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NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York state on Monday authorized the Gemini Trust Co exchange founded by internet entrepreneurs Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss to offer trading of the privacy-focused cryptocurrency Zcash, making it the world’s first licensed Zcash exchange.
The state’s Department of Financial Services said it also approved Gemini to offer custody services and trading of Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin in the future.
Zcash’s market value was roughly $ 1.3 billion on Monday, according to CoinMarketCap.com, while Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin’s respective values were $ 25 billion and $ 8.3 billion. Bitcoin’s market value was about $ 150.1 billion.
“With smart and thorough regulatory oversight, the development and long-term growth of the industry will remain thriving,” Financial Services Superintendent Maria Vullo said in a statement.
Cryptocurrencies are digital tokens that use encryption techniques to secure transactions. Industry critics say the market is opaque and vulnerable to risks such as money laundering.
Last month, then-New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman asked Gemini and 12 other cryptocurrency trading platforms to provide details about their operations and safety measures.
Zcash incorporates the technology “zk-snark,” short for zero-knowledge succinct non-interactive argument of knowledge, which lets people trade with each other in anonymity.
Gemini said it expects to begin accepting Zcash deposits on Saturday, May 19, with trading to begin three days later.
“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,” Gemini Chief Executive Tyler Winklevoss said in a statement provided by Vullo’s office.
The Winklevosses, who are 36-year-old twins, in 2008 reached a $ 65 million settlement with Facebook Inc and founder Mark Zuckerberg over who had the idea for the social media website.
They also competed in the men’s rowing competition at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis
BARCELONA/HELSINKI (Reuters) – Seeking to capitalise on their comeback over the past year, the makers of Nokia phones are expanding to include a premium Android smartphone, their first, and a remake of one of its biggest hits of the 1990s, the 8110 “slider” phone.
Set up by ex-Nokia executives who have licensed the famous brand, HMD Global — as the year-old company is known — has focused on mid-priced Androids and even sub-$ 100-priced phones since entering the smartphone market.
Chief Executive Florian Seiche said HMD has sold around 30 million phones after introducing 11 new phone models over the past year. On Sunday, it announced two new models, plus refreshed versions of three phones first offered last year.
“We feel great about the momentum we had in 2017 and that gives us the confidence to double down in 2018,” Seiche told reporters at a briefing in London ahead of the product launch.
Mobile phone market tracker Counterpoint Research said Nokia phones surged during 2017 to become the world’s No. 1 seller of low-cost feature phones and No. 11 in smartphones after only entering the market last year. On a combined basis, Nokia now ranks as the No. 6 mobile phone seller, Counterpoint calculates.
HMD’s strategy is to use distribution partnerships with 600 top mobile operators and retailers in selected markets around the world to offer reliable, affordable products with the latest innovations, plus monthly Google security updates on all phones.
Europe remains the biggest region for Nokia phones sales, Seiche said; India, Russia and Indonesia are its biggest country markets.
The Nokia 8 is the company’s flagship phone, priced at 749 euros ($ 920.75) and designed to compete with Samsung’s and Huawei’s premium models. A new, 4G-ready version of Nokia’s 8110 is priced at 79 euros ($ 97).
Nokia 8 is available in April, the revamped 8110 in May. The 1990s throwback model comes in two colour choices, classic black or banana yellow, a play on how its keyboard slid out, inspiring the nickname “banana phone”.
Nokia Corp, once the world’s dominant phone maker, sold its handset business to Microsoft in 2014 and is now focused on telecom network equipment.
HMD took over the Nokia feature phone business from Microsoft in 2016 and struck a deal with Nokia Oyj to use the brand on smartphones.
Editing by Larry King
DETROIT (Reuters) – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCA) will provide Waymo with thousands of Pacifica hybrid minivans as Alphabet Inc’s self-driving unit begins rolling out its first public ride-hailing service later this year, the companies said on Tuesday.
Depending on its scope and scale, the agreement could put pressure on the likes of Uber Technologies Inc and General Motors Co to speed up their efforts to start self-driving commercial ride-hailing services.
Waymo is part of a growing number of vehicle manufacturers, technology companies and tech startups looking to develop so-called robo-taxis over the next three years in North America, Europe and Asia. Most of those companies have one or more partners.
Fiat Chrysler provided Waymo with 100 Pacifica minivans refitted for self-driving testing in 2016, then 500 in 2017.
“Our partnership with Waymo continues to grow and strengthen; this represents the latest sign of our commitment to this technology,” Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne said in a statement.
The companies said the automaker would start delivering “thousands” of minivans in late 2018. Waymo is due to begin offering a ride-hailing service to the public in Phoenix later this year.
“The additional Pacifica Hybrid minivans will be used to support Waymo as it expands its service to more cities across the United States,” the companies said.
Asked for details on the length of the agreement, a spokeswoman for Fiat Chrysler said the companies would not disclose terms.
Last week, Waymo said it began testing self-driving vehicles in Atlanta, bringing to 25 the total number of U.S. cities in which it is testing.
“The Pacifica Hybrid minivans offer a versatile interior and a comfortable ride experience, and these additional vehicles will help us scale,” Waymo CEO John Krafcik said.
Last November, Uber said it planned to buy up to 24,000 self-driving cars from Volvo as part of a non-exclusive deal from 2019 to 2021, marking the transition of the U.S. company from an app used to summon a taxi to the owner and operator of a fleet of cars.
Earlier this month, GM said it was seeking U.S. government approval for a fully autonomous car, one without a steering wheel, brake pedal or accelerator pedal, to enter the automaker’s first commercial ride-sharing fleet in 2019.
Reporting By Nick Carey