Gemini Cryptocurrency Wallet Review

A secure wallet that lacks in customer service and freedoms for power users

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Gemini

 Gemini

Investopedia’s Rating
2.2

Our Take

Gemini Wallet is a digital cryptocurrency wallet which puts user security first, giving users access to 80 cryptocurrencies across eight blockchains. Prioritizing customer safety above all else, Gemini Wallet is best for new investors and those who plan on heavily investing in digital tokens.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Supports 80 cryptocurrencies, including the most popular coins: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, USD Coin, and more

  • Trading available on both web platforms and mobile apps on Apple App Store and Android Google Play store

  • Insured against certain unauthorized withdrawals through private plans

Cons
  • Difficult to transfer cryptocurrencies between outside wallets by design

  • No live customer support

  • No anonymity while using cryptocurrencies

  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Key Takeaways
  • For the cryptocurrency beginner, Gemini Wallet makes it easy to purchase cryptocurrency using fiat withdrawn from a debit card or bank account and hold them online in the company’s hot wallet. 
  • Gemini offers easy access to cryptocurrency staking in stablecoins, earning up to 8.05% APY. 
  • Customer support is limited to a self-service website and help via email, while lost passwords are resolved through a reset link sent to the email address on file. 
  • Because Gemini is a LLC trust company, account holders are required to provide the company with personally identifiable information and link with a debit card or bank account to purchase and store cryptocurrency.
Company Overview

Gemini was founded in 2014 by twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, after working with the New York State Department of Financial Services to obtain a charter to operate a LLC trust company. At the time, Gemini was only one of three companies to hold a New York State “BitLicense” to deal in cryptocurrencies in the state, and have since emerged as a leader in the space. In 2016, the company became the first licensed Ethereum exchange, followed by becoming the first licensed exchange for Zcash two years later. Today, the Gemini Exchange allows users to buy and sell 80 different cryptocurrencies using fiat, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, USD Coin, and Litecoin.

Gemini offers two different wallet options to support customers and their investing goals. Gemini Wallet is the company’s web-based hot wallet which allows customers to store cryptocurrencies purchased directly from the Gemini Exchange, or transfer currencies to or from other wallets. Gemini Wallet is supported by a privately held insurance policy protecting customers against cryptocurrency theft due to a security breach or hack, fraudulent transfer, or employee theft. 

Those who plan on holding large amounts of cryptocurrency may consider the company’s other option, Gemini Custody. This cold wallet holds assets offline and includes several security features to ensure cryptocurrency holdings are safe, including creating a whitelist of outside wallets currency can be transferred to, and multi-signature technology to prevent unauthorized access. While Custody accounts are backed by a $200 million insurance policy underwritten by Marsh and Aon, users can also purchase additional insurance if necessary.

For users who want to diversify their investments with cryptocurrency, Gemini Wallet and Gemini Custody offer a secure way to hold digital coins, as well as exchange currencies in real time, in an easy-to-manage platform both on a computer and through a mobile app. But for those who want to actively manage their cryptocurrencies, or use it to invest in non-fungible tokens (NFTs) or specialty altcoins, and actively use crypto to buy and sell items, the multiple security redundancies and fee schedule makes it difficult to use as an everyday wallet.

Gemini

 Gemini

Investopedia’s Rating
2.2
Type of wallet Custodial web-based hot wallet available on desktop, Apple iOS and Android mobile devices.
Price Gemini Wallet: Free 
Fees  Gemini Wallet: No fees to deposit crypto or withdraw crypto for 10 or less withdrawals per calendar month. Transaction fees apply for buying and selling cryptocurrency on the Gemini Exchange, or sending coins to another wallet more than 10 times per calendar month.
Number of cryptocurrencies supported 80 
Bitcoin and Ethereum supported?  Yes 
Earn (staking/rewards) Yes 
Customer Service  Self-support website; email customer support 
In-App Features Buy and sell cryptocurrency, setup recurring cryptocurrency purchases, exchange cryptocurrencies in your wallet in real time
Hardware Compatible  No
SPV or Full Node  Gemini uses an omnibus hot wallet which does not necessarily reflect the blockchain balance
Mobile App  Both Android and iOS

Pros & Cons Explained 

Pros Explained

  • Gemini supports 80 cryptocurrencies: Gemini is one of the most robust cryptocurrency exchanges online, allowing users to purchase numerous popular tokens (like Bitcoin, Ether and Litecoin) and altcoins (such as Dogecoin, Shiba Inu Coin, and Kyber Network).
  • Trading available on web and mobile apps: Users can easily buy and transfer coins between wallets on the web portal or using the Gemini app on Android and iOS devices. The mobile app is easy to use to send, receive, or purchase additional cryptocurrency to add to the wallet. 
  • Wallets insured against unauthorized withdrawals: Gemini claims to have the most insured wallet on the marketplace, offering insurance for unauthorized withdrawals due to a security breach or hack, fraudulent transfer, or employee theft. The insurance plan does not cover theft due to unauthorized access to a wallet. 

