Business 25 September 2018

Erik Gibbs

Gemini exchange looks to expand into the UK

The U.S.-based Gemini cryptocurrency exchange has its eye on global expansion. To help achieve its goal, it is reportedly looking to establish an office in the UK but no definite date has yet been provided. Gemini hasn’t come forth and confirmed that it was actively working on the UK operations, but two sources “close to the company” confirmed the move with the Financial Times.

The two sources said that the exchange, which was founded by the Winklevoss brothers in 2014, has already hired advisors to manage a possible UK expansion plan. Gemini has only said that it has no “immediate plans” to enter the market, adding, “[We] continue to explore potential jurisdictions around the globe to provide a best-in-class digital asset exchange and custodian which will enable growth and infrastructure to the entire digital asset community.”

One of the sources also indicated that Gemini is preparing to file an application with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the agency that oversees the financial markets. That application is reportedly one of the steps necessary for the exchange to operate in the UK.

The timing may be perfect for Gemini. Last week, parliamentary members began to put pressure on the FCA to bring the crypto industry out of the “Wild West” environment in which it currently lives. While the FCA does not provide the framework for cryptocurrency regulation, except for a few crypto derivative products, its position as the financial watchdog gives it the ability to implement crypto guidelines. The move, argues the lawmakers, will help the UK to be seen as a global hub for the entire crypto industry.

Gemini has been in the news a lot lately. The company is behind several crypto exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposals submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), all of which have so far been denied. Only recently did the SEC agree to take a second, more serious look at the ETF proposals.

Additionally, the Winklevoss brothers have launched a stablecoin, the Gemini dollar, which is reportedly backed by the U.S. dollar. The cryptocurrency was approved by the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) and will be held at a bank in the U.S. that is “eligible for FDIC ‘pass-through’ deposit insurance.”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

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