Gemini, the high-profile cryptocurrency exchange established by the Winklevoss twins, is dealing with significant regulatory hurdles. The SEC of the Philippines alleges the platform has been operating without the necessary authorization, spotlighting the crypto exchange’s operational compliance.
Recently, Gemini had introduced a derivatives trading product in the country. The Filipino law classifies derivatives as securities. Gemini now faces allegations of selling and promoting securities via its derivatives exchange without appropriate registration.
SEC Sounds the Alarm on Missing Licenses
The Filipino SEC has aired serious concerns over Gemini’s failure to secure essential licenses for investment solicitation, handling of public funds, and issuance of securities. It urges the public to refrain from further investment in Gemini and to cease current investments on the platform.
Violation of securities laws in the Philippines can attract stern penalties, including criminal charges that could result in a 21-year prison term or a fine amounting to five million pesos (around $89,562). Gemini’s current issue isn’t an isolated incident. Its activities within the crypto sector have sparked similar reactions from global regulatory bodies.
Echoing US SEC Concerns
Notably, the Filipino SEC has referred to a statement by Gary Gensler, the US SEC chair, in its action against Gemini. This cited statement stressed the importance of crypto platforms adhering to existing securities laws, highlighting their role in investor protection and fostering trust in the market.
Previously, Gemini faced a lawsuit from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission in 2022 for allegedly providing false information during discussions about Bitcoin futures approval. The Philippines SEC calls for individuals with information regarding Gemini’s solicitation activities to report to their Enforcement and Investor Protection Department.
Gemini Eyes Overseas Amidst Regulatory Pressure
Given the intensifying regulatory constraints, Gemini is exploring foreign markets. In response to an increasingly challenging regulatory environment, Gemini and other crypto companies plan to relocate their operations overseas. Amidst these escalating regulatory battles, the course of Gemini’s future, particularly in the global market, is uncertain.