Gemini is a fully licensed and regulated digital exchange that has perhaps the best security for a crypto platform – including a $200,000,000 insurance program. While the number of users pales in comparison to exchanges like Coinbase and Binance.com, Gemini’s audience of 500,000 enjoys a world class trading platform.
Founded by CEO Tyler Winklevoss and President Cameron Winklevoss in 2014, Gemini focuses on delivering a simple to use yet elegant trading experience. The UI is a thing of beauty, with a resource rich platform and every move you make is accompanied by easy navigation and clear direction. Even the User Agreement is easy to ready and clear as a bell.
Traders on Gemini agree. It is virtually the only American-based crypto exchange that isn’t plagued by rampant, recent or past support issues (i.e. lack of adequate user support). While many review platforms are prone to fake reviews and spam, it is notable that Gemini has over 9000 reviews in the App Store with an overall rating of 4.7 stars.
The exchange is also trusted by institutional investors and big market players. In 2017, CBOE Global Markets, the world’s largest exchange holding company, partnered with Gemini to launch the first Bitcoin futures contract.
Gemini’s marketing efforts also seem to be a few notches above Kraken and 10-20 notches above Coinbase, with ebullient messaging that exudes confidence while zeroing in on the safety of your digital assets.
Gemini Exchange provides buying, selling and storage of digital assets, while its Active Trader product is built for, you guessed it, the active crypto trader.
Gemini provides concise and easy to navigate learning resources for newcomers to crypto, in fact segmenting them immediately from expert traders on the website’s homepage. Everything is simply organized on page and intuitively placed so the right information is there when you need it. It’s thorough but also minimal.
Gemini’s drip email series includes a complete guide to cryptocurrencies which users receive on the day after signing up. It’s not a link out to a guide, the guide is in the email
Fees for crypto buys using mobile or web vary by region. In the US, fees range from 0.149% for buys of $10.00 or less, to 0.99% for all buys $200+.
Transfer deposit fees
Deposits transfers are free for ACH and Gemini Dollar Redemption; for debit card transfer it’s 3.49% of the purchase amount.
Transfer withdrawal fees
Other fee information:
Gemini is the only US crypto exchange that provides 10 free withdrawals (crypto and fiat) per month, which is a huge benefit to US residents needing to keep a cash flow and wanting the flexibility of cheap, easy transference into their bank. After the 10 free withdrawals, the fees vary by coin and payment method with the current structure posted here.
All US Gemini users must verify their ID with a license or passport. International users must provide ID plus they have to verify their residence by submitting a recent bank statement or utility bill that shows their current address and name.
Dollar cost averaging (DCA) involves making incremental buys of an asset on a regular basis. Also referred to as setting up recurring buys, DCA is an investment tool used for accruing wealth over a long period of time.
DCA on Gemini
The option to set up recurring buys is very intuitive on Gemini so that investors can participate in dollar cost averaging easily and quickly any time they buy or trade a crypto asset. With Gemini, investors have the choice of setting up recurring buys daily, weekly, twice-monthly, and monthly.
Setting price alerts is another Gemini feature that is easily accomplished on all supported cryptos on the main trading and buy pages.
Users can store all supported cryptocurrencies in Gemini’s hot wallet, which is backed by commercial crime insurance and covers Gemini’s digital assets. The insurance protects against the theft of digital assets that result from a hack, a data breach, internal theft, or fraudulent transactions.
Active Trader provides a sleek trading venue offering market orders, a variety of limit orders, and stop limits.
Gemini offers what they call, “The world’s first regulated stablecoin”, the Gemini dollar (GUSD). They have collaborated with multiple partners to provide utility for GUSD, including a partnership with BlockFi users, who can earn interest by holding GUSD (currently ~$8.6% APY). Gemini likens it to “US dollars on the blockchain that you can send by email.”
Users can also place auction-only market orders that will execute at the final auction price. They may also place limit orders by indicating a maximum buy price or minimum sell price and the auction feature matches buys and sells to find the price at which the largest quantity may be filled. Auctions are available 7 days a week on certain trading pairs.
Gemini’s fully electronic Block Trading® feature lets investors buy and sell large blocks of digital assets outside of their order books and auctions.
Gemini was the first mover on Bitcoin futures contracts in 2017 when they partnered with the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), who now uses Gemini exchange data as the basis for daily settlement of Bitcoin futures.
