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Gemini

Gemini Review
Trader's rating 1
Editor's rating 3.8

Account types

 

Account type

Minimum deposit

Leverage

Fees

Standard

Undisclosed

N/A

Max of 0.25%

 

Gemini is a relatively simple cyptocurrency exchange. It offers a few instruments, but on the other hand accepts USD bank transfers as a method of payment. There is also a more specific type of trading – auctions, which we will get to later on in the review, 

 

The company, security of funds

 

 

Company

Country

Regulation

Gemini Trust Company, LLC.

USA

US Trust regulation

 

Gemini is a brand owned by t Gemini Trust Company, LLC. They are regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS), but not under its infamous BitLicense, but simply as a trust. This assures some consumer confidence, while avoiding the hassle with the unpopular piece of legislation. If you are not familiar with the case, the aforementioned New York regulators wanted to create a licensing system for crypto exchanges. The idea was to make the Big Apple a major cryptocurrency trading centre, just how it is in traditional finance. That being the case the project wasn’t appreciated by most of the companies in the field, as a lot of them didn’t apply for it. Those who argue this makes it basically useless are backed by the rate at which licensing was given to the companies who did apply. At the time of writing of this review, two years since the legislation came into effect, only three companies have been granted the license.

 

The name Gemin comes from the owners of the company, the Winkelvoss twins. While they may be most famous for suing Facebook creator Mark Zukerberg over their idea for a social networking site, they also have interest in the crypto-space. It is worth pointing out, the famous rowers were also involved in Bitinstant, a company which was involved in facilitating transfers for drug deals. The brothers claimed they were only passive investors and were not aware of the operations. 

 

When it comes to security, Gemini hasn’t experienced any large-scale hacks yet. This is generally a good sign, although it does not guarantee anything for the future.

 

The user reviews on the company aren’t that many, which can be explained by the fact it doesn’t operate in the entire world. Here is a map of all of the regions, which they support (click to zoom-in):

 

 

That being the case most of the complaints are focused on slow account verification.

 

The most unique feature of Gemini are the auctions, which are held twice a day. The way they function is similar to the ones which occur at the opening and closing transactions on stock exchanges (not to be confused with “the highest bidder wins the item” auctions). This is where relatively big, in terms of volume, transactions are usually made. Traders can place buy or sell orders which are then matched at a single price. While of of this is happening, trading on Gemini still occurs. This creates an interesting dynamic, just like it does on the New York Stock Exchange – after seeing the pending orders for the auction (known as the “imbalance”) traders can speculate on them moving the market in the short term. For instance, if a relatively large buying imbalance is placed, most will expect the price to rally. That being said, this type of trading is very risky, as new orders may come to meet the imbalance, even in the last second. Furthermore the initial imbalance creator may have set a limit price for his order, above (in the case of buying) he does not want to participate. Trading on imbalances is tricky and while some traders used to enjoy doing so on the NYSE, they can all tell you stories about times when they lost a lot of money on a last second turnaround. This is definitely not recommended for beginners.

 

 

Trading conditions

 

Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)

The trading instruments available at Gemini are only Bitcoin and Ethereum. Both coins can be traded against the US dollar and against each other. Obviously, this is limiting, but clients who wish to pursue altcoins can always transfer their BTC or ETH to an external wallet or another exchange, like Bittrex.

 

Minimum initial deposit

Gemini does not mention any minimum initial deposit, unlike the majority of forex brokers, which we mostly cover. In that industry, it is quite common for a company to specify an amount, below which one can’t open a new trading account. The levels are fairly low now, with FXCM requiring $50, for instance.

 

Leverage

Margin trading is not available at Gemini. More aggressive clients will not appreciate this fact, although there is enough volatility in cryptocurrencies already. The forex brokers who offer Bitcoin trading, provide leverage. As an example the FCA-regulated industry pioneers at IG have a 1:13.3 ratio (7.5% margin requirement) for Bitcoin trading.

 

Fees

Gemini offers relatively competitive fees. The maximum is in line the current industry standard of 0.25%, with discounts for bigger trading volume. On top of that, fees are lower for market “makers” (traders who passively place their orders in the book). The fees actually turn into rebates above a certain point in volume (only for "makers"). As a comparison, forex brokers usually condense all of their fees in the spread. This makes comparing the two types of services a bit tricky, although we have done so in this post.

