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Gemini Expands to Asia Amidst Growing Trend of US Crypto Exchanges Entering the Region

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  • What – Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss founded, wants to expand into the Asian market. 
  • Why – This comes as the exchange faces regulatory challenges in its home market of the United States. 
  • What Next – Gemini has been granted a license to operate in Singapore and is currently waiting for regulatory approval in Hong Kong. 

The Crypto exchange is also in discussions with regulators in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. 

The move into Asia makes sense for Gemini, as the region is home to some of the largest cryptocurrency markets in the world. 

China was once the largest cryptocurrency market in the world, but the country’s government cracked down on the industry in 2017. 

Since then, Japan has become the largest cryptocurrency market in Asia, followed by South Korea. 

However, Gemini will face regulatory challenges in Asia just as in the United States. The exchange has been trying to gain regulatory approval for a Bitcoin ETF for years, but it has been denied by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) every time. 

The SEC has cited concerns about market manipulation and investor protection as reasons for its denials. Gemini’s co-founder, Cameron Winklevoss, has been critical of the SEC’s stance on Bitcoin ETFs, saying that it is hindering the growth of the cryptocurrency industry in the United States. 

He has called on the SEC to provide clearer guidance on the regulation of cryptocurrencies and to approve a Bitcoin ETF. The regulatory challenges in the United States have led Gemini to look to other markets for growth. 

The exchange has also been expanding its services beyond trading, launching Gemini Earn, a platform that allows customers to earn interest on their cryptocurrencies. Gemini has also launched Gemini Custody, a platform that provides institutional investors a secure way to store their cryptocurrencies. 

Gemini is not the only cryptocurrency exchange looking to expand into Asia. Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, has also been expanding into the region. 

Binance has been granted a license to operate in Singapore and is currently waiting for regulatory approval in Japan. However, Binance has also faced regulatory challenges in the United States. The exchange was forced to leave the U.S. market in 2019 after regulatory concerns were raised about its operations. Binance has since launched a separate exchange, Binance.US, to cater to the U.S. market. 

Gemini’s move into Asia comes when the crypto industry faces increased regulatory scrutiny worldwide. Regulators are concerned about the potential for market manipulation and the risks posed to investors by the volatility of cryptocurrencies. 

However, there are signs that regulators are becoming more open to the industry. In the United States, the SEC recently approved a Bitcoin futures ETF, allowing investors to gain exposure to Bitcoin without owning the cryptocurrency. 

The approval of the ETF is seen as a significant step towards the eventual approval of a Bitcoin ETF. In Asia, there are also signs of greater regulatory acceptance of cryptocurrencies. 

Japan has been at the forefront of cryptocurrency regulation, with the country’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) issuing licenses to several cryptocurrency exchanges. 

South Korea has also been working on regulating the industry, with the country’s National Assembly passing a bill that will provide a legal framework for cryptocurrencies. Gemini’s move into Asia is a significant development for the cryptocurrency industry. 

The region is home to some of the largest crypto markets in the world, and the expansion of cryptocurrency exchanges into the region could drive further adoption of cryptocurrencies. 

However, the industry’s regulatory challenges will not disappear overnight, and exchanges will need to work closely with regulators to ensure that they comply with local laws and regulations.

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