Friday, June 23, 2017

Gemini Exchange: Part 1

As recommended by a reader, I went to read up about the Gemini Exchange.

It looked pretty good, and it's actually has very decent volumes. The three nicest things about them is that:

1) They explicitly accept Singapore customers (source)
2) They have zero transfer-in fees (source)
3) They have no deposit or withdrawal limits (source)

So far, so good, yeah?

I registered an account with them, was greeted with a nice clean UX and proceeded to do the verification process. 

I was expecting the verification process to take a few weeks, but I was pleasantly surprised that within a week I was notified that my account has been verified and that I'm good to go.

In preparation for possibly using US exchanges to buy digital currencies, I have opened by a DBS eMCA account (which took less than 6 hours to be approved!). However, I have since realized that I could also send USD directly from SGD just as easily and cheaply without an eMCA account. I suppose the main difference is that I get an extra step in between the transfer, which means that I don't have to immediately convert at spot rate, but I could "time" my SGD-USD conversions and possibly save a bit extra. A bit.

Anyway, today I remitted a small sum of money to test out the DBS remit function and also to test and see if the US exchange will be able to receive the USD without any problems.

Step 1: In Gemini, create an inward Wire Transfer transaction
Step 2: In DBS, remit money to the details shown in Gemini, not forgetting to put the memo
Step 3: Wait

The DBS rate compared to the mid market spot rate on XE was 0.67%. If everything is what I think it is, there should be no fees anywhere else, in which case 0.67% is very acceptable.

DBS claims same-day transfer if the transfer is made before 5.30pm (when I called up their hotline), while Gemini says same day or next day crediting if funds are received before 3pm ET, which is roughly 3am SG time.

Based on my hypothesis, since I have completed the transaction on DBS before 5.30pm, I am hopeful to be credited the amount in my Gemini account from 10pm onwards (slightly after the start of regular working hours) until 5am. In the worse case, it ought to be credited by the end of the next business day on their side, which is unfortunately Tuesday early morning, 5am. 

When the money gets credited, I'll execute trades and also withdraw the cryptocurrency. I'll post about that when it happens.


  1. Hi GMGH,

    Any new updates on trading using gemini? I am very curious about it since I read your post about how coinhako has such lousy exchange rates.

    1. Hey Anon,

      Thanks for following up. I never did update on this, did I?

      I've made more than 10 transfers from DBS to Gemini and I've had no problems so far.

      As long as you send it out before 5pm on a working day in SG, it will be sent out. As long as it is a working day in the US, the account credit will usually be reflected between 1-3am in the early morning.

      DBS conversion + remit fees = ~0.65%
      Gemini deposit fee = $0
      Gemini exchange fee = 0.25%

      So all-in, it would cost you about 0.9% in total to convert SGD into BTC or ETH through Gemini.

      Hako charges a 0.7-0.9% exchange fee, but their exchange rate can be really stupid sometimes.

      I strongly recommend Gemini over Hako if you're going to do any significant amount.

  2. Hello, nice post! :) How will you get the money from Gemini to your bank account once you sell your cyrptocurrency? Thanks!

    1. Hi apaquino,

      You can sell your crypto at any exchange that you please. If you sell it at Gemini, you will get back USD which you can wire transfer back to your account in Singapore.

      Once it is in your bank account (hopefully it is a multi currency account), you can decide to keep it as USD or to convert it to SGD with the applicable conversion fees.

    2. Hi there, this is useful. thanks so much! Can you let me know whats the exchange rate / fees to withdraw from Gemini to DBS?

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  4. Thanks for the tips, really helpful. Set up my Gemini Account. I have a question about the transfer though.

    It's quite confusing because our local bank (OCBC) asks for the 'Beneficiary Banks' SWIFT code but it seems like Gemini only provides the Intermediary bank one. Do you know about the workaround for this?

    1. Hi Kelvin, belated reply, but I am only familiar with remitting from DBS.

  5. Hi GMGH,

    Would you be able to share with us the detailed steps involving in transferring USD into Gemini from DBS eMCA?

    I have performed a OTT using my USD balance in DBS eMCA to Gemini, which has been confirmed by DBS and money transmitted out. However, the balance in not reflected in my Gemini account and the bank linkage still reflects as pending even after a couple of days.

    I would appreciate if you could share the exact process, such as what to key in for each field at the DBS eMCA page, so that I can compare and find out where have I done wrong. Thanks a lot in advanced!

    1. Hi Anon,

      I think this will answer your question.

  6. Hi GMGH,

    May I ask how the rates on gemini compare with Coinbase? The main disadvantage of coinbase is the trading limit but for now I don't have that much money to trade with anyways... So looking to compare the rates.


    1. Hi Anon,

      Coinbase is 2% for xfers and 4% for credit card if I'm not wrong.

      If you already have USD, it costs only 0.25% to execute on Gemini.
      Remitting with base SGD to them via DBS costs about 0.65%.


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