For many years, the crypto exchange market of Europe has lagged behind the US, Japan, and South Korea in terms of infrastructure, regulation, security, and liquidity.
According to FT, two sources close to Gemini have stated that the major US-based crypto exchange has hired advisers to consult the company in the process of expanding into the European market.
“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.”
Positive For Europe
Since 2014, Gemini has built a reputation as a trusted crypto exchange in the US that is fully compliant with state and federal regulations. The exchange has always prioritized compliance, working with regulators to establish better regulations to govern the global cryptocurrency exchange market.
In May of this year, with the approval of the New York Department of Financial Services, Gemini integrated Zcash, extensively cooperating with local regulators to understand the anonymity of the cryptocurrency and its use case in the broader financial market.
The integration of Zcash by Gemini was monumental because of the reputation of the exchange as the most heavily regulated digital asset exchange in the global market. The listing of Zcash demonstrated the possibility of working with regulators in integrating anonymous cryptocurrencies, which previously were considered as money laundering tools for criminals.
“As a New York trust company, Gemini is, arguably, the most regulated digital asset exchange and custodian in the world. It is subject to rigorous regulatory oversight by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), is held to the highest level of fiduciary obligations and banking compliance standards, and must adhere to all anti-money laundering (AML) laws, know your customer (KYC) requirements, and consumer protections set forth by the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), the New York Banking Law, and the NYDFS,” Zcash Chief Executive Officer Zooko Wilcox wrote.
The reported expansion of Gemini into the UK market is beneficial for the cryptocurrency market of Europe because of the well-regulated and robust infrastructure of the exchange. Currently, apart from Coinbase, there exists no alternative cryptocurrency exchanges that handle crypto-to-pound (fiat) trades in the UK.
Competition: Gemini, Coinbase, Bithumb
Coinbase recently entered the UK market earlier this month, after obtaining an e-money license from the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority. Gemini will also have to file for an e-money license with the FCA in the weeks to come.
Given the company’s strict Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) systems implemented in one of the strictest markets in the world, Gemini is expected to not face hardships in the process of securing a license from the FCA.
Bithumb, South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, is reportedly preparing to launch Bithumb UK by the end of 2018. By next year, Gemini, Coinbase, and Bithumb will likely compete in the UK sector to gain dominance over the local exchange market.