 

Trading platform 

 

The platform provided by Gemini is web-based and rather simplistic, with the order book being the main focus. Here is a preview:

 

 

We must note this is an old screenshot, which wasn’t taken by us, due to the restrictions on accepting clients. That being said, the platform may have been improved in the meantime.

 

Methods of payment

 

Gemini accepts Bank Transfers as well as Bitcoin or Ethereum ones. Not a lot of exchanges accept bank transfers nowadays, with the major two ones being Coinbase and Bitstamp.

 

Conclusion

 

Gemini is a US-based crypto currency exchange. The company is registered as a trust, which should give investors a bit more confidence, when compared to a lot of other entities in the crypto-space. The people behind the company are the Winkelvoss twins, which you may be familiar with. Gemini offers little variety, in terms of the trading instruments, but accepts bank transfers. The company operates in a relatively small number of countries. The Auctions which they offer are a neat idea, but most traders will probably not feel the need to use them. Here are the pros and cons of Gemini :

 

Pros

Cons

Regulated US trust

Operates in a few countries

Commissions in line with the industry

Trading platform looks simplistic

Auctions available

Only BTC and ETH available

Accepts bank transfers (from some countries)

 

 

 

BTCC

BTCC Review
Trader's rating 0
Editor's rating 4

Trading Accounts and Conditions

 

Account type

Minimum deposit

Leverage

Maker fee

Taker fee

DAX exchange N/A N/A 0.1% 0.2% *
USD exchange 0.0001 BTC / $50 N/A 0.1% 0.1% **

 

*Wthdrawal fee of 0.001 BTC / 0.01 ETC also applies.

**Deposit and withdrawal fees also apply.

 

BTCC is the oldest and biggest cryptocurrncy exchanges in China. Although BTCChina has exited the Chinese Market in October, 2017, its other exchanges, BTCC DAX, as well as the USD exchange, are functioning.

 

BTCC offers crypto-to-crypto and fiat-to-crypto trading on different exchanges, as listed in the table above. Besides, it also offers some additional services like Physical Bitcoins (Mint), Mobi Bitcoin Wallet, and others. The good thing is, you can access both exchanges and all services through a single BTCC account. More importantly, BTCC has one of the larges mining pools globallyAt the time of writing of this review, they had mined around 3.4% of the newly created Bitcoin (for the last 24 hours) 

 

BTCC Advantages

 

Good reputation, proven security

Founded back in 2011, BTCC is the longest-running bitcoin exchange worldwide. It was the dominant player for CNY/BTC trades before it closed its China operations. It is still considered as one of the best exchanges for trading in popular digital coins like BTC, ETH, ETC and BCC.

 

BTCC has a 100% track record in security since its inception, as it has not experienced any major hacks in its long history. More than 95% of its users’ digital assets are kept in cold storage with multi-signature controls to minimize the risk and exposure to hacking.

 

Large trading volume, deep liquidity

Currently, BTCC is rated 16th by 24-hour trading volume according to the data provided by CoinMarketCap and is typically among the top 20 players in this category. This basically means that its users don’t have to worry about insufficient liquidity.

 

Supports fiat (USD) currency, and Bank Wire and credit card transfers offered

On BTCC’s USD exchange you can exchange your dollars for Bitcon, or vice versa. Supporting fiat currencies is an advantage, especially for newcomers in the cryptocurrency world, who are yet to buy some digital coins with their real money in traditional currencies. For those, using their credit card or bank account is utterly convenient.

 

>>A list of crypto-exchanges accepting credit cards<<

 

Competitive trading fees

The fees charged by BTCC are relatively competitive, amounting to 0.1% / 0.2% per trade. Typically, exchanges charge 0.20% - 0.25%. However, some of them do not charge market makers, as the latter provide exchanges with liquidity.

