New York-based cryptocurrency exchange Gemini has made its first ever acquisition, with the move broadcasting the company’s belief that the tokenized collectibles arena has major upside in the years ahead.
On November 19th, Gemini chief executive officer Tyler Winklevoss revealed the exchange had purchased Nifty Gateway, a startup that had created a platform where users could easily exchange and manage Ethereum-based non-fungible tokens (NFTs), or “nifties.”
The CEO, one of the cryptoeconomy’s most high-profile entrepreneurs along side his twin brother and Gemini co-founder Cameron Winklevoss, noted in the deal’s announcement that Nifty Gateway was appealing in already being compatible with assets from “today’s most popular crypto-games and applications, including CryptoKitties, OpenSea, and Gods Unchained.”
Additionally, the newly acquired platform allows customers to buy on-chain collectibles from such dApps via credit card.
For now, Nifty Gateway’s three employees will continue to work independently within the Gemini brand’s wider umbrella, but the possibility remains that some of the platform’s offerings will later be melded closer into Gemini proper.
Whatever ends up happening, the acquisition reveals that in NFTs — tokens which are individually unique and in that sense, scarce — Gemini sees mainstream adoption on the horizon. Tyler Winklevoss said as much in commenting on Nifty Gateway’s value proposition:
“Non-fungible tokens and the digital goods (and collectibles) they enable will play a major role in the next era of the digital economy. They are the perfect form factor for crypto-collectibles, crypto-art, and much more — laying the foundation for entirely new multi-billion dollar industries to emerge.”
Zooming out, the acquisition is generally in line with a trend seen among major cryptocurrency exchanges over the last few years, namely marked pivotings toward becoming one-stop crypto hubs that offer a variety of services, either directly or indirectly, beyond mere trading.
The #1 Crypto Exchange? New Report Says So
On November 19th, popular cryptocurrency data portal CryptoCompare released its second “Exchange Benchmark” report, which aimed to “help market participants identify the highest quality, lowest risk, and most reliable exchanges in the industry.”
Notably, CryptoCompare accordingly found per “qualitative … and quantitative” metrics that Gemini was its highest rated crypto exchange in the world as of Q3 2019.
— Gemini (@Gemini) November 19, 2019
Binance, which is typically regarded as the most popular crypto exchange in the world, did not manage to crack the latest report’s top 10 exchanges. The new top 10, in order, were as follows:
Bitfinex and Binance came in 11th and 12th place, respectively. CryptoCompare gave Gemini particularly high scores in the categories of security and legal compliance — surely music to any Gemini trader’s ears.
In Other Related News
Last week, The Block reported that Gemini’s managing director of corporate development Sarah Olsen had departed the company; the development comes on the heels of the exchange’s GUSD stablecoin, which Olsen had worked on boosting, has shrunk in use recent months.
The precise reason for the departure remains unclear, but in the very least Olsen’s exit could signal a shakeup is coming to Gemini’s GUSD efforts.
At the same time, one could say the GUSD presently has no clear path to overtake DeFi’s reigning stablecoins, e.g. tether, Dai, and USDC. With some rearticulations probably in store, how the exchange continues approaching the project could be a key thread to watch in the future.
Moreover, last week came the news that Tyler and Cameron’s Winklevoss Capital participated in a $1.81 million USD seed round for Bitski, creators of a developer platform that makes it easy for companies (like video game studios) to integrate cryptocurrency wallets into their products.
“We’re using this money to expand the funnel of people that are building on blockchain,” Bitski CEO Donnie Dinch said.