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Exchanges

Bittrex purges privacy coins as it delists Dash, Monero, and Zcash

  • Bittrex, which recently removed XRP from its order books, has turned its attention to privacy coins after delisting Monero, Zcash, and Dash.
  • The exchange has not given clear reasons for the delisting.
  • It appears that regulators are not pleased with privacy coins which they see as high-risk vehicles for financial crimes.

The war against privacy coins is far from over and has turned a new page, albeit with a familiar story. U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex announced that it will delist three privacy coins – Monero, Dash, and Zcash – on Jan. 15 at 23:00 UTC.

The exchange informed its users that they have up to 30 days to withdraw any delisted tokens from the platform. However, there are instances when the withdrawal period is shorter than the official timeline.

As in announcing the removal of XRP markets, the exchange did not give a specific reason for purging the privacy coins, but rather, pointed to its Market and Token Removal Policy. 

The page says that “evolving regulatory standards and other compliance issues” are reasons for delisting.

In 2018, the U.S. Secret Service urged Congress to take regulatory action against privacy-focused coins and mixers.

Privacy coins are targeted by regulators who see them as high-risk digital assets that do not comply with AML and KYC regulations.

The privacy features of these coins are what made cryptocurrencies appealing to their early adopters who wanted to transact under the radar of financial surveillance.

Monero is trading at $147