Exchange Firm Gemini Signs a Deal with the Central Bank of Ireland

By: Morgan Reeves

Despite the current bear crypto market, cryptocurrency exchange firms continue to sign significant deals around the world. One of the most recent of these significant deals is one between the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) and cryptocurrency exchange firm, Gemini. 

Gemini is a cryptocurrency exchange and custodian that grants users access to buy, sell, and store their digital assets. The firm is a New York trust company that is regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services. The company was founded in 2014 by American twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. The billionaire twins continue to run the company, expanding its global presence with deals across the globe. 

The European Union’s Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive, also known as 5AMLD, was transposed into Irish law in the first quarter of 2021. This directive means that it is illegal to operate in the said country without registration from the CBI and to carry out due diligence on clients. This includes identification, accounting for the origin and destination of respective crypto assets and reporting suspicious financial activity to the authority. This advancement succeeds and should be regarded in the context of similar recent effective and permissive regulations in other key financial hubs like the UK, the US, Germany and Switzerland. These countries are modifying their financial legislations to accommodate the recent, significant institutional investor demand for trading with digital assets.

The CBI has granted Gemini regulatory approval to offer digital asset services to the local Irish market. In addition to this, Gemini has officially become the first company to secure registration as a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) in Ireland. The firm opened its offices in Dublin in 2021 and was granted electronic money institution (EMI) authorisation in the first quarter of 2022, preceding the VASP registration in the second quarter of 2022. Gillian Lynch, head of Ireland and the European Union for Gemini stated that “Gemini was founded on the ethos of asking for permission, not forgiveness”, and adds that “since day one, Gemini has engaged with regulators around the world to help shape thoughtful regulation that both protects consumers and fosters innovation”. This deal will allow both individuals and institutions in Ireland the ability to access Gemini’s exchange and custody services, allowing them to buy, sell as well as store over 100 cryptocurrencies along with the Euro and Great British pound.  Fellow crypto exchange firms, Kraken and Ripple have also selected Ireland to be their European Union base. They are joined by Binance which has opened three subsidiaries in the country.

Gemini conducted research in Ireland in the first quarter of 2022 regarding the cryptocurrency adoption rate in the country. The firm’s findings were that Ireland can be considered the most crypto-curious country in the world. According to Gemini’s findings, almost 60% of the Irish population are interested in digital assets, and 18% of the population are HODLers of crypto. 

In fact, in a study conducted by Immediate Edge, Ireland is considered to be the home of a growing number of their new users, registering on the platform.  

According to the Finder Cryptocurrency Adoption Index, Ireland has 371, 000 people who own cryptocurrency with 71% of these people being male. This Index also reports that 31% of the 371, 000 HODLers, specifically hold Bitcoin. The Irish funds industry is optimistic that with all the recent advancements in the Irish crypto sphere, the country’s funds are headed toward widespread adoption of crypto assets. The industry believes that these approvals should be seen as the first step to the broader accommodation of this new, exciting and innovative asset class within Irish funds. 

With more and more countries placing focus on adapting their financial regulations to accommodate the trading of digital assets, adoption rates are set to rise globally and a secure, regulated space will be created for the trading of cryptocurrency. 

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