Gemini obtains e-money licence from the Central Bank of Ireland

abdelaziz Fathi

Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange founded by the Winklevoss twins, has received a new e-money licence from the Central Bank of Ireland, the country’s financial services regulator.

Alongside existing licenses in the UK, Gemini will now 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.

The New York-based exchange has not made an official statement on the matter, but according to The Irish Times Gemini is 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.

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.

Gemini lands $7.1 billion valuation

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.

Gemini’s expansion comes as cryptocurrency adoption accelerates in the region, following significant growth in the United Kingdom and Europe. 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.

Five years ago, Gemini kicked off its international expansion by opening trading in Canada, but in terms of trading volumes the venue lags behind other exchanges. Gemini handled nearly $151 million of cryptocurrency trades during the past 24 ‎hours, languishing around the 9th global rank, according to data provided by Coinmarketcap.

In November, the cryptocurrency platform raised $400 million at a $7.1 billion valuation. As for Gemini’s creators, the twins are early investors in Bitcoin and have been highly bullish on its future value. They proposed an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that would track Bitcoin prices, allowing investors to gain exposure to bitcoin on a fully regulated venue. However, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) denied their application several times.

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