Cons Explained

  • Difficult to transfer cryptocurrencies to and from Gemini Wallet: Transferring cryptocurrencies from Gemini Wallet to another wallet can be difficult for new users, as it requires multi-factor authorization, with fees added on for users who send coins to other wallets over 10 times per month.
  • No live customer support for Gemini Wallet: If users have a problem with their Gemini Wallet, live support is not available. Account holders must either use the self-support website, or send a message to the support team for resolution. 
  • No anonymity in using crypto: While other wallets allow users to sign up without sharing personally-identifiable information, Gemini requires new accounts to provide their name, date of birth, and Social Security number to get started. This is due to New York State regulations and the company’s formation as a LLC trust. 

Features

Like many wallets supported by a major online exchange, Gemini Wallet makes it very easy for users to purchase cryptocurrency and store it in their web-based hot wallet. After creating an account, users can link their bank account or debit card to purchase tokens instantly. Other purchase options include ACH transfers, bank wire transfers, Apple Pay, or Google Pay. Of the 80 cryptocurrencies available to buy or sell on Gemini, the most popular coins include: 

  • Bitcoin
  • Ether
  • Litecoin
  • USD Coin
  • Solana

Gemini Wallet also makes it easy to earn interest on your investment through cryptocurrency staking. Eligible coins can be designated to Gemini Earn, each at a varying rate of return over time. Coins staked through Gemini Earn can be transferred or sold at any time with no minimums, transfer fees, or redemption fees. 

Gemini Wallet allows users to spend their crypto balance at select retail partners with just their smartphone and the Gemini App. Through their partnership with Flexa, Gemini Pay allows users to complete orders at stores like Barnes & Noble, Lowe’s, and Petco using Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, Gemini USD, or seven other coins.

Security

Gemini pays meticulous attention to their security protocols. In 2018, the company worked with Deloitte to complete the SOC 2 Type 1 examination, making them the first cryptocurrency exchange to go through the security compliance test. Gemini Wallet is additionally insured against thefts due to a security breach or hack, a fraudulent transfer, or employee theft. Transfers due to unauthorized access to your user account is not covered by the insurance policy. 

On all new accounts, multi-factor authentication is on by default to sign into your account. Logging into the website requires users to enter both a password and a security code sent to the user’s cell phone. On the mobile app, users can require a password combined with a PIN number or biometrics to login. For additional security, Gemini supports hardware security keys using USB or near-field communication (NFC) chip technology when signing into the mobile app.  To ensure coins cannot be transferred to an unknown wallet, users can also create an approved address list and manage it within their account. This feature stops any attempt to transfer to anyone the account owner doesn't know. 

Privacy and Anonymity

Although one of the tenets of cryptocurrency is the ability to complete transactions anonymously online, Gemini requires new users to input a lot of personally-identifiable information to get started. Because Gemini is a trust LLC and a “qualified custodian” under New York State Department of Financial Services regulations, they are required to collect numerous pieces of information on their clients. 

When signing up for a new account, users must provide their full name (first, middle, and last) and e-mail address, their date of birth, a physical mailing address, cell phone number, and their Social Security number. In order to transfer fiat into Gemini or purchase cryptocurrency on the exchange, users will also have to submit proof of their identity, such as a valid state-issued ID, driver’s license, passport or passport card, or permanent resident card. There’s no timeline for an account to get verified, but Gemini suggests uploading photos which clearly show all four corners of the document, your personal details, and the expiration date.  

Once users have created a Gemini Wallet account, they will also have the opportunity to create a Gemini Custody account for secure cryptocurrency storage. Setting up a custody account is free, and does not require any additional personally-identifiable information. However, new users will need to confirm and accept the terms, including the annual fee and the withdrawal fee.  

Setup 

Because Gemini Wallet is cloud-based, users do not have to complete extra steps to set up their wallet. Instead, the wallet is created as part of the account. Once the account is verified, users will be able to use their wallet to purchase and sell cryptocurrencies from the Gemini Exchange, or send and receive cryptocurrencies to and from other wallets. 

Usability

The Gemini Wallet is accessible from both the web-based interface and mobile apps on both Apple’s App Store and Android’s Google Play store. Through either interface, Gemini users can purchase, exchange, send, and receive cryptocurrency. 

In addition, sending tokens to or from a Gemini Wallet isn’t an instantaneous process. Depending on which coins you are using, the process can take anywhere between 3 minutes and 2.5 hours. Typical wait times for transaction confirmation when sending or receiving crypto are: 

  • Bitcoin: Around 30 minutes
  • Bitcoin Cash: Up to 2.5 hours
  • Dogecoin: Up to 1 hour
  • Ether/ERC-20 Tokens: Around 3 minutes
  • Filecoin: Around 1 hour
  • Litecoin: Around 30 minutes
  • Tezos: Around 30 minutes
  • Zcash: Up to 60 minutes

As an extra security measure, Gemini only accepts Ethereum and other ERC-20 tokens sent through the main Ethereum network. If you attempt to send coins into your wallet from another chain, including the BNB Chain (previously known as the Binance Smart Chain) or Polygon network, your coins will be lost with no option to return them to the sending wallet.

