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Winklevoss twins appoint digital bank founder to their crypto-exchange

By Charlotte Ricca

Founder of Starling Bank to lead Gemini’s expansion into Europe

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss have appointed the co-founder of digital business bank Starling Bank as the managing director of Gemini Europe, as they look to take their cryptocurrency exchange and custodian into Europe.

The founders of the Gemini Trust Company have recruited Julian Sawyer to shape Gemini’s strategy for the region and manage European hiring.

Prior to this new appointment, Sawyer was co-founder and chief operating officer at Starling Bank, the first mobile-only bank to offer services through the Post Office.

Gemini arrives in the UK as the Financial Conduct Authority proposes a ban on selling derivatives on cryptocurrencies to retail investors, saying these products are “ill-suited to retail consumers who cannot reliably assess the value and risks of derivatives”.

However, the Winklevoss twins said that they are confident in their choice to “ramp up” the exchange’s “global footprint”.

"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, CEO of Gemini.

"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."

Sawyer is the latest high-profile addition to Gemini over the past 18 months. Other hires include 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.

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