The search for the perfect cryptocurrency exchange is never easy. With over 600 exchanges around, trying to find the right one to suit your needs can be more difficult than the seven dwarves trying to find the glass slipper to fit the dragon in Neverland, or whatever that fairy tale story is. Fortunately, at the Coin Bureau, we provide plenty of exchange reviews to help with this monumental task and are happy to be bringing you this Gate.io review today.
Let’s break into this Gate.io Review and see what the platform has to offer.
Page Contents 👉
- 1 Gate.io Summary:
- 2 Review: What is Gate.io?
- 3 Gate.io Exchange Key Features
- 4 Gate.io Fees
- 5 Gate.io KYC and Account Verification
- 6 Gate.io Security
- 7 Gate.io Exchange Platform Design and Usability
- 8 Deposits and Withdrawals at Gate.io
- 9 Gate Token (GT): Uses and Performance
- 10 Gate.io Customer Support
- 11 Gate.io Top Benefits
- 12 What can be Improved
- 13 Gate.io Review Conclusion
- 14 Gate.io FAQs
- 15 Gate.io Exchange Review
Spot Cryptocurrencies Listed:
Gate Token (GT)
Lowest: -0.0200%/ 0.0250%
Highest: 0.0150%/ 0.0500%
Fiat Currency Support
Deposits: Crypto, Credit/Debit card, Bank Transfer, Banxa, SEPA, Apple Pay, Google Pay
Withdraw: Crypto Only
Review: What is Gate.io?
Gate.io is one of the old-school exchanges dating back to the early days of crypto. It was originally established in China in 2013 under the name Bter, then rebranded as Gate.io in 2017. Gate.io is one of the top ten exchanges in the world, currently sitting at the number 6 spot in terms of trading volume.
Gate.io was one of the fastest-growing crypto platforms in the early days, and one of the first to provide more than just crypto trading. After being pushed out of China due to regulatory issues, the platform focused on setting up shop and registering in Virginia in the United States, until US regulations caused them to leave the US and move to the Cayman Islands where they are currently headquartered. I don’t know about you, but I would take the Cayman Islands over Virginia any day. Piña coladas on the beach, anyone?
In 2019, Gate.io raised $64 million during an ICO for their exchange token and used the funds to impressively expand the platform, now offering multiple trading products, rivalling the likes of Binance and KuCoin.
Gate.io is popular for cryptocurrency and derivatives trading, especially for traders looking to use leverage. It is important to note that the exchange is not regulated by any global authorities. The platform is not available for traders residing in the US, Canada, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Malta, Venezuela, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Ecuador, or sanctioned countries, and users from the Netherlands, Germany, France, and Lithuania can only use the platform for Spot trading. Fiat withdrawals are not supported.
For traders looking for a full-featured regulated exchange that supports fiat deposits and withdrawals, I recommend Binance and Kraken for US-based traders.
Alright, now that we know some of the background, let’s dive into the key features.
Gate.io Exchange Key Features
Gate.io is a good platform for traders looking for a plethora of products and markets as it supports buying, selling, trading, earning, mining, NFTs, bot trading, and more. It is a robust trading platform suitable for experienced and professional traders, or beginners if they are up for a learning curve. For users looking for a very easy beginner-friendly exchange, I recommend Kraken.
Gate.io Review: Spot Trading
Gate.io offers a massive catalogue of over 1,000 tradeable spot pairs with leverage up to 10x available for some assets. You can find which assets can be traded with leverage by noting the grey box with a “10x” underneath them like so:
Spot trading is done via the trading interface which is powered by TradingView, meaning that the trading terminal is robust enough to meet the needs of the most advanced technical analysis traders. You can also find which pairs can be traded and leverage available on the trading terminal like so:
I will cover the exchange interface in more detail later in the article. If you would like to learn more about how to perform technical analysis, we have a handy article on How to Perform Technical Analysis for you to check out, alternatively, Guy has a great 3 part series that teaches the skill, you can find access to part one below:
Gate.io Review: Leveraged Tokens (ETFs)
Leveraged tokens have become very popular on many exchanges such as Binance, Huobi, and KuCoin, though this is where Gate.io has an advantage. The above mentions only offer 3x leveraged tokens while Gate.io offers up to 5x for those looking for some more “oomph.”
Leveraged tokens can be accessed from the Spot trading interface as well by selecting ETF on the top of the screen like so:
If anyone comes from a traditional finance background like myself, I find the term “ETF” oddly used by some platforms when they refer to leveraged tokens, as they are nothing like ETFs in traditional finance. Some platforms simply refer to these as leveraged tokens, some call them ETPs, some ETFs, but just an FYI that they mean the same thing on crypto exchanges, while something entirely different from traditional ETFs and ETPs.
