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.
Recommended for you:
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.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.
Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.