Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss have been influential in the crypto space over the last two decades. In a recent interview with Paul Vigna and Ben Mezrich, author of the book “Bitcoin Billionaires”, which is based on the Winklevoss twins, the iconic pair talked about their journey of understanding the virtual asset and how regulatory issues were stunting the growth of Bitcoin in the United States.
Cameron mentioned in the interview that Tyler and he bought their first Bitcoin from the Mt.Gox exchange. In order to make the purchase, the pair had to apostille documents to the exchange, wire their capital overseas, and the entire process was unregulated.
Speaking about Gemini, an exchange founded by the twins, Tyler mentioned that due to the regulatory complications and reluctance from government authorities, it took the twins around 18 months to get their trust company license in New York. Tyler also stated that initially their company couldn’t acquire a bank account to store customer funds and that process took a year to get resolved.
“It is still challenging to this day and even Goldman Sachs hasn’t got approval from the Fed to actually handle Bitcoins so they use synthetic products that give them a Bitcoin exposure but even then, they have trouble with regards to handling Bitcoin.”
Cameron further stated that even after getting past the “illegal tag” that was attached to Bitcoin, the process of regulation was still progressing at a leisurely pace.
Tyler suggested that they were playing the long game in the crypto exchange business so that under regulatory compliances, they could get major customers and big macro hedge funds to work with their company. He indicated that the offshore exchanges that were not regulated but dealing with a majority of the Bitcoin trade volume, would only last for a limited time frame.
Lastly, Cameron emphasized more on the regulatory issues in the U.S,
“It’s still been challenging because there’s still not a fast path in the U.S with the SEC or CFTC. So that that would be my criticism or my fear about the U.S. Even if you want to do things in a right way, there isn’t a clear path.”
He further added that it was a major disadvantage in the U.S in comparison to the offshore crypto businesses that were currently building and developing their side at the speed of “innovation.”