Established in 2014, Gemini is a reputable cryptocurrency exchange that’s available to individuals and businesses in the UK.
It supports Bitcoin (BTC) and about 90 other cryptocurrencies via the mobile app or its Web Exchange – with competitive fees of about 2% (if you buy or sell more than £150 with a UK bank transfer). Gemini’s cryptocurrency exchange (ActiveTrader) has lower fees (max 0.4%) but doesn’t support many GBP trading pairs.
What is Gemini? How does it all work? What are the fees like?
In this Gemini review, I’m going to cover everything you need to know – including the pros and cons, the list of supported cryptocurrencies, the fees you’ll be charged, and much more!
Let’s get to it.
Advantages & Disadvantages
- Available to individuals and institutions in the UK.
- Verification is usually quick (within minutes unless it requires manual review).
- Fees of approx. 2% for all supported cryptocurrencies (on Web Exchange or mobile app), which is competitive with a number of UK alternatives.
- Support more than 90 cryptocurrencies in the UK – including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Chainlink (LINK).
- Granted Electronic Money Institution (EMI) license by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in August 2020.
- Cryptocurrency stored in Gemini’s hot wallets (as well as Gemini Custody) are insured.
- Browser-based and mobile apps (iOS & Android).
- Customer service available via email, phone, or Twitter.
- Higher fees if you buy or sell less than £150 of a cryptocurrency (on Web Exchange or mobile app).
- Only Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Gemini Dollar are available to trade on Gemini ActiveTrader.
- It’s possible to buy and sell Bitcoin (BTC) cheaper elsewhere.
What Is Gemini?
Gemini was established in 2014 by the Winklevoss twins (Cameron Winklevoss and Tyler Winklevoss). It’s headquartered in New York City, but now has offices in Chicago, Portland, and London too (with a team of 900 people).
Gemini has been granted an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) license by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in August 2020 and allows UK individuals and institutions to buy numerous cryptocurrencies using GBP. You can learn a little more about how Gemini is regulated here.
There are some reviews on Trustpilot for Gemini, but it mostly seems like spam that hasn’t been moderated. I wouldn’t pay much attention to it until that changes.
- ‘#1 Cryptocurrency Exchange’ in the 2020 CryptoCompare Exchange Report.
- 2020 Crypto AM Award for the ‘Best Custody Exchange’.
- 2019 Markets Choice Award for the ‘Best Cryptocurrency Exchange’.
How Does Gemini Work?
Gemini allows you to buy, sell, and store cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC). You can access Gemini using your laptop with the Web Exchange or via its mobile app.
The Web Exchange and mobile app are simple, responsive, and easy to use.
When you use either of these, Gemini is acting as a broker – which means you’re dealing directly with them.
For an overview of how to buy cryptocurrency using the Web Exchange, check out this post.
There’s also Gemini’s ActiveTrader. This is a “high-performance crypto trading platform” that gives you everything you’d want and expect – including advanced charting, multiple orders types, auctions, and block trading.
To get access to ActiveTrader, you just need to toggle a setting in your account settings. You can toggle this back to Gemini’s basic interface at any time.
Unfortunately, you can only buy Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Gemini Dollar (GUSD) with GBP on Gemini ActiveTrader. Although it sounds like they want to add more GBP trading pairs, they haven’t done so in the years since I wrote the first verison of this review – so I wouldn’t hold out hope for that.
You can find more details about ActiveTrader here or see it in action here.
Gemini is currently available in 70+ countries.
This includes the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, most countries in the European Economic Area (EEA), and more.
To check if you’re able to use Gemini in your country, check out this page.
Gemini currently supports around 90 cryptocurrencies in the UK.
This includes Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Chainlink (LINK), and other popular cryptocurrencies.
You can find the full list here.
Gemini currently supports these payment methods in the UK:
- UK bank transfers (via Faster Payments)
- UK bank transfers (CHAPS or SWIFT)
- Debit cards (excl. prepaid versions)
I’ve made two deposits with a UK bank transfer, but they took longer than I’d expect to credit (7 – 14 hours).
Buying cryptocurrency with a debit card is expensive. It’s much cheaper if you just stick with making UK bank transfers (more on that below).
There are no limits on how much cryptocurrency you can deposit or withdraw from Gemini.
There are no limits on how much you can deposit or withdraw with a UK bank transfer. If it’s under $250,000, it’ll be sent via the Faster Payments Service (FPS). Over that point, it will be sent via CHAPS.
For debit card purchases, there’s a limit of $1,000 per day.
The fees you’re charged on Gemini depend on how much you’re buying. In short, you’ll get the best rates on Gemini if you purchase more than £150 at once.
|Order Amount||Transaction Fee||Equivalent % (Range)|
|Less than £7.50||£0.75||10% or more|
|£7.51 - £20.00||£1.25||6.3% - 16.6%|
|£20.01 - £50.00||£2.00||4.0% - 10.0%|
|£50.01 - £150.00||£2.25||1.5% - 4.5%|
|More than £150.00||1.49%||1.49%|
On top of this, you’ll pay a ‘convenience fee’ of about 0.5% (or 50 basis points). This is added to the exchange rate that you’re quoted when using Gemini. This means that the lowest fees you’ll pay on Gemini are 1.99%.
I don’t like that these fees aren’t combined (as it’s easy to miss) or that you’ll pay higher percentage fees if you purchase smaller amounts of cryptocurrency.
I would also avoid using a debit card, as you’ll be charged an additional 3.49% (on top of the other fees you’d normally pay) if you do.
Fees on ActiveTrader are much lower than the Web Exchange or via the mobile app, but you’ll have to manually request access before you can use it.
But anyhow, these are the fees you’ll be charged on ActiveTrader.
|30-Day Trading Volume||Taker Fee||Maker Fee||Auction Fee|
|≥ $5,000,000||≤ 0.15%||≤ 0.10%||≤ 0.10%|
For more details, check out this help article.
Like on other cryptocurrency exchanges, you’ll pay a fee whenever you withdraw a cryptocurrency from Gemini to an external wallet.
For most cryptocurrencies, you’ll be charged a dynamic fee – which is determined by how congested the relevant blockchain network is. Because this can vary drastically, dynamic withdrawal fees for most cryptocurrencies have become more commonplace across the market.
However, there are fixed withdrawal fees for Avalanche (AVAX), Cosmos (ATOM), and Filecoin (FIL).
If you’re trusting a cryptocurrency platform with your money, then it’s important that they’re doing as much as they can to keep it safe.
And it’s evident that Gemini has taken a lot of steps to protect its platform from attack.
Here are some of the highlights from my research:
- Gemini was the world’s first cryptocurrency exchange to complete SOC 1 Type 1, as well as SOC 2 Type 1 and Type 2, examinations. Together, this essentially means that Gemini has consistently demonstrated a high level of security compliance.
- Most cryptocurrency assets on Gemini are kept in an offline, air-gapped cold storage system. Only a little is kept in ‘hot wallets’ to cover Gemini’s operational needs (e.g. handle withdrawals).
- Private keys (required to spend funds) for cold-storage and hot wallets are generated on hardware security modules (HSMs) that have a FIPS 140-2 Level 3 (or higher) rating.
- These HSMs are distributed across numerous secure and guarded locations. Redundancies exist in case facilities/equipment in an entire region become inaccessible.
- Funds can’t be transferred from cold storage of hot wallets without multiple signatures (i.e. multisig).
- Cryptocurrency stored in Gemini’s hot wallets is fully insured (by multiple parties).
- You can secure your account with two-factor authentication (2FA) using Authy or a security key (e.g. Yubikey). You can also restrict cryptocurrency withdrawals to specific addresses.
You can get in touch with Gemini’s support team via:
- Support Tickets
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: +1 866-240-5113
- Twitter: @GeminiSupport
I reached out to Gemini’s support team twice (on weekdays). I received a reply to my first message within about 24 hours, and my second within about 4 hours – which seems pretty good.
Customer satisfaction seems to be something that Gemini really care about, with prompt and accurate answers to everything I asked.
The closest alternative to Gemini is Coinbase.
UK residents have been able to use Coinbase to buy Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies with GBP for years. Like Gemini, you can deposit GBP using a UK bank transfer or use a debit card to make a direct purchase.
Coinbase charges similar fees to Gemini. You’ll pay a fixed fee of 1.49% if you make a purchase over $200 (equivalent in GBP), but there’s usually at least another 0.5% hidden in the exchange rate you’re provided. If you buy less than $200 (equivalent in GBP), then you’ll pay higher fees.
You can learn more about this platform in my Coinbase review. Alternatively, check out my side-by-side comparison of Coinbase vs Gemini.
A cheaper alternative to both is CoinJar.
With this, you can quickly and easily buy Bitcoin (BTC) and more than 50 other cryptocurrencies with GBP via your browser or their mobile app. You’ll be charged a fixed fee of 1% when buying with GBP deposited with a UK bank transfer. You can use a debit or credit too, but you’ll pay a higher trading fee of 2%.
Check out my CoinJar review to learn more.
With the introduction of GBP deposits, Gemini is a great choice if you’re a beginner looking to get started with your first purchase or a crypto-enthusiast with a few miles on the clock.
Here’s what stood out about Gemini to me:
- It supports about 90 cryptocurrencies in the UK, which includes many of the largest ones available – like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and popular ERC-20 tokens.
- The Web Exchange and mobile app are simple and easy-to-use. You can also easily setup price alerts or regular automatic purchases.
- Fees are approx. 2% on the Web Exchange and mobile app, but you can get lower fees on ActiveTrader (max 0.4%).
Head over to the Gemini website to learn more or get started.
4 thoughts on “Gemini Review (2023)”
Gemini does not require you to ask them to enable ActiveTrader, you can enable it yourself in your settings
You’re absolutely correct, Mike!
I’ve updated the review to reflect that. They must have changed that after the initial release in the UK.
Yeah the thing with the time taken to deposit via bank transfer is very frustrating.
My first small transfer took 2 hours and now my bank account is verified – great. But second transfer for same small amount initiated a day later is still pending – over 14 hours now!!
No idea how they can be getting this process so wrong when there’s a lot to like about the rest of the service from the low fees (on active trader) to the 10 fee-free withdrawals per month.
We all know how faster payments work in the UK. This money will definitely get to the Gemini account almost instantly. What they do for the rest of the time is anyone’s guess. Even Coinbase get this part right – I’ve never had to wait more than a few minutes for a bank transfer in with them!
Thanks for sharing your experience, MK!
I’m puzzled by what’s going on with this too. I’ll reach out to them and see if I can get some details.