The Winklevoss twins’ attempt to gain a foothold in Europe with their Gemini crypto exchange has been boosted with the appointment of a co-founder of the UK’s Starling Bank.
Julian Sawyer has been hired to lead Gemini’s European operations as Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss target the European market as they aim to claw their way back from a series of setbacks while building their US business.
The 38-year-old billionaires have suffered repeated knock-backs and rejections from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over regulation issues since establishing the Gemini Trust Company in 2014.
Gemini’s head-hunters have made a series of high-profile appointments as they beef up the business with former top executives from the International Securities Exchange (ISE) and the New York Stock Exchange.
Over the last 18 months, an accomplished group of senior figures have joined Gemini including Noah Perlman as Chief Compliance Officer, David Damato as Chief Security Officer, Sydney Schaub as General Counsel, Jeanine Hightower-Sellitto as Managing Director, Operations, and Robert Cornish as Chief Technology Officer.
Now, with the appointment of Julian Sawyer, the main piece of Gemini’s European jigsaw is in place.
“Europe is the birthplace of modern financial markets and the United Kingdom has been a global financial capital of innovation for hundreds of years,” said Tyler Winklevoss.
“Gemini needs to be here, and Julian’s deep knowledge and fintech expertise in these regions make him well-suited to lead Gemini’s expansion into this pioneering area of the world.”
On the wane
Speaking in the Times newspaper, Mr Sawyer was keen to dampen the suggestion that he was joining Gemini at a time when interest in cryptocurrency was on the wane.
“I really see the world of crypto and digital exchanges being at that pivotal point,” he said.
“If you look at the long term, I don’t think we’ve reached the peak… these things will just take time.”