Gemini has an advertisement on a New York sidewalk that’s got people talking on Crypto Twitter.
Rules like mathematics? Sure. Crypto needs that. Rules like "KYC AML licencing taxation Patriot Act bitlicense bullshit?" No. Crypto doesn't need that. pic.twitter.com/8azzqCKlwa
— Nick Foley (@BookofNick) January 4, 2019
Former Coinbase support representative and Bitcoin enthusiast Nick Foley believes that regulation is necessary. But he says in a later tweet:
Regulations aren’t something to be celebrated, as this ad seems to do. The ad makes the regulators feel a false sense of importance, and encourages and perpetuates the current corrupt system.
The ad is part of a larger campaign around New York by Gemini which promotes its status as a regulatory-compliant crypto exchange.
Chris Roan, head of marketing at Gemini, told the Wall Street Journal:
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.
In our competitive set there are widely varying degrees of adherence to regulatory guidance from people that oversee the more traditional financial marketers[…]Some players are devoted to decentralizing authority over money, a key tenet of many cryptocurrency advocates, while others including Gemini believe there has to be a “bridge” between the old system and a new one.
Gemini’s First Real Advertising Effort
The ad campaign marks one of Gemini’s first real efforts at gaining retail investors. Since 2014, they have primarily focused on large institutional money. The launch of Gemini USD, a less-popular stablecoin, has seen retail investors taking a greater interest in the exchange. They hired a firm called Interesting Development to create and run the campaign.
Other Twitter users responded to Nick Foley’s tweet:
Gemini is not good for crypto if they are asking for More rules and regulations from the same individuals and cartel leaders that have been screwing the average man for years. This sign makes me sad.
— KRYPTIC NATION (@krypticNationX) January 4, 2019
10 years later its still seems to be helping people around the world. Without government being involved.
— TheWobbleMyJello (@SnubLife333) January 4, 2019
The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.
— Future Blackboard (@amydashrose) January 4, 2019
The three slogans of the ad campaign are:
• “The Revolution Needs Rules”
• “Crypto Without Chaos”
• “Money Has a Future”
The Curious World of Crypto Regulations
Gemini Exchange is a New York-based company and is therefore regulated under the BitLicense. They were one of the first recipients. In recent times, complaints about the speed with which the New York Department of Financial Services was processing applications led to the agency picking up the pace. They are likely on track to approve one new licensee every month of 2019.
Regulations in America and elsewhere for cryptocurrencies are still very nascent. Some states have passed very welcoming regulations. States like Ohio seek to become a hub of cryptocurrency innovation and businesses. States like California have flirted with BitLicense-style regulations. At the federal level, some representatives seek to remove SEC authority over cryptocurrency altogether.
Crypto businesses are still very insecure and unsure of their standing with governments the world over. Some jurisdictions badly need and want new financial activity, while others see it as a subversive technology. Even taxation can be a complicated issue for crypto businesses.
Featured image from Shutterstock.