TL;DR- Gemini is more secure and has FDIC insurance on every account. Binance is better for day trading and access to exotic altcoins. Both are great exchanges that you should create accounts with.
Brief introductions to Binance and Gemini
Founded in 2017 in Shanghai, Binance has since grown into the world’s most popular crypto exchange by number of users. Shortly after its founding, Binance was run out of China due to a crypto crackdown. Binance’s CEO and charismatic hype man, Changpeng Zhao (‘CZ Binance’) previously built and sold a high-frequency trading software company. Check out his Twitter- it’s worthy of a follow.
Since leaving China, Binance’s headquarters have ping-ponged around the globe from Japan to Malta to Bermuda and now to Seychelles and Grand Cayman. While this doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, it’s hard to doubt Binance given how many people use it now (30 million).
Gemini is often dubbed ‘the safest’ crypto exchange. The firm is headquartered in New York City and was founded by the Winklevoss twins (the Winklevii?) of Facebook fame in 2015.
After winning a $65 million against Zuckerburg/Facebook in 2011, the two invested $10 million of that into Bitcoin, which was around $8 at that time. Not a bad move at all. Now they’re on the Forbes ‘Richest’ list with over $6 billion.
From the get-go, Gemini registered with the state of New York as a trust bank, meaning Gemini follows all the same regualtions that other banks follow.
No other crypto exchanges I know of can make this claim. This means that Gemini has up to $250,000 of FDIC insurance on each of their accounts- including yours. So if something goes wrong, you’ll get your money back.
Gemini currently offers 33 cryptocurrencies, a small figure compared to Binance.com’s 500 coins and Binance.US’ 60 coins. I think Gemini fully has the intention of expanding its coin offering, but the firm has shown to be slow in doing so. If you’re living in New York, you only have access to Coinbase and Gemini. This is because of New York state’s BitLicense requirement.
One strategy is to use KuCoin alongside Gemini if you live in the US. Chances are if you’ve been in crypto for a while, then you’re going to want access to shorting cryptos, leveraged trading, and many smaller exotic altcoins. KuCoin has those in spades.
Gemini wins this category outright. For starters, Gemini stores all its users crypto offline in ‘cold storage’- hardware not connected to the internet whose private keys can never be compromised. Gemini’s ‘hot wallets’ used for exchanging run on top of Amazon Web Services (AWS) technology, who (in my opinion) are the best in the cloud computing business. I use AWS everyday at my product management job, and while it’s expensive I would consider them the industry leader. Side note- I think AWS will be spun off of Amazon by 2025 due to anti-trust laws in the US and it will become an extremely valuable company in its own right.
Gemini has scores of other redundancies and safety features. To date, Gemini has suffered no major hacking or theft event, something that can’t be said for other exchanges.
Binance is a secure exchange, but security is not it’s hallmark the same way security is Gemini’s hallmark. Binance has scores of security measures. If you’ve used the platform before, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Although it doesn’t have a trading password like KuCoin, Binance does have two factor authentication (2FA), CAPTCHA, email verification if any suspicious activity, and 24-48 hour lockup periods if there’s a login from a new computer.
For the record, I think you’re safe to trade with either platform in terms of account security, but if I have to pick which of these exchanges would survive the cryptopocalypse I’d say it’s Gemini.
Binance charges 0.2% fees for spot trades, nearly 50% less than Gemini’s 0.35% fees on spot trades. These figures may seem small but for day traders they can amount to enormous sums. Don’t even get me started on Coinbase’s fees. If you’re going to be trading and want access to futures, shorts, longs, leverage, and lots of coins then you’re going to want to go with Binance or KuCoin. I’d say Gemini is a platform that I’d buy and hold on forever.
For my article on Gemini fees click here.
One more thing I like about Gemini is that like Binance it has its own stablecoin, the Gemini dollar (GUSD). If you buy some Gemini Dollars you can lend it for up to 8% APY. This is incredible. I personally have an emergency savings account where I use GUSD and earn interest. I can’t stand just holding cash- it’s trash! The ultimate shitcoin is fiat.
Not financial advice- but I recommend all interested in crypto to get accounts set up on as many safe exchanges as possible, which would include both Gemini and Binance. The reason for this is you’ll want access to pick and choose the best features from each platform. Also, if there’s a golden opportunity with a smaller altcoin, you’ll want to be in a position where you can act immediately. Time is important in crypto.