With over 500 cryptocurrency exchanges fighting to corner the digital coins market, it takes a truly remarkable platform to rank among the best. The Gemini Exchange holds its own in the cryptocurrency niche as it boasts over 13 million active users and 100-200 million dollars 24-hour trading volume every day.
The platform has the perks it takes to amass such large numbers, from unique trading features to top-notch security. It also has its fair share of cons, though. Is it for you? This complete Gemini review will help you figure that out, although it is not to be taken as investment advice.
What is Gemini?
The full name is Gemini Trusted Company, LLC — a centralized cryptocurrency exchange based in the US. It was founded in 2015 by the Winklevoss twins – Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. If those names sound familiar, it’s because they’ve previously made headlines when they won a $65 million settlement against Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg for allegedly stealing the idea from them.
The Winklevoss pair launched Gemini in 2015, the name referring to the Zodiac sign symbolized by twins. Gemini’s headquarters are based in New York.
The advanced platform quickly became a hit and was the first exchange to receive a trading license for Ethereum back in 2016. Gemini has at least 50 employees, is available in over 60 countries, and supports more than 40 cryptocurrencies.
Gemini offers a comprehensive marketplace much like what you’d expect from a modern stock trading platform. It is also highly regulated by trusted authorities such as the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Pros and Cons
- Advanced security features
- Insurance for US dollar accounts
- Advanced trading platform
- Great mobile app
- Educational resources
- Cryptocurrency balances earn interest
- Highly regulated and fully licensed, and compliant with banking standards
- Highly regulated
- Low fees and minimum purchases
- Accepts debit card
- Gemini offers a $150 new user bonus
- Strong coin selection
- Doesn’t list some popular coins
- Expensive for small trades
- Requires a lot of personal information when opening a Gemini account
- Goes offline often
- Limited deposit methods
- Doesn’t support margin trading
Features and Perks
Gemini app has an excellent mobile application for iOS and Android devices. The app has attracted over 1 million downloads and a 4.5 rating on the Google Play store, while the Apple App Store has been rated 4.7 out of five.
The mobile app offers a more direct and convenient experience than the desktop version — it is ideal for a beginner trader. The app allows users to buy, sell, or convert digital currency from anywhere in the world. You can also set dynamic price alerts to receive push notifications when a crypto asset meets predetermined price conditions.
Moreover, you can use them for Gemini Pay to purchase with cryptocurrency. Google pay and Apple pay are supported, so buying coins on the go is more manageable.
Advanced user interface
Not to mean you have to be tech-savvy, Gemini offers a straightforward platform with many helpful features. It allows users to set recurring trades — the exchange will initiate them automatically.
Gemini also offers tailored User Interfaces, such as the Gemini Active Trader platform, best suited for expert traders. It enables users to place several order types — like limit or market orders, scheduled maker-taker fee, and automated auctions, among others. It also has an advanced charting feature.
Just like your money in the bank earns interest, Gemini lets you earn from your cryptocurrency. This is especially helpful to long-term cryptocurrency investors. It is available for 39 crypto assets.
The interest can be as high as 8.05% annual percentage yield (APY), which beats the national US average 100 times over. For example, the interest on 1inch is 7.4%, GUSD is at 8.05%, and ANKR earns 2.25%. Gemini pays it every day, and you can withdraw your gains instantly.
Until recently, Gemini Earn was only available for all US states and Singapore. Hong Kong just joined the list this October as part of the company’s push into Asia. Gemini Earn is only a few months old, so it will likely expand into more territories with time.
Gemini users have access to a Pay feature. This feature lets you pay for goods and services using cryptocurrency. You can choose which coin to use from your portfolio. The payment method is accepted at more than 30,000 retail stores across the United States.
Gemini Pay uses QR code technology and requires the mobile app to work. A “Pay” button is located at the bottom of the screen. Pressing it allows you to select the asset you want to use, after which you only have to scan your phone with the store’s QR code reader, and you are good to go.
Another of Gemini’s offerings is a secure hot wallet infrastructure that supports all the listed digital assets. The hot wallet storage also comes with insurance against theft — probably because they store your security key online instead of hardware security keys that you hold yourself.
