A Boost for Privacy in Cryptocurrency: Gemini Announces Support for Zcash
Zcash just became the first privacy coin to earn itself a fiat trading pair on a mainstream American exchange.
On Monday, May 14, 2018, a Gemini blog post announced that the Winklevoss-run exchange would list Zcash after it received the go-ahead from the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS). Opening deposits for Zcash on May 19, 2018, at 9:30 a.m. EST, the exchange will officially commence trading for the asset at 9:30 a.m. EST on May 22, 2018.
Zcash utilizes two addresses, shielded and unshielded, to offer anonymity options to its users. Gemini will accept deposits from both addresses out of the gate, but, for the time being, withdrawals can only be made to unshielded addresses until the Gemini team implements withdraw support for shielded address.
“Exchanges are the #1 on-ramp from fiat to cryptocurrency so to the extent that someone can use USD to safely purchase Zcash in an exchange is good for consumer confidence,” Josh Swihart, Marketing Director at Zcash told Bitcoin Magazine.
“Privacy is necessary for transacting online and it’s missing from Bitcoin and Ethereum. Having Gemini as a regulated entity bolsters that confidence.”
Once its market on the exchange is live, Zcash will become the third cryptocurrency to trade on Gemini behind its flagships, bitcoin and ether. According the the NYSDFS, Gemini has also received approval to begin trading Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash, but no official dates for their listings has been revealed.
“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,” Eric Winer, Gemini’s VP of engineering writes in the official blog post.
With a $1.2 billion market capitalization, Zcash is one of the most popular privacy coins available, second only to monero. The listing is a landmark victory for both Zcash and the privacy coin subcategory, as the anonymity such coins offer have often left investors wondering whether or not they can withstand the scrutiny of the U.S. government’s regulatory eye.
“People value convenience over privacy and we’ve seen what the result of that is,” said Swihart. “The recognition that privacy is vital to human rights and that can coexist with regulatory compliance is awesome. It’s an awesome day.”
“Part of the reason a coin like Zcash has a smaller market cap is because people are not sure if regulators will ever get comfortable with this type of technology,” Cameron Winklevoss told Bloomberg. “[This listing] demonstrates that through education and collaboration and with the right controls in place, regulators can get comfortable with privacy technology.”
The Winklevosses have not been shy in working with government officials to hammer out regulatory clarity in an industry that is wanting for clear legal parameters. Their Gemini exchange is fully licensed and regulated as a trust company by the NYSDFS. This status has led the Chicago Board Options Exchange to use Gemini as one of the primary market trackers for its bitcoin futures derivatives. In addition to public sector regulations, the Winklevosses have advocated for a private sector coalition of cryptocurrency exchanges to effect responsible self-regulatory guidelines, as well.