 

Relatively low withdrawal fee

Like most exchanges, BTCC does not charge blockchain deposits. Other than this, certain fees apply to deposits in fiat currency, as well as to withdrawals, depending on the funding method and the currency. While many exchanges charge quite hefty deposit and withdrawal fees, BTCC's commission seem relatively low:


 

 

Platform with advanced trading user face

Most cryptocurrency exchanges do not offer advanced platforms like the most popular forex and CFD trading terminal for MetaTrader 4. Nonetheless, BTCC has chosen a different approach – not only that it offers crypto-to-crypto and crypto-to-fiat trading on different exchanges, but the latter has two different interfaces – basic and professional. The advanced trading user interface offers lots of bells and whistles: wide range of technical indicators, advanced charts, add-ons, etc. Besides, there is WebSocket and FIX API available for professional clients’ trading needs. Of course, BTCC Mobile App is also offered.

 

 

BTCC’ advanced trading UI. Click to zoom in.

 

Extra Services

In addition to having one of the largest and top-rated mining pools in the world and operating several crypto-exchanges, BTCC offers a service called BTCC Mint. These are titanium coins that can be purchased with BTC and are shipped to all countries except the US.

 

BTCC also offers its Mobi Digital Currency Wallet, allowing storage, conversion, and transfer of bitcoin and more than 100 currencies, including the United States dollar, the British pound, and the euro.

 

BTCC Disadvantages

 

Not regulated

Like most crypto-exchanges, BTCC is not licensed, nor overseen by any governmental authority. So, this is no big issue.

 

If you prefer to trade in digital coins via a regulated company, we remind you that you can do that with forex brokers. Make sure you are aware of the differences between trading on an exchange and with forex brokerage beforehand.

 

>> Check out our list of regulated bitcoin forex brokers <<

 

Limited instrument portfolio

BTCC doesn’t offer a wide range of pairs for trade, choosing instead to focus on a smaller number of high-volume ones. Currently the available ones on both exchanges are: BTC/USD (constituting 70% of its overall volume), BCC/BTC, ETH/BTC, and ETC/BTC.

 

If you would rather trade in more exotic cryptocurrencies, check out Bittrexthis major US exchange offers over 190 digital assets for trade.

 

No margin trading

As a matter of fact, BTCC used to offer margin trading but discontinued this service in the beginning of 2017 after “discussions” with the People’s Bank of China (PBOC). Most cryptocurrency exchanges do not offer leverage, but there are some who do, like Kraken, Quoinex and others. Besides, all forex brokers ffer leveraged trading on cryptocurrency CFDs.

 

>> Brokers offering leveraged Bitcoin trading <<

 

No anonymous trading

Since BTCC Exchange requires its users to verify their identity in order to trade in order to ensure the safety and security of the funds and activities on its platforms. Identity verification is also required in compliance with certain government AML KYC regulations. Verification process can be slow and complicated. Besides, it defies the initial idea of of Bitcoin to allow anonymous trades.

 

Conclusion

 

BTCC is the oldest Bitcoin exchange worldwide. It is highly regarded for its reliability, security, deep liquidity and the extra services it provides for its users.

 

Initially set up in Shanghai in 2011, BTCC was one of the Chinese “Big Three” along with Huobi and OkCoin. Following China’s ICO ban in the country, BTCC shut down its local division (BTCChina). BTCC DAX and BTCC USD exchanges, however, are functioning, and the company operates via its units in the UK and Hong Kong BTCC (UK Limited or XO Market Limited).

 

None of these companies is formally regulated, but this does not effect the overall reliability of BTCC. Unlike the situation with forex brokers, the legal crypto-exchanges is still unclear in most countries. The important thing is, BTCC complies with governmental instructions – its halted margin trading, and was the first among the “Big Three” to shut down its Chinese operations. More importantly, it keeps clients’ assets in cold storage and has not been hacked during its long years of operation.

 

Besides, BTCC has a lot of advantages, apart from its reliability: competitive fees, various transfer methods supported, advanced trading platform with mobile app, and some great extra services, such as top-tear mining pool.

 

Pros Cons
Many years of experience, no hacks Not regulated
Competitive trading and transfer fees A few altcoins available
Accepts bank transfers, credit cards No anonymous trading, no margin trading
USD fiat supported  
Platform with advanced features available, mobile app  
Top-tier mining pool  

 

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