Naming confusion aside, these are massively popular tradable assets, and I really like the concept as these provide traders with access to reasonable amounts of leverage, and the tokens trade on the spot market, reducing liquidation and margin risks while offering traders a far less complex way to access a degree of leverage. To cover the ticker symbols on Gate.io so you know what these tokens are, I will use Ethereum and Bitcoin as an example:
- ETH5S – is the ticker symbol for an Ethereum 5x leveraged short token
- ETH5L – is the ticker symbol for an Ethereum 5x leveraged long token
- BTC3S – is the ticker symbol for a Bitcoin 3x leveraged short token
- BTC3L – is the ticker symbol for a Bitcoin 3x leveraged long token
There is an impressive list of 272 leveraged tokens available.
Gate.io Review: Futures Trading
Futures trading is more suitable for experienced traders, and for those new and trying to learn the ropes, Gate.io isn’t the most beginner-friendly place to learn the craft. I found futures trading not nearly as straightforward or simple to navigate on Gate.io as on other platforms like Binance, Kraken, or OKX.
Futures and perpetual contracts can be traded with leverage up to 100x with Bitcoin and USDT contracts available. Once funds are transferred into your contract trading account, you will be able to trade on an interface that is different from the Spot trading interface as you can see below:
The Futures trading interface is suitable for experienced traders, and is also powered by TradingView. For anyone who has experience trading derivatives products, then there is nothing groundbreaking here and the interface should feel familiar.
Before you start firing away trades on this platform, be sure to double-check the leverage you have set, as I found the placement of the margin feature is not as obvious on Gate.io as it is on other platforms where the option is located directly above the buy or sell option:
Traders can choose their desired margin level and choose either Cross or Isolated margin.
- Cross Margin- Margin is shared between open positions with the same settlement cryptocurrency. When needed, a position will draw more margin from the total account balance of the corresponding cryptocurrency to avoid liquidation.
- Isolated Margin- Margin is assigned to a position and is restricted to a certain amount. If the margin falls below the Maintenance Margin level, the position is liquidated. However, you can add and remove margin as needed.
As far as placing orders, the following order types are available on Gate.io:
- Limit Order– Trader specifies the price and quantity of the order. The limit order specifies the highest price that users are willing to buy or the lowest price that they are willing to sell. The limit order can also have position options for stop order, iceberg, or reduce-only, and the trade types available are GoodTillCancelled, ImmediateOrCancel, or Post-Only.
- Market Order- Traders can place an order to go long or short at the current market price. The position options for Market orders are Stop Order, and Reduce-Only
- Trigger Order- Traders can select the trigger price and its order price and quantity in advance. When the market’s price reaches the trigger price, the system will place an order based on the order price and quantity set in advance (ie, limit order). Trigger orders can be submitted with the Mark price, or Last price, the position options are Close on trigger, iceberg, and reduce-only,
Here is an image showing where all the above features can be located on the trading screen:
As you can see, the order book is quite comprehensive on Gate.io, making it a popular platform for Futures traders.
Warning ⚠️: Trading with high leverage is extremely risky, and the majority of leveraged traders lose funds. Leverage is a tool best utilized by professional traders. Be sure you fully understand the risks of margin trading before getting involved.
Gate.io: Flash Swap
For those who just want to simply swap one token for another and skip the fancy trading screen, Gate.io has you covered with Flash Swap. Users can swap crypto in one click with automatic settlement taking place in the spot account with no additional service charges.
Alright, now that we have covered the trading aspects, let’s check else what else Gate.io has to offer.
Earn has become one of the most popular aspects in crypto, with the majority of platforms now offering ways to earn passive income. After all, who doesn’t want to earn a nice APY on their hodl stash?
Under the Earn umbrella, Gate.io offers:
These are pre-packed products that include assets linked to interest and derivatives. The returns are decided by comparing the price performance of the underlying asset to the linked price over the investment term. There are principal guaranteed options and more aggressive options for investors with a higher risk tolerance.
Here is a look at the investment market options:
One thing I like here is that Gate.io allows the user to choose what they want in an investment by selecting their risk levels, term, APR, and type. Once the investor chooses the type of investment that is right for them, the platform then recommends the appropriate investment.
