Winklevoss Twins Looking to Launch Regulated US-Based Bitcoin Exchange

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, among the most prominent backers of Bitcoin and its regulation, plan on launching a fully regulated US-based Bitcoin exchange.

None of the dozens of bitcoin exchanges currently in existence are regulated like a NASDAQ or NYSE. And few are based in the US, where it can be tough to secure a stable banking relationship for such undertakings.

But the twins aim to reverse this trend, and are heavily investing in the infrastructure to make it a reality. Based out of their Manhattan-based Winklevoss Capital offices, the twins have hired top talent to build the exchange, called Gemini, from scratch. Tyler Winklevoss said: “Right now we have to build the infrastructure. You have to walk before you run.”

They have also reportedly secured a relationship with a New York-based bank, which will handle all fiat transfers heading in and out of the exchange. In addition, they have retained the services of a law firm with a focus on financial regulation, and firmly believe that nothing can happen until such regulation is straightened out for digital currencies. “Our philosophy is to ask for permission, not forgiveness,” Cameron Winklevoss said.

The open question is now execution, particularly for regulatory approval. The twins are still reportedly planning on launching their bitcoin-based exchange traded fund (ETF), but its progress remains unclear. It has been in the approval stage for over a year. In theory, bitcoin prices in the ETF can be tracked by the new exchange, although the most recent filings with the Securities and Eexchange Commission (SEC) list only Mt. Gox, Bitstamp and BTC-e.

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