My Experience with Signing up on Gemini For Buying Bitcoin

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.

Gemini is a new Bitcoin trading platform started by the Winklevoss twins (the people who accused Mark Zuckerberg of stealing their idea of Facebook).

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”.

Gemini review

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.)

gemini review

All these mentions of “trust” make me a little suspicious…

Anyway, I filled out my name, email, and created a password.

 

gemini review

Got an email and entered the activation code. I hesitantly filled out my personal information.

gemini review

And I definitely skipped adding my bank account info (for now at least).

gemini review

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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49 thoughts on “My Experience with Signing up on Gemini For Buying Bitcoin”

  1. Strange. I only had to send a pic of my drivers license. That was it.

    I did set up the banking at the same time though. I signed up on the 19th and was approved on 21st. Funded and traded pretty quickly. So far so good. The fees and pricing were much better than coinbase.

    Hope it works out, good luck.

    1. Yeah, I’ve since used the platform and definitely had no more troubles. Seems I’m not the only one facing verification issues though…

      1. Danced with them for over three months. Sent digital images of requested ID four times in that time period.
        Every time there was something wrong with the images.
        Maybe they need to get their vision checked.
        At one point they mentioned a passport in a reply.
        I asked if a DNA sample might help resolve their problems.
        Got fed up and deleted the my data from their site.
        I would rather go to the dentist and get a root canal done than ever have to deal with them again.

  2. I also have this problem. Apparently nothing I can do to prove my identity will satisfy Gemini. I am forced to stay with GDAX.

      1. They were easy with me. Within 24 Hrs I was in. (I used my U Passport since it was already in my Mac.) I am MORE curious as to what is the best method to use for gaining some extra. I don’t have unrealistic expectations. Where is the best place to educate a newbie? Thanks for your input and sincerity Eric!

  3. I had a wire transfer in limbo for 3 weeks. Terrible customer service. What is the next best option to purchase bitcoin?

    1. Yeah, sometimes these services take a long time to kick in. I’m not a big fan of how long it takes to get money into this exchange.

    1. Hey Ian, I believe based on some earlier reviews they’ve gotten that the signup process has become easier. And yes, in the US, this a “regulated” exchange. I still have a few qualms with their service, and try to use other exchanges when I can. I have noticed that their support is not the best. Hope you don’t need support for any reason!

  4. I’ve opened 2 accounts for others with Gemini within the past month with zero problems and surprisingly fast customer service response to my emailed questions… 24 hours max turnaround.

    The bank verification for ACH (electronic) transfers is often a bit of an issue with even regular brokerage firms. So I always start with just sending a wire to fund the account. Wires are preferred by recipients anyway because very difficult to play games and when the money arrives it is locked in. Then when I’m up and running I figure out the ACH verification later.

    Having said that, the wire process with Gemini is a little tricky because they send you a code to be included in the wire instructions from your bank. So that may take a call to your bank if there is not an “Other Instructions” field in your bank’s online wiring capability.

  5. Call me crazy but the only people I’m giving my SSN to are the IRS, my bank, and my employer. I’ll gladly pay higher fees to keep the twins from having all that info on me.

  6. After changing my number user Authy to generate security numbers, someone managed to get into my acount and sell my ethereum. I contacted gemini the next day and i have not heard from them. No receipt of a message being sent to support. I thought that was strange but contacted them again. Did not get a coherent message felated to my question what happened, they only said they don’t see any unusual activity and that was that. Contacted them multiple times and neither time i get a accurate response its like the answer is generated by a digital algorithm put in place for common questions. Be aware they dont guarantee for your money, and if you invest like I did you may never get your money back. Only invest what you afford to potentially loose

    1. I had the same thing happen to me yesterday- 10/31/2017.
      By the looks of things someone had placed a scaraper or used their logon on screen to intercept my data being entered as well as to intercept the dynamic id I receive on my cell phone. I got in just in time to see three transactions using my fiat funds to purchase ETH, trades BTC for ETH and then to remove all ETH. Had there been a telephone number handy I could have stopped before transactions went through.

