NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York State Financial Services regulator approved Gemini Trust Co, the bitcoin trading company founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, on trading in the privacy-focused cryptocurrency Zcash, making it the world's first provider licensed Zcash exchange.
The US Department of State Financial Services said it also granted approval for Gemini to offer custody services and trade in Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash in the future.
"With intelligent and thorough oversight of regulators, the industry's development and long-term growth will continue to flourish," Financial Services Inspector Maria Vullo said in a statement.
Gemini said it would start accepting Zcash deposits on Saturday, May 1
"We are proud to be the first licensed exchange in the world to offer Zcash trading and custody services and we look forward to providing our clients with a safe, secure and regulated place to buy, sell and stock Zcash "Gemini Chief Executive Tyler Winklevoss said in a statement by Vullo's office.
Zcash has a market value of approximately $ 1.2 billion, while the market values of Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin are $ 24.9 billion and $ 8.3 billion, respectively, according to CoinMarketCap.com.
Cryptocurrencies are digital tokens that use encryption techniques to secure transactions, trades being executed through a fragmented network of exchanges.
Industry critics say the market is opaque and prone to risks such as money laundering.
The Winklevosses, who are twins, are internet entrepreneurs who also participated in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
(This version of the story refers to the correct day of the week in the fourth paragraph until Saturday of Friday.)
Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Arrangement by Chizu Nomiyama