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Gemini founders Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss. Source: Reuters
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  • Australia’s Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA) takes a stake in major New York-based cryptocurrency exchange platform Gemini
  • The bank made the investment, which it has labelled a “minority stake”, by taking part in Gemini’s first-ever round of public capital raising
  • It comes just weeks after CBA said it would be offering customers the ability to buy, sell and hold crypto assets directly through the CommBank app
  • CBA chief Matt Comyn speaks highly of Gemini, saying the business is a “global leader with strong security and a track record of serving large institutions”
  • Gemini’s equity raise values the business at US$7.1 billion (A$9.8 billion)
  • Shares in Commonwealth Bank are up 0.49 per cent to $97.94 as of 3:57 pm AEDT

Australia’s Commonwealth Bank (CBA) has taken a stake in major New York-based cryptocurrency exchange platform Gemini.

It’s the latest bet on the crypto market from the big bank, which earlier this month announced it would be offering customers the ability to buy, sell and hold crypto assets directly through the CommBank app.

CBA is the first bank to offer such a service to Australian consumers.

The bank made the investment in Gemini by taking part in the crypto exchange’s first-ever round of capital raising. CBA did not disclose how much it invested, but labelled its new holding a “minority stake”.

CBA chief Matt Comyn spoke highly of Gemini, saying the business was a “global leader with strong security and a track record of serving large institutions”.

“Our investment in Gemini is part of an exclusive partnership in Australia and New Zealand,” Mr Comyn said.

“We congratulate Gemini on the completion of their capital raise and look forward to working closely with them in the months and years ahead.”

Gemini’s equity raise valued the business at US$7.1 billion (A$9.8 billion). The company was founded in 2014 by twins Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss — once the subject of a legal battle with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg over who founded the social media site.

“Gemini is the portal into crypto for new and seasoned investors alike,” Tyler Winklevoss said.

“The investors that we have brought on in this round share our ambitious vision for the future.”

Sachin Jaitly, General Partner of Morgan Creek Digital — which led the Gemini fundraising — said the investment firm chose to lead the first external investment into Gemini thanks to a shared conviction in crypto.

“[The Winklevoss twins’] vision for the role of crypto in redesigning money, the financial system, art, and the Internet, and their track record of incubating and scaling innovative technologies, gives us confidence in Gemini’s ability to continue to be an industry leader,” Mr Jaitly said.

The Winklevoss twins are expected to retain 75 per cent ownership in Gemini following today’s cap raise.

Shares in Commonwealth Bank are up 0.49 per cent to $97.94 as of 3:57 pm AEDT.

CBA by the numbers
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