This is in contrast to how the Earn section works on Binance, where the platform just throws about a million earn products at the user regardless of risk, term, and APR, leaving the user to sift through the overwhelming options trying to decipher which product meets their investor thesis.
Gate.io offers a lot of different earn products, ranging in APR from around 1.5% to 30%. Gate.io uses different products and terminology for their investment products than other platforms so I will list these below as these aren’t your typical earn products.
- Daily Sharkfin – This is a principal-protected product where users buy using the required currency and earn an interest rate that varies depending on where the observed prices are to the specified price range. The product is redeemed at maturity only, no early redemption allowed.
- Weekly Sharkfin – Same as the Daily Sharkfin, but on a weekly time frame.
- Bullish Sharkfin – This is a principal-protected product where users buy using the required currency and earn an interest rate that varies depending on where the observed prices are to the specified price range. This product is chosen for those who are bullish on the product asset.
- Bearish Sharkfin – Same as the Bullish Sharkfin, but for those who are bearish on the product asset.
Here is a look at a Daily Sharkfin structured product:
And here is a look at a Bullish Sharkfin structured product:
Gate.io: Auto Investment
Auto investment is another Earn feature offered by Gate.io where traders can sit back and auto-copy profitable traders. This is a similar product to the popular copy and social trading features offered on platforms like eToro.
Traders can see the current leaderboards of the top traders and choose who to follow:
This is a very risky product in my opinion as you don’t know who is doing the trading, and unlike eToro where you can verify the longevity and track record of potential traders you want to copy, there is very little transparency about the traders or their track record on Gate.io. Even before accessing the Auto Investment platform, Gate.io makes you read and agree to the following risk warning for Auto Invest:
- Auto-Investment invests in a Crypto portfolio, which contains risks any cryptocurrency in the portfolio may have.
- Auto-Investment does not guarantee bigger gains than a one-time investment, nor does it guarantee smaller losses.
- Auto-Investment does not protect your principal. You may lose the investment principal.
- Auto-Investment carries risks and can lose value, or even all of its value. Do not invest beyond the funds you can afford to lose.
Personally, I’d probably stay away from this. Oddly, Gate.io offers a secondary area for copy trading which is much more functional, which I will cover later on. Why is copy trading offered in two different areas and in different formats? I have no idea.
Gate.io: Dual Currency Product
This is a riskier product that is available on many crypto exchanges. It is a non-guaranteed wealth management product with floating income involving two currencies. The investor may buy the dual currency product with any currency specified in the contract. The final settlement currency is determined by the settlement price of the two currencies at maturity.
This feature is generally better suited to more experienced traders. You can learn more about the Dual Currency product on the Gate.io Dual Currency Product page.
Gate.io Liquidity Mining
This feature allows users of the platform to earn passive income by providing liquidity to the market.
Each trading pair market that supports the automated market maker (AMM) method will have a corresponded liquidity pool. Users can deposit funds into these pools and automatically become a liquidity provider. They will earn a portion of the fees generated by the trading done on the platform. This feature is very common for decentralized exchanges (DEXs), and it is nice to see it offered by Gate.io as well.
Here is a look at a list of some of the pools available to deposit funds into:
The terminology used by Gate.io is a bit different than what many crypto traders will be used to. This likely has something to do with the fact that the exchange was originally set up in Chinese, and the translation to English is probably a little off.
This feature is more commonly referred Liquidity Providing (LP), as users provide liquidity. Liquidity mining/providing is a more complex topic that is outside the scope of this article. You can find out more from the Gate.io support page on Liquidity Mining.
Just as a funny example of the squiffy translation errors on Gate.io, I found this:
I don’t know what kind of asset trading is going on here, is this an NSFW crypto exchange? 🤔
Gate.io: DOT/KSM Parachain Slot Auctions
Gate.io is one of the exchanges that supports Polkadot and Kusama parachain auctions, along with other exchanges like Kraken and KuCoin. I think this feature is amazing, a huge driver attracting fans of the Polkadot ecosystem. Polkadot is an exciting project with huge potential, but it is quite complex and confusing to navigate, leaving many crypto users at a loss with no idea how to get involved with the DOT auction process.
Gate.io has found a way to simplify the process for platform users, allowing them to participate in parachain slot auctions without the technical know-how needed to navigate the complex Polkadot DeFi environment.
If you are just hearing about Polkadot parachain auctions for the first time, or want to learn more, check out Guy’s Ultimate 101 Guide to Polkadot Auctions:
On Gate.io, KSM/DOT holders can find the auction they are interested in and deposit their tokens. The minimum lock-up for Polkadot Auctions is 5 DOT, while Kusama auctions are 0.1 KSM. After the auction starts, Gate.io will undertake the auction process on behalf of the users. The tokens will be returned to the users after the auction process, along with the reward tokens for the new project if it wins the auction.
