Gemini Review

Secure way to buy Bitcoin for beginners and institutional investors

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Gemini

 Gemini

overall rating
4.7

Our Take 

Gemini is a secure, centralized cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2015. It's geared toward beginners and institutional investors who want a safe way to buy and store Bitcoin and other popular cryptocurrencies. Gemini also boasts an institutional account aimed at portfolio managers and corporate investors. While the user interface makes buying crypto easy, Gemini charges higher fees than most exchanges for instant purchases and debit or credit card deposits, so those wanting lower fees should look elsewhere.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Simple user interface on both web and mobile platforms

  • Insured hot wallet for supported crypto

  • Offline cold storage for institutional investors

  • Ability to whitelist wallet addresses for additional security

Cons
  • High transaction fees, especially when using a credit or debit card

  • Fewer supported crypto than other exchanges (just over 80)

  • No phone support

Key Takeaways
  • Gemini is a centralized cryptocurrency exchange headquartered in New York City.
  • Gemini is a web-based crypto platform with an available mobile app.
  • Gemini is a regulated exchange, complying with the U.S. “Know Your Customer” (KYC) and capital requirements of the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).
  • Gemini offers crypto custody services in offline vaults.
Specifications
  • Year Founded 2015
  • Official Website www.Gemini.com
  • Cryptocurrencies Available 50+
  • Customer Support Email, Phone

Introduction

Gemini is a cryptocurrency exchange that offers a secure way to buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrency online. Gemini also offers Gemini “Earn” as a way for crypto holders to earn interest on select deposited cryptocurrencies. Gemini currently supports over 80 cryptocurrencies, which is fewer than most exchanges.

Gemini helps new crypto investors purchase crypto using regular currency, such as the U.S. Dollar (USD). Users can also trade supported cryptocurrency on the platform, exchanging one crypto for another. Gemini also specializes in institutional investing, with a full-service trading desk available to fund managers, liquidity providers, and corporations.

We’ve reviewed Gemini’s platform, fees, user experience, customer service, available crypto, and more to determine if it’s a good option for crypto investors and traders.

Investing in cryptocurrencies, Decentralized Finance (DeFi), and other Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) is highly risky and speculative, and the markets can be extremely volatile. Consult with a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. This article is not a recommendation by The Balance or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies nor can the accuracy or timeliness of the information be guaranteed.

Company Overview

Gemini was founded by the Winklevoss twins, Cameron and Tyler, after investing their settlement money from a lawsuit with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg into Bitcoin. In 2015, they launched the Gemini exchange. It is a regulated, U.S.-based exchange that follows Know Your Customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering requirements of the U.S. government. It is also registered in New York City, following the capital and insurance requirements of the NYDFS.

Gemini operates in over 60 countries around the world (including all 50 U.S. states) and had over $30 billion of crypto assets in custody as of May 2021.

Gemini offers two trading platforms: Gemini and Gemini Active Trader. The standard Gemini platform is perfect for beginners who are just dipping their toes into cryptocurrency investing. It offers educational videos and a simple-to-use mobile app to help users buy, sell, and trade crypto. Gemini Pro is better suited for advanced traders with advanced charting, more order types, and lower trading fees.

Cryptocurrencies That Trade on Gemini

Gemini offers a small selection of popular cryptocurrencies on its platform, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Chainlink (LINK). There are over 50 cryptos supported, which is lower than most other exchanges. For a full list of supported crypto assets, Gemini maintains an updated list.

Gemini does not currently support XRP, and Ripple (the company that created XRP) is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It also doesn’t support other popular coins, such as Cardano (ADA) or Polkadot (DOT).

Trading Experience

Gemini makes it easy for new crypto traders to buy, sell, and trade crypto, with a clean web-based user experience and an intuitive mobile app. When a user logs into Gemini, the home screen displays a user’s current portfolio. Users can also access a list of tradable crypto on the “Price” tab, which allows them to view current prices, and buy, sell, or convert crypto. Crypto can be purchased via a linked bank account or debit card, or users can deposit funds into their Gemini account using a wire transfer or ACH transfer. 

Purchases can also be made by trading one crypto for another.

Gemini displays the current prices of all popular crypto on the marketplace but does not support all the crypto that is displayed. You will need to look for the “Buy” button to be able to purchase the supported crypto.

