Finding the right crypto exchange for you can be a daunting task; however, there is one that has a pretty stellar record, and that exchange would be Gemini.
This is one that I’ve used to snaffle a few altcoins myself but is it really all it’s chalked up to be.
Well, that’s what I’ll be going over today with my ultimate guide to Gemini.
In it, I’ll tell you everything you need to know and weigh the pros And cons of this Gemini crypto exchange.
I’ll also have a few hot tips on how to use Gemini in the most efficient way possible, and that is something you certainly don’t want to miss.
What Is Gemini Crypto Exchange?
I need to give you a bit of an overview of Gemini. So Gemini went live back in 2015. This exchange has been around for a couple of years longer than Binance.
So yeah, Gemini isn’t exactly the new kid on the crypto block.
But what is Gemini best known for? Well, that would be regulatory compliance. Now, I know that sounds bloody boring; however, it is something super important.
Firstly it means that you can be certain that your funds are safe.
Secondly, if the exchange you’re using is in the sec’s regulatory crosshairs, it could add undue stress and uncertainty to your trading experience.
Even Coinbase has been having issues with the sec recently over its proposed Lending product, with the securities and exchange commission threatening to sue Coinbase for 64 billion dollars if they go ahead.
However, the lesson here is that the days of crypto being a wild west industry are probably numbered and that regulatory compliance from exchanges is likely to become ever more important moving forward.
However, this should not be an issue for Gemini. That’s because they made regulatory compliance one of their major selling points many years ago.
They even took out New York subway ads with the tagline quote, a regulated place to buy, sell, and store crypto.
There were several other ads they ran that trumpeted similar benefits but are those claims just a game of smoke and mirrors.
Well, Gemini Crypto Exchange is owned and operated by the Gemini trust company LLC, a trust regulated by the new york state department of financial services.
Having that regulation means that Gemini can service residents of New York state, something that many other cryptocurrency exchanges have been unable to do.
The reason is that most exchanges find it too hassle to comply with the New York regulator’s Capitalization compliance, anti-money laundering consumer protection, and cyber security requirements.
But all that didn’t seem to bother Gemini, so if you want an exchange that complies with the rules set by one of the strictest regulators in the world, then Gemini should make your shortlist.
However, when I look at Gemini and its approach to regulatory compliance, it reminds me of that kid at school who Kept asking for extra homework.
For example, seeing that Gemini is run as a trusted company, it’s actually statutorily exempt from having to register with FinCEN, our financial crimes and enforcement network.
However, Gemini still has an account with FinCEN, so they can file compliance reports even though they don’t have too eager beavers for regulation.
With all that regulatory compliance, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that Gemini is tremendously popular with corporations, asset managers, and wealth managers.
Those guys prefer using platforms with the highest assurance that their client’s funds are safe.
But who the heck heads up a crypto exchange like this? Well, that would be the Winklevoss twins, the same chaps that founded Connect in 2002 and ended up having some serious beef with one Mark Zuckerberg about who came up with The idea of Facebook.
So, what security precautions are in place over there at Gemini. Well, most client funds are stored in offline air-gapped cold storage.
Yes, some funds need to be held in a hot wallet to facilitate withdrawals, but even then, these funds are insured.
However, I should note that the exact percentage of user funds held in cold storage is unknown. Gemini doesn’t publish hard numbers like other exchanges, so that is something for you to think about.
In terms of cold storage management Gemini uses multi-signature wallets. That’s a pretty good move as it helps eliminate single points of failure and improves the exchange’s resilience against the loss or compromise of any individual private key.
Those private keys are stored worldwide and monitored in access-controlled facilities.
Oh yes, authentication by multiple employees is also required to gain access to that crypto. That helps protect against the odd rotten apple lurking on the Gemini payroll.
However, that is unlikely because Gemini makes all employees undergo criminal and credit background checks and are subject to background checks throughout their employment.
Even though the security at Gemini Crypto Exchange appears to be solid, this means nothing if your own Gemini account is insecure. Thankfully Gemini has a lost of features that allow users to better secure their own individual accounts.
