New York City-based crypto giant Gemini just announced the launch of its first stablecoin. The Gemini Dollar will track the US Dollar on the blockchain, giving Gemini users an easy way to manage their exposure and diversify.
Gemini was founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss in 2014. The exchange became the world’s first licensed ETH exchange in 2016. Despite a number of rejected ETF proposals, Gemini remains committed to building a regulated trading environment for crypto. The exchange is regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services, for example, and is registered as a New York trust company.
The launch of the Gemini Dollar comes as a complete surprise. There were no rumors leading up to its launch. Gemini, however, certainly had a need for a stablecoin: the exchange doesn’t use the controversial Tethers used on other exchanges. Tether and its USDT track the USD 1:1 on the blockchain, but Tether has come under controversy for failing to adequately audit its purportedly massive USD cash reserves.
Will Gemini’s Gemini Dollar back every unit with a real USD? Yes, they’re planning to match every Gemini Dollar with 1 USD stored in an audited account. Here’s how Gemini introduces their new stablecoin:
“To date, there has been no trusted and regulated digital representation of the U.S. dollar that moves in an open, decentralized manner like cryptocurrencies. Enter the Gemini dollar — a stable value coin (often called a “stablecoin”) that is (i) issued by Gemini, a New York trust company, (ii) strictly pegged 1:1 to the U.S. dollar, and (iii) built on the Ethereum network according to the ERC20 standard for tokens.”
The goal is to combine the creditworthiness and price stability of the US Dollar with the blockchain technology and oversight of US regulators, including the New York State Department of Financial Services that oversees Gemini today.
Gemini doesn’t mention Tether and other stablecoin projects in their announcement, but it’s clear to see they believe the stablecoin market needs something more stable and regulated.
The Gemini Dollar is Already Available Today
The press release announcing the Gemini Dollar was also a launch notice for the Gemini Dollar.
The Gemini Dollar became available to Gemini users starting at 10am ET on September 10, 2018. Starting today, you can convert US Dollars in your Gemini account into Gemini dollars, then withdraw those Gemini dollars to an Ethereum address of your choice – just like you can with any ERC20 token.
You can also automatically convert Gemini dollars into US Dollars by depositing them into your Gemini account.
Gemini Dollars Are Backed 1:1 with the US Dollar
Gemini has confirmed that every Gemini Dollar will correspond with one US Dollar:
“The U.S dollars that correspond to the Gemini dollars issued and in circulation will be held at a bank located in the United States and eligible for FDIC “pass-through” deposit insurance, subject to applicable limitations.”
The US Dollar balance will also be “examined monthly by an independent registered public accounting firm to verify the 1:1 peg.”
You’ll be able to view the latest accounting reports on the Gemini Dollar here: https://gemini.com/dollar/#reports
Overall, this is great news for the crypto industry. We’ve seen several other stablecoin projects, but none of them have the legitimacy or regulatory backing of Gemini. While controversy around Tether continues to swirl, the Gemini Dollar could become the preferred choice for crypto markets worldwide.
“With the Gemini dollar, we continue to deliver on our mission – to build the future of money,” explains Gemini in the press release announcing the Gemini Dollar, “and help transform the global financial system to enable possibilities previously unimaginable.”