Gemini Review: Is This Crypto Exchange Worth It?

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A cryptocurrency exchange can be the best way to trade crypto since it provides many investment options and advanced research tools.

Gemini is one of the top crypto exchanges in the United States. The platform lets investors buy or sell cryptocurrency, earn interest and store their holdings in insured wallets.

If you’re new to cryptocurrency investing or are thinking about swapping exchanges, this Gemini review can help you learn more about the platform.

4.2
Overall Rating

Summary

Gemini is a good option if you’re looking for a platform with competitive fees that offers many alternative investment options and features. You can trade over 40 cryptocurrencies with a $5 minimum investment. It’s also possible to earn interest, pay for purchases and store currencies in an offline cold storage wallet.

  • Investment options:

    4.5

  • Ease of use

    5

  • Research tools

    4

  • Fees

    4

  • Customer service

    3.5

Pros

  • 40+ investment options
  • $5 minimum investment
  • Many platform features

Cons

  • Expensive cold storage wallet
  • Some altcoins are unavailable
  • Email-only customer support

What is Gemini?

Gemini is a cryptocurrency exchange headquartered in New York City. It was founded by twin brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, who were early investors in Bitcoin.

You can join Gemini for free and start investing in cryptocurrency with as little as $5.

The platform lets you: 

  • Invest in over 40 cryptocurrencies
  • Use active trading research tools
  • Exchange crypto with other users off-book
  • Earn interest on cryptocurrency holdings
  • Pay for purchases with cryptocurrency
  • Utilize both hot and cold wallet storage

Since Gemini has multiple investment options and secure storage solutions, the platform can be a good fit for many investors.

Who is Gemini For?

In terms of user eligibility, individuals at least 18 years old from the United States and over 50 additional countries can join Gemini.

New and experienced cryptocurrency traders alike can benefit from the platform if they want to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum and other popular altcoins. 

Gemini offers advanced research tools for members who want to actively trade crypto positions and potentially earn short-term profits.

Being able to store your portfolio in an offline or online Gemini Wallet can also be helpful if you want to use the same service to buy and store crypto. 

Gemini Features

Here are some of the features available to Gemini users.

Trading

You can buy or sell crypto on the Gemini web platform or mobile app. There are different versions for casual buyers and frequent traders.

Web Exchange

Gemini web exchange

The standard Gemini Basic trading dashboard displays the current coin price as well as the 24-hour change. This interface is accessible from a web browser or Gemini’s mobile app.

You can make one-time trades or schedule recurring orders. 

It’s easy to research coin prices by these filters:

  • Coins on your watchlist
  • Top movers by price change
  • Top traded coins
  • Decentralized finance (DeFi)

You can fund your account using any of these methods:

  • Linked bank account
  • Debit card
  • Swap existing cryptocurrency holdings

If you’re not ready to buy a specific crypto asset, you can add the symbol to your watchlist for easy reference. You can also receive price alerts.

Clicking on a specific coin shows a basic price chart. It even allows you to view a description of the currency’s history.

Ultimately, the online web exchange makes buying or selling cryptocurrency easier. 

ActiveTrader

Gemini's ActiveTrader

Momentum traders wanting to see advanced buy and sell price quotes for recent orders will need to use Gemini’s ActiveTrader tool. 

This feature is only available with the web platform. 

Members can switch between the basic web platform and ActiveTrader in their account settings. No special software download is necessary.

Additional research features include: 

  • Technical price charts
  • Viewing recent buy and sell prices
  • Trading large amounts of cryptocurrency
  • Placing market or limit order types
  • Participating in daily cryptocurrency auctions

ActiveTrader is a great option for investors who want to predict price trends like a stock screener may offer. 

Traders can see these details to make informed transactions:

  • Trading volume
  • Recent buy and sell prices
  • Order size

This data lets Gemini users determine if the price action is bullish or bearish. They can also have an easier time estimating the best price to buy or sell a position with a limit-type order.

Reduced trading fees are another advantage of using this tool.

Traders with large cryptocurrency positions may be able to swap currencies at Gemini auctions. It’s possible to pay lower trading fees than placing a standard order from the web or mobile platforms.

Mobile App

Installing the mobile app on a phone or tablet provides similar capabilities as the standard web platform. 

Users can see the current price of currencies with a basic price chart before placing a trade. The exchange will complete the trade at the current market price. 

It’s also possible to use the app to earn interest by staking coins with Gemini Earn or pay for purchases with cryptocurrency instead of fiat currency like the US dollar. 

The Gemini mobile app is available for these operating systems:

  • Apple iOS (iOS 11.0 or later)
  • Android
  • Samsung Galaxy

Supported Cryptocurrencies

Gemini offers many popular cryptocurrencies. It’s possible to trade over 40 cryptos from Bitcoin to smaller altcoins not available on other investing apps.

