Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange founded by the Winklevoss twin brothers, announced it would allow the exchange of Litecoin, Bitcoin and Zcash in the near future. When it comes to Zcash, Gemini will become the first platform approved and supervised by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) to support this cryptocurrency. This announcement seems to be the cause of an increase of the price of Zcash of more than 30%.
The news was published on the official blogs of both Gemini and Zcash, as well as on the official page of the NYDFS. Since Gemini is the first licensed cryptocurrency exchange to support Zcash, the NYDFS will become the first governmental authority in the world to supervise this cryptocurrency focused on the privacy and it will maintain its position at the forefront as one of the main financial regulators when it comes to cryptocurrencies.
The users will be able to deposit Zcash on their Gemini accounts starting from May 19th. Three days later, on May 22nd, the users will be able to exchange Zcash in the following pairs: ZEC/USD, ZEC/BTC and ZEC/ETH. However, for the time being, Gemini will allow deposits from both shielded and unshielded addresses, but it will only allow withdrawals to non protected addresses.
Likewise, the users and clients of Gemini will have the access to the exchange of Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash in the future, in the same environment regulated and approved by the aforementioned New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS). This means the cryptocurrency exchange is strictly supervised and complies with fiduciary obligations or banking standards, the laws against money laundering, know your client (KYC) and the laws regarding the protection of consumers. Maria T. Vullo who is a superintendent at the NYDFS said the following: “This action continues New York’s longstanding commitment to innovation and leadership in the global marketplace. With smart and thorough regulatory oversight, the development and long-term growth of the industry will remain thriving.”
On the other hand, Tyler Winklevoss, the CEO of Gemini said: “We are proud be the first licensed exchange in the world to offer Zcash trading and custody services and look forward to providing customers with a safe, secure, and regulated place to buy, sell, and store Zcash, an incredible new form of digital cash.”
Finally, Eric Winer, the Vice President of Engineering at Gemini said: “When we began building Gemini over four years ago, we envisioned a platform that would allow customers to trade many virtual commodities. Zcash is a friendly fork of the Bitcoin source code, making it a member of the “Nakamoto Family Tree” of virtual commodities. The Zcash protocol’s cutting edge use of zero-knowledge succinct non-interactive arguments of knowledge (“zk-SNARKS” or “zero-knowledge proofs”) makes it a truly innovative privacy coin that offers confidentiality for peer-to-peer transactions similar to those afforded to fiat currency transfers (e.g., ACH, FedWire, SWIFT, etc.).
We have been working closely with the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS) to obtain approval to offer Zcash trading and custody services to our customers as a New York trust company. 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, reaffirming their position as the leading financial regulator in the area of digital assets. Regulatory certainty and oversight are critical for both fostering innovation and protecting consumers — and we’re excited to provide our customers with a safe, secure, and regulated platform to buy, sell, and store Zcash. We are proud to be supporting this new and incredible technology, and contributing to the next generation economy and the future of money.”
At the same time, the price of Zcash experimented notable rises of up to 30% on May 14th and 15th, just after the Gemini’s announcement. The price of Zcash reached the price of 375.55 dollars per coin, according to CoinMarketCap. In the case of Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash, the announcement did not cause any significant movements of their prices, since Gemini is on the 28th position on the cryptocurrency list of CoinMarketCap, with a daily trading volume of only 78 million dollars.
By being so highly regulated, the platform founded by the Winklevoss brothers, causes certain debate in the community, because in some cases the regulations or the centralized supervision could slow down or prevent the development and the freedom the cryptocurrencies originally brought. Excessive and unjust regulations also caused exodus of companies. However, there are people who think that an adequate regulation that allow sufficient freedom to these new technologies could offer advantages and boost the flourishing of cryptocurrency businesses.