Here we have two cryptocurrency exchanges that exist at polar ends of the regulatory scale. Gemini is the most regulated and business-like exchange on the market, aimed at institutions and professional investors. On the other hand, Poloniex is aimed at crypto enthusiasts and those who want to trade privately and anonymously without being regulated, much to the anger of the SEC.
Despite this glaring difference, how will they compare on things like trading fees, sign-up experience, design, security, brokering sales, and much more?
Let’s find out!
Compare Gemini vs Poloniex
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Gemini Trading Fees
Fees are calculated based on the accumulated value of your trades executed over the last thirty days. So the more you trade, the lower your fees. It’s a simple incentive.
Beginners, and those trading under $1m per month, will pay:
- 0.1% maker fees
- 0.35% taker fees
Regulars on the Poloniex platform will know that the platform recently increased the Tier 1 fees from 0.125% to:
- 0.145% for makers
- 0.155% for takers
However, despite the increase, users are eligible for a pretty epic 30% fee discount if they choose to pay their expenses with TRON (TRX), which backs a lot of the platform’s functions.
VIP members (application-based) can get 0% maker fees, though the terms of the VIP club are not very transparent.
Gemini or Poloniex? Poloniex works out more cost-effectively
Sign Up & KYC Experience
Gemini accepts beginners and new registrants in over 60 countries. All you need to do:
- Start by heading to Gemini’s website here
- Start the signup procedure
- Provide an email address, password, and your full name (your real name!)
- Now, head over to your email inbox to find a verification code to copy and submit
- Once submitted, add your residential country and phone number
- Check your smartphone, you should have received an SMS code to submit
- Next up is the API banking connection. Some exchanges offer this, some exchanges don’t like it, and some exchanges force it on their users (such as Gemini). The reason for this connection is two-fold: it helps verify who you are, and it makes your fiat currency deposits instantaneous
- Now you’ll need to part ways with some personal data in the form of two documents (photos or scans). The first is an identity document, such as your passport or a state-issued ID card. The second is a document that proves your address, like a bank statement or a utility bill
- Next, you will be asked to set up Two Factor Authentication. We recommend using Google Authenticator for all exchanges
- Once your account is approved, you can start to access all of Gemini’s exchange trading pairs, listed crypto projects, and more!
Most countries in the world are eligible to join Poloniex, aside from those that are sanctioned or typically banned from crypto activities. Here’s how to join the exchange:
- Click this link and hit the Sign Up button
- Add an email address, password, and a referral code (use this: 000000)
- Accept the terms and conditions and go to your email inbox
- Poloniex will have sent you a verification link to click, which will open a new page
- On the new page, log in with the email and password combo from step 2
- You will be able to trade KYC-free, with some limitations
- We recommend setting up Two Factor Authentication before doing anything else…
- Now, let’s remove those trading limitations by going into your user dashboard, looking to the right-hand side of the page, and clicking ‘get started’ where it talks about lifting restrictions
- Provide your KYC-related data where asked, such as your name, address, date of birth, mobile phone number, and country of residence
- The next step will ask for a copy (photo or scan) of some identification, with your passport, ID card, or driver’s license proving most effective
- Next, Poloniex will prompt you to take a selfie. Tip: hold a piece of paper with today’s date to hasten the processing time
- Now just wait for approval…
Gemini or Poloniex? Poloniex offers KYC-free trading.
Ease of Use & Feel of Website or App
It’s time to compare exchange design. Gemini has built a loyal user base by creating a set of functional and intuitive tools for beginners that make the initial purchase of cryptocurrency incredibly smooth and easy. They call this the Streamlined Trading View, and you can see it here:
Beyond the basics, the Gemini exchange has built excellent tools for day traders, regular users, and institutional investors. This comes in the form of candlestick charts and bundles of real-time actionable data, as you can see in the image below:
If you’re a mobile trader looking for a service that will support you on the go, you’ll be pleased to know that Gemini has the highest-rated mobile apps in the industry – 4.8 iOS and 4.5 Android.
The Poloniex exchange offers beginners some pretty helpful design features, but it’s not tailored to beginners in the same way that Gemini, Coinbase, or Kraken might be. For regular users, unrestricted crypto trading, unlimited crypto deposits, and up to $10,000 monthly withdrawals without KYC are just some of the primary reasons to trade here. They also enjoy the well-designed trading interface, one of our favorites, in fact, and how it is replicated on the mobile app.
Margin trading is another feature, and the design makes it easy to learn and do.
Gemini or Poloniex? Gemini has this round in the bag.
Getting your funds into Gemini
There are different methods depending on the currency deposited:
- USD – ACH and Wire
- GBP – Faster Payments, CHAPS, SWIFT
- EUR – SEPA
Withdrawal fees typically mimic deposit fees.
Making deposits on Poloniex
There are no fiat wallets on the Poloniex exchange.
Instead, you may deposit compatible cryptocurrencies to your crypto wallet or purchase coins through their Simplex buy form, as we will explain in the following section.
Gemini or Poloniex? Gemini has good options for three fiat currencies.
Instant Buy Options (Buying with a Credit or Debit card)
Buying coins on the Gemini crypto exchange
Looking for an exchange that makes buying crypto straightforward? Gemini is the place for you. Your funds are insured and secured, regulators love the platform for its financial responsibility, and you can bet your bottom dollar that it is ultra-secure.
Buy 50+ cryptocurrencies via:
- ACH transfer – no fee
- Debit card – 3.49% fee
Purchasing crypto on Poloniex
Poloniex has teamed up with liquidity provider Simplex to offer a selection of 18 different cryptocurrencies.
Simplex charges platform users 3.5% or $10 per Visa or Mastercard transaction, whichever is more. There is a minimum purchase amount of $50.
Gemini or Poloniex? Both exchanges offer customers the opportunity to buy crypto, but Gemini is an in-house broker, which means you can sell crypto to them too!
Trading with Gemini
Gemini offers users 56 cryptocurrencies and 76 trading pairs (at this time), though the selection is constantly changing. Other exchanges may offer a more comprehensive selection, and if we compare Poloniex’s 232 coins and 370 trading pairs, it does look small.
The daily trading volume of Gemini is also quite similar to Poloniex, so we can say that the exchanges are roughly the same size. Trading with Gemini follows intuitive paths that support each decision made by the user and empower them to learn more. For beginners, start with recurring buys and learn how to use the wallet and portfolio area.
Trading with Poloniex
Unlike Gemini, Poloniex does offer margin trading. The difference between spot trading and margin trading is that you can trade with up to 100x leverage with the latter. This is incredibly risky and not something for beginners to worry about or get caught up in.
Advanced trading instruments, eye-catching designs, functional user interfaces, and seamless navigation on a browser or mobile phone.
230+ cryptocurrencies and 370 trading pairs to be enjoyed.
Gemini or Poloniex? Both exchanges make trading enjoyable
Reputation and Security
Gemini’s solid history
Gemini offers several helpful security features, such as cold storage and Two Factor Authentication, to users in more than 60 countries and boasts a ‘zero hack history.’
The platform prides itself on making cryptocurrency and crypto trading legitimate and regulated for investors.
The word on Poloniex
Poloniex also has excellent security features, but if we compare it to Gemini, they’re behind. The platform has never been hacked, but it has been used to siphon hacked funds elsewhere because of its lax KYC attitude.
In 2021, Poloniex was fined $10m by the SEC.
Gemini or Poloniex? Gemini is much more trustworthy.
Gemini or Poloniex: Who is our winner?
Overall, we feel more comfortable recommending Gemini.