The Financial Times is reporting that the Gemini exchange is taking up plans to expand into the United Kingdom. According to two separate sources, the New York-based exchange is hiring advisors to guide them through this legal process. An application to the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is soon to be expected.
When asked, Gemini has not confirmed or denied the report, just saying that it has no “immediate plans.” However, they did confirm that they are currently in the process of “reevaluating” their global presence.
According to the Financial Times interview, the exchange said at length:
“Gemini continues to explore potential jurisdictions around the globe to provide a best-in-class digital asset exchange and custodian which will enable growth and infrastructure to the entire digital asset community… Although we have no immediate plans, we will always evaluate opportunities that allow the global economy to buy, sell and store digital assets in a regulated, secure and compliant manner.”
Gemini is likely feeling the pressure from Coinbase which recently managed to receive an e-money license from the FCA. This allows it to trade BTC and other cryptocurrencies with the British Pound sterling.
Gemini exchange recently has been buzzing with news for the past few months. Not only did the Winklevoss-led ETF proposal to the Securities and Exchange Commission get rejected, but the Gemini exchange released their own Gemini dollar (GUSD) which is tied to fiat at a 1GUSD = 1USD ratio. It was one of the first of its kind regulated and approved by the New York State Department of Financial Services.
However, the situation for Gemini’s expansion into the UK still seems far off. For example, many in Parliament still consider cryptocurrencies to be something of a “Wild West” that must be tamed before anything concrete can come out of the space. For example, the FCA does not even have direct oversight over the industry even though it has become something of the de facto body for handling crypto-related regulations. This all goes to show how young this space is and in due time the UK will have to develop separate regulatory bodies for just cryptocurrencies and digital assets.
However, what is clear however is that Gemini is feeling the heat from Coinbase. This push towards entry into the British markets indicates that Gemini is trying to position itself as Coinbase’s better alternative.