US-based cryptocurrency exchange and custodial service Gemini has announced that it will be expanding to Chicago, where it will be opening an office at an unspecified time. The announcement came in an official statement from the company.
Hey Chicago! 👋🏻 https://t.co/qIS6zS8hQS
— Tyler Winklevoss (@tylerwinklevoss) June 27, 2019
According to the announcement, the office will have a technical focus–it will act as an “engineering hub” focused on supporting the company’s professional and trading services, and on building new products. Tyler Winklevoss, Gemini’s CEO and co-founder, also told CoinDesk that the exchange is also seeking to increase the numbers of “way[s] that people can trade these assets.”
The company is also reportedly seeking to increase the number of cryptocurrencies that it allows its users to trade in.
The new office will be the company’s third location, adding to its branch in Portland, Oregon, and its headquarters in New York City. At press time, Gemini had 200 employees spread across all three locations.
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Gemini’s Entry to Chicago Closely Coincides with Coinbase’ Exit
Tyler Winklevoss referred to Chicago as “one of the world’s major financial centers” and said that the city “is a natural place for us to be.”
“Chicago is the birthplace of commodities markets. Beginning in the late 19th century, farmers came to the Windy City to sell or lock in prices for their crop. Over the past 150 years, Chicago has grown into a financial powerhouse that is tightly linked to Wall Street and the global financial system at large,” he wrote in a Medium post.
However, the market in the city may be dicey for crypto-based companies–rival exchange Coinbase shut down its Chicago offices in April–laying off 30 employees in the process–after failing to attract Chicago’s professional traders into the cryptocurrency market. In a push led by Paul Bauerschmidt, Coinbase’ Chicago team was building out the exchange’s trading engine to make it more capable of handling larger orders and high-frequency and low-latency trading.
Gemini Snags Former Coinbase Engineers
But Gemini seems to believe that it can accomplish what Coinbase didn’t, and has even gone so far as to hire five former employees of Coinbase’ Chicago offices, according to a report from CoinDesk. Tyler Winklevoss told the publication that the office’s new team “has deep expertise in matching engines and marketplaces.”
“They’ll be primarily focused on that and building the core platform for our exchange and trading services that already exists,” he added.
According to updates posted on LinkedIn, the group of engineers includes Andrew Page, Gemini’s new product manager, who worked for capital markets software firm Connamara System for nearly a decade before entering into the cryptosphere. Other engineers worked at other trading firms, including Andrew Thill, who previously worked at CME Group.