Desktop

The desktop interface is clean and simple to use: The home page shows the user’s total balance, with links to view total portfolio performance, top moving cryptocurrencies, and educational modules about the latest topics on decentralized finance topics. Three buttons at the top-right give users the key items they need to get started, including seeing values in the fiat of choice, transferring cryptocurrency to or from Gemini Wallet, and account management. 

To use the Gemini Wallet to transfer coins, users will click on the “Transfer” button, and select the option to When depositing into Gemini, users will use the drop down menu to select the cryptocurrency they want to receive and the wallet will provide an address to accept the transfer. To send cryptocurrency from the web wallet, users will select “Withdraw from Gemini” instead, and select the currency they want to send. From there, they will input the wallet address they want to send to, enter the amount they want to send, and complete the withdrawal using the multi-factor authentication. If they have a wallet whitelist setup or have a Gemini Custody account setup, they can only send to wallets they submitted for the list. 

Mobile App 

Transferring cryptocurrencies between wallets is a much easier process using the Gemini mobile application, available on both the Apple iOS App Store and Android Google Play Store. The positive reviews on both stores generally praise the clean user interface and ease of use, while the negatives are focused on the delayed verification time and customer service issues. 

To receive cryptocurrency into the Gemini Wallet, users tap on the “Account” button (the button that looks like a person’s silhouette), and select “Deposit into Gemini.” They will then be presented with their bank account to deposit fiat, along with the list of supported cryptocurrencies. After selecting the currency they want to receive, both a deposit address and QR code will be displayed for the sender to use. To send cryptocurrency, the user will select “Withdraw from Gemini” instead, where they will be prompted to use the PIN they chose to sign in when setting up the app. Afterwards, users will see what cryptocurrencies are available to send, select how much to send, and input the wallet they want to send to. Like using the web client, the mobile client will confirm the transaction using multi-factor authentication. Once again, the users can only send to any wallet if they don’t have a whitelist enabled on their account. 

Customer Service

While users are overall happy with the user experience, the one place where Gemini falls short is in customer service. There are no live options to ask questions or get account support, nor is there a ticket system for users to track issues they are having with the platform. Instead, users can either turn to a self-help database, or send an email to the support team for assistance. 

Cost & Fees

When it comes to costs and fees, Gemini Wallet doesn’t charge fees for the most common transactions. Depositing all cryptocurrencies from other wallets, making fiat transfers into Gemini, or redeeming staked earnings from Gemini Dollar are all free. Users will pay a 3.49% transaction fee when transferring fiat into their Gemini account via debit card, or when purchasing cryptocurrency on the exchange.

Most outbound transfers to external wallets are also free, as long as users make 10 or less transfers during a calendar month. You will still be required to pay any requisite network or gas fees to send currencies between wallets. 

If users use their wallet to send cryptocurrency 11 or more times per month, they will pay a nominal fee in the cryptocurrency per withdrawal. For the top coins, the fees are currently:

  • Bitcoin: 0.001 BTC per transaction
  • Ether: 0.001 ETH per transaction
  • Litecoin: 0.002 LTC per transaction
  • USD Coin: 0.5 USDC per transaction
  • Solana: 0.005 SOL per transaction 

Final Verdict

Although Gemini Wallet fulfills all the duties of a traditional cryptocurrency wallet, it works more in practice as a storage system for those purchasing coins using the Gemini Exchange. Instead of making it easy to collect, send, and receive numerous digital tokens, Gemini Wallet leans on multiple security functions to prevent using it as a wallet. And while users can spend select cryptocurrencies directly from the wallet using Gemini Pay, everything remains centralized within the Gemini ecosystem. 

Overall, Gemini Wallet is best suited for those new to cryptocurrency, and are looking for a secure place to store coins without worrying about a difficult setup procedure or the potential of falling for scams. Gemini Custody is a strong product for investors who want to lean heavily into one or multiple cryptocurrency coins at the highest security level possible. But those who are actively using cryptocurrency to buy and sell items online or invest in NFTs will find the process frustrating and potentially expensive, and would be better served by other online wallets. 

Methodology

One of the most important things to consider before you transact in and store cryptocurrencies is that you have a suitable crypto wallet in place. To help determine the wallet that works best for you, we conducted a comprehensive review process of the top cryptocurrency software wallets. 

Our review process is built around a quantitative ratings model that weighs key factors like security, costs, privacy, usability, customer support, and features according to their importance. Our team of researchers gathered over 40 data points and conducted extensive research for each of the 19 companies we reviewed. Our team of writers, who are experts in this field, then test drove each wallet to lend their qualitative point of view.

Our model gave preference to companies with the strongest security measures and reputations. Companies with rich features, such as supporting a large number of crypto assets, giving users the ability to sync with hardware wallets, and allowing for fee customization, also ranked highly.

Read our full methodology.

Article Sources
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. Gemini. "Gemini Earn."