Earlier this year, Bitcoin topped $30,000 for the first time. Over the past year, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have attracted plenty of new investors. More are looking at record-breaking prices and wondering when the right time to get into the market is.
If you’re already investing in cryptocurrencies, you have a different concern. You want to know what platform is the best option for managing your cryptocurrencies. Maybe you’ve tried one or two, or you’re dissatisfied with the one you’re using.
To that end, you’re wondering about Gemini vs Kraken, among others. How do these two platforms stack up against each other, and which is the best? We put together this complete review to help you make the right decision.
An Overview of Kraken
Kraken is a cryptocurrency exchange that started in 2013. The company started earlier, but it didn’t focus on the trading platform until a few years later. Its management team worked with currency systems in online video games.
Before Kraken, the company’s CEO assisted another platform with tightening their security. In 2011, hackers hit Mt. Gox and stole a large number of Bitcoins. Kraken’s CEO helped the platform get back on its feet.
This gave Kraken’s team some powerful insight into the importance of security. That’s reflected in Kraken’s commitment to transparency and security. The team knows this is fundamental to creating trust for Kraken’s users.
One of Kraken’s strengths is its support for fiat currencies. As a “fiat gateway,” it provides a portal for users to turn “real-world” currencies into crypto. As such, Kraken is currently the leading Euro-to-Bitcoin platform.
Pros and Cons of Kraken
Kraken has been in the game for quite some time now. As a result, it offers a wide range of supports for crypto investors. It supports a multitude of coins, including:
It also supports more advanced trading options. That makes Kraken a good choice for experienced investors who are looking for more.
Kraken tends to have limits for withdrawals and deposits. If you can provide proof of funds, you can transfer up to $25,000 a day into Kraken. The withdrawal limit is the same.
This is good news for those looking for high-volume trading. The only downside is deposits can take a few days to process.
As noted above, Payward Inc., Kraken’s parent company, emphasizes trust. The company’s trading volume continues to grow at a rapid pace, indicating investors have a lot of confidence in it.
Kraken also has a commitment to security. It stores all new coin deposits in encrypted cold wallets. This kind of offline storage makes it more difficult for hackers to access your coins. The company states they have full reserves to prevent bank runs.
Kraken takes another step in adding two-factor authentication. It also adds “Master Key,” which locks certain account functions. You even have the option to block certain IPs from your account.
On the downside, Kraken doesn’t maintain FDIC compliance. That makes it a slightly riskier option for storing US currency.
The platform uses a maker-taker schedule of fees, with makers enjoying lower trading fees than takers. It also charges for wire transfers into accounts, as well as withdrawing from the account. The withdrawal fees are higher than deposit fees.
The biggest drawback, though, is Kraken doesn’t have a mobile app.
An Overview of Gemini
Of these two platforms, Gemini is the newer one. It was started by the Winklevoss twins in 2015.
Gemini tends to offer fewer options than other platforms like Kraken, but what it does do, it does relatively well. The platform allows for trading of a limited number of coins. The current list includes:
- Bitcoin Cash
Gemini is selective about its list of coins, because it only wants to deal with the safest currencies.
Much like Kraken, security is a top priority for Gemini. It uses two-factor authentication and cold storage, as well as hosting its platform on AWS. That means the platform has the added protection of AWS’s servers.
Gemini is also highly regulated, even when compared to Kraken. It’s licensed in the US, as well as regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services.
Pros and Cons of Gemini
As noted, Gemini’s strengths are how secure the platform is. It’s regulated, which make it a better choice than some other platforms. It also deals only with the safest cryptocurrencies, providing traders a more selective list.
Gemini is also mobile-friendly, which means you can trade on the go with this platform.
That said, there are quite a few downsides to Gemini. If you’re looking for a less popular cryptocurrency, you won’t find it here. The platform only supports one fiat currency as well, USD.
The fees associated with Gemini also tend to be quite a bit higher than platforms like Kraken. It uses a maker-taker schedule as well, but the trading fees tend to be higher. Volume of trades does influence the rate you’ll pay.
You won’t be charged for your first 30 monthly withdrawals. There are withdrawal fees after you reach this limit. Deposits are always free.
There are also much lower deposit and withdrawals limits. That may appeal to low-volume traders, but it’s unlikely to appeal to those doing a lot of deals. Finally, you can only make deposits via bank transfers.
Gemini vs Kraken: Which Is Best?
When it comes to choosing a crypto exchange, the “best” platform usually depends on what you want to do and how experienced you are. This is definitely the case when it comes to deciding between Kraken and Gemini.
Security is high with either of these platforms, so you should feel confident choosing either of them. Gemini might offer a slightly safer option, owing to it being licensed and regulated in the US. Its pared down list of currencies also appeals to those traders looking for a surer thing.
If, by contrast, you want to invest in some lesser-known coins, then Kraken offers you much more freedom. With a more expansive list of coins, you can diversify your crypto wallet much more.
Kraken’s lower fees and high deposit and withdrawal limits will appeal to those looking to do a lot of trading. The platform’s advanced trading options also make it a good choice for experienced traders.
Considering Ease of Use
Gemini might appeal to those who are just getting started in the crypto market. It offers fewer trading options, as well as fewer currencies. Despite that, it’s not usually recommended for beginners.
That’s because its interface can be more difficult to get the hang of. Despite that, it may still be a better interface for the novice than Kraken. Kraken's advanced options can make it more difficult to navigate.
Kraken also lacks a mobile app right now, which means you can’t trade when you’re on the go. Gemini does offer a mobile app, which may be one good reason to consider it.
Both Kraken and Gemini score well on customer support. Both have “Support” features, as well as FAQs. Kraken offers a 24/7 chat feature to help you solve issues.
Gemini support usually resolves issues in mere hours. For both platforms, email is the preferred communication channel.
Gemini focuses on the US market. It’s regulated in the US, based in the US, and offers USD as its only fiat currency.
That said, you can get an account if you live in another country. You’ll just need to remember you’re conducting all your activity in USD.
Kraken has a more global approach, although it’s not available in every country. Before you sign up, the platform will check your eligibility. Banking regulations are often the issue keeping the platform out of certain countries.
Currently, Kraken isn’t available in Japan, Iran, Iraq, Cuba, and a few other countries.
Kraken does offer more than one fiat currency. It’s especially popular for those who want to fund their accounts with the Euro. The platform also offers debit and credit card deposits in Canadian dollars.
In short, if you’re outside the US, you might want to look at Kraken.
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Size up Your Crypto Options With the Right Advice
Which platform wins the Gemini vs Kraken debate is really a matter of your perspective as a trader. On the whole, Kraken is likely the superior platform. That said, if you’re a low-volume trader looking for a mobile experience, then Gemini should be your pick.
These aren’t the only options you have when it comes to trading crypto. There are plenty of other platforms that could suit your needs more than either Kraken or Gemini. Discover how either of these platforms stack up against other competitors with our reviews, so you can choose the best platform.