Some of the available cryptocurrencies include:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ether (ETH)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Uniswap (UNI)
  • Chainlink (LINK)
  • Polygon (MATIC)
  • Dogecoin (DOGE)

The platform makes it easy to buy or sell well-established cryptos or dabble in the riskier altcoins that might become the next Bitcoin or Ethereum.

Similar to other crypto exchanges, Gemini doesn’t offer all of the popular altcoins. You can’t buy Cardano (ADA) or Polkadot (DOT) on Gemini as of May 2021.

As cryptocurrency investing is still a relatively new concept, exchanges don’t offer access to every coin like online stock brokerages do for individual stocks and ETFs.

While Gemini has a great investment selection, altcoin investors may need to use a platform like Coinbase to access additional Bitcoin alternatives.

Gemini Earn

Earn interest on Crypto

In addition to being able to trade over 40 cryptocurrencies, it’s possible to earn interest on long-term positions.

Select cryptocurrencies can earn up to 7.4% APY (as of May 25, 2021) with daily interest payments. 

Some of the cryptos that can earn interest include:

  • Bitcoin
  • Ether
  • Litecoin
  • Bitcoin Cash
  • Chainlink
  • Compound
  • Dogecoin

This feature is available to users living in the United States and Singapore. 

Not every crypto exchange offers interest payments. There are no deposit minimums or holding periods.

If you use several exchanges, you may consider buying coins that earn interest with Gemini. This feature can be a good place to park coins you plan to hold for several weeks or months.

After buying a cryptocurrency that’s part of the Gemini Earn program, you can allocate all or part of the position to earn interest. You can sell your position at any time if you want to rebalance your portfolio.

Gemini transfers the income-producing asset to a third-party platform called Genesis. Interest rates fluctuate with supply and demand for the coin. 

It can also take a little longer to sell your coins as you earn interest, but most redemptions are nearly instant. The platform states that selling Gemini Earn positions can take up to five days on busy trading days.

Gemini Dollar

Stablecoins can be an essential part of any cryptocurrency investment strategy. This is because they aren’t as volatile as regular cryptocurrencies.

The Gemini dollar (GUSD) is the platform’s cryptocurrency. It is backed by the US dollar at a 1:1 ratio. In other words, $1 US dollar is worth $1 Gemini dollar. 

You can swap between both currency units fee-free.

The coin can have more purposes than keeping your non-invested money in cash. It’s built on the Ethereum blockchain to complete smart contracts with different online vendors.

Some of the Gemini dollar uses include:

  • Lend money and earn interest
  • Pay for online purchases
  • Exchange for cryptocurrencies

In addition to using it for several purposes, this stablecoin has up to $250,000 in FDIC insurance.

You will need to use the basic web or mobile platform to trade the Gemini dollar.

Flexa

It’s possible to make in-store purchases at participating retailers using Flexa in the Gemini mobile app. The app quickly converts your desired cryptocurrency into US dollars to pay for the purchase. 

Some of the stores that accept in-store mobile payments include:

  • Lowe’s
  • Nordstrom
  • Petco
  • Starbucks
  • Whole Foods

If the store accepts mobile wallet payments, the app generates a QR code to complete the purchase.

Nifty Marketplace

NFT marketplace

The Nifty Marketplace lets people buy or sell digital art. These assets are also known as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). 

It’s possible to buy these items and potentially sell them for a profit, similar to investing in art.

Gemini Pay

Gemini Pay

Gemini Pay is the online payment feature of Gemini’s mobile app. According to Gemini, over 30,000 retail locations in the United States accept crypto payments.

The app lets you pay for purchases with these cryptocurrencies:

  • Bitcoin
  • Ether
  • Gemini dollar
  • Litecoin
  • Zcash
  • Bitcoin Cash

Transactions through Gemini Pay are secure and private. 

It’s important to note that there are weekly spending limits. These reset each Friday. 

Storage

Gemini offers two different options for users to store their assets, including both an offline and online wallet.

Gemini Custody

The platform’s crypto wallet is called Gemini Custody. It offers “cold” offline storage for optimal account security.

Service fees for Gemini Custody include:

  • Account setup: $0
  • Annual expense fee: 0.40%
  • Withdrawal fee: $125 per withdrawal

One advantage of using the Custody feature is instant access to the cash funds when you decide to sell your cold storage positions. 

It can take several days for other cold wallets to transfer your positions to a hot wallet before you can place a trade. You could miss out on price gains or experience a sharp selloff as a result.

While you pay $125 per withdrawal, the convenience of instant trading capability can be worth the cost.

Gemini Wallet

Gemini’s online storage is completely free and is the better option for holdings you plan on selling soon. This hot wallet provides instant trading capability.

It can also facilitate online purchases with third-party merchants.

Keep in mind that online wallets are more at risk of account breaches and theft than offline storage options. 

