Digital Currency Update: New Tokens for Gemini!
When it comes to blockchain technology, Consensus 2018 marks the biggest week of the year.
Consensus is the largest blockchain event held in the U.S. It attracts innovators, leaders, and changemakers to New York City for four days of all things cryptocurrency and blockchain.
It's also a hot spot for leading blockchain companies to take advantage of an avid audience — who all paid around $2,000 per seat — to make company announcements.
In today's digital currency news update, we take you to Consensus minus the ticket fee. And we cover some of the biggest events that took place during the four-day conference.
Let's kick things off with Gemini's new token announcement...
Gemini Adds New Tokens
Consensus kicked off with a bang as the Winklevoss twins announced that they would add a new token to their fiat-to-crypto exchange, Gemini. That lucky token is Zcash, which surged 30% in price after the announcement.
The exchange will begin accepting deposits of Zcash on May 19th at 9:30 a.m. (ET). Official trading will begin on May 22nd at 9:30 a.m. (ET).
After the Zcash announcement, Gemini also disclosed that it would soon launch trading for Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash — both of which are currently available on Coinbase.
So, why exactly did Zcash appeal to the exchange?
For those who don't know, Zcash is a privacy-focused token with a market cap of over $1 billion. Its peers include Monero and Dash, which also market themselves with the promise of anonymity.
The Winklevoss twins explained in their announcement that Zcash appealed to them because of its privacy-protection feature. This feature allows parties to engage with one another while still protecting everyone's identity.
Gemini received approval from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) to list the token. This makes Gemini the first licensed Zcash exchange. And it makes NYDFS the first regulatory agency with the power to supervise Zcash.
Coinbase Announces New Enterprise Solutions
On May 15th, Coinbase announced that it had formally launched Coinbase Custody — its first product to target institutional investors. Coinbase hopes that the launch, in development since last year, will help increase digital currency trading and accelerate adoption.
Coinbase Custody is a crypto storage service built for large financial institutions. New users of the platform will pay a one-time $100,000 setup fee. They will also have to keep a minimum of $10 million in deposits and pay a monthly fee, which will be based on how many assets the company decides to store.
In its announcement, Coinbase touted this new platform as "the most secure crypto storage solution available."
So, what will all this mean for the normal investor? It will mean more adoption because this kind of tool will allow larger financial institutions to interact with digital assets. Coinbase Custody is only one of a full suite of products that Coinbase plans to launch as the market evolves. Those products will provide more tools for businesses. And they will help in increasing Coinbase's already tremendous hold on the digital currency space.
This is a pivotal moment for the digital currency community. Over the last few months, there have been more than 100 hedge funds created exclusively for investing and trading digital currencies.
And as more institutions embrace digital currency, they'll bring with them much-needed stability, infrastructure, and access to the broader market...
The Creation of a New Blockchain DApp Store
A few weeks ago, we reported that Amber Baldet had left JPMorgan to pursue her own venture. Baldet announced this venture, called Clovyr, at Consensus 2018.
Clovyr tackles a very real problem of the blockchain world: Developing a decentralized application (DApp) is very hard. In fact, it's so hard that few people and companies can use blockchain for their goals.
But Clovyr will provide a new layer of enterprise-driven services between blockchains and user-facing applications. The DApp store will hold a wide selection of vetted apps. It'll also offer in-house developer tooling.
Clovyr will initially provide developers with the tools needed to build on both the public and enterprise versions of Ethereum.
In a conversation with CoinDesk, Baldet said Bitcoin-facing applications would someday be possible. And she said other blockchains could also be added to the decentralized collection in the future...
HTC Plans to Start Shipping Its First Blockchain Phone in 2018
Major Taiwanese electronics-maker HTC unveiled its blockchain-based phone, called Exodus, on May 15th. The company expects to start shipping the phones sometime in 2018.
The Exodus smartphone would provide two vital services to digital currency investors. It would operate both as a mobile connection point to decentralized networks and as a hardware wallet for those who want to carry their crypto with them.
Before it launched Exodus, HTC was famous for having brought a smartphone to market that was based on the Android operating system (OS). HTC's foray into the world of blockchain technology demonstrates that the company believes decentralized technologies will play a big role in our future.
These technologies would allow users to hold digital currencies. And they also could provide protection by allowing individuals to hold their own digital identities.
Of course, when it comes to a blockchain-based phone, the company isn't without competition. Relatively new startup Sirin Labs raised over $157 through an initial coin offering (ICO) to build its own blockchain-based phone.
Over the coming years, investors should brace themselves for more blockchain technologies hitting the market.
There you have it! Those are some of the biggest events that took place at Consensus 2018. Keep an eye out for your Monday mailing where we break down what Coinbase's new enterprise tools mean for investors like you.
Trust us, it's good news...
@AlexandraPerryC on Twitter
Alexandra Perry is the managing editor of Token Authority and the associate editor of Technology and Opportunity. She also contributes weekly content to Wealth Daily, a free investment research newsletter that addresses a range of market topics. She has multiple years of experience working with startup companies, primarily focusing on artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, alternative energy, and biotech. Her take on investing is simple: a new age of investor can make monumental returns by investing in emerging industries and foundational startup ventures.