Gemini

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Gemini
Gemini-logo.png
Founded 2014
Headquarters New York, NY
Key People Cameron Winklevoss/Tyler Winklevoss, co-founders; Robert Cornish, CTO; Nick Vigier, CIO; Blair Halliday, Chief Compliance Officer and Money-Laundering Reporting Officer
Employees 200+
Products Cryptocurrency trading platform
Twitter @Gemini
LinkedIn Profile
Facebook GeminiTrust
Website Gemini.com
Releases Company News
Blog Gemini Blog

Gemini is a New York-based cryptocurrency trading platform founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (aka "the Winklevoss twins"). It is registered and regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services. Gemini hosts daily auctions for Ether (the cryptocurrency of the Ethereum network), Zcash, Litecoin, and bitcoin.[1][2][3][4][5]

History

In 2015, the New York State Department of Financial Services ("NYDFS") granted a charter under the New York banking law to Gemini Trust Company, LLC, a bitcoin exchange based in New York City and founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.[6]

Because Gemini is registered as a trust company, it is exempt from having to register with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”)*, a bureau of the U.S. Department of Treasury. It does, however, have an account with FinCEN for filing compliance reports.[7]

In June of 2018, Gemini announced that Robert Cornish would be joining its team as its first chief technology officer. Cameron Winklevoss made the announcement on the company's blog. The story was also reported by Bloomberg in early July.[8][9]

Gemini added trading services for Zcash in May 2018.[10]

On August 20, 2018 Gemini joined Bitstamp, bitFlyer USA, and Bittrex to announce the formation of the Virtual Commodity Association Working Group.[11]

In October 2018, Cameron Winklevoss posted on the company's blog that Jeanine Hightower-Sellito would be joining Gemini as managing director of operations to "build the Gemini Marketplace and our (Gemini's) new Client Services Team."[12] Also that month, Gemini announced during the Litecoin Summit that it planned to support Litecoin deposits on October 13th, and that trading would be supported starting October 16th.[13]

In October, Omniex announced that it had partnered with Gemini.[14]

In January 2019, Gemini launched a new ad campaign in New York promoting the adoption and regulation of cryptocurrency. The ad campaign featured slogans like "The Revolution Needs Rules," and "Crypto Without Chaos" on subways and on taxis, as well as a full-page ad in the New York Times. The campaign was created with the New York-based branding agency Interesting Development.[15]

In August 2019, Gemini announced on its blog that it had joined Silvergate Bank's payments network. Gemini's director of financial operations Josua Rawlins said that this would allow its institutional customers to deposit and withdraw U.S. dollars to and from their accounts in real-time.[16]

In December 2019, Gemini hired Julian Sawyer, former chief operating officer of the mobile-based Starling Bank, as its managing director of Europe.[17] Sawyer left Gemini less than a year later, moving to Bitstamp in October 2020.[18]

In January 2020, Gemini hired Blair Halliday, former compliance head of Circle, as its chief compliance and money-laundering reporting officer.[19]

In August 2020, Gemini announced that it had partnered with Eventus Systems Inc., a trade surveillance and risk management software platform provider, making it the sixth major digital asset exchange to partner with the company.[20]

Chicago office

In June 2019, Gemini announced the opening of an office in Chicago, Illinois. Intending to make the new office an "engineering hub" for trader support and the development of new products, the company hired five former employees of Coinbase's defunct Chicago office which closed in April. The company planned to build new order types and other tools for institutional traders in this new branch, potentially including a new low-latency, high-frequency trading engine, similar to the one Coinbase had been working on. David Weisberger, CEO of CoinRoutes, said that Gemini already has one of the fastest trading engines in the market and that this may not be an advantageous move from a liquidity standpoint.[21][22]

Australian launch

In August 2019, Gemini announced that its launch of trading services for Australian users, and that Australian customers can use Gemini's iOS and Android apps. Gemini announced the move at the same time that it announced the hiring of cybersecurity expert David Damato to its executive team as chief security officer.[23][24]

Asian expansion

In June 2020 Gemini hired cryptocurrency neophyte Jeremy Ng, a Goldman Sachs alumnus and Singapore resident, to head a Gemini office in Singapore. A Gemini spokesperson told The Block Crypto that the company would apply for an operating license in Singapore, a new requirement for cryptocurrency platforms in Singapore. Gemini also indicated that it intended Singapore to be the base for additional business development in Asia.[25]

U.K. expansion

The company announced its expansion into the U.K. on September 24, 2020, saying that its recent registration there as an Electronic Money Institution enabled it to take British pound deposits and offer its full range of trading and custody services.[26] Gemini was licensed by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority on September 18, 2020.[27]

