In brief

  • Gemini has gained FCA approval to do business in the United Kingdom.
  • The crypto exchange has received a license as an Electronic Money Institution.
  • The regulatory approval is set to help Gemini expand internationally.

Crypto exchange Gemini has expanded into the United Kingdom, after successfully gaining approval from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as a regulated entity. The FCA has authorised the exchange with an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) license. 

The crypto exchange’s approval by the FCA signals a new step in the mainstreaming of crypto services in the UK. Gemini provides tools that allow users to trade and invest in crypto assets. With the newly approved license, UK customers can make GBP deposits to fund their Gemini account via Faster Payments, CHAPS, and SWIFT wire transfers. 

“Rigorous compliance is central to building a sustainable future for crypto and for our growth as a company. It ensures customers’ funds and data are adequately protected and that users can trust in the safety, stability and reliability of the product,” Blair Halliday, chief compliance officer for Europe at Gemini told Decrypt.  

In addition to the EMI license gained at approval, Gemini has also been approved as part of the FCA’s Fifth Money Laundering Directive (MLD) crypto asset registration process. The FCA is the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing supervisor for UK crypto asset businesses. Therefore, any company registered will have to comply with rules relating to thresholds for customer due diligence.

“Complying with the FCA’s AML and CTF regime provides our users assurance that they are not putting money into a product that is awash with illicit funds from illegal sources,” said Halliday. 

In order for crypto to fulfill its mainstream potential, there has been a concerted push toward regulation, safety, and security. For Gemini, satisfying the FCA’s regulatory requirements is a big step to achieving global expansion. 

“Going live with our full services available in GBP in the UK is another exciting step forward in Gemini’s international expansion, advancing our mission to empower individuals and organizations around the world through crypto,” Gemini CEO Tyler Winklevoss said in a statement. 

It was also no coincidence that Gemini pursued regulatory approval in the UK. “The FCA knows what it is looking for in an e-money institution. London, along with New York, is one of the major world centres in the fintech space,” Halliday said, adding that “crypto firms must build a bridge between the old world of finance and the new frontier of crypto.” 

It’s clear that massive scandals hitting regulators worldwide have not quenched crypto’s thirst for regulation.