      Emailed and explained what happened and I was told it was my responsibility to keep my logon info secure and they recommended I change my password. Onward and Upward! 🙂

      1. This is very disturbing and sounds like a trend in the last month as this happened to me as well. It feels like either a large security issue or (I hate to even consider) some form of inside job. As Gemini is supposedly “regulated”, I would suggest you file a complaint (as I did) http://www.dfs.ny.gov/about/press/pr1407171.htm so that hopefully someone takes stronger action to protect consumers.

  7. Signing up was ok but having them tell me my deposit have to be held for 4 to 5 days and I can not do any trading is a bit much and ridiculous no number to reach anyone and response to email are the same

  8. What is with all the whining? The challenges posed by Gemini should give you confidence rather than irritate you. I seriously researched all major exchanges. These guys are taking security and professionalism seriously. Of course they will hold your deposit for a few days! Try depositing a check at your bank from Uncle Bill who banks in another state and see what happens. And if you can’t provide proof of address obviously you should expect red flags and warnings going off at Gemini or any other legitimate financial organization! Guys (and girls) the problem is the US Government which now has every major financial institution in the WORLD jumping thru hoops. Don’t blame Gemini or your local bank either.

    1. I don’t blame them for holding deposits for a couple of days. What I do hold them responsible for is NOT holding transfers out at all, allowing compromised accounts to transfer out money within seconds. I find it very interesting that money in takes days, and money out (to the BTC network) takes no time at all and is subject to major abuse.

      1. Agree fully. Allowing quick withdrawals especially after any change in profile info is an insane policy and, in fact, makes the exchange look complicit. But I will never understand an investor not immediately moving newly purchased holdings to a hardware or paper wallet… rather than leaving coins on the exchange or using a vulnerable phone-based software wallet.

  9. BEWARE: This week I had an un-authorized user log in to my account, stop all of my limit trades, convert all of my USD to BTC, and transfer it out in less than 4 min. I can’t believe Gemini doesn’t at least have some control mechanism/time period that you have to wait to transfer BTC out.

    1. @broberts
      Sorry to hear about that as its the endless saga of centralized exchanges.
      That’s why it is adviced that don’t use exchanges to store your cryptos.
      How much did you lose? Did you raise this to Gemini and they do have 2FA in place, didn’t that help?

      1. Yes, I have been badgering Gemini for days, I cannot get a response. They do not have any form of customer service hotline, only email/website submission. I have lost thousands, and I am not hopeful of recovery, especially given Gemini’s lack of response. Keep in mind, I had NO crypto coins at the time of this unauthorized use, it was all USD held in reserve but was converted to BTC and transferred out in minutes. I am reaching out to New York State Department of Financial Services to see if I h

  10. No 2FA Authentication? And you were logging on in an insecure Wi-Fi environment? And you had not moved 99% of your holdings into a hardware wallet? I have a close friend who lost US$300,000 in Bitcoin on Bittrex. He was guilty of all of the above. A terrible loss for both of you. And I am genuinely sorry. But dude, don’t leave your keys in your car if you want to find it still in the parking lot when you finish shopping.

  11. Joseph Wilson Lane

    That’s weird but would have happened on ANY exchange you were using, if YOUR PC is compromised!! Don’t see how that’s Gemini’s fault!!

  12. +1 on getting your holdings out onto a hardware wallet. It is an exchange. This goes for every exchange. Gemini is among the safest. And New York State is a btch when you get them going. Gemini does not want Albany breathing down their neck.

    Do your exchange and get your stuff out of there ASAP!

