Kraken vs Gemini: Crypto Exchange Comparison 2021

Kraken and Gemini are both well-regarded cryptocurrency exchanges based in the United States that has 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.

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Kraken vs Gemini: Quick Summary

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 Exchange

Gemini Exchange

kraken

Kraken.com

gemini

Gemini.com

Supported cryptocurrencies

54

Supported cryptocurrencies

26

Fiat Currencies

USD, GBP, EUR, CAD, CHF, JPY, AUD

Fiat Currencies

USD, GBP, CAD, EUR, SGD, HKD, AUD

Payment Methods

Bank transfer, wire transfers, SWIFT

Payment Methods

Bank transfer, wire transfers, debit card

Trading Fee

Fiat: N/A

Crypto: 0.16% / 0.26%

Trading Fee

Fiat: 0.5%

Crypto: 0.35% / 0.25%

Mobile App

Yes

Mobile App

Yes

Overall Rating

4.6/5

Overall Rating

4.6/5

Read our Kraken review

Read our 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.  

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 may be confusing for beginners

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 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 $2,470,937,971 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 cap

Kraken trading volumes.

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 a 24-hour trading $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. 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 US based cryptocurrency exchanges 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 Is Easier To Use?

The user experience is an important consideration for beginners that are searching for a fiat-to-crypto exchange to buy their first 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 interface

Kraken trading platform.

Taking a look at Kraken first, the user-interface to purchase crypto with fiat 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 trading, is not suitable for beginners as it can result in significant losses. 

gemini buy bitcoin

Buying Bitcoin with fiat on Gemini.

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 a better fiat to crypto service due to its ease-of-use and speed to make a trade using the web or mobile app.

What 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 of the supported fiat currencies to purchase them with.

Kraken supports 54 digital assets on its trading platform that can be purchased with fiat or other digital coins. 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.

gemini dashboard

What About The Fees?

A major consideration for anyone that wants to find a 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 Fees

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) that 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 fees

Kraken trading fees.

Gemini 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.

Kraken

Gemini

Deposits (USD)

Bank transfer: $0 - $25

Deposits (USD)

Bank transfer: None

Debit Cards

3.75% + €0.25

Debit Cards

3.49%

Fiat Trading

0.2%

Fiat Trading

0.5% +1.49%

Crypto Trading

0.16% and 0.26%

Crypto Trading

0.35% and 0.25%

Withdrawals (USD)

Up to $40

Withdrawals (USA)

None

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 FAQ's for its customer base, as well as a general knowledge section. 

gemini support

Gemini Support Centre.

Both exchanges are on-par in our overall exchange rating system, however, Gemini is slightly ahead for 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, browse 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.

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 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 bench-mark 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.

kraken security

Kraken security features.

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

Kraken vs. Gemini: Comparison 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 5 points. Gemini 6 points. Winner: Gemini.

Comparison Criteria

Winner

Market Size

Kraken

Ease of use

Gemini

Features & Products

Gemini

Available Cryptocurrency

Kraken

Deposit Fees

Gemini

Cryptocurrency Trading Fees

Kraken

Fiat Trading Fees

Kraken

Withdrawal Fees

Gemini

Security

Gemini

Customer Support

Kraken/Gemini

Both exchanges are on-par in our overall exchange rating system, however, Gemini is slightly ahead for 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, browse 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.

gemini app

Gemini mobile app.

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.

Kraken & Gemini Rated With Other Exchanges

Exchange

Trading Fees

Rating

Review

Website

binance

Binance.com

0.1%

4.8/5

10% off trading fees

coinbase

Coinbase.com

0.5% - 3.99%

4.7/5

$5 BTC bonus (USA only)

etoro

eToro.com

Spread only

4.6/5

Disclaimer: Your capital is at risk.

kraken

Kraken.com

0.16% / 0.26%

4.6/5

gemini

Gemini.com

0.5%

4.6/5

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Kevin Groves
Kevin is the founder of hedgewithcrypto and is passionate about blockchain technology. He has been involved with Bitcoin since 2016 and is a swing trader with over 10 years of experience. He loves trading crypto using various platforms and helping others learn about cryptocurrencies via hedgewithcrypto.