Winklevoss Twins Consider Taking Gemini Public

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In Brief
  • The famous bitcoin bull twins are mulling the idea of a Gemini Trust listing.

  • They are considering a variety of options from IPO, to direct to market, to reverse merger.

  • They also recently launched the Gemini Credit Card.

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The famous crypto-centric twin brothers are looking at the current environment with an eye to listing the Gemini Trust.

The Winklevoss twins told Bloomberg that they are still reviewing their options. They haven’t yet decided on the form of the listing, and an IPO, reverse merger, and SPAC are still all on the table.

A Matter of Trade-Offs

At the same time, the Winklevosses also announced the launch of a Gemini-branded payment card, called Gemini Credit Card. The card will reportedly return 3% of the purchase in bitcoin. 

“Cash is trash,” Tyler Winklevoss told Bloomberg. “So as you spend your cash, you get bitcoin – it’s a pretty good trade-off.”

Gemini Timing

The twins founded Gemini Trust in 2014 as a crypto exchange and custodian. In 2017, they filed for permission to create an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF).

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) denied the application due to the immaturity of the market. Cameron Winklevoss explained that the brothers are “still committed” to the ETF, however, they gave no further details.


The attempt to establish the first ETF shows that the Winklevosses are prepared to explore options on the edge of regulation. Gemini is nevertheless still focused on remaining compliant. In October, the firm announced that it was integrating tax-calculating capability into its platform.

This emphasis on regulatory compliance helps Gemini in other ways as well. In September, it obtained approval from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to operate as an Electronic Money Institution (EMI).

Moreover, Gemini was accepted into the FCA’s Fifth Money Laundering Directive (MLD) crypto-asset registration process. As a result, Gemini must comply with all anti-money laundering regulations and counter-terrorism financing (CTF) measures.

Following the approval, Gemini stated that the FCA’s go-ahead “reflects our ethos of working proactively with regulators and asking for permission, rather than forgiveness.”

Try and Try Again

Gemini’s offerings do not always appease regulators, though. In September, the exchange announced support for shielded Zcash withdrawals. Afterward, Europol took aim at Zcash. Like other privacy-enhanced coins, Zcash makes it easier to mask the transfer of ill-gotten gains.

In response to the increased scrutiny, Zcash’s founders donated the project to a non-profit organization called the Bootstrap Project. The move failed to prevent some exchanges, such as Bittrex, from delisting the coin. Gemini, however, continues to list it.

While the future of privacy coins remains in doubt, it seems that the Winklevoss’ latest endeavors are a matter of the public interest – and listing.


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James Hydzik is a finance and technology writer and editor based in Kyiv, Ukraine. He is especially interested in the development of regulation in the face of increasingly rapid technological change. He previously covered the CEE region for Financial Times banking and FDI magazines. An ardent believer in gut renovating eastern Europe one flat at a time, he currently holds more home renovation gear than crypto.

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