- Crypto platform Gemini, founded by the Winklevoss twins, raised $US400 ($AU551) million in a funding round this week.
- The Winklevosses plan to build “a Gemini experience in different metaverses,” they told Forbes Thursday.
- Gemini is rivaling Mark Zuckerberg-led Meta, which in October committed to creating a virtual world.
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Crypto exchange Gemini, founded by the Winklevoss twins, has plans to go deep into the metaverse after completing a multimillion-dollar funding round.
New York-based Gemini said Wednesday it had raised $US400 ($AU551) million in a new growth equity funding round led by Morgan Creek Digital, with participation from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and others. The injection of outside financing means the crypto platform is now worth $US7.1 ($AU10) billion, it said.
Speaking to Forbes, the Winklevoss brothers talked about Gemini’s plans to build into metaverses and how they were taking a different path to Facebook. Zuckerberg’s company revealed in October it was rebranding as “Meta” to mark its push into virtual worlds.
“There’s these two parallel paths, in terms of technology right now,” Cameron Winklevoss said in the Forbes interview Thursday. “There’s a centralized path, like Facebook or Fortnite, that is one step away from being a metaverse, and that’s totally fine.”
“But there is another path, which is the decentralized metaverse, and that’s the metaverse where we believe there’s greater choice, independence and opportunity, and there is technology that protects the rights and dignity of individuals,” he added.
A “metaverse” is, loosely, a virtual space where people can operate virtual and augmented reality-powered avatars. The virtual world is set to become another dueling arena for Facebook and the Winklevosses, who fought over ownership of the Facebook idea and a $US65 ($AU90) million settlement payment for years in court.
Gemini has bought a plot of virtual land where it wants to create several locations for its operations, Tyler Winklevoss told Forbes.
“Instead of building brick-and-mortar bank branches in meatspace, we’re gonna build a Gemini experience in different metaverses, where you can go into Gemini and trade, but it would be immersive instead of on your phone,” he said.
It’s not the first time Gemini has got into the digital reality space. More than half of the portfolio held by the Gemini Frontier Fund, the company’s investment arm, is made up of metaverse-related ventures. It has also bought stakes in metaverse platforms like Somnium Space and The Sandbox.