Leading crypto exchange Gemini Payments announced securing an e-money license from Ireland’s Central Bank. It is the first fintech to become authorized for such a license in the Republic since October 2020. By this, the trading platform joins the likes of well-known firms such as Stripe, Facebook, and Google to receive such authorization.
An Irish permit will enable Gemini to issue electronic money which it currently does in the UK thanks to its Financial Conduct Authority [FCA] authorization. The trading platform had submitted an application for a license back in 2020, partly to offset the impact of Brexit. Last year, the firm opened an office in Dublin, hiring Gillian Lynch, former chief strategy officer at Leveris, to lead its operations there.
The crypto exchange was founded by two identical twins called the Winklevoss brothers in 2014. In June 2016, Gemini became the world’s first licensed ether exchange.
Can Gemini level out the competition in the Republic?
Its biggest rival Coinbase which also has a presence in the Republic has gained a more popular fan base. Gemini on the hand aims to capitalize on its close connection with regulators. Last month, the Crypto Council for Innovation, or CCI, had announced that the trading platform would be joining its list of crypto-friendly firms aimed at supporting lawmakers on related regulation.
Data from public records through the U.S. Senate showed the exchange had declared spending a total of $120,000 on lobbying activities in the states during the third and fourth quarters of 2021 contracted with the Sternhell Group.
Peter Oakes, a former Central Bank enforcement director and founder of Fintech Ireland, said he expects Gemini will complement its new fintech license with an Irish crypto-asset registration to replicate its UK and international services. Oakes further said,
Gemini doesn’t provide services in Ireland [yet] but residents in other member states can open accounts. The combination of an e-money authorization and a virtual asset services provider registration should provide Irish consumers and corporates a fuller range of Gemini’s digital assets and non-fungible tokens services such as buying and selling, interest on accounts, payments, credit cards, and e-wallets.