The Gemini Bitcoin exchange founded by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss is adding support for Zcash, a privacy-focused cryptocurrency with a total market valuation of over $1 billion.
Following approval from the New York Department of Financial Services [NYDFS], Gemini will begin accepting deposits of the privacy-focused cryptocurrency on Saturday, May 19th at 1:30 pm UTC.
The regulated exchange that serves its existing customers in 48 U.S. states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and the U.K. will then begin its first day of trading Zcash on May 22nd at 1:30 pm UTC.
In addition to being approved to custody and trade Zcash, the NYDFS has confirmed to Forbes that Gemini will also receive approvals for Bitcoin Cash, with a total market value of $25 billion and Litecoin, valued at $8.2 billion, though details about when these currencies might go live remain sparse.
In a letter marked ‘confidential’ from Cameron Winklevoss, the Gemini President explained that the addition of the new products was the result of working closely with the NYDFS.
“Our approval makes Gemini the first licensed Zcash exchange in the world. It also makes the NYSDFS the first regulatory agency in the world to supervise Zcash.”
Later in the letter, Winklevoss explained that part of the appeal of Zcash is a privacy-protecting feature that allows counterparties to engage in trade without knowing anything about each other. Called zk-snarks, the technology that can be added to any number of blockchains provides the same certainty of the Bitcoin blockchain but does not require that individuals using it know one another’s public addresses. The ‘zk’ stands for “zero-knowledge.”
As a result, the cryptocurrency offers privacy to those in oppressed nations, criminals, and privacy-focused individuals, drawing the attention of both supporters and detractors. In addition to Zcash having a $32.4 million daily trading volume, the zk-snark technology has been integrated into a number of open-source projects, most notably Quorum, originally developed by JPMorgan Chase & Co.
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