In my Gemini review, I will look at the strengths, and weaknesses, of this well-regarded cryptocurrency exchange.
Gemini Trust Company, LLC (Gemini) is a cryptocurrency exchange and custodian that allows customers to trade and store digital assets. The Gemini platform has become a popular choice for crypto traders of all levels, and in my Gemini review, I hope to help you decide if it’s the right choice of trading platform for you.
NB. On January 12th 2023, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged Gemini with illegally raising funds from retail investors via the now-terminated Gemini Earn program.
The Gemini Earn program permitted customers to earn interest on their assets by loaning out funds to Genesis Global Capital. However, in early January, Genesis filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and Gemini closed the Earn program.
Who is Gemini?
Gemini was founded by former Olympic rowers and well known tech-investors and innovators, the Winkelvoss twins in 2014. The trading platform went live on October 25. 2015 and since then has become a popular choice of platform for those wanting to trade in cryptocurrency.
The platform provides some of the most robust account security measures available and is far ahead of its rivals when it comes to safety. As well as trading in a select range of cryptocurrency, users can also access several products and services, including a cryptocurrency rewards credit card, a built-in hot wallet, and using crypto to pay retailers.
The idea behind Gemini was to create the “NASDAQ or Google of bitcoin”, and the Winkelvoss twins’ vision is for Gemini to be the fully-regulated, fully-compliant and fully-banked institution the US bitcoin industry needs in order to develop to its full potential.
Gemini is a licensed cryptocurrency broker offering a range of features and services that will appeal to cryptocurrency investors of all backgrounds. The company is a New York-based trust company, and was founded in 2014.
As one of the few crypto-brokers based in the US, it is regulated by the New York Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS).
Who owns Gemini?
Gemini is owned by the Gemini Trust Company, LLC, a privately owned trust company that lists Gemini co-founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss as majority owners.
- Who is Gemini?
- Gemini Ratings
- Who is Gemini suitable for?
- Gemini accounts and products
- Gemini fees and charges
- Platforms available at Gemini
- Gemini Services & Tools
- How to open an account with Gemini
- Deposit & Withdrawal process
- Customer Support at Gemini
- Gemini Research
- Gemini Education
- Safety with Gemini
- Gemini FAQs
- Gemini Customer reviews
- Strong security
- Minimum trade of just 0.00001 Bitcoin/.001 Ether
- Great mobile app experience
- Poor customer service experience
- Gemini fees higher than other exchanges
- Smallish range of just 100 cryptocurrencies available
Who is Gemini suitable for?
I believe that the Gemini platform is a great choice for those wanting to trade in crypto, regardless of their trading experience.
This is a beginner-friendly platform that offers an easy-to-use mobile app and a selection of well known digital assets. Advanced traders, meanwhile, will be happy knowing they can execute trades on one of the most secure platforms there is.
The fact is that the Gemini crypto exchange is a great choice for those wanting a US based exchange, and one that is ahead of its rivals when it comes to security.
Gemini accounts and products
Gemini offers both a standard individual account for private individuals linking their personal bank account, and an account for institutional investors, who will be using a business or trust account.
Accounts are the same regardless of the account balance; there are no tiers or perks available with your account, and you will have access to the same services and tools. You can access your account via desktop, or for mobile users who prefer to use their phone, you can download the excellent app for Chrome and iOS devices.
Gemini offers customers a secure trading experience, and your Geminii account is a gateway to secure crypto trading, as well as a range of additional services and features provided by Gemini.
With a Gemini account you can start trading crypto on a platform that is clear and easy-to-use. More seasoned traders will find that their Gemini account is flexible and adaptive to their needs with advanced features and tools.
Gemini fees and charges
The pricing model and fee structure depends on the product and usage level.
As a general rule, I would say that the trading fees for most traders, unless you are investing seriously large amounts of cash, are on the high side, especially when compared to low-cost crypto exchanges, such as Kraken or Coinbase.
