Gemini Bitcoin Exchange Review:
A Look at Its Verification Process, Fees & Safety

Gemini Bitcoin review: Buy BTC from this exchange

If you're looking to get started investing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum (also known as Ether), the available options can seem overwhelming.

With crypto being so new and exchange sites popping up all the time, it's difficult to know which markets are trustworthy. Like traditional investment sites and services, you have to consider the security of the site, any fees or membership costs, and customer support.

It can be daunting to research, which is why we've done some of it for you! In this article, we're going look at Gemini Bitcoin Exchange, a digital asset exchange.

Gemini was founded by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss in New York City in 2014 with the goal to build a 'world class' marketplace for digital assets. They believe digital currencies have the ability to change the way the financial system operates and aim to make that a reality by building a secure platform for individuals and institutions to buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrencies.

While cryptocurrencies are not regulated, the founders went to great lengths to become registered with the New York State Department of Financial Services and pride themselves on being held to the highest banking compliance standards.

In addition, FDIC insurance is available for all US dollars in your account. We'll talk more about the security of this platform later on in this review

What's the Gemini Exchange All About?

This platform operates much like a stock exchange and provides users with the opportunity to buy and sell Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). Those are the only two altcoins currently supported by Gemini and the company states that they have no plans to add other cryptocurrencies in the future.

Of course, that very well may change as crypto grows in popularity.

The digital marketplace is open 24/7 and offers users a variety of trading options:

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  • Market orders
  • Limit orders
  • Immediate or cancel (IOC) limit orders
  • Maker or cancel (MOC) limit orders (these order types are explained further down in this review).

Users can submit as many orders as they like but all purchases must be fully-funded, meaning that the buyer must have the full amount of the order available in their account at the time of purchase.

In addition, auctions for trading pairs (BTC/USD, ETH/USD, and ETH/BTC) are held daily. These are not traditional auctions in which the highest bidder wins. Instead, they are set times for Gemini coin exchange customers to meet at a price where the most cryptocurrency can be traded.

The auction schedule is consistent and available to view online, making it easy for you to plan your trading.

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While this particular bitcoin trading platform is based in the US and is available to customers in most US states and Puerto Rico, it's also accessible to cryptocurrency traders in Canada, the United Kingdom, Singapore, South Korea, and Hong Kong.

To accommodate users in Asia, the bitcoin exchange has introduced daily auctions that take place at 19:00 HKT (7:00 PM Hong Kong Time).

Trading minimums are low on Gemini Bitcoin Exchange, with a minimum of .0001 BTC (1000 satoshi) or .001 ETH. These minimums combined with the daily auctions make it easy for users to begin buying and selling crypto currencies.

​There are no limits on wire transfers or the amount of BTC and ETH you can deposit to and withdrawal from your account. US dollar deposits via ACH transfer are limited to $500 per day and withdrawals are limited to $10,000 per day. Let's review the safety and security of this platform in more detail.

Is Gemini Exchange Safe To Use?

Right now, Gemini BTC Exchange is one of the top crypto marketplaces available but is it right for you? If you're looking to buy, sell, or trade Bitcoin or Ethereum, it could be. To help you make a decision, we're going to check out some essential information about this particular exchange site.

Remember that you should always do your own research to learn more and determine whether or not an exchange site is a good fit for your needs. Only you can make the final decision!

What are the Gemini BTC Fees?

The site charges a base fee of 25 bps (0.25%) on each trading pair. From there, your fees will vary.

The platform operates on a 'maker-taker' fee schedule, meaning that fees will change based on whether or not your investments make or take liquidity. (Liquidity is the ability to turn crypto into cash readily.)

Traders that make liquidity can be charged as low as 0 bps (0.0%) and traders that take liquidity can be charged as little as 10 bps (.10%).

In addition, your fees will fluctuate based on your gross trading volume.

Advantages

  • High Security.
    As you'll see in many reviews, Gemini takes security very seriously. The majority of their customer's digital assets are stored offline (also known as "cold storage") and offsite to reduce the risk of theft. The small portion of their customer's altcoins that are stored online (also known as "hot storage") are hosted by Amazon Web Services and have tiers of access-controls to ensure the safety of your assets.

    The digital marketplace also requires two-factor authentication for all accounts, making it difficult for an unauthorized user to log into your account.
  • Easy Transfers.
    You can easily transfer bitcoins, Ethereum, or US Dollars between your Gemini account and your bank account or another crypto wallet.
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  • Free Deposits and Withdrawals.
    All users are given 30 free withdrawals and unlimited free deposits every month. Past the initial 30 withdrawals, fees are relatively low: .001 BTC for Bitcoin and 0 ETH for Ethereum.
  • Daily Auctions.
    Gemini BTC hosts auctions for their trading pairs (BTC/USD, ETH/USD, and ETH/BTC) seven days a week. The schedule is consistent, allowing you to plan ahead if you prefer to buy and sell this way, instead of in the marketplace.
  • Easy to Use Website.
    Gemini's website is well designed and easy to use, making it appealing to beginners and experienced crypto traders.
  • Located in the US.
    While many exchange sites are based overseas, the company is headquartered in New York. If you are looking for a US-based cryptocurrency market, Gemini should definitely be a consideration.