Gate.io: Crypto Lending
Users on Gate.io can lend funds to those seeking to borrow, earning a little extra APY, or traders can also seek to borrow funds to meet their trading capital needs by navigating to this menu:
From there, users will select the token they want to lend or borrow:
Lending and borrowing are both done peer-to-peer with no need for an intermediary. Users can submit an order to lend at a specified daily interest rate and wait for a borrower to match the order. The default period is 10-days and can be set to be automatically renewed for more passive earning potential.
Here is a look at what the lending screen looks like:
Alternatively, instead of peer-to-peer lending, there are also loan pools that users can deposit into that offer attractive returns:
Traders who have some extra capital kicking around may consider tossing it into some of these pools to earn a little side income.
Gate.io: Bot & Copy Trading
I already mentioned in the “Auto Invest” section that users can copy traders, but it looks like Gate.io has another section that is further dedicated to copy and bot trading, and it looks much for functional than the Auto Invest feature.
Here users can mimic the trades of high-performing traders, and unlike in the Auto-Invest section, the Copy Trading section provides much more transparency about the traders and their performance history before choosing to copy their trades. Here is what a Trader’s Profile looks like that can be copied, showing important stats and metrics:
After searching around for some reviews, it appears that this is a pretty popular platform for copy trading, and the reviews are generally positive. Of course, copying another trader’s live trades comes with some risk so be sure to DYOR to figure out if the trader’s risk appetite is in line with your own.
Tip: Don’t just select the trader with the best performance, the more important metric is longevity. Anyone can go in, get lucky on a trade or two, and show a return of hundreds of percent. Any professional trader will tell you that trading is a marathon, not a sprint. I want to see a trader who can achieve a sustainable positive rate of return that is realistic, healthy, and over a longer period of time.
As for Bot trading, Gate.io has one of the most impressively robust and comprehensive trading bot interfaces I have seen on any exchange:
Here traders can create their own bot with no coding required, or choose to follow bots created by the community. Just like in the copy trading section, traders can go in and check the information about the bot such as total investment, total return, unrealized profit and loss, APR, strategy details, and basic info:
For anyone who wants to create a bot, you can publish your bot to the site, and earn a percentage of the profits from anyone who copies your bot which is a great feature. Bots and strategies can also be back-tested and saved as templates for future use and adjustments.
Now, before you get too excited and think you can just throw your money into an automated trading bot and hit up the Cayman Islands for that piña colada, time for a warning:
Warning ⚠️: Over 90% of inexperienced traders who use automated trading bots lose money. It is important to understand that no automated trading strategy can be successfully deployed in all market conditions. Trading bots are static and rule-based, while markets are dynamic, volatile and unpredictable. Professional traders have different strategies to deploy for different market conditions, and no one strategy, like the one followed by a trading bot, can be consistently profitable in all market conditions.
Similar to using leverage, trading bots are tools best used by experienced traders who know the appropriate market conditions in which to run a bot and have already developed profitable trading strategies. Be sure to check out our article on Automated Trading Bots to learn more.
If you are interested in exploring trading bots further, I recommend checking out 3Commas, you can learn about them in our Trading Bots article. Feel free to take advantage of our 3Commas sign-up link, which gets you a 3-day free trial and a 50% discount if you choose to sign up.
Gate.io: NFT Marketplace
Like most good exchanges, Gate.io now features an NFT marketplace.
The marketplace has a fantastic design, easy to navigate and with plenty of filters to make finding what you are after pretty simple. There are categories for art, music, domain names, land, cards, sports and utility. The Gate.io NFT marketplace offers popular collections such as OpenPunks, Supe Infinity, Losercoin and more.
Gate.io NFT marketplace offers something called Magic Box which is an NFT launchpad for new artists looking to showcase their work. There is also an Initial NFT Offering (INO) platform which is a launchpad for new projects. Trading volume is pretty decent on the platform, with Ethereum and Tron NFTs being the only supported network at this time.
Gate.io Mobile App
Like all the good exchanges, Gate.io has a mobile app for trading on the go, or for traders who prefer to download the trading interface on their desktop to trade as opposed to using the web interface.
