Winklevoss-owned Gemini Trust Company has thrown its hat into the institutional crypto custody ring with today’s launch of Gemini Custody.
From the very beginning, Gemini positioned itself as the exchange for institutional clientele, building its solutions with a security-first approach alongside regulatory compliance.
Gemini is already a New York trust company and a Qualified Custodian chartered by the New York State Department of Financial Services with a SOC 2 Type 1 compliant certification and currently undergoing a Type 2 examination.
Managing Director of Operations at Gemini, Jeanine Hightower-Sellitto, noted that institutional investors have been demonstrating a clear and increasing demand for crypto but have been hesitant due to regulatory and security concerns.
“Gemini Custody is the only crypto-native solution in the market today that meets these complex requirements without sacrificing security or liquidity,” she added.
Institutional-grade crypto custody solution
Gemini Custody is targeting the institutional financial market, providing investors with offline cryptocurrency storage using hardware security modules (HSMs), multisignature technology, and geographically distributed, access-controlled facilities.
The entire roster of the 18 digital assets that Gemini Custody currently supports includes Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Zcash, as well as the following ERC-20 tokens: 0x (ZRX), Augur (REP), Basic Attention Token (BAT), Bread (BRD), Dai (DAI), Decentraland (MANA), Enjin (ENJ), Flexacoin (FXC), Gemini dollar (GUSD), Kyber Network (KNC), Loom Network (LOOM), Maker (MKR) and OmiseGo (OMG).
A spokesperson for the company said that support for additional cryptocurrencies will be added soon.
Tyler Winklevoss, CEO of Gemini, has reiterated the importance of secure and compliant solutions for the digital asset industry:
“From day one, Gemini recognized the need for a world-class custody solution that is secure, compliant, and easy to use for individuals and institutions around the world.
“We are thrilled to continue our security-first tradition by providing our customers with Gemini Custody, an expanded offering of our state-of-the-art custody solution.”
Competition heating up
The launch of the Gemini’s new service comes at a time of intense competition in the institutional custody business.
In August, Coinbase acquired Xapo’s institutional division in a bid to capture the institutional market demand.
All custodians provide institutional-grade security with offline storage and are fully compliant with U.S. regulations.
One of the added features for Gemini customers will be instant trading on the Gemini exchange without waiting for funds to be transferred from cold storage.
Due to popular demand, earlier this year Gemini rivals Coinbase and BitGo released products that offer trading from offline storage by combining OTC services and custody offerings.
But Gemini’s instant trading is unique in the cryptocurrency custody industry right now, in that it provides liquidity from cold storage for the exchange account for trading on its order book.
This provides a completely different level of liquidity from OTC trading, allowing investors to take advantage of market opportunities by trading on a real-time basis.
The infrastructure for digital assets is already being built today, and the competition for the institutional market is heating up with exchanges and custodians firing on all cylinders.