Gemini custody allows you to move your cryptocurrency off the network to a cold storage wallet. This wallet is regulated as a NY State Trust Company. That said, Gemini charges a 0.04% annual convenience fee for this service. Therefore, it is ideal for long-term crypto investors.
The cold storage service has insurance coverage of up to $200 million, the most significant limitation in the crypto world. It is free to set up and has no minimum limits. The service also has flexible pricing, depending on your intended activity volume, size of holdings, assets blend.
Gemini dollar (GUSD)
The Gemini platform has its stablecoin, the GUSD, backed by the US dollar on a 1:1 ratio. You can always convert a single GUSD to $1. The stablecoin offers the highest yield of all listed coins in Gemini Earn.
What’s more, users of GUSD reserves are eligible for FDIC insurance of up to $250,000. The custodian, in this case, is State Street Bank and Trust.
Gemini clearing is another of Gemini’s financial services that you don’t see in many crypto exchanges. It allows two parties to conduct crypto trades between each other without going through the platform’s order book. In this case, Gemini only acts as a trusted confirming third party that facilitates the pre-arranged transaction.
This service helps mitigate counterparty risks, ensures regulatory compliance, and guarantees settlement. It also provides privacy because the trade details are not publicized on the market data feed.
Gemini’s platform has arguably the most comprehensive collection of learning content. Its Cryptopedia is a free educational resource that launched early this year. Even better, you don’t have to sign in to Gemini’s web-based platform to access its content.
The library is packed with over 300 cryptocurrency-related materials on at least 150 topics, from introductory content about bitcoin, ethereum, & litecoin, to the more advanced pieces on blockchain technology, smart contracts, trading techniques, almost everything a trader need is covered.
Gemini offers users access to over 50 coins, all available across the platform, from mobile apps to the active trader desktop version. You have to open a Gemini account to access the complete list of coins. Among them are:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Dai (DAI)
- Zcash (ZEC)
- Chainlink (LINK)
- Amp (AMP)
- PAX Gold (PAXG)
- Basic Attention Token (BAT)
- Compound (COMP)
- Balancer (BAL)
- Decentraland (MANA)
- 0x (ZRX)
- Curve DAO Token (CRV)
- Ren (RENp
- Storj Labs (STORJ)
- Synthetix (SNX)
- Kyber Network (KNC)
- Maker (MKR)
- Enjin (ENJ)
- Filecoin (FIL)
- Yearn Finance (YFI)
- Aave (AAVE)
- Uniswap (UNI)
- Skale (SKL)
- The Graph (GRT)
- Universalo Market Access (UMA)
- Filecoin (FIL)
- Bancor (BNT)
- 1nch (1INCH)
- Loopring (LRC)
- The Sandbox (SAND)
- Liverpeer (LPT)
- SushiSwap (SUSHI)
- Injective Protocol (INJ)
- BarnBridge (BOND)
- Dogecoin (DOGE)
- Polygon (MATIC)
- Somnium Space (CUBE)
Gemini is available in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Puerto Rico, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
Deposit methods and limits
One of Gemini’s drawbacks is its limited palette of deposit methods. They include:
- Bank transfers (ACH)
- Debit or credit card
- Wire transfer
Currently, the only fiat currency acceptable when depositing is the USD. However, you may deposit using crypto assets from your wallet as well. Besides, there are no limits on digital deposits for personal or institutional Gemini accounts.
On the other hand, you can only use ACH (automated clearing house) from a US bank account for bank transfer. This option is only available within the United States. ACH funding has a daily limit of $5,000 and a monthly limit of $30,000 for fully verified individual accounts. Institutions have slightly higher daily and monthly limits of $10,000 and $300,000, respectively.
The platform also started accepting debit cards and credit cards, specifically Master Card, Visa, and American Express. The limit on card purchases is $1,000. Users can not raise this limit even if they add more cards. They can not withdraw to cards either.
Other Gemini users can make deposits via wire transfer. Gemini exchange says it’s open season for wire transfers. Individuals and institutions alike enjoy no limits.
