Gemini is a cryptocurrency exchange platform where investors can buy Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) using US dollars — or just trade between BTC and ETH. It’s a robust tool for more advanced traders, but it’s also has clean, easy-to-use interface that even a total beginner can quickly get the hang of.
This crypto-coin exchange is probably best known for its infamous founders, the Winklevoss twins, who sued Mark Zuckerberg for stealing the idea of Facebook from them in 2008. Their $65 million windfall from that lawsuit was certainly put to some good use — the brothers had accumulated $11 million worth of bitcoin by 2013, when it was worth about $120.00.
Their bitcoin stockpile has skyrocketed since then, with the digital currency’s value now several thousand percent higher than it was back then. In fact, the twins are said to have become the first “bitcoin billionaires” in December of 2017 around the time bitcoin surpassed the $11,000 mark.
The Winklevoss twins launched Gemini (now do you get the name?) in late 2015.
A different kind of exchange
What sets Gemini apart from other exchanges is its embrace of regulation and compliance– it’s the first US exchange to be officially licensed for both ether and bitcoin trading. This is an exchange that aligns itself with financial legal institutions, and that legitimacy gives it a certain advantage over other platforms.
Gemini is overseen by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS), which treats it as a trust company — meaning it can cater to average cryptocurrency traders like you and me, as well as big-time institutional investors. The platform was built with a remarkably clean, modern and streamlined design that echoes branding from the big guns on Wall Street.
It’s not just the appealing visuals of this exchange that cater to high-volume traders, it’s also the prices. Fees (for each the sender and receiver of trades) range from 0.00% to 0.25%, depending on your 30-day trading volume: heavier traders get the slimmest fees.
If you’re just getting started with investing in bitcoin or ether, you will pay on the higher end of the pricing spectrum — but 0.25% isn’t a bad price compared to other exchanges out there. Gemini also has a pretty straightforward sign-up process and an easy-to-use trading interface that any beginner can get the hang of.
Never traded on Gemini before? Here’s everything you need to know to get started:
- How to create an account
- How to deposit funds
- How to execute a basic trade
Signing up for an account
Starting a new account at Gemini.com is simple — just go to the homepage and click on Open a Personal Account.
Enter your full name, email address, and create a password — then select Create My Account
Open a new tab and check your email for an Activation Code, copy and paste it into the previous tab — then select Submit
Now begins a three-step identity verification process:
- Linking your cell phone number up with your account — this makes receiving login verification codes easy. It’s a pretty standard requirement for a lot of exchanges, as two-factor authentication massively enhances your account security.
2. Linking your bank account using your normal online banking login credentials — just log in using your normal username and password. The bank account must be in the same name as the new Gemini account holder.And don’t worry, your username and password are safe and secure — this step simply makes depositing funds quick and easy. If you don’t want to fork over your login information, you can verify your bank account using a wire transfer instead.
3. Finally, they will ask you to submit documentation that proves your identity and address, like a copy of a bank statement with your address clearly printed.
Once you’ve completed the sign-up process, you’re ready to load your account with funds.
First, click on Transfer Funds on the main menu bar. With Gemini, there are a few ways to put funds into your exchange account:
Using your bank account:
This is only available to users in the US. The cool thing about ACH deposits is that they are instant — you can begin trading with the funds right away. There is a hold on the funds when it comes to withdrawal, however. After 4–5 business days, the deposit will fully settle and you can withdraw those funds from your account.
Wiring a deposit is more straightforward: because wire transfers are irreversible, you can begin trading and withdrawing the funds once Gemini receives the money. If you deposit before 3:00pm, your funds will be ready for trading the following business day with no holds for withdrawing.
If you want to use an external bitcoin or ethereum wallet:
You can deposit either bitcoin or ether to your Gemini account, and it’s the same easy process for both cryptocurrencies. Simply select Deposit BTC or Deposit ETH, and Gemini will generate a deposit address for you.
If you’re using an ether or bitcoin wallet on your mobile device, you can simply initiate a transfer from your external wallet and scan the QR code that Gemini provides you. If you aren’t using a mobile device, just copy the bitcoin or ethereum address and paste it when your external wallet asks you where you want to send your digital currency.
The transfer has to be done from your external wallet — not from Gemini’s end. Oh, and Gemini charges zero deposit or withdrawal fees!
When it comes to withdrawals, it’s also easy: just select Withdraw BTC or Withdraw ETH and enter your external wallet’s address to complete the transfer.
Keep in mind: Every Gemini account comes with a “wallet” where you store your funds on the exchange. It is different from an external wallet, which is a more secure place to store your cryptocurrency. Most wise cryptocurrency investors make a habit of keeping their coins in an external wallet as much as possible and only keep them in an exchange wallet while they’re actively trading.
Once your Gemini account is funded, you can begin trading.
The Gemini trading interface is really easy to use, and it has a simplified design that makes learning how to place orders a breeze. Simply select Buy on the main menu bar, and choose which cryptocurrency you want to purchase — and if you want to use USD, BTC or ETH to complete buy it.
Near the top of the screen, it shows you how much money you have in your account — both in USD value and bitcoin value to give you a more complete perspective before making trade.
Before you click Buy and confirm your purchase, you can see the exact fee that will be charged and the total amount of USD, BTC or ETH that will be taken from your account to complete the transaction.
To finish the purchase, just click Buy. It’s really that easy.
Selling is just as simple. If you want to get rid of some BTC or ETH, it’s the exact same process. Just select Sell and enter how much coin you want to unload. It then tells you how much USD, BTC or ETH you will be credited in exchange.
Going beyond simple trades
Buying and selling on Gemini is simple, but we’ve only gone over simple transactions. Gemini is also built for more advanced traders — it’s a sophisticated trading platform. Seasoned traders have a total of six different order types to choose from on Gemini (Auction-Only Limit, for example).
After you get a little more seasoned in basic cryptocurrency trading, you can start to explore more advanced trading techniques.