Products and Services

In August 2019, Gemini announced that its prices would be included in the CME Group's cryptocurrency pricing indices, starting August 30, 2019.[28]

Mobile App

In December 2018, Gemini launched a mobile app allowing customers to buy or sell cryptocurrencies, view price charts, and view their personal portfolio. The app also featured similar security measures to the Gemini exchange.[29]

Block Trading

Gemini offers block trading through the Gemini Block Trading service, allowing its users to buy or sell large quantities of bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies without upsetting the cryptocurrency market. This went live on April 12th, 2018.[30]

Block trading is a type of trade order through which registered users on the Gemini exchange can trade large amounts of BTC, ETH, or ZEC. It involves submitting an indication of interest (IOI), similar to a buy order for a security on a traditional exchange. The IOI goes through the exchange, where vetted traders, called "Market Makers," approve or reject the order. If the order is approved, the trade is carried out at an agreed-upon price, and added to Gemini's blockchain.[31]

Gemini Dollar

In September 2018, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss received approval from the New York Department of Financial Services to launch the Gemini dollar (GUSD), a stablecoin backed by funds held by the State Street Corporation.[32][33] Gemini dollar prices broke the peg to the U.S. dollar on October 15 and 16, 2018 hitting $1.14 and $1.19, respectively.[34] By October 19, the Gemini dollar price had receded to $1.01.[35] Later that month, Cameron Winklevoss wrote on the company's official blog that GUSD has been adopted by 25 exchanges.[36]

Two OTC trading desks reported on February 5, 2019, that Gemini had closed their accounts after requesting large redemptions of GUSD into U.S. dollars.[37]

Gemini's stablecoin suffered a significant loss in demand beginning in about May 2019. After peaking at over 88 million GUSD in circulation in mid December 2018, the number had fallen to below 5 million GUSD by mid November 2019, eleven months later.[38] According to The Block Crypto on November 15, Sarah Olsen, who had been deeply involved with efforts to promote the stablecoin, left Gemini. The company did not respond to the publication's request for confirmation.[39]

Cryptocurrency insurance

In October 2018, Gemini announced that it had secured insurance contracts for its customer's digital assets. The insurance came from a global consortium of insurance providers organized by Aon Plc, which will hold virtual currencies in "hot" wallets on behalf of customers.[40]

Gemini joins Radianz Cloud

In February 2019, Gemini announced that it had joined the Radianz Cloud platform (created by BT Radianz), enabling quicker and less complicated connection to financial institutions also on the Radianz Cloud network. According to Nick Vigier of Gemini, existing Radianz customers will be able to access Gemini's FIX interface through their Radianz connection.[41]

Pilot with State Street Corp.

In December 2019, State Street Corporation and Gemini announced the launch of a pilot program that consolidates reporting about a user's holdings within Gemini Custody. Initially, the pilot would focus on reporting processes for bitcoin and Ether for "reasons of liquidity," the announcement said, but that additional functionality would be added later that would account for things like other security tokens.[42][43]

"Nakamoto" insurance company

In January 2020 Gemini launched "Nakamoto," an insurance company created to insure the digital assets of Gemini's customers held in cold wallets. The company will reportedly provide $200 million worth of coverage for customers.[44]

SOC examinations

In January 2019 Gemini reported that it had undergone a System and Organization Controls (SOC) 2, Type 1 examination by Deloitte. The examination addressed the systems used to process user data. Gemini's digital platform, user database, privacy and security functions. Representatives from Gemini said the company would undergo the SOC 2, Type 2 examination later in 2019.[45]

In April 2020, Gemini's Head of Risk, Yusef Hussain, announced that the exchange had received a Service Organization Control (SOC) 1 Type 1 examination by Deloitte which tested whether its customer reporting controls are designed to mitigate the risk of significant error, omission, or data loss.[46]

RIA Services

In August 2020, Gemini announced that it had entered into a partnership with Blockchange, a San Francisco-based crypto investing platform for professional wealth managers, to offer cryptocurrency storage and trading services for registered investment advisors (RIAs). The announcement also said that Quantum Capital Management was the first client of Gemini and Blockchange's new service.[47]

Brave Partnership

In July 2015, the privacy-focused Web browser Brave partnered with Gemini so that Brave users could buy, sell, store, and trade cryptocurrency within the browser.[48]