Withdrawal methods and limits
You may withdraw crypto assets on Gemini to:
- Gemini wallet or any other wallet
- Bank transfers (ACH)
- Wire transfers
The platform does not facilitate any other withdrawal methods.
For bank transfers, available within the US, there is a $100,000 daily withdrawal limit for either a personal or institutional bank account. The wire transfer limit is a minimum of $100. You can go as high as you want.
Gemini exchange fees
Gemini exchange does not impose fees on cryptocurrency or ACH fiat currencies deposits. Wire transfers are free as well, although your bank may charge a transfer fee. The only deposit fees you will pay on Gemini are when using a debit card, which costs 3.49% of the total value.
Gemini offers 10 free withdrawals each month. Since there is always a mining fee for each crypto transfer, the free pass on digital assets implies that Gemini covers the withdrawal fees.
You will only incur a withdrawal fee after the tenth withdrawal of the month. Gemini will notify you when they have to charge your withdrawal.
The fee is based on the value of the specific currency. For example, they charge a flat rate of 1ZRX, 0.001 AAVE, 0.002BCH, and 10AMP for the respective coins. Gemini dollar, ACH, and Wire transfer withdrawals are free, even after exceeding 10 calendar month transactions. See Gemini’s transfer fee schedule for the complete list.
Gemini trading fees
The charges you incur for crypto trading on the Gemini crypto exchange may be placed into 3 categories, including mobile and web fee, active trader fee, and custody fee. The rates are the same for both buy and sell cryptocurrencies users under each category.
Mobile and Web fee
Although the cryptocurrency exchange puts mobile and web fees under separate pages on its trading fees support page, the rates vary. They include transaction fees, which are predetermined, and convenience fees, which are applied as a percentage of the coin’s market value.
The transaction fees depend on the order amount. The fees favor orders above $200, as evident from the exchange’s fee structure:
- $0.99 on orders worth <=10.00
- $1.49 on orders between $10.00 and $25.00
- $1.99 on orders between $25.00 and $50.00
- $2.99 on crypto purchases between $50.00 and $200.00
- 1.45% o orders above $200
crypto-to-crypto conversions within the platform are charged at 1.49% of the price asset. The price asset is either BTC, ETH, or GUSD.
Gemini also charges a convenience fee of 0.5% of the overall value of the coin. For example, if you are buying BTC and the market price is $4,000, the quoted price on Gemini will be $4,020 (i.e., $4,000 × 1.005).
Therefore, if you were to buy $100 worth of BTC under this market condition, you would receive ((100-2.99) / 4020) = 0.02413184 BTC. The transaction fee of $2.99 is subtracted from the $100 you deposit.
On the flip side, if you were to sell crypto, a convenience fee of -0.5% is applied, reducing the quoted price of your crypto in comparison to the market value by 0.005.
For instance, if you had to convert 0.003 BTC and the market price was $400, you would receive a quoted price of $3980 (i.e., 0.095× 400). The final amount you get in USD will be ((0.03 × 3980) -2.99) = $116.41. The transaction fee of $2.99, corresponding to orders between $50.00 and %200.00, is applied to the final amount in USD.
Active trader fee
Active traders enjoy better rates on the Gemini exchange. The more active, the better. Gemini calculates the rates for everyday traders based on their gross trading volumes over 30 days across all of the platform’s services, including:
- continuous order books
- auction order books
- block trading
The fee, which is determined as a percentage, utilizes a maker-taker model. The taker fee is applied when you what to sell or buy instantly, which means you are taking away liquidity from the pool.
When you don’t need your transactions filled immediately but instead rest on the order book, you are perceived to be adding liquidity to the marketplace. You will be charged a “maker fee,” which is usually lower than the taker fee.
