Gemini South Africa Review 2022: Features & Fees
Gemini South Africa Review: Our Opinion
Gemini is a beginner-friendly crypto exchange company that is great for anyone familiar with institutional investing. The combination of value-added options, high security, and ease of use make it a commendable option for trading cryptos in South Africa.
An Overview of Coinbase
Gemini is a US-based crypto exchange that offers a variety of crypto trading and value-added investment options. The company was founded in New York in 2014 by twin brothers, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss. It is a New York Trust company, regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).
Gemini operates in 5 locations in addition to the USA. These include Canada, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Gemini is, however, available to residents of more than 60 countries, including South Africa. Gemini competes with many other Bitcoin exchanges like Binance, Coinbase, Kraken, Crypto.com, and VALR, some of which are already available to local crypto buyers.
Gemini is notable for many of its exceptional features in the cryptocurrency exchange market. First, it offers a broad range of trading options, some of which are typical of investment brokerage houses and commercial banks. These include investment funds, futures trading in cryptocurrency, and credit cards. For futures trading, Gemini bitcoin futures act as settlement standards for American stock exchanges such as the Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE).
Gemini also offers over 100 crypto assets to trade, although the asset pairings are limited to a few currencies. Users can still buy and sell digital currencies with several major fiat currencies that include, USD, CAD, GBP, EUR, SGD, and HKD.
The range of trade offerings is complemented by high-class security features for cryptocurrencies. The company offers hardware wallets for the safe storage of crypto and secure hardware-enabled cold storage. The layer of asset security is further strengthened by Gemini’s insurance policy on online assets. Gemini has put significant effort into making it easier for users to understand cryptocurrency trading by offering a wealth of training resources for beginners. The combination of its regulatory status, high asset security, and diverse product offerings give Gemini a highly favorable reputation in the crypto exchange industry. Read our full Gemini crypto review below to learn more.
Key Features of Gemini
Gemini is a regulated cryptocurrency exchange
Gemini is regulated by the New York Trust, which is one of the oldest financial regulatory institutions in the world. Therefore, it is required to act in the best interests of its clients, and, so far, this is true for all the funds and assets they handle.
The company takes compliance very seriously, which means that your money will be kept secure in an account having a strong legal standing in and outside of South Africa.
Gemini offers a broad range of products and services
Unlike most crypto exchanges that simply deal with trading cryptocurrency and fiat currency pairs, Gemini offers a wide range of solutions for investors. Some of these services are either absent in other crypto websites, or available through companies that offer Decentralized Finance (Defi) options. In fact, we think it can pass as an investment bank that specializes in crypto trading.
Here’s a brief list of some of the products and services Gemini has to offer:
Cryptocurrency trading pairs (more than 21 pairs)
This is the standard fare for crypto companies, but Gemini is stepping up its game in recent years and is offering an increasing number of coins and trading pairs. The usual offerings of Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) are there, along with other notable cryptocurrencies, such as Tezos (XTZ), 1Inch, ANKR, Axie Infinity (AXS), or ApeCoin (APE), just name a few. Compared to companies in South Africa, Gemini’s range of options does not really stand out in the face of exchanges like Crypto.com and VALR.
Gemini Earn is the answer to Defi products for crypto investors. However, it is a simplified offering that is very beginner-friendly for starters. Through Gemini Earn, account holders can deposit their cryptocurrency in a lending account and earn interest up to 8.05%. The company has support for several investment options for customers. This is typically higher than what most conventional banks in the US offer.
Stablecoins are unique cryptocurrencies that are created by blockchain companies to facilitate inter-cryptocurrency trades. Not every exchange offers them. But Gemini does. Gemini’s stablecoins are called Gemini Dollars (GUSD) and are pegged to the USD in a 1:1 ratio. That means it is identical to the USD.
GUSD is tied to Gemini products and offers customers a reliable, stable asset to deposit and retrieve funds.
Credit Card (Currently US residents only)
Gemini offers its own credit card in partnership with MasterCard. The credit card has many features that make it a rewarding experience for frequent credit card users.
Firstly, the card has no annual fee. Secondly, it offers crypto rewards (up to 3% in cash value) on credit card transactions. The rewards are instantly credited to your Gemini account.
Gemini’s credit card is currently only available to US residents, so it may be worth looking into if you are a US green card holder. However, it could potentially become available to other locations around the world. An account is a prerequisite, so South African customers can be the lucky ones in the future.
Options for investors and institutions
Although this aspect of Gemini’s is mostly out of the scope of this review, we do think it’s worth mentioning if you are looking for advanced ways to make investments. Gemini offers solutions for institutions that want to add cryptocurrencies to their asset portfolios. So if you have some funds lying around, and you want your business to invest the funds in crypto, Gemini may have an answer for you. To our knowledge, these services are not free of cost.
