Gemini crypto exchange adds shielded withdrawals for privacy coin Zcash

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Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange founded by the Winklevoss twins, aims to improve user privacy with a major privacy token, Zcash (ZEC).

Starting Sept. 29, Gemini will support shielded withdrawals of ZEC, which allows users to hide their transaction data.

Gemini representatives said that the new feature is the “first time shielded ZEC withdrawals are available on a regulated exchange.” The new option comes in line with Gemini’s mission to strengthen financial privacy and “empower the individual through crypto,” Gemini executives said.

Launched in 2016, Zcash is a major privacy-focused cryptocurrency, enabling two user privacy levels through two types of addresses — transparent, or t-addresses, and shielded, or z-addresses. In contrast to transparent addresses, shielded ZEC addresses are designed to encrypt and hide transaction data like sender, receiver, as well as the amount sent.

According to Gemini, the exchange will store ZEC in t-addresses. In order to complete a withdrawal of shielded ZEC, users can simply withdraw their ZEC to a z-address. Exchange users are already able to deposit ZEC from a z-address into their accounts.

Gemini did not specify whether the exchange received any special regulatory approvals to introduce shielded ZEC withdrawals. However, the reps said that the new feature “demonstrates that with the right controls in place and the proper education, regulators can get comfortable with privacy-enabling cryptos.”

Gemini’s addition of shielded ZEC withdrawals comes amid regulatory uncertainty over Zcash.

As previously reported, some global exchanges like Japanese Liquid had to delist Zcash to be compliant with regulations. Over the course of 2019, a number of crypto services like OKEx and Upbit cut support for Zcash alongside major privacy coin Monero (XMR), citing concerns over their anonymous nature. In August 2019, major American crypto exchange Coinbase announced the termination of Zcash custody for customers based in the United Kingdom.

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