Gemini Review | Pros, Cons & More

Gemini is one the most trusted exchanges where you can buy and sell cryptocurrencies. It is a very safe and secure platform.

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GEMINI REVIEW AT A GLANCE

  • Earn Up to 7.4% APY
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Secure crypto trading platform
  • Gemini credit card
Overall Rating
4.5/5

Top rated Bitcoin exchange

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Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Safest crypto exchange
  • Trading fees are competitive
  • Allows you to trade both fiat and crypto
  • Cold storage coverage

Cons

  • Only a few currencies are traded on the platform
  • Services in a handful of countries

Although not as big as other exchanges, Gemini Exchange makes the list of recommended crypto exchanges for new traders.

Easily recognizable as one of the few American exchanges, Gemini not only offers safe and guaranteed services, but does so while following US laws – something other exchanges won’t.

Gemini logo

Quick Summary

Account Minimum: $0

Fees: Varies depending on amount

Promotion: No deposit or withdrawal fees

What is Gemini Exchange?

Gemini is mostly used in the Bitcoin and Ethereum communities, and its recommendation for newcomers has a main reason: Gemini allows users to trade their fiat currency for crypto and back, something other exchanges, such as Binance, won’t allow.

The main draw for Gemini, then, is its compliance with many US laws and standards, making it both safe and 100% legal in the US – something many exchanges cannot assure.

Although this might seem silly to some people, some of the larger US crypto investors like having the option, since this makes sure that their investments are safe.

Gemini is also known for reaching out to other blockchains and crypto entrepreneurs, often to strike deals for added support or obtaining licensing from them. 

This makes all operations on the target currencies backed by the blockchain itself, adding additional security measures to them.

In May 2020, Gemini struck a partnership with Samsung, whereby Samsung smartphone users could link their Samsung Blockchain Wallets to the Gemini accounts - allowing them to view balances and transfer crypto.

Who is behind Gemini?

Gemini was founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss in 2014. The brothers had already worked in tech before, most famously with the HarvardConnection / ConnectU service, which was developed collaboration with a classmate of theirs.

The same team has argued the initial idea behind Facebook was theirs, going as far as suing Zuckerberg for it.

Since 2012, the Winklevoss twins have worked on Winklevoss Capital Management, an investment firm that zeroes-in on funding and infrastructure for startups.

In 2018, Gemini launched the Gemini Coin - a stablecoin built on the Ethereum network and pegged 1:1 to the US dollar. The currency is the world's first regulated stablecoin - giving the platform another unique edge. 

Operational spread and strength

Gemini Exchange’s headquarters sits in New York City. Unlike other exchanges that have several offices spread across the globe, Gemini Exchange so far limits its offices to the US.

Until early 2019, the NYC HQ was the exchange’s only office, but in late January of the same year, the firm extended its operations by opening a new office in Chicago.

There are no international offices for Gemini, nor are there any plans for such expansion in the short term.

In fact, unlike other exchanges that offer their services to pretty much anywhere in the world (with some curiously avoiding the US,) Gemini only offers its services to the United States (except Hawaii,) Canada, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Puerto Rico, and the UK.

Although those areas play host to a good chunk of crypto users, it’s still a restricted playroom when compared to the hundred-plus countries that other companies support.

Sometimes, people outside its official areas of operation are allowed to trade in Gemini, but said permission is granted on a case-by-case basis.

Payment Methods & Fees

Gemini doesn’t have the simple, straightforward fee system other exchanges provide. Instead, the company charges transaction fees based on how you log into the system and the amount of digital assets you’ve traded.

Specifically, Gemini charges varying fees depending on whether you use the site via web, API, mobile app, and Active Trader. There is also a flat 0.5% 'convenience fee' on all buy orders - regardless of the size.

It also reserves the right to charge extra fees depending on your connection type or others.

Additionally, Gemini Exchange offers a 'Gemini Custody' - a custody account service where users can leave their crypto, secured under the exchange’s systems and insurance. Naturally, there’s also a fee for it.