Key People

References

  1. What is Gemini?. Gemini.
  2. Fully Regulated, Fully Compliant: Gemini Now Licensed in Washington. Cointelegraph.
  3. DFS AUTHORIZES GEMINI TRUST COMPANY TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL VIRTUAL CURRENCY PRODUCTS AND SERVICES. NY State Dept. of Financial Services.
  4. Winklevoss Crypto Exchange Wins Approval to Trade Zcash. Coindesk.
  5. Gemini Latest Exchange To Offer Litecoin. Forbes.
  6. NYDFS GRANTS CHARTER TO “GEMINI” BITCOIN EXCHANGE FOUNDED BY CAMERON AND TYLER WINKLEVOSS. New York State Department of Financial Service.
  7. Is Gemini licensed and regulated?. Gemini.
  8. Welcoming Our First Chief Technology Officer. Medium.
  9. Winklevoss Crypto Exchange Hires NYSE Technology Executive. Bloomberg.
  10. Winklevoss Crypto Exchange Wins Approval to Trade Zcash. Coindesk.
  11. The Biggest Digital Exchanges Are Teaming Up To Police the Crypto Space. Bloomberg.
  12. Building a World-Class Marketplace and Client Services Team. Gemini Blog.
  13. Gemini Latest Exchange To Offer Litecoin. Forbes.
  14. Omniex and Gemini partner to deliver high-performance infrastructure to support institutional investors. Omniex.
  15. Winklevosses’ Cryptocurrency Exchange Says the ‘Revolution Needs Rules’. The Wall Street Journal.
  16. Crypto exchange Gemini joins Silvergate Bank’s 24/7 payments network. The Block.
  17. Winklevoss crypto-exchange hires Starling Bank co-founder. Financial Times.
  18. Former Gemini Europe chief Julian Sawyer takes the reins as CEO at Bitstamp. The Block.
  19. Gemini snags former Circle compliance head as it expands into UK and Europe. The Block.
  20. Cryptocurrency exchange and custodian Gemini selects Eventus Systems as trade surveillance provider. PR Newswire.
  21. Cryptocurrency exchange Gemini expands to Chicago. Crain's Chicago Business.
  22. Gemini is Chicago-bound after Coinbase’s exit, but who made the right move?. The Block.
  23. Gemini Heads Down Under With Crypto Exchange Launch in Australia. Coindesk.
  24. cite web|url=https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/gemini-expands-global-footprint-launches-in-australia-300905151.html%7Cname=Gemini Expands Global Footprint; Launches in Australia|org= PR Newswire|date=September 25, 2020}}
  25. Gemini hires former Goldman Sachs exec for Asia expansion, plans to get licensed in Singapore. The Block Crypto.
  26. Gemini Is Live in the UK!. Gemini.
  27. The Financial Services Register. U.K Financial Conduct Authority.
  28. Gemini Exchange Added to CME Group’s Pioneering Crypto Benchmarks. Cointelegraph.
  29. Gemini Launches New Mobile App for Crypto Traders. Coindesk.
  30. Winklevosses' Gemini to Offer Cryptocurrency Block Trading. Bloomberg.
  31. Winklevosses' Gemini to Offer Cryptocurrency Block Trading. Gemini.
  32. Winklevoss Twins Receive New York Approval to Launch New Crypto Coin. Bloomberg.
  33. Winklevoss Twins Receive New York Approval to Launch New Crypto Coin. Gemini.
  34. Winklevoss-Backed Stablecoin Soars Above $1 as Tether's Market Cap Plunges. Coindesk.
  35. 24 Hour Volume Rankings (Currency). CoinMarketCap.
  36. Gemini dollar (GUSD) Is Now Supported by 25 Exchanges. Gemini.
  37. Winklevoss Exchange Gemini Shuts Down Accounts Over Stablecoin Redemptions. Coindesk.
  38. Gemini Dollar. CoinMarketCap.
  39. Business development exec involved with Gemini stablecoin exits. The Block Crypto.
  40. Winklevoss's Gemini Obtains Insurance for Crypto-Assets. Bloomberg.
  41. Gemini joins BT Radianz Cloud community. Hedgeweek.
  42. State Street And Gemini Launch Digital Asset Pilot. Mondovisione.
  43. State Street Teams up With Winklevoss-Founded Gemini Exchange for Digital Assets Trial. Coindesk.
  44. Gemini ventures into insurance business - launches ‘Nakamoto’ to provide $200M crypto coverage. The Block.
  45. Crypto Exchange Gemini Passes Security Audit Conducted by Deloitte. The Coindesk.
  46. Winklevoss' Gemini Cryptocurrency Exchange Scores Another Security Qualification. Cointelegraph.
  47. Gemini now offers crypto trading and storing services to registered investment advisors. The Block.
  48. Brave partners with Gemini to let users trade crypto from within its browser. The Block.