Gemini Review 2021 – Unveiling Its Pros and Cons

Gemini review

Thinking about a secure cryptocurrency exchange to kick off your crypto investment? Gemini’s cryptocurrency exchange is one of the biggest and most secure platforms to buy, hold, and sell your crypto assets.

The US-based cryptocurrency exchange company is a comprehensive platform with essential features for both beginning and professional crypto users.

As an individual or institution, you can explore its variety of simple, secure, and slick crypto products. This review will give you a thorough understanding of Gemini to make smarter crypto investment decisions.

At a Quick Glance

Pug Score4.5/5.0
Trading Fees (Maker/Taker)0.25%/0.35%
Supported Cryptocurrencies40+
Best Suited forBeginner and Advanced Traders

Key Findings

With its mission to increase people’s independence, choice, and opportunity worldwide, Gemini is no doubt a trustworthy cryptocurrency exchange platform. It supports over 60 cryptocurrencies, including GUSD (Gemini dollars)—its native currency.

The platform provides an intuitive and secure system for buying, selling, storing, and spending crypto. In addition, Gemini offers you all the essential tools for seamless and profitable crypto transactions. Again, you can leverage its virtually impregnable security and run your crypto transactions with confidence.

ProsCons
Over 60 supported cryptocurrenciesComplicated fee structure, especially for newbies
Educational hubExpensive fees compared to several other exchanges
Low minimum purchasesIt doesn’t offer margin and short selling trading features
Feature-packed trading platformAbsence of some prominent cryptocurrencies
Slick mobile appEmail-only customer service
Advanced security measures
Intuitive platform for beginners
Accessible to all US states
Earn reasonable returns in crypto balances
Make purchases with 30,000+ merchants through the Gemini Pay mobile app
Crypto-to-crypto trading for some coins
Insurance for crypto assets if at all hackers infiltrate the platform
Peer-to-Peer (P2P) trading

What is Gemini?

Gemini, officially known as Gemini Trust Company, is one of the popular cryptocurrency exchanges today. Founded by the Winklevoss brothers Cameron and Tyler, it ranks among Coinmarketcap’s top 15 cryptocurrency exchanges.

Gemini became the world’s first licensed Ether and Zcash exchange in 2016 and 2018, respectively. You can trade crypto and fiat currencies in its open market, plus you can transfer USD to and from your bank account. Gemini offers a wide range of products and services suitable for beginners and full-time crypto traders. 

Range of Offering

On Gemini, you can explore 60+ supported cryptocurrencies with 20+ trading pairs. Keep reading to understand the various features, products, and services Gemini offers.

Image Source: Gemini

Gemini Wallet

Gemini, like other cryptocurrency exchanges, offers its own crypto wallet called Gemini Wallet. If you don’t already own a crypto wallet, you can sign up for the Gemini Wallet to keep your crypto in an insured hot (online) wallet or industry-grade cold (offline) storage wallet.

The safe and secure wallet is compatible with all the listed crypto assets on Gemini. So, you can invest confidently knowing your crypto assets “may not” be compromised by hackers or other forms of malicious attacks. 

Gemini runs frequent wallet upgrades to support new cryptocurrencies and improve general user experience and network usage. It was among the first major crypto exchanges to fully support SegWit and provide SegWit addresses. SegWit is a solution or process that increases transaction block size by separating signature data from Bitcoin transactions.

Image Source: Gemini

Gemini Pay

Gemini Pay is another Gemini product that offers you free, simple, and secure payment options. You can spend your cryptocurrencies across over 30,000 retail locations around the United States with zero transaction fees.

If you are concerned about cryptocurrency volatility while depending on your crypto, you have the GUSD (Gemini Dollar)—a US-dollar-based stable coin. Spending your dollars as Gemini dollars helps you evade the crypto volatility problem and spend your crypto at ease.

To use Gemini Pay, you’d need to download the Gemini mobile app. The product allows you to select various crypto payment methods like Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash, GUSD, Zcash, Litecoin. In addition to the thousands of supported stores, Gemini also adds more stores from time to time to provide you with a wider and more convenient retail experience.

Gemini Earn

Gemini Earn allows you to earn interest or APY on your Gemini crypto balance. You can earn up to 7.4% APY on your crypto, including stable coins. Once you create an account, you can buy any amount of cryptocurrency and enable Gemini Earn to earn interest on your balance.

Unlike other crypto interest-earning opportunities, you are allowed to redeem your cryptocurrency, use it, and move it to your trading account, together with interest, whenever you want! There are no minimum withdrawals, plus you withdraw and transfer at zero fees.

Again, you do not have to worry about price volatility with Gemini Earn if you opt to earn on stable coins like Dai and the GUSD (Gemini dollar). Stable coins let you earn interest by holding a USD-pegged cryptocurrency to minimize volatility.

