A US-based cryptocurrency exchange situated in New York City and regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services, Gemini. In this review, we’ll walk you through key the features of the exchange as well as guide you on hoe to use the exchange.
Table Of Contents
What is Gemini?
Gemini is a cryptocurrency exchange that offers crypto-to-fiat and fiat-to-crypto transaction. The Exchange was founded in October 2015 by the Winklevoss twins, thus the name Gemini comes from the owners of the company, Cameron Winklevoss, and Tyler Winklevoss. While they may be most famous for suing Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg over their idea for a social networking site, their interest in the crypto-space was evidenced by the creation of Gemini. The exchange is based in New York and holds the status of being a New York State limited liability Trust. Gemini is a fully compliant and fully registered enterprise that adheres to the peak of compliance with banking standards. As a result, the exchange deals with both institutional and individual clients and is a popular option for investors who prioritize security and efficiency.
The exchange accepts $USD bank transfers as a method of payment. Unlike many other cryptocurrency exchange platforms, Gemini offers new users SandBox which acts as a practice account for people that are interested in knowing more about the website.
The Gemini platform is well designed for ease of use. Its interface is relatively simple and provides a smooth and efficient user experience when compared to other exchange platforms. The interface helps traders to keep track of important market data such as prices, and orders, which keeps the platform extremely responsive and allows users to stay on top of their transactions.
A unique feature of Gemini is the auctions, which are held twice a day. The auctioning works in a way similar to the ones which occur at the opening and closing transactions on stock exchanges (not to be confused with “the highest bidder wins the item” auctions). To some experienced traders who understand the logic, this is where relatively big, in terms of trade volume, transactions are usually made. The option allows traders to place buy or sell orders which are then matched at a single price.
This happens synchronously while trading on Gemini still occurs. It creates an interesting dynamic, just like it does on the New York Stock Exchange – after seeing the pending orders for the auction (known as the “imbalance”) traders can speculate on them moving the market in the short term. It should be noted that this type of trading is very risky, as new orders may come to meet an imbalance, even in the last second. Trading on imbalances is tricky, and because of the risks involved, this is definitely not recommended for beginners.
Security and Safety
Till today, Gemini maintains its status of being one of the most secure exchanges in the market and employs a number of methods to ensure a high level of security as regards the subject of traditional financial institutions. One of the prominent integrations employed is that users’ accounts are backed up with two-factor authentication, which means authentication from an additional device must be employed in order to access the account.
In addition to having the fiat (US Dollar) Accounts insured by the FDIC, and funds held in a New York-chartered bank, Gemini also puts all its digital assets into cold storage, while online assets are hosted on Amazon Web Services. This also provides a crucial extra level of security as Amazon Web storage utilizes some rare security features such as multi-factor authentication, tiered-access controls, as well as dedicated hardware security modules.
Additionally, when it comes to security breaches, Gemini does not have any record of large-scale hacks yet. This is generally a good sign, although it does not guarantee anything for the future.
As regards transfer of funds, Gemini operates a low fee policy and platform users can deposit Bitcoin, Ether, and make bank and wire transfers free of charge. However, individual local banks may charge their customers a fee to wire money to their Gemini account. Withdrawals on the platform are also fee free, and all customers receive 30 free withdrawals per calendar month. However, any withdrawals above the specified amount will result in fees equal to the mining fees payable on the blockchain network. This is estimated to be approximately 100,000 satoshis (0.001 BTC) per transaction on the Bitcoin Network and 0 GWei (0 ETH) per transaction on the Ethereum Network. The detailed structure as found on Gemini.com is described in the below:
Trading fees are set at 0.25% for both sellers (makers) and buyers (takers), however, they are reduced when certain trade volumes are met. The maker fee is discounted to 0% for 30-day trading volumes that exceed 5,000 Bitcoin or 100,000 Ether. For the same trading amounts, the taker fee drops down to 0.10%.
Gemini uses a dynamic maker and taker fee or rebate schedule, and traders can receive a rebate on liquidity-making trades. The specific amounts depend on gross trading volumes and the buy and sell ratio over a 30-day period. However, it should be known that the data is always reevaluated every 24-hours period. More detailed information on fees can be found here.
Gemini provides an in-depth FAQ that seeks to answer the most common questions, as well as a blog that provides its users with instructions on how to buy and sell Bitcoin. Yet, user inquiries are handled via email and Gemini support reply to customer queries within hours.
Gemini supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, and $US only. Both Bitcoin and Ethereum can be traded against the $US and against each other. However, traders who intend to buy altcoins can always transfer their Bitcoin or Ethereum to another exchange like Bittrex or Binance.
