Gemini Exchange Launches Impressive Institutional-Grade Crypto Custody Service

On Tuesday (September 10), the Gemini digital asset exchange announced that it had launched a new crypto custody service that allows customers to instantly trade 18 cryptoassets directly from cold storage.

Gemini is a "a licensed digital asset exchange and custodian built for both individuals and institutions." It is also "a New York trust company regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS)." It was founded in 2014 by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the famous identical twin brothers who in 2008 "settled for $65 million in a case where they sued Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for stealing their ConnectU idea to create Facebook back in 2004."

In a Medium blog post published on September 10, Tyler Winklevoss, Co-Founder and CEO of Gemini, introduced Gemini Custody.

The Gemini CEO explained that although Gemini has had custodial services since October 2015, their latest custody solution offers several important important benefits, such as those listed below:

  • Support for more cryptoassets. Currently, 18 digital assets are supported: Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Zcash (ZEC), as well as 14 ERC-20 tokens: 0x (ZRX), Augur (REP), Basic Attention (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).
  • Instant Liquidity. This means the ability to instantly trade the cryptoassets you have given to Gemini's custody service directly from cold/offline storage without the need to wait for those assets to be moved out of cold storage.
  • Sub-accounts
  • New web interface and account features. You can now check your balances, download account statements, initiate withdrawals, as well as "give auditors view-only access into your account to confirm balances, transactions, and activity."

In an interview with The Block, Jeanine Hightower-Sellitto, Gemini’s Managing Director of Operations, explained the main difference between their "instant liquidity" feature and that of competitors such as Coinbase and BitGo:

I believe that our offering for Gemini instant trading is unique in the crypto space for custody. We’re providing liquidity from cold storage for the exchange account for trading on the Limit Order Book that Gemini operates. There’s a big difference between trading OTC and trading on a regulated listed order book.

And here is how she explained how this feature works:

"For custody instant trades, we allow customers to trade on the exchange using the balances they have for those particular assets in cold storage without sacrificing any of the security in the withdrawal process. This provides customers immediate liquidity to their holdings that are held offline without having to miss any market opportunities for which they would want to be trading as assets on a real-time basis. So if there’s a price dislocation coming to market, you don’t have to wait the hours or longer for those assets to be actually physically delivered into the exchange account. We can credit your exchange account for the assets that you hold in cold storage and you’re able to initiate trading on those balances right away while we follow the full security feature set for withdrawing your assets from cold storage. We can give you the advance because we have a super liquid hot wallet for the exchange."