Crypto firm Gemini picks Ireland as European base amid US crypto blues

Regulation

Crypto exchange Gemini has selected Dublin as the headquarters for its European operations, amid a backdrop of crypto companies seeking expansion outside of the United States.

On May 25, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, who founded Gemini in 2014, confirmed that they had selected Ireland as a base to grow the company’s services across Europe.

In a meeting with Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, the twins said that they chose the Emerald Isle because of its robust regulatory system, deep talent pool and established technology community.

According to research from August 2022, around 10% of Irish adults surveyed held cryptocurrency. However, the figure was down from 12% during the 2021 bull market. Furthermore, the Irish central bank chief called for a ban on crypto advertising in January.

This hasn’t deterred crypto companies from setting up shop there, including crypto exchanges Binance and Kraken, as well as countless blockchain and fintech startups.

Varadkar commented, “This is significant for Ireland as the government focuses on innovation as a driver of growth.” Cameron Winklevoss told reporters that “Ireland is our entry point into the EU.”

“We looked at all of the EU as potential entry points and we felt really comfortable with Ireland and the reputation of the regulator, the CBI, as well as the technology community and talent and the ecosystem. So for us, it was an obvious natural fit.”

Gemini, which already has a Dublin office with 12 staff, received a virtual asset service provider license from the Central Bank of Ireland in July 2022.

The firm plans to increase its headcount following the EU adoption of the new Markets in Crypto-Assets regulations (MiCA), which was officially approved on May 16.

The twins are predicting a big boost to the crypto industry following the rollout of the regulatory framework. “I think you’re gonna get a Cambrian explosion of innovation [in Europe as a consequence of MiCA],” said Cameron Winklevoss.

It is not the first overseas move Gemini has made. In April, the firm announced plans to establish an engineering hub in India to access its burgeoning pool of tech talent.

Related: Kraken receives virtual asset service provider authorization in Ireland ahead of MiCA vote

The move comes amid increasing regulatory pressure in the United States in what some industry observers have dubbed a “war on crypto.”

The Securities and Exchange Commission action against Gemini in January, accusing the company of unregistered securities sales. “It’s definitely challenging, and there’s a lack of consistency,” commented Cameron on the state of things in the U.S.

The firm still maintains offices in New York under the Gemini Trust Company, LLC.

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