The platform can be downloaded on IOS, Android, Mac or Windows. For the mobile application, Gate.io has over 1M+ downloads, but there is a pretty stark contrast between Android reviews and IOS reviews:
For Android users, the app has a pretty impressive 4.3 out of 5 score, while Apple users are not too impressed with a rating of 3.1 out of 5.
For the purpose of this review, I downloaded the app on Android and can say the 4.3-star review is justified. I found the app well laid out and intuitive with a well-designed UI/UX. It was easy to navigate around and find the different features, and everything worked as expected.
As for Apple users, the largest number of negative reviews come in the form of users being p*ssed off that they can’t withdraw fiat to bank account… Hmm, not the platform’s fault these people didn’t do their homework beforehand, Gate.io clearly states that fiat withdrawals are not supported. These people should have read a review or two first like this one. Give yourself a pat on the back for being smarter than the average bear 👍
There are also a couple of negative reviews for Gate.io not offering stocks 🤦♂️
Come on people, it is a Crypto trading platform! You want stocks, find a stock trading platform or use a platform that offers both like Robinhood and eToro. Why leave a negative review for something a company doesn’t offer? That’s like me leaving a negative review for Taco Bell because they wouldn’t sell me an airplane ticket.
Anyway, sorry about that rant.
The other negative reviews on IOS are more legitimate, with many users complaining that KYC takes too long, poor customer support, missing transaction records (yikes!), and platform freezes. I think I would avoid using the app on IOS.
The Gate.io app has the following features:
- Simple platform navigation for beginners
- Access to advanced trading functions
- Margin, spot, perpetual contract trading
- Alerts and market information
- Lending features
- Multi-language support
Fees are an important consideration for any crypto platform, Gate.io falls more towards the more fee-friendly end of the spectrum, with slightly higher fees than Binance and KuCoin, while considerably lower than what is available on Kraken or Coinbase.
Gate.io provides a tiered fee structure, similar to most trading platforms. The fees are dependent on 30-day trading volume, and fee discounts can be enjoyed by users who hold the platform’s GT token and who opt-in to paying fees with the GT token. The spot trading maker and taker fees are as follows:
Futures trading works on a similar principle, you can find the fees associated with Futures trading below:
Futures contracts are also subject to the following laddered funding rate table:
For users looking to lend, the same 16 VIP tier structure exists, with discounts ranging from 0%- 70%, and repayment rates from 5.4%-18%
Depositing crypto is free, withdrawing is highly variable depending on the crypto asset. You can find that information on the Gate.io Fees Page.
For crypto purchases, Gate.io does not charge fees, but their payment partners do. When purchasing crypto, be sure to check the fee information before proceeding to make sure you are satisfied with the fees.
Some purchase providers can charge over 5% which is a lot. You may be better off depositing crypto from another platform.
Gate.io KYC and Account Verification
To enjoy all the features on Gate.io, users will need to undergo account verification and KYC. Users will be able to deposit without KYC, but it will need to be done before users can withdraw.
I would strongly recommend passing KYC before depositing as I have read quite a few reviews about users depositing funds, then not being able to withdraw as they couldn’t pass KYC. That would be terrible.
Signing up for a Gate.io account will take you to a screen like this where you will fill in your details:
Once you’ve got the account set up you will need to upload a copy of a passport/identity card/driver’s license and provide a selfie. The website states that verification can take up to 12 hours, though many negative reviews are complaints where users mentioned it took days.
Gate.io places a strong emphasis on platform security and was rated as one of the top exchanges in terms of cybersecurity by CER, ranked #2 in 2020, though the ranking has fallen quite a bit since then currently at #21. They follow industry best practices such as cold storage, a WAF protection system, third-party cloud defence, and more as you can see below:
The platform offers users the ability to secure their account with the following features:
- Two-factor authentication (2FA) with Google Authenticator.
- SMS 2FA, which I do not recommend as it is considered insecure due to SIM card hijacking attempts.
- Login verifications.
- Additional fund withdrawal password.
- Whitelisting addresses.
- Anti-Phishing code.
- Blind IP logins.
Gate.io safeguards user funds by utilizing a mix of hot and cold wallets, keeping the majority of funds in cold storage. They mention that they keep “most” funds kept in cold storage, it would be nice to have more transparency here as most exchanges will state what percentage, it is commonly around 95% from what I have seen.
Gate.io undergoes external security audits as well, but despite all this, it is important to note that Gate.io has been hacked once in 2015 while still under the name Bter.com. They have since increased their security substantially.