  13. I’m reading lots of GOOD and QUESTIONABLE stuff! FOR the last THREE days I have tried the “other” major Exchange -simply trying to get my Driver License image verified with NO luck. Today I got started with entering everything I could on the Gemini “sign up” page to create my account and understand there’s LOTS going on – same message – please allow 2-3 business days to verify your account, and now I read from one of the comments above that a hold will be placed on funds etc etc. I can fully appreciated some of the “WHYS” of all of this. What I AM wondering is this? I plan on purchasing a large amount of BTC and in my “newbie” type of thinking of all of this… wonder if its possible (seeing you can’t get a phone call IN or BACK) – just have to wonder .. should I fly from the “SOUTH” and just show up at their actual physical office and do it the old fashioned way – FACE TO FACE? and come out with a TREZOR already loaded up.. leave a little in the exchange to trade with? Any ideas? A flight up and back and “getting it done in a day” vs several days while BTC has risen THOUSANDS.. seems like a VERY costly “wait” otherwise!
    Anyone ever heard of someone trying this approach?

  14. I had funded my Gemini account and purchased some Bitcoin. When I went to send
    an amount to my blockchain wallet, a window popped up saying I did not have
    enough available for the transaction which was not true.

    In checking, my account was short 0.08236093 BTC. An email to support asking about
    my missing Bitcoin, came back go my gmail account with the wording that the recipients
    box was full. Calling them by phone is a waste of time.

    I have a larger deposit waiting to reach the point where I can send it to my blockchain wallet
    but am wondering what will happen with it.

  15. Lengthy, but good share. Thank you.
    I use Coinbase for BTC, ETH, and LTC investments. Bittrex is my wallet.
    I also sense the arrogance through Gemini. The platform they provide visually at homebase is discombobulated at best. Though oddly clean..
    Initial navigation through the site seemed a bit off. Spatially and proportionally, out of place, in space, and space wasting atrociously.
    The simplicity of blockchain technologies is confusing enough.

    Coinbase fees are in space though too.

    XRP
    XMR

    Good luck

  16. All of the current crypto exchanges are terrible. Wire transfers take forever. They get hacked. Websites are slow. Websites like Kraken are the absolute worst with 520 cloudflare errors on every page.

    Jesus, this whole industry is ripe for a take over. I can go to a poker site and deposit money and start playing in an instant. It takes a days to a week to get a bank transfer to through on crypto exchanges and most of those sites won’t even tell you who is running it….lol.

    Where are the big venture capital firms on this? The entire industry could be taken over by having fast websites, fast money transfers in and out and having good support.

    As it is now, it is the wild wild west with fly by night exchanges and shady people.

  17. I tried to register several times before just giving up in frustration. Every time I tried to get my Authy code, I was taken back to the “Welcome! Let’s get started!” screen, where I had to enter my country and state. Then a new Authy code would be generated, so I’d go get the code, re-enter my info (country, state and phone number), by which time my Authy code had expired, and so on and on and on … So I guess I’m stuck with Coinbase for now.

  18. I registered and sent my verification as requested, After many emails to customer service, my account is not yet verified. I’ve decided to take this as a sign and move to keep my Bitcoin safely stored in my TREZOR wallet.

  19. Do they really need your social security account? I don’t mind a passport or driver license and phone #, but social security is a bit too much.

      1. BWWAAHAHAHA! Cmon Sudhir, you’re kidding, right? Sadly we have something called income taxes in this country. And even sadder, the day is soon coming that all of your trade will soon be reported to the IRS.

  20. I’ve been waiting 2 weeks for identity verification.
    I started looking for other exchanges, and found this site. Based on comments, I submitted a trouble ticket. We’ll see.
    ” Onward and upward ” as the automated replay said!

  21. Amazing how people just sent their hard earn money over some of these sites.Transactions take an unknown amount of time and sometimes get stuck in the twilight zone. The whole crypto exchange system is setup for corruption

  22. Yea this company has got some serious security problems and they use bots for email.
    Do not ever sign up from another device they will freeze your account for 24 hours and
    Send you an email with a link to verify you if you recognize the device you signed into.Than
    In the email there is a link to remove the freeze well it doesn’t work . So here we are my ethereum is frozen over 48 hours no email response except for bots .After you click the link
    You are sent to this page down below.

    New Device Detected
    We’ve detected that you clicked the email link to “re-enable digital asset withdrawals”from a different device than the one you originally signed in from. If you believe this is the same device you originally signed in from, Freeze Your Account to protect it from any malicious activity.

