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.
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 an award-winning media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, institutional digital assets exchange. Bullish group is majority owned by Block.one; both groups have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary, and an editorial committee, chaired by a former editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal, is being formed to support journalistic integrity.