Image Source: Gemini

Gemini Earn offers you 100x leverage. You can calculate your interest rate by selecting a cryptocurrency you want to earn from, entering an amount and interest time frame. With the system’s world-class security, you rest assured your capital and interest are beyond compromise.

Image Source: Gemini

Gemini ActiveTrader

The Active Trader is Gemini’s crypto trading platform that offers professional-level experience.  The high-performance trading platform features multiple order types, advanced charting, block trading, and auctions.

It offers zero downtime, fast and stable execution of trading orders. Also, Active Trader is mobile-browser compatible, which means you don’t have to sit on your desktop to enter trading positions or monitor open orders.

Image Source: Gemini

Gemini Custody

Gemini Custody enables you to store and keep track of your crypto assets with one of the industry’s most secure and user-friendly custody platforms. Gemini is qualified under the New York banking law and licensed for digital assets custody by the State of New York.

The product is subject to regular auditing and the traditional financial institution compliance standards and requirements of the Capital Reserve. With a whopping $200 Million insurance coverage for its cold storage system, your assets are insured against any unprecedented attacks on the platform. You can also buy additional insurance for your crypto assets on Gemini.

A geographically distributed custody infrastructure ensures that sensitive data cannot be accessed or controlled by unauthorized persons. The custody setup operates completely offline where the HSMs (Hardware Security Modules) storing private keys are held in secure safes. You are looking at a security system that meets the US government’s highest security standards.

Gemini Custody connects seamlessly to your Gemini Exchange dashboard. You can trade your crypto assets on Gemini Exchange, directly from your offline or cold storage. That means Gemini sends your withdrawals to your exchange account to enable you to buy and sell crypto assets while you enjoy the best security standards. 

Its intuitive self-service account portal helps you to initiate payments easily, create sub-accounts, check balances, view monthly statements, initiate withdrawals, and transfer assets. Moreso, with an all-inclusive custody model for investors and institutions, Gemini helps users customize price plans that align with personal or multi-user accounts.

Image Source: Gemini

Gemini Dollar

The Gemini dollar (GUSD) is Gemini’s stable coin—a 1:1 USD-pegged currency. With GUSD, you can run your transactions, trade, and stake crypto on decentralized exchanges. Besides being a stable cryptocurrency, you also enjoy zero fees when you buy and sell GUSD on Gemini.

Supported across many DeFi applications, exchanges, and protocols, GUSD allows you to run a wider range of DeFi transactions. You can lend your GUSD and earn high DeFi yields on Gemini Earn. It also provides fast and seamless transfer (within seconds) and settlement on the Ethereum blockchain.

GUSD can be spent on your choice stores via Gemini Pay and across borders in as fast as seconds. Users can provide liquidity with the stable coin using automated markers and various other liquidity pools. The stable coin is an Ethereum ECR-20 token, completely programmable and available for smart contract development.

Image Source: Gemini

Gemini Clearing

Gemini clearing is Gemini’s trade settlement product. It enables two trading parties to settle a trade on the order book. Gemini acts as the third party, confirming the transactions and ensuring prompt settlement while decreasing counterparty risk.

It is a favorite and one of the most trusted electronic clearing and settlement solutions for crypto trades outside the exchange. Gemini Clearing offers competitive prices and has no minimum trade size. 

Again, it offers a compliance-first model where trading parties must fulfill Gemini’s KYC and AML requirements. The reason is to validate and secure the activities of the trading parties. Built for safety and speed, Gemini Clearing supports Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Gemini Clearing has you covered with its anonymous settlement if you love anonymity or are anxious about identity theft. The anonymous settlement system ensures transaction information remains only between counterparties, and even Gemini itself doesn’t publish your trade details to its market data feed.

Gemini Credit Card

Gemini credit card is a product of the collaboration between  Gemini, Mastercard, and the issuing bank—WeBank. The credit card will support all 50 US states (with terms and restrictions).

Cardholders can earn 1% to 3% back on groceries, dining, and other purchases, and earnings will be instantly deposited to holders’ Gemini accounts. Gemini credit cards will deliver holders’ rewards in real-time, unlike the majority of cards that pay at month’s end or later.

With zero annual fees, cardholders can enjoy the full value of their crypto rewards. The metal card with rose gold, silver, and black color options was designed with security in mind.

It removes other sensitive details like the card’s 16-digit card number (accessible via Gemini’s website or mobile app)—only displaying the cardholder’s name on the card.

Image Source: Gemini

The card, which will be out by the Summer of 2021, assures potential holders of 24/7 live customer support via several customer service channels, live agent service inclusive. You can join the waitlist for the Gemini Credit Card to gain early access to subsequent card updates.