Disadvantages

  • Supports Limited Currencies.
    The platform currently only supports Bitcoin and Ethereum, with no plans to add other altcoins at this time. If you're interested in buying, selling, or trading other crypto, it may not be the right cryptocurrency exchange for you. Also limiting is the fact the US dollar is the only fiat currency the site supports.
  • Strictly a Marketplace.
    Since Gemini Exchange operates similar to a stock exchange, you can only buy, sell, or trade your altcoins on the platform. To spend your cryptocurrency or USD elsewhere, you must withdraw your funds to your bank account or crypto wallet. If you like your assets to be readily available, an exchange that offers a wallet would be a better option for you.
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  • Fees are Dependent on Your Trading.
    While a variable fee schedule can undoubtedly be a good thing, it can be a disadvantage if you are trying to calculate the fees you will pay. Fees vary based on whether you make or take liquidity as well as your gross trading volume over a 30 day period. All of these variables can make it more difficult to determine the exact amount your fees will total.
  • No Mobile App.
    While the exchange site is mobile-optimized, they currently do not have an app. If you're doing your trading on-the-go, a marketplace with an app may be a necessity for you.

How to Get Started on this Trading Platform:

Order Types

Users can submit four types of orders through the marketplace:

  • 1
    Market Orders are immediately filled at the best price available.
  • 2
    Limit Orders are filled at or better than a specific price. Any orders not filled stay on the continuous order book until they are filled or canceled.
  • 3
    Immediate or Cancel (IOC) Limit Orders are filled immediately at or better than a specified price. Quantities that aren't filled immediately are canceled and do not stay on the continuous order book
  • 4
    Maker or Cancel (MOC) Limit Orders rest on the continuous order book at a specific price. The entire order is cancelled if any quantity can be filled immediately.

Two-Factor Authentication

Every account is required to use two-factor authentication (2FA). This simply means that in order to log into your account, you will need to supply an authentication code.

The site uses SMS/text messaging as well as the (free) Authy app to send authentication codes to your phone, which you?ll enter when prompted at sign-in. (Users may choose to receive codes via text or Authy, both services are not required.)

This security measure makes it difficult for your account to be accessed by unauthorized users.
Now let's review how to get your account verified on this platform.

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More About the Gemini Verification Process

So, first off, how long does Gemini verification take? The average time is usually one to three business days which is not bad compared to how things are going with the exchanges right now.

When you sign up with Gemini Bitcoin Exchange, they'll need to verify your identity. This is different than verifying your email, which you'll do when you sign up. In order to verify your identity, all applicants need to supply proof of identity in the form of a driver's license or passport.

Non-US residents will also need to submit a full-page scan of a utility bill for service to their home address. The site doesn't state how long the verification process takes, only that they work to get you verified and ready to trade as quickly as possible.

Since they manually authenticate the identity of all users, it would be wise to allow a few days for your verification to be approved.

Connect Your Bank Account After Verification

Gemini does not currently accept purchases via credit or debit card, cash, or check. In order to fund your account, you'll have to initiate an ACH transfer or wire transfer from your bank account.

While Gemini Exchange does not charge users for these transfers, please check with your bank for any fees they may charge.

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Price Check

You may notice that the price of crypto on Gemini is different than the prices on other online marketplaces. On the platform, the cost of altcoins is determined by users on the platform, not by prices on other exchange sites.

Buying, Selling, Trading on Gemini Exchange:

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As we stated previously, Gemini has a beautiful, user-friendly design. To register, simply follow the steps below:

  • 1
    Click 'Register' on Gemini's homepage and enter your full name, email address, and a password.
  • 2
    Check the email address you provided and click the verification link that was sent to you.
  • 3
    On the website, add your phone number, location, and set up your two-factor authentication. If you are using Authy to receive authentication codes, download the app now. Gemini Exchange is fully integrated with Authy, which means that once you've downloaded the app, you should see your Gemini account. If you planning on getting codes via SMS, just make sure that the phone number you've entered is correct and can receive text messages.
  • 4
    Add your bank account using your routing and account numbers.
  • 5
    Verify your identity by uploading the required documents. All users must submit a form of government ID (driver?s license, passport, or state-issued ID) and users outside the US must also provide a full-page scan of a utility bill for service to their home address.
  • 6
    Your account is set up and you are ready to add funds from your bank account!
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To add funds to your Gemini account:

  • 1
    Log in to your account and choose 'Transfer Funds' from the menu.
  • 2
    Navigate to 'Deposit into Exchange and Bank Transfer' and enter the amount you'd like to deposit into your Gemini BTC Exchange account.

After you've deposited money into your account and it has cleared, you're ready to buy, sell, and trade crypto. To get started, select 'Buy' on the menu and choose your trading pair and input the quantity to process your order.

Your account will immediately be credited with your Bitcoin or Ethereum purchases.

Gemini has a reputation for being one of the most secure cryptocurrency exchange sites, making it great for beginners and experienced traders alike.

Of course, the most glaring downside is the lack of diversity in the currencies they support. If you're interested in trading other altcoins or converting a fiat currency other than the US dollar into crypto, it would be a good idea to check out other platforms such as CoinBase and LocalBitcoins.