Sam Bourgi is a contributing writer to Finder.com, where he specializes in financial markets. He has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, Yahoo, CBOE and Forbes.
What is Gemini?
Gemini is a cryptocurrency exchange with a simple UI that’s user friendly and accommodating to newcomers and experienced traders alike. Gemini is a New York trust company, which ensures that the company is compliant with a number of security and financial regulations. Gemini allows users to earn interest on eligible cryptocurrency balances.
Newcomers can earn $150 in Bitcoin when they invest $1,000 or more into the platform within 30 days of joining. Some more notable currencies aren’t available on the platform, namely some of the non-ERC20 tokens from the top 20 range of currencies.
Gemini’s most notable weakness is its fee structure. Fees are competitive if you turn on ActiveTrader. However, if you don’t, then the fees can add up quickly. Buying through the mobile app has very high fees compared to using ActiveTrader, and the fees are the same on the desktop site without ActiveTrader on.
If this is your first exchange: Gemini is a pretty good place to start if you are willing to put $1,000 or more into it. Gemini’s fee structure can punish small trades and may not be worth it if you make a large number of small trades.
If you’re switching exchanges: Gemini offers some pretty bold guarantees and is registered with the UK regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, for anti-money laundering laws. Only verified users can trade on Gemini. Verification requires providing some personal details, and documentation to support it.
Pros and cons of Gemini
Wide range of currencies to exchange
Incentives for newcomers, welcoming UI
Gemini is tightly regulated in other countries, although crypto isn’t regulated in the UK
Gemini has highly liquid order books
Varying fee structure with highest fees on mobile app
Missing some notable top 20 currencies
No linked debit cards available
Verdict: Is Gemini any good?
Gemini’s strongest point is its Gemini Earn program, which allows users to earn up to 7.4% interest on specified cryptocurrency balances. Gemini has a unique fee structure that may be appealing to certain users – this gives the exchange a competitive edge. Gemini offers incentives for newcomers to the platform and its easy-to-use interface lends itself to inexperienced and experienced traders alike. Gemini has a wide selection of cryptocurrencies available for exchanging on the platform. However, some notable entries from the top 20 by market cap are missing, such as Cardano and Solana. All in all, Gemini is a good, welcoming exchange for users of all skill levels.
What to know about Gemini
Gemini allows users to earn interest on their balances. Interest rates can be as high as 7.4% depending on the tokens in a user’s balance. User balances are covered by a robust insurance plan and cold storage of wallets. However, it is worth noting that Gemini is still holding the private keys to these wallets. Also, Gemini’s insurance does not cover losses due to theft from unauthorised access of an individual’s account – so if, for example, somebody guesses your password, you wouldn’t be protected by insurance.
Gemini is a good exchange to use as long as you activate ActiveTrader and do trades on the desktop site. Otherwise, you are subject to very high fees that are outlined in Fees and costs.
Finder ratings for Gemini Crypto
Transferring money or assets
Gemini fees and costs
Ease of use
Gemini supports over 70 cryptocurrencies, but some notable assets are missing. Namely, Cardano, Polkadot and Solana, but there are others from the top 20 by market cap missing from what’s available on Gemini. Selection is wide, but could be better. Below are some of the
supported coins and tokens on Gemini – be sure to visit the exchange for a full list:
Transferring fiat and cryptocurrency with Gemini Funds sent by wire transfer before 3pm GMT to Gemini will typically be available in a user’s account the same day or next business day (this may vary by bank). Bank Transfer (ACH) deposits are made available for trading immediately. However, they aren’t fully cleared into your Gemini account and available for withdrawal for 4–5 business days. Crypto deposits and withdrawals are processed immediately and their wait times depend on network congestion.
Gemini Fees and costs Deposit fees for fiat are free unless using a debit card, which incurs a 3.49% fee. Withdrawals are free via ACH and wire transfer. Crypto fees are free for deposits. Crypto withdrawals are free as well, as long as you are within your free withdrawal quota.
Trading fees are complicated on Gemini. They have multiple fee structures. There are different fees for using the mobile app and the desktop site, in addition to there being an ActiveTrader setting that can be turned on.
Without ActiveTrader turned on, users are subject to a set fee structure that is quite high (see the image below). With ActiveTrader turned on, fees drop from set amounts to 0–0.25% for maker and 0–0.35% for taker. The only way to use ActiveTrader on mobile is to use your web browser with the setting turned on and access the exchange that way. Using the mobile app incurs the fee structure below.
Note: Gemini fees for using the desktop site without turning on ActiveTrader are the same as for mobile.
Platform trading fees
The fees below are accurate as of 31 May 2021.
Direct buy and sell fees These transaction fees apply when placing a cryptocurrency buy or sell order through the Gemini website or mobile app. A 0.5% “convenience fee” applies to all transactions.
£7.5 to ≤ £20
£20 to ≤ £50
£50 to ≤ £150
Marketplace ActiveTrader fees
These transaction fees apply when buying or selling from the Gemini continuous order books, or the Gemini auction, via the ActiveTrader interface.
You can switch the ActiveTrader interface on or off in your account settings. The direct buy and sell fees listed above will apply when ActiveTrader is switched off.
30-day trading volume
0 to $499,999 USD
≥ $500,000 USD
≥ $2,500,000 USD
≥ $5,000,000 USD
≥ $10,000,0000 USD
≥ $15,000,000 USD
Deposit and withdrawal fees
Gemini does not charge any deposit fees, but there may still be fees associated with bank deposits (USA only) and wire transfers (available both inside and outside the USA). Forex fees may also apply when transferring currencies other than USD.