The exchange is currently available to the United states, Canada, Hong Kong, Puerto Rico, Singapore, South Korea and the United Kingdom.
The Sandbox playground acts as a practice account for people (especially, new visitors) who are interested in knowing more about the website. You can create a sandbox account here with just an active phone number for 2FA.
GETTING STARTED WITH GEMINI EXCHANGE
Make sure you are in the right domain
It’s essential to ensure that you’re on the right Bittrex website before you get started. To ensure this, make sure you can see protocol label to be secured (HTTPS not HTTP) in the address bar of your browser as shown below. Making sure you are on the right Bittrex website will save you from entering your details to a cloned Bittrex website targeted at exploiting your privacy with varoius cyber-attacks.
Another solution is to use Cryptonite developed by MetaCert. You can learn more about meta cert here. Using Cryptonite, you must ensure that the black shield add-on logo on the toolbar from your browser turns green when you’re on the website. As shown below:
- Click on the “register” button
- Once it’s sure you’re on the right page, you’ll need to click the REGISTER button on the landing page and fill up the details as shown below.
- Enter your name, email address, and password, and agree to the terms and conditions. Then, click the CREATE MY ACCOUNT button.
Note: If you are representing an institution in the creation of your account, click here.
You’ll then need to fill the institutional client registration form as shown below:
- Verify Your Identity
You’ll need to verify your mail address by clicking the mail sent to you in your mailbox. It should be noted that, sometimes, you may need to check your spam folder from your mailbox if the mail seems not received. After verifying your email address, follow the below process:
– Enter both your location and phone number, after this, you can set up 2-Factor Authentication (2FA) which adds an additional layer of security to your account.
– Add the bank account that you will make transfers to and from. Gemini currently only accepts bank transfers and wires as the methods for depositing funds.
– Upload your ID. In order to verify your account, you are required to upload government-issued forms of identification. This allows Gemini to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and Anti Money Laundering (AML) regulations. This also allows users to deposit, withdrawal, and trade in US Dollars. The verification time depends on the number of applications being processed and can take anywhere from a few to several days.
– After this is done, the process is complete and you can move onto funding your account.
- Make a Deposit
You can either deposit cash or cryptocurrencies (BTC or ETH).
Make a Cash Deposit: To deposit cash, you can do this in two ways:
1. Automated Clearing House (ACH) deposit:
This is only available to users in the US. The cool thing about ACH deposits is that you can begin trading with the funds right away.
Note that Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfers are limited to a deposit maximum of $500 per day, and $15,000 per month for individual account holders. Institutions are limited to making ACH deposits of $10,000 per day, or $300,000 per month.
2. Wire Transfer
Wiring a deposit is more straightforward because wire transfers are irreversible, you can begin trading and withdrawing the funds once Gemini receives the money. According to Gemini, If your deposit is made before 3:00 pm local time, your funds will be ready for trading the following business day with no holds for withdrawing.
Depositing Cryptocurrencies: You can also deposit both accepted cryptocurrencies. All you need do is to simply select Deposit BTC or Deposit ETH, and Gemini will generate a deposit address for you. Initiate a transfer from your external wallet and scan the QR code that Gemini provides you or just copy the BTC or ETH address and paste it into your external wallet.
Do note that Gemini makes no charges on either deposit or withdrawal
TRADING ON GEMINI
On Gemini, trading is simply the process of exhanging your USD to either BTC or ETH and vice-versa
To Buy Bitcoin or Ethereum with your USD
- Select Buy on the main menu bar as shown below.
- Choose USD, BTC or ETH pair to select which cryptocurrency you want to trade from the drop-down list.
- Fill up the price and quantity as per the amount you’re willing to buy. Note: Before you click Buy and confirm your purchase, you can check to see the exact fee that will be charged and the total amount of USD, BTC or ETH that will be taken from your account to complete the transaction.
- Click on the BUY button.
Note: that you can also use the same process to purchase your ETH
Make a Withdrawal
Withdrawing means you are simply transferring your asset from the Gemini account to a private wallet. To transfer your assets to an external wallet or exchange:
- Navigate to the “Withdraw BTC” or “Withdraw ETH” page via the ‘Transfer Funds’ drop-down menu on the Gemini dashboard as shown above.
- Once you are there, you'll be prompted to input a “Destination Address” (The destination address is provided by your external wallet or exchange).
- Input the deposit address copied from your destination wallet.
- Wait for the network confirmations. Depending on the congestion on the BTC/ETH network. Currently, as at the time of writing, BTC transactions take an average of 40 minutes, and Eth transactions take an average of 0.2 minutes before getting confirmed on the network.