My experience signing up for Gemini
A couple months ago, Harsh recommended I sign up for Gemini. I took his advice and decided to go through the process. But after having a very difficult time signing up, I’m not having good feelings about Gemini.
Before I tell you about my signup process, let me give you a brief history on Gemini.
The Winklevoss twins claim to own about 1% of all Bitcoin, making them among the largest holders of Bitcoin in the world. They started this platform in the middle of 2016, and are desperately trying to become the most active and reputable Bitcoin exchange on the market.
But you wouldn’t know any of this unless I told you. Because there’s nothing about any of that on their website. In fact, their “About” section is not descriptive at all, and it simply talks about the amazingness of their platform. It’s a very big put off to not know anything about the company which I am about to share my sensitive personal and financial details with.
This cryptic website does not look very friendly in any way. It conjures up images of outer space (and the Gemini space program) leaving me with a feeling of entering the deep, dark unknown. That’s not exactly what I’m looking for when I’m about to make a substantial monetary investment.
So that said, because Harsh told me to sign up, I did. Here’s what happened:
Signing Up For Gemini
I went to Gemini.com and clicked on “Register”.
First, notice on the top left of this screenshot how the words are overlapping. It doesn’t fill me with great confidence that their design team can’t properly build a website, yet they’re supposed to be the most advanced and trustworthy BTC trading platform out there. (Update: This has since been fixed.)
All these mentions of “trust” make me a little suspicious…
Anyway, I filled out my name, email, and created a password.
Got an email and entered the activation code. I hesitantly filled out my personal information.
And I definitely skipped adding my bank account info (for now at least).
Now, my situation is unique. I am living in a place that does not get mail service. I have a P.O. Box as my mailing address. I am not paying utilities. I can not use a bank statement to verify my physical address because the bank only has my mailing address. So I emailed customer support.
I said I can show them a voided check from my bank, but aside from that, I was unable to verify my address. After around 12 back and forth messages with the [email protected] email, the unknown agent told me they couldn’t verify my identity. The agent was curt, unhelpful, and a little rude. They were, however, rather quick.
At the same time, I had to go to the DMV to renew my driver’s license. I got to the DMV and a customer service agent there very graciously and helpfully walked me through everything that could be done. We outlined several possibilities, but eventually, I was unable to get a driver’s license as well, though the DMV agent suggested I go across the street, open a bank account, and come back with a bank statement for my physical address. What a great idea!
Well, that worked. I’m not sure why that worked because I just told the bank my address and they didn’t need any proof. That’s dumb, but whatever…
So now I went to back to email Gemini with my bank statement. Note: At the time of writing, Gemini has updated their verification process to include bank statements. When I was doing this, Gemini would not allow bank statements as proof of verification. I had to plead with this anonymous Gemini support person to let them accept it. They did, and I became “verified”.
So that’s it.
For a company that requires you to prove your identity to the extent that Gemini does, they sure do like hiding any shred of their own humanity. For instance, why is there no mention of who is running the platform? Why did I have to prove myself worthy to someone hiding behind an anonymous Gemini support
For instance, why is there no mention of who is running the platform? Why did I have to prove myself worthy to someone hiding behind an anonymous Gemini support email address? The hypocrisies here don’t make me want to engage with this company.
The lack of accountability and the unintuitive platform make me want to stay far away from ever engaging with Gemini.
Gemini does not give me a good feeling.
It would be nice if we as consumers got together and demanded some transparency and respect from our online services. But I suppose that’s another fight for another day…
UPDATE: I have since used the platform and found it to be quite speedy and effective. It took me a while to be comfortable enough giving them my bank account info, but after doing so, it turned out to be OK, and I have only had good interactions with them. However, I am still bothered by their arrogance and secrecy. There are plenty of other exchanges out there that don’t make me feel as irritated as Gemini.
But I want to hear from you. What have been your experiences with Gemini? Have you traded with them before? Did you have trouble signing up and getting verified? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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