Gemini charges nominal fees, broadly equivalent to cryptocurrency network fees, for crypto withdrawals. It does not charge any fees for bank or wire withdrawals, but there may still be fees charged by banks involved in the procedure.
Other fees and when they apply
Gemini offers special custody accounts, designed largely for institutional customers like hedge funds who may be required by law to store their digital assets with a licensed custodian.
In custody accounts, customer digital assets are segregated in unique addresses and stored offline in Gemini’s proprietary cold storage system. Gemini is a qualified custodian, is a fiduciary under §100 of the New York Banking Law; and is held to specific capital reserve requirements and banking compliance standards.
These fees and conditions apply to custody accounts only. Your regular everyday accounts are not custody accounts.
Minimum annual fee
1 business day
The Gemini auction is a daily event for certain trading pairs, designed to foster increased liquidity and facilitate price discovery. All registered Gemini users can participate. And as you can see, the fees are lower for auction orders than regular orders.
It essentially works by letting people place auction orders throughout the day, both buy and sell, and then matching them up at the auction time and filling as many as possible. The Gemini website illustrates it like this:
Gemini block trading is a digital peer to peer block trading system, designed for trading larger amounts with reduced slippage outside the normal Gemini order books.
It essentially works by letting takers place orders, for market makers to fill if desired. A block order price must be within 5% of the market midpoint at the time of the order submission.
The fees for API trading are slightly different to the ActiveTrade fees. These apply to orders placed via API.
30 day trade volume
$0 to $499,999 USD
≥ $1,000,000 USD
≥ $2,500,000 USD
≥ $5,000,000 USD
≥ $7,500,000 USD
≥ $10,000,000 USD
What is it like to use Gemini?
Before you can even get started trading on Gemini, you have to go through the rigorous verification process. This can take quite a long time. The reason for this is Gemini’s commitment to certifications, and compliance with regulations and insurers. So, the security of the platform comes with the drawback of a slow start-up time. The upside is when it’s time to do your taxes, you won’t have to worry about the status of your crypto. Gemini’s compliance makes it quite easy to manage.
Gemini has 2 interfaces: the basic interface which is very newbie-friendly, and the ActiveTrader interface for the advanced trader. Gemini prides itself on being easy to use and it achieves just that.
Gemini app Gemini’s mobile app is robust and easy to navigate. All of Gemini’s features are made easy-to-use in a mobile setting.
Getting started with Gemini Gemini offers a quick and simple way to navigate getting started. A more detailed guide of setting up an account can be found below. It is a simple process, but users have reported long wait times when registering financial data.
Gemini Promotions Currently, Gemini offers new users $150 in Bitcoin after transferring $1,000 or more onto the platform within their first 30 days.
Gemini credit card Gemini is offering waitlist sign-ups for their Gemini credit card, expected to launch this year. Once released, Gemini will be a competitor to Coinbase which also offers a card.
Gemini Earn Gemini Earn allows users to earn interest on the balance of specified cryptocurrencies. Currently, users can earn up to 7.4%. With Gemini, it’s as simple as 4 steps.
Does Gemini have good customer support?
Gemini has customer support, but user reports vary. Averages reported by the company look favourable, but customers report waiting for as long as weeks to receive emails back from the company and long hold times.
Contact Us form
Under 2.5 hours on average
Live chat is offered, but it’s a bot that directs users to other support lines.
At least 24 hours after receiving the email on average.
List Gemini services
Trading on Gemini
There are earning opportunities on Gemini, but they’re limited to a single operation. The Gemini Earn program allows users to earn interest on their balance on the platform. The amount of interest earned varies depending on the kind of cryptocurrency held in the balance.
Gemini is offering a credit card that is yet to be released, but is coming soon. Once implemented, it will allow users to spend their crypto anywhere Mastercard is accepted.
Promotions on Gemini
Currently, new users can earn $150 in Bitcoin when they transfer $1,000 or more and start trading within their first 30 days.
Gemini rates highly for security. Gemini has never been hacked. Security features of Gemini include 2-factor authentication, SOC 2 compliance (the first ever cryptocurrency exchange to do so), and FDIC insurance for fiat currencies up to $250,000.
No hacks have ever taken place.
Gemini has undergone heavy duty auditing. Gemini is the first ever cryptocurrency exchange to pass the SOC 2 type 1 examination. They will be audited for compliance with this examination every year.
Signing up on Gemini
Clicking on the “Get Started” button:
Then fill in the create account form.
Before you can start trading, you have to add your bank account to your Gemini account. There are a number of options to choose from, so choose the option most compatible.
Before you can make withdrawals and increase your transaction limits, you have to submit proof of address and some additional identification. You can use either a passport or a driver’s licence for this. Read Finder’s KYC guide here.
After all that is processed, you’re ready to trade on Gemini.
Compare Gemini against other exchanges
Table: shows partner brands and other brands, sorted by popularity
Crypto is unregulated in the UK; there's no consumer protection; value can rise or fall; tax on profits may apply.
1 - 3 of 12
Frequently asked questions
Gemini is available in 50+ countries, including the USA, Canada, UK, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea and Australia.
You can find Gemini customer service in the help section and send messages to the support team if needed.
Cryptocurrencies aren't regulated in the UK and there's no protection from the Financial Ombudsman or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Your capital is at risk. Capital gains tax on profits may apply.
Cryptocurrencies are speculative and investing in them involves significant risks - they're highly volatile, vulnerable to hacking and sensitive to secondary activity. The value of investments can fall as well as rise and you may get back less than you invested. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. This content shouldn't be interpreted as a recommendation to invest. Before you invest, you should get advice and decide whether the potential return outweighs the risks. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.
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