Gemini allows recurring purchases to be made on a regular schedule (daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly), giving users the ability to dollar-cost-average their crypto purchases. Users can withdraw crypto into their own digital wallet using the transfer option as well. There are fees associated with withdrawing crypto from the platform.

Fees

Gemini charges fees for most transactions, including deposits, purchases, trades, exchanges, and transfers. It does offer free fiat deposits via ACH and wire transfers. Gemini fees are on the high side with standard transaction fees at 1.49% of the total purchase, in addition to large deposit fees for debit cards, which are at 3.49%. 

There are also flat fees for transactions on Gemini under $200. Here’s a quick breakdown of smaller transaction fees:

  • $10 or less = $0.99 fee
  • >$10 to $25 = $1.49
  • >$25 to $50 = $1.99
  • >$50 to $200 = $2.99

Here’s a breakdown of Gemini fees:

Payment Method  Gemini Fee 
Bank Account  1.49%
USD Wallet  1.49% 
Debit/Credit card  3.49%
ACH or Wire Transfer  Free
Crypto Conversion  1.49%
Purchases  1.49% 
Trades  1.49% 
Gemini Card transaction fee  0%

Gemini Active Trader Fees

The fee structure for Gemini Active Trader uses a maker-taker fee model. These fees are much lower than regular purchases through the Gemini exchange. Gemini also has an Auction fee associated with order blocks of crypto, where buyers can set a maximum buy price, and sellers set a minimum sell price to facilitate a larger trade.

30-Day Trading Volume (USD) Taker Fee Maker Fee  Auction Fee 
0 0.40% 0.20% 0.01%
≥ $10,000  0.30%  0.10%  0.01% 
≥ $50,000  0.25%  0.10%  0.01% 
≥ $100,000  0.20%  0.08% 0.01% 
≥ $1,000,000  0.15%  0.05%  0.01% 
≥ $5,000,000  0.10%  0.03%  0.01% 
≥ $10,000,000  0.08%  0.02% 0.01% 
≥ $50,000,000  0.05%  0.00%  0.01% 
≥ $100,000,000  0.04%  0.00% 0.01% 
≥ $500,000,000  0.03%  0.00% 0.01% 

Gemini also charges fees for withdrawing crypto from the platform, and the amount depends on the cryptocurrency being transferred. 

You can see the full list of crypto withdrawal fees for Gemini users.

Security

Gemini is a “security-first” crypto exchange, becoming the first regulated exchange in the U.S.[3] It offers a wide range of security features, including multi-factor authentication and user role assignment. 

Here are a few of the security features Gemini offers:

  • Whitelisting approved addresses. Gemini allows users to create an approved address whitelist, which restricts access to wallet addresses that can withdraw cryptocurrency. In addition, there is a seven-day approval hold to ensure new addresses are vetted and approved before being approved for transfers.
  • User role management. Gemini users can create different user roles within their accounts. While admins can perform any function within the account, other roles can be restricted from accessing certain controls and have limited trading permissions.
  • Two-factor authentication. Gemini offers two-factor authentication (2FA) via SMS or the Authy app.
  • Hot wallet insurance. Gemini insures digital assets in the Gemini Wallet (“hot wallet”). Gemini will reimburse users for loss of crypto from a security breach or hack, a fraudulent transfer, or employee theft. This is unique among digital wallets and allows users to store supported crypto in the Gemini Wallet without risking their assets.
  • Device management. Gemini shows any devices that have logged into your account, and users can restrict access to any devices they don’t recognize. Users can also end sessions from any device currently logged into their Gemini account.

Opening a Gemini Account

To sign up for a Gemini account, users simply provide an email address and a password. After verifying the email address, Gemini walks you through securing your account with two-factor authentication, either through SMS or with the Authy app.

Before buying or selling crypto, you will need to verify your identity with a government-issued photo ID by uploading a picture of it to the app or website. This follows modern Know Your Customer (KYC) standards of security in the U.S. Once verified, you can connect a bank account or debit card to make crypto purchases.

Customer Service

Gemini offers online support via its help docs and virtual chatbot. Human support is only available via email, with a 24 hour response time. This is typical of most crypto exchanges, except for Coinbase, which has launched phone support for account security issues.

