New York Regulator Grants Banking Charter To Winklevoss Twins' Bitcoin Exchange

By Joseph AdinolfiMarketWatch Pulse

Gemini Trust Co., the Bitcoin exchange founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, has been granted a banking charter by the New York Department of Financial services. The company is the highest-profile virtual-currency firm to receive a charter since the New York regulator issued a public order in March 2014 requiring certain virtual-currency exchanges to apply for such clearance. "We didn't apply for a BitLicense because we wanted to build an exchange that both Main Street and Wall Street could use and trust, so we decided to obtain a limited liability trust company charter in order to do so," said Tyler Winklevoss, chief executive officer of Gemini, in a company statement. The first charter was granted to itBit Trust Co. in May. In June, the regulator published its final rules outlining which virtual-currency companies must apply to the regulator for a so-called BitLicense allowing them to operate in New York state. It approved the first BitLicense, which involves a less stringent review process than does a charter, in September. Gemnini said its exchange will open for trading on Thursday. Regulators are applying greater scrutiny to virtual-currency companies. Last month,the Commodity Futures Trading Commission designated bitcoin an official commodity.

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