The Winklevoss twins said their main 2018 goal for Gemini Exchange, the Bitcoin and Ethereum trading platform they run, is eyeing expansion to other tokens such as Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin.
Their comments have significance for Cboe Global Markets Inc., Gemini’s partner on Bitcoin futures. Cboe, a Chicago-based exchange, has signaled it wants to offer futures contracts on digital currencies besides Bitcoin, but it needs Gemini’s help.
Gemini has an exclusive deal to supply the data used to calculate Cboe’s Bitcoin contract. Cboe could presumably add Ethereum now, given Gemini trades that, but expanding further would require Gemini widening its roster. Tyler Winklevoss said the licensing agreement with Cboe is scalable, and they entered into the deal knowing it could expand in terms of offerings.
Obvious candidates for expansion “are from the Satoshi Nakamoto family tree — Bitcoin cash, Litecoin,” Tyler Winklevoss said.
Adding Bitcoin cash and Litecoin would increase Gemini’s offerings to the same as Coindesk Inc., a major U.S. rival. That could boost the value of both: When Coinbase added coins in the past, the prices shot up.
In their remarks on Thursday at a Cboe event in Florida, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss said they “applaud” the statement from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday saying that platforms serving as venues for digital assets that are securities will need to register with the agency as a national exchange, or qualify for an exemption.
They also said they aren’t concerned about the recent slowdown in Bitcoin volume, as it’s happened dozens of times before and the long-term trend is still in the right direction. The customer quality and institutional base is better even than a year ago, they said, and “futures have gotten off to an incredible start.”
“In 2018, you’re really going to see institutions and Wall Street really get in, and it’s going to look very different,” Tyler Winklevoss said.
— With assistance by Matthew Leising