Gemini has something to offer for both big-money cryptocurrency traders as well as those who are new to the space. Its ActiveTrader trading platform will be valued by professionals, while beginners will be able to learn from educational resources such as its Cryptopedia site.
Given the high-risk nature of crypto trading, educating new traders is particularly important. More than 90 different coins are available for trading, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding what you’re looking for and you won’t pay deposit fees on wire transfers. If you’re only looking to trade the most popular coins or are interested in other assets such as stocks or ETFs, you might consider financial apps Robinhood or Webull.
For traders who are trading big bucks, Gemini is competitive on trading fees, but for the typical small investor its fees are high. Plus, you’ll be charged a fee if you participate in Gemini’s staking offering. More cost-conscious traders might be better served by other exchanges such as Binance.US or Kraken.
Traders should be aware that Gemini has come under fire for its Gemini Earn program, which allowed customers to loan their crypto assets to crypto-lender Genesis Global in return for interest payments. The Securities and Exchange Commission sued Gemini and Genesis in early 2023, alleging the agreement was an unlawful securities offering that violated investor-protection laws. In November 2022, Genesis stopped offering withdrawals to Gemini Earn customers due to a lack of liquidity following volatility in the crypto market, according to the complaint. The Gemini Earn program was terminated in early 2023.
Gemini at a glance
|Minimum balance||None, but trade minimum varies by cryptocurrency type. (.00001 Bitcoin/.001 Ether)|
|Securities tradable||More than 90 cryptocurrencies|
|Cost per trade||
|Customer service||Email, chat and self-help|
|Mobile app||The Gemini mobile app is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store|
Pros: Where Gemini stands out
No deposit fees
You won’t have to worry about getting nickel and dimed on fees when making deposits with Gemini. Wire transfers can be made from your bank account to Gemini without any fees (make sure your bank doesn’t charge a processing fee), plus you can deposit cryptocurrencies for free.
Unfortunately, Gemini eliminated its free withdrawal policy in 2022, deciding to charge customers either a flat fee that varies by cryptocurrency or a dynamic fee if you’re withdrawing ETH or ERC-20 tokens.
Active traders won’t be disappointed by the trading experience offered by Gemini. Advanced charting, different order types, auctions and block trading are all available through Gemini ActiveTrader, the exchange’s top trading platform. Trades can be executed in microseconds and visibility into the order book helps deliver a professional feel to the platform. The site is designed to work with most mobile browsers, so you shouldn’t have a problem accessing it while you’re on the move.
Gemini also stands out for its educational resources available online. You can find answers to basic questions through its support site, but Gemini’s main differentiator is its cryptocurrency educational site known as Cryptopedia.
Cryptopedia aims to answer questions that come up from both novice and experienced cryptocurrency traders. Gemini sees the lack of comprehensive education available as one of the main barriers to crypto adoption and offers Cryptopedia as a solution. You’ll find lots of information on cryptocurrency trading and security, the decentralized finance ecosystem and even NFTs. With so many new traders interested in cryptocurrency, other exchanges would be wise to add similar educational material.
Cons: Where Gemini could improve
High trading fees
Gemini’s trading fees come in at the higher end of the industry and can run very high depending on the platform being used. Trades placed through Gemini’s website application are charged a convenience fee and a transaction fee. The convenience fee is 0.5 percent above the cryptocurrency’s current trading price, while the transaction fee varies based on the size of the order. For orders above $200, a 1.49 percent fee is applied.
For users of the Gemini ActiveTrader platform, the exchange follows the common maker-taker model used by most exchanges and brokers in the industry. Orders that add liquidity (maker) are charged slightly less than orders that take away liquidity (taker). The fees drop to almost zero if you’re trading more than $50 million each month. Here’s how Gemini’s ActiveTrader fees break down based on trading volume.
|30-day trading volume||Maker||Taker|
|$0||0.20 percent||0.40 percent|
|$10,000+||0.10 percent||0.30 percent|
|$50,000+||0.10 percent||0.25 percent|
|$100,000+||0.08 percent||0.20 percent|
|$1,000,000+||0.05 percent||0.15 percent|
|$5,000,000+||0.03 percent||0.10 percent|
|$10,000,000+||0.02 percent||0.08 percent|
|$50,000,000+||0.00 percent||0.05 percent|
|$100,000,000+||0.00 percent||0.04 percent|
|$500,000,000+||0.00 percent||0.03 percent|
Like other exchanges, Gemini gives customers the opportunity to earn rewards by holding deposits of cryptocurrency with the firm through a process known as staking. The process is similar to a bank savings account but comes with significantly greater risks. Unlike Binance.US, which charges a small commission for its staking program, Gemini charges an agent fee as part of its program. Though it’s not as much for popular coins – Bitcoin’s is just 1.03 percent – the fees can quickly add up, especially for more obscure cryptocurrencies. The fee for Alchemix (ALCX) is nearly 4.3 percent as of December 2022, for example.
Gemini’s mobile app provides a satisfactory user experience and will be fine for most cryptocurrency traders. You can track dozens of different coins, place trades and even set price alerts through the app. But if you’re looking for the same professional experience you get from Gemini’s ActiveTrader platform, you’ll need to use a desktop or mobile browser. Adding the features and experience available through ActiveTrader in the mobile app would really set it apart from other exchanges.
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