Gemini is a U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange with FDIC protection for USD and has never been hacked. It was founded by the Winklevoss twins in New York in 2014 meaning it is regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS). Gemini has a “security-first” mentality. They prioritize security and compliance by being compliant in SOC 1 Type 1, SOC 2 Type 1 and Type 2. They are one of the most secure US crypto exchanges available right now.
What services do Gemini offer?
The exclusion of candlestick charts in favor of easier to understand, classic line charts is an excellent move by the designers. It’s quite obvious that the default interface for crypto trading on Gemini caters to new users, as everything you see is a streamlined version of what we usually see on trading platforms. The interactive options are kept minimalistic as there are only three primary tabs:
- Buy or Sell tabs
- How Often? (used for enabling scheduled, auto-purchases)
- How Much? (The amount of money you wish to invest in buying cryptocurrency)
As far as security is concerned, with two-factor authentication enabled by default, your cryptocurrency trading account should stay secured.
Advanced Crypto Trading
The default trading interface is not the only one that Gemini offers, and if you are an advanced level user who finds the streamlined approach far too simplistic, toggle the ActiveTrader option. All the usual tools and candlestick charts for digital trading instantly become accessible on this dark-themed version of the Gemini exchange. Expect to see MOC, OC, FOK, Market and Limit type orders becoming available in ActiveTrader mode, alongside options for the various order books, depth charts, etc.
Gemini Crypto Wallet
As expected, the user account comes with a crypto hot-wallet for quick access, but moreover, this one is also insured against cybertheft. To see which cryptocurrencies and other assets the wallet supports, check the official list of supported assets on Gemini.
Gemini Custody is a more long-term alternative of their crypto hot-wallet, as this service is supposed to be used for long term storage of crypto assets, rather than for quick access and trading only. Given that you are dealing with a New York State trust company here, all custody accounts are regulated.
Rest assured that all long-term crypto assets in Gemini Custody are insured for as much as $200 million. Even with Gemini Custody accounts, same-day withdrawal options remain active for funds deposited/profited, while using the Gemini exchange platform for crypto trading.
The Gemini Clearing is an OTC desk that enables the settling of crypto trades outside of the main exchange, although Gemini still remains the broker. This mitigates the usual risks associated with going off the exchange, while keeping the transactions fair for both parties.
If any of the users wish to spend their cryptocurrencies for buying, rather than trading at times, Gemini Pay is the service that takes care of it for them. As long as you are in the United States, 30,000+ offline stores will accept Gemini Pay. You will need a smartphone with their mobile app installed on it for obvious reasons.
Gemini Mobile Application
A necessary app for using Gemini Pay, it’s also a good alternative to Gemini’s browser exchange platform, especially with its constant push notifications for your preset alerts. Consider it to be a slightly lighter variant of the usual Gemini interface, but it has all the necessary features for users to buy/sell/store cryptocurrencies as always. The app is available for download on both the App Store and the Play Store.
Crypto Credit Card
By the time you read this, it may or may not already be available to apply for, but at the time of writing this, we only have the option to queue up on the waiting list for getting a Gemini Credit Card. It should be released by 2021 though, and upon release, it will be useable in all 50 states. Exchange fees will be waivered for crypto rewards, which could be as high as 3% per transaction. The rewards will be redeemable only as crypto assets though.
Gemini Dollar (GUSD)
Gemini has its own stablecoin, and as of now, GUSD:USD holds 1:1 value! The reserves of the stablecoin are verified by unbiased accountants in regular intervals, so we will have to see if Gemini’s predictions of a better-than-average redemption and turnover rate comes true soon.
How Safe is the Gemini Cryptocurrency Exchange Platform?
The Gemini Cryptocurrency Exchange is widely recognized as being a highly regulated and genuine crypto trading platform, which is fair, given that it holds the New York BitLicense. Any exchange holding the license is indeed regulated by the New York Department of Financial Services, and they are well-recognized across the globe as being extremely strict with their requirements for getting and maintaining the New York BitLicense. In order to qualify for the BitLicense, and to maintain the same, crypto exchanges must adhere to the standards of the New York Department of Financial Services for market surveillance, capitalization practices, AML or KYC (as applicable), financial security, insurance and cybersecurity.
In order to trade and use various other features of the Gemini platform, every user must provide all the verification documents first. Also, the necessary personal details provided by the user must be accompanied by the supporting official document in order to be considered as valid.
Gemini has passed the SOC 2 Type 1 test, which means that that the company has a valid claim as being an exchange that remains ever compliant with the highest security standards necessary to keep every user’s personal and financial data protected onboard their servers.
In addition to maintaining the data security standards, Gemini’s legally compliant storage security systems, which protect both their custody and hot-wallet accounts, are encoded and protected via their own, unique methods. All crypto assets stored via their storage systems are also insured against cybertheft.
Gemini currently works in close proximity to Nasdaq security protocols, alongside various other, most well-recognized and well-secured trading platforms outside of the crypto trading scene. As a result, Gemini has a spotless record so far, meaning that their servers are yet to be hacked into. The only instances of hacking have been confirmed as being on the user end, when some users were previously hacked via a method called SIM swapping.
Gemini Pros & Cons
- Monitored and Regulated - Gemini holding the BitLicense assures the fact that they are one of the most secured cryptocurrency exchanges globally.
- Financial, Personal and Asset Security
- Huge Number of Options - Direct buying, the highly advanced ActiveTrader interface, auction support, and electronic block trades, etc.
- High Liquidity – Gemini’s order books offer deep liquidity.
- Limited Support for Cryptocurrency Types - Does not support more than just 5 of the most popular cryptocurrencies.
- Slow and Expensive Withdrawals for External Currencies – Other than the US dollar, withdrawals are going to be both slow and expensive due to currency exchange fees.
- Limited Support for Other Fiat Currencies – In addition to charging more, the issue is that not too many currency types are supported by Gemini to begin with.
- Higher than Average Fees – They do have complete fee waiver options for certain trades, but mostly, Gemini charges a higher-than-average fee to their users.
Gemini Deposit and Withdrawal Methods:
Limited and expensive as the options may be, both deposits and withdrawals in fiat currencies, aka the usual currencies (USD, GBP, Euro, etc.) are supported alongside the usual cryptocurrencies listed.
For making deposits via crypto currencies stored in an external crypto wallet, they will have to initiate a transfer of the concerned amount from their external wallet to their Gemini crypto wallet first. The third-party wallet can contain any of the popular crypto assets such as bitcoin cash, ether, litecoin, link, DAI, Basic Attention Token, Zcash, Orchid, etc. but the amount will be converted to one of the five supported cryptocurrency types.
Just go to Withdrawal and:
- Select the cryptocurrency you want to withdraw in
- Provide your external wallet address
- Type in the withdrawal amount and click/tap Request Withdrawal
For those that have enabled 2FA via the Authy app, the withdrawal will also need to be authenticated from the application within 240-seconds after initiating the request.
Fiat Currency Deposits
Follow the steps as mentioned below for making a deposit with fiat currency:
- Link your bank account to your Gemini trader account and go through the verification process
- If you have a US bank account, initiate a simple ACH bank transfer
- If you don’t have a US bank account, you will need to wire the money from your bank to your Gemini account
Fiat Currency Withdrawals
For withdrawals, the methods are exactly the same with fiat currencies. This means that you have to wire the money for international transactions back to your linked bank account, but you can make normal ACH bank transfers if you do have an American bank account.