Gemini was founded in 2014 by the famous duo, the Winklevoss twins. They are famous for many reasons, one is for suing Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg for their original idea of the social networking website. They have had an interest in bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general and were actually involved in Bitinstant – the website that was involved in facilitating drug-deals. The duo however stated that they were only passive investors, and were not aware about the operations at length.
Gemini is based in the US, and draws the majority of its traffic from the US itself. They are fully operational in over 45 states of America, along with UK, Singapore, Canada, South Korea, Puerto Rico and Hong Kong. Their biggest market however is definitely the US. Gemini’s net-worth currently stands between $1 to $10 million dollars (it is difficult to pin-point the exact number, but they’re doing OK!).
The company is expanding slowly, and so far has no history of being hacked, always a positive sign. The fact that it has not been hacked does not mean it will never be hacked in future. Any malware attack on a website is almost impossible to predict. Given the fact that Gemini has not fallen victim of an attack, trust from its user base continues to grow.
UNIQUE FEATURES OF GEMINI
The brothers focused on regulating their cryptocurrency exchange, which went in the opposite direction to other exchanges who followed the decentralised blueprint started by bitcoin. Before becoming operational, they became a fully registered and compliant enterprise, having the highest levels of banking reserves they could.
Another interesting feature about Gemini is its ‘AUCTIONS’ function. It should not be confused with the auctions that happen on New York Stock Exchange, but there are similarities. Auctions happen twice a day, where large volumes of crypto-assets (particularly Bitcoin and Ethereum) are traded in the short-time. This is a risky practice, as small traders might try to predict the market by studying the shift, and place orders to maintain the balance. Where big traders often win big, small traders often take the brunt of the collateral. As with all market sentiment, these auctions can increase trading emotions such as greed, fear and panic. It is advisable to be weary and not make sure you are correctly risk managed.
ADVANTAGES OF GEMINI
Some of Gemini’s positives include –
- The biggest advantage of Gemini is that it has holds most of its Bitcoin and Ethereum in offline wallets. They have only a small portion available online, which makes them low-risk, especially if the instance of an attack happens. Storing a lot of cryptocurrency offline allows them to maintain high liquidity.
- There is no mention of a minimum amount that needs to be deposited to start trading. This feature means traders can start small before increasing size when needed.
- The websites interface is simple to understand, and welcoming for the beginners. First timers will prefer Gemini over other complex interfaces like Bittrex or Binance Advance.
- Gemini allows bank transfers for international account holders, when most of the exchanges prefer not to accept this function.
- It has 2FA (two factor authentication) enabled, that adds an extra layer of security to the account.
- The FAQ section of Gemini is full of even the smallest details and queries that a user might come up with. Their customer support is robust, active and they typically respond within a few hours. They also allow users to share their queries over email.
- Low fees is another advantage of Gemini. Apart from charging 0.25% of standard fees from users, Gemini also has a Poloniex-like maker and taker system. If the user is placing an order to buy something, they are considered as the maker and the one who is selling is the taker. Takers will pay more than makers on Gemini. The maker fees also depends on the volume at the time, a high volume results in lower fees.
DISADVANTAGES OF GEMINI
Like any exchange, Gemini has several disadvantages, as highlighted below –
- The biggest downside of Gemini is that it allows for Ethereum and Bitcoin trading. No other cryptocurrency is available on Gemini. This restricts its variety, and prevents traders from diversifying their portfolio. Hence, Gemini is limited to be a Bitcoin Exchange and an Ethereum exchange alone.
- For those who want to win big through margin trading, Gemini will leave you disappointed, there i s no functionality for margin trading.
- Gemini has no mobile application for users. They are only operational on the web.
- It is not available worldwide, only operating in a few countries, namely – USA, UK, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Canada, South Korea and Hong Kong.
- Gemini has a history of crashes in the past. It is unable to handle huge traffic influx during peak times, and often crashes. There was an instnace where they were offline for a prolonged period and despite their repeated attempts to pacify the users, their unavailability added to the panic among users.
- Despite offering regular operations in countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, UK, Canada and South Korea, Gemini only allows trading in USD (United States Dollars). The user cannot add any other currency. This calls for currency-conversion, and the international users have to pay unnecessary charges. This can be avoided by simply adding local currencies, which they are yet to do.