Amazing awaits…it awaits when we work hard enough,
Want badly enough, and refuse to say we’ve had enough.
-Dr. Maya Angelou
2018 has been a remarkable year.
Earlier this year, Gemini passed its three-year operating anniversary. We started building Gemini in 2014, but waited to operate until we received our New York trust company license in October of 2015. Our decision — to ask for permission, not forgiveness — was a first in cryptocurrency. We chose this path because we believed that in order to build the future of money we had to build trust in this new asset class first.
Our messaging from the beginning has remained the same and we are forever proud that the four pillars of Gemini: Product, Security, Licensing, and Compliance, stand as tall today as they did three years ago, when we first outlined them in our launch blog post. At the time, this was not a popular position, but we felt strongly that it was the right one.
Fast forwarding to 2018, we are grateful to have hit major milestones this year that have provided both thoughtful and safe products to our customers, while at the same time helping our industry grow as a whole. Below were some of our major highlights:
- Marketplace Surveillance — We became the world’s first cryptocurrency marketplace to employ market surveillance technology to foster a rules-based marketplace.
- Insurance — We secured insurance coverage for the cryptocurrency that we hold on your behalf in our online hot wallet. This bolsters Gemini’s position as a safe place to store your cryptocurrency.
- Virtual Commodity Association — We helped spearhead and joined the Virtual Commodity Association, a group with the goal of establishing an industry-sponsored, self-regulatory organization (SRO) to oversee virtual commodity marketplaces.
- Gemini Block Trading — We launched a fully electronic block trading facility, enabling our customers to buy and sell large quantities of cryptocurrency outside of Gemini’s continuous order books.
- New Cryptos — We started the year with two cryptos (bitcoin and ether) and will end this year with five (for a total of 15 trading pairs). In May, we became the world’s first licensed Zcash exchange and custodian. In October, we launched support for Litecoin trading and custody and in December, we launched support for Bitcoin Cash trading and custody.
- Gemini dollar — We issued the world’s first regulated stablecoin that combines the creditworthiness and price stability of the U.S. dollar with blockchain technology and the oversight of U.S. regulators. You can read our white paper here.
- Gemini Mobile App — We extended Gemini’s trusted platform to mobile so you can trade crypto on the go. You can buy and sell cryptocurrency, set price alerts, set recurring buy orders, and buy The Cryptoverse™ (i.e., basket orders) and much more with the Gemini Mobile App. You can watch a demonstration video here.
It’s impossible to discuss 2018 (or 2017 for that matter) without acknowledging price. And while price and capital (i.e., money) entering (or leaving) a system are no doubt interesting abstractions of health, they don’t tell the whole story. For example, they won’t tell you about the most important type of capital — human capital — and how it is flooding into our space faster than ever. In the past year alone, 120+ new Astronauts have joined Gemini and our mission to build the future of money, including our Chief Technology Officer, General Counsel, Managing Director of Operations, Head of Risk, and Head of Market Surveillance. All of these individuals could have named their adventure, and they chose crypto. They decided they needed to be here. These folks have arrived for the long-term and are already building the next wave of crypto innovation.
Similar to the narrow focus on the price of cryptocurrencies, there is a tendency to do the same with respect to the valuations of startups. A coveted metric in startup land is the unicorn (a colloquialism for a company valued at more than a billion dollars). At Gemini, we have decided to focus on another metric; the Centurion — a company that lasts for more than 100 years. We value the long game and this is how we have chosen to measure ourselves. If we can continue to build trust and long-term, sustainable value for our customers, we are confident that everything else, including our own valuation, will follow.
While it may not feel like it now, “crypto winter” is a wonderful thing. It’s a counterintuitive truth, but constraint is the mother of real, lasting innovation. It’s a forcing function for discipline, thoughtfulness, and authenticity. The future of cryptocurrency and the revolution to restructure trade, the financial system, the Internet, and money as we know it, will be more profoundly built and shaped during these times than any other.
As we close the chapter on 2018 and reflect on what the Gemini Spaceship and our valiant Astronauts have accomplished this year, we are more excited than ever. As long as we all keep our heads down, ignore the noise, and continue to build responsible products and a set of rules for a better future, the possibilities will be endless. Amazing awaits!
Onward and Upward,
Tyler + Cameron