The world’s evolution into the cryptocurrency space begun with the formulation of Bitcoin – a digital currency that allowed for decentralization as well as the development of a peer-to-peer system which would allow for individuals to become their own banks by removal of the intermediary.
With this development came other evolutions to this space.
First was Ethereum, a cryptocurrency that brought with it the ability to use smart contracts as well as develop decentralized applications – applications that were not managed by any central authority or company as is currently the case – as well as create tokens based on the platform.
However, despite the above developments, the financial markets felt uninvolved in this process as this seemed purely to be a technological development, well, until 2017.
Digital Currency and Wall Street
The year 2017 was the year of evolution is the modern financial system as it saw digital currencies gain entry into Wall Street.
With more and more people understanding the notion of Bitcoin as well as alt coins -alternative cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin – the investment into these cryptocurrencies, which were and still are believed to be offering solutions to problems seen in the world today kept rising by the day.
These investments are known as ICOs – Initial Coin Offerings – and are similar to IPOs – Initial Public Offerings – as is the common language in investment banking.
Soon afterward, these coins were being traded on Wall Street with more and more sites and platforms being developed to ensure that people got the chance to take part in these trades. However, as is the common case with such platforms, security became a serious issue as problems such as hacking then became prevalent among players in this market segment. This was especially due to the increase in prices of these coins coupled with the fact that unlike fiat currency, these currencies had their storage on the digital space.
As such, the need for secure coin trading platforms and exchanges grew by the day. This was initially the case due to demand by individuals but later even institutional investors wanted to cash in on the gains.
The above realization was the platform on which Gemini Exchange was created.
Gemini Exchange Review
The exchange was pioneered by the Winklevoss twins, among the biggest beneficiaries of Bitcoin who claimed to own about 1% of the total Bitcoin supply. The two Oxford graduates saw the gap that existed in the exchange platform and decided to capitalize on it by creating Gemini exchange.
The founders beat the system when they registered the company as a New York State Limited Liability Trust, unlike other companies which have registered under a Bitlicense – rules governing the transaction of Bitcoin to a resident of New York which can be read here. This allows the company to engage with both institutional as well as individual investors thus broadening their playing field, unlike the situation where companies register under the limiting Bitlicense laws.
Its value proposition was quite simple, they were to act as the bridge between investors and the coins they chose to invest in. Atop this, moreover, they would link both individual and institutional investors to this platform, a move which would ensure that all players were then catered to at a central place.
Furthermore, the platform is built on three key pillars: security, liquidity, and trust. With the platform acting as a custodian to a low of assets – the exchange deals mainly with Bitcoin and Ethereum at the moment – by different players, these values speak to the core beliefs of the company and ensure that market players understand innately how Gemini operates.
The above can explain why Gemini has been growing as well as become the center of attention for many players within the cryptocurrency space.
This, however, has not been the only reason for the company’s path up the ranks. Other reasons are as detailed below.
Support by Countries
Gemini operates within the USA and in five other countries globally (Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, United Kingdom). Over time, they expect to keep growing into other countries by harnessing their strong brand and success over time.
How to Create an Account on Gemini
Gemini gives the user two options from which they can create accounts: personal and institutional accounts as shown below:
For personal accounts, account creation is pretty easy. One simply clicks on the “Open a personal account” button above after which they fill in your details in as the page below:
Afterwards, you will be required to activate your account using a link sent to your email address – this is to ensure that the security requirements by the regulatory body are fully met. After activation, one will then fill in the rest of their personal details as well as add their identification documents. The process is as shown in the image below:
It begins with the setting up of a two-factor authentication – whereby the mobile device receives a code every time there is a transaction being carried out so as to boost security. This is followed by adding bank details, then entering your personal details so as to verify your identity and finally uploading one’s documents. After this, the profile is deemed complete.
Once this is done, you can add funds to the account using either of the methods defined in later in this document. This ensures that the user can then begin to trade. The user does this from the dashboard by clicking on transfer funds, then clicking on deposit to exchange and finally choosing the required method. This is as seen below:
How to Buy on Gemini Exchange
In order to buy, the user clicks on the buy button on the dashboard and click on the buy button. You will receive the option of BTCUSD, BTCETH or ETHUSD from which you will choose one. Thence, one can begin to choose from the options provided as shown below:
Key in this is the type of order – market or limit – as this will determine the fees that will be charged to your account as well as when the order will be exercised. After choosing all these fields, one then clicks on buy.
How to Sell on Gemini Exchange
A similar process is followed here as with the buying of cryptocurrencies. One need only fill the same fields as with the buy option then click on the sell button.
Gemini Exchange Fees
The company has maintained a low fees policy with their fees being some of the lowest in the market.
Their fees can be bifurcated into trading and transfer fees as discussed below.
