Gemini, the bitcoin currency exchange operated by investors Cameron and Tyler Winkelvoss, has received approval from the state of New York to offer trading for ether, the native token of the Ethereum network.
The New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) announced the approval today, a move the department said was necessary given that the agency has the mandate to review any material changes to the services offered by industry firms.
The exchange, approved to open last October, had received the greenlight to operate as a limited purpose trust company from the NYDFS, though it is not regulated under the BitLicense, the state's industry-specific licensing regime.
Yet the exchange has struggled to capture the attention of bitcoin traders since then. According to figures from Coinmarketcap, Gemini saw 811 BTC (or roughly $360k) in trading over the past 24 hours. Such figures are below competitors such as Bitfinex and Coinbase, which traded 8,686 BTC and 5,331 BTC, respectively, over the last day.
In a statement released by the NYDFS, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the move is in line with the state’s efforts to support "new innovations and emerging industries", remarking:
The forthcoming launch of ether trading, scheduled for Monday, the NYDFS said, represents its first approval for a digital currency-related service beyond bitcoin.
However, the NYDFS told CoinDesk that such activity was already "permissible" with their existing charter.