Gemini Europe — the United Kingdom and EU affiliate of the Winklevoss twins’ United States-based crypto exchange Gemini — has appointed a new chief compliance and money laundering reporting officer.
As part of the firm’s expansion into the transatlantic market, the new appointee, Blair Halliday, will oversee Gemini Europe’s compliance program in the region.
A press release published on Jan. 28 revealed that Halliday will be based in London and report directly to Gemini’s managing director of the U.K. and Europe, the former Sterling Bank executive Julian Sawyer.
A career tackling financial crime
Halliday formerly served as chief compliance officer for crypto finance firm Circle across the Europe and the Middle East and Africa region, where he directed the firm’s global anti-money laundering compliance program.
Prior to this role, he served as executive director of financial crime and compliance at U.K. fintech CashFlows and as CCO at New York Stock Exchange owner International Currency Exchange.
Before his move into fintech and digital assets, Halliday worked at the Royal Bank of Scotland for 14 years in various roles focused on tackling financial crime.
Rules and “thoughtful regulation”
The Winklevoss’ approach to compliance has in the past drawn some criticism from the more libertarian fringe of the community, as with their “Crypto Needs Rules” ad campaign in 2019, which made a strong bid to remold crypto’s image with an emphasis on robust regulation and compliance-driven market practices.
At the time, a senior Gemini executive said the form believed crypto investors “deserve the exact same protections” and standards as those in traditional markets.
In the platform’s recent stage of European and U.K. expansion, Cameron Winklevoss has continued to emphasize this agenda, writing in a blog post in December 2019 that:
“The concept of thoughtful regulation itself was first developed out of the lessons learned in these [E.U. and U.K.] markets over centuries. Our ethos — to ask permission, not forgiveness — was a first in the crypto industry and both honors and continues to build on Europe and the UK’s tradition of thoughtful regulation.”