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Gemini Review – Crypto Exchange With Robust Security Features

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Gemini is a security-focused crypto exchange owned by the Winklevoss twins (of Facebook infamy), aimed at crypto newbies as well as institutional investors. Gemini is known for its robust security features, including an industry-first hot-wallet insurance program that covers theft of digital assets held in the Gemini digital wallet.

After Cameron and Tyler Winlkevoss made a fortune investing their Facebook lawsuit funds into Bitcoin, Gemini was founded in 2015 to help others invest in digital assets. Gemini has grown to offer over 90 cryptocurrencies, and caters to new investors with its simple-to-use platform and mobile app. Gemini also specializes in institutional investors, offering an over-the-counter trade desk, 24/7 support, and even portfolio management for large crypto investing clients.

Gemini Fees

Gemini allows users to sign up for a free account but, like most crypto exchanges, charges a fee for trading on the platform. Here is a breakdown of the fees on Gemini:

Type Fees
ACH deposit Free
Crypto deposit  Free
Debit card purchase 3.49% + trading fees
Wire transfer Determined by bank
Crypto trades below $200 $0.99 to $2.99
Crypto trades above $200 1.49%

Gemini charges fairly high trading fees, especially for orders below $200. There are minimum fees charged on smaller transactions, which can amount to up to 10% of the purchase price (or more). Here’s are how fees are assessed on smaller transactions:

  • Less than $9: $0.99 fee
  • $10 to $24: $1.49
  • $25 to $49: $1.99
  • $50 to $200: $2.99
  • Over $200: 1.49% of order total 

Debit card purchases are the worst offenders, charging a 3.49% surcharge in addition to the regular trading fees.

Gemini ActiveTrader Fees

Gemini has an advanced trading platform with much lower fees, designed for active traders and offering discounts for those that trade higher volumes per month. 

Gemini ActiveTraders uses a maker-taker fee schedule. A maker is someone who places an order that gets placed in the order book to be matched at a later time, effectively “making” a market. A taker places an order that is matched immediately, “taking” the order off the books. Makers generally enjoy lower fees than takers.

Here’s a breakdown of the Gemini ActiveTrader fees:

30-Day Trading Volume (USD) Taker Fee Maker Fee
0 0.40% 0.20%
≥ $10,000 0.30% 0.10%
≥ $50,000 0.25% 0.10%
≥ $100,000 0.20% 0.08%
≥ $1,000,000 0.15% 0.05%
≥ $5,000,000 0.10% 0.03%
≥ $10,000,000 0.08% 0.02%
≥ $50,000,000 0.05% 0.00%
≥ $100,000,000 0.04% 0.00%
≥ $500,000,000 0.03% 0.00%

Key Features of Gemini

Gemini is a full-service crypto exchange, offering a wide range of services and features for both beginner and experienced crypto traders, as well as institutional investors. Here are a few of the key features offered on the Gemini platform:

Easy-To-Use Mobile App

Gemini offers an intuitive mobile app that makes it easy to buy, sell, and trade crypto on the go. The mobile app takes the same approach to simplified design as the regular Gemini platform, with easy-to-read price charts, a simplified order form, and even the ability to set up price alerts on your favorite cryptocurrency. And you can set up recurring purchases on a regular basis for investing in crypto over time.

The Gemini mobile app allows quick access to Gemini Earn for earning interest on deposited crypto, which pays out daily interest on your crypto holdings. Gemini Pay can be used on the app to make regular retail purchases with your Gemini account crypto balance. And you can also manage your Gemini Credit Card account directly from the Gemini mobile app.

Overall, the Gemini mobile app is one of the better crypto exchange apps on the market, and is ideal for beginner investors.

Gemini Earn

Gemini offers interest-bearing accounts that pay crypto rewards in exchange for lending your crypto out to borrowers. The Gemini Earn program pays out interest daily, up to 8% APY on certain cryptocurrencies.

Gemini offers interest on over 40 different cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and USD Coin (USDC). Rates vary by coin, and coins are only lent out to vetted institutional investors.

Gemini ActiveTrader

Gemini offers an advanced trading platform for experienced crypto investors with a wide assortment of trading tools. With live order books, multiple order types, and customizable charting, traders can stay up-to-date on the market and place orders with ease.

ActiveTrader lists all crypto in trading pairs, giving you hundreds of trading options. Market, limit, and stop-loss orders are available, and multiple orders can be placed on the books at the same time. 

Gemini also offers block trading (for larger orders), and a daily auction that allows you to set a maximum asset buy price and be matched with other sellers to trade.

Overall, Gemini ActiveTrader offers just enough tools for active traders, but doesn’t overwhelm intermediate traders who are still learning about active crypto trading.

Gemini Custody

Gemini offers secure custodial services for cryptocurrency, keeping assets in protected offline cold storage, and insuring balances kept in custodial accounts. 

