The Gemini Exchange was founded in October 2015 by the Winklevoss twins (hence its name). Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss are arguably most well known for suing Mark Zuckerberg over Facebook, claiming he stole their idea. They ended up winning over $65million USD in damages in court, of which they invested $11million into Bitcoin – placing them as one of the largest holders of Bitcoins with a current valuation of over a billion dollars.
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, Image from Mashable.
However, since then, the twins have focused on building one of the sector’s most respected exchanges and in just two years Gemini has gained a significant portion of the cryptocurrency trading market, and has broken into the top 20 in relation to Bitcoin trading volumes.
In this review we will be taking a look at the Gemini Exchange, it’s features, ease of use and fees.
The exchange is based in New York and holds the status as being a New York State limited liability Trust, Gemini is a fully compliant and fully registered enterprise, and adheres to the highest levels of compliance to banking standards. As a result, the exchange deals with both institutional and individual clients, and is a popular option with investors who prioritize security and efficiency.
Gemini is one of the sector’s most well respected exchanges and acts as a bridge between the more traditional financial markets and the cryptocurrency ecosystem. The exchange also brings a high level of professionalism to the market and provides a high class service that is lauded by its customers.
- Functionality – The Gemini platform is well designed and easy to use. The interface is kept relatively simple and provides a smooth and efficient user experience. Key data on prices, orders, and balances update instantaneously, which keeps the platform extremely responsive, and allows users to stay on top of their dealings.
- Security – Gemini remains fully compliant with all digital asset regulations and consumer protection laws and as a result, operates at a high level of security and professionalism. US Dollar Accounts are insured by the FDIC, with funds held in a New York-chartered bank. All digital assets are put into cold storage, while online assets are hosted on Amazon Web Services, which also utilize a host of additional security measures.
- Customer Support – Gemini provides an in depth FAQ that seeks to answer the most common questions, as well as a blog that provides its users with instructions on how to buy and sell Bitcoin. Specific user inquiries are handled via email and Gemini aims to reply to customer questions within a few hours.
- International Availability – The exchange is currently available to approximately 45 U.S. states, Canada, Hong Kong, Puerto Rico, Singapore, South Korea and the United Kingdom.
Gemini Signup & Login
Head over to the site and begin the signup process. You can easily open an account by entering your name, email address, and password.
After verifying your email address, it’s necessary to:
- Enter both your location and phone number, after this you can set up 2-Factor Authentication (2FA) which adds an additional layer of security to your account.
- Add the bank account that you will make transfers to and from. Gemini currently only accepts bank transfers and wires as the methods for depositing funds.
- Upload your ID. In order to verify your account you are required to upload government issued forms of identification. This allows Gemini to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and Anti Money Laundering (AML) regulations. This also allows its users to deposit, withdrawal, and trade in US Dollars. The verification time depends on the number of applications being processed and can take anywhere from a few to several days.
- After this is done, the process is complete and you can move onto funding your account.
2) Make a Deposit
Navigate to Transfer Funds via the Menu, then access Deposit into Exchange and Bank Transfer. From here you can enter the amount you want to deposit. Bank transfers are limited to a maximum of $500 a day.
3) Buy Bitcoin and Ethereum
Deposits made via bank transfer, are immediately available for trading and you can make a purchase by navigating through the Menu and selecting your preferred trading pair. For example, BTC/USD for Bitcoin, and ETH/USD for Ethereum.
You just enter the price and quantity and process your buy order. There is also the option to make trades via the marketplace which houses market orders provided by other users.
After you complete your purchase, your account will be credited with your Bitcoin and/or Ethereum purchases. You may sell your cryptocurrency on the exchange but you cannot make a withdrawal until your bank transfer has been completely processed.
Gemini also operates a marketplace that runs for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Here, users can submit as many orders as they like with a variety of trading options. These include:
- Market Orders- which are filled immediately against resting orders at the current best available price.
- Limit Orders – which are filled at or better than a specified price. Any quantity that is not filled rests on the continuous order book until it is filled or cancelled.
- Immediate or Cancel (IOC) Limit Orders – which are filled immediately at or better than a specified price. Any quantity that is not filled immediately is cancelled and does not rest on the continuous order book
- Maker or Cancel (MOC) Limit Orders –which rest on the continuous order book at a specified price. If any quantity can be filled immediately, then the entire order is cancelled.
