Gemini: The First Licensed Bitcoin and Ether Exchange

When Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss fought for control over Facebook, there was much debate over the very public dispute with Mark Zuckerberg. But that’s all in the past now, and with Gemini Trust Company, the Winklevoss twins are looking to the future. Given the fact that Gemini recently received licensing approval to start trading Ether on its bitcoin exchange in New York- that future is now.

This is undoubtedly a major development for the cryptographic community. Ether is the virtual currency behind Ethereum, and Ethereum is edging closer to being the biggest thing in this crypto-world.

“There is a place for Ether on our platform. It does what bitcoin can’t do,” Cameron Winklevoss told Reuters. “So that is the sort of criteria: that it is different enough from bitcoin and the proposition is great enough that this makes sense for us to include it in our platform.”

Aside from this business venture, the Winklevoss twins have gone on record saying their investment firm, Winklevoss Capital, is a “significant” holder of Ether. Evidently, they like it because of its “unique capabilities” and how it differs from bitcoin. At the time of this writing, estimates have Ethereum with a market capitalization of about $795 million while Bitcoin has a market cap of $6.9 billion. Keep in mind, the launch of Ethereum’s blockchain occurred less than a year ago. Conversely, Bitcoin has been around for almost a decade.

Governor Andrew Cuomo also seemed pleased to announce the deal. “With robust regulatory oversight, we are maintaining our status at the forefront of this technological revolution and ensuring that users have a safe and secure experience,” Cuomo said in a press release.

Ironically, the “regulatory oversight” the governor was referring to is antithetical to the objective of Ethereum’s platform. One of the reasons why Ethereum is appealing to so many software developers is because it aims to decentralize the web, something it can conceivably accomplish with its decentralized blockchain. Ethereum’s blockchain network is able to provide invaluable services like smart contracts and distributed applications without any interference from a central host, which would certainly qualify as one of those “unique capabilities.”

It wasn’t that long ago when the Winklevoss twins saw something special in Facebook. And now it appears as though they see something special in Ethereum. Going from the Social Network to the Blockchain Network, what does that mean for Ethereum? Only time will tell, but if it is anything like Facebook, then we may be looking at what will soon be a global phenomenon.