When it comes to trading cryptocurrency, it has to be done via an exchange. These exchanges are quite like normal stock exchanges, but they are mostly online and have no physical presence. Some exchanges deal in only one currency, while some deal in several different currencies. They usually require a small fee to get started, and also have a minimum deposit threshold. Below is our GateHub exchange and wallet review.
What is Gatehub?
One such crypto exchange that has drawn a lot of attention lately is Gatehub. This is a UK-based cryptocurrency exchange and wallet for users of the currency Ripple (XRP). The exchange uses the digital coin for trading across the Ripple network, but happens to claim on its website that it has no connection with Ripple.
Gatehub was founded in 2014, and is run by Enej Pungerčar (CEO) and Sergij Foski (COO). If the names don’t sound British, it is because they are Slovenian, and Gatehub also has a branch in Slovenia.
What coins does Gatehub support?
The basic purpose of Gatehub is to let existing Ripple users quickly transfer money in and out of the network. It also helps new users learn about Ripple and how to use it. Although Gatehub is mainly for Ripple, users may also trade in popular coins such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and others, with trading against EUR, USD and other fiat currencies. Coin-to-coin trading is also available.
Gatehub has a special gateway for digital assets (excluding Ripple). It is called GateHub Fifth and offers services like BTC, ETH, ETC, and REP issuance on the Ripple network.
How to use Gatehub
As a new user registering on Gatehub is easy.
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Here are the key steps involved:
- Navigate to https://gatehub.net, then click on the sign up button.
- Next, you must choose a unique and complex password. You also have to create a recovery key, in case you ever lose your password. Make sure to store the recovery key safely. Next, you have to confirm your login information by clicking on the activation link sent to you via email.
- Next, you must choose the account type (Individual, in most cases), then register your identity by providing your phone number, name, photo, profile, and documents.
- Verify your phone number with the one-time password provided.
- Next, choose a GateHub name, which is to be used for receiving funds. You also have to provide some profile information, and upload valid documents. Gatehub claims all the information remains safe.
- Never forget to enable 2 Factor Authentication for your account. Although this isn’t mandatory for crypto transactions, it is required for bank transactions.
The scientists in the TotalCrypto lab have been working hard and examining the ins and outs of Gatehub. We have found that there are seven key advantages that the exchange has over its compitors:
#1 Cash accepted
One of the biggest advantages of Gatehub is that users can directly exchange cash for XRP or other digital coins. The fiat currencies supported by Gatehub are US dollars (USD), Euro (EUR), Chinese Yuan (CNY) and Japanese Yen (JPY). Gatehub also accepts payments with bank transfers, including SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) transfers.
No matter which region you are from, it is easy to convert crypto into a real currency on Gatehub. Although based in the UK with a branch office in Slovenia, Gatehub was easily accessible to the whole of EU. After Brexit, there may be a few changes.
#2 Low trading fees
Trading fees are something that every crypto trader is concerned about. The more money you trade in, the higher the fees. Even in the age of tax cuts fees still matter! Although most exchanges charge less than one percent of the trading amount in fees, in the long run it can seem expensive.
That is why traders always prefer an exchange with low fees. Gatehub is one such exchange with really low trading fees. The Gatehub fees for trading range from 0.2 percent to 0.3 percent per transaction, depending on the currency traded.
This is far lower than what many other exchanges charge. On the other hand, there are exchanges with even lower fees, and there are some like Coinfloor with none at all. Exchanges with no trading fees usually charge deposits and withdrawals. Although Gatehub isn’t free, it is definitely cheap.
#3 Several coins supported
Gatehub is mainly an exchange for Ripple, but it also supports several other coins, called altcoins. Even if you are not a Ripple user, you will be able to use the exchange if you use any of the following coins: BTC, BCH, ETH, ETC, REP, DASH, QAU, XAU, and XLM. With the surge in different altcoins, people now trade in various cryptocurrencies.
That is why exchanges that support only one coin aren’t of much use. Gatehub is a versatile platform, where even bitcoin can be traded. Although Gatehub’s portfolio isn’t as rich as some of the other exchanges, it is still good enough for those who want to be able to trade in several different coins.
#4 Ease of use
Gatehub isn’t just for experienced traders. It is for everyone who wants to trade and transact crypto, whether they are beginners or pros.
This is why the simple, easy to use platform (even Michael Kelso from That 70s Show can figure it out!) is a massive help to those indulging in crypto trading for the first time, as an exchange, it has all the required elements, such as a functional order book, order history, price, and market depth charts. The platform can be easily navigated by beginners.