Native Segwit Bitcoin addresses
Gemini has worked extensively to adopt new technology into its blockchain. It now offers Segwit addresses to every customer who supports modern bitcoin protocols, allowing them to purchase coins using some of the latest software applications.
Gemini is a highly secure cryptocurrency exchange
Gemini is one of the most secure cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. Here’s how they achieve a high level of security.
High-security custodial wallets
Gemini is a custodial crypto exchange, meaning that it holds your cryptos in its own wallet. Gemini wallet storage is available both online (hot) and offline (cold). The majority of cryptocurrencies in Gemini accounts are stored in cold-storage hardware wallets. Digital assets stored in this way are safe from hackers who frequently conduct online cyberattacks.
Gemini has already completed AICPA SOC Type 1 and SOC Type 2 certifications for its cybersecurity systems in partnership with Deloitte & Touche LLP. This level of security makes Gemini a very secure option in South Africa.
Insurance on non-custodial wallets
Another unique feature of Gemini is its insurance policy for online wallets for deposits up to USD 250,000. This is the second layer of security that comes on liquid deposits for USD fiat currency.
The insurance is up to FDIC standards and protects funds against losses due to fraud and theft. According to a recent update, the policy does not cover unauthorized access to individual user accounts. Therefore, we advise everyone to securely manage their passwords. Gemini provides two-factor authentication services, which helps.
Cryptocurrencies Available on Gemini
Gemini offers over 100 cryptocurrencies for buying and selling. The list includes the popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Dogecoin (DOGE), as well as some of the newer tokens like Solana (SOL), Golem Tokens (GNT, an ERC20 standard token), 1INCH (a smart contract token) and many more.
If you’re a gamer, you can also trade NFT tokens like AXS (Axie infinity) and ILV (Illuvium) here. Each crypto can be traded for USD. Gemini also offers its own Stable coin (GUSD) which is pegged to the US Dollar. The full list of currencies can be found here.
Gemini trading fees is is a bit higher than other crypto exchanges. For using the wallet, Gemini charges a 0.50% convenience fee. Withdrawal fees incur USD0.99 to USD2.99 transaction fees, depending on the amount of money traded in the wallet.
For trades over USD 200, a 1.49% transaction fee is charged. Debit card transactions are charged with a transaction fee of 3.49%. Cryptocurrency transaction fees vary for each asset and you can find the details over here.
For South African customers who are looking for an economical option, Gemini is a bit more expensive than an exchange like Crypto.com, which only takes a commission of 0.4% of regular trades. However, local companies like VALR charge a high admin fee of 3% on card transactions. So some of the local exchanges are not exactly cheaper. If you are willing to pay the price, Gemini is definitely worth considering.
Gemini Payment Methods
Gemini has support for the following payment methods:
· American Clearing House (ACH). This is for US customers only
· Wire Transfer
· Debit Cards
· Credit Cards
Gemini is a regulated company. It is required by law to take effective measures to mitigate risk for its business and clients. Here are some of the security measures it offers for crypto assets.
- Air-gapped cold-storage hardware wallets that are mandatory for larger deposits
- Two-factor authentication
- High-level KYC forms
- FDIC approved insurance for online USD deposits up to USD 250,00
Gemini Staking Rewards
Gemini allows users to invest their cryptos through its Earn program, which gives up to 8.05% annual returns on investment. The Gemini Earn program has a provision for users and businesses to invest in different lending protocols, each having a different rate of return and risk profile. Users simply pay a deposit and collect returns on a periodic basis.
Opening a Gemini Account
Opening a Gemini Account is a simple and free process. Simply sign up on their website here, or go to the website and click on the Get Started button. The platform asks you to review your country before registering to it, so be sure to check which country Gemini supports. As we mentioned earlier, South Africa is supported, so you can simply check this in the options provided and move onwards.
- You are required to fill in your legal names, provide an email address and set a password. You can also create a business account that requires tax information.
- You will then have to complete a short security quiz.
- After successfully completing this quiz, you will be asked to enter your phone number to enable two-factor authentication.
- The final registration step requires your SSN and date of birth.
- The next step involves verifying your bank account details. Enter these details using the security code sent by Gemini.
After the verification is complete, you will be able to enter the exchange. You will also see a dashboard.. At this point, you will be asked to verify your account again through email. Once this is complete, you can add funds to your account and receive deposits. You can also withdraw money from your deposits later.
Trading Experience on Coinbase
Gemini’s trading experience is very user-friendly, as they have very intuitive screens that clearly display key information. The user interface is easy to use and a range of charts help to quickly analyze trends. For advanced users, Gemini offers a detailed user interface.