Many crypto exchanges have insurance either provided by a third party or will stash aside some of their profits to be able to reimburse their customers in the event of a security breach. I was unable to find if Gate.io has any insurance funds in place, but I presume they do, as I found something interesting:
Why this is interesting is that the PAID Network hack was a breach of a smart contract that ran on the PAID network. It had absolutely nothing to do with Gate.io or any vulnerabilities on the platform. This affected users of the Paid Network, which included some Gate.io customers.
Gate.io had absolutely no responsibility for the lost funds and were not obligated to pay anyone back, this was purely a classy move done out of kindness. Well played.
Gate.io CMO Marie Tatibouet had this to say about the incident:
“Our users have waited for over a month. Despite multiple requests from our end, there was no response or concrete answer from the other side. Even though we hold no responsibility for the PAID Network’s hacking incident, we take our core values of security, transparency, and integrity extremely seriously. This commitment to our users has compelled us to immediately implement a solution in the form of a compensation program.”
Proof of Reserves
Following the FTX incident, exchanges are scrambling to assure customers of the safety of their funds. This gave rise to the term Proof-of-Reserves, which is the trending keyword of the day that is bandied about by both OGs and noobs alike in the crypto community.
The definition for Proof of Reserves is defined slightly differently for each exchange. In the case of Gate.io, their definition is “an audit conducted by a third-party company on a financial company or crypto exchange to verify that the value of assets on its books matches that held in its reserves. The third-party auditor is responsible for verifying the claims made by the financial institution or exchange. Auditing results are usually published publicly and made accessible to users.”
In other words, exchanges need to show that what they have (asset) is equal to or exceeds what they are supposed to pay out (liability). Sometimes, an independent audit firm is involved in checking the claims made by the exchange are accurate.
This represents a boon for accounting and audit firms as it’s a great opportunity for them to rope in new clients. It is especially true for Armanino LLP, a well-respected auditing firm based in the US that counts other crypto exchanges as their clients, such as Kraken.
Before continuing, it helps if we know what is a Merkle Tree. It is essentially a data structure for a group of encrypted data. Each transaction, whether a snapshot of balances or a transaction itself, is encrypted, grouped together and further encrypted, layer after layer, like a Russian matryoshka doll, forming a tree-like structure.
Now that we have a basic understanding of the Merkle Tree, the next part is to see what can be verified on the Gate.io exchange. It offers two types of verification: user’s own assets on the exchange and what the exchange holds in its own reserves.
How do users verify on their own?
Gate.io customers browse to the Proof of Reserves webpage and log in from the “Verify my account” section. Copy the customer’s Hash ID displayed, click on the Verify button, and paste into the space provided. This brings the customer to their own Merkle leaf node, ie where their transactions lie in the greater tree structure.
If you don’t see any information here, check that the account is active at the time the snapshot was taken, or that it was set up before the snapshot occurred. There is also a possibility that the assets you hold in the account aren’t included in the snapshot, especially altcoins. As you can see from the image below, what is included in Gate.io’s Proof of Reserves is limited only to BTC and ETH.
What does it really mean?
Observant readers might have noticed that there have only been two audits done by Gate.io, one last October and the one before that back in 2020. While it’s commendable that they’ve started looking into this way before the FTX spectacle, it’s also not quite reassuring that the last audit performed wasn’t a more recent one. There is also no schedule of when audits will be done, preferably in more regular periods, not as and when the exchange sees fit.
This brings us to the first fallibility of the Proof of Reserves concept: each audit is only as good as the last audit done. It might be somewhat of a lengthy process for each audit to be performed, the process of which is also not mentioned in the exchange’s blog pages, yet without that information, it is difficult for customers to determine how trustworthy the results are from each audit.
For all we know, funds might only remain in the reserve long enough just to pass audit before it gets shuttled elsewhere after the audit is over. After all, a snapshot is just that, a moment frozen in time. The only thing that we can do is to verify our own assets often in the exchange and hope that if anything goes wrong, we at least know we have money that needs to be returned to us.
Other fallibilities also include:
- the experience of the auditors performing the audits (it’s done by humans, not AI… yet). Some information might be overlooked when the audit is performed. It’s more than just verifying that the proofs in the Merkle Tree are correct.
- Access to private keys that in turn, gives access to the reserves. These keys could’ve been duplicated or shared with someone else etc. We can’t tell just based on Proof-of-Reserves alone.
