Gemini Exchange: Bitcoin Bonus

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(Update: After a incorrect trademark infringement claim and takedown request, Gemini has followed up and taken it back. I’ve brought back an edited version of the original post.)

Gemini is a crypto exchange offering a $150 bonus in Bitcoin if you open a new account and invest $1,000+ in crypto within the first 30 days. Buying the Gemini dollar (GUSD) stablecoin worked for me.

To find it, enter “gemini $150 bitcoin bonus” into Google.com. It should be the first result. I am not affiliated with this promotion. If you open a Gemini account through this promotion, I get nothing.

Here were the overall steps that I took:

  • Use the promo link above to start your application as a new customer. You may need to submit a driver’s license photo.
  • Link a bank account via Plaid.
  • Fund Gemini account via ACH. The daily max is $1,000.
  • Purchase $1,000 in crypto. The most conservative choice is GUSD, which is a stablecoin that is (supposed to be) backed 1:1 with US dollars and trades at a stable $1.00 value.
  • This should trigger the bonus, which arrived within 24 hours for me. You get $150 in Bitcoin, which can quickly go up or down in value.
  • I have kept my BTC and GUSD for now, but you can sell it for USD if you want. There are some transaction fees, roughly $3 for a $150 trade with the basic trading structure but possibly less with their ActiveTrader option.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for posting! I’m excited to do the promo but I’ve been waiting on them to verify my identity for two weeks now.

    Also of note, BlockFi announced today that they’re not accepting new interest deposits until their new BlockFi Yield program is approved by the SEC so you can scratch that one off your list.

    • Thanks, I just got the BlockFi email as well. Looks like they are trying to start new “SEC approved” version called BlockFi Yield. At least I get to keep earning the same APY on existing deposits for now.

      I find it interesting that the SEC is shutting down the most legitimate of these sites (Coinbase Earn, BlockFi) while leaving the shadiest sites alone. I feel like Coinbase Earn would pose the most danger to the big megabanks, while the shadier DeFi sites pose the most danger to individual investors.

  2. Curious about your thoughts on these 7-9% accounts vs the current iBonds. I’m guessing it’s better to max out iBonds first to get roughly the same interest and then get into more speculative things like these?

    • There is some inherit risk with Crypto stable coin returns as they are not FDIC insured and if something happens to the company or the have a security breach your assets might not be protected. Also, there is no guarantee on how long the return is good for and could drop at anytime. I-bonds are backed by the US government so as long as you have faith in them being around its a safer investment. That said, the promo to get 150$ in BTC is worth it.

    • I think about them very differently, although both are sort of inefficiency that is better that the default option. I bonds are a currently better alternative to TIPS, which are part of the bonds allocation in my long-term portfolio. They are an inefficiency and source of excess profit that is limited to small amounts owned by individual investors.

      My stablecoin accounts are purely speculative for fun, education, and possible profit. Is the high interest simply a temporary inefficiency? Perhaps. Will it all come crashing down in a huge cascading failure? Perhaps.

  3. May have to make an update: as of Feb 14th BlockFI is not offering interest to new users and won’t allow existing users to add more funds to interest bearing accounts. Some kind of regulatory settlement. Remains to be seen when interest bearing accounts will be re-added. I wonder how this might effect gemini interest bearing accounts in future

  4. I agree with Dima. It is definitely better to max out iBonds first.

  5. Jason Boxman says

    One advantage to this over PeerStreet is you don’t need to be an accredited investor to play. That said, both are speculative, so I’d tread lightly.

  6. How quickly can you withdraw all of the money?

    • Sell of BTC bonus is available for withdrawal immediately.
      $1000 will be on-hold for 4-5 business days.

      • So one can withdraw all of the funds back to their checking account in USD in about 1 week for a quick $150 (minus fees – how much?) profit?

  7. Quick update: followed your step-by-step to open this morning. Got the bonus this evening already. Thanks for sharing!

    For Earn option, is it better to transfer from GUSD to USDC risk-wise? Or is the Gemini itself more of the risk here, regardless of stablecoin used?

    • GUSD is supposedly one of the most conservative stablecoins, with the 1:1 collateral 100% US dollars held in an FDIC-insured bank. USDC also does monthly audits from Grant Thornton, saying the 1:1 collateral are assets held at “US regulated financial institutions, limited to cash and short-dated U.S. government obligations”. I don’t know of course 100% if this is true, but it is still unlike Tether with vague promises of random “commercial paper” from who-knows-where and who has already admitted to lying about its collateral amount in the past.

    • Did you have to purchase bitcoin or other crypto to get the bonus? Or did simply transferring $1000 from your bank to GUSD meet that requirement?

  8. Signed up for Gemini and put $1000 in GUSD on Wednesday night. Was painless but what you will need to provide: SSN, Driver’s License or Passport, Plaid access to your account or an ACH transfer I believe and of course $1000. Signing up was easy enough with the promo added to the signup form for this promotion. Make sure you its there when you sign up. Also, putting the money into GUSD straight forward. Now, as for the promo, I did not receive a notification telling me that I would get it once I deposit and purchase $1000 in crypto through email or alerts on their app. I did, however receive an email the next day saying the BTC was applied to my account from the promo and it is in my account now.

  9. I opened account but Gemini requires wire transfer to finish verification. I’m quite annoyed that I got hit with this onerous verification step as most sail through without it. BTW, my Plaid got connected, no problem, still they told me I need to send a wire to enable deposit and trading.

  10. I don’t really desire crypto, but the $150 offer is tempting.

    Before I sign up, how much of a hassle is owning crypto on your taxes? I’ve seen the question on my online tax software each year, and I always wondered if owning crypto makes the taxes much more complicated?

  11. Unfortunately, it is not an easy offer. Got the following message:

    Your account has been approved, but is restricted from trading until you send in your first deposit via wire transfer.

    This is too much. Provided front and back of the driver’s license. Linked a bank account using Plaid. Still not enough for them. No, I am going to pass.

  12. Jason Boxman says

    Yes, you must wire:

    “Thanks for signing up for Gemini! We are excited to welcome you to our community, but first we’ll need you to take the following action:

    Please sign into Gemini, click “Transfer Funds” from the menu and choose to Deposit Funds via USD Wire Transfer. You’ll have to link a bank account to your Gemini account if you haven’t done so already.”

    (I successfully linked my account with Plaid already, which is a first; It usually fails for me.)

    I’m curious, so I might eat the $25 fee (on my end, Alliant, or could setup Ally Bank for $20 fee) just because.

    • Sorry to hear that some of you are having to set up via initial wire. It seems to depend on what their identity verification process decides is prudent.

      Just want to note that if you have a Fidelity brokerage account, they provide free outgoing wire transfers. Ally has a nice online outgoing wire interface, but costs $20 outgoing.

      • Freedom35 says

        I was annoyed to get the required wire validation as well. I decided to go ahead with Ally and eat the $20 fee (worth it to get $150 bonus quickly I figured). I was successfully validated and the bonus appeared next day. As an update, it seems as of today the bonus has changed to $100 in BTC 🙁

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