Gemini insures hot wallets, but not all theft incidents qualify for compensation if an unauthorized person accesses your account.

Gemini Clearing

The Gemini Clearing tool lets two users trade cryptocurrencies between Gemini accounts off the public order book.

The user initiating the transfer can enter the trade details then send the trade request to the other person’s Gemini ID number.

There isn’t a transfer minimum, and transfers are instant. The fees can also be competitive to secure a fixed transfer rate.

Are There Any Fees?

It’s free to join Gemini. Furthermore, there are zero account maintenance fees.

Most users will pay fees to buy or sell cryptocurrency. The fees depend on whether you use the basic or ActiveTrader platform. 

Another potential fee is the Gemini Custody cold storage wallet, but you’ll only pay fees for this feature if you use it.

Here’s a breakdown of the potential fees you may incur.

Gemini Basic Fees

The trading fees are higher if you use the basic platform. However, they are not unreasonable and can be lower than other exchanges.

Transaction AmountTransaction Fee
Under $10.00$0.99
$10.00 to $25.00$1.49
$25.01 to $50.00$1.99
$50.01 to $200.00$2.99
$200.01 and higher1.49%

ActiveTrader Fees

If you use the ActiveTrader platform, it’s possible for your fees to be lower per transaction as a result. The fees are smaller if you conduct more transactions.

Gemini determines your fees by using your last 30 days of trading history. 

You will pay one of three fees when filling orders with ActiveTrader:

  • Taker fee: When buy or sell orders execute at the current market price
  • Maker fee: When buy or sell orders execute at your desired price
  • Auction fee: Trading currencies at the daily auctions
30-Day Trading VolumeTaker feeMaker FeeAuction Fee
$00.35%0.25%0.25%
$1 to $500,0000.25%0.15%0.20%
$500,000 to $2,500,0000.25%0.15%0.10%

The various fees continue to reduce as trading volumes increase for the largest trading accounts.

Storage Fees

Hot wallet storage is free, but Gemini Custody offline storage has a 0.40% annual expense fee. Each withdrawal is $125, but you can instantly access your position for quick sales.

Is Gemini Safe?

Gemini uses industry-leading security practices to protect your account. 

In general, cryptocurrency doesn’t have FDIC insurance or SIPC insurance like bank accounts and stocks have. Fortunately, Gemini insures your hot and cold wallets against account theft when you’re not at fault. 

For example, having a weak password or sharing your login information with another person doesn’t qualify for insurance reimbursement.

Other security protocols include:

  • Password encryption
  • Two-factor authentication (2FA)
  • Can create Authorized Addresses to restrict withdrawal capabilities

The exchange also has certifications in these security compliance frameworks:

  • SOC Type 1
  • SOC Type 2
  • ISO 27001

These certifications don’t prevent security breaches but are the leading cybersecurity regulations that various online businesses use.

Another peace of mind factor is that the New York State Department of Financial Services regulates Gemini. This helps ensure that Gemini isn’t a scam like some platforms.

Is Gemini Worth It?

Gemini is one of the best platforms to invest in cryptocurrency. The minimum investment is $5 per crypto. 

It’s easy to navigate the web or mobile platform, and the trading fees are competitive. The option to earn interest on many coins and the storage choices are also nice benefits.

Being able to invest in over 40 cryptocurrencies is another positive. However, Gemini doesn’t offer all of the most popular altcoins.

If there’s a particular altcoin you want to invest in, you should see if Gemini offers it. Another exchange could be better for you if Gemini doesn’t have the coin you want to trade.

FAQs

Here are some common questions about using Gemini that may help you decide whether or not to use the exchange.

Does Gemini offer a mobile app?

Yes, a mobile app is available for Apple, Android and Samsung devices. 

The app lets you trade cryptocurrency, earn interest on participating coins and pay for both online and in-store purchases with crypto.

One app limitation is not being able to access the ActiveTrader platform. You must use the web platform for in-depth technical analysis and lower transaction fees.

What customer service options are available?

The only way to contact Gemini is by email. 

In rare cases, the exchange mentions they will call members to resolve issues if the user requests a phone call.

Is there a minimum deposit to use Gemini?

No, you can open a Gemini trading account with a $0 initial deposit.

Who can use Gemini?

You must be at least 18 years old to join Gemini. It’s possible to join from the United States and over 50 countries, including Australia, Canada, Singapore, South Africa and more.

Many European nations can join Gemini. Only a handful of countries from Latin America, Asia and Africa can open a trading account.

Summary

Gemini is a good option if you’re looking for a platform with competitive fees that offers many alternative investment options and features. 

Being able to trade cryptocurrencies, earn interest and have secure storage options in one platform are among the best reasons to consider Gemini. 

That said, you should make sure the platform offers the crypto you want to trade before signing up.

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