Billionaire bitcoin holder and owner of cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, The Winklevoss Twins have found themselves at a centre of controversy. The latest controversy is related to the twins donating $130,000 to the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo weeks before their exchange was approved to list Zcash by the state.
The timing of the donation and approval to list Zcash has raised eyebrows of the many in the government circle as well as, in the cryptocurrency sector. A state filing made public on Tuesday revealed the twins have donated $100,000 in April and additional $30,000 in June for the upcoming state elections. Cuomo is the governor of New York since 2011 and will stand in the re-election this November.
Shortly after the first tranche of donation in April, on May 14th, the Department of Financial Services (New York State’s financial regulator) approved Gemini Trust Company, the license to add ZCash to its listings. Gemini at that time became the first cryptocurrency exchange in the world to list ZCash.
ZCash is a relatively new cryptocurrency which is trading at $206 per coin with a market cap of $900 million.
Responding the news report which was first reported by New York Post, Cuomo reelection-campaign spokeswoman Abbey Fashouer said: “We appreciate their support. No contribution of any size influences any government action.”
For the current election campaign, Cuomo has raised $6 million in a six-month time whereas his opponent, Cynthia Nixon, managed to raise only $1.6 million since March.
Richard Loconte, spokesman for New York Department of Financial Services said: “DFS takes care in reviewing every application. The department has no knowledge of political contributions and such contributions have absolutely no bearing on DFS’s independent authority and decision making.”
A Winklevoss spokesperson also commented on the controversy: “Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss have supported — and continue to support — many effective leaders around the country. They contributed to Gov. Cuomo’s campaign because they believe he’s doing a great job, is a problem-solver, and is definitely the right person to lead New York in the years ahead.”
But, according to report, this was the first time that the twins have made donations to Cuomo.
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