Commission and Fee Structure

Gemini has a variety of fee offerings. But it all depends on the product and level of usage. The fee structure is generally complex, but mobile and web fees are divided into “Convenience fee” and “Transaction fee.” Read on to understand Gemini’s basic fee structure.

Convenience Fee

The convenience fee is calculated as part of the quoted price for any cryptocurrency you want to buy. It is basically about 0.50% above the market price of a specific trading pair or cryptocurrency you want to buy.

Your real convenience fee may be lower or greater than 0.50% depending on market price movement between the time you reviewed your quoted price and when Gemini fulfills your order. However, it will not change the price you pay.

Transaction Fee

The transaction fee is dependent on the currency being used and the transaction size. Gemini operates a flat transaction fee schedule (from 0.99% to 1.49%) for web-based and mobile orders as shown below:

Image Source: Gemini

Gemini also has a unique fee structure for orders placed via the ActiveTrader platform. Fees on the trading platform can be very reasonable, especially for traders with high monthly trading volumes.

Depositing money to your Gemini account via wire transfer, ACH, Gemini dollar, or external accounts is completely free. However, debit card transfers cost as high as 3.49%. Gemini withdrawals are free, provided you don’t go beyond ten withdrawals per month, which will attract small fees.

Gemini Earn Fees

Gemini Earn displays net interest rates, i.e., minus Gemini’s agent fees for each eligible asset on the Earn product. Agent fees can change anytime. As a result, Gemini may modify the fee schedule at any time according to Gemini Earn’s terms and conditions.

It may help to know that your actual fees on Gemini Earn may be less than the listed amounts on the fee schedule page. The reason is that transaction timing with borrowers on Gemini Earn, and the compounding schedule work together to determine your interest rate.

Gemini ActiveTrader Fees

Gemini calculates your fee rate for each trading pair by your total trading volume in USD across all continuous order books, auction order books, and 30-calendar-day block trading. Your trading fee rate is recalculated at midnight UTC every day, and it applies to every subsequent order.

The rates in the image below only apply to your ActiveTrader orders. For more information on rates for orders placed via other interfaces and applications, please check out the Marketplace Fee Schedules part of Gemini’s User Agreement.

Image Source: Gemini

Ease of Account Opening

Gemini’s account creation process is easy and straightforward. You will be required to do your KYC (Know Your Customer) verification to verify your identity. For security purposes, you’d need to turn on 2FA (two-factor authentication) for your account.

KYC Verification

After entering your basic details in your Gemini account creation process, you will be required to enter more of your information. The reason is to fully verify your trade and withdraw from your Gemini account.

To abide by relevant regulations, your Gemini sign-up will require your full legal name, address, date of birth, phone number, email, and SSN (Social Security Number).

Beyond that, you need additional KYC (Know Your Customer) documentation to be fully verified and withdraw crypto from the exchange. Here are those documents depending on your location:

US Residents

As a US user, you must have one of the following documents for your Gemini KYC verification:

  • A valid passport; or
  • Driver’s license

Canadian Residents

  • A valid passport
  • Driver’s license
  • SIN (Social Insurance Number)

International Residents

It depends on your country of residence, but Gemini will require a minimum of two government-issued documents such as:

  • Valid passport
  • Driver’s license; and/or
  • National identity card 

Deposit and Withdrawal

You can fund your Gemini account with supported crypto from an external wallet, exchange, or service provider. To deposit to your Gemini account, initiate a withdrawal from the external wallet and enter your Gemini deposit address.

Another deposit option is with fiat currency. To fund your Gemini account using fiat currency, you must link the funding bank account to Gemini via Funding Sources>Automatically Link Bank>Get Started. If linking your bank doesn’t work automatically, select the “Manually link bank” and enter your wire details.

Similarly, withdrawing or transferring crypto from Gemini to another wallet or exchange is simple. After navigating to the withdrawal page, select the currency you want to withdraw. Enter the external wallet or exchange destination address and withdrawal amount, then verify the transaction to place your order.

User Interface and Trading Experience

Gemini’s Active Trader platform offers a lot of trading features for different types of traders. The intuitive platform that makes crypto trading very easy will be much cherished by beginner traders. Traders can manage their account history and transactions or download them with a single click.

TradingView offers you real-time market insight daily. It also gives access to screening and advanced charting tools, plus watchlists and social features. All these features combined will ensure optimum trading experience, profitable and faster order execution, and secure trading on the platform.

Gemini’s ActiveTrader supports a variety of trading pairs like BCH/ETH, BTC/DAI, ETH/BTC, etc. Again, it offers eight order types which include:

  • Limit
  • Market
  • Stop-Limit
  • Limit: Immediate-or-Cancel (IOC)
  • Limit: Auction-Only Limit (AO)
  • Limit: Fill-Or-Kill (FOK)
  • Limit: Maker-or-Cancel (MOC)
  • Limit: Indication of Interest (IOI)

Mobile Application

Gemini has a mobile app available on Google Play Store, Apple App store, and Galaxy store. With the Gemini app, you can trade your crypto on the go. It allows you insights into market trends, easy portfolio building, and execution of your trading strategies with intuitive tools.

