Gemini Chooses Dublin as European Headquarters Amid SEC Scrutiny and Europe’s MiCA Law
The cryptocurrency industry is currently facing significant regulatory challenges around the world, and the approaches taken by regulators in different jurisdictions are highly divergent. In the United States, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been taking a tough stance on crypto, causing significant criticism from the industry. On the other hand, Europe is moving towards a comprehensive and clear legislative framework, with the adoption of the MiCA crypto law.
Gemini in Dublin
On May 25, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss announced that Ireland would be the headquarters for expanding their company, Gemini, across Europe. The decision was made based on the country’s regulatory system, large talent pool, and established technology community. The company was already registered by the Central Bank of Ireland as a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) in July 2022, and it was the first crypto exchange to receive a license from the country’s central bank. Currently, Gemini has twelve employees in Dublin and intends to use Ireland as its “point of entry” into the rest of Europe once MiCA is fully implemented in 2025.
The MiCA Act
The Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation (MiCA) crypto law was officially adopted a while back by the European Union. The law aims to harmonize the regulatory framework across Europe, promote innovation in the industry, and protect consumers. According to the Winklevoss twins, MiCA is the “common sense regulation” that’s needed to realize the promise of cryptocurrency.
The Green Light from All 27 European Finance Ministers
Last week, the MiCA law received the green light from all 27 European finance ministers, and its full implementation is scheduled for 2025. The law has cleared the last hurdle, and its adoption is expected to boost the crypto industry in the EU significantly.
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Gemini Aiming to Avoid the SEC’s Lawsuit
Gemini’s decision to set up a European headquarters in Dublin could partly be motivated by its current conflict with the SEC. The regulator has been aggressively targeting crypto companies and has recently sued Kraken and Coinbase for selling unregistered securities.
Gemini also faces an SEC lawsuit over its Earn program, which the exchange claims does not represent sales of unregistered securities. The company is trying to prevent the lawsuit from continuing further, and its decision to establish itself in Dublin may help it avoid some of the SEC’s scrutiny and enforcement actions.
Gemini’s decision to set up its European headquarters in Dublin is an indicator of the growing importance of the cryptocurrency industry in Europe. It also highlights the divergent regulatory approaches taken by different jurisdictions, with Europe moving towards a comprehensive and clear legislative framework while the US’s SEC adopts a more aggressive stance. It remains to be seen how Gemini’s decision to expand to Europe will pan out and whether it will help the company avoid further regulatory issues.