After becoming some of the world's first cryptocurrency billionaires, the Winklevoss twins decided to turn it up a notch and create their own U.S-based cryptocurrency exchange, Gemini. The Gemini platform excels at making crypto simple and safe for beginners and intermediates. Gemini offers a wide variety of crypto coins and tokens to their customers, so we decided to break it down for you. From Uniswap to Aave, this is the guide to the best cryptocurrencies on Gemini.
What is Cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency is money based on blockchain technology. At the core of money is trust. Fiat currencies like the dollar haven’t been backed by gold for 50 years, they are worth something because you and your neighbor trust the government to be around tomorrow and the next day and the one after that. So long as the government is around to turn your pretty paper into something of real value, we’re all set. Government-issued currencies began as a necessity for scaling humanity.
Now there is blockchain, and governments are no longer needed for humans to cooperate monetarily at scale. Bitcoin’s code is entirely open source, meaning anyone in the world can read the code, learn the rules and follow the money trail. No need to place trust in a system of politicians, instead you can place trust in a set of hardcoded rules.
Best Cryptocurrencies on Gemini
Today, the most exciting cryptocurrencies are coins and tokens issued by bleeding edge blockchain startups. From Uniswap to Aave, the biggest names in decentralized finance (DeFi) all offer tokens.
- Uniswap (UNI): Uniswap is the leading decentralized exchange (DEX) on Ethereum. DEXs allow users to tap into liquidity pools to exchange between tokens. These liquidity pools are decentralized and users can also provide liquidity to them and earn the trading fees. Uniswap has a governance token, UNI, which allows holders to pay swap fees and vote on the protocol's future.
- Aave (AAVE): Aave is a decentralized lending platform built on the Ethereum blockchain. Users can lend money to the protocol to earn a yield or they can borrow money for a fee.
- Chainlink (LINK): Chainlink is a decentralized protocol for integrating real-world data onto the blockchain. From fiat exchange rates to yearly rainfall, millions of processes can be automated with smart contracts if they could only get reliable data. Chainlink provides reliable data by incentivizing a network of people to collect it properly. When everyone on the network submits their results, the majority becomes the truth.
- Polygon (MATIC): Polygon is an Ethereum sidechain designed to help scale the network. Polygon was one of the 1st sidechains to launch and attracted a lot of users thanks to its port of Aave and other popular DeFi applications. Sidechains rely on their own consensus mechanism, making them less secure than the Layer 2 scaling solutions coming out now. Polygon’s token MATIC went for a wild ride in the 1st half of 2021, and it could be gearing up for another in the coming months.
- Maker (MKR): Maker is a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) and one of the 1st DeFi apps. The Maker DAO is responsible for the creation and maintenance of the DAI stablecoin, which maintains a loose peg to the U.S dollar without any centralization. Due to its decentralized nature, it’s a favorite stablecoin among the DeFi community.
Cryptocurrencies You’re Missing out On
Gemini is working on adding new coins each day, but there are still a few big ones missing. Here are some honorable mentions that might be worth opening a Coinbase account for.
- Cardano (ADA): Cardano is a proof-of-stake blockchain created by Ethereum co-founder Charles Hoskinson. Cardano aims to displace Ethereum as the de facto smart contract blockchain for DeFi, although has yet to implement smart contracts on the network. Cardano’s ADA token is a speculative investment that could see huge returns if Cardano’s development is successful. You can purchase ADA on Coinbase.
- Stellar (XLM): Stellar Lumens is a payment currency created by Ripple co-founder Jeb McCaleb. Unlike Ripple, Stellar is not under investigation by the SEC and therefore available to U.S customers. Stellar is handy for sending money to friends and family as transactions process in 10 to 15 seconds. Stellar isn’t yet available on Gemini, but you can scoop some up on Coinbase today.
- Cosmos (ATOM): Many blockchain enthusiasts believe that eventually all blockchains will be interconnected and abstracted away from the end user. While this may seem far off, Cosmos is already doing it. The Cosmos blockchain acts as a hub for other chains to be plugged into. Cosmos has already secured some big partnerships and plans on implementing a native Ethereum bridge in the coming months. You can grab some of Cosmos’ ATOM tokens on Coinbase.
Store your Crypto Safely
If you’re new to crypto you may be storing large amounts of money on an exchange wallet. While Gemini and Coinbase are relatively trustworthy, best practice would be to store your assets on a cryptocurrency wallet of your own. This way, should the government decide to restrict access via your exchange of choice, you can’t be locked out.
Track your Investments
The cryptocurrency market has been on a tear in 2021. Despite a 50% selloff in May, Ethereum is still up a modest 280% since January 1. Crypto volatility can be stressful, and tracking assets across multiple chains can become burdensome. Luckily, there’s Crypto Pro. Crypto Pro is a portfolio manager that makes it easy to keep track of your crypto net worth, and get notifications for sudden movements. Tired of getting liquidated? Try Crypto Pro — it’s free.
Other Cryptocurrency Exchanges Available in the US
Looking for exposure to more assets than Gemini has to offer? As a U.S resident, the SEC has strict regulations on which centralized cryptocurrency exchanges you can use. Here are all the other exchanges available to U.S. customers. Get started in minutes.
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