Gemini

At Gemini, you can not only buy or sell cryptocurrency (ETH and BTC), but also store it in their highly safe offline wallet. 

Gemini was launched not long ago, in 2015. But in this short time, they have gained not only a good reputation but also a significant share in the trading market. In the review that follows, you will know the good, bad and the ugly (if any) about the cryptocurrency exchange service Gemini.

Gemini doesn’t sell Ethereum directly. You can submit an order on the site to exchange ether with other users. The good news is that you don’t have to pay anything to withdraw ether to your wallet. However, you do have to pay a small fee to buy ether from other users.

You can buy ETH or BTC, but for trading the following pairs are applicable:

  • BTC/USD
  • ETH/USD
  • ETH/BTC

Safety

Safety is a prime concern in the internet world. But you would be happy to know that Gemini is very safe when it comes to keeping funds or personal informations secure. Let us dive deep into how safe Gemini actually is.

Since Gemini is based in New York, it has to pass all the regulations imposed by New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS). NYSDFS has set standards in terms of capitalization, compliance, anti-money laundering, consumer protection and cyber security requirements.

The company was started by Winklevoss twins who are internet entrepreneurs who sued Mark Zuckerberg for stealing their idea of a social networking site. They invested in a number of startups including BitCoin for which their share is equal to $1 Billion.

How Safe Are Your Funds?

There are many safety measures that Gemini takes to protect your funds. The first sensible thing they do is that they store majority of customer funds in offline cold storage instead of storing them in hot wallets. Only a small amount is stored in hot wallets. Their hot wallet technology is hosted by Amazon Web Services which is one of the safest platforms available.

You can find more details on their security infrastructure on their official website.

On top of that, they use multi-signature technology to remove single points of failure. The offline wallets that carry funds are kept in multiple reliable storage spaces. Fiat funds (funds in country currency) are covered by FDIC insurance up to $250,000. The company doesn’t use these funds for their operations.

According to Gemini, their safety infrastructure is based on three key principles:

  • Building defense-in-depth against external threats
  • Protecting against human error
  • Guarding against misuse of insider access

How Safe is Your Account?

To access user accounts, users must pass through 2-factor authentication.If you don’t know, 2-factor authentication means that you can’t sign in with just a username and a password. Apart from the password, you need one more ‘key’ which only you can carry. Usually this means entering a one time password sent on your mobile phone or email address. The reason behind enforcing this second “key” is only you can know it.

There is a trade-off between your privacy and safety on Gemini. In order to know where funds are moving, Gemini asks you to give them sensitive user data, such as your Social Security Number (SSN) and photo ID.

Payment Methods

You can buy ether or other cryptocurrency through bank transfer or ACH. You will first have to link your bank account on their website to do this. This seems like a drawback since many users are used to buying Ether or Bitcoin fast with credit or debit card.

Processing Time

It takes around four to five business days for bank transfer deposits or ACH to process through. And if you send a wire transfer to the service from a domestic region before 3 PM ET, it reaches your account either the same day or the next business day.

Gemini Fees Structure

Now that you know your funds will sit safe in an offline cold storage, the next thing to know is how much they charge. They have different tariffs for transfers and trading. You can see the different levels of fees charged on their website. But in short, they have very low fees as compared to other exchange platforms.

The trading fees is usually 0.25 percent or less, but varies depending on your monthly purchase volume. The more you buy, the less is the fee. Gemini has enforced six tiers of maker, taker and auction fees that starts at 1 percent for small volumes (if you deal in less than 5 Bitcoins or 50 Ether (ETH) in the last 30 days) and goes down to 0.1 percent for takers and 0 percent for makers when they are buying in large volumes (trading more than 2000 Bitcoins or 20,000 Ether (ETH) in the last 30 days).

Locations Available

 

Gemini is available to use in multiple countries including United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Puerto Rico, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Singapore.

Purchase Limits

You can withdraw unlimited amount of cryptocurrency. If you sell cryptocurrency, you can withdraw a maximum of $100,000 through bank transfer and unlimited amount of funds through bank wire.

Although the company has been around for a couple years, there are not many reviews available on the web about their service.

Customer Support

To get your queries addressed, you can reach Gemini’s customer support team through their Zendesk powered email form on the website. Though there is a section that contains answers to Frequently Asked Questions, we would rather have a fast and responsive customer support available through live chat or phone.

When the company started, the customer support was one of the best in the market. But it seems that it has steadily declined in quality as the company grew its share in the market. Their customer support now is average, with some users appreciating it in their reviews and other folks saying that they’re gravely disappointed. It takes a long time to get a response and sometimes even that is not helpful.

Customers have reported having their account ‘frozen’, not being able to withdraw hundreds of dollars worth of funds, not being able to load the account with funds and so on. In short, their customer support isn’t reliable even though other aspects of their service are good. If you really want to check reliability of their support service, try calling on their toll free number: +1(866)240-5113 or write to them at support@gemini.com

Another drawback of their service is that they don’t have a mobile app. But they claim that their website is mobile and tablet friendly.

Overall Value

Gemini is a good platform to get Ether with low fees and good level of security. The quality of their customer support is average, but there are mixed reviews about it on the internet. It doesn’t support purchase through credit or debit cards and you cannot buy directly from Gemini, but from other users who want to sell their cryptocurrency. Some users prefer it over Coinbase because of the low fees and simple interface. A great benefit is that they also have a highly secure wallet to store your cryptocurrency.

Pros

  • Low fees as compared to other cryptocurrency exchanges
  • Their interface is good for beginners who wanted to get started with cryptocurrency
  • The company has attained a good reputation in a short time period
  • The company is financially secure as it is backed by two leading investors
  • No charges on deposits or withdrawals of cryptocurrency
  • Great discounts for those who trade in high volumes

Cons

  • To get high levels of safety, you need to sacrifice your privacy
  • Limited cryptocurrencies available
  • Credit or debit cards aren’t accepted like most services
  • Limited deposit methods as compared to other exchange services
  • Works in only a limited number of countries
  • No mobile app (but they claim that their website is tablet and mobile friendly)
  • Unreliable customer support, your funds/account may take time to process as customer service is slow and not responsive

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