Kraken vs. Gemini | Which Exchange Better-Suits Your Investment Needs?
Kraken and Gemini are generally regarded as good exchange platforms with solid offerings for crypto investors. Each platform has distinct features, both positive and negative, and is targeted to different types of users.
This comparison will examine the differences between the two so you can make an informed decision when deciding on which platform better-suits your needs. We’ll cover the following topics:
- Key Details
- Funding Methods
- Supported Cryptocurrencies
- Company Trust
- Fund Security
- Customer Support
Kraken began its operations in 2011 and is one of the oldest and most famous cryptocurrency exchanges. The platform offers trading for 16 cryptocurrencies, covering all of the major coins as well as a handful of altcoins. Kraken is particularly popular with European traders and the exchange is a global leader in Bitcoin to EUR trade volumes.
As a relatively new exchange launched in 2015, Gemini has quickly grown to become one of most active cryptocurrency exchanges based in the United States. It’s quite simple to use and supports only a few tokens, but it accepts bank transfers and wires as methods of payment.
|Deposit Methods||Bank Transfers, Bank Wires, Cryptocurrency||Bank Transfers, Bank Wires, Cryptocurrency|
|Withdrawal Methods||Bank Transfers, Bank Wires, Cryptocurrency||Bank Transfer, Bank Wires, Cryptocurrency|
|Trading Fees||~0.36% or less + deposit fees||~1.0% or less|
|Supported Cryptocurrencies||Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Dash,
Litecoin, EOS, Monero, Stellar, Ripple,
Zcash, Ethereum Classic, Gnosis, Augur, Melon, Doge, Iconomi.
|Location||San Francisco, California, USA||New York, New York, USA|
|Review & User Guide|
On Kraken, users’ funding options are determined by their verification tier. Each tier allows you to use the platform with greater flexibility but also requires you to give Kraken more personal information.
Tier 1 allows users to make deposits and withdrawals of digital currency only as well as permission to trade with digital and fiat currencies.
At Tier 2 and Tier 3, users are permitted to make a bank deposit and withdrawal via wire transfers depending on their country of residence. Tier 2 requires a user’s address, and the user is required to upload a valid government ID and proof of residency to move to Tier 3.
Gemini, on the other hand, skips this tiered system requiring all users to enter certain personal information and provide ID documentation. Users are then permitted to fund their accounts via bank transfers (ACH), wire transfers, as well as Bitcoin and Ethereum deposits. Once users make a request to fund their wallet via bank transfer, they’re able to start trading immediately, even before the approval of the transfer. This enables traders to make purchases on tokens as prices fluctuate, which can be beneficial to investors, especially in a bull market where there could be an increase in prices during the approval process; however, users cannot withdraw their funds until after a transfer is approved.
Both platforms have trading fees that are determined by a user 30 day trade volume and a maker-taker fee schedule. A maker puts an order on the books while a taker fills an order from the books.
The maker fee on Kraken usually falls between 0.00% and 0.16% and the taker fee ranges between 0.10% and 0.36%.
On Gemini, the maker fee ranges from 0.0% to 1.0% — decreasing as a user’s trading volume increases — while the standard fee for takers is 1.0% except for those trading with the highest volume. Also, Gemini doesn’t charge fees for deposits and withdrawals when using a bank account.
Kraken supports 16 cryptocurrencies and pairings: Bitcoin (XBT), Litecoin (LTC), Dogecoin (XDG), Augur (REP), Ripple (XRP), Stellar (XLM), Ether (ETH), Ether Classic (ETC), Iconomi (ICN), Tether (USDT), Dash (DASH), Zcash (ZEC), Monero (XMR), Gnosis (GNO), Eos (EOS) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
Gemini, on the other hand, currently supports only Bitcoin and Ethereum and has not announced plans to add more tokens.
If you’re an investor trying to dive into altcoins investments, then Kraken is probably a better choice. The saying “the higher the risk, the higher the reward” holds some truth in altcoin investments, because they have small market caps and are potentially risky investments, but for the same reason could possibly give larger returns on investment.
Kraken is located in San Francisco and operated by Payward, Inc. The exchange has received funds of over $6 million from different investors including the notable Blockchain Capital. Its trading volume has doubled about twice every year since its launch. This kind of growth is a demonstration of the trust that users share for the exchange.
Gemini was launched in 2015 by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss as the first U.S. based exchange which was licensed for Bitcoin and Ethereum trading. Both Tyler and Cameron have been active in the Bitcoin community since 2013, and it was long-rumored that the pair had funded several projects via Winklevoss Capital. Since its release, Gemini has grown tremendously and is now among the most-trusted low-fee exchange options.
Both Kraken and Gemini follow industry best practices in securing investors’ funds.
Gemini helps secure users’ accounts by ensuring that all users enable 2-Factor Authentication (2FA) through SMS or the Authy authenticator app. The exchange uses an offline wallet (cold storage) for its funds and requires multiple signatories to transfer funds from an offline wallet through the use of hardware security modules (HSMs). US users will appreciate that USD deposits on Gemini are protected with FDIC insurance.
Kraken takes many similar security security measures, including 2FA and keeping the majority of funds in offline cold storage. Kraken by default stores all new cryptocurrency deposits in offline wallets to secure them from hackers. Only coins that are used for operational liquidity are stored online on the platform. Kraken does not explicitly mention FDIC insurance on their website, but they maintain full reserves as a precaution against the possibility of a run on the exchange.
Unlike Kraken, Gemini does not specify the percentages of funds stored online, but it ensures that majority of its digital funds are kept in cold storage.
The Kraken exchange offers an advanced trading experience for its investors. Users can place orders using Simple, Intermediate, or Advanced options. The platform also presents detailed information like a historical bid/ask chart which is quite helpful.
Gemini, by contrast, has a neat, clear design which gives the average investor a more straightforward experience. The charts on the platform are side by side with the order form, allowing users to perform quick analysis as they trade their coins.
Kraken and Gemini both provide good support for investors. Each has a section for FAQs covering basic questions for beginner investors and common support issues. Kraken also has a comprehensive guide to help its users get started.
Both exchanges handle support tickets via emails and generally respond to emails within 2-3 business days.
Kraken is a U.S-based digital exchange with a long history of success. Having experienced no major hack attempts or scandals over its lifetime, Kraken is widely trusted. The trading platform looks good, is reasonably intuitive and is a global leader in Bitcoin to EUR liquidity. Kraken’s big edge over Gemini is probably the diversity of coins it allows crypto enthusiasts to choose from.
Gemini is also a respected, albeit newer, US-based exchange. Its biggest upside is its sleek and intuitive user interface. The platform operates in relatively few countries and supports only a few currencies. But its strong security, and ease of use make it a strong option for those looking to trade in the largest cryptocurrencies.
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