While cryptocurrency continues to find its footing in 2019, Winklevoss Twins’ backed exchange Gemini is tackling a direction for the industry.
Rather than relying upon ads to bombard users in the digital space, the Gemini marketing team has taken a different approach by placing placards on taxi-tops in New York City, as well as posters in subways and other locations. The ads are designed with a tongue-in-cheek approach, with one featuring the iconic image of George Washington crossing the Delaware to the words “Money Has a Future.” Other slogans include “Crypto Without Chaos,” and the “The Revolution Needs Rules.” Gemini has also notified news outlets that a full-page ad will be featured in the New York Times on Monday, January 7.
Chris Roan, head of marketing at Gemini, explained the company’s belief that increased regulations in the crypto space would be beneficial for investors, giving them the same protections afforded in the traditional markets,
“We believe that investors coming into cryptocurrency deserve the exact same protections as investors in more traditional markets, adhering to the same standards, practices, regulations and compliance protocols.”
As opposed to driving the narrative that cryptocurrency needs to overhaul the landscape of money in a revolutionary manner, Gemini believes the path forward is a bridge between cryptocurrencies and traditional fiat–a move that would benefit the users of both. By opening the industry to increased regulatory control, starting with cryptocurrency exchanges which oversee the majority of trading, Gemini hopes to eradicate the “Wild West” moniker that has been negatively applied to crypto.
In addition, more regulation would smooth the current landscape of uncertainty and lack of standard practice between exchanges,
“In our competitive set there are widely varying degrees of adherence to regulatory guidance from people that oversee the more traditional financial marketers.”
Speaking to the Wall Street journal, Neha Narula, director of the Digital Currency Initiative at the MIT Media Lab, echoed the need for regulations to provide a single standard to the industry. While the industry is capable of applying existing regulations at present, the lack of consensus in the market and between competing exchanges makes a sweeping overhaul unlikely,
“There is a huge problem with market integrity, with consumer protection, and we definitely need to make sure that regulations are being enforced where they apply.”
However, Narula contends that increased regulatory oversight often comes hand in hand with a dampening of innovation, particularly for a relatively young industry like crypto still attempting to find its place,
“I wouldn’t want it to get to a case with crypto where innovation is stifled because it’s too expensive for them to comply with regulation,” she said.
Gemini’s bid for increased regulations could pave the way for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to approve a Bitcoin based ETF, a move that many believe will herald the onset of institutional investment. In July, the SEC moved to deny the Winklevoss Twins’ proposal to create the world’s first Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund.