Gemini wins regulatory nods in Italy and Greece

abdelaziz Fathi

Gemini has officially launched its services in Italy and Greece after the cryptocurrency firm won two separate licenses to serve as a Virtual Asset Service Provider in both countries.

The dual approval marks yet another expansion for the cryptocurrency firm owned by the billionaire American Winklevoss twins in Europe. Regulators across Europe are grappling with how to regulate the crypto market, which remains subject to patchy rules.

Gemini said it had met requirements set by Italy’s financial watchdog, the Organismo Agenti e Mediatori (OAM), which oversees financial brokers and implements anti-money laundering controls. The crypto exchange has also registered its business with Greece’s Hellenic Capital Markets Commission (HCMC) as a custodial wallet provider and cryptocurrency exchange.

“These registrations, combined with our electronic money institution authorisation from the Central Bank of Ireland, allow Gemini to offer our secure crypto services to customers in Italy and Greece. Gemini’s registrations with the OAM and HCMC demonstrate our compliance with applicable Italian and Greek Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing regulations,” the exchange said in a statement.

Gemini is now operational in more than 65 countries, having recently rolled out its services in Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, and Sweden, with more countries on the roadmap. This further exposes its business to respectable jurisdictions when it comes to regulatory oversight.

The fresh approvals come barley a month after the Central Bank of Ireland has authorised 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.

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.

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