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Crypto exchange Gemini launches institutional-grade custody solution

John Galt


Crypto exchange Gemini—owned by the Winklevoss twins—has today created an insured custody service for 18 cryptocurrencies. The offering will expand on the five cryptocurrencies already listed on the exchange, adding a variety of Ethereum-based tokens.

These will include Gemini’s own stablecoin GUSD, Augur’s utility token REP, and Kyber Network’s KNC.

The custody service will allow Gemini exchange users—particularly institutions—to store large amounts of their coins at the exchange. These will be held securely off-line, in order to prevent the risk of funds being stolen in a crypto exchange hack—a common occurrence for many exchanges.

The custody solution will also utilize a technology known as multi-sig, where passwords held by multiple parties are required to access or move the funds. Additionally, Gemini Custody customers can choose to be one such partner, ensuring that the funds can only be moved with their access key—alongside other ones held by the exchange to make hacking more difficult.

But despite this focus on security, and ensuring that the coins are safely locked up, the exchange hopes to make the whole process more user-friendly. Customers using Gemini Custody will be able to have their coins deposited and have them available to use on the exchange simultaneously.

Gemini’s managing director of operations, Jeanine Hightower-Sellitto, said, in a statement, “Institutional investors have demonstrated a clear and growing demand for crypto, but they’ve struggled to find a solution that fully meets their complex regulatory and security requirements.”

Hightower-Sellitto added that Gemini Custody “is the only crypto-native solution in the market today that meets these complex requirements without sacrificing security or liquidity.”

Gemini will support these Ethereum-based tokens at launch: 0x (ZRX), Augur (REP), Basic Attention (BAT), Bancor (BNT), Bread (BRD), Dai (DAI), Decentraland (MANA), Enjin (ENJ), Flexacoin (FXC), Gemini dollar (GUSD), Kyber Network (KNC), Loom Network (LOOM), Maker (MKR), and OmiseGo (OMG).

The competition for looking after institutions’ crypto is heating up after Bakkt started accepting deposits for its custody solution, ahead of its Bitcoin futures offering set to go live on September 23. Can Gemini create the same hype or has it already missed the boat?