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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

Winklevoss twins do not fear cryptocurrency regulation

'As long as jurisdictions strike the right balance, we think that its going to be a huge boon and win for cryptocurrencies' said Tyler Winklevoss

Cameron Winklevoss and his brother Tyler, founder of Gemini Exchange, embrace rules on cryptocurrencies. Lucas Jackson/Reuters
Cameron Winklevoss and his brother Tyler, founder of Gemini Exchange, embrace rules on cryptocurrencies. Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, long-term cryptocurrency bulls, don’t fear regulation. They embrace it.

"These technologies can’t flourish and grow without thoughtful regulation that connects them to finance," said Tyler, chief executive and co-founder of the Gemini Exchange. "As long as jurisdictions strike the right balance, we think that its going to be a huge boon and win for cryptocurrencies."

The twins have big bets placed on that win. They founded Gemini, which Cboe Global Markets is using as the basis for its daily settlement for the bitcoin futures that began trading in December. Bitcoin’s rise likely helped elevate them to the billionaires club at one point. Now, they are each worth about $520 million, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The rally in the digital coin that brought them such immense wealth has faltered in recent weeks, as panicked crypto investors sold amid increased scrutiny from global authorities. But the brothers, made famous for their tussles with Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg in the social network’s early years, say that regulation is not to be feared - and that rules are necessary, not a nuisance.

"Overall, my complaint would be that regulators haven’t moved quick enough to make clear frameworks and paths forward for legitimate operators," Tyler said. He also said that stronger enforcement actions against bad actors, like "scam" initial coin offerings, need to be taken.

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That message reverberated throughout Washington this week. The chairmen of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission said at hearing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday that Congress may need to tighten oversight of cryptocurrencies. But crypto investors have largely shrugged off the prospect of more policing. Bitcoin extended a two-day rally to trade 4.7 per cent higher at $8,173 as of 9.10am on Thursday UAE time on Dailyfx.

"It’s not a coincidence that the price of bitcoin and ether keeps going up with more regulated offerings like Gemini, more regulated offerings like the Bitcoin futures contract trading on the Cboe," Tyler said. "The more these things happen, the better its going to be for cryptocurrencies."

That is among the reasons the brothers are long on Bitcoin, and they are not too concerned about the recent price fluctuations.

“We’re in this for the long haul, whether that’s a decade or many decades,” Tyler said.

"We remember when bitcoin was $8, so as far as we’re concerned, it’s all gravy from here."