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US Crypto Exchange Gemini Eyes UK Market

Despite current market woes and a degree of regulatory uncertainty in the UK the Gemini crypto exchange is looking across the pond to expand its business.

The Winklevoss brothers founded exchange has hired advisors to consult on a potential plan to open in Britain according to the Financial Times. Sources familiar with the situation added that the firm is also close to filing an application with the UK markets watchdog for regulatory approval.

Following last year’s surge in crypto prices and popularity UK regulators have aired concerns about what they consider a ‘wild west’ environment. As usual they have cited apprehensions over investor losses though the likely concern is money laundering and tax evasion.

Back in the US the New York attorney general published a report indicating that there is a level of market manipulation associated with some of the larger crypto exchanges. Gemini has been very pro-active with security and regulation having recently won approval for its own stablecoin, the Gemini Dollar. It is one of two exchanges to acquire formal accreditation from New York’s Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) to operate in the state under its BitLicense framework.

Gemini also recently hired the NASDAQ stock exchange to monitor trading volumes to provide an extra layer of transparency. The company stated;

“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.”

Competing exchange, Coinbase, has already been approved for UK operations under the Financial Conduct Authority’s e-money license. This entails stricter KYC and money laundering checks in line with those carried out by banks. It is highly likely that Gemini would have to follow the same procedure to become the second international crypto exchange to offer fiat GBP trading in the UK.

In addition to Gemini, South Korea’s Bithumb may also be eyeing the UK as a base of operations to serve the European markets. The UK is currently one of the more crypto friendly nations in the region despite a number of warnings from the country’s central bank. In March the government announced a crypto asset taskforce to monitor the nascent industry in the UK. A report on the current state of things regarding cryptos is expected during Q4 2018 and this could be good news for Gemini if Britain remains open to the industry.