Gemini Review 2021: Pros, Cons and How It Compares

Gemini offers 40 cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin and Ethereum, as well as a limited selection of crypto-to-crypto trading pairs.
Kevin VoigtJun 1, 2021

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Our Take

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: For casual investors, Gemini offers a trading platform that’s easy for beginners, advanced platform for serious traders and a portal for peer-to-peer trading.

Gemini

on Gemini's website

on Gemini's website

Fees

0.5% - 3.99%

depending on payment method and platform

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

$20 of BTC

for new users after trading $100 or more within 30 days

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • More than 30 cryptocurrencies.
  • Site insurance of digital assets against exchange hacks.
  • Available in all U.S. states.

Cons

  • Higher fees than some other crypto exchanges.

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Full Review

Founded in 2014 in New York City, Gemini is the creation of Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss — the twins who famously sued former Harvard classmate Mark Zuckerberg over the creation of Facebook, as dramatized in the movie “The Social Network.”

Gemini’s exchange was launched for U.S. customers in October 2015 and is now one of the top 15 cryptocurrency exchanges by trading volume, according to CoinMarketCap, a data and analytics company. Unlike several other exchanges, Gemini is available  in all 50 U.S. states (and more than 50 countries).

Gemini has a simple interface for new crypto investors, while more experienced traders will appreciate its ActiveTrader platforms. You can find exchanges that charge fewer fees for crypto trades, but Gemini’s safety measures and insurance against online breaches might ease the minds of those new to the cryptocurrency trading world.

Gemini is best for: 

  • Cryptocurrency traders.

  • Peer-to-peer trading.

  • Crypto-to-crypto trading.

Gemini at a glance

Minimum trade

0.00001 bitcoin/ 0.001 ether.

Trading and transaction fees

Up to 1.49% depending on trading platform; 3.49% for debit card purchases. Other fees may apply.

Number of cryptocurrencies

40.

Crypto-to-crypto trading pairs

19 trading pairs.

Website transparency

Most information easily found on the website.

Can use your own digital wallet?

Yes.

Mobile app

Two highly rated apps for iOS and Android.

Customer service

Email and chat support.

Promotion

None.

Gemini features you should know

Cryptocurrencies offered: Gemini currently offers 33 cryptocurrencies for U.S. dollar trades, including popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin. (Want to learn more? Understand what cryptocurrencies are and how they work).

Trading minimums are dependent on the type of cryptocurrency: For Bitcoin, trades are a minimum of 0.00001 bitcoin; for Ethereum, 0.001 ethereum.

Crypto trading costs and transaction fees: For mobile and web app users, Gemini charges a flat 0.5% above the current trading price (which Gemini calls its “convenience fee”). On top of that, it charges a transaction fee similar to Coinbase based on the amount traded: a tiered flat fee up to $200; orders above $200 are charged 1.49%.

Total trade amount

Fee

$10 or less

$0.99

More than $10 and up to $25

$1.49

More than $25 and up to $50

$1.99

More than $50 and up to $200

$2.99

More than $200

1.49% of your Web order value

Unlike Coinbase, Gemini doesn’t charge transaction fees for deposits from U.S. bank accounts or wire transfers (although your bank might). For debit card purchases, Gemini charges an additional 3.49% of the total purchase amount — a better price than the 3.99% Coinbase or 4.5% Binance.US charges for debit card purchases.

For more serious, high-volume crypto traders, Gemini has a different rate structure based on 30-day dollar-volume of trades on its ActiveTrader platform. Rates also are based on liquidity of the asset at the time of purchase; if immediately available, you're charged a “taker” fee, and if your order needs to wait for a buyer, you are charged a “maker” fee. The “auction” option allows the sale of blocks of cryptocurrency at a maximum buy price or minimum sell price.

Pricing tier

Taker fee

Maker fee

Auction fee

Up to $499,999.99

0.35%

0.25%

0.25%

≥ $500K

0.25%

0.15%

0.20%

≥ $2.5M

0.25%

0.15%

0.10%

≥ $5M

0.15%

0.10%

0.10%

≥ $10M

0.15%

0.10%

0%

≥ $15M

0.1%

0%

0%

≥ $50M

0.075%

0%

0%

≥ $100M

0.05%

0%

0%

≥ $250M

0.04%

0%

0%

≥ $500M

0.03%

0%

0%

Crypto-to-crypto trading: Gemini supports just under 20 crypto-to-crypto trading pairs, mostly linked to Bitcoin, Ethereum and these cryptocurrencies: Zcash (ZEC), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Orchid (OXT), Basic Attention Token (BAT), Chainlink (LINK) and Dai (DAI).

Peer-to-peer trading: Gemini offers direct trading between buyers and sellers through the Gemini Clearing portal; fees are the cost of the spread and have no minimum order size (Binance’s comparable OTC service has a $10,000 order minimum).

Platform: For desktop users, Gemini has Gemini Basic — a straightforward, simple interface to purchase cryptocurrency based on the total amount of crypto or the total amount of U.S. dollars you want to spend.

Gemini’s ActiveTrader platform has more bells and whistles, such as advanced charting, tracking multiple order types and block trading.

Crypto wallet: The exchange offers Gemini Wallet for users who don’t already have a cryptocurrency wallet. Digital assets are insured against losses that result from a security breach or hack, a fraudulent transfer or employee theft (more on this below).

Mobile app: The free Gemini app for iOS and Android is highly rated by app store users and mimics many of the same functions and features as the desktop site.

Security and insurance: Gemini prides itself on its security measures and hasn’t recorded a successful hacking attempt on its site. The digital assets on the site are insured against security breaches and hacks, and the bulk of its assets are kept in “cold storage,” away from online threats that could breach security. That said, loss of assets due to unauthorized access to your personal account — such as theft of your private codes and logins — isn't covered by Gemini insurance.

Availability in all U.S. states: Unlike some cryptocurrency exchanges, Gemini is available for use in all 50 states, as well as more than 50 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, South America and Oceania.

Is Gemini right for you?

Gemini offers a quick setup and convenient interface for new cryptocurrency investors, as well as strong tools for more serious traders. While its fees may be higher than some competitors on its mobile and web apps, Gemini’s security features such as insurance for digital assets are attractive — especially for those new to the crypto world.

No matter where you decide to make your purchase, understand that investing in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is highly speculative and known for its volatility. It’s wise to never invest any more than you can afford to lose.

on Gemini's website