline the fiat on-ramp process for new investors. The entire website is visually appealing, easy to understand and quick to use. In our opinion, Gemini has the best fiat to crypto service between the two due to its ease of use and speed to make a trade using the web or mobile app.

    Which Cryptocurrency Assets Are Available?

    Most beginners will know of Bitcoin, but there are hundreds of other altcoins and DeFi tokens that can be bought and sold. Therefore, the availability of supported cryptocurrencies can influence the decision of which exchange to use, as well as the supported fiat currencies to purchase them with.

    Kraken supports 94 digital assets on its trading platform that can be purchased with fiat or other digital coins at the time of writing. These include the major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, LINK and XRP as well as up-and-coming DeFi tokens. In contrast, Gemini exchange is limited to 26 coins, however, includes the major coins by market capitalization such as Ethereum, XRP and Solana.

    gemini assetsgemini assets

    What About The Fees?

    A major consideration for anyone that wants to find a good cryptocurrency exchange is the fees. Various fees can include costs to deposit funds, foreign conversion rates, transaction costs (e.g. buy and sell), and fees to withdraw funds from the exchange.

    Kraken charges a 3.75% + €0.25 transaction fee to purchase cryptocurrency instantly using a debit card. There is also a spread cost added which can vary depending on the market conditions. For crypto-to-crypto traders, Kraken uses a maker and taker fee structure that starts from 0.16% (maker fee) and 0.26% (taker fee) which reduces with volume over a 30-day period. Using the USD or USDT as the base currency has a different trading fee that begins at 0.2% per trade and reduces with volume which is quite competitive in the market.

    kraken feeskraken fees

    On the other hand, Gemini uses a simple fee structure for depositing funds, purchasing crypto and withdrawing funds to a bank account. Essentially, there are zero fees to deposit fiat currency or crypto to Gemini. For debit card purchases, there is a 3.49% fee on the total purchase amount that includes the trading fee which is cheaper than Kraken.

    Gemini charges a flat 0.5% (or 50 basis points) trading fee above the prevailing Gemini market price for all buy and sell transactions using the web or mobile trading applications. This fee is slightly higher than the fees on Kraken. There are no withdrawal fees for transferring digital assets (e.g. GUSD, Bitcoin) or fiat using a bank account transfer apart from the standard blockchain network fee.

    For beginners that intend to spend more than $200 at a time, overall the fees on Kraken are slightly cheaper. Just be mindful of the payment method as the deposit and withdrawal fees on Kraken can add up over time.

    Transaction TypeKrakenGemini
    Bank Transfer (USD)$0 - $25None
    Debit Cards3.75% + €0.253.49%
    Fiat Trading0.2%0.5% +1.49%
    Crypto Trading0.16% / 0.26%0.35% / 0.25%
    Withdrawals (USD)Up to $40None

    Customer Support

    A thorough customer service section on the website is usually the first point of call for beginners to find answers to common questions or troubleshooting issues. Kraken and Gemini both provide an extensive support page that provides comprehensive guides and FAQs for their customer base, as well as a general knowledge section.

    gemini customer supportgemini customer support

    Both exchanges are on-par in our overall exchange rating system, however, Gemini is slightly ahead as the best cryptocurrency exchange for beginners. The fees are marginally higher compared to Kraken but a clear point of difference with Gemini is its ease of use and simplicity. The process to create an account, link a payment method, browsing the available cryptocurrencies and purchasing with fiat is beginner-friendly on both the website and mobile app. Gemini is also a highly regulated and safe platform so the security of personal information and funds stored on the exchange should not be a concern.

    Each exchange includes a live chatbot for individuals to ask questions, however, does not appear to be 24/7 and redirects to articles in the support center. There is an email address for Kraken and Gemini that can be used, which we have tried and experienced significant delays in receiving a response due to high demand. This is one area of improvement for both exchanges to guide and assist beginners make their first purchase.

    Security Measures

    The security of customer information and funds is crucial for investors and traders using a cryptocurrency exchange. As expected, both Kraken and Gemini take security very seriously and feature world-class security teams and measures such as two-factor authentication (2FA) to ensure the highest standard in security.

    kraken securitykraken security

    Kraken stores approximately 95% of its assets in cold storage to provide an air gap between potential hackers and its customer's funds. This is considered the benchmark for cryptocurrency exchanges to ensure the protection of funds. Gemini utilizes a similar hot and cold wallet architecture, however, the website does not state the percentage kept offline.

    A point of difference between the two exchanges is that Gemini undergoes regular bank exams and is subject to cyber security regulations. Gemini was also the world’s first cryptocurrency exchange and custodian to earn an ISO 27001 certification and the first crypto exchange to introduce hardware security keys for its mobile devices via WebAuthn.

    Kraken vs. Gemini: Results

    To conclude our comparison of which exchange is better, Kraken or Gemini, we have created a simple scoring system for each of the evaluation criteria as shown below. So what's our conclusion?

    Score. Kraken 6 points. Gemini 6 points. Verdict: Draw.

    Comparison CriteriaWinner
    Market SizeKraken
    Ease of useGemini
    Features & ProductsGemini
    Available CryptocurrencyKraken
    Deposit FeesGemini
    Cryptocurrency Trading FeesKraken
    Fiat Trading FeesKraken
    Withdrawal FeesGemini
    Customer SupportDraw

    Gemini is slightly ahead for the best cryptocurrency exchange for beginners. The fees are marginally higher compared to Kraken but a clear point of difference with Gemini is its ease of use and simplicity. The process to create an account, link a payment method, browsing the available cryptocurrencies and purchase with fiat is beginner-friendly on both the website and mobile app. Gemini is also a highly regulated and safe platform so the security of personal information and funds stored on the exchange should not be a concern.

    Kraken is an excellent platform however is geared towards customers that have some knowledge of investing and trading. The user interface is a little confusing and is not as streamlined as Gemini. In terms of value for money, high net worth individuals and investors can benefit from the low fees on Kraken. With its advanced trading platform and a wider selection of coins to buy and sell, Kraken is better suited for intermediate to advanced users and altcoin traders in our opinion.

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    Kevin GrovesKevin GrovesKevin Groves

    Kevin started in the cryptocurrency space in 2016 and began investing in Bitcoin before exclusively trading digital currencies on various brokers, exchanges and trading platforms. He started HedgewithCrypto to publish informative guides about Bitcoin and share his experiences with using a variety of crypto exchanges around the world.

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