The Gemini Ad Campaign That Isn’t Actually an Ad Campaign
January 9, 2019 by Paul de Havilland
The Gemini ad campaign has raised many eyebrows in the crypto community. But what many seem to have misunderstood is that the Winklevoss twins aren’t advertising their services to attract users. They are speaking to the SEC.
Gemini Eats, Breathes, and Dreams Regulation
Gemini Trust Company is an exchange, a crypto custodian, and the issuer of a fiat-backed cryptocurrency, the Gemini dollar (GUSD). (Some too clever by half journalists such as yours truly refer to the GUSD as the Winklevii Buck). The company is regulated from here to breakfast by New York securities legislators, among the toughest in the U.S. They have been granted a BitLicense by the state.
The exchange has duly filed applications to the SEC to have its bitcoin ETFs listed, and has been rejected twice, ostensibly on the basis that crypto markets remain prone to fraud and manipulation. (Some insiders argue that their applications have not been particularly strong or sophisticated, as opposed to those developed by the VanEck SolidX partnership.)
The Gemini Ad Campaign That Really Isn’t an Ad Campaign
Gemini has been running an ad campaign that has littered New York City with ads such as “Crypto needs rules”, “The regulated exchange”, “Crypto without chaos”, and “The revolution needs rules.” They have taken out a full-page ad in the New York Times calling for regulation.
For their efforts, they have been subjected to ridicule by those who believe in the fundamentals of decentralization and freedom from state actors:
Rules like mathematics? Sure. Crypto needs that. Rules like “KYC AML licencing taxation Patriot Act bitlicense bullshit?” No. Crypto doesn’t need that. pic.twitter.com/8azzqCKlwa
— Nick Foley (@BookofNick) January 4, 2019
This may be the single worst ad campaign I’ve seen in a decade in FinTech…
“@Gemini: The REGULATED Cryptocurrency Exchange”
For what human walking the streets of NYC is that *the* value prop you want to hang your hat on?
Perhaps 1 out of 1,000 people? pic.twitter.com/Lart60Olx2
— Mike Dudas (@mdudas) January 6, 2019
And also here:
Fixed it pic.twitter.com/Xatbxdo3vv
— Peter McCormack (@PeterMcCormack) January 5, 2019
Gemini’s target market is institutional investors–the Wall Street players considering, but yet to be convinced by the merits of, investing in crypto. Cboe uses Gemini to settle its Bitcoin futures contracts, “XBT”. Back in April last year, Gemini began offering Block Trading, enabling traders to place large orders. Their website boasts:
“We have built institutional-grade infrastructure. As a New York trust company, we are licensed to offer digital asset exchange and custodial services.”
Merchant bank executives and hedge fund managers do not make decisions based on advertising they see on billboards at bus and subway stations or in taxi top displays.
The sole purpose of the “Cryptos need rules” Gemini ad campaign is to put the exchange on record as welcoming the regulation and SEC oversight the Winklevoss twins know to be inevitable. And I bet neither Tyler nor Cameron have lost a wink of sleep over the widespread condemnation they’ve received for it.
Have your say. Do you agree the Gemini ad campaign’s audience is actually the SEC?
Images via Pixabay