CoinDesk learns that Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange owned by Bitcoin billionaire Winklevoss, will apply for a broker-ownership license from the US Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
(Source: CNBC )
This is the first step in becoming an approved alternative trading system in which customers can legally exchange digital securities.
Gemini has previously entered into a partnership with the currency-based securities platform, Harbor, which allows institutional investors to use Gemini's GUSD stable currency to buy equity securities and receive dollar-denominated dividends through GUSD. Therefore, Gemini also hopes to facilitate the trading of such securities on its own platform.
In February, Harbor CEO Joshua Stein told CoinDesk that brokers, family offices and investment banks are still "very interested" in tokens, despite the stricter regulatory environment that inhibited 2017. A wider market fanatic. So far, the platform has been focused on the potential to segment real estate and start-up equity, but its only real estate transaction was aborted in April.
Harbor Marketing Director Kevin Young told CoinDesk:
“The (Gemini) team is very easy to work with and we are consistent in adopting a positive regulatory approach and meeting the needs of market participants.”
A source familiar with the operation of Gemini told CoinDesk that the plan would allow securities from external platforms (such as Harbor) to eventually trade on the Gemini exchange. However, obtaining the necessary approval may take time.
To date, FINRA appears to be reluctant to approve a broker-dealer license application for a company associated with a cryptocurrency, even as a securities token. According to reports, the self-regulatory agency is currently suspending about 40 such applications for approval, and these companies can wait up to 14 months. Only time will tell if Gemini will also become a token trading platform.
In 2015, Gemini obtained state-level qualification for digital asset custody through the New York Financial Services Department (NYDFS).