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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)

 

 

 

QRYPTOS

QRYPTOS Review
Trader's rating 2.1
Editor's rating 3.8

Trading accounts

 

Account type Minimum deposit Leverage Maker Fee Taker Fee
Standard Undisclosed Unknown -0.075% 0.15%

QRYPTOS is the second brand operated by QUOINE (with QUOINEX being the main product they are famous for). While this may seem curious to those who aren't familiar with the crypto space, there is a simple reason for running two companies – they offer different services. Their first project is aimed at cash to cryptocurrency transactions, while QRYPTOS focuses on exchanging one digital asset for another. The situation is very similar to the one at Coinbase and GDAX.

 

 

The company, security of funds

 

Company Country Regulation
QUOINE Pte. Ltd Japan/Singapore/Vietnam JFSA

 

QRYPTOS is owned QUOINE Pte. Ltd., a company with offices in Japan, Singapore and Vietnam.  When it comes to their viability as an exchange, they are regulated by the Japanese Financial Services Agency (JFSA). This is more than what most competitors in the crypto-space can claim.

 

QUOINE was founded in 2014 and their latest project, QRYPTOS is even younger. A lot of its features, like the mobile apps are still under development. We will update this review, once major changes occur. 

 

Substantial hacks have not yet occurred at either of the companies operated by QUOIN. That being said, we must mention the most notable case of a technical issue, experienced by the parent company. One of their largest traders (the firm B2C2) made a $3.7 million profit, after allegedly “exploiting a glitch” in the QUOINEX trading software. The transaction(s) were later reverted, leading to a lawsuit. Not much is known about the details of this event. For the sake of clarity we must mention, this whole saga happened before the company received the JFSA regulatory approval.

 

As the QRYPTOS project is fairly new, there also aren't that many user reviews.

 

Trading conditions

 

 

Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)

Quite a few coins are available at QRYPTOS. The full list includes Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Litecoin, Ethereum Classic, Monero, Zcahs, Sellar, Dash, Augur and NEM (13 trading pairs in total). While the selection isn't as big as the one provided by Bittrex, for instance, it is still very solid.

 

Minimum initial deposit

We didn't have information about the minimum deposit at QRYPTOS. On the other hand, forex brokers usually provide this freely. As an example, one of the world's leading FCA-regulated brokers (which also offers Bitcoin and Ethereum trading) IG doesn't have an entry bar. One can open an account with the company for as little as she wants. For a full comparison of the two different services, read this post.

 

 

Leverage

There is no information on the leverage available at QRYPTOS. The company’s other brand QUOINEX offers a 1:25 ratio, but a lot fewer products (and a different fee structure, more on that later). We are unaware if this functionality will be integrated with QRYPTOS. Keep in mind, cryptocurrencies tend to be a lot more volatile than traditional ones, where forex brokers offer amazing leverage levels, such as 1:500.

 

 

Fees

The main way of attracting volume to the QRYPTOS exchange is the fee structure. While a lot of exchanges offer slightly better conditions for market makers, going into negative territory I.e. paying rebates for providing volume is usually reserved for the big traders. QRYPTOS offers a 0.075% rebate for everybody who provides liquidity on their platform. The taker fee is a very competitive 0.15%. In effect the company is giving 50% of its profit to the passive traders.

 

Before you think, you can become a liquidity provider at QRYPTOS and make money without taking any risk, we will have to clarify how exchanges work. A market “maker” (not to be confused with a forex market maker) is a trader who places pending orders on the exchange, hence filling the “order book”. A taker is anybody who sends a market order, entering directly at the best possible price. If you decide to be a liquidity provider, who simply aims to profit from the buying and selling of others, you will still be taking a significant market risk. Whenever a swift market move occurs, your will be taking the other side. On top of that the field is very competitive, with a lot of algo players.

 

Trading platform

 

The platform provided by QRYPTOS is web-based, with mobile apps promised for the future. Traders can fully customise the layout to their preference, but the main limitation of browser platforms still applies – everything must be in the same window. When it comes to the charting, one can choose between the charts provided by either TradingView or Cryptowatch. Here is a preview of the default layout:

 

 

As you can see from the picture, the charts aren’t properly configured yet, or the trading activity is rather minimal. Additionally they have maintained one of the features from QRYPTOEX, which we didn’t like – the order book is still placed vertically. As far as our tinkering with the platform, we couldn’t find a way to make it appear better. That being said, this still a fairly new project, so such things should not be surprising. 

 

Methods of payment

QRYPTOS only accepts cryptocurrency transfers. They are possible in all of the coins, which the company supports. On top of that, you can use your QUOINEX account as a means of depositing money with the company.

 

 

Conclusion

QRYPTOS is the second brand operated by the JFSA-regulated company QUOINEX. While their initial project QUOINEX is oriented towards attracting new people to the cryptocurrency space, this one is for the more experienced traders. With 13 trading pairs this exchange offers some alternatives, but is by no means an altocoin heaven. The entire QRYPTOS project is still in its early days, and we will update this review, once more information is available.

 

Pros Cons
JFSA Regulation Not enough user feedback yet
No major hacks yet Not that many altcoins available 
Competitive commissions (including rebates) The order book is placed vertically (as in QUOINEX)
Customizable trading platform   
Several trading instruments  

 

Forex
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