Gemini is a large cryptocurrency exchange that can sit comfortably next to some of the other larger exchanges on the market. With the continued growth of the crypto exchange market, it can be difficult to know which one to trust and which one to ignore. Let’s be honest, we don’t have time to go from site to site reading about small details of all exchanges. And sometimes, the information presented on one portal is simply not enough. You also have to consider whether the information is credible.
We have an in-depth analysis and detailed review of Gemini Bitcoin Exchange, having gone through the process of signing up and actually buying through the exchange. Once you have read this, we hope you are positioned to make an informed decision about whether to use Gemini to trade cryptocurrencies.
ABOUT GEMINI EXCHANGE
Gemini was founded in 2014 by the famous duo, the Winklevoss twins. They are famous for many reasons, one is for suing Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg for their original idea of the social networking website. They have had an interest in bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general and were actually involved in Bitinstant – the website that was involved in facilitating drug-deals. The duo however stated that they were only passive investors, and were not aware about the operations at length.
Gemini is based in the US, and draws the majority of its traffic from the US itself. They are fully operational in over 45 states of America, along with UK, Singapore, Canada, South Korea, Puerto Rico and Hong Kong. Their biggest market however is definitely the US. Gemini’s net-worth currently stands between $1 to $10 million dollars (it is difficult to pin-point the exact number, but they’re doing OK!).
The company is expanding slowly, and so far has no history of being hacked, always a positive sign. The fact that it has not been hacked does not mean it will never be hacked in future. Any malware attack on a website is almost impossible to predict. Given the fact that Gemini has not fallen victim of an attack, trust from its user base continues to grow.
UNIQUE FEATURES OF GEMINI
The brothers focused on regulating their cryptocurrency exchange, which went in the opposite direction to other exchanges who followed the decentralised blueprint started by bitcoin. Before becoming operational, they became a fully registered and compliant enterprise, having the highest levels of banking reserves they could.
Another interesting feature about Gemini is its ‘AUCTIONS’ function. It should not be confused with the auctions that happen on New York Stock Exchange, but there are similarities. Auctions happen twice a day, where large volumes of crypto-assets (particularly Bitcoin and Ethereum) are traded in the short-time. This is a risky practice, as small traders might try to predict the market by studying the shift, and place orders to maintain the balance. Where big traders often win big, small traders often take the brunt of the collateral. As with all market sentiment, these auctions can increase trading emotions such as greed, fear and panic. It is advisable to be weary and not make sure you are correctly risk managed.
ADVANTAGES OF GEMINI
Some of Gemini’s positives include –
- The biggest advantage of Gemini is that it has holds most of its Bitcoin and Ethereum in offline wallets. They have only a small portion available online, which makes them low-risk, especially if the instance of an attack happens. Storing a lot of cryptocurrency offline allows them to maintain high liquidity.
- There is no mention of a minimum amount that needs to be deposited to start trading. This feature means traders can start small before increasing size when needed.
- The websites interface is simple to understand, and welcoming for the beginners. First timers will prefer Gemini over other complex interfaces like Bittrex or Binance Advance.
- Gemini allows bank transfers for international account holders, when most of the exchanges prefer not to accept this function.
- It has 2FA (two factor authentication) enabled, that adds an extra layer of security to the account.
- The FAQ section of Gemini is full of even the smallest details and queries that a user might come up with. Their customer support is robust, active and they typically respond within a few hours. They also allow users to share their queries over email.
- Low fees is another advantage of Gemini. Apart from charging 0.25% of standard fees from users, Gemini also has a Poloniex-like maker and taker system. If the user is placing an order to buy something, they are considered as the maker and the one who is selling is the taker. Takers will pay more than makers on Gemini. The maker fees also depends on the volume at the time, a high volume results in lower fees.
DISADVANTAGES OF GEMINI
Like any exchange, Gemini has several disadvantages, as highlighted below –
- The biggest downside of Gemini is that it allows for Ethereum and Bitcoin trading. No other cryptocurrency is available on Gemini. This restricts its variety, and prevents traders from diversifying their portfolio. Hence, Gemini is limited to be a Bitcoin Exchange and an Ethereum exchange alone.
- For those who want to win big through margin trading, Gemini will leave you disappointed, there i s no functionality for margin trading.
- Gemini has no mobile application for users. They are only operational on the web.
- It is not available worldwide, only operating in a few countries, namely – USA, UK, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Canada, South Korea and Hong Kong.
- Gemini has a history of crashes in the past. It is unable to handle huge traffic influx during peak times, and often crashes. There was an instnace where they were offline for a prolonged period and despite their repeated attempts to pacify the users, their unavailability added to the panic among users.
