Gemini Gives Boost to `Privacy Coin' ZCash, Prompts Rally

(Bloomberg) -- The battle to bring secrecy to cryptocurrencies is heating up.

ZCash, vying with Monero to become the dominant “privacy coin,” will start trading May 22 on Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss’s Gemini exchange, after their venue won approval from the New York State Department of Financial Services to handle the token. Gemini, which announced the move Monday, also was approved to trade Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash.

“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 said in a phone interview. “Today demonstrates that through education and collaboration and with the right controls in place, regulators can get comfortable with privacy technology."

Zcash price has jumped as much as 26 percent , according to CoinMarketCap.com. The coin has a market capitalization of about $1.2 billion. Litecoin. gained 12 percent, while Bitcoin Cash increased about 1 percent.

"This is a major step that contradicts what most all cryptocurrency industry observers were expecting," Zooko Wilcox, founder of the Zcash Co., said in a phone interview.

Coins such as ZCash and Monero use various methods to anonymize transactions, after analytics firms got better at tracking people who use Bitcoin and other popular tokens. Backers say the goal is to protect privacy, though some coins have also proven attractive to hackers and extortionists.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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