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News/Gemini Reaches Settlement to Return Over $1.8 Billion to Earn Program Customers

Gemini Reaches Settlement to Return Over $1.8 Billion to Earn Program Customers

Van Thanh Le

Mar 1 2024

5 months ago3 minutes read
A negotiation between Gemini and NYDFS regarding the Earn program settlement

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Gemini Settles with NYDFS, Vows Full Recovery for Earn Customers

Cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange founded by the Winklevoss twins in 2014, has reached a significant settlement with New York regulators, as per its announcement on February 28, 2024.

This agreement, emerging from the complexities of bankruptcy dealings with Genesis and other creditors, marks a significant moment for over 200,000 affected users, promising them a full return of their digital assets at current market values—a sum exceeding $1.8 billion, which notably surpasses the initial $1.1 billion due to asset appreciation.

The commitment from Gemini means that customers who lent digital assets like Bitcoin will not only get the exact amount back but will also benefit from any value increase since their initial investment. This move is not just about numbers; it's a gesture aiming to restore trust and confidence, with Gemini planning to distribute around 97% of these assets within the next two months post-approval of the settlement, and the rest within a year, pending the Bankruptcy Court's nod.

A chibi robot celebrating on a pile of coins (2).webp

However, this resolution comes at a cost to Gemini, which includes a $37 million fine imposed by NYDFS for what has been described as significant lapses in customer protection. These lapses involve insufficient due diligence on Genesis Global Capital (GGC) and inadequate reserves for the Earn program's lifespan. Additionally, as part of a broader consent order, Gemini will also contribute $40 million towards the Genesis Global Capital bankruptcy effort, directly benefiting the Earn program customers.

From Earn Program's Rise to Fall: A Settlement Emerges

The backstory of this settlement is a mix of ambition and oversight. Launched in February 2021 in partnership with GGC, the Earn program was designed to provide users with passive income through interest payments on their lent digital assets. However, the dream soured when GGC defaulted on around $940 million in loans from Earn customers, culminating in halted withdrawals and the program's eventual shutdown in January 2023.

A central console with a holographic display showcasing the Gemini logo and a rising green line.webp

The allegations and legal challenges that followed, accusing Gemini of offering unregistered securities and engaging in risky practices, have led to this moment of reckoning. NYDFS Superintendent Adrienne A. Harris hailed the settlement as a victory for consumer protection, underlining the significance of regulatory actions in ensuring companies like Gemini meet their obligations. 

Conclusion

This settlement not only addresses the financial losses but also represents a crucial step towards mending the fabric of trust with the cryptocurrency community, spotlighting the critical need for due diligence and robust consumer safeguards in the evolving digital asset landscape.

FAQs

1. What is the Gemini Earn program and why was it shut down?

Launched in 2021, the Earn program allowed users to earn interest on their lent cryptocurrency. However, due to defaults from its partner company, Gemini halted withdrawals and shut down the program in January 2023.

2. How much will Gemini users receive under the settlement?

Gemini users will receive the full value of their digital assets, including any appreciation since their initial investment, exceeding $1.8 billion. This surpasses the initial amount owed due to market fluctuations.

3. Why did NYDFS fine Gemini and what are the consequences?

NYDFS fined Gemini $37 million for failing to properly vet its partner and maintain sufficient reserves for the program. Additionally, Gemini will contribute $40 million towards the bankruptcy proceedings of its partner company.

4. What does this settlement mean for the future of cryptocurrency?

This settlement highlights the importance of consumer protection and regulatory oversight in the evolving cryptocurrency landscape. It serves as a reminder for companies to prioritize due diligence and robust safeguards for their users.

This article has been refined and enhanced by ChatGPT. 

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