Gemini Becomes the First Licensed Zcash Exchange in the World

Vlad Costea
  • Gemini is one of the oldest and most conservative cryptocurrency exchanges, which obtains trading licenses in the legally-challenging state of New York and only integrates new coins after long deliberation and analysis
  • Their third coin of choice is the privacy-oriented Zcash, and the unexpected news has already boosted the price by over 23 percent in the last 24 hours.

Say what you will about the Winklevoss twins, but they know a little something about planning and long-term strategies. They might have lost their Facebook project to Mark Zuckerberg, but they wisely invested the settlement money into Bitcoin, and have dedicated much of their business time to the purpose of growing cryptocurrencies and creating a bridge between regulatory frameworks and cryptographic inventions that are meant to dodge them with sheer excellence.

The efforts of Cameron and Tyler have created Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange which manages to comply with the strict rules imposed by the state of New York and has a perfectly-clean slate in regards to working with the authorities. Right now, Gemini only allows registered users to trade Bitcoin and Ethereum, but a recent announcement has revealed that the third crypto asset to get added to the platform is Zcash!

It might sound a little strange that a company which tries its best to comply with all the rules takes all the steps towards adopting a privacy coin, but it seems like the Winklevoss twins have undergone all the NYDFS procedures. Correspondingly, on Saturday, May 19th 2018, the Gemini users will be able to make ZEC deposits. It's worth noting that the New York State Department of Financial Services has also given green light to Gemini to add Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash, but the exchange platform hasn't announced any specific dates.

According to Tyler Winklevoss, "Zcash picks up where Bitcoin left off" - a statement which clearly points out the privacy capabilities of the coin. His twin brother Cameron, who acts as president of the Gemini exchange, has been a little more direct and mentioned that "Bitcoin being digital gold, and Zcash being digital cash". This can be interpreted as a jab to all the Bitcoin Cash supporters, as well as an acknlowledgement of the BTC limitations.

Regulatory Concessions

Both shielded and unshielded ZEC addresses can be used in order to make deposits to the Gemini exchange, but withdrawals will only be possible via unshielded addresses. Clearly, this is the compromise that's meant to please New York regulators and a measure which counters money laundering, tax evasion, and potential financing of criminal organizations.

To some privacy coin fans and HODLers, not being able to withdraw funds privately is a big drawback and can be interpreted as a trojan horse: it's like trading your anonymity for the ability to exchange your coins. To others, it's a really quick and convenient way of exchanging the ZEC that they have been holding in their portfolio. However, the procedures partly defeat the purpose of privacy coins and basically hand all the information to the authorities - which probably is one of the points that Monero fans will make, as they always say that optional privacy is not real privacy.

Screen Shot 2018-05-14 at 18.52.09.pngSource: CryptoCompare

In spite of this drawback, the price of Zcash has surged by over 25 percent inthe last 24 hours, reaching a peak of $336. Gemini is one of the biggest cryptocurrency platforms in the world, and they are among the heavyweights in terms of financial power and influence over the market. How will the addition of ZEC influence the trading volumes and long-term performance of the coin? That's still something which remains to be seen.

Token Listing Guidelines for Binance DEX

On Thursday (April 25), Binance unveiled guidelines for listing tokens on Binance DEX, its new decentralized exchange, and said that these guidelines would enable Binance DEX "to facilitate a larger number of crowd-vetted projects, hopefully listing 10x more tokens than currently listed on"

Despite what some people think, issuing a token on Binance Chain does not mean that the new token will automatically get listed on Binance DEX. Binance, which has been criticized like most other centralized exchanges for having an opaque listing process, is hoping that the new "transparent and community-driven" listing process for Binance DEX will finally satisfy most if not all of its detractors.

The Binance DEX listing process consists of the following steps:

  • 1. Proposal
    • "It is recommended that Token Issuers first create a thread under the “Token Issuance & Listings” category in the Binance Chain Community Forum."
    • "It is recommended that this public thread contain full answers to the Binance DEX Token Listing Submission Criteria..."
    • "Token Issuers must initiate an on-chain Proposal Request (fee of 10 BNB) to list a trading pair for a token."
    • "Token Issuers must request BNB as the quote asset for their first trading pair. For example, ABC/BNB."
    • "Once the proposal request is submitted, Token Issuers must post the Proposal ID to their proposal thread in the forum as a ‘reply’."
  • 2. Deposit
    • "Once the proposal request is sent, Token Issuers will need to deposit at least 1,000 BNB within 2 days."
    • "Proposals that do not receive sufficient deposits within this timeframe will not be able to move on to the voting stage and their deposit will not be refunded."
    • "If the Vote passes in Step 3 (majority 'Yes'), the 1,000 BNB deposit will be refunded."
  • 3. Vote
    • "At least half of the voting power is required to vote 'Yes' for the proposal to be accepted."
    • "Binance Chain Validators can vote for either 'Yes', 'No', 'NoWithVeto', or 'Abstain' within the time period specified in the proposal request."
    • "The 1,000 BNB deposit will be refunded if the majority of Validators vote for 'Abstain'."
    • "Proposals are denied if one third of the Validators vote 'NoWithVeto' or if half of the Validators vote 'No'."
    • "Denied proposals will lose all the funds deposited, however this result will only occur in rare circumstances when there is relatively clear fraud, scam or spam."
  • 4. List
    • "If the vote is passed, the Token Issuer will need to initiate a 'List' transaction on-chain (2,000 BNB fee) within the timeframe specified in the proposal, while the previous 1,000 BNB deposit will be refunded back to the proposing user."
    • "The trading pairs will be live immediately after this request is completed."

Binance DEX Listing Process Workflow Screenshot.png

Binance says that the "listing application, project information, vote results and all community interaction will be public on the Binance Chain Community Forum," that the decisions of the Binance Chain Validators (who are the only ones with the power to vote) are "purely based on public information in the forum," and that there is no other way "for projects to contact Binance Chain Validators."

One interesting thing to point out is that although the Binance DEX listing fee has been set to 2,000 BNB (currently, according to CryptoCompare, worth around $45,580), originally Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (aka "CZ") was thinking of making the listing fee on Binance DEX be around $100,000, as he mentioned in his first Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on February 7:

"There will be a listing fee on the DEX. I actually deliberately want to set that a little bit high, just so we reduce the number of spam or scam projects. And there’s also a voting process by the validators to be listed on the DEX. So there’s a fee, I think the fee will be probably close to $100K US, so we’ll see. But the fee is adjustable over time, it’s quite easy to change."

Earlier today, Mithril, the first crypto project to migrate its token (MITH) to Binance Chain, got listed on Binance DEX:


All Images Courtesy of Binance