The Winklevoss Twins say regulation will strengthen trust in the crypto industry and help return bitcoin prices to previous higher levels.
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the owners of the Gemini exchange, flew into the South By SouthWest (SXSW) conference taking place in Austin Texas for their first attendance since 2016.
In their call for tighter regulation the twins cited the missing $194 million at QuadrigaCX as just the latest debacle to beset the industry, with the Mt.Gox implosion the event that set them on the road to setting up Gemini.
“There are a lot of carcasses on the road of crypto that we’ve seen and learned from. At the end of the day it’s really a trust problem. You need some kind of regulation to promote positive outcomes,” said Cameron in comments to Bloomberg.
Checks and balances
His brother Tyler also weighed in. “You want to have a couple of layers of checks and balances. We are here for the long haul.”
Not everyone will agree with those aims, preferring crypto stays as far away from government and regulators as possible.
Although there is no direct quotation, according to the Bloomberg report the twins see regulation as the key to bitcoin price recovery:
Better oversight and compliance will also help Bitcoin’s price recover to prior levels, he said, adding that it may be possible for Bitcoin’s value to increase in the coming years.
The twins inherited their wealth and famously took Mark Zuckerberg to court after accusing him of stealing the idea for Facebook from them.
Their Gemini is regulated and the twins were behind the setting up of a self-regulatory industry body in the US, the Virtual Commodities Association. Prominent exchanges Bitflyer US, Bittrex and Bitstamp are members alongside Gemini.
They are now pushing a global vision for Gemini as crypto seeks to make good on its technological potential to pull the unbanked on the world into the formal economy.
“With a crypto address and a smartphone, all of a sudden you are in the system. We are really just trying to extend the financial system, so you can send dollars anywhere in the world,” said Cameron.
He even went so far as to envision a future in which the main market for value transfer will be between machines, not humans.
Volatility, Europe and robots
“These devices will need to transact value, and they’ll probably talk through companies like Gemini.”
In a separate interview, this time with Yahoo Finance, the twins revealed that the Gemini exchange “is hoping to open in Europe soon”.
They were pushing their new mobile app, launched in December
Asked what they thought about volatility Tyler said: “It’s pretty normal for a new asset to be volatile at different points in time.”
“Overall we end up at a better floor than we started,” added Cameron.
Continuing, he noted “it might be volatile but has moved in the right direction”, pointing out that when they were last at SXSW bitcoin was priced at $400 and is now near $4,000.
The twins took every opportunity to push their products, as we’ve come to expect.
They said the theme in terms of business development for Gemini was “going global and going mobile”
The Winklevosses shared that they have the UK, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, “and some other among other jurisdictions” in their sights for Gemini’s global roll out.
Asked what they thought of the competition from the likes of trading app Robinhood and its proven ability to attract millennials, the twins countered that Gemini is not an equities brokerage but “a crypto-native company… a custodian, exchange and a platform”.