Gemini Review 2021: Pros, Cons and How It Compares

Gemini offers more than 50 cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and ether, as well as a limited selection of crypto-to-crypto trading pairs.
Kevin VoigtOct 14, 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, an 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 50 cryptocurrencies.
  • Site insurance of digital assets against exchange hacks.
  • Available in all U.S. states.

Cons

  • Higher fees than some other crypto exchanges.

Compare to Similar Brokers

Gemini
Coinbase
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Fees

0.5% - 3.99%

depending on payment method and platform

Fees

0.5% - 4.5%

varies by type of transaction; other fees may apply

Account Minimum

$0

Account Minimum

$2

Promotion

$20 of BTC

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

Promotion

Earn $5

in bitcoin for getting started on Coinbase

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Become a NerdWallet member, and we’ll send you tailored articles we think you’ll love.

Full Review

Where Gemini shines

Accessibility: Many cryptocurrency exchanges are available only in select states, but Gemini is available to residents in all 50 states.

Good for both beginner and advanced traders alike: 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.

Where Gemini falls short

Fees: Gemini has a lot to offer, but that comes with slightly higher fees than some other crypto exchanges.

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

52.

Crypto-to-crypto trading pairs

21 trading pairs.

Website transparency

Important 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.

More details about Gemini's ratings

Minimum trade

Gemini has low minimum trade amounts, which vary by the type of cryptocurrency you want to trade. For example, the minimum bitcoin trade is 0.00001 BTC and the minimum ether trade is 0.001 ETH.

Trading and transaction fees

Gemini’s fees are slightly higher than some other crypto brokerages and vary depending on the platform you’re using, topping out at 1.49%. If you’re using a debit card for purchases, the fee is 3.49%, and other fees may apply. 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.

Where Gemini has an edge on its competition is in withdrawal fees. With most brokerages, withdrawing crypto from the platform incurs at least a network fee (the cost of running a transaction on the underlying blockchain), but with Gemini, you can make up to 10 withdrawals per crypto per month for free. However, it’s important to note that beyond these 10 withdrawals, the fees are high. For example, your 11th bitcoin withdrawal in a single month would cost 0.001 BTC — about $57 as of Oct. 14, 2021.

Unlike Coinbase, Gemini doesn’t charge transaction fees for deposits from U.S. bank accounts or wire transfers (although your bank might).

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%

Number of cryptocurrencies

Gemini offers more than 50 cryptocurrencies.

Crypto-to-crypto trading pairs

21 crypto-to-crypto trading pairs are available through Gemini’s ActiveTrader platform.

Digital wallet options and security

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.

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.

Mobile app

Gemini offers a free app for both iOS and Android. Both versions are highly rated by app store users and mimic many of the same functions and features as the desktop site.

Customer support options

Gemini offers customer support via email and chat.

Other features you should know

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.

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.

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.

How do we review crypto exchanges and platforms?

NerdWallet’s comprehensive review process evaluates and ranks the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchanges, along with emerging industry players, using a multifaceted and iterative approach. Our aim is to provide an independent assessment of providers to help arm you with information to make sound, informed judgments on which ones will best meet your needs.

DATA COLLECTION AND REVIEW PROCESS

We collect data directly from providers, and conduct firsthand testing and observation through provider demonstrations. The final output produces star ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.

RATING FACTORS

Evaluations vary by provider type, but in each case are based upon the weighted averages of factors that include but are not limited to: trading and transaction fees, crypto withdrawal fees, cryptocurrency selection, crypto-to-crypto trade offerings and whether consumers can use their own cryptocurrency wallets. We also score providers based on website transparency regarding fees and offerings, their mobile platforms and customer support.

FACTOR WEIGHTINGS

The weighting of each factor is based on our team’s assessment of which features are the most important to consumers and which ones impact the consumer experience in the most meaningful way. The factors considered, and how those factors are weighted, change depending upon the category of providers reviewed.

INFORMATION UPDATES

Writers and editors conduct our reviews on an annual basis but continually make updates throughout the year. We maintain frequent contact with providers and highlight any changes in offerings.

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The review team comprises seasoned writers, researchers and editors who cover stocks, bonds, mutual funds, index funds, exchange-traded funds, alternative investments, socially responsible investing, financial advisors, retirement and investment strategy on a daily basis. In addition to NerdWallet, the work of our team members has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Forbes, USA Today, Bloomberg News, Nasdaq, MSN, MarketWatch, Yahoo! Finance and other national and regional media outlets.

The combined expertise of our Investing team is infused into our review process to ensure thoughtful evaluations of provider products and services from the customer perspective. Our writers and editors combine to have more than 70 years of deep experience in finance, ranging from a former Wall Street Journal reporter to a former senior financial advisor at Merrill Lynch.

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on Gemini's website