The billionaire Winklevoss twins, Cameron and Tyler, known for their legal battle with Mark Zuckerberg over the formation of Facebook, are considering the United Kingdom as a potential site for a second headquarters of their cryptocurrency exchange, Gemini. This comes amidst a climate they’ve labeled as “hostile” in the United States.
UK: A Potential Global HQ for Gemini
The twins are pondering the establishment of a “second headquarters” for Gemini in London. This week, they’ve engaged in talks with officials from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Bank of England as they scout potential locations for Gemini’s expansion.
Many US-based cryptocurrency companies, including Gemini, have cited a challenging regulatory environment, especially in the wake of the collapse of FTX, the bankrupt exchange run by Sam Bankman-Fried.
Overcoming Regulatory Headwinds
Cameron Winklevoss expressed his concerns, stating, “There are so many headwinds right now in the US it’s hard to get anything done there. And so, in order to keep building our business and invest in hiring, we have to look elsewhere.” The UK, where Gemini was among the first cryptocurrency firms to receive FCA authorization, is a primary candidate.
While they have no plans to abandon their US operations, the Winklevoss twins have been clear about their intent to expand elsewhere in response to a perceived hostile environment in the US. “But we also understand that you can vote with your feet, and that’s our right and we will do that when faced with a hostile environment,” said Cameron.
Exploring Global Markets
Despite their fondness for the UK, which they describe as a “second home”, Tyler Winklevoss raised concerns about an inconsistent attitude towards cryptocurrency firms in Britain. These concerns were spurred by a recent report from MPs comparing the crypto sector to gambling. The twins are also considering Ireland, Switzerland, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, and Hong Kong as potential investment locations.
Their early bet on Bitcoin in 2015 has made the Harvard University graduates and co-founders of Gemini, billionaires. However, Gemini recently faced a legal hurdle in January when the US Securities and Exchange Commission charged it with selling unregistered securities as part of a broader crackdown on crypto firms. The company dubbed these actions as “totally counterproductive.”
Despite these challenges, the Winklevoss twins remain undeterred and continue to explore global markets for the expansion of their crypto empire.