Winklevoss exchange to launch daily bitcoin auction

NEW YORK, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Gemini Trust Co, the U.S.-based bitcoin exchange founded by investors Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, announced on Wednesday it will launch the first-ever auction for the digital currency aimed at facilitating high trading volumes and providing better prices.

The auction will kick off later on Wednesday initially for the U.S. dollar/bitcoin currency pair, Gemini said, and will eventually open the mechanism to all other digital currency pairs in the coming weeks.

Daily auctions are a common occurrence at traditional exchanges such as the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, enhancing price transparency and discovery.

The auction’s launch on the Gemini exchange represents one of multiple efforts by market players to push trading of bitcoin and other digital currencies into the mainstream investing world.

“If you were building a securities exchange today, an auction would be a core feature,” said Tyler Winklevoss, chief executive officer at Gemini in New York.

“We’ve built this trading mechanism to further Gemini’s mission of building a next-generation exchange that advances the future of bitcoin trading.”

Gemini said in its blog that the exchange will at 5:00 pm EDT begin accepting two-sided bids for the dollar/bitcoin pair for the next day’s auction ending at 4 pm. All eligible orders will be then filled at the final auction price.

In addition, auction trades receive fee discounts and are eligible for up to a 0.15 percent rebate, as opposed to over-the-counter trades that can cost upwards of 1-2 percent per trade.

Bitcoin on Wednesday traded at $594.50 on the Bitstamp platform, with a market capitalization of $9.5 billion, according to crypto-currency data website (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Andrew Hay)