Gemini Review: Is it a Safe Way to Buy Bitcoin and Ethereum
Dec 20, 2017
While Gemini hasn’t been around as long as some competitors, the exchange quickly became one of the most active U.S. based cryptocurrency exchanges. In this Gemini Review, we’ll break down the pros and cons of this Bitcoin and Ethereum trading platform.
You can navigate this review using the following links:
- Launched in 2015 by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss
- Based in New York City
- Available Cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin & Ethereum
- Deposit/Withdrawal Methods: Bank Transfers and Wires
- Allows immediate trading when you deposit via bank transfer, although you can’t withdraw purchased cryptocurrency funds until your bank transfer has been fully processed.
- Trading Fees: 1.0% or less
- Above Average Customer Support
- Official Site: Gemini.com
In short, “Yes”.
Based out of New York, Gemini is a fully regulated and compliant cryptocurrency exchange. The company is regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS).
The exchange follows best industry security and operating practices, including:
- Segregating customer funds from company operational funds.
- Keeping the majority of cryptocurrency funds in offline cold storage, rather than an online “hot wallet”.
- Gemini requires multiple signatories to move funds from cold storage.
- Customer USD funds are eligible for FDIC insurance.
Gemini also requires all users to enable 2-Factor Authentication (2FA) via SMS text messages or the Authy app. This helps users secure their personal accounts.
Gemini vs The Competition
Below you can see the pros and cons of Gemini vs the other leading exchanges we’ve reviewed.
1) Allows You to Immediately Start Trading When Depositing via Bank Transfer
Unlike most exchanges, that require you to wait until your deposit has been processed to start trading, Gemini lets you buy Bitcoin and Ethereum immediately.
There are a couple of caveats:
- This is only for bank transfer deposits, which usually have $500 daily limits ($15,000 per month). If you use a bank wire (unlimited deposit limits), you’ll need to wait to trade until your deposit has been fully processed.
- You can’t withdrawal the cryptocurrency you purchased until your bank transfer has been completed (usually takes a few days).
Even with these caveats in mind, this still provides the advantage of allowing you to immediately buy Bitcoin and Ethereum, which can help you avoid missing out on low prices.
2) No Fees on Bank Deposit or Withdrawals
Gemini does not charge any fees to make deposits or withdrawals using your bank account.
3) Easy to Use Interface
The exchange interface at Gemini is incredibly clean and straight forward to use. We’ve picked on some other exchanges for poor user experience (see our Kraken Review), but we have only good things to say about using Gemini.
1) Few Available Cryptocurrencies
Gemini only offers trading for Bitcoin and Ethereum, while competitors offer more options.
- Coinbase and GDAX offer trading for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.
- Kraken offers trading for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, EOS, Monero, Zcash, Ethereum Classic, Gnosis, Augur, Melon, Doge, and Iconomi
- Cryptocurrency only exchanges (no USD or other fiat currency support) like Binance and Bittrex offer trading for 80+ cryptocurrencies.
While Gemini is a great way to buy the two most popular cryptocurrencies, it’s not an option for altcoin traders.
2) High Fees Compared to Its Main Competitors
While Gemini used to have fees capped at 0.25%, they increased their fees on April 2nd, 2018. While high volume traders won’t be too affected, the minimum trading fee is now 1.0%. You can see their full fee schedule here.
3) No Alternative Buy/Sell Methods
While site’s like Coinbase and CEX.IO allow you to use credit cards and bank transfers to make purchases, Gemini only offers the latter option.
Below we’ll show you how to buy Bitcoin and Ethereum on Gemini.
Step 1) Sign Up
To start the signup process on Gemini, click on the “Register” button in the top right corner of the website.
You’ll need to enter your name, email address, and create a password.
After submitting this form, you’ll need to enter the code emailed to you by Gemini to verify your email address.
Step 2) Set Up Your Account
Next, you’ll be taken through the process to complete your account. Including the following steps:
- Give Gemini Your Location to make sure that they serve your area.
- Enable 2-Factor Authentication – As mentioned in the security section above, Gemini requires users to enable 2FA using SMS text messages or the Authy app.
- Connect Your Bank Account
- Give Personal Details including you address and social security number (U.S. residents).
- Verify Your Identity by Uploading ID Documents
In our experience, Gemini verified our documents rather quickly, compared to other exchanges.
Step 3) Fund Your Account
After your account is set up (including a connected bank account), you can make a deposit using a Bank Transfer or Wire.
Locate either “USD (Bank Transfer)” or “USD (Bank Wire)” in the menu of your account, under “Transfer Funds” > “Deposit Into Exchange”.
If using the “Bank Transfer” method, all that’s required is to enter the amount you wish to deposit.
You’ll need to confirm this action.
Step 4) Buy Bitcoin or Ethereum on the Gemini Exchange
If using a bank transfer, your deposit will be available for trading immediately (though a wire will take a few days).
Find the cryptocurrency pair you want to trade under the “Buy” section of the exchange menu (1). For Bitcoin select “BTCUSD” and for Ethereum select “ETHUSD”.
On the page for your trading pair, choose your order type (2). In this example we’ll be using the simplest order type, a “Market” order. All that’s required for a market order is to enter the amount of USD you want to spend (3).
After entering the amount you want to purchase, click the “Buy” button (4).
If using a market order, your order will be automatically filled. Your account balances should reflect your purchase.
While slightly more complicated than Coinbase, Gemini is still a great way for both cryptocurrency newcomers and veterans to buy and sell Bitcoin and Ethereum. The exchange offers both low trading fees and a sleep user interface.
Unfortunately, for those of you wanting to buy cryptocurrency with a credit card, Gemini only accepts bank transfers and wires. Gemini is also not an option for those wanting to trade other altcoins.
- Community Trust Grade
- User Experience
- Available Cryptocurrencies
- Deposit/Withdrawal Methods
- Customer Support