Winklevoss' Gemini to Add zCash, Litecoin

The Winklevoss brothers' cryptocurrency exchange has been making headlines in the past few weeks. Most recently, the Gemini digital currency exchange announced a partnership with Nasdaq that may end up giving the exchange a head start on its competition. Now, co-founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss may be aiming for even higher goals: Gemini will formally add support for Zcash, litecoin, and bitcoin cash in the near future.

New Cryptocurrency Transactions Available on Saturday, May 19

According to a report by Forbes, the altcoins will be available for trade as of 9:30 a.m. EDT on Saturday, May 19, pending approval from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS). Separately, the NYDFS confirmed to Forbes that Gemini will receive approvals for Zcash, bitcoin cash, and litecoin. Together, these three altcoins bring a combined market value of roughly $35 billion to the cryptocurrencies that the Gemini exchange offers. Bitcoin cash is the largest of these, with a market value of approximately $25 billion, making it the fourth-largest cryptocurrency by that metric as of this writing. The current market cap of litecoin is more than $8 billion, while the privacy-centered digital currency Zcash has a market valuation of more than $1 billion.

First Licensed Zcash Exchange

The Winklevoss brothers and the larger team at Gemini have taken regulatory matters very seriously. Cameron Winklevoss, president of the exchange, explained that the new offerings were the result of close work alongside the NYDFS. He wrote that "our approval makes Gemini the first licensed Zcash exchange in the world."

While litecoin and bitcoin cash already have substantial followings, Zcash is more of an up-and-coming digital currency. Winklevoss went on to explain that some of the appeal of Zcash is its identity-shielding features, allowing counterparties to engage in a trade without knowing anything about each other. This is thanks to a technology known as "zk-snarks," with "zk" standing for "zero knowledge." For this reason, Zcash has been linked to trading in oppressed nations, as well as privacy-focused investors and even criminal organizations. Unsurprisingly, the digital currency has drawn its share of both support and criticism.

Investing in cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings ("ICOs") is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or ICOs. Since each individual's situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein. As of the date this article was written, the author owns bitcoin and ripple.

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