Active traders are also subject to an auction fee. The transactions rates are as follows:
- <$500,000: 0.35% taker fee, 0.25% maker fee, and 0.25% auction fee
- >=$500,000: 0.25% taker fee, 0.15% maker fee, and 0.20% auction fee
- >=$2,500,000: 0.25% taker fee, 0.15% maker fee, and 0.10% auction fee
- >=$5,000,000: 0.15% taker fee, 0.10% maker fee, and 0.10% auction fee
- >=$10,000,000: 0.15% taker fee, 0.10% maker fee, and 0.00% auction fee
- >=$15,000,000: 0.10% taker fee, 0.00% maker fee, and 0.00% auction fee
- >=$50,000,000: 0.075% taker fee
- >=$100,000,000: 0.05% taker fee
- >=$250,000,000: 0.04% taker fee
- >=$500,000,000: 0.03% taker fee
Suppose you wish to store your assets offline with Gemini Custody, a fee of 0.4%. You won’t be required to have a minimum balance, and the setup fee is waived. However, the withdrawal fee is $125; hence, you are restricted to making large withdrawals only or risk losing a large portion of your asset to the crypto exchange.
Gemini account creation and verification
Since Gemini operates under strict regulations, they have a matching verification process during account creation. They require that you provide:
- Your email address
- A phone number, which they’ll verify
- A bank account
- One passport-sized photo ID
- Proof of address (e.g., a full-page scan of a recent utility bill, cable bill, internet bill, or bank statement)
After creating your account, it takes up to three days for them to verify. You will be able to use some features such as depositing and performing cryptocurrency exchanges in the meantime. However, you will not be allowed to make withdrawals before the verification process is complete.
Gemini provides solid account security for its users. It is the first exchange to offer insured cold storage.
For cold storage, your private keys are held off-site according to government-level security standards. The company stores most of its assets under cold storage. As for the hot wallet, Gemini has never been hacked, but there is always a risk. Either way, they ensure your assets with multiple underwriters.
The platform’s multi-signature identification adds an extra security layer that makes it harder to breach your account and access your assets.
Gemini compared with others
Gemini fairs well against competitors such as Coinbase, Binance, and eToro. It measures the minimum investment using the native token – such as 0.00001 BTC (which is very low), while Binance has a minimum investment of $10. Looking at the fees, Binance has a higher debit card deposit fee of 4.5%, compared to Gemini, which is at 3.49%. However, Binance lists more cryptocurrencies.
In comparison to eToro, again, Gemini falls short as far as the number of cryptocurrencies available for personal investment goes. eToro also has more deposit methods, including PayPal and Online banking. As for the fees, eToro uses spreads, while Gemini uses convenience/ transaction fees or a maker-taker fee model for active traders.
Gemini can lower trading fees with higher volumes compared to what Coinbase offers (0.5%-4.5%). Their portfolio of currencies is not so far apart – Gemini has slightly more coins. Coinbase offers more deposit methods, adding Instant Card Withdrawal to the list. It is also available in over 100 countries, way more than Gemini.
When you want to make serious money in Crypto, you need to have a lot of money invested and not just $100. But it goes without saying that you need to be familiar with security in reliable exchanges. Plenty of retail investors get discouraged seeing crypto money being flaunted by kids and celebrities online. Quit comparing but do understand the principle of “money makes money”.
This also goes for miners too as there were these 14-year-old kids in the news recently for making 30k a month. What most don’t know is the fact that their already wealthy families purchased the required equipment for them which costs thousands of dollars. The fact that the media will leave out critical details like this is very worrying. But hey, if you want to protect your own hobby, find the correct resources and do your own diligence for everything related to crypto.
Do I need to use a cold storage wallet when trading with Gemini?
Gemini provides a free hot (online) wallet that you can use. However, since hot wallets are considered riskier, you may want an offline storage solution when securing a significant investment.
How stable is the Gemini dollar (GUSD)?
GUSD is as stable and secure for personal finance as the US dollar. Every time you buy GUSD, Gemini places an equivalent amount of US dollars in its bank account.
Is Gemini trustworthy?
The platform is not BBB accredited, but Gemini can be trusted based on the high number of users, trading volume, and Trustpilot reviews. It has not had any security breaches or scammed users in the past.
Can I open a Gemini account using my IRA/401K/Trust?
Yes, you can. You have to open an institutional account on Gemini to use your IRA/401K/Trust.
Can I register as an active trader on the Gemini mobile app?
Gemini’s active trader is not available on the mobile app, but you can still use it on the go through your mobile browser.
Does Gemini help with Tax Reporting?
Gemini provides affected users with the necessary tax forms digital assets when they meet the minimum threshold.