For example, they’re protected by two-factor authentication, which requires logging into your account and making crypto withdrawals.
That’s when you download an authentication app like google authenticator, scan the QR code displayed on your Gemini account, and the app generates a six-digit code to Authorize Gemini account logins and crypto withdrawals.
You’ll definitely want to use this two-factor authentication method as an SMS-based one leaves you vulnerable to sim-swap attacks.
Another neat feature is that you can upgrade that account security by using hardware security keys like Ubi keys or even a Trezor, all that is done via web authentication.
But why might you want that added layer of security well? This method provides hardware-backed cryptographic proof that it’s you and not someone else signing into your Gemini account.
This type of security also protects you against cloned Gemini websites that capture your login details, which sadly stings way too many people these days.
Gemini users can also create wallet address allow lists that restrict withdrawals to approved addresses only, or you could also completely disable crypto withdrawals from your account.
That way, if a nefarious actor gains access to your Gemini account, they wouldn’t actually be able to take your crypto off the exchange. Essentially that bad guy would have completely wasted their time.
Another key threat to any type of account is brute force attacks that try to crack your password.
Well, those sly winks of the eye have thought of that too by restricting the number of login attempts you can make.
Naturally, passwords and personal data at Gemini are encrypted. We wouldn’t want that sort of data released into the wilds, would we ledger?
So that means that Gemini is run very well and up to the standards expected by serious financial firms.
Even so, I would always recommend that you keep large cryptocurrency holdings off in exchange and self-custody them in your wallet.
I’m going to level with you and say that Gemini Crypto Exchange doesn’t have the most comprehensive selection out there.
Around 50 different crypto assets are on the shelves here, and there are some very notable cryptos like Cardano that are simply unavailable on this exchange.
So yeah, that might be a deal breaker for some people; however, I’d wager that Gemini’s range of supported cryptos will have most people covered.
Here’s the big question can you actually create an account at Gemini?
Unlike almost every exchange I’ve seen, Gemini accepts users from every US state, so a big win for my friends across the pond.
However, Gemini is far from being just a US facing exchange. They accept users from crucial countries in South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania.
I’ve placed a link to all 60 countries accepted by Gemini below.
Now that’s asset support and country support covered, but what personal verification requirements are there at this exchange.
Requirements for verification
Right off the bat, you need to know that Gemini is a full KYC exchange. So if you’re uncomfortable with handing over your papers, this exchange is not for you.
That KYC is, after all, required for an exchange to be fully regulated. To create an account at Gemini, you’ll need to provide your full name, date of birth, phone number, social security number, and email address.
In addition, you’ll need to supply more documentation if you want to withdraw from the exchange.
This includes documents such as proof of address like a utility bill and a government-issued id document like a passport or driver’s license.
To submit those documents, all you need to do is to upload them to your Gemini account then you’ll be good to rock and roll. Now I think all of you know how to fill in the signup form, so I’m not going to insult your intelligence by doing a walkthrough.
Just make sure that you have an authenticator app like google authenticator downloaded on your phone. You will need it.
Also, don’t forget to put your thinking cap on when creating a super strong password. I’d recommend using a password generator to help with a much stronger password.
Now it’s time to move on and show you how to deposit fiat currency like us dollars.
How to deposit fiat?
So Gemini offers several deposit methods to deposit fiat currency on the exchange.
These include wire and bank transfers, ACH transfers, apple pay, google pay, and debit cards.
Now I want to be straight up. I’d recommend avoiding debit card deposits like the plague. You’ll pay a 3.49% deposit fee if you choose to use this method.
That’s right, if you’re a baller wanting to deposit $100000, then you’ll pay three and a half grand fees just to do it.
So I imagine most of you will want to deposit via bank transfer so let’s focus on that
The first step is for (us users) only.
Once you’ve logged into your Gemini account, you’ll want to hit that big account button in the top right corner and select settings from the drop-down.
You’ll then be taken to your account area, and on the left side of your screen, you’ll see something called funding sources.