Gemini acts as a full reserve exchange and all orders made on the platform are fully funded. However, Gemini does not offer margin trading and any outstanding interest on their orders books cannot exceed a user’s account balance at any time. Also, it’s worth noting that all open orders reduce your available balance until they are fulfilled or cancelled.
With regards to transfers, Gemini operates a low fee policy and platform users can deposit Bitcoin, Ether, and make bank and wire transfers free of charge. However, individual banks may charge their customers a fee to wire money to their Gemini account. Withdrawals on the platform are also fee free, and all customers receive 30 free withdrawals per calendar month. Any withdrawals above this amount will result in fees equal to the mining fees payable on either network. This is estimated to be approximately 100,000 satoshi (0.001 BTC) per transaction on the Bitcoin Network and 0 GWei (0 ETH) per transaction on the Ethereum Network.
Trading fees are set at 0.25% for both sellers (makers) and buyers (takers), however, these fees are reduced when certain trade volumes are met. The maker fee is discounted to 0% for 30 day trading volumes that exceed 5,000 Bitcoin or 100,000 Ether. For the same trading amounts the taker fee drops down to 0.10%.
Gemini also uses a dynamic maker and taker fee or rebate schedule; and traders can receive a rebate on liquidity-making trades. The specific amounts depend on gross trading volumes and the buy and sell ratio over a 30 day period. The data is reassessed every 24 hours and more information on fees can be found here.
For most transfer methods, there are no limits on deposits and withdrawals. However, Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfers are limited to a deposit maximum of $500 day, and $15,000 per month for individual account holders. Institutions are limited to making ACH deposits of $10,000 per day, or $300,000 per month.
With regards to purchases, the minimum purchase amount for Bitcoin is 0.00001 BTC, or 1000 satoshis, for Ether, the minimum quantity is 0 .001 ETH.
Is Gemini Safe?
Gemini holds the reputation as being one of the most secure exchanges in the sector and employs a number of methods to ensure a high level of security on par with more traditional financial institutions. User accounts are backed up with two-factor authentication, which means that an additional device must be utilized in order to access the account and provides an additional layer of security.
In addition to having their US Dollar Accounts insured by the FDIC, and funds held in a New York-chartered bank. Gemini also puts all its digital assets into cold storage, while online assets are hosted on Amazon Web Services. This also provides a crucial extra level of security as Amazon Web storage utilizes security features such as multi-factor authentication, tiered-access controls, as well as dedicated hardware security modules.
Gemini’s commitment to maintaining the highest levels of security available make it a popular choice with institutional investors and high net worth individuals, as well as everyday retail investors. Customers of all types can make their transactions with confidence, regardless of their quantity.
Gemini remains one of the newer exchanges in the sector but continues to grow at a steady rate. The exchange has chosen to focus on building a fundamentally safe, secure, and efficient platform that takes care of its customers core needs.
It started out as a US Bitcoin exchange, and is slowly moving to branch out from its roots. By offering Ethereum trading pairs the exchange has opened up its options but still has a lot of room to grow in terms of trading pairs offered. Also, despite being available in a number of different jurisdictions, the US Dollar remains the only fiat currency available for both deposits and withdrawals.
Gemini can also improve its customer support options as new entrants to the world of cryptocurrency trading may require more than just email communication. Phone support and a live chat function would go a long way to improving the overall experience and help users to connect with the platform.
Gemini is a solid exchange that retains a good reputation in the eye’s of the public. The exchange acts as a gateway into the world of cryptocurrency trading and may be many users first port of call with regards to purchasing Bitcoin and Ethereum. Gemini occupies a similar space to Coinbase in that it allows its customers to make deposits and withdrawals directly to and from their bank accounts. For many this is a key factor and helps Gemini to gain ground on many of its competitors.
For people looking to securely trade either Bitcoin or Ethereum, Gemini is a good choice. The exchange is a viable option for new entrants to the market as well as more established traders who prefer to make deposits and transfers via their bank accounts. The exchange still has plenty of room to grow and can make a number of improvements to the service that it currently offers. However, for anyone looking to trade Bitcoin and Ether with confidence and peace of mind, then Gemini is one of the best options available.
Ease of Use9.0/10
- Trustworthy & Secure
- Transparent & Reasonable Fees
- High Volume Exchange
- Fiat Deposits & Withdrawals
- Easy to Use
- Limited Currencies Available
- No Phone Support
- No Margin Trading
- Only US Dollar Transfers