Cryptocurrencies have been on a free fall for the better part of this week. Bitcoin is now trading at $8210 making huge losses in less than a week. The market started ticking up in April but signs of weakness emerged two weeks ago. A raid on Upbit a major cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea earlier this week further served to dampen the market.
But one digital currency has been going against the grain this week. Since Monday, Zcash gained nearly 50% of its value in the period.
So what’s behind the surge? On Monday, news came in that Gemini, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the US was had received regulatory approval to list Zcash providing a major boost to the digital asset.
The privacy focussed coin is now trading at $369 according to CoinMarketCap, adding about 47% to its value since Monday when it was trading at $250. Its market capitalisation now stands at $1.45 billion with volumes in the last 24 hours exceeding $372 million.
Privacy Focussed Coin
Gemini will allow Zcash trading as early as May 22. Zcash’s main attraction is the privacy it affords its users. While Bitcoin provides some level of privacy, the trail of transactions can easily be tracked.
“Bitcoin has many strengths, but privacy is not one of them,” Tyler Winklevoss, one of the twins who own Gemini said.
“Zcash picks up where Bitcoin left off,” he added.
Zcash also solves the scalability problem that afflicts bitcoin. This makes it suitable for use in daily transactions. Bitcoin on the other hand has become more of a store of value.
As Cameron Winklevoss observes “Bitcoin and Zcash are two revolutionary technologies vying for different mantles, Bitcoin being digital gold and Zcash being digital cash.”
The listing happened smoothly without any scandal. Coinbase was rocked by claims of insider trading during its listing of Bitcoin Cash that ultimately led to a class action suit.
Gemini CEO Bryce Wilcox did not shy away from pointing it out.
“Proud of my team for once again publicly demonstrating that we don’t leak information and we don’t take advantage of our privileged access to information by trading on it,” he posted on Twitter.
Third Asset to be Listed
This “makes Gemini the first licensed Zcash exchange in the world,” and “NYDFS the first regulatory agency in the world to supervise Zcash.”
This means that Gemini must comply with strict know-your-customer policies and anti-money laundering measures set out by the New York Department of Financial Services.
The exchange will accept deposits from both shielded and unshielded addresses but withdrawals will only be to unshielded addresses, the company says in a statement. Unshielded or transparent transactions are visible on a public network similar to bitcoin while shielded transactions are entirely private.
Gemini has also been cleared to provide “custody services and trading of Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash, NYDFS said in a statement. Gemini is expected to list Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash at a later date.