    In order to re-enable digital asset withdrawals, you must access the email with subject “Sign In from New Device Detected” and click the link from the same device you used when signing into your Gemini account.
    For additional support please contact Gemini Customer Support.

  23. Signed up Gemini and have been waiting over 2 weeks for verification. I sent a email to support 5 days ago and no reply. Everyone is talking about how fast this industry is going to grow this year. Well the train has stopped at the station and it ain’t moving. Besides coinbase and Gemini are there any other reputable exchanges out there? Thanks for any help in advance.

  24. After opening a personal account and then wiring my money to activate my account the money was returned because i have a personal living turust and would need an institutional account. . then spending 2 weeks supplying them with documentation. It was always “just one more thing” then i was told “Unfortunately, we are unable to offer you an institutional account at Gemini at this time. We apologize for any inconvenience” Then when i asked why i was being denied this institutional (trust account) ” Although we understand you have questions as to the reasons behind this decision, Gemini is unable to disclose any further detail. The risk review process is confidential and Gemini will not be able to elaborate any further”

    Why did you even bother asking for my tax returns, trust agreement, linkin profile, fill out pages of applications, numerous stupid questions then to deny me an account. MAYBE IT[‘S FOR THE BEST IF YOU ARE A SCAM COMPANY.

  25. Rejected by Gemini

    I signed up for a Gemini account and got this reply:

    “Our Compliance department has reviewed your account and we regret to inform you we will not be able to open an account for you.

    Gemini is unable to elaborate on the specific reasons for this decision.”

    What kind of business model is that? Is Gemini a public exchange or a private one? Do they select who can open an account by flipping a coin?

    I feel that I’m being unfairly blocked from enjoying the freedom of trading in America for no reason other than a whim.

    SCAM SCAM SCAM SCAM SCAM

    1. All financial institutions in the US have the right to approve or disapprove… and later close… an account for any reason, good or bad, logical or illogical. This is the result of onerous regulations by the US on institutions not only in the US but worldwide in an attempt to fight dirty money/terrorist funding. Effective? Maybe or maybe not. But the result is every financial institution in the world is now bowing the the US and doing exactly what they are told for fear of losing their ability to transact with and via the US financial system.
      As for Gemini I have 3 accounts with them. No problem in getting them open but I have since been harassed with several emails asking detailed questions about my financial situation and history, with the threat that if I don’t provide information they will freeze my account. I have provided everything they asked for on two separate occasions but I still keep getting the same email requests/threats. Obviously Gemini is totally fucked up and can’t keep track of what they are asking for and what they are receiving… not to mention the fact that they obviously have lost confidential information I provided that no other financial institution has ever asked for nor had any reason to ask for. But what do you expect? The Winklevii were so dumb they let Mark Zuckerberg sucker them out of Facebook. The problem now is they are custodians of more than a billion dollars of other people’s money and my experience is they still don’t know which way is up.

  26. A Crypto Marketer

    I had not one good experience with this exchange, denial denial denial. I have good credit, been in crypto a long time and hold quite a decent amount. I think for me its because I decided years ago to go fiat free so my paper trail is limited because I live and breath crypto lol.

    Sad thing, they denied me and I am cool with that, no worries about ever trying this exchange out but I actually work within a few top cryptos and a few of the other guys got denied as well. Little does Gemini and the Winklevoss bros know, they been denying the very guys that develop this stuff and me I market it full time. I won’t disclose who I work under out of respect but yea, they are dissing the wrong people in crypto and I do not think that will fair well with their longevity if they want to have an active exchange.

    But life goes on, most of us rather stick with decentralized options anyways and work with the governments to keep things free and fair.

    Sorry Gemini but I won’t ever do business with you, not in this lifetime as many attempts as I wasted time on with your application red tape. I wish them the best but honestly they have no clue about this community by the way they treat their exchange like some exclusive club. I think a lot of us in crypto are working to provide avenues better than that, not go backwards

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