Winklevoss Twins use Leaderboard on Gemini to boost Derivatives Exchange.

Winklevoss Twins use Leaderboard on Gemini to boost Derivatives Exchange.

The Growing Trend of Leaderboard Competitions in the Blockchain Industry

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Gemini, the prominent cryptocurrency exchange founded by the billionaire twins Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, has recently adopted a popular tactic to boost activity on its derivatives exchange. According to a report from Bloomberg, the company is planning to launch its first-ever “leaderboard” competition in August, offering prizes and recognition for the most successful traders. This move reflects Gemini’s strategic focus on expanding its presence in Asia and establishing a non-US crypto derivatives platform, as regulatory measures in the United States have become increasingly stringent.

Leaderboard competitions have been adopted by several major crypto exchanges in the past as a means to increase trading volume and attract more users. Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange globally, features a weekly ranking system for futures traders, while Bybit goes a step further by differentiating between regular traders and “master traders.” These competitions aim to incentivize traders to actively engage in trading activities, as higher trading volumes directly translate to increased profits for the exchanges.

From a broader perspective, leaderboard competitions can be seen as promotional gimmicks within the blockchain industry. Finance professor Campbell Harvey from Duke University explained to Bloomberg that the revenue generated by these exchanges is closely tied to trading volume. Therefore, any initiative that can increase volume is likely to have a positive impact on their profits.

Gemini’s decision to use its stablecoin, the Gemini Dollar, as the basis for participation in the leaderboard competition is intriguing. Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies designed to minimize price volatility by pegging their value to a stable asset, usually a fiat currency like the US dollar. The Gemini Dollar, with a market capitalization of approximately $400 million, currently ranks as the eighth-largest stablecoin globally. However, the usage of stablecoins, including the Gemini Dollar, has experienced a decline as the market prices of other smaller stablecoins have also dropped.

Beyond the leaderboard competition, Gemini has also announced plans to expand into the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. This strategic move aims to capture the “next wave of growth for crypto.” To facilitate this expansion, Gemini intends to increase its headcount in Singapore and establish an engineering division in India. The platform’s leadership recognizes the significance of the APAC region for the cryptocurrency industry and is actively pursuing opportunities to tap into this market.

Gemini’s expansion plans come at a time when the platform is facing increasing regulatory scrutiny in the US. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has brought charges against Gemini over its Earn Program, alleging that the exchange provided an “unregistered offer and sale of securities to retail investors through” the program. Additionally, Gemini has filed a lawsuit against Digital Currency Group (DCG) and its CEO Barry Silbert for alleged defrauding of creditors. Gemini is the largest creditor of bankrupt crypto lending firm Genesis, a subsidiary of DCG.

In conclusion, the adoption of leaderboard competitions by exchanges like Gemini is part of a broader trend within the blockchain industry to boost trading volume and engage users. While these competitions serve as promotional gimmicks, they play a vital role in generating higher profits for the exchanges. Gemini’s decision to expand into the APAC region reflects its strategic vision to tap into the growing potential of the Asian cryptocurrency market. However, regulatory challenges in the US highlight the complexities and risks associated with operating in this rapidly evolving industry.