The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has participated in Gemini’s latest funding round, taking a minor stake in the US-headquartered crypto exchange, which plans to explore “metaverse” opportunities.

The CBA also recently partnered with the crypto platform, owned by Bitcoin-billionaire twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, to launch the first crypto-trading service offered by a big-four Aussie bank.

Gemini closed its US$400 million equity-growth funding round on November 18, giving the company a valuation of US$7.1 billion dollars.

It’s the first time the Winklevii firm has sourced external financing, with the round being led by Morgan Creek Digital, with participation from other notable VCs including 10T, ParaFi, Newflow Partners and Marcy Venture Partners, among others.

And the CBA. Just thought we’d mention that again. And underline its significance to the further legitimisation of crypto by a big, extremely traditional institution.

“We are leading the first outside investment in Gemini because of our shared conviction in crypto and belief in the company that Cameron and Tyler are building,” said Sachin Jaitly, general partner of Morgan Creek Digital.

“With this round of financing, Gemini will continue to bring simple, innovative, and secure products to market, and advance its geographic expansion,” reads the announcement.

The twins will reportedly retain 75 per cent of ownership over Gemini, with Morgan Creek’s Jaitly joining the board of directors as part of its strategic investment move into the crypto platform.


Gemini beyond the “meatspace”

In a Forbes article published this week, the Winklevii revealed their plans for the funding raise, and it’s largely geared towards the buzzword and buzz-concept of the moment, the metaverse.

What the hell is the metaverse? Very simply, you can think of as a parallel digital universe, not unlike the ones depicted in the films Ready Player One and Free Guy.

In crypto terms, the metaverse is a nebulous idea being built out by various entities, but largely gaming-focused blockchain projects such as Decentraland and The Sandbox.

Interoperability and decentralisation is part of the goal – the antithesis of the “walled garden”, centralised ethos of major companies… such as Faceb… er, we mean Meta.

In the Forbes chat, the twins referenced “meatspace”, which has become a meme-ish way to describe the real, physical world, or IRL (in real life).

Tyler told the publication that: “instead of building various 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.”

The Winklevii, completely red-pilled by Bitcoin and decentralisation several years ago, are down with the crypto take on the metaverse.

“There is another path, which is the decentralised metaverse,” Cameron told Forbes. “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.”

Hope their old mate Zuck was listening in.