Crypto exchange Gemini has received approval to operate as a virtual asset services provider in France.
CNBC reported on Wednesday that the exchange, founded and owned by twins Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, had been awarded crypto registration by the French watchdog Autorite des marches financiers.
“This latest regulatory approval in France represents a significant moment in our European expansion,” Gillian Lynch, head of EU at Gemini, told CNBC in an email.
Gemini is set to introduce its products to both retail and institutional clients in France in the upcoming weeks. The company is in the process of completing the “final preparations” necessary to make its entire platform accessible to users in France.
French users of Gemini will be able to trade with over 70 cryptocurrencies through the company’s website and mobile app upon launch, as well as gaining entry to Gemini’s advanced ActiveTrader platform.
Institutional clients, on the other hand, will have access to Gemini eOTC, the exchange’s electronic over-the-counter trading solution.
Gemini Continues to Expand in Europe
The Winklevoss twins realized that “in Europe, there is both a strong sense of regulatory support for the industry but also much needed regulatory clarity on the horizon with MiCA (EU Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation)” after a visit to the EU last year, Lynch told CNBC.
Approved by EU lawmakers last year, MiCA enables crypto companies to obtain a license in one EU country and utilize it as a “passport” to operate across any nation within the EU.
U.S. regulators, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), have been targeting major U.S. crypto companies in recent times. Last year, both Gemini and crypto lender Genesis were charged by the SEC with allegedly offering and selling unregistered securities through the Gemini Earn Lending Program.
The SEC alleges that Gemini and Genesis “raised billions of dollars’ worth of crypto assets from hundreds of thousands of investors” through the unregistered offering.
Gemini is refuting the SEC’s allegations, saying that its interest-bearing products did not qualify as securities.
The actions of U.S. regulators have led to several American crypto companies expanding into Europe, with Gemini designating Ireland as its European headquarters back in May.
Coinbase, the largest crypto exchange in the U.S., chose Ireland as its regulatory hub in the EU last year, while also registering with the Central Bank of Ireland for a MiCA license.
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