As you look to grow your cryptocurrency business, you know it is vital to have a reliable crypto exchange platform where you can make important transactions. Not sure which is the best platform? This article will give you a thorough Gemini exchange review, from when it was founded to its pros, cons, and features. Read on to find your answers.
What is Gemini?
Gemini is a licensed New York trust cryptocurrency exchange company. It is also one of the most secure cryptocurrency exchanges for novice and experienced traders. It was founded in 2014 by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss after they bought 70,000 or 1% of all Bitcoin in circulation in 2013.
Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss were struggling to find a safe place to hold Bitcoins at a time when FUDs and other security challenges, such as the Mt Gox hack, were shaking the cryptocurrency industry. As a result, the twins founded Gemini to operate on security, compliance, licensing, and product as its four main pillars.
Several years later, Gemini is one of the most secure and compliant crypto exchanges assessed by third-party auditors. Gemini has since acquired SOC 1 and SOC 2 certifications after passing consequential security and compliance examinations.
In addition, as a New York trust company, Gemini is exposed to rigorous bank exams and compliance with New York Department of Financial Services cyber security regulations.
Read on as we review the ins and outs of Gemini as a reliable crypto exchange platform, including all crypto trading features, security, fees, and more. But first, the pros and cons.
- Available in all 50 US states and over 50 countries
- Easy to use hot and cold wallets
- Trustworthy security measures
- Fast deposits through bank and wire transfers
- Over 100 supported cryptocurrencies
- Mobile support
- High trading fees
- Low trading volumes compared to competitors
Who Can Use Gemini?
Gemini was created to help all traders, from novice and professional traders to institutions and firms, make better crypto investment decisions. Under their four operational pillars, you can buy, sell, or hodl cryptocurrency assets like coins, NFTs, and more.
Now that you know what Gemini is and why it was founded, it is time to look for ways you can use the platform to grow your crypto business. Here are the best features that set the exchange apart from others in the industry.
The best crypto exchanges need to guarantee high-level security. Crypto is a disruptive but highly-volatile financial system, and as you have seen from recent security woes faced by other exchanges like Mt. Gox and Coinbase, you can only get peace of mind if you understand your platform is safe.
Luckily, Gemini was founded with a “security-first” mentality, making it a high-integrity choice over other platforms like Kraken and Coinbase. However, before opening a Gemini account, you will first be impressed by the company’s trustworthy regulations by the New York Banking Law and New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS).
These regulations dictate cyber security, banking, and capital reserve compliance standards. In addition, the exchange is a trust/ fiduciary and a Qualified Custodian with SOC 1 and SOC 2 certifications.
As a fiduciary, Gemini puts your interests first and thus is expected to follow regulations that encourage trust and faith from you as an investor. As a Qualified Custodian, the platform is mandated by different government agencies to hold safely hold your cryptocurrency assets.
Besides those reliable security compliance foundations, Gemini also ensures safe account opening and operations should you choose to use the platform. But, before we see how you can open a Gemini account, here are other security features you wil enjoy from the platform.
Firstly, the Gemini website has an SSL certificate which guarantees any data you share on the site is encrypted and harder to be accessed by hackers. Secondly, the registration process requires you to set up 2-factor authentication, so your log-ins require two confirmation steps.
In addition, once you set up the 2-factor authentication, you can also allowlist your wallet. This feature makes it hard for a third party, such as a hacker, to access your wallet transactions even after they may have accessed your credentials. As a result, your funds or assets cannot be transferred to an undesired wallet.
Finally, the Gemini exchange platform stores most of the cryptocurrencies in cold storage, meaning these cannot be traced over an internet connection. With such a security standard, hackers cannot access your coins even in the unlikely chance they hacked the exchange.
Also, when you hold your assets on the Gemini platform, you will generate hardware security models (HSLs), which are private keys you need to access your funds. You are guaranteed safe storage if you never reveal these private keys to a third party.
Next, let’s see how you can open the most secure Gemini exchange account.