To be fair, the transaction item table appear as “free,” but the fact that they’re listed means the exchange could begin charging for such services at any time.

Rates to expect for withdrawals and deposits

Here’s where the system gets complicated, since buy/sell orders will fetch different fees depending on how you place the order and the amount of currency you’re trading through your Gemini account.

WEB FEE SCHEDULE

For orders made through Gemini Exchange’s website app, it's possible to hit a 1.49% transaction fee of the order total as a low - or a high of 50%. This is due to the escalating system used, as in most occasions, fees will be reasonably low.

Orders up to $10 in value will incur a flat $0.99 fee, making it ridiculously high. Then again, it’s understandable considering the tiny amount of the order.

Web Order Amount

Transaction Fee1

Less than or equal to $10.00

$0.99

Greater than $10.00 but less than or equal to $25.00

$1.49

Greater than $25.00 but less than or equal to $50.00

$1.99

Greater than $50.00 but less than or equal to $200.00

$2.99

Greater than $200.00

1.49% of your Web Order value

MOBILE FEE SCHEDULE

Although listed separately, at the moment mobile orders on Gemini Exchange follow the same fee pattern as web orders do.

However, since they’re listed separately, this could change at any moment, leading both Web and Mobile apps to offer different rates.

Mobile Order Amount

Transaction Fee1

Less than or equal to $10.00

$0.99

Greater than $10.00 but less than or equal to $25.00

$1.49

Greater than $25.00 but less than or equal to $50.00

$1.99

Greater than $50.00 but less than or equal to $200.00

$2.99

Greater than $200.00

1.49% of your Mobile Order value

ACTIVETRADER™ FEE SCHEDULE

Gemini offers an ActiveTrader system, specifically an alternate/advanced trading model that gives the user more information, extra options, improved pair selectors, and better order visibility.

This naturally comes at a cost, since all Gemini ActiveTrader platform orders follow a different fee structure than Web and Mobile orders.

The structure follows the same pattern as that of orders made via the API – that is, it uses a maker-taker system to calculate fees.

The numbers, however, do vary a bit from the API ones. Once again, it’s better to refer directly to Gemini Exchange’s website for updated and detailed information on these fees.

30-Day Trading
Volume in (USD Notional)

Taker Fee

Maker Fee

Auction Fee

0

0.35%

0.25%

0.25%

≥ $500,000

0.25%

0.15%

0.20%

≥ $2,500,000

0.25%

0.15%

0.10%

≥ $5,000,000

0.15%

0.10%

0.10%

≥ $10,000,000

0.15%

0.10%

0.00%

≥ $15,000,000

0.10%

0.00%

0.00%

Methods of deposit

Gemini Exchange allows crypto deposits from cryptocurrency wallets. Fiat deposits are accepted via wire transfers or ACH.

Recently, Gemini started accepting debit cards and credit cards for crypto purchases. Visa, Mastercard, and American Express are currently supported - as are local bank transfers from US banks.

There is a $1,000 dollar limit on debit card purchases as of Jan 2022.

Withdrawal methods

Gemini offers the same withdrawal methods as applicable for deposits. That is, you can withdraw via crypto wallet, wire transfers, or ACH.

Transaction completion periods

Transaction times on Gemini aren’t as clear as those for other exchanges, partly thanks to the few deposit and withdrawal methods on the table.

Internal transactions are often carried out immediately, although depending on your requirements and type of order it might take a while to fulfill – however, these transactions often attract lower fees.

The delay sets in for deposit and withdrawal completion. As usual, deposits or withdrawals from crypto wallets are tied to the blockchain and its transaction times, although usually they take up to fifteen minutes.

Fiat deposits or withdrawals can take much longer because of how long wire transfers can take.

Still, Gemini has created a system where users are credited their money deposits via ACH immediately, essentially by loaning them the money while the deposit clears.

