gatecoin Review 2019
Founded in 2013 by investment banker Aurélien Menant, Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange Gatecoin specializes in Bitcoin trading and Ethereum-platform tokens. USD, euro, and Honk Kong dollar fiat currencies are also supported. Gatecoin became the first exchange to list Ether (Ethereum’s native cryptocurrency) in 2015.
The exchange is now the leader in facilitating the trade of cryptocurrency tokens for decentralized applications built on the Ethereum platform. Markets are provided for Augur’s Reputation tokens (REP), SingularDTV tokens (SNGLS), FirstBlood tokens (1ST), Matchpool’s Guppy tokens (GUP), DigixDAO tokens (DGD), iExec’s (RLC) token and ICONOMI tokens (ICN) among others.
- Trading Platform
- Deposit and Withdrawal Options
- Fees and Charges
- Privacy and Security
- Customer Support
- Pros and Cons
Gatecoin was also the first major exchange to host ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) and TGEs (token generation events) and markets itself as “the NASDAQ for the blockchain era”.
The Gatecoin trading platform is designed to be accessible for both individual investors and institutions. The exchange works according to best practice financial industry compliance and anti-money laundering regulations as set down by the Hong Kong Anti-Money Laundering Ordinance as well as meeting global best practice standards in due diligence and transactions monitoring. The kind of liquidity levels required by financial institutions and professional level investors are ensured by market making programs that set the standard for the cryptocurrency trading market.
All of this means that Gatecoin will not appeal as a cryptocurrency exchange for market participants who value anonymity. However, it also sets the exchange apart as one of a handful that offers the kind of transparent and regulated environment required by professional investors seeking exposure to cryptocurrency and blockchain markets.
Gatecoin’s development as an exchange has been supported by technology sponsorship and partnership with IBM as part of the Softlayer Catalyst program and is ‘incubated’ by the Tsinghua and Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corp. The exchange’s management team also count among the founding members of industry body The Bitcoin Association of Hong Kong.
Gatecoin accounts can be held by anyone who is not a resident of countries subject to international sanctions and residents of several U.S. states, which have restrictions on cryptocurrency trading are also unable to open an account.
Deposit and Withdrawal Options
Gatecoin account holders can make deposits and withdrawals in both the three fiat currencies supported (USD, EUR, and HKD) or Bitcoin and Ethereum tokens. Fiat transfers in and out of an account held on the exchange must be made via bank transfer and debit and credit card or e-payment processors such as Paypal are not supported. This due to the burden that third-party payment systems place on adhering to local Hong Kong and international money laundering prevention practices.
Bitcoin and Ethereum token transfers are conducted directly between an external wallet and a Gatecoin account in the same way as any cryptocurrency transaction. The exchange advises that for it to receive the required amount of confirmations from the respective blockchains, it takes around an hour for Bitcoin transactions to clear and 12 minutes for Ethereum tokens.
Fees and Charges
Fees applicable to fiat deposits vary between base currencies and the kind of transfer (local Hong Kong, international etc.) but are reasonable and do not exceed the equivalent of around $12. Fees are not charged on withdrawals, with the exception of 5 EUR for SEPA transfers, though the account holder must meet any charges applied by their own bank.
There are no fees attached to Bitcoin or Ethereum token deposits into a Gatecoin account. Cryptocurrency withdrawals are charged a small, very reasonable, fee. Bitcoin withdrawals cost 0.0006 BTC and Ether withdrawals 0.005 ETH. A full list of withdrawal fees for all tokens supported can be found at Gatecoin Website.
Maker and taker are applicable on all trades made on the Gatecoin exchange and have a sliding scale based on transaction value over a 31-day period. For transactions with a value of up to 50 Bitcoin, a maker fee of 0.25% is charged and a taker fee of 0.35%. These maker and taker fees drop respectively to minimums of 0.02% and 0.1% after monthly transaction values of above 20,000 BTC.
Privacy and Security
In 2016, Gatecoin was the unfortunate victim of one of the largest cryptocurrency market security breaches. Hackers succeeded in stealing 250 Bitcoin and 185,000 Ethereum, with a combined value of $2.1 million and, at the time, around 15% of all trading account deposits.
After 3 months offline following the security breach, Gatecoin returned and have since replaced the entire exchange platform and security infrastructure in a concerted effort to ensure any repeat is not possible. The exchange itself is now built according to security standards adopted by major international exchanges in mainstream finance. Constant monitoring and auditing are intended to Gatecoin’s security are ‘at the forefront of global financial institution security’.