Customer Satisfaction

Gemini does receive a fair amount of customer complaints, mainly around account verification and fund withdrawal issues. Customers also complain that Gemini does not respond promptly to customer inquiries. 

Gemini has sought to address these issues by launching an improved customer support center in August of 2021, as well as lowering its email response time to 24 hours. Overall, Gemini customers are looking for more support from the customer service department, which has created a very poor experience for some users.

There are no formal rating agencies for cryptocurrency exchanges so users will have to rely on customer reviews.

Account Management

Gemini offers account management via its web-based platform as well as its mobile app. The website dashboard allows users to buy, sell, and trade crypto as well as monitor their portfolios. Users can log in using a supported web browser to access their account, deposit funds, or start trading. The Gemini Active Trader dashboard, designed for advanced traders, offers more order types, advanced charting, and a view of Gemini’s crypto order books.

Gemini offers its mobile app for users to manage their accounts, including buying, selling, and trading crypto, as well as depositing or withdrawing funds. The mobile app includes a simple user dashboard, showing a user’s current portfolio, as well as current market prices of supported cryptocurrency. The mobile app also offers price and trade alerts via push notifications.

How Gemini Compares to Other Cryptocurrency Companies

Gemini is one of the most secure places to buy crypto, as a fully-regulated and insured exchange in the U.S. It also offers custodial services to handle cold storage and security of digital assets offline, great for institutional investors. Gemini is a decent option for beginner investors as well, as Gemini offers an intuitive mobile app with a clean layout, making it easy to buy, sell, and trade crypto.

However, Gemini only offers about 50 cryptocurrencies and it charges higher fees than many other crypto exchanges. Here’s how Gemini compares to another large crypto exchange in the U.S.

Gemini vs. Kraken

Both Gemini and Kraken are U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchanges that offer a secure way to buy crypto. Both offer access to popular cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Cardano. Both exchanges also offer institutional investment services aimed at corporate investors and fund managers. 

But while Gemini is aimed at beginners, Kraken supports around 125 cryptocurrencies.

Here are a few other key differences between Gemini and Kraken:

  • Kraken is available in 200+ countries, while Gemini is only available in a little over 60.
  • Kraken offers margin and futures trading, while Gemini does not.
  • Gemini offers a credit card for making purchases with crypto, while Kraken does not.

Gemini offers a simple sign-up and trading experience for crypto beginners, making it easy to make purchases and store crypto assets securely. Kraken is ideal for advanced traders who want access to more advanced trading tools as well as the ability to use margin and trade crypto futures. 

Final Verdict

Gemini is one of the most secure crypto exchanges on the market, following strict U.S. regulations as well as capital and insurance requirements of the state of New York. Gemini focuses on providing a simple user experience, with a clean mobile app and intuitive user dashboard, great for beginner investors.

Gemini places a high value on security, requiring KYC verification, including photo ID and selfie pictures to verify all users. Gemini also offers custodial services to keep digital assets in “cold storage”, keeping them offline and away from would-be online thieves. In addition, Gemini’s digital wallet is insured against theft, which is unique in the crypto industry.

Gemini fees are high, especially when making purchases with a debit card. Even standard purchases come with a convenience charge, making it expensive to make purchases. Users can lower their fees by using Gemini Active Trader, which has very competitive fees, and access to the same cryptocurrencies as the regular Gemini platform. 

Gemini does have some poor user reviews, most of them citing poor response times from Gemini support, as well as the inability to withdraw funds from their accounts due to strict KYC standards. Gemini recently revamped its support and response times, but users should always remain cautious of companies without direct phone support.

Overall, Gemini is a great option for beginners and institutional investors that value security over everything else when looking to purchase crypto. Gemini gives users full control of locking down their accounts, and the peace of mind of insurance for assets held in the Gemini digital wallet. With its simple mobile app and wide range of services available, Gemini is a good option for U.S. crypto investors.

Methodology 

The Balance is dedicated to helping those interested in cryptocurrency investing make informed and safe decisions. We are committed to providing our readers with unbiased reviews of the top cryptocurrency exchanges for investors of all levels.

Exchanges are only considered for review if they are safe, secure, liquid, and either regulated by a proper agency or entirely decentralized.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. “SEC Charges Ripple and Two Executives With Conducting $1.3 Billion Unregistered Securities Offering.”