Gemini has adopted an evolutionary piece of technology known as the dynamic maker-taker fee schedule. This system breaks down the trades made by investors into two: liquidity taking and liquidity making trades.
According to the company, makers are persons whose orders aren’t similar with existing market orders, therefore, sticking within the order books for longer, unlike takers whose orders march exactly with trades within the market. Makers, unlike takers, have their orders within the order book for much longer and are exposed to much more market risk than their counterparties. As such, markers are then rewarded for taking up more risk by receiving lower fee charges.
The company charges a flat fee for both of the above at 25 basis points or 0.25% of the gross trading volume. However, markers receive much lower fees than takers courtesy of the aforementioned principle.
The flat fee is, however, is the case for lower transaction values. As we move higher in the values, the fees reduce significantly down to zero fees at transactions of over $5,000 for markers and 10 basis points (0.1%) for takers.
The company also has auction fees which stand at the initial flat fee of 25 basis points (0.25%) and reducing pro-rata for each increase in the transaction volumes as shown in the table below:
Gemini Payment Methods
Currently, Gemini mainly accepts four payment methods, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Wire transfers and direct fund transfers from banks.
Depositing of money into Gemini through any of the above methods is free – this may, however, not be the case for direct fund transfers whereby the banks may charge their fees on the transaction.
It is in withdrawal that some charges are made. If withdrawals are between zero and ten per annum, there are no withdrawal charges. However, if the number exceeds ten, then the charges for Bitcoin and Ethereum begin to take effect at 0.002 Bitcoin and 0.001 Ethereum per transaction.
Trading and Transfer Limits and Time
The transfer limits at Gemini are capped at the weekly level with the amounts standing at $3,500 for buy orders and $700,000 in sell orders for the week. This is quite high as compared to other exchanges as will be seen in the next section.
However, their transfer limit per week stands at $500 per day on direct fund transfers with no limit on the amount one can deposit via wire transfers and cryptocurrency fund deposits. The funds on this site are available for trade immediately after approval, however, direct fund transfers take about 4-5 business days to be approved.
The withdrawal amounts on this network are limited to $10,000 per day.
Gemini Vs Coinbase
Gemini outshines Coinbase on two fronts: their set trading limits, transaction costs, and their buy/sell rates.
A review of the above from one of the users put Gemini at a better position than Coinbase. The reviewer pointed out that the weekly buy limit stood at $250 and $3,500 with a transaction fee of 1.49% and 0.25% for Coinbase and Gemini respectively. Moreover, the weekly sell limit also stood at $15,000 and $700,000 for Coinbase and Gemini respectively.
Based purely on the above, the benefits of Gemini far outweigh those at Coinbase. The reviewer was thus in support of Gemini over its counterpart exchange.
Gemini Vs GDAX
These two platforms are quite similar in their operations with very few differences being seen between them.
First are their operating fees. Despite both their fees being significantly lower than those of other market players, Gemini charges a flat fee of 0.25% to their clients, unlike GDAX which charges 0.3%. Despite the difference seeming mundane, the deviation would be quite high for individuals who trade a significantly large portfolio of cryptocurrencies such as the founders of Gemini as the 0.05% deviation may lead to charges running into the hundreds of thousands.
Furthermore, the wire transfers allowed by the Gemini platform are not capped thus individuals and institutions can deposit as much as they wish. This is unlike GDAX which caps this amount to $250,000. This may especially be because the users of Gemini are both individuals and corporates unlike the users of GDAX.
However, in support of GDAX, the platform also supports Litecoin which therefore provides traders with more variety as they trade.
Is Gemini Safe? Security
Most assets held by Gemini are held in cold storage that is on platforms such as hardware security modules. This is meant to ensure that the cryptocurrencies held by the company are not prone to software hacks which may, in turn, wipe out their entire holdings.
Furthermore, given that they keep most of their money in banks, the Federal Depositors Insurance Corporation (FDIC) further ensures every account they hold for $250,000.
Gemini Customer Support
The entity holds a large FAQ database in addition to the email services they provide. Generally, these emails are replied to within 2-3 business days and most have positive responses.
Gemini Frequently Asked Questions
Among the frequently asked questions is whether Gemini accepts other currencies other than the US dollar and whether they have a mobile application.
To this, the answers given are that currently, they prefer using purely the US dollar and that despite not having an application, their website is both tablet and mobile phone friendly.
Gemini Review Conclusion
The above all speak to the benefits that people and institutions derive from trading with Gemini. Be it the low costs or low trading limits or the unlimited find transfers, Gemini has proven itself to be one of the best platforms with which to trade Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Furthermore, with their funders being among the largest Bitcoin holders in the world, the system is secured by the notion that they themselves are in it for the long run. As such, the Gemini platform is a strong platform from which people can trade and therefore is expected to keep bringing in the money as more and more people and institutions continue to use it for their day to day exchanges and trades.