Regardless of the platform, the fee structure charges a flat 0.5% “convenience fee” above the current trading price. On top of this “convenience fee”, you will also be billed a transaction fee based on the amount traded. For orders above $200, this transaction fee is levied at 1.49 percent of the order.
For traders using the Gemini ActiveTrader platform, the exchange follows the common maker-taker trading fees model preferred by most crypto exchanges. The fee structure is one where orders that add liquidity (maker) are charged slightly less than orders that take away liquidity (taker).
The more you trade the lower the fees gemini charges. Detailed information on the fees can be found on the Gemini website.
Similar to other cryptocurrency exchanges, you will not be charged a transaction fee or withdrawal fee for ACH and wire transfer. Crypto withdrawals are also not subject to withdrawal fees, as long as you’re within your free withdrawal quota of 10 complimentary withdrawals of digital assets, of whatever volume.
In conclusion, the fees charged by Gemini are on the high end, even when they are marketed to you as a “convenience fee”.
Platforms available at Gemini
Gemini offers a range of different platforms, all of which are designed to make your trading experience as smooth as possible, regardless of whether you prefer the desktop platform or only engage in mobile trading.
The Gemini Exchange is the basic trading platform offered by Gemini for buying and selling crypto. This streamlined crypto exchange lets you trade assets, manage your holdings, and set recurring buys. The Gemini Exchange platform features a sleek UI that makes trading a breeze, even on the mobile app.
ActiveTrader is a trading interface that offers trading with a whole range of extra features, such as advanced charting, additional trading pairs, order types, and in-depth order book visibility. Once logged into your account, you can enable the ActiveTrader platform UI. However, be warned, the ActiveTrader platform uses the following fee structure:
Gemini Services & Tools
On top of the various platforms, Gemini also offers a range of add-on services and other useful tools that provide advanced trading features and supplement the crypto trading experience .
Gemini Clearing is a clearing service that allows two parties to settle trades off the order book. Gemini acts as a confirming third party in pre-arranged transactions, helping ensure timely Settlement while mitigating counterparty risk.
Gemini Wallet is a hot wallet for cryptocurrency that helps keep customer funds safe and secure. This is a great choice for crypto investors with support for over 133 cryptocurrencies across 8 blockchains. Moreover, the online hot wallet is available both on desktop and, of course, the Gemini mobile app.
A Gemini Custody account is a cold storage solution that keeps your crypto in a regulated and secure way. Gemini Custody funds are kept offline in the Gemini proprietary Cold Storage System.
Gemini Custody is for customers seeking the highest levels of security, using unique cryptocurrency addresses, which are independently verifiable and auditable on their respective blockchains.
Gemini dollar is a cryptographic token built on the Ethereum network according to the ERC-20 standard, and is pegged at a 1:1 ratio to the US dollar. As an ERC-20 compliant token, the Gemini dollar can be transferred anywhere on the Ethereum network.
Gemini Earn was a program that paid out rewards upward of 8% to customers by earning interest from loaning out certain cryptocurrencies. However, in November, Gemini suspended withdrawals from the program and, shortly after, Genesis Global Capital, the third-party lender that had been working with Gemini on the Earn program, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Customers who had hoped to earn interest from their crypto, instead now stand to lose some $485M as the fallout from the crash of FTX continues to impact the crypto world.
Gemini Credit Card
Gemini offer their own branded credit card, provided by WebBank, this MasterCard is accepted around the world and offers rewards in the form of crypto ‘cashback’. Crypto rewards are deposited into your account immediately with no trading fees. You can also trade the rewards, you don’t have to hold onto them for a given period before you can trade.
Gemini offers up to 3% back on dining, 2% back on groceries, 1% back on all other purchases, with rewards available in Bitcoin, Ethereum, or you can choose from over 40 other cryptocurrencies.
The Gemini card is a credit card not a debit card, so you will need to remember to pay any balances by the due date so as not to incur any charges for late payment, or have to pay interest on purchases that could wipe out any gains from the rewards. (A debit card takes the money straight from your bank account).
