Gemini to seek UAE crypto license as regulatory hostility in US spikes

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Key Takeaways

  • The Winklevoss twins stated that the move was triggered after experiencing “hostility and a lack of clarity” on crypto regulation in the US.
  • As per Gemini’s Global State of Crypto Report, over 35% of respondents in the UAE have purchased crypto.

Gemini, the United States-based cryptocurrency exchange owned by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, is seeking a license in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to escape what it describes as “hostility and lack of clarity” on cryptocurrency regulations in the US.

The exchange announced its decision in a blog post, stating that it sees increased enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies among UAE citizens and has had positive conversations with regulators in the country.

Gemini aims to expand its global footprint and promote the adoption of cryptocurrencies across 20 countries. It is planning to acquire a crypto service license in the UAE and has already engaged with stakeholders in the region to understand the local regulatory requirements. 

The Winklevoss twins, in an interview with Abu Dhabi-based news outlet The National, also praised the UAE’s efforts to become a crypto hub and enact thoughtful regulations that balance consumer protection and company innovation.

Gemini did not specify a timeline for when it expects to commence operations in the UAE. However, the company expressed its commitment to becoming a truly global entity by pursuing the license. While Gemini has not finalized the location for its exchange operations in the UAE, the Winklevoss twins hinted at the possibility of establishing headquarters in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

According to Gemini’s Global State of Crypto Report, more than 35% of respondents in the UAE have purchased cryptocurrencies, surpassing the 20% figure in the United States. The report also highlighted that nearly 32% of non-owners in the UAE expressed their intention to purchase cryptocurrencies within the next year.

Furthermore, 33% of crypto holders in the UAE plan to use their digital assets for in-person purchases at brick-and-mortar retailers, compared to the global average of 19%.

It was only in April 2023 UAE’s Securities and Commodities Authority began allowing crypto firms to apply for operating licenses. The latest move by Gemini also comes amid the Central banks of Hong Kong and UAE announcing a collaboration to work on crypto rules. UAE is now striving on developing virtual asset regulations to attract new businesses amid growing economic competition in the Gulf region.

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Saniya Raahath
Saniya Raahath

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