The long awaited launch of the Gemini bitcoin exchange has finally come to an end, as the exchange has gone live this morning sending out early access invites to select users to test out the exchange before their global launch on Thursday October 8th, 2015. BitcoinX was able to get early access and review the exchange, and here are some first thoughts on it.
Obviously there was a long wait for the exchange, as the Winklevoss Twins made sure to go through all of the appropriate legal hoops and procedures required before launching their bitcoin exchange in the U.S., including applying for a limited liability trust company charter. Under the Gemini Trust Company, the Gemini Exchange was just granted a charter by the NYDFS which allows them to accept both individual and institutional customers under New York Banking Law. When you first register and login to the exchange, you can see that security and account verification are top priority for the exchange.
The first thing users will need to do is verify their phone number and country location. If the phone is a mobile phone, and you already have Authy installed on your mobile device, the site willautomagically have 2FA setup for you with a security token enabled and ready-to-go as part of the registration process. As part of the registration process, you are also asked to add your bank account and verify your identity. You can of course skip these parts to get to the exchange, which is what I did for now, but in order to buy bitcoins you will have to do these steps in the future.
Once you get past the registration process, you get to the Dashboard. The Gemini exchange is aesthetically pleasing and well designed, with a minimal and clean user interface. The Dashboard gives users real-time bitcoin price and market information including order book and transaction history. It appears at this time, there is no margin trading on the exchange, and only bitcoin is going to be exchanged. Gemini also has a public developers API.
When you go to buy bitcoins, you should see the screen below. Users can fund their accounts by doing a bank transfer (ACH or wire). It doesn’t appear that credit cards are accepted at this time as a payment method.
If you have used the Gemini bitcoin exchange, make sure to rate and review your experience for others to see.