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Use our news to inform cryptocurrency trading decisions, stay up-to-date on happenings in the industry, and more!

Gemini To Become First BitLicensed Exchange To Offer Trading in Zcash
The New York State Department of Financial Services has authorized Gemini Trust Company to offer trading of Zcash, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash. Tyler Winklevoss, Chief Executive Officer of Gemini Trust Company, LCC said, “We are proud be the first licensed exchange in the world to offer Zcash trading and custody services and look forward to providing customers with a safe, secure, and regulated place to buy, sell, and store Zcash, an incredible new form of digital cash.”

Crypto Mining Company Coinmint Moving To Revamp 1,300 Acre Alcoa Plot
Once used for aluminum smelting, an Alcoa plant in Upstate New York is going to be converted into one of the world’s largest bitcoin mining centers. CNBC reports Coinmint said Tuesday it “would invest up to $700 million in the upstate New York location, which it expects to be the biggest bitcoin mining center in the world. The project will create an estimated 150 jobs over the next 18 months.”

Cryptocurrency Theft Malware Now An Economy Worth Millions
According to a new research report titled “Cryptocurrency Gold Rush on the Dark Web” by Carbon Black, the market for malware and tools designed for the theft of cryptocurrency is growing swiftly. ZDNet states, “The researchers estimate that over the past six months alone, a total of $1.1 billion has been stolen in cryptocurrency-related thefts, and approximately 12,000 marketplaces in the underbelly of the Internet are fueling this trend.”

Image courtesy of Carty Sewill, http://cartyisme.com/.

Gemini, the New York-based cryptocurrency exchange owned by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, will become the “world’s first licensed ZCash exchange,” according to an announcement made via the company’s official blog this morning.

Starting on Saturday, May 19th at 9:30am EDT customers will be able to begin depositing ZCash they already own onto the exchange in preparation for when trading begins on Tuesday, May 22nd at 9:30am EDT. At that time, trading goes live with the following trading pairs on Gemini: ZEC/USD, ZEC/BTC, and ZEC/ETH.

The New York Department of Financial Services, who oversees New York’s controversial Bitlicense, approved Gemini adding Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash, in addition to the privacy-focused ZCash. The addition of ZCash is of particular significance due to Gemini being the world’s first licensed exchange to offer the privacy coin, but also because privacy coins have faced scrutiny over criminals potentially abusing the anonymous nature of the coin. Regulators in other countries, most notably Japan, have been targeting privacy coins, even requiring some exchanges in the region to delist privacy coins such as ZCash and Monero.

Along with Gemini’s “first,” the New York Department of Financial Services also becomes the first regulatory agency across the globe to supervise ZCash.

Maria T. Vullo, superintendent of the NYDFS offered the following statement about issuing the approval:

“This action continues New York’s longstanding commitment to innovation and leadership in the global marketplace. With smart and thorough regulatory oversight, the development and long-term growth of the industry will remain thriving,”

In a separate phone interview, Cameron Winkevoss made reference to the growing discomfort regulators feel toward privacy coins:

“Today demonstrates that through education and collaboration and with the right controls in place, regulators can get comfortable with privacy technology.”

ZCash’s price skyrocketed over 25% to a peak of $349 in the wake of the news.

bill gates

Bill Gates said that he would short bitcoin if he could. Tyler Winklevoss is calling his bluff.

Speaking with CNBC, the Microsoft co-founder and prolific philanthropist said that he wished there was an easy way to short bitcoin so that he could take advantage of the opportunity.

“As an asset class, you’re not producing anything and so you shouldn’t expect it to go up. It’s kind of a pure ‘greater fool theory’ type of investment,” he said. “I agree I would short if there was an easy way to do it.”

That has been a common refrain from bitcoin bears for quite some time, but there’s just one problem — it no longer passes muster.

Bitcoin futures products have existed on cryptocurrency exchanges such as BitMEX and OKEx for years, but skeptics could believably feign hesitation to use these “unregulated” trading platforms.

However, in December, two regulated US exchanges — CBOE and CME — launched conventional bitcoin futures products, enabling bulls and bears alike to stake out their bitcoin positions in a secure marketplace.

That’s why Tyler Winklevoss put Gates on notice that he needs to put his money where is mouth is.

Winklevoss — who along with his brother Cameron co-founded cryptocurrency exchange Gemini — challenged Gates to make good on his alleged desire by opening a bitcoin short position on Chicago exchange CBOE.

“Dear @BillGates there is an easy way to short bitcoin,” he wrote on Twitter. “You can short #XBT, the @CBOE Bitcoin (USD) Futures contract, and put your money where your mouth is!”

Those futures, incidentally, are based on pricing data supplied by Gemini’s daily two-sided auctions.

And while these products may be too pricey for the average retail investor, Gates is not likely to have much trouble cobbling together the funds necessary to trade CBOE’s 1 BTC contracts.

