Story by: LUCINDA SHEN
The price of cryptocurrency poster child Bitcoin has languished in recent days owing to the raid of a South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Friday.
But the entire cryptocurrency market has not followed its descent. While the price of Bitcoin dipped to $8,500 Tuesday after nearly going back to $9,000 on Friday, the price of cryptocurrency Zcash surged.
The jump came after cryptocurrency bulls Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss gave Zcash a thumbs up Monday, adding that their Bitcoin exchange, Gemini, had gained regulatory approval to list Zcash on its platform. The price of Zcash has surged 47% to $364 since then, adding about $462.8 million to Zcash’s now $1.5 billion market capitalization. Gemini, now the first licensed Zcash exchange, plans to allow Zcash trading starting Tuesday, May 22 at 9:30 a.m. ET.
In Gemini’s press release announcing the approvals, the Winklevoss twins focused on Zcash and how it can co-exist alongside Bitcoin. While Bitcoin is often billed as highly private, it still broadcasts from where and to where funds are moving—allowing those with basic computer skills to track it. Zcash, on the other hand, was created as a more private cryptocurrency, encrypting those transactions.
And while Zcash may sound ripe for the criminal underground, average Joes may also have legitimate reasons to hide payments from prying eyes. Consider a doctor’s visit or a surprise anniversary gift.
“Zcash picks up where Bitcoin left off,” Tyler Winklevoss, Gemini CEO, said in a statement Monday. “Bitcoin has many strengths, but privacy is not one of them.”
The Winkelvoss twins together own an estimated 120,000 Bitcoins as of January. It’s unclear if the brothers own Zcash.
“Bitcoin and Zcash are two revolutionary technologies vying for different mantles, Bitcoin being digital gold and Zcash being digital cash,” Cameron Winklevoss, president of Gemini, added.
In the past, cryptocurrency exchanges have faced allegations of insider trading after launching the trade of a new digital coin on their platform. Coinbase, the largest U.S.-based exchange for instance, faced a class action lawsuit after the price of Bitcoin Cash rose in the hours before Coinbase announced that trading would commence.
Snubbing that trend, Zcash founding member and CEO Bryce “Zooko” Wilcox posted a photo of Zcash’s price as it surged on the Gemini announcement.