As one of the only regulated crypto exchanges by the New York Department of Financial Services, Gemini has become a go-to custody option for institutional customers and those wanting to protect large crypto balances. Gemini also offers its custody service to other crypto platforms as well, used as the cold storage solution for smaller exchanges.

Gemini Custody features $200 million in insurance coverage, instant liquidity for trading, same-day withdrawals, and 24/7 customer support. Each Custody client can access a dedicated account representative for assistance.

Gemini Wallet

The Gemini Wallet is used to securely store crypto, supporting all assets on the Gemini platform. It is one of the only crypto hot wallets that offers insurance against certain types of losses, such as from a security breach or hack, a fraudulent transfer, or employee theft. 

The wallet is mainly used for transferring assets to and from the Gemini exchange, and it does not connect to decentralized applications.

Advantages of Gemini

Gemini is one of the most popular U.S.-based crypto exchanges for its security features and friendly user interface. With an intuitive mobile app, crypto insurance on custody accounts and the Gemini Wallet, as well as a low-fee advanced trading platform, Gemini offers quite a few advantages to crypto investors. Here are a few of them:

  • Intuitive Trading Platform. The Gemini platform makes it easy to buy and sell crypto, especially for beginners. You can quickly see the pricing of assets on the platform, check in on your portfolio, and view educational articles and current crypto news on the homepage.
  • Hot Wallet Insurance. A first in the industry, Gemini protects your digital assets with insurance on the Gemini hot wallet. This allows you to safely store your crypto in your custody, but with the added protection of insurance against theft or other types of losses in your wallet.
  • Easy-to-Use Mobile App. The mobile app is one of the simplest to use in the industry, making it easy to view your holdings and place orders. With a simplified trading view, built-in educational content, and the ability to trade on the go, the Gemini mobile app is one of the best available.
  • Advanced Trading Platform. Although Gemini is designed primarily for beginners, the advanced trading platform offers very low fees and a wide range of trading tools for active traders. With customizable charting, multiple order types, and the ability to place larger block orders, Gemini ActiveTraders is ideal for expert crypto investors.

Disadvantages of Gemini

Although Gemini offers great features for beginners and advanced traders alike, there are a few disadvantages to be aware of:

  • High Fees. Using the standard trading platform results in very high fees, especially for users placing small orders. With a minimum $0.99 fee on orders under $10, this could result in a 10% fee (or higher). Combine that with a 3.49% surcharge on debit card transactions, and investors placing small orders will be paying quite a bit more than most other exchanges.
  • Limited Crypto Selection. Although Gemini has added assets regularly for the past few years, the total supported list is around 90 cryptocurrencies, which is a much smaller collection than most other exchanges. Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other popular crypto are listed, but you may not be able to find some smaller up-and-coming crypto projects on this exchange. If you are looking for a larger selection, you may want to check out Coinbase or Crypto.com instead.

How Gemini Stacks Up

Gemini is a solid crypto exchange, especially for security-conscious investors who want the most protection for their digital assets. But how does it compare to another large crypto exchange in the U.S.?

Coinbase is the most popular exchange in the U.S. by far, with over 70 million active users and over $500 billion in quarterly trading volume. With a large number of tradable assets and well-designed user interface, Coinbase is one of the best exchanges on the market.

Gemini and Coinbase charge similar fees on their standard trading platforms — both quite high — while their advanced platforms offer discounted fees to high-volume traders. Both also offer institutional investor platforms and crypto secured storage options as well.

Overall, Coinbase and Gemini are both great options for beginners to start investing in crypto, but Gemini offers a more secure platform, whereas Coinbase offers more assets. 

Gemini Coinbase
Fees Standard trading: 1.49% to 3.49%ActiveTrader: 0.00% to 0.40% Standard trading: 1.49% to 3.99%Advanced trading: 0.00% to 0.50%
Number of Cryptocurrencies 90+ 160+
Trading Features Simple order form, advanced trading platform, mobile trading, crypto wallet, crypto custodial services Simple and advanced charting, simple order form, mobile trading, recurring purchases
Security Features Cold storage, two-factor authentication, FDIC insurance, crypto wallet insurance, user role management, whitelisting Cold storage, two-factor authentication, FDIC insurance, crime insurance, AES-256 encryption

Final Word

Gemini offers some great features for crypto investors, including a super-simple mobile app for beginners, and an advanced trading platform for experienced crypto traders. With a focus on security, Gemini is the go-to custodian for institutional investors, as well as investors who want to insure their cryptocurrency.

Gemini fees are high for users who trade on the standard platforms, charging especially high fees for small purchases. That being said, using the advanced trading platform offers very low fees, with discounts available for high-volume traders.

In addition to a solid trading platform, Gemini offers a rewards credit card, as well as the ability to pay for retail purchases with your account balance using the Gemini Pay feature.

Overall, Gemini is ideal for beginner investors who want secure access to crypto investing, as well as institutional clients who want insurance on their digital assets.

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