On July 21, 2015, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, the founders of Winklevoss Capital, filed an application with the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) on behalf of Gemini Trust Company, LLC, which will operate as a New York Limited Liability Trust Company. According to a spokesperson, the Gemini exchange will be open to the general public as well as institutional investors once a Certificate of Authorization is issued by the NYDFS. Evan Greebel of Kaye Scholer is advising on this launch.
This trust company structure is the same one used by NY-based bitcoin exchange itBit, which received its Certificate of Authorization on May 6th, 2015 from Ben Lawskey, Superintendent of the NYDFS. According to the NYDFS, itBit applied for a charter in February 2015, which initiated a rigorous review of the company’s anti-money laundering practices, security standards, and capitalization structure. Using this regulatory structure, the bitcoin exchanges are required to meet the requirements for running a trust company, as well as the BitLicense.
The public launch of Gemini has been greatly anticipated. In a blog post published on January 23rd, Cameron Winklevoss said: “Since last February, Tyler and I have been assembling the Gemini team. Our goal was simple: bring together the nation’s top security experts, technologists, and financial engineers to build a world-class exchange from the ground up with a security-first mentality. It’s true that Bitcoin’s promise is a new, frictionless money, but that all becomes academic if we don’t build towards an ecosystem that is free of hacking, fraud and security breaches.”
While the company did not give any guidance on an expected timeline for approval by the NYDFS, this process can take from weeks to months to complete. Bitcoin Magazine will continue to cover this developing story.
This story has been updated to reflect the NYDFS timeline and include information about Kaye Scholer’s involvement with Gemini.