NEW YORK: New York state’s top financial services regulator on Monday said it has authorized the Gemini Trust Co bitcoin exchange founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss to offer trading of the privacy-focused cryptocurrency Zcash, making it the world’s first licensed Zcash exchange.
The state’s Department of Financial Services said it also granted approval for Gemini to offer custody services and trading of Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash in the future.
“With smart and thorough regulatory oversight, the development and long-term growth of the industry will remain thriving,” Financial Services Superintendent Maria Vullo said in a statement.
Gemini said it expects to begin accepting Zcash deposits on Saturday, May 19, with trading to begin three days later.
“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,” Gemini Chief Executive Tyler Winklevoss said in a statement provided by Vullo’s office.
Zcash has a market value of about US$1.2 billion, while the market values of Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin are about US$24.9 billion and US$8.3 billion, respectively, according to CoinMarketCap.com.
Cryptocurrencies are digital tokens that use encryption techniques to secure transactions, with trades conducted through a fragmented network of exchanges.
Critics of the industry said the market is opaque and vulnerable to risks such as money laundering.
The Winklevosses, who are twins, are internet entrepreneurs who also competed in the rowing competition at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)