The Winklevoss twins, Cameron and Tyler are aiming to have a fully regulated Bitcoin exchange system based in the United States. Lacking any form of regulation Bitcoin has been under speculation over the last one year with countries like India, China and Russia trying to shut it down.
The brothers announced Gemini earlier this month claiming that it’s a fully regulated, fully compliant, New York based bitcoin exchange for both individuals and institutions. They stated in their blog “Over the past two and a half years, we have spent a great deal of time educating ourselves and others about Bitcoin; investing in bitcoin; investing in Bitcoin-related companies; filing an S-1 registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to create the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust (an ETF focused on bringing bitcoin investment exposure to main street investors) which will list on NASDAQ; and launching a bitcoin price index called WinkDex that will price our ETF (online, iPhone, Android).”
Famously in the news for accusing mark Zuckerberg for stealing their idea, the Winklevoss twins are aiming to build a world-class exchange from the ground up with a security-first mentality. With the promise of having a new Frictionless money exchange, the twins have brought together an ecosystem that is free of hacking, fraud and security breaches. Their team comprises of 14 people (including the twins), 11 of which are pure tech engineers. The team spans both coasts and embodies decades of tier 1 work experience.
They announced securing a banking relationship with an unnamed New York State-chartered bank. This implies that your money will never leave the country. In addition US dollars on Gemini will be eligible for FDIC insurance and held by a US-regulated bank. In a public hearing at the (NYSDFS) regarding the development of virtual currencies and their promise the twins had testifies and NYSDFS Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky and his staff understood the potential of this technology and were committed to building a regulatory framework that would both protect consumers and foster innovation in New York.
Last March, Lawsky said he wanted companies that want to operate virtual currency exchanges in the state to submit formal applications, in a step toward eventual state regulation of bitcoin exchanges.
The twins have reportedly invested $11 million into the currency in 2012. But with bitcoin’s value falling significantly and the bad reputation surrounding cryptocurrency, a lot is at stake. As opposed to their earlier statement the “existing Federal regulations are sufficient” the brothers soon concluded that a US-regulated ETF wasn’t enough. They are promising a solution to the growing number of US investors, traders, financial institutions and businesses wanted to get involved with bitcoin directly, but had no options other than to trade overseas or sit on the sidelines.
(image credit: TechCrunch)