Crypto exchange Gemini is launching a new Chicago office

Crypto exchange Gemini is launching a new Chicago office as part of a fresh push into the nascent institutional crypto market.

The exchange announced Thursday that it was hiring five employees as part of this effort, with an individual familiar with the situation telling CoinDesk that the team were recruited from a group of former Coinbase engineers, whom the rival crypto exchange laid off in April, a year after opening its own Chicago-based, institutional-focused engineering team.

The new employees, who will make up part of Gemini’s engineering team in Chicago, will be focused on supporting the exchange’s primary products, including its professional trading platforms and custody solution.

Gemini co-founder and CEO Tyler Winklevoss told CoinDesk that the new engineering team “has deep expertise in matching engines and marketplaces.”

“They’ll be primarily focused on that and building the core platform for our exchange and trading services that already exists,” he said, adding:

“When we think about our exchange we start with reliability, speed, robustness, but also the product offerings so we don’t have a specific deadline I can give you in terms of what we’re targeting but we’re continuing to build out our product offering.”

While Gemini is currently a spot exchange that only lists five assets (bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether, zcash and litecoin), Winklevoss said the exchange is looking to both increase the number of order types on the platform, as well as “the way people can trade these assets.”

The exchange now has roughly 200 employees across offices in Portland, Oregon and New York City, New York, in addition to its new Chicago branch.

In a statement, Winklevoss said the exchange has been “focused on building an institutional-grade platform … from day one.”

“[We] are continually investing in talent that will help us realize this” he said. “Chicago, one of the world’s major financial centers, is a natural place for us to be. We’re thrilled to formally expand our footprint there as interest in reliable, trustworthy, cryptocurrency trading platforms continues to grow among investors.”

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