Gemini Exchange Review
Ease of Use
Platform & Account Security
If you are in the cryptocurrency space, you may have heard of Gemini crypto exchange. Gemini exchange is a cryptocurrency exchange veteran with many interesting features and five tradeable cryptocurrency tokens. Is Gemini right for your cryptocurrency needs? Read our review of Gemini exchange and decide if they are right for you.
About Gemini Crypto Exchange
With many exchanges entering the cryptocurrency space (and a seemingly equal amount of exchanges disappearing) over the years, it can be tricky when it comes to finding a trustworthy exchange. While certain exchanges have certainly built reputations (good and bad), few have managed to consistently build a reputation whilst also remaining in the industry over a long period of time. Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange, could certainly be considered one of these reputable, veteran exchanges; however, does its reputation still hold up, and is Gemini still worth using?
A Brief History of Gemini
Gemini was established in 2015 by the Winklevoss twins (Cameron and Tyler), in New York City, New York. The twins set out to provide a secure, and easy-to-use exchange that complies with regulations. Since the inception of the exchange, the company has grown to be one of the top-20 Bitcoin exchanges (measured in volume) providing services worldwide. The story of twins’ efforts in buying 1% of the total supply of Bitcoin, as well as their efforts in building the exchange, was featured in the book, Bitcoin Billionaires, by Ben Mezrich (famed author of Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions, as well as the novel that would eventually turn into the film, The Social Network). Currently, Gemini is available in 45 U.S. states, as well as Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, the UK, Canada, and more.
Gemini Product Offerings
There are currently five tradable cryptocurrency tokens available on Gemini. Bitcoin, Ethereum, ZCash, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash are all tradable, with each cryptocurrency able to be converted into another (ZCash/Litecoin, for example). While this is certainly a short list of available trading pairs (especially compared to exchanges such as Binance), this list should be enough for any crypto newcomer to diversify their portfolio. U.S. users can be sure that the products offered meet all regulatory compliance.
Gemini Platform and Tools
Gemini has made sure to offer products for every type of cryptocurrency user out there, as traders and HODLer’s alike will find use in Gemini’s platforms. For starters, the standard Gemini platform operates much like a conversion tool, allowing users to buy/sell crypto with fiat, as well as converting one token into another. The way this works is similar to Coinbase in that users can simply input their desired quantities, and the converter will exchange the desired amount at a conversion rate. This allows users to accumulate, sell, and/or exchange without having to time the market for the best prices.
For the more hands-on user, the ActiveTrader platform will come in handy. This is essentially Gemini’s spot trading platform, allowing users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies at their own desired times and prices. The platform features a crisp layout, a chart, a central limit order book, as well as auctions. Multiple order types are available on Gemini’s ActiveTrader platform.
A mobile application is also available through Gemini. Users will find that the application has full functionality, with the ability to place orders while on-the-go. The application is available for both Apple and Android phones.
A unique function to Gemini is the Gemini Clearing service. This is a utility that allows users to trade amongst each other, off of the order book. This means that if two users agree to have an exchange between themselves, Gemini will act as a verifying 3rd party to ensure that the exchange is completed in a safe and timely manner.
Another product offered by Gemini is their Wallet. While many wallets exist in today’s cryptocurrency landscape, few have to offer what Gemini has with their wallet. Since its inception, Gemini has continued to upgrade the wallet, becoming the first SegWit wallet offered by an exchange. The wallet is also insured against theft and attacks. The wallet supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and ZCash.
Similar to their Wallet, Gemini offers a Custodial service. This allows users to put their funds into Gemini’s highly secure cold-storage wallets. This service features top-notch security, as well as up to $200 Million in insurance coverage. Up to 23 different tokens are supported (with more to be added in the future), including over 12 different ERC-20 tokens. Users are allowed same-day withdrawals to trade on Gemini’s platform.
To incentivize bringing new users to the platform, Gemini has a Refer-a-Friend policy. If a user refers a new user to sign up to Gemini’s services, both the user and the referred friend will each receive $10 in Bitcoin, deposited into their accounts.
