Gemini launches crypto operations in Ireland

abdelaziz Fathi

Gemini has officially launched its services in Ireland after the cryptocurrency firm secured a licence to serve as a Virtual Asset Service Provider.

That makes the cryptocurrency firm owned by the billionaire American Winklevoss twins the first exchange to register its digital assets business in Ireland.

The Central Bank of Ireland, the country’s financial services regulator, has approved Gemini to accept cryptocurrency transactions in euros and sterling. The platform allows retail customers and institutions to open a Gemini account to deposit, trade, and custody around 100 cryptocurrencies, including DeFi tokens.

Irish Fintechs and other corporations can also access Gemini’s crypto-native services like custody, clearing, trade execution, price discovery, and portfolio management services.

“Going live in Ireland is the latest step in our European growth strategy. This expansion is built on proactive and positive engagement with regulators and policymakers to obtain robust levels of licensing and approvals. Ireland is an internationally recognised finance and technology hub that serves as a gateway to the wider European fintech market. We are excited to service the strong demand for accessible and secure crypto services among the highly educated and tech literate consumer base here,” said Gillian Lynch, head of Ireland and Europe at Gemini.

Gemini’s Irish office, based in Dublin, is reportedly planning to grow further to become a key regulated hub through which significant aspects of its business across the EU can be conducted. It was opened last year and the exchange hired Gillian Lynch, former chief strategy officer at Leveris, to head up its operations there.

The VASP registration comes on the heels of Gemini’s Electronic Money Institution (EMI) authorisation in February of 2022, also from the Central Bank of Ireland. Alongside existing licenses in the UK, Gemini is able to process payments and issue e-money wallets via the Irish licence, for its ongoing activities in 26 countries across Europe. This also extends to money remittance and execution of payment transactions via telecoms, the ability to clear euro payments directly without the involvement of commercial banks, and the issue of IBAN accounts to its clients.

Gemini was the first company to receive the EMI license since October 2020. The crypto exchange first applied for the license earlier in 2020, following the footsteps of other well-known fintechs such as Coinbase, Stripe, Square and Meta. This further exposes its business to respectable jurisdictions when it comes to regulatory oversight.

Setting up in Ireland will also provide access to the country’s finance and technology talent pools for Gemini, though the country is not as lax as some other territories in Europe, such as Gibraltar or Malta.

From Dublin, Gemini will be able to build and launch products and services for the European customer base. Additionally, the exchange operator can build strategic relationships with the global banks, particularly as the ongoing uncertainty around Brexit is still weighing on the ecosystem.

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