2. Opening a Gemini Account
When opening a Gemini trading account, you will have to provide your first and last names, a valid email address, and compose a strong user password. After sharing this information, you must confirm your account via email and set up 2-factor authentication. After this step, you will continue the identity verification process you must pass before you can trade.
The identity verification process requires you to provide your:
- Date of birth
- Social security number
- Valid address
- Government-issued identification documents like an ID card, driver’s license, passport or a utility bill that bears your home address
After verifying your identity, you can choose to connect your Gemini account to your bank account for easy funding, as we see in the section below.
3. Funding a Gemini Account
There are currently three ways you can fund your Gemini account. These are:
- Through a bank transfer. As you saw in the account opening section above, you can link your Gemini and bank accounts for easier funds transfers once you start trading. You can link your bank account from the Payment Methods Page on your dashboard. You can use the bank account to deposit or withdraw funds; all transactions are instant.
- Through wire transfer. Though this method relies on a registered bank account, it is sometimes easier to use it when you do not want to use the bank account directly. You will only need to input your wire deposit information, ensuring the information such as the bank’s name on your account and wire match before transacting. The transaction will be complete in one business day, and you can use a USD, HKD, EUR, CAD, AUD and GPB wire.
- You can also fund your account with crypto. To do so, you must instruct your service provider or external wallet to initiate the crypto withdrawal to your Gemini deposit address.
4. Gemini Fees
Now that you understand how to open and fund a secure Gemini account, the next information you need to have is on the transaction fees. Unlike other crypto exchanges like Binance, which often have tiered maker and taker fee structures regardless of your platform, Gemini has different rates for mobile and desktop transactions. Unfortunately, the mobile trading fees are often higher than desktop trading fees because the mobile interface is easier to use.
According to Gemini, mobile trading fees attract convenience and transaction costs. The convenience fees are calculated using the fiat currency you transact with. For example, if you transact with USD, the convenience fee will be calculated in USD. It is important to note the different currencies you can trade with as the fees differ with each currency. That said, fees are only incurred after you make an order.
While you can learn more about the mobile fees here, understand that USD fees range from $0.99 for ≤ $10.00 transactions to $2.99 for > $50.00 but ≤ $200.00 transactions, or 1.49% for > $200.00 transactions.
The desktop or web fee structure is cheaper than the mobile structure. However, a web order also incurs convenience and transaction fees only incurred after completing an order. Like the mobile fees, the structure also charges different rates for different fiat currencies you use.
If we could use the USD rates as shown in ths web fee structure guide, you will incur $0.99 for transactions ≤ $10.00 to $2.99 for > $50.00 but ≤ $200.00 transactions, or 1.49% for > $200.00 transactions.
Besides the mobile and web fees, Gemini also has an Active Trader platform with special fees. This platform is designed for high-performance, professional traders and offers more advanced trading options like multiple order types and advanced charting tools, with transactions completed in microseconds.
They charge taker, maker, and auction fees for different volumes of transactions. The maker-taker fee structure decreases with higher trading volumes and is also charged in the fiat currencies to transact with.
For example, a USD transaction ranges from 0.40% taker fees and 0.20% maker fees for transactions below $10,000. However, the fees decrease to 0.03% taker and 0.00% maker fees for transaction volumes of ≥ $500,000,000. For more detailed Active Trader fees, see this Gemini fee structure. Additionally, Gemini charges different fees for different transactions and processes, as you can see from this fee schedule.
5. Gemini trading pairs
After you understand the fee structure, you can begin your crypto journey with Gemini. As it is a safe crypto exchange, you can be more relaxed about buying or selling assets through Gemini. Moreover, if you are unsure about making the right decisions, you can even use the best crypto trading bot to make the tough decisions. But, before you get there, which trading pairs can you work with?