- Despite offering regular operations in countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, UK, Canada and South Korea, Gemini only allows trading in USD (United States Dollars). The user cannot add any other currency. This calls for currency-conversion, and the international users have to pay unnecessary charges. This can be avoided by simply adding local currencies, which they are yet to do.
SIGNING UP ON GEMINI AND SECURITY FEATURES
The signing-up process is quite secure. Once the new user adds his name, email ID and password, he is sent an activation code to his email. Only after he enters that activation code, is he allowed to proceed with his new account. This depicts the high level of security and safety of the exchange.
After this, it is advised the user activates 2FA, which actually comes almost as a mandatory option. After setting up 2FA (two-factor authentication), the user can link his bank account and must submit the relevant documents, and get their account verified. The account verification is usually quick and relatively smooth. After verification, the user is free to use Gemini to buy BTC and ETH, or to simply buy and hold for an investment purpose.
REGULATIONS AND REACH
Gemini, operating in over 45 states of USA is compliant with American code of conduct and is very much on the side of the government when it comes to legality. It allows customers from other international domains, but only allows USD deposits in their bank accounts, not ideal. They are expanding their operations and trying to add more international diversity, however before they cross that bridge they must solve the issue of large influxes of traffic. Their crashes and maintenance breaks have already cost the users heavily, and as a result has caused users to look elsewhere.
As per similarweb.com, Gemini managed to pull over 7 million views in the past six months. It is not as popular as Binance, Coinbase, Bittrex and other exchanges, but it maintains a strong-hold at being one of the most popular exchanges in the US, with over 75% of its traffic comes from the US.
When compared to popular competitors like coinbase.com and gdax.com, it was found that Gemini has the lowest visits. It has constantly been below 50 million in views, while coinbase.com has the highest views of over 359 million.
SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE
Social media has a hand in the popularity of cryptocurrency exchanges. While studying about Gemini, it was discovered that YouTube contributes maximum (42.2%), followed by Reddit (21.1%), Facebook (20.5%), Twitter (7.9%) and WhatsApp (3.1%).
CRYPTOCURRENCIES SUPPORTED BY GEMINI
As discussed earlier, Gemini supports only Ethereum and Bitcoin. This restricts it from becoming popular among altcoin investors. Bitcoin and Ethereum are the two most common currencies on every cryptocurrency exchange, but Gemini is not doing anything different or unique by supporting these two coins, which could be seen as a disadvantage.
Gemini does not support marginal trading, which may not be an issue for those who have a lot of backing but for traders who want to leverage their position, it does pose a serious stumbling block. The unique feature about the Gemini exchange is the auctions feature. They allow users to predict the market shift, and speculate the changes. But it can be equally dangerous considering the high volumes involved.
If speculations are on the wrong side, it can create a panic among public. And we all know, panic is never good! Especially if we consider how the last two months have been in the cryptocurrency market, it is nothing short of a ruthless bloodbath (Jan & Feb 2018).
Gemini has one of the most reasonable fee structure of all exchanges. It charges a standard 0.25% fee from transactions made. They also have a maker-taker model, similar to Poloniex, in which they offer discounts and low fees to the ones who are ‘buying’ the cryptocurrency. The fees further depends on the volumes as well. If the volume of the currency that you want to buy is high, the fees is lower. Hence, if you plan to buy $1000 worth of currency, buy it in one go to save your bucks!
Gemini, however does not charge any deposit fees. If you deposit USD (through ACH) or Bitcoins, it will happen free of charge. Bank transfers will cost $15 and $25 on deposits and withdrawals respectively. ACH takes almost one business day to process. So, it is better to always keep some money in your crypto-exchange account to buy when the price dips. Instant orders can only happen if the money is available.
When compared to other exchanges like Coinbase and GDAX, the fees of Gemini are lower. Coinbase charges almost 1.49% on buying or selling, and over 3% fees on credit and debit card transactions. Gdax charges only takers, and it has kept maker fee zero. The takers price varies depending upon volume traded. If the volume traded is too high, the fees are reduced by 0.01%, otherwise it is a standard of 0.25% for transactions of all kinds.
Gemini has a very detailed and in-depth section of FAQs in which the users can find answers to all kinds of queries. They also have very active customer support executives who will respond typically in a couple hours, when you send them an email.
Their customer support responses used to be quick, but recently the users have been complaining about delays and no-replies, which isn’t ideal. Gemini must improve is technical issues that it continues to run into when overloaded with traffic.
Gemini is undoubtedly one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the US, but if we talk about the global level, its reach is nowhere near to the likes of Bittrex, Binance and Bitfinex. It is secure and safe, and they have offline reserves for storing the cryptocurrency, which makes them a completely reliable wallet, but is certainly room for improvement. They must focus on enhancing their customer support, followed by adding more cryptocurrencies to their system. But a big problem to resolve is the way the website reacts to increased traffic.