Winklevoss bitcoin exchange Gemini now authorized for private cryptocurrency Zcash


The New York Department of Financial Services today announced that it has authorized the Gemini Trust Co. LLC bitcoin exchange, famously founded by entrepreneurs Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, to trade in the cryptocurrency Zcash.

This authorization makes Gemini the first regulated exchange in the world to accept the currency. The exchange will also be adding Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin, two other popular cryptocurrencies, to its trading manifest with approval from NYDFS in the near future.

“With smart and thorough regulatory oversight, the development and long-term growth of the industry will remain thriving,” said Department of Financial Services Superintendent Maria T. Vullo.

Gemini became a limited trust charter organization with the NYDFS during 2015 when it gained approval to exchange bitcoin for U.S. dollars. That followed the final draft of a regulatory policy by the NYDFS known as “BitLicense,” a framework which would pave the way for licensed cryptocurrency exchanges in the state.

As a cryptocurrency, Zcash was developed with privacy in mind by the Zerocoin Electric Coin Co., better known as Zcash Co. Two types of transactions are possible on the Zcash network: transparent and shielded. Both types are published on a public blockchain, the same type of underlying protocol that bitcoin uses.

Transparent transactions operate similarly to bitcoin and any transaction made this way is publicly visible on the Zcash blockchain. Shielded transactions, however, use a system called z-addresses, which are entirely private. Through a specialized protocol that encrypts information related to z-address transactions, it’s possible for Zcash to acknowledge an exchange of Zcash tokens without revealing any information publicly about the sender-receiver pair or the amount exchanged.

Tyler Winklevoss, chief executive of Gemini, called Zcash “an incredible new form of digital cash.” He added that as the world’s first licensed exchange for this currency, he looks forward to “to providing customers with a safe, secure, and regulated place to buy, sell, and store Zcash.”

According to CoinMarketCap, the total market capitalization for Zcash is around $1.2 billion with a daily volume of approximately $230 million. In comparison, bitcoin, Gemini’s current primary currency, holds a global market capitalization of approximately $150 billion and a daily trading volume in excess of $7.4 billion.

“Zcash picks up where bitcoin left off,” Tyler Winklevoss said. “Bitcoin has many strengths, but privacy is not one of them.”

In a press release, Gemini announced that the exchange will begin accepting deposits for Zcash starting on Saturday. Trading will begin three days later, on May 22.

Although the exchange will support deposits from transparent and shielded addresses, withdrawals will be permitted only to unshielded addresses. According to Gemini, withdrawals to shielded addresses will be implemented in the future. No further details were released about eventual support for Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin.

Image: Zcash, Gemini

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