Gemini, the bitcoin exchange created by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, is set to launch on Thursday after it was granted a trust charter by the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).
When it was first unveiled in January, Gemini was envisioned to be one of the few fully regulated bitcoin exchanges in the world. The creators went to work, hiring top technological and regulatory talent to build the exchange’s infrastructure, well before New York’s BitLicense regulations were finalized.
However, the twins didn’t take the BitLicense route, as was taken by Circle. They instead invested in obtaining a trust charter, which grants it permission to operate in all 50 states as a fully regulated financial services entity, thereby absolving Gemini from BitLicense requirements. This was the approach taken by itBit, the first bitcoin exchange to become compliant with NYDFS rules. The three exchanges are the only companies to become licensed for dealing in virtual currency in the state thus far.
Paperwork for Gemini’s bid to obtain the trust charter was reportedly filed in July.
Trading will debut on Thursday at 9:30 AM EST, simultaneous with the opening of North American equity markets. A commission of 0.25% will be applied to each trade. Deposits and withdrawals are free.
The twins are early investors in bitcoin and have been highly bullish on its future value. In 2013, they proposed an exchange traded fund (ETF) that would track bitcoin prices, allowing investors to gain exposure to bitcoin on a fully regulated venue. Their application is still pending approval by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).