While Gemini doesn’t provide direct OTC services, its Gemini Clearing™ feature facilitates OTC trades by allowing two parties to settle a trade off the order book. Gemini acts as the 3rd party to mitigate counterparty risk and monitor a timely settlement. Digital assets available for OTC clearing are BTC, LTC, BCH, ETH, ZEC, and GUSD.
Digital assets may be stored and managed in Gemini’s banking compliant environment, which ensures capital reserve and cyber security requirements as directed by New York Banking Law.
Gemini’s custody services have flexible pricing with no minimums and $200 million in insurance coverage for all digital assets that Gemini custodies for its users. Their in-house insurer (also known as a “captive insurer”) is Nakamoto Ltd., which is based in Bermuda. Gemini’s custody service extends to over 35 cryptocurrencies.
Gemini’s new in-house insurer, Bermuda-based Nakamoto Ltd, provides a total of $200 million in coverage for virtual currency that Gemini holds on behalf of customers, Gemini said. Gemini is owned and operated by virtual currency entrepreneurs Cameron
Account set up was super easy and quick, with clear, concise explanations of the few steps involved.
Gemini offers 24-hour support services, including an intuitive helpdesk that readily answers common support issues and directs users to contact forms when additional assistance is necessary. Contacts replies may take 3-4 days.
The Gemini app in the App Store averages 4.7 stars with over 10,000 reviews. The android Gemini app on Google Play appears to have more bugs in it, as there are many more negative reviews and complaints of the app not working (over 2000 reviews averaging 3 stars).
Gemini traders enjoy full integration with TradingView so they can execute trades on Gemini within the TradingView interface, which many traders are already comfortable using. This feature also gives traders access to TradingView’s robust charting tools while enjoying Gemini’s lowest trading fees.
As a New York licensed trust company, Gemini must submit to regular bank exams and security audits and they are the first crypto exchange to do this. They combine this regulatory security with what they consider best-in-industry cold storage, as well as reserves and an insurance policy that covers more digital assets than any other company today.
Investors at the custodial level may be able to purchase additional insurance for their crypto holdings on Gemini Exchange. The coverage consists of a combination of traditional insurers with Gemini’s captive insurer. To find out what they qualify for, custodial clients can contact Gemini Custody Service.
Gemini’s capital is held in reserve at a NY trust company and licensed fiduciary. The exchange also has extensive internal controls, including using hardware security modules (HSMs) that were rated FIPS 140-2 Level 3 or higher.
Gemini is a security-first exchange with many unique security features for users, such as a choice to set up specified addresses so that future crypto withdrawals can only be sent to addresses pre-selected by the user.
Gemini does not have problems with downtimes during Bitcoin price spikes as you’d find on Coinbase. But they have 500,000 users vs. Coinbase’s 35 million. Their status page reports very few recent incidents and regular maintenance updates.
Gemini has outstanding marketing, with featured ads in hot locations like The Block, an engaging welcome email drip series starting off with a letter from the founders and followed by a series of emails explaining their services simply and concisely. No words are wasted on Gemini’s website and throughout their documentation, which is frankly a breath of fresh air after reading all of Coinbase’s docs.
One of the key benefits to using Gemini over other crypto exchanges like Coinbase and Kraken is that they give users up to 10 free withdrawals per month to external wallets, making it an ideal platform for traders to on- and -off board crypto assets while providing a simplified accounting record.
Gemini’s twin executives, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, have a very positive presence on social media and the company has a benevolent vibe. They even enable people to donate crypto to their partner, The Giving Block, with a tax receipt included.
The Gemini Exchange bills itself as security first, but it has managed to accomplish this with a user first mindset, and it shows within the supporting community. Unlike Kraken (to some extent) and Coinbase (to a big extent), Gemini’s social media posts are greeted with support and not continual complaints.
This is KEY – not many offer this as some networks charge large fees at some times because of network congestion. Exchanges get burnt on withdrawals losing money a lot of the times, but they make it back on the other fees they collect. Though having 10 free withdrawals a month makes Gemini my number one exchange – I use it to on-board and off-load all my cash to make my accounting easier.
Margin trading is disallowed in order to remain compliant with NY regulations.
Gemini doesn’t provide an OTC desk but supports this type of trading as a 3rd party settler.
USDT/Tether is not traded on Gemini (is available on Kraken)