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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)

 

 

 

OKEX

OKEX Review
Trader's rating 1
Editor's rating 4

Trading Accounts

Account type Minimum deposit Leverage Fee
Standard Undisclosed 1:20 0.03%


OKEX is a digital asset exchange, under the umbrella of OKCoin. The situation with the two is similar to how GDAX is owned by Coinbase – one brand is targeting retail consumers, while the other one is dedicated towards serious traders.


 
The company, security of funds

Company Country Regulation
OKCoin.cn Inc China N/A

 

OKEX is the more trading-focused version of OKCoin. The company behind both projects is based in China. This can explain the relatively low popularity of this exchange in the west. This is also combined with the concerns about Chinese regulatory actions in the cryptocurrency space, as the country recently banned ICOs.



The most unique things about OKEX are the stand-alone desktop platform (which we will get to later) and the availability of Bitcoin and Litecoin futures contracts.



OKEX hasn’t been the target of major hacks yet. While this brings some assurance, in terms of security, it does not guarantee this will not happen in the future.



There aren’t many user reviews specifically for OKEX, but as the company is part of OKCoin, we can assume they offer the same level of service. Those who were frustrated with the way USD bank transfers support ended are the least happy customers.



Trading conditions


 
Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)

The available assets at OKEX are BTC, ETH and LTC. They are being traded against the USD and CNY. That being said, BTC and LTC futures contracts are also available on this exchange. While they are presented as a way for miners to hedge their risk (which was the original idea behind futures contracts), we would not recommend beginners to delve into them as the liquidity may be substantially lower.



Minimum initial deposit
No information on the minimum initial deposit is available at OKEX. We are used to forex brokers providing a minimum level, which is usually around the $100 mark (as is the case with easyMarkets, for instance). However, in the cryptoverse, not demanding a minimum deposit isn’t anything special.


 
Leverage
The maximum leverage at OKEX is 1:20. While this may seem like nothing, when compared to the ratios which some forex brokers offer (like the 1:888, provided by XM), it is high. The main reason for that is that cryptocurrencies tend to be a lot more volatile than the traditional forex pairs, which rarely experience daily moves of more than 1-2%.


 
Fees
The fees at OKEX are probably the lowest in the industry, at the time of writing of this review. There is a 0.03% fee for opening a new position and nothing is charged for the closing transaction. This is a lot better than the average of around 0.20-0.25%, offered by most other exchanges. On the other hand, the forex brokers, who provide Bitcoin trading include their costs only in the spread. While it is a bit hard to compare spreads and commissions based on size, you can check out this post to get a better picture.



Trading platform


 
OKEX is one of the few crypto-exghanges which offers a stand-alone desktop platform. While you may be used to browser-based trading, there are a few advantages to having a separate piece of software. Most notably, if you are running on low to middle end hardware and like to open multiple tabs, you have probably already ran into memory issues. Having to run a trading platform alongside them doesn’t help in that regard. Additionally, the platform offered by OKEX allows multiple-monitor support. With a click of a button you can duplicate the entire layout multiple times and move it to another monitor. Here is a preview of how a single window in the platform looks:

 


 


Charting is provided by the OKCoin proprietary system, which is a lot better than many other solutions. The order book and tape are located on the right and while the numbers may appear to be rather small there probably is an option to increase the font. That being said, we come to the biggest weakness of the platform – it is only in Chinese (or at least we didn’t find the way to switch to English).



Methods of payment


 
OKEX is directly linked to OKCoin, so you can make a CNY transfer to the latter and trade on the more sophisticated exchange. Additionally cryptocurrencty transfers in BTC, ETH and LTC are accepted.


 
Conclusion


 
OKEX is a digital asset exchange owned by OKCoin. The company behind both of them is based in China and focuses primarily on the domestic market. OKEX offers extremely low trading fees when compared to the competition. That being the case, only three coins are available for trading. The addition of futures contracts may be nice for miners willing to hedge their “crops”, although we would not recommend trading in them unless you are very experienced. Here is a summary of OKEX:


 

Pros Cons
Very Competitive trading fees Few coins available
No major hacks yet Trading platform only in Chinese
Owned by OKCoin  
Desktop trading platform  
High liquidity  
BTC and LTC futures available  

 

Forex
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