Supported Cryptocurrencies

Gemini supports over 60 cryptocurrencies and tokens, including Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ether (ETH), Dogecoin (DOGE), Litecoin (LTC), Zcash (ZEC), Tezos (XTZ), and Filecoin (FIL). However, there are different supported crypto and tokens on Gemini Exchange and Gemini Custody, respectively. You can check out the sites to know whether they support your favorite cryptos.

Educational Tools

Gemini has an online learning hub called Cryptopedia, where you can learn the most important things about cryptocurrency. Covering over 152 crypto-related topics in 300+ articles, it is a comprehensive learning suite. Gemini’s Cryptopedia treats simple topics for beginners like “What is Bitcoin” and delves into more complex stuff about “DeFi,” Trading, Investment Concepts, etc.

Customer Support

Gemini still lags in its customer service delivery. Many customers report frozen accounts with negligent customer assistance, even when customers reach out via emails. 

Users complain that they have to wait for weeks to get email replies to requests they submitted via Gemini’s help desk or email. The customer support lapses have seen users pulling out their capital, and that should be challenging Gemini to step up customer service.

Regulation and Security

Gemini has scaled through the SOC 2 Type 1 Test, meaning the company isn’t just blabbing by saying it operates one of the highest security models both for users’ individual and financial data. 

The company’s HSMs (Hardware Security Modules) hold a FIPS 140-2 Level 3 rating. Such a high-security rating implies that online and offline storage on Gemini accounts is beyond compromise and meets industry security standards.

Gemini runs a multi-signature (multisig) digital signature model instead of using a single security access point. The multisig model decentralizes security and acts as a precaution against compromising or losing any single private key.

Gemini also generates, stores, and manages their private keys on their HSMs. Geographical distribution, storage, and access of HSMs further tighten up Gemini’s security. The security implication is that multiple authorized personnel must coordinate to access/modify sensitive data on the HSMs.

Is Gemini Safe?

From every relevant standard—Yes! Gemini is safe! We’ve yet to see a compromise of its internal system. To this point, the only cases of hacks are from the user end. The cryptocurrency exchange secures users’ crypto assets through multi-process security measures.

As we pointed out earlier, a least-privilege principle involving the use of role-based, tired access controls in Gemini’s production environment makes for internal security. And multi-factor authentication is compulsory for administrative access.

Gemini holds the majority of their cryptocurrency offline or in cold storage—one of the safest ways to secure crypto assets from hackers. However, Gemini holds a small portion of its crypto online in its well-insured hot wallet.

The insurance policy does not take care of any losses from unauthorized access to your Gemini account. You can create a list of authorized addresses that limit withdrawal from your account, plus other account security measures like 2FA (two-factor authentication). But if an infiltrator figures out your password and steals your assets, you may not recover it again. 

Conclusion

Through this comprehensive review, you’ve seen enough to furnish your decision whether or not Gemini is the cryptocurrency exchange for you. Overall, Gemini stands tall in terms of security from the information available and user experience.

Its range of features and products should provide beginners as well as professional traders with the essential tools they require for efficient and profitable investment and trading. Outstanding among its products are Gemini Pay and the Gemini Credit Card, which fuse seamlessly with the retail businesses and offer their respective benefits to users.

However, Gemini still has a lot to do regarding customer service. Users need a more comprehensive customer service model that will promptly respond to their queries and resolve their issues. Again, Gemini may need to reevaluate its complex fee structure and add more crypto assets to its inventory.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Gemini Available in My Country?

It depends! Gemini is available in over 60 countries, including the US, The Bahamas, South Africa, The UK, Netherlands, Hong Kong, Australia, Israel, Egypt, etc. You can check the platform’s “Area of Availability” to know if your country is supported.

Can I Buy Crypto with Fiat Money on Gemini?

Absolutely! You can buy crypto via ACH, wire transfer, or debit card. But you must link your bank or wire account as explained in the “Deposit and Withdrawal” section above.

What Do I Do if I Suspect My Account Has Been Compromised?

File a request to customer support. Gemini also recommends you change your password by navigating to Security Settings>Security Options>Change Password.

Why am I Unable to Withdraw My Funds from Gemini?

You may be unable to withdraw your Gemini balance for several reasons. It could be because your account isn’t fully verified, or your bank account isn’t verified. Another reason is if you have pending bank transfers (held for 4-5 business days) or pending debit card transfers (held for 1 hour).

Gemini Review 2021 - Pros, Cons, and Features

Gemini Review 2021 - Pros, Cons, and Features
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