His tweet also tagged Berkshire Hathaway Warren Buffett, who — along with Gates, who sits on the company’s board of directors — was in Omaha, Nebraska for the firm’s annual shareholders meeting.

Buffett, a longtime cryptocurrency bear, took time during the meeting to bash bitcoin as “rat poison squared,” a sentiment his vice chairman Charlie Munger later expounded upon in vivid language.

Featured Image from Wikimedia Commons

Kraken’s CEO, Jesse Powell, had nothing but strong words for New York regulators who tried to compel the San Francisco based exchange to take part in it’s Virtual Market Integrity Initiative. Kraken and 13 other exchanges were instructed to participate in the Virtual Market Integrity Initiative, with the goal of seeking greater transparency regarding how trading platforms operate.

The New York Attorney General offices Investor Protection Bureau sent letters to the platforms requesting they completed a questionnaire by May 1. The forms included detailed questions on ownership, fees, money laundering and more.

According to the Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman:

“Too often, consumers don’t have the basic facts they need to assess the fairness, integrity and security of these trading platforms.”

Most exchanges were willing to cooperate with the inquiry and are interested in increasing transparency in the space. Tyler Winklevoss, CEO of Gemini whose statement was published on CNBC applauded the Attorney General and  said:

“We look forward to cooperating with and submitting our responses to the questionnaire that has been circulated.”

Powell (Kraken), however, was more critical of the regulators. In an update shared on Twitter, he said:

“Kraken’s BitLicense-prompted exit from New York in 2015 pays another dividend today. When I saw this 34-point demand, with a deadline 2 weeks out, I immediately thought ‘The audacity of these guys — the entitlement, the disrespect for our business, our time! The resource diversion for this production is massive. This is going to completely blow up our roadmap!’ Then I realized that we made the right decision to get the hell out of New York three years ago and that we can dodge this bullet.”

Kraken had ceased operations in New York in 2015 as part of the “Great Bitcoin Exodus” that resulted after the controversial BitLicense was introduced. Powell said that Kraken was open to help New York’s regulators understand their business operations as well as how the crypto space works but he believes the AG’s inquiry is misplaced and blames other crypto exchanges for “kowtowing” to the probe and others before it. Kraken also recently ceased operations in Japan due to regulatory pressure, but still ranks in America’s top 15 by volume list for cryptocurrency trading platforms.

Gemini is a New York-based, licensed digital asset exchange that also offers custodian services for digital assets.  The exchange was launched in 2015 by prominent bitcoin investors Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and ranks #12 on BlockExplorer’s Top 25 Exchanges of 2017 list. The exchange serves the U.S., U.K., Canada, Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore.

The platform allows investors to trade BTC/USD, ETH/USD, and ETH/BTC. Its clean and easy-to-use interface is well suited for both beginners and advanced traders.

While a limited number of trading pairs might be a drawback for traders, the Winklevoss twins said their main 2018 goal for Gemini Exchange is expanding to other tokens such as Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin.

A major advantage of Gemini is their proactive approach to abide by regulations.  In 2015, Cameron Winklevoss stated, “Our philosophy is to ask for permission, not forgiveness.”  Before launching, it became a fully compliant and fully registered enterprise with FDIC coverage on client USD balances. It is also the first US exchange to be officially licensed for both ether and bitcoin trading making it one of the most legitimate exchanges in the world.

Gemini Exchange Summary:

gemini crypto

URL: https://gemini.com/
Total trading pairs: 3
Founded: 2015
Deposit fees: No
Withdrawal fees: Free up to 10 withdrawals per month
Trading fees: 0.00% – 0.25%
Margin trading: No
Verification levels and deposit/withdrawal limits:

Verification Level

Limits

Individual ACH Daily Deposit/Withdrawal: $500/$10,000; ACH Monthly Deposit/Withdrawal: $15,000/$100,000; Cryptocurrency: No Limit
Institutional ACH Daily Deposit/Withdrawal: $10,000/$10,000; ACH Monthly Deposit/Withdrawal: $300,000/$100,000; Cryptocurrency: No Limit

Creating Your Account

Starting a new account at Gemini.com is simple — just go to the homepage and click on Register

Enter your full name, email address, and create a password — then select Create My Account

Open a new tab and check your email for an Activation Code, copy and paste it into the previous tab — then select Submit

 

Next is a three-step identity verification process:

 

 

  1. Link your cell phone number up with your account — this makes receiving login verification codes easy. Two-factor authentication is a standard requirement for most exchanges and enhances account security.
  2. Link your bank account using your online banking login credentials. The bank account must be in the same name as the new Gemini account holder. If you don’t want to fork over your login information, you can verify your bank account using a wire transfer instead.
  3. Finally, you must submit documentation that proves your identity and address, like a copy of a bank statement with your address clearly printed.

Conclusion: Is Gemini a Good Exchange?

Gemini has a solid reputation and suitable volume for institutional and individual investors. A smooth interface paired with real USD, regulatory compliance, and low fees makes Gemini an attractive alternative to Coinbase’s GDAX.