Founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, Gemini is a crypto exchange platform enabling users to buy/sell over 25+ crypto assets. Gemini is one of the longest standing exchanges in the US and caters to both beginners and more sophisticated traders.
Signing up for a Gemini account is simple and can be accessed through both desktop and mobile. Obtaining an account requires users to go through a standard KYC/AML process and to enable Two-Factor-Authentication through a third-party application called Authy. The information they will ask encompasses your name, address and a copy of your photo ID/ Passport. Following that you will have to connect a funding source to load fiat (Euros, Dollars etc.) into your Gemini account.
To fund your account you can either use a bank transfer deposit or a debit card. Gemini offers bank transfer deposits in the USA, UK, Europe, Canada & Australia. Bank deposits are free of charge but take one or two days until they arrive in your Gemini account. Alternatively, Gemini also supports debit cards which allows you to buy crypto instantly but costs slightly more. Debit card purchases work globally as long as you have a Mastercard or Visa.
At this time they do not allow for credit cards to be utilized to purchase crypto with. Once your account has been approved, which can be a bit longer than other exchanges, you will then be able to buy/sell one of the 25+ assets they have listed.
In terms of availability, users from over 50+ countries can obtain an account with Gemini. To get a full list of countries available for their services, please check out the list here.
Gemini services can be accessed either through their browser interface or mobile. The browser interface enables a user to interact with their platform through two separate interfaces. One is called ActiveTrader, which is catered to more advanced traders, and the other is just Gemini, which is geared towards the everyday user with a more intuitive and simpler user interface.
Through this interface users can get easy access to buying one of the 25+ assets, which Gemini supports. When someone is looking to buy assets they will be prompted to choose how often they want to buy. You can either make your purchase a one off or make it recurring (weekly, monthly etc.)
For users looking to engage in some simple dollar cost averaging or just quick buys, this would be the recommended interface to deal with. However, the fees are slightly more expensive than if you use the ActiveTrader interface.
Gemini’s ActiveTrader enables more advanced traders to partake in crypto markets. In this interface, users will be able to see an order book, more detailed price chart, and users can access a variety of order types. Order types include:
If you’re looking to trade at larger sizes, Gemini offers a daily auction and block trades. Both functionalities enable larger sized traders to buy/sell crypto with reduced priced impact. In order to access these features you will need to contact support, which adds a layer of friction if you’re looking to get started quickly.
Gemini has a mobile app that is available on both iOS and Android. The mobile experience is similar to their web browser experience using the simple user interface. As such, users can do quick buys and manage their recurring orders. It's also handy to check prices while you're on the go or send funds to another crypto wallet.
The one main difference between the mobile and web browser experience is that the mobile app has a pay functionality where users can utilize their crypto, BTC, GUSD, ETH, etc, to pay at one of over 30,000 merchants Gemini has partnered with. This feature called “GeminiPay” is enabled by their partnership with Flexa. To learn more about Gemini Pay, feel free to check their site here.
Gemini’s general user interface is simple and easy for most people to interact with and something we recommend most everyday crypto holders and users to deal with. It provides educational content on the assets they support when you click into, check below, which is useful for users so they can get a better understanding of the asset they’re interacting with.
While the general user interface and easy recurring buys is great for the everyday user, it lacks in several other categories. If you’re looking for a crypto exchange that enables you to do crypto staking, crypto lending, and more derivative products, you will not be able to find those here. It is uncertain whether or not they will implement these into the roadmap, but given how other exchanges are implementing similar functionalities we expect them to follow suit in the near future.
In terms of support, Gemini could be more responsive on approving accounts and enabling access to the alternate user interface. Signing-up for an account and receiving access to the ActiveTrader interface, both took over 72 hours respectively until we received a positive response. While this is not the slowest support available, when there is a lot of activity in the market and you want to get onboarded quickly, Gemini may not be the fastest route to get started.
Gemini’s fees schedule also vary and can be confusing to the everyday user. As mentioned previously, the fees when buying through the simple interface fees are much greater than if you use the ActiveTrader functionality. You can see a breakdown of the fees when buying through the default user interface in the picture below. As you can see the fees are intuitive and become a smaller percentage of your purchase the more crypto you buy.
The ActiveTrader experience will save you on fees but is a bit harder to use if you're inexperienced with trading charts and complex order types. To get a difference on fees check below and review the following help pages (Mobile/Simple Web User Interface and Active Trader).
Gemini prides itself on having one of the most secure exchanges in the space. Gemini has two types of SOC certifications. These certifications ensure that platforms provide the following five tenants: security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality and privacy. In order to get these certifications, Gemini has to regularly consult third-party auditors, which will verify whether or not they meet these standards.
To this date, Gemini is the only exchange to have completed both of these exams. To learn more about what is required to obtain them, feel free to check it out here.
Inclusive of the certifications, Gemini has a robust insurance program which helps protect users funds for losses due to insider thefts and collusion, as well as the destruction of private keys by natural disasters like floods, earthquakes. This protection program covers up to $200M in potential incidents. This program was developed internally and it is called Nakamoto with AON providing the captive coverage. To learn more about the program, we recommend reading this article here.
To round up Gemini’s security, Gemini forces users to enable 2FA. While this may be an additional step to deal with, it is necessary to ensure the safety of your assets. Overall, Gemini provides users one of the most safe and secure user experiences possible.
All in all, Gemini is a simple and secure platform for users to gain access to the crypto market. If you’re looking for a no-hassle and easy way to buy bitcoin or ether or do dollar cost averaging, we strongly recommend Gemini as a platform to utilize. Not last, because it is licensed by financial authorities and shows a strong focus on platform security. It is one of the few crypto exchanges that has never been hacked.
We also endorse Gemini's vocal support for Decentralized Finance (DeFi) which has led to the listing of various DeFi tokens such as AAVE, YFI, UNI, SNX and many others.
If you’re looking for a platform with comprehensive features and the ability to trade professionally, we would recommend utilizing another platform until they enable more solutions like staking, lending, and derivatives.