GDAX vs Gemini: Which Low-Fee Exchange is Better for You?
The U.S.-based exchanges GDAX and Gemini are among the world’s most popular platforms for buying and selling cryptocurrencies. In this article we’ll discuss common traits and critical differences between the two, so it’ll be easier for you to choose which one to go for.
In this GDAX vs Gemini comparison we’ll cover:
- GDAX vs Gemini: Side-by-Side Comparison
- Exchange Background Information
- Are They Safe?
- Interface and Features
- Trading Fees
- GDAX vs Gemini Summary
|Deposit Methods||Bank Transfer, Bank Wire, Cryptocurrency, Coinbase Transfer||Bank Transfers, Bank Wires, Cryptocurrency|
|Withdrawal Methods||Bank Transfer, Bank Wire, Cryptocurrency, Coinbase Transfer||Bank Transfer, Bank Wires, Cryptocurrency|
|Purchase Fees||~0.3% or less||~1.0% or less|
|Supported Cryptocurrencies||Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash||Bitcoin, Ethereum|
|Location||San Francisco, California, USA||New York, New York, USA|
|Review & User Guide||GDAX Review|
|Site||Visit GDAX||Visit Gemini|
GDAX was launched in 2015 as the “Coinbase Exchange” before switching to the GDAX brand in 2016. Owned by Coinbase, GDAX was created to cater to more advanced traders that find Coinbase a bit too beginner-friendly.
GDAX is based in San Francisco and is the 7th largest exchange by trading volume at time of writing.
Read our GDAX Review for more specific information on this platform.
The New York-based platform Gemini, was launched in 2015 by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss and has quickly become a very active exchange. Known for being one of the sector’s most respected platforms, in only 2 years it has climbed into the top 20 in relation to trading volume and is currently the 16th largest exchange.
Read our Gemini Review for more specific information on this platform.
Security is one of the top concerns for every cryptocurrency enthusiast, and it’s safe to say that both GDAX and Gemini take these concerns very seriously.
Being owned and operated by Coinbase, GDAX is blessed with the same level of security and top industry practices as its parent platform.
To start with, GDAX separates company funds from customer funds and never uses the latter for operational purposes. It then stores 98% of customers’ cryptocurrency funds in secure offline cold storage and fully insures the remaining online crypto funds.
As for the USD balances, they are insured by FDIC up to USD 250,000 for U.S. based users.
Lastly, GDAX offer its users the same personal account security measures as Coinbase, which include: 2-Factor Authentication, ability to store fund in the “Coinbase Vault” and required verification for new devices.
Gemini offers similarly stringent security. The exchange is regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS) and fully complies with digital asset regulations and consumer protection laws.
The FDIC insures all USD accounts, with funds held in a New York-chartered bank. All digital assets are put into cold storage and online assets are hosted on AWS, with all the additional security that comes with it.
Similarly to GDAX, Gemini also separates company operational funds from customer funds and offers 2-Factor Authentication to access personal accounts.
While both exchanges provide a pretty good user experience, Gemini offers a remarkably clean and intuitive interface. See below GDAX’ and Gemini’s respective UIs.
- Cryptocurrencies supported: Unlike platforms such as Binance and Bittrex which offer trading for 80+ cryptocurrencies, GDAX and Gemini only support a few of the more popular coins. GDAX allows users to trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin, while Gemini only supports Bitcoin and Ethereum.
- Payment methods: GDAX offers a wider range of deposit/withdrawal options than Gemini. While the latter only accepts bank transfers and bank wires, GDAX allows for Coinbase Transfers as well. When you create a GDAX account, you’ll also get a Coinbase account that you can use to trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin with a credit or debit card.
Although Gemini doesn’t offer a wide variety of payment methods, it doesn’t charge any fee for withdrawal and deposit of fiat using a bank account, which is a nice feature. Another plus on Gemini’s side is that it allows for immediate trading when you deposit via bank transfer. This is a helpful feature if you don’t want to miss out on low prices. It should be noted, however, that the same advantage doesn’t apply to withdrawals: in this case, the transfer has to be fully processed before the user is allowed to withdraw fiat.
When it comes to trading fees, both platforms use a maker-taker fee structure. This system is aimed at offering transaction rebates to those who provide liquidity, while charging customers who take that liquidity.
GDAX fee structure can be seen below. The highest fee you can be charged is 0.3%, which is quite low in comparison with the other top cryptocurrency exchanges.
Gemini works in a similar way; however, the maximum fee you’ll pay here is 1.0%, making GDAX a good bit cheaper.
If you are looking to trade the two biggest cryptocurrencies — Bitcoin and Ethereum — GDAX and Gemini are great safe and user friendly options. While both platforms have clear pluses, they also have a few downsides: credit cards are not a valid payment method and altcoins are not available for trading.