Account holders’ fiat funds are held in segregated accounts cryptocurrency holdings in ‘secure multi-signature cold wallets’. ‘Cold storage’ means wallets are not accessible from online and only minimum operation volumes of cryptocurrencies are kept in ‘hot wallets’ on online servers. ‘Bank-grade’ security is in place for access to servers.
Accounts are divided into ‘Tier 1’ and ‘Tier 2’ categories. Tier 1 account holders must provide copies of a passport or government-issued ID and proof of residency dated within the past 3 months. Tier 2 accounts, which allow deposits and withdrawals of values greater than $50,000, require ID and residency documents to be ‘certified true’, which usually means a notary verification but varies from territory to territory. A proof-of-funds questionnaire is also required and an interview will be conducted over Skype by a compliance officer.
Customer support is provided by an email ticketing service. Unfortunately, no telephone number is provided with the exchange’s position that the high volumes of inquiries make that not practically manageable. This is in line with customer service procedures with most major cryptocurrency exchanges though can prove frustrating for account holders experiencing issues. Gatecoin does, however, have a particularly complete online resource with clear information on the vast majority of questions and issues account holders are likely to encounter.
Pros and Cons
- Professional level trading platform
- Quality controlled ICO and TGE markets available
- USD, EUR & HKD fiat currencies supported
- ‘Bank level’ security protecting exchange and client funds
- Strict compliance and anti-fraud procedures in place
- Low Fees
- Comprehensive information resource available online
- Institutional-level financial compliance standards
- Available cryptocurrency markets restricted to Bitcoin and Ethereum tokens
- Strict ID-verification requirements (this can also be considered a pro)
- Customer service only available through email ticket
Is Gatecoin a Secure Exchange?
Despite a well-publicized security breach that led to the theft of around $2.1 million worth of Bitcoin and Ether, Gatecoin can be considered one of the most secure exchanges internationally. Since the hack systems have been upgraded and now meet ‘bank standards’.
Is Gatecoin a Scam?
No. In terms of ownership and financial and corporate partnerships, Gatecoin can be considered one of the most authoritative business entities in cryptocurrency markets. The exchange has strong links to IBM and the city of Hong Kong.
What Cryptocurrencies Can I Trade on Gatecoin?
Bitcoin, Ether and a selected Ether ICO and TGE tokens are traded on Gatecoin
How do I Fund a Gatecoin Account?
A Gatecoin account can be funded with USD, EUR and HKD via bank transfer or with Bitcoin and Ether as per a normal cryptocurrency transfer process.
Why Do I Need to Provide a Copy of My Passport to Open a Gatecoin Account?
Gatecoin’s compliance structures adhere to regulations set by the Hong Kong Anti-Money Laundering Ordinance and international best practice for fraud prevention.
As an exchange, Gatecoin is very much focused on the specific market of Ethereum-based ICO and TGE markets. It is not the best exchange for those who want to be able to buy and sell a wide range of different cryptocurrencies, with only Bitcoin and Ether tradable, plus Ethereum-based tokens. However, the quality and compliance standards set by this exchange lead the way in cryptocurrency markets. For individual, professional or institutional investors who want to trade ICOs and TGEs, Gatecoin is the obvious choice.
The 2016 security breach suffered by the exchange can be considered a plus rather than a negative for those concerned over security issues. Since then systems have been upgraded hugely and are without a doubt at the forefront of security levels anywhere in cryptocurrency markets.
This is also not an exchange for individuals or other entities who value anonymity but, inversely, will tick the boxes on compliance and transparency that other more mainstream investors demand.
- Cape Verde
- Sri Lanka
- United Kingdom
- Solomon Islands
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Burkina Faso
- Russian Federation
- Saint Lucia
- South Sudan
- Virgin Islands, British
- South Korea
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Vatican City
- Papua New Guinea
- Cote d'Ivoire
- Dominican Republic
- Equatorial Guinea
- Hong Kong
- Sierra Leone
- Saudi Arabia
- Cayman Islands
- Sao Tome and Principe
- Czech Republic
- United Arab Emirates
- Marshall Islands
- New Zealand
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Central African Republic
- San Marino
- Costa Rica
- South Africa
- Isle of Man