Two of the biggest personalities in the bitcoin world, Tylor and Cameron Winklevoss of Facebook-founding fame, are mulling whether to grow their New York-based Gemini cryptocurrency exchange across the Atlantic to the UK.
Bitcoin, as well as many other major cryptocurrencies, have struggled throughout 2018, but price falls of 60% have failed to dampen the Winklevoss twins bullish outlook on bitcoin and the crypto sector.
The Gemini Trust Company, which was founded by the Winklevoss twins in 2014 and ranks among the top 100 global crypto exchanges by volume of trades, has hired advisers to consult on a potential move to the UK and is close to filing an application with the UK markets watchdog for regulatory approval, it was today reported by the Financial Times, citing unnamed sources.
Bitcoin is currently trading at around $6,500, down from an eye-watering near $20,000 late last year. A bull run throughout 2017 saw bitcoin, as well as ethereum, ripple, stellar, and litecoin, all make massive gains as investors around the world piled into cryptocurrencies.
Last week former macro hedge fund manager Michael Novogratz predicted the bitcoin price sell-off has hit its bottom and that many major cryptocurrencies are about to bounce back.
Earlier this year research revealed the majority of the world’s cryptocurrency exchanges are based in the UK, but the vast amount of volume flows through the small island of Malta.
While Malta dominates when it comes to volumes, the UK is home to the largest number of exchanges — although the country accounts for just 1% of global trading volumes, Morgan Stanley research showed.
Cryptocurrency exchanges have in recent years come under increasing scrutiny from regulators worldwide as more and more money as flowed into the sector — and the UK is no different.
Last week a group of influential UK politicians called for the government to regulate what they called the “wild west” cryptocurrency industry, pointing to concerns around money-laundering, price manipulation and high risk of losses for investors.
They called for, at a minimum, regulation to be introduced to add consumer protection and counter money laundering and recommended placing the bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry under the supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) — which looks after the country’s banks.
“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,” Gemini said in a statement to the Financial Times.
“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.”