Gemini now supports 'shielded' Zcash withdrawals for added privacy

Crypto exchange Gemini has added support for "shielded" Zcash (ZEC) withdrawals for an additional layer of financial privacy.

Gemini said the move makes it the first regulated exchange to offer this feature. Gemini's rival, Coinbase, does not yet support shielded ZEC withdrawals.

ZEC addresses are of two types: "Transparent" that start with a "t," and private or shielded, which begin with a "z." Transactions made with t addresses are traceable, while transactions with z addresses are all encrypted using a technology called zero-knowledge proofs.

Gemini said using a shielded address allows users to protect their identity and size of transactions. "If you'd like to take advantage of a shielded withdrawal, simply withdraw your ZEC to a z-address," said the exchange.

A Gemini spokesperson told The Block that the exchange has been able to implement this feature following "ongoing conversations with regulators and further education on privacy-enabling cryptos."

When asked how would Gemini trace fund movements via shielded ZEC addresses, the spokesperson said: "Gemini maintains a record of every withdrawal that leaves our system. While we have full transparency into the flows at this point, once the funds are in the shielded pool — and at that point encrypted — we no longer have insights and we don’t track customers’ withdrawals after they leave."

Gemini already supports ZEC deposits from a shielded address, and so does Coinbase.