- Other kinds of controls and check-and-balances need to be in place as we all know now (page 2 is the juicy paragraph), what kind of a shitshow operation FTX ran behind the veiled curtain. This is also something that can’t be prevented or mitigated by having Proof-of-Reserves
Gate.io Exchange Platform Design and Usability
The platform itself outside of the trading interface has a pretty lacklustre layout. It is not as easy to navigate as most other platforms, and I found clicking on some features would magically open up new products and features that could not be found from the main navigation area as if I suddenly opened the door to Narnia.
An example of this is that as I was clicking through different menus and was taken to different screens, the menu navigation options would change. On most pages, there is no mention of “Sesame Finance” which opens up an entirely different list of features, some that are the same features but with different names, and some entirely different products. I could only find sesame finance after navigating to a Chinese language version of the Lend feature.
Here is a screenshot of the menu from two different pages, the options for quotes, buy coins, sesame finance and currency circle are available on one, while other features are shown on the other menu. Not a great user experience when your main navigation pane changes.
Another thing I found quite annoying was that as I navigated around the platform, some links would take me to pages where all the text was in Chinese, and I noticed the URL kept changing to /zh instead of /en for English, so make sure you have Google Translate installed when poking around the site.
Fortunately, the trading interface itself, which is the main feature, is quite good.
For anyone who has traded on other platforms, Gate.io should feel familiar. It uses a similar interface to the ones that can be found on sites like Binance and Kucoin.
I like that with Gate.io, traders can go directly from cryptocurrency markets to margin trading, lending, perpetual contracts trading, financial services, the IEO platform and your wallet directly from the main menu.
I cannot fault the main trading screen at all, it is very well designed and I like that you can open multiple charting windows, this is something not available on every crypto trading platform. Also, the fact that the depth chart and trading chart can be seen on the same screen, or removed, is nice.
The windows are also customizable, another feature not available on every crypto trading platform. The charts can be expanded or removed, along with the depth chart and order book, making the platform highly customizable. And because the charts themselves are provided by TradingView, which is the most powerful and widely used trading charting platform in the world, adopted by most of the major crypto exchanges, it has heaps of functions and features to meet the needs of most traders.
Deposits and Withdrawals at Gate.io
Crypto deposits are the most common way to fund a Gate.io account. It is simple to navigate to the wallet section, find your receiving address and send crypto.
Just be sure to double-check if you are using a coin like XRP or XLM as some coins require a memo or ID tag. The platform will let you know if one is needed; don’t ignore that step if it prompts you, otherwise you may never receive your deposit.
Once you find the crypto asset you want to deposit, the screen looks pretty standard:
Crypto withdrawals are done from the same area and work the same way as standard crypto transactions:
Fiat withdrawals are not supported. Crypto deposits are free, and withdrawals are highly variable depending on the token. That information can be found on the Gate.io Fees Page.
Crypto can also be purchased via debit/credit card, bank transfer, Apple or Google Pay. Purchases are all done through third-party payment providers such as Simplex, MoonPay, Banxa etc. There are 50 different currencies supported and multiple different payment methods depending on what currency you select.
Gate Token (GT): Uses and Performance
The Gate.io Token (GT) is the platform exchange token, similar to Binance’s BNB coin, KuCoin’s KCS token, etc. The GT token has the following uses and perks:
Trading Fee Discounts – Holders of the GT token can get a % off their trading fees and can lower the trading fee if they pay with the GT token.
Facilitate Liquidity Between Different Currencies – Can facilitate liquidity between various cryptocurrencies through cross-chain atomic swap protocol services
Power the GateChain – The GT token is used to serve as gas which powers the GateChain, similar to how Ethereum serves as gas for the Ethereum network.
Voting – Holders of the GT token can participate in voting to help determine the future of the platform.
Earn – The Gate.io token can be used to earn passive income in the various products on Gate.io
The token holds a lot of value for users on the platform and is held not only by traders, but investors who are bullish on the long-term success of the Gate.io platform as platform tokens generally perform well with the success of a platform. Let’s take a look at the performance:
The GT token was launched with a price of around $0.75 in 2019 and did very little in terms of price performance until the bull run of 2021 when it hit an all-time high of $11.31, an impressive 1,400% increase.
The price came back down along with the broader crypto market in the back half of 2021 and throughout 2022. The GT token is actually holding up decently well despite the bear market we find ourselves in, dropping around 70% from the ATH at the time of writing, while many tokens have seen drops of 90% or more.
Platform tokens were among the best-performing assets during the 2021 bull market, it will be interesting to keep an eye on the GT token and see how it performs once markets begin to recover.
Gate.io Customer Support
Customer support can be reached 24/7 via live chat, email, or request submission via the website.
