Gemini to Open a Crypto Derivatives Platform Outside the U.S.

Gemini Foundation's first product will be a perpetual bitcoin (BTC) contract, the company said late Friday.

AccessTimeIconApr 21, 2023 at 11:13 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:12 a.m. UTC
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Gemini, the U.S.-based crypto exchange, revealed Friday it plans to open an offshore derivatives platform – a decision announced as the regulatory environment gets tougher in its home country.

The first product at Gemini Foundation, as the new division is called, will be a perpetual bitcoin (BTC) contract denominated in Gemini dollars (GUSD), the company said, followed by a perpetual ether (ETH) contract also linked to GUSD. Unlike conventional derivatives, perpetuals don't have an expiration date.

The decision coincides with U.S. regulators getting stricter about cryptocurrencies in the world's biggest economy – a campaign that's affected Gemini. In January, the company and Genesis (which, like CoinDesk, is owned by Digital Currency Group) were accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of selling unregistered securities.

Rival crypto exchange Coinbase, which is also facing regulatory action in the U.S., would consider moving away from the country if the rules the industry must abide by do not become clearer, CEO Brian Armstrong said this week.

Being based outside the U.S. does not mean Gemini Foundation will be out of reach of U.S. watchdogs. Binance, the biggest crypto exchange, was sued in March by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for a variety of alleged violations, despite being based elsewhere (though the company has been coy about where). And the now-bankrupt FTX exchange was based in the Bahamas, yet former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried faces U.S. criminal charges.

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Nick Baker

Nick Baker is CoinDesk’s deputy editor-in-chief and a Loeb Award winner. His crypto holdings are below CoinDesk's $1,000 disclosure threshold.


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