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Cryptocurrency exchange Gemini appoints new chief compliance officer for UK and Europe

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Wed, 29 Jan 2020, 07:20 am UTC

Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange and custodian, announced that it appointed Blair Halliday as its new chief compliance and money laundering reporting officer for its affiliate in the United Kingdom and Europe, CoinDesk reported.

Halliday used to work at Circle, a peer-to-peer payment technology company, where he was the former compliance officer for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He started his career at the Royal Bank of Scotland where he worked for 14 years in financial crime-related roles. Then, he served as the chief compliance officer at the International Currency Exchange, and as executive director of financial crime and compliance at fintech CashFlows.

Halliday will be based in London and will be reporting directly with Julian Sawyer, Gemini’s managing director of the U.K. and Europe. He will also be working closely with Noah Perlman, the firm’s New York City-based chief compliance officer, who was also the former global head of financial crimes at Morgan Stanley.

In his new role, Halliday will focus on ensuring that the company’s risk management practices are in place because the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority will be reviewing its e-money license application. His appointment also happens just in time with European Union’s Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5) that requires every crypto firm to comply with enhanced know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money-laundering (AML) procedures.

“At the moment, our customers in the U.K. have to send money to the U.S. as a wire transfer,” Sawyer said. “An e-money license would allow them to deposit local currency without foreign exchange [costs].”

Just recently, Gemini launched its own insurance company, called Nakamoto, to provide insurance coverage of up to $200 million to Gemini Custody.

“Currently, the crypto industry lacks insurance coverage similar to that available in traditional financial markets,” said Yusuf Hussain, Head of Risk of Gemini. “Gemini recognized this gap and collaborated with two of the worlds largest insurance brokers, Aaon and Marsh, to solve for this.”

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