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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)

 

 

 

Forex.com US

Forex.com US Review
Trader's rating 5
Editor's rating 5

 

Trading Accounts & Conditions

 

Account type Min. deposit Min. trade size Max. leverage Average Spreads
Standard $50 0.01 1:50 1.4 pips 

 

Leading US broker Forex.com offers a single account type on several trading platforms. The broker provides commission-free trading with variable spreads and the option to use micro lots.

 

In addition, Forex.com offers swap-free accounts to investors of Islamic belief, as well as free demo ones for 30 days after sign up.

 

 

Forex.com (US) Advantages

 

Regulated in the US and other countries

Forex.com belongs to the Gain Capital group. Gain Capital meets high standards of corporate governance, financial reporting and disclosure. The parent company of the major FX brand Forex.com, GAIN Capital Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:GCAP)  is a registered Futures Commission Merchant (FCM) and Retail Foreign Exchange Dealer with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and is a member of the National Futures Association (NFA).

 

Besides, its subsidiaries are properly licensed in the countries of their operation: 

 

Company Country Regulation
GAIN Capital Group, LLC USA NFA, CFTC
Forex.com UK Limited UK FCA
GAIN Capital FOREX.com Australia Pty Limited Australia  ASIC
Forex.com Canada Limited Canada  ILLROC
GAIN Capital Group (Hong Kong) Limited  Hong Kong SFC
GAIN Capital Japan Ltd.  Japan FFAJ

 

Apart from Forex.com, Gain Capital Group is operating the brands City Index, GTX, Gain Capital, FinSpreads, and others.

 

The largest broker in the US

Not only that Forex.com is regulated in the United States, but it is actually the largest forex broker in the country. After FXCM has left the US market, Forex.com became the undeniable leading provider of financial services in the US.

 

Actually, a very few brokers have remained active on the strictly regulated US market: Oanda, Interactive Brokers, and TD Ameritrade.

 

Competitive spreads

Forex.com offers commission-free trading with variable spreads, the average ones on EUR/USD amounting to 1.4 pips, which is a rather competitive pricing. By comparison, the cost of trading at Oanda, another US broker, is exactly the same.

 

Low minimum investment required

In order to open an account with Forex.com, one has to invest just $50. Almost everyone can afford such an investment.

 

Several top-notch trading platforms available

Leading US broker Forex.com offers a single account type on several trading platforms. The broker provides commission-free trading with variable spreads and the option to use micro lots.

 

Actually, this piece of trading software is as sophisticated and customizable as the MT4. Its professional-grade trading tools include top-notch interactive charting with more than 100 predefined indicators, as well as the option to create some of your own. There are also a number of Integrated trading strategies, which are also customizable. Besides, users can code their own trading strategies (in C++), there is a back-testing excel tool available, and signals trading. Here is a snapshot of the platform:

 

Click on the image to zoom-in.

 

Some of the new functionalities of the platform after a recent update include powerful charts with integrated one-click trading, smart trade ticket with advanced risk management option, pre-defined and customizable layouts, and more. 

   

Various payment methods, fast withdrawals

Yet another thing we like about Forex.com (US) is the fact that it support several convenient payment methods, and namelY Debit Card, Wire Transfer, ACH and Checks. What is even more important from a client's point of view, withdrawals are processed pretty fast – within 48 hours.

 

Bonuses available

Last but not least, Forex.com (US) offers cash rebates for high volume traders. The latter are able to get rebates up to $10 per million traded. 

 

 

Forex.com (US) Disadvantages

 

Leverage capped to 1:50

Actually, this is not a weak side of the broker itself, but a legal requirement in the US. Brokers operating in the country are not allowed to provide leverage of more than 1:50, and Forex.com simply complies with the regulatory requirements. 

 

 

Conclusion

 

Forex.com (US) is the largest US broker and one of the few actively operating in the country. A market leader offering trading in more than 80 forex pairs and CFDs, it has serviced over 200,000 customers globally.

 

The US broker is a part of the Gain Capital group – a leading forex brokerage with global presence. All members of the Gain Capital family are duly regulated by the respective governmental agencies, including Forex.com (US). It is registered with the CFTC and a member of NFA. US regulation is one of the strictest, which is a good thing in terms of investor protection, however some of the rules imposed are considered too restrictive.

 

For example, Brokers registered with the NFA are required to maintain a net capital of at least $20 million to guarantee customers’ positions, which is the highest minimum capital requirement worldwide. Moreover, hedging is not allowed and leverage is limited to 1:50, as we already mentioned above.

 

Now, let’s sum up the strong and weak sides of Forex.com (US):

 

Pros Cons
A global leading broker Leverage capped at 1:50
Solid regulation  
Competitive spreads, commission-free  
Several trading platforms, including MT4  
Low min. deposit required  

 

Forex
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