Here you’ll see a selection of funding sources and the ability to link a bank account. The easiest option is to automatically connect that account to Gemini. So bash that get started button over there.
Gemini will then redirect you to a service called played, at least; that’s how I pronounce it; my American friends might say plat.
This connects your Gemini account to your bank account. Hit that continue button, and you’ll be asked to select your bank from a list.
You’ll want to enter your banking username and password. Once done, your bank account will be linked.
You’ll want to hit that transfer button in the top right corner of your Gemini account.
Select the currency you want to deposit and your deposit method.
Once you hit continue, you’ll see payment instructions to complete the bank transfer.
The critical thing to note is that you’ll see a reference code.
Be sure to add that as your transaction reference when making your transfer. That’s how Gemini assigns the deposit to your account.
And honestly, that’s all there is to it. A few other points of information through wire transfers will usually arrive in your account on the same day or the next business day.
However, ACH transfers can take up to five business days to hit your Gemini account.
So do bear that in mind if you’re considering jumping into those crypto markets quickly, so now you know the basics of depositing fiat.
How to deposit crypto
I want to quickly describe to you how to deposit crypto over there.
Make sure you’re logged into your Gemini account. Hit that transfer button in the top right and select the crypto you want to deposit.
Once you’ve done that, you should see that the field automatically selects an external address.
Then just click continue. Gemini will show you a crypto address to deposit and a QR code to use.
If you have that crypto on a mobile app, simply use that wallet address to make your deposit, and that’s all there is to depositing crypto on Gemini.
So now that you know how to deposit funds on the exchange.
Alrighty, you guys should know that trading crypto through Gemini’s mobile app and using their default trading method will be expensive.
There are two types of fees here. The first is a transaction fee which is a flat fee for trades up to $200.
Now I don’t think I need to tell you that if you trade $9.99, paying a 10 transaction fee is insane.
Yes, things get a bit better when you’re trading more than $200.
However, a 1.49% fee is still a super high price. On top of that, you’ll pay a convenience fee of a 0.5 spread in the cost of the crypto asset you’re trading.
So, you’ll be paying 2% in trading fees for trading on Gemini using these methods.
However, another cheaper way to trade on Gemini would be by using their active trader platform.
Gemini’s pro trading interface, like Coinbase pro or Kraken pro.
Here, fees are much cheaper, with taker fees sitting at 0.35% and 0.25% percent for maker fees.
Yes, additional trading discounts are available if you trade more than half a million dollars in a 30-day period, but how many of us will do that.
Right now, I could leave those fees like that, and you’d probably go away thinking that Active trader fees on Gemini are outstanding.
However, I need to be transparent with you and let you know that this is still amazingly expensive compared to other crypto exchanges.
FTX has taker fees of just 0.07% and 0.02% for maker fees.
That means FTX charges five times less for taker fees and 12 and a half times less for maker fees. On top of that, you can get additional fee discounts at FTX, and I detail all of those in my dedicated walkthrough of the exchange right here.
Anyways, if you will be using Gemini, make sure you use that active trader for the lower fee tier.
Unlike other exchanges, Gemini doesn’t offer a wide range of other products like crypto cards, NFT marketplaces, or anything like that.
Instead, Gemini has focused on being a straight-up exchange to buy and sell crypto and not much more.
However, they have a great mobile wallet app, which means you can store your crypto there while piggybacking all the security infrastructure provided by Gemini.
That includes insurance, rigorous internal controls, and secure storage environments.
So if you’re just dipping your toes into crypto and can’t justify the expense of a dedicated hardware wallet, then you might want to entrust your funds with the Gemini wallet and use that for a bit.
Now that about wraps up my beginner’s guide to Gemini, I’ve only scratched the surface here, and I could have gone into a lot more detail.
However, I imagine that diligence would have frankly been annoying to most sane people.
Now it’s time to hear your thoughts, folks, so what do you think of Gemini?
Is it really the best US exchange? Let me know in the comments, and finally, if you feel this crypto sensei has done an excellent job, you can share this article in your friend circle.