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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)

 

 

 

OANDA

OANDA Review
Trader's rating 2.9
Editor's rating 3.8

Trading Accounts

 

Account type Minimum deposit Minimum trade size Maximum leverage Avg.Spread 
Standard $ $1 - 1:50  1.4 pips on EUR/USD, variable

 

There is only one standard type of trading account at OANDA. On the one hand, this limits clients’ choice; on the other, it means that all account holders are treated equally.


To make things even better, this broker doesn’t require any minimum deposit, nor minimum trade size. However, you need to have at least $1 in your account balance in order to initiate a trade.


The Company


OANDA is one of the pioneer online forex brokers. Established back in 1996, It is now a large group with offices in Toronto, San Francisco, New York, London, Singapore, Tokyo, and Sydney. ALL group companies are duly regulated by the relevant authorities in the US, Singapore, Canada, the UK, Japan and Australia.


OANDA offers Internet-based forex trading and currency information services to both retail and institutional customers. The broker is a market maker, having one of the largest currency databases in the world. Its product portfolio includes forex, index, commodity & bond CFDs, as well as precious metals.


Security of Funds


OANDA Corporation is a registered Futures Commission Merchant and Retail Foreign Exchange Dealer with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and is a member of the National Futures Association.


Brokers that are registered with the NFA are obliged to comply with an extensive set of rules. Unfortunately, these rules are often limiting from traders' point of view, but there is no way around them. For instance, hedging is not allowed and leverage is limited to 1:50, while European brokers are free to provide leverages up to 1:1000 or even higher than that.


Besides, NFA-registered brokers are required to maintain a net capital of at least $20 million to guarantee customers’ positions, which makes them super safe to invest with. Similar minimum capital requirements apply in most jurisdictions, for instance UK-based brokers are obliged to hold at least 730 000 EUR in order to prove their financial stability, and Australian ones must possess a minimum of $ 1 million in order to operate legitimately.


All OANDA Subsidiaries, including OANDA Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. (Singapore), OANDA (Canada) Corporation ULC (Canada), OANDA Europe Limited (UK), OANDA Japan Inc. (Japan) and OANDA Australia Pty Ltd. (Australia) are duly licensed and regulated by the respective bodies.


Trading Conditions


Minimum Initial Deposit

OANDA has no minimum deposit requirements for opening an account. This makes it attractive for risk averse or inexperienced traders who are not willing to invest a large amount of money.


Most brokers require a certain minimum initial deposit in order to cover the costs related to opening a new account. For instance, Forex.com demands $250 from its clients to start with, and FXCM - $50.


Average spreads & Commissions
This broker offers variable spreads, the average ones on EUR/USD amounting to 1.4 pips, which is on the upper end of average. Clients, however, take advantage of commission-free trading, as OANDA doesn’t charge any commission for their trading services, nor any account maintenance fees. Instead, the broker gets its remuneration through the spread.


In comparison, FOREX.com, also a global FSA-regulated broker and market maker, offers average spread of 1.8 pips on EUR/USD and also charges no commission fees. You may look up real-time spread of 15 leading brokers here.


Maximum Leverage
OANDA offers a maximum leverage level of 1:50 on FX products, which is quite low, however, the broker has no choice, since US regulator has set a limitation on leverage ratios. CFTC limits leverage available to retail forex traders in the United States to 1:50 on major currency pairs and 20:1 for all others.


If you need higher leverage, you can pick a broker, who offers leverage ratios of 1:500 and exceeding 1:500 from this list. We advise traders to exercise caution when using higher leverage levels, for such rates may not only multiply their earnings on a small deposit, but also lead to heavy losses in excess of the initial investments made.


Trading Platforms


Oanda provides its clients with a choice of threetrading platforms: its custom-made fxTrade, Protrader Multi-Connect (PTMC) and the popular MetaTrader 4.


fxTrade comes in desktop, web and mobile versions. It has a simple, yet effective interface, and what is more important – superb execution speed. According to OANDA`s website, this platform executes 98% of trades within 0.057 seconds or less, which is super-fast.


Furthermore, fxTrade is equipped with intuitive and powerful charting features, multiple sub-accounts to test different trading strategies and financial news and market analysis from leading news providers.


We presume that fxTrade is aimed mostly at new traders, since it has all the usual functionalities, but more advanced features are missing.

 

Oanda`s proprietary  fxTrade. Click to enlarge.

 

Oanda recently added to its platforrms line up Protrader, developed by PFSOFT. Protrader offers everything regular forex trading platforms do: Advanced charts and technical analysis, indicators, various order types, customization options, and auto trading options. In fact, Protrader has created AlgoStudio - a professional algorithmic strategy development tool. It enables users to test different types of data aggregation: time, ticks, range, Renko, LineBreak, etc.

 

In addition, Oanda offers the powerful MetaTrader 4, which is highly regarded by the online trading community mostly because it allows users to fully automate their trades. By choosing from a wide range of Expert Advisors (EAs), traders may sit back, while the program does all the work. What is more, it offers a number of technical indicators, extensive back-testing environment and advanced charting package. Here is a list of more forex brokers offering MT4 platform.


In addition, fxTrade bridges directly to MetaTrader 4 using custom-built technology, which we find useful.


Methods of Payment


OANDA offers its clients various methods to deposit/withdraw funds to and from their accounts. They vary, depending on the OANDA division of registration, but the main payment modes are debit/credit card, bank wire, checks, PayPal and UnionPay.


Conclusion


OANDA is a leading global forex broker, offering online trading in a wide range of currency pairs, CFDs and precious metals under attractive conditions. To sum up the above, here are the advantages and disadvantages of this broker:

 

Pros  Cons
Variety of platforms offered  Market maker
Mt4 available Low maximum leverage
No initial deposit required  
No minimum trade size  
No commission and account maintenance fees  
Well-regulated  

 

Find Better Broker 

Headquarters:140 Broadway, 46th Floor, New York, NY 10005 

Country: United States

Regulated by: CFTC, NFA , MAS, FSA, IIROC, DFSA

Branches:
OANDA UK 
OANDA Japan 
OANDA Asia Pacific
OANDA Middle East 

Forex
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