How to open an account with Gemini
Opening an account with Gemini is easy and should take no more than a couple of minutes.
Just be warned that you will need to confirm your identity and, as such, will have to provide your valid state-issued ID, driver’s license, passport, passport card, or Permanent Resident Cards.
Assuming you have the relevant documents on hand, opening an account is a simple three step process:
Visit the Gemini homepage, or download the app, and click on the Login button in order to create an account. You’ll be prompted to provide your personal details and to set up a password and two-factor authentication.
You’ll then have to wait for a verification email from Gemini. This email is used to confirm your email address. Once you have confirmed your email address, you will be prompted to verify your identity via SingPass.
Once you have verified your identity, you’ll be redirected to your login homepage where you’ll see an overview of the popular coins and an empty portfolio. Click on the option to “Add Payment Method” and you will be provided with options to link a bank account to your Gemini account.
Deposit & Withdrawal process
You can deposit funds into your Gemini account by means of a wire or bank transfer, ACH transfer, Apple Pay and Google Pay, direct debit, or by depositing crypto from an external wallet for trading on Gemini.
You can deposit as much or as little as you want, and funds should become available within 1-2 working days.
To withdraw funds, you simply need to log-in to your account and go to the withdraw funds page, either from desktop or the mobile app.
Once there, you simply select the destination address (this is provided by your external wallet or exchange), input the amount you wish to withdraw, review the information and then, if everything looks good, confirm and select Request Withdrawal.
Customer Support at Gemini
The crypto trading experience can be something of a leap into the unknown, and sadly when it comes to customer support, you will be mostly left to your own devices.
In other words, be warned, Gemini customer support is only by means of email, raising a support ticket, or by DM-ing their Twitter account.
A quick look at any forum will see that the brunt of criticism faced by Gemini is not with the cryptocurrency investing experience, but rather is aimed at the seemingly non-existent customer service team.
The tools Gemini offers its customers are among the best in class. Advanced traders and those who are looking to up their trading game will find that Gemini provides them with the resources needed to succeed.
Gemini has partnered with TradingView to provide full integration of the TradingView tool, which provides advanced charting tools, and lets you buy and sell crypto like a professional.
The advanced and easy-to-use toolkit makes finding the best trades and conducting in-depth technical analysis via the Gemini app a breeze.
Gemini is more than just a cryptocurrency exchange as it also delivers top-tier educational resources to its customers online. The support site provides answers to a range of common questions, be they about transaction fees or trading concepts.
However, Gemini’s main differentiator is its cryptocurrency educational site, Cryptopedia.
Cryptopedia is an extensive resource that anyone serious about crypto investing, regardless of their experience, will be sure to find useful. Gemini compares extremely well to its competition, identifying the dearth of educational materials available, as one of the main barriers to crypto adoption.
Cryptopedia is a one stop resource for cryptocurrency trading and addresses topics, such as security, taker fees, block trading, transaction fees, NFTs, the decentralized finance ecosystem, and digital currency in general.
Safety with Gemini
Gemini has a reputation as being the safest trading platform in the industry, and it’s a well-earned reputation.
As well as offering standard security features, like two-factor authentication and encrypted connections to protect you and your account data, Gemini was also recently SOC-2 certified, which confirms the platform’s commitment to providing customers with the very highest levels of security.
On top of this, they also provide customers with hardware security keys. These keys provide the strongest possible level of protection, as they ensure hardware-backed, cryptographic proof of your identity. It should come as no surprise that this is one of the few cryptocurrency exchanges that has not been hacked or had a security breach (to date, at least).
Is Gemini better than Coinbase?
Gemini is better than Coinbase for advanced investors with more tools and resources available. That said, both are a good choice for new investors.
Is Gemini safe to use?
Gemini is one of the safest trading platforms out there. The company is SOC-2 certified and is one of a very select few financial service providers that has not yet been hacked.
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