I am a big fan of chat support, and as always, for this review, I tested out their support quality and response times. Right off the bat, we are not off to a good start with Gate.io support:
I tried multiple times over a few days to get into contact with live chat, trying on multiple browsers, using incognito mode, tried the wifi in my local pub, etc., and all I ever got was this pop-up window spinning the loading circle forever, never actually connecting me with anyone. So, does Gate.io even have live chat support?
As I could not test it out myself, I checked multiple review sites and Reddit and saw that quite a few customers have issues contacting support, so I wasn’t alone here.
I read reviews of customers waiting for days for an email response, not reaching anyone through live chat, and the quality of support not being great. I sent an email and submitted a request to check the response times and was pleasantly surprised to have a response in under 24 hours, and the quality of support was pretty good. But this is of course, during a crypto bear market when everyone has lost interest. I wouldn’t expect quick support during a bull run.
There are quite a few crypto exchanges that don’t provide brilliant support but make up for it with an amazing self-help portal full of really useful content. Gate.io has an okay self-help section, not the best I’ve used. There are guides and tutorials, but I’ll let you know right now, you probably won’t find them by searching the website.
A common issue I have been seeing with a few crypto exchanges is that the indexing and search algorithms used to return help articles are absolutely terrible. Here you can see I searched for both “Gate.io Token” and “GT token”, neither of which brought up any articles at all. You’d think they would have articles on their own token that should come up with such a simple keyword:
Another exchange that has this issue is Coinbase. In my Coinbase review, I noted that I would search for something like “Coinbase card” and the help portal would return articles on crypto taxes. 🤔
Just a tip, if you find yourself having this problem, you are often better off searching for the article in Google, as Google can often find the self-help article you are after better than the help portal itself.
A couple of exchanges that don’t have this issue are Kraken and SwissBorg. Their customer support is incredible, and you hardly ever need them as they have brilliantly laid out self-help sections. If customer support is important to you, it is definitely worth looking into those two.
Gate.io Top Benefits
Gate.io is primarily a place for crypto trading and does that well. The trading interface is robust and feature-packed, with fantastic asset support, which is why this is one of the most popular exchanges for trading.
I would also say that Gate.io does copy trading and trading bots better than any other exchange I have seen.
What can be Improved
Outside of trading, bots and copy trading, Gate.io has a lot of room for improvement. For starters, a fiat offramp would be nice to see. Traders need a way to cash out their winning trades, meaning they would still need another account at an exchange like Binance, Kraken, SwissBorg, Crypto.com, or Coinbase to withdraw to a bank account.
Their support site also needs some work, a lot of information was difficult to find, or just didn’t exist. Gate.io does not offer nearly as many earn features as the likes of Binance, and users should consider other exchanges such as Binance or Crypto.com if they are looking for an “all-in-one” platform.
The website is also not great for navigation, it could use quite a bit of work on the design side of things. The changing navigation pane and the fact that I kept getting redirected to the Chinese site was annoying. The platform feels quite disorganized.
Gate.io Review Conclusion
The strongest features of Gate.io is the copy trading, bots, and massive selection of altcoins. If these are your main priorities, then Gate.io is a pretty good platform. They are mid-tier, offering considerably fewer features than Binance, Crypto.com or OKX, yet not beginner-friendly like Kraken, SwissBorg, or Coinbase.
For me personally, Gate.io doesn’t offer a good enough reason to venture outside of one of the top five safer, regulated, and more reputable exchanges. We have created an article on our picks for The Top Exchanges for different categories if you want to see our choices. Aside from bots and copy trading, other exchanges outperform Gate.io in nearly every regard.
Can Gate.io be Trusted
Gate.io is trusted by millions of traders worldwide, but I find it hard to trust it. The fact they are unregulated and not very transparent about their security protocols makes it difficult to know how trustworthy they are.
Most exchanges go into great detail explaining how they secure the platform and funds, Gate.io is not as transparent as I would like to see.
Is Gate.io better than Coinbase?
For active trading, Gate.io is better than Coinbase due to the more robust trading interface and lower fees.
For everything else, I would say Coinbase is the better exchange. This sentiment is mirrored by the crypto community as Coinbase has a considerably larger user base and does more in terms of trading volume. You can find out more about Coinbase in our Coinbase Review.
Is Gate.io Regulated?
No, they are not regulated at this time.
Is Gate.io a Good Crypto Exchange?
They are a good crypto exchange for users looking for strong asset support, decently low fees, bots and copy trading, but there are better exchanges available that are safer, regulated and more reputable.