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Gemini Exchange Review | Pros, Cons & More

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The Bottom Line: Gemini is one the most trusted exchanges where you can buy and sell cytpocurrencies. It is a very safe and secure platform.

Gemini exchange logo

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Top rated crypto exchange

AT A GLANCE

  • Earn Up to 7.4% APY
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Secure platform
  • Gemini credit card

Overall Rating

4.5/5


Top rated Bitcoin exchange

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 an extra layer of security to them.

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 emphasizes zeroes -in on funding and infrastructure for startups. 

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 this year, the NYC was the exchange’s only office, but in late January, 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 and 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 currency you’ve traded.

Specifically, Gemini charges varying fees depending on whether you use the site via web, API, mobile app, and Active Trader.

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

Additionally, Gemini Exchange offers 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.

WEB FEE SCHEDULE

For orders made through Gemini Exchange’s website app, fees can be as low as 1.49% of the order total or as high as 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 ActiveTrader 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.

Credit or debit cards are not currently supported.

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.

Operations and Dashboard

Gemini’s user interface doesn’t differ much from what we see on other exchanges. Since the features are more or less the same, exchanges do tend to have similar layouts and interfaces.

While some interfaces can be confusing due to the sheer amount of data displayed, that’s not the case with Gemini – not because it doesn’t display data, but because the exchange trades just a handful of tokens, leaving the interface relatively clean.

Also, since Gemini isn’t an exchange you could use for day trading – and it is openly not supported, as US laws around day trading are strict – much of the data other exchanges would show can be done away with.

Cross-platform availability

As is usual with large crypto exchanges, Gemini is available both as a website and a mobile app. The fees for using either are the same.

There’s also an API you can use to place trading orders or view market data, giving you more options on accessing the system.

Online Wallets

Gemini Exchange offers both hot and cold storage for its wallets.

Hot storage refers to funds that can be accessed instantly, but that are relatively more at risk due to being online at all times, while cold storage refers to funds that are kept offline and that therefore not susceptible to online hacks.

The exchange also offers custody accounts where funds are kept at high security and are ideal for long-term storage, although the feature comes at a price.

Security and Customer Insurance

Unlike most major exchanges, Gemini has never been hacked into. It thus boasts a flawless security rating, even though the founders stated that no system is ever absolutely secure.

More importantly, Gemini’s holdings are insured following US laws, and as such, if a hack occurs, users would be refunded their lost crypto.

Account opening requirements

On first look, Gemini’s account opening requirements are exactly the same as any other exchange: An email and a password alongside your full name.

While those are the requirements to open an account, if you want to actually use your account, you’ll need to comply with a lot more.

One of Gemini’s strengths is keeping all its operations legal, and that naturally leads to stringency.

KYC/AML requirements

This is where things start getting complicated for prospective users of Gemini. Unlike most exchanges that are relatively lax when it comes to KYC/AML laws, Gemini upholds US/NYC standards, and therefore requires verification for new users.

The specific data Gemini requires as part of its AML and account verification process includes phone number, SSID, location, bank account, and ID.

If you’re outside the US, you’ll also have to provide a scan of a utility bill or service as proof of residence. Without verifying your account, you can’t add nor withdraw any funds from it.

Verifying your account

The verification process in Gemini Exchange is simple if you have the requirements at hand. It takes several steps, but in general, you’ll just be providing the required information.

Unlike some exchanges, Gemini’s verification process is performed manually – as in, all data is verified and cross-checked by a human.

Due to this, while most verifications happen within a day, it can take a few business days for this process to complete.

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 $15000 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.

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 support takes place via email, and this gets completed within a few hours.

Gemini vs. Competitors

most reputable

coinbase logo
  • Fees: 1.49% per trade
  • Minimum Deposit: $1
  • Promotion: Offers $10 free bitcoin to new users

BEST ALTCOINS

binance logo
  • Fees: .1% per trade
  • Minimum Deposit: $1
  • Promotion: No current promos

MOST SECURE

eToro Logo
  • Fees: .12% - .24% per trade
  • Minimum Deposit: $50
  • Promotion: No current promos

How To Open An Account

Opening an account on Gemini Exchange is simple, as the system guides you through the process.

While nowhere near as simple as with other exchanges due to Gemini’s strict verification rules, the process is never convoluted nor difficult. 

To start the process, just click on “Get Started” on the Gemini Exchange home page.

Should You Use Gemini Exchange?

Gemini exchange is, so far, the most compliant crypto 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.

Gemini 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: April 25, 2021


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