#5 Mobile apps
Want to able to trade on the go or keep track of your crypto? Gatehub makes it easy with the mobile apps for Android and iOS. The app is free to download, and has all the features of the desktop site. You can trade, exchange, and make deposits and withdrawals on the go with the Gatehub mobile app.
#6 Wallet service
There is a GateHub Ripple wallet, where users can store their coins and record their transactions on the public ripple ledger. The Gatehub wallet is much like any other cryptocurrency wallet, but there is a minimum deposit amount like all XRP wallets. The 20 XRP minimum deposit cannot be withdrawn and is required for the account to become operational.
GateHub is based in the UK and offers its services throughout the EU. But it is possible to use the platform even if you are from a different region. You have to register on Gatehub first, then create a Ripple wallet (don’t ask Napoleon Dynamite to do this for you!). Then you have to buy XRP from any exchange website and directly send this currency to your wallet.
It is best to send at least 50 XRP. Since cryptocurrency is unregulated, there are no specific EU regulations for exchanges yet, as long as they apply KYC and AML procedures.
High transfer fees
Much like trading fees, transfer fees are also something that annoys users. There are exchanges where depositing coins, withdrawing coins to your own wallet or transferring them to another exchange are completely free. But Gatehub is not one of them.
In fact, it is one of those exchanges that have fees for deposits as well as withdrawals. Although the charges might seem negligible, they eventually add up with every deposit or transfer. When you add them to trading fees, you end up spending way too much on fees.
Bitcoin deposits have a fee of 0.00053 BTC, while Ethereum deposits have a fee of 0.011 ETH. Deposits in fiat currency are also charged: there is a minimum fee of 0.1 percent and $15.00 for International Wire Deposit. SEPA deposits are free, but SEPA withdrawals are charged anywhere between 1.00 € and 8.00 €. Withdrawals in cryptocurrency vary, depending on the coin: 0.005 BTC for bitcoin, while ETH and ETC are free.
No margin trading option
Most cryptocurrency exchanges don’t offer margin trading, and neither does GateHub. Margin trading involves borrowing money from a broker in order to purchase more stock than you’d normally be able to. Such leverage trading isn’t offered by all exchanges. However, some crypto exchanges like CexIo, do offer margin trading.
Many negative reviews
Although Gatehub had started on the right foot back in 2014, of late there has a significant surge in negative reviews about the platform – kind of the ACA health care law! Every user who has used Gatehub has had a negative experience. Some users claim that their account balance disappeared and their coins stolen, while some others claim that the platform’s security (kind of like Facebook!) and customer service is dismal.
Gatehub also has a reputation of not attempting to recover any missing funds. Some customers have had the misfortune of losing 20,100, 62,500, 440,000 and 800,000 XRP because of GateHub’s poor security. Many users also complain of delayed transaction times and slow ID verification.
Rumors of a hack
GateHub’s transactions on ripple wallets are recorded on the public ripple ledger. That means there is no other separate store of credit for clients. This public ledger could be easily hacked (where is Sadak from Blackhat!?) and the funds stolen. Many customers believe this is what has happened to Gatehub, resulting in such huge losses for many of them.
Even if there has been a hack, Gatehub never disclosed anything about it or attempted to tighten security. That is why existing or past customers warn people to stay away from Gatehub at all costs.
Is Gatehub safe?
Gatehub is good until something goes wrong. The worst part is the lack of cooperation from the customer service. If your funds simply go missing from your account, you are asked to report to the police, without any cooperation from the platform. In fact, you are blamed for your missing funds. They offer no investigation into what happened to the money.
In August 2017, Gatehub posted on their blog that they had discovered a hack, where a criminal exploited a flaw in an auxiliary deposit processing service and stolen around $5 million. The company also wrote that the amount was only a small fraction of GateHub’s total volume, and the majority of that is held in secure offline cold storage.
The company added that the funds of customers were safe and no client data had been compromised. They also assured that balances of customers were not affected, with GateHub’s shareholders only affected by the loss.
It is now clear why the funds suddenly went missing. There was/is obviously a flaw in the infrastructure that resulted in the loss, even though the company assured customers otherwise. It has also been found that Gatehub actually operates from Slovenia and has only a virtual office in London. They go by the name of GateHub Limited in the UK. However, their statutory annual accounts are overdue by a few months. That is not a sign of a legitimate company.
Customers are advised to be extremely careful when using Gatehub. Always enable two-factor authentication and tighten security by all means to reduce such instances of fraud. It is also recommended to not store a lot of money in the wallet, to minimize losses in case of a hack. Regardless of the platform you trade on, tightening the security of your account is of utmost importance.