The hype leading up to cryptocurrency-focused conference Consensus is second to none, with crypto markets historically experiencing bull runs in the days after, and during, the event. The bullish sentiment can be attributed to a plethora of positive news, related or unrelated, released in the course of the event, which may incite traders, financial institutions, and the general populace to invest in digital assets.
Gemini Selects Zcash
On May 14, 2018, the start of the fourth-edition of Consensus saw a huge unrelated news development emerge from the stables of Gemini Exchange, which announced their support of privacy-focussed digital currency zcash (ZEC). The exchange would accept ZEC deposits starting May 19, 2018, with trading scheduled to launch shortly after that on May 22, 2018, at 9:30 am EDT.
The addition follows bitcoin cash and litecoin, on which BTCManager reported in March 2018, and the company claims to be the “first licensed Zcash exchange in the world.” Following negative sentiment toward privacy-focused digital currencies in Japan, zcash’s addition shows that these coins may not be treated as harshly as many expect.
Owned by bitcoin-billionaire twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, Gemini is a certified New York Trust company, making it the most regulated cryptocurrency exchange platform in the world. It offers its services to a broad jurisdiction as well, including 48 US states, and crypto-friendly such as South Korea, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
The exchange is directly supervised by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) and is subject to the highest levels of compliance regulations, such as know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) laws. In addition to this, the exchange adheres to fiduciary obligations equivalent to traditional financial institutions and follows Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) enacted customer protection guidelines.
According to an official release on the Zcash Foundation’s website, ZEC underwent a pervasive vetting process by NYDFS before adding on Gemini. The lengthy procedure included a detailed report on Gemini’s action plan to deal with risks pertaining to the currency, as well as a brief overview of the Zcash protocol.
As stated on the website:
“We at the Zcash Company believe that privacy and confidentiality are part of the foundation of an open and democratic society. Privacy supports societal values such as human rights, political freedom, financial inclusion, and economic opportunity. These are values that we share with the regulators of countries like USA and states like New York.”
Zcash “Picks Up Where Bitcoin Left Off”
Seemingly ecstatic with the addition, the Winklevoss brothers praised Zcash for “picking up where Bitcoin left off,” adding that “Bitcoin has many strengths, but privacy is not one of them.” Despite this, enhancements such as confidential transactions, the Lightning Network, and MAST will improve the privacy offered by Bitcoin in the near future, while Zcash will tackle the trusted setup it is often criticized for by moving on to zk-STARKs eventually.
The brothers noted Zcash’s native zk-SNARKs technology as a catalyst for gaining exchange support, as it provides superior privacy-protecting features that allow entirely anonymous transactions between counterparties. However, the exchange will not support shielded transactions for withdrawals just yet and plans to incorporate this feature in the future.
Adding to their thoughts was Eric Wiener, VP of Engineering at Gemini, saying:
“We are proud to be supporting this new and incredible technology, and contributing to the next generation economy and the future of money.”
Zcash also expressed gratitude towards Gemini’s decision, taking note of the exchange’s large client base and believing that the addition “furthers their mission to empower everyone with economic freedom and opportunity.”
Surely enough, ZEC experienced a surge in price after the announcement, reaching $350 in the hours afterward, and trading at $326 at the time of writing.
A copy of the NYDFS-issued statement on Gemini’s ZEC support is accessible here.