Lastly, Gemini offers the GUSD, or the Gemini Dollar. This is a stablecoin (built on the Ethereum network) that allows users to trade in and out of different cryptocurrencies. The GUSD is at a 1:1 value with the U.S. Dollar. The token can be sent to any supporting GUSD address, and is practical for any service or transaction that may support GUSD. The token is issued by the Gemini Trust Company, LLC (also based in New York). The Gemini Trust Company, LLC is a regulated company that regularly undergoes audits. An important note to remember is that the GUSD is backed by U.S. Dollars, which are currently held at State Street Bank and Trust Company; this supply is constantly being audited by BPM, LLP, with all reports made publicly available. The GUSD is supported by many exchanges and services in the cryptocurrency space.
Gemini Exchange’s Fees
Like any other exchange, Gemini charges fees to maintain the upkeep of the exchange, and to turn a profit. The fees Gemini charges greatly differs between the services offered on Gemini (mobile, standard web kiosk, Active Trader).
For the Active Trader platform, the fees are set to a standard Maker-Taker model, with makers having to pay less in fees than takers. The fees can range from 0.1% for makers, to 0.35% for takers, depending on the account status level (determined by volume traded over a 30-day period).
A unique note about Gemini is that they have no transfer fees for the funding of accounts.
Gemini Customer Service and Resources
When it comes to customer service, many exchanges often fall short in accommodating users in a timely manner. Fortunately, with time, exchanges have upped their game when it comes to customer service, often adding different means of communication to help customers in any manner they may desire.
Gemini’s Customer Service entails a form that a user will have to fill out. The form is generally determined by the type of problem the customer needs resolved. Once the customer fills out the form, the Support Team at Gemini will make sure to give a response in a timely manner.
The company also has a very detailed FAQ section to answer any commonly held questions.
Gemini’s Newsroom features press releases (current and past) relating to Gemini announcements, as well as news relating to Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. This can be a good area to stay current on Gemini’s plans and developments.
Similar to the Newsroom, Gemini also offers a blog, featuring articles about all things cryptocurrency. In this area, one can find articles ranging from the KYC process, to partnership announcements, interviews with Gemini employees, and more.
Is Gemini Exchange Trustworthy?
There are very few exchanges that have gone the length that Gemini has in order to meet full regulatory compliance and transparency. Much of Gemini’s offerings (particularly their cold-storage offering) can be considered state-of-the-art, as many platforms around the space have come to trust Gemini and their products. When compared to other exchanges, Gemini comes on top again and again with regards to full transparency and security. To help ensure customers’ trust, the company has gone great lengths to put their company to the test by continually auditing and publicly publishing all reports. It must be repeated again that it is very rare to see an exchange continually put forth an effort to remain in the best condition possible.
Opening an Account on Gemini
Opening an account on Gemini is relatively straightforward, though as this is a regulated exchange, Gemini will require personal information to comply with Know-Your-Customer/Anti-Money Laundering laws. To begin the sign up process, simply click the “Get Started” button in the header of Gemini’s web page. From here, the new user will be asked whether the new account is for individual use, or institutional use.
Gemini will then require the user to input the country in which they reside. A small note will appear announcing whether or not Gemini’s services are supported in the provided location.
Once the previous step has been completed, Gemini will then ask for a valid phone number to set up 2-Factor Authentication with the account. Once the phone number has been inputted, a code will be sent to the phone, and shall be inputted into the corresponding box on Gemini to confirm the phone number.
After the phone number has been linked, Gemini will ask for some more personal information including the user’s Date of Birth, and another unique identifier such as a Social Security Number (if in USA).
Once this step is completed, users are free to link their bank accounts and fund their accounts. It should be noted that users must verify their email before the platform will allow them to undertake any account actions.
Conclusions For Gemini Crypto Exchange
Gemini is one of those rare exchanges that does everything by the book, setting the standard for how other exchanges should operate within the space. The company has made great strides to offer a fully regulated exchange that meets compliance with regulators around the world. While the exchange may not have many tokens available for purchase/trade, their cold-storage wallets have become second-to-none in the industry, being trusted by many platforms around the space. Similarly, the GUSD has found mass adoption throughout the industry, with listings on other exchanges and supported by other cryptocurrency services. This platform is highly recommended for any newcomer and veteran alike, though they may find the trading platform and/or product offerings to be a little short-handed.
Products and services for any cryptocurrency user; State-of-the-art cold-storage system with insurance against theft; Undergoes routine audits with reports being published publicly for all to see; GUSD stablecoin has seen adoption throughout the space; Strives to meet regulatory compliance; High security standard.
Not many tokens available for trade; ActiveTrader platform is a little basic; May not be as in-depth as some users/traders need.