Users can use that money right away, but they aren’t allowed to withdraw neither the funds nor any crypto bought with them until the initial deposit clears.

How A Typical Transaction Works

Making a deposit

Depositing currency, both fiat and crypto, into Gemini is quite simple. It starts by just clicking on “Transfer funds,” then “Deposit into exchange” on the dashboard. Then, select the type of funds you want to transfer.

If you’re depositing via an ACH bank transfer, you’ll be asked for the details of the bank account you’ll be using for the deposit.

For ACH deposits, you can’t deposit more than $500 in a day or more than $15,000 in a month. If you need to deposit larger amounts of money, you’ll have to use a wire transfer.

If you’re depositing via a wire transfer, you’ll first have to fill an approval form, then follow the instructions Gemini gives you on the process. You’ll have to contact your bank to set up the wire.

Crypto deposits are the simplest, quickest, and cheapest of all.

For those, you just have to scan a QR code or paste the wallet address you’re given into your own crypto wallet, then proceed with the transfer.

How trading works

Buying and selling on Gemini is quite simple. You just have to click on the desired operation (buy or sell) then select the trading pair you desire and input the amount of crypto you’re looking to buy or sell.

Transactions in most cases should then complete immediately.

There are advanced options, like block trading or limit orders, but those are only for advanced customers. Newer traders should just stick with the basic options.

One thing to note is that Gemini’s prices are often different from what other exchanges show. Instead of gathering market data, Gemini operates its own internal market.

This means that prices in the exchange are driven by how much its own users are willing to buy or sell, without external influences.

Making a withdrawal

The process of withdrawing funds in Gemini works the same as the one for depositing them.

Since your account is already verified, there are no specific requirements nor transfer limits, with the only exception applicable for ACH transfers.

For ACH transfers, there’s a withdrawal limit of $100,000 a day. If you need to withdraw more, you’ll have to use a wire transfer.

Customer Support

It won’t surprise anyone to hear that Gemini Exchange boasts one of the best customer support services in the market - even compared to more broad personal finance services.

First, the website has an extensive FAQ and knowledge base ready to help users with the most common problems. If those fail, contacting Gemini is also an option.

Personalized customer service takes place via email, and this gets completed within a few hours.

Earn interest with Gemini Earn

Gemini Earn was announced by the platform in February 2021 - and the feature currently lets users earn up to 8.05% APY on 50+ cryptocurrencies, including BTC at 1.65%, ETH at 2.05%, 8.05% on DAI, GUSD, and more.

Earn allows you to lend some or all of your cryptocurrency to select institutional borrowers - earning interest on your crypto as you do.

Gemini Earn is available right off the bat when your account is open - and, unlike many other exchanges, you can redeem both your crypto and your interest at any time.

What's more, there are no minimum redemptions, no transfer fees, and no withdrawal fees.

If you're planning to hold your crypto for a while, this offers a fairly passive income - but it's worth noting that your assets become held by the third party borrower's platform when you use Earn, and thus are no longer insured and protected with Gemini's excellent security.

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Should You Use Gemini Exchange?

Gemini exchange is, so far, the most compliant cryptocurrency exchange in the world. Its insistence in following established laws and rules as demanded by US and NY laws gives it a huge advantage when compared to other exchanges.

While other crypto exchanges are at risk of running afoul of the law or being declared illegal in their respective countries, such a danger doesn’t exist for Gemini.

As crypto regulation gets in top gear, and as governments start writing laws to attain this, many exchanges will face issues, and several will likely have to close as a result.

As we've highlighted elsewhere in this Gemini exchange review, the platform is one of the few exchanges in the current market that can avoid the non-US regulation compliance tag. As such, its permanence in the crypto market looks guaranteed.

Gemini

Gemini exchange is one of the most safest global cryptocurrency exchanges out there with very competitive trading fees.

Gemini logo
  • Editor Rating
  • Rated 4.5 stars
  • 80%

  • Gemini Exchange
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: February 11, 2022


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