When Gemini was founded in 2014, its main focus was creating a safe trading haven for Bitcoin traders. Bitcoin was the most prominent asset at the time, but that has changed over the years. Today, you can trade over 33 crypto-to-crypto trading pairs from over 100 cryptocurrencies, including Gemini’s Gemini Dollar (GUSD) and:
- Bitcoin Cash
6. Gemini Earn
Since its foundation, Gemini has been designed as the most secure place to store your crypto assets. If this foundation has you willing to sign up for a Gemini account, you will love the Gemini Earn feature even more.
The exchange introduced Gemini Earn, a feature that enables you to make money or earn interest by holding or storing your crypto assets with Gemini. This way, your portfolio also works as a crypto savings account where you can earn up to 8.05% on different stored tokens.
7. Gemini Clearing
Suppose you have a prearranged settlement to make or are using a trading bot to complete successful transactions. Wouldn’t it be better to eliminate counterparty risk by using a reliable third party to confirm the settlement? The Gemini Clearing feature has you covered if you desire such a feature.
The feature cements Gemini’s security compliance standards as it requires both settling parties to meet Gemini’s KYC and AML requirements to confirm the validity of a settlement. Even better news for beginner traders, The Gemini Clearing feature has no minimum trade size, so you can make valid settlements for any price point. Also, once all parties are fully funded for the settlement, Gemini clears it instantly.
Finally, the feature allows white glove solutions for settlers needing advanced services. You can also make settlements anonymously, especially if you trade in an area where Gemini does not operate. More on this below!
8. Gemini availability
The Gemini exchange platform is available in all 50 US states, including New York and Hawaii. Besides that, the cryptocurrency exchange platform is available in over 50 countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and more.
But, what happens if you cannot access Gemini services in your area? In your case, it could be best to get the best crypto VPN, such as ExpressVPN or NordVPN. A crypto VPN makes it easy to access all Gemini services regardless of your region.
In addition to trading from anywhere in the world, a crypto VPN also increases your data encryption in the off-chance Gemini was to suffer a privacy breach, so it is ideal to use one even if you live in the US or other Gemini-supported countries.
9. Gemini Wallet
When you start a successful crypto business, you need a wallet that allows you fast access to your assets when you want to transfer or receive tokens. Fortunately, Gemini offers an insured hot wallet service when you want to complete fast transfers. However, if you do not fancy the idea of a hot wallet, and when you are not looking to make transactions regularly, Gemini also offers a cold wallet service with more safety features.
10. Gemini Mobile
As we saw above, Gemini supports mobile and web trading options. Their mobile platform is available for iOS and Android. It has an easy-to-use interface that lets you track your portfolio, transact assets, and keep up with industry and crypto price alerts.
11. Gemini customer support
While this platform is secure and easy to use, there may come a time when you need to talk to someone for clarification and guidance. When the time comes, you can access the Gemini Help Center to find answers to your most burning questions. In addition, you can also reach out online through the online chat box or send them an email. Unfortunately, Gemini does not offer phone support.
12. Learning opportunities
If you are new to crypto, you need a place where you can learn the ins and outs of the business, from when and how to trade to emerging market trends. If you choose Gemini, you will also gain access to the Cryptopedia Resource section that introduces you to different assets like Bitcoin, DeFi and NFTs. The Cryptopedia section has over 400 articles from 58 expert authors on different topics. As such, you will find all the support you need to start a new investment journey.
Frequently Asked Questions About Gemini
a) Is Gemini legit?
Gemini is a legitimate exchange platform founded and based in America. It is a New York trust company regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services. Gemini is also one of the only few cryptocurrency exchanges without a security breach since its foundation. On top of that, it offers many trading features and excellent customer support so you can trade comfortably.
b) What can I trade on Gemini?
Gemini allows you to trade over 100 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, ZCash, Dai, Litecoin, and more. In addition, the platform is available in over 50 countries, including all 50 US states.
c) How are assets stored in Gemini?
Most Gemini assets are stored in cold storage, thus keeping them hidden from potential hacks.
d) What makes Gemini stand out?
Besides the advanced security features, Gemini offers the Gemini Earn service that allows you to earn about 8.5% interest from your stored assets. As such, it also acts as a great crypto savings account.
Featured image source: blockchain.news