On 10 September, popular cryptocurrency exchange, Gemini, announced the launch of Gemini Custody, a qualified custodian for crypto. In addition to customers on the exchange being able to instantly trade their cold storage crypto in custody, it will support 18 cryptocurrencies out of the box, with support for more coming soon.
Gemini Custody will store customer cryptocurrencies in offline cold-storage hardware security modules or HSMs. The service will use multi-signature technology and geographically distributed access-controlled facilities, allowing users to restrict withdrawals to addresses they whitelist and use hardware security keys in order to secure their crypto.
As expected, customers will be able to check balances, download statements and initiate withdrawals from within the redesigned interface. In addition to these features, customers can also grant auditors read-only access to allow them to confirm balances and transactions. A statement from CEO Tyler Winklevoss said,
“The maturation of crypto as an asset class depends heavily on the safety and soundness of the custodians that hold individual and institutional funds. From day one, Gemini recognized the need for a world-class custody solution that is secure, compliant, and easy to use for individuals and institutions around the world. We are thrilled to continue our security-first tradition by providing our customers with Gemini Custody, an expanded offering of our state-of-the-art custody solution.”
The custody landscape has been seeing a lot of competition of late, with Coinbase, Anchorage and Fidelity Digital Assets all offering investors new ways to store their assets in a crypto-volatile market. Back in March, Coinbase Custody started offering instant trades while BitGo, partnering with Genesis Global Trading, started testing daily settlement from cold storage as early as January.
Investors are yet to find a perfect solution that balances security and liquidity. According to Jeanine Hightower-Sellitto, Managing Director of Operations at Gemini,
“Institutional investors have demonstrated a clear and growing demand for crypto, but they’ve struggled to find a solution that fully meets their complex regulatory and security requirements. Gemini Custody is the only crypto-native solution in the market today that meets these complex requirements without sacrificing security or liquidity.”
In an interview with The Block, the Managing Director refused to comment on how many assets Gemini holds in its custody, instead urging customers to evaluate custodians based on the quality of their offerings, security profile and operational procedures. According to Hightower-Sellitto, there are no additional fees for instant trades and Gemini follows the same fee schedule as those available on their website.
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Having already set up operations in Puerto Rico, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, United Kingdom and almost all states in the U.S., Gemini also plans to expand to Australia soon.