Gemini is a popular name in cryptocurrency exchanges that are operating on a global level. From a hub of exchanges out there, it becomes difficult to know which one to trust and which one to ignore. Let’s be honest here, we don’t even have time to wander from site to site, to read about small details of these exchanges. And sometimes, the information presented on one portal is simply not enough. Then how to determine whether the website is trustworthy or not?
Well, we present to you an in-depth analysis and detailed review of Gemini Bitcoin Exchange. We hope that after reading this, most of your doubts will be clear, and you will be in a better position to decide for yourself.
Number 1 Place to Buy Bitcoin
+ bank transf.
ABOUT GEMINI EXCHANGE
Gemini was founded in 2014 by famous duo of Winklevoss twin-brothers. They are famous for many reasons, and one of them is suing Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg for their original idea of the social networking website. They are equally interested in Bitcoin and crypto-asset market and they were also 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 USA, and draws majority of its traffic from the states itself. They are fully operational in over 45 states of America, along with UK, Singapore, Canada, South Korea, Puerto Rico and Hong Kong. But majorly it is popular among the population of USA. The networth of Gemini currently stands between $1 to $10 million dollars.
The company is expanding slowly, but so far it has no history of being hacked, which is a positive sign. It has never been hacked, does not mean it will never be hacked in future either. Any malware attack on a website is almost impossible to predict. Since, Gemini exchange has never become the target of attackers so far, the trust of users has thickened over time.
UNIQUE FEATURES OF GEMINI
The brothers focused on something that was a dicey domain, according to other cryptocurrency exchanges, and it was – regulation. Before becoming operational, they became fully registered and compliant enterprise, having highest levels of banking reserves. They were working opposite to the term ‘decentralized exchange’, but even then they were successful.
Another interesting feature about Gemini is ‘AUCTIONS’. It should not be confused with auctions in Stock Market happening on New York Stock Exchange, but it is something similar. Auctions happen twice a day, where large volumes of crypto-assets (particularly Bitcoin and Ethereum) are traded in short-time. This is a risky practice, as small traders might try to speculate the market by studying the shift, and place orders to maintain the balance. Where big traders often win big, small traders are the one who might end up losing ruthlessly. But these auctions can also be equally dangerous, considering public panic and FUDs (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt).
ADVANTAGES OF GEMINI
Some of the points where Gemini has an upper-hand are –
- The biggest advantage of Gemini is that it has majority of Bitcoin and Ethereum stored in offline wallets. They have only a small portion available online, which puts them in a low-risk factor in case an attack happens. Storing a lot of cryptocurrency offline, also allows them to maintain high liquidity.
- It does not mention any minimum amount that needs to be deposited to start trading. This feature gives an equal opportunity to small traders.
- The interface of the website is simple to understand, and welcoming for the beginners. First timers will prefer Gemini over other complex interfaces like those of Bittrex or Binance Advance.
- Gemini allows bank transfers and wires for international account holders. In the time, when most of the exchanges prefer not to accept bank money, Gemini still openly accepts it.
- 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 smallest details and queries that a user might come up with. Their customer support is robust and active. They typically respond within a few hours and users can 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, he is considered as the maker and the one who is selling is the taker. The fees taken from maker is less than what a taker has to pay. The maker fees is also depends and varies on the volume. If the volume is high, the fees is lower.
DISADVANTAGES OF GEMINI
Gemini has several disadvantages compared to other websites, and some of them are –
- The biggest downside of Gemini is that it allows only Ethereum and Bitcoin for 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, might face a disappointment with Gemini, as it does not allow margin trading.
Gemini has no mobile application for users. They are only operational on the web.
- It is not available throughout the world, but operates only 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 and during peak times, it crashed hard on its users. For several hours it was under maintenance. 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 totally be avoided if local currencies are available.
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 at his email. Only after he enters that activation code, is he allowed to proceed with his new account registration. This depicts the high level of security and safety.
After this the user must activate 2FA, which comes more like a mandatory option, instead of an optional one. After setting up 2FA (two-factor authentication), the user can link his bank account by submitting official documents, and get his account verified. The account verification is usually quick and relatively smooth. After verification, the user is free to use Gemini for buying BTC and ETH, or for trading them in long-term.
REGULATIONS AND REACH
Gemini, being openly operating in over 45 states of USA is compliant with American code of conduct and is absolutely legal to use. It allows customers from other international domains, but only allows USD deposits in their bank accounts. They are expanding their operations, and trying to add more international diversity, but for that they must first learn to handle high traffic influx. Their crashes and maintenance breaks have already cost the users heavily, because of which many users also left the platform and switched to other exchanges.
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 of USA. Over 75% of its traffic comes from USA, and the remaining from other countries in which it operates.
When compared to popular competitors like coinbase.com and gdax.com, it was found that Gemini has lowest visits over time. It has constantly been below 50 million in views, while coinbase.com has the highest views of over 359 million.
SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE
The social media is highly responsible for 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 alt-coin investors. Bitcoin and Ethereum are the two most common currencies on every cryptocurrency exchange. Gemini is not doing anything different or unique by supporting these two coins. This can rather be called as an added disadvantage for Gemini.
Gemini does not support marginal trading, and this might not upset seasonal traders a bit, but it is surely not a welcoming news for many users who want to indulge in marginal trading. The unique feature about Gemini exchange is their auctions that happen twice a day. 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. Anymore added panic is nothing but a disaster.
Gemini has one of the most reasonable and low fees on the internet among other cryptocurrency exchanges. It charges standard 0.25% fees from transactions made. Apart from this, they have a maker-taker model just like Poloniex, in which they offer discounts and low fees to the ones who are ‘buying’ the cryptocurrency. The fees further depends upon the volumes as well. If the volume of the currency that you want to buy is high, the fees is lesser. 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 or wire transfers will amount to a small fees of $15 to $25 on deposit and withdrawals respectively. ACH takes almost one business day to process. So, it is better to always keep some money loaded in your crypto-exchange to buy it when the price dips. Instant orders can only happen if the money is available.
Compared to other exchanges like Coinbase.com and gdax.com, the fees of Gemini is very less. Coinbase charges almost 1.49% on buying or selling, and over 3% fees on credit and debit card transactions. Gdax.com charges only takers, and it has kept maker fee zero. Takers are also charged variably depending upon the volume traded. If the volume traded is too high, the fees is reduced by 0.01%, otherwise it is standard 0.25% for transactions of all kinds.
Gemini has a very detailed, in-depth section of FAQs in which the users can find answers to all kinds of queries. But apart from that they also have available and active customer support executives who will respond typically in a couple hours, if you send them your query by email.
Their customer support responses used to be quick, but recently the users have been complaining about delays and no-replies of their questions, that has left them in a state of panic. To deal with increasing traffic and millions of transactions happening every day on the network, Gemini must improve on their customer support to retain their existing clients.
Gemini is undoubtedly one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the USA, but if we talk about the global level, its reach is nowhere near to big giants like 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 as well, but there are certainly many rooms for improvement.
They must focus on enhancing their customer support, followed by adding more cryptocurrencies and not just sticking to Bitcoin and Ethereum. Such small factors will affect them in future, especially when other market competitors are operating at global scale and handling hundreds of currencies at a time.