The service is great for both new and experienced traders, with a variety of tools to make the onboarding experience smooth. It is very easy to trade cryptocurrencies on this platform.
Gemini Customer Support
Gemini’s customer service is decent. Customer support is available 24/7 and you will receive a response to emails and live chat requests within 2 hours. For US residents, a toll-free line is also available.
Gemini has received mixed reviews from customers. This is despite having an intuitive user experience with integrated customer support tools. Many customers cite the high trading fee and account freezing as the major concerns, insisting that customer support is lacking.
However, many more customers are satisfied with Gemini, citing it as a secure cryptocurrency exchange with a good reputation in the market. Users also find the Gemini website to be fast and user-friendly. The customer experience depends on your country of residence.
Education on Gemini
Gemini offers a wealth of free resources to educate customers about its services, and cryptos in general on its website. Newcomers can benefit from its video resources that inform users about crypto basics. This section also includes information about its transformative initiative that helps to engage selected business communities with the crypto market.
Updates are provided by a blog and news section. Additionally, the company co-founders – the Winklevoss brothers – make occasional public appearances in support of cryptocurrencies.
Is Gemini Right For You?
Gemini is a very solid exchange if you are a casual investor who wants a safe and easy trading crypto experience. If you have bank accounts in the USA, then it is even more attractive. That does not mean that advanced users should avoid it. There are plenty of reasons for seasoned crypto traders to choose Gemini.
Gemini is a US-based crypto exchange with some relatively strict requirements, that might not be suitable for every South African user. But it is a worthy entry point for crypto traders of all levels. We also recommend it for anyone who wants to keep their money in a safe place, whether it is in USD or Bitcoin.
We hope our Gemini crypto review gives you a good idea about Gemini. We have also included a handy FAQ section below that answers some common questions that may come to your mind.
Our extensive analysis of the South African Crypto Exchanges doesn’t stop here. You can also read about our Bybit South Africa review as an alternative to Gemini or you can check out our best crypto exchanges South Africa Guide for more options.
Most frequent questions and answers
Yes, Gemini is a legitimate stock exchange. In fact, is approved by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), a financial regulatory authority of the government of the state of New York.
Yes, you can create a free Gemini account and start trading cryptos in South Africa.
Gemini is headquartered in New York, USA, with offices in 5 other countries.
Depending on the cryptocurrency you are trading, the process of withdrawing funds from Gemini varies. It can take as little as 3 minutes to as much as 2.5 hours.
The first 10-month cryptocurrency withdrawals are free. After that, transaction fees will apply.
This depends on the network you are using. More specifically, it will depend on the confirmations needed for your transaction on the blockchains. For example, for Bitcoin Cash, 15 confirmations are required. This process can take up to 2.5 hours.
There are cash withdrawal limits in Gemini accounts. The withdrawal limits are:
- USD – $50
- AUD – $150
- CAD – $135
- EUR – €95
- GBP – £20
- HKD – $785
The redemption process for Gemini Earn rewards is a maximum of 5 business days.
We do not recommend either crypto website above the other. However, for ease of use, peace of mind, and frequent trading with American banks, Gemini is a good option. If you prefer trading in different cryptocurrencies, Coinbase might be just right for you. Both exchanges are great for beginners.
Transaction fees vary for each method, including customer type and crypto-asset type. Depending on the product or service, withdrawals and rewards are also free of cost. You can learn more about Gemini transaction fees on the website here.
Yes, it is a trustworthy crypto exchange. Gemini is backed by the US Dollar. South African customers can easily create a free account and deposit and withdraw Bitcoin from Gemini.
Gemini trading fees are typically higher than most other cryptocurrency exchanges. This is because of the nature of the organization and the security premium associated with security features.
Gemini accepts multiple fiat currencies. These currencies include USD, CAD, GBP, EUR, SGD, and HKD.
In February 2022, Gemini experienced a security incident related to assets linked to IRA Financial Trust accounts. The IRA accounts were hacked and suspicious activity was detected in the Gemini wallets of customers. The hack caused a loss of USD36 million to members who had retirement funds linked to cryptocurrencies. Gemini still maintains that its own systems were not compromised. Despite this incident, Gemini remains one of the safest crypto exchanges in the world today.
We always try to provide the most accurate information available, and make sure our team follow through.
If you want to know more about our Crypto Exchanges Review Methodology follow the link below
Skrumble.com provides all its content for informational purposes only, and this should not be taken as financial advice to buy, trade or sell cryptocurrency or use any specific exchange. Please do not use this website as investment advice, financial advice or legal advice, and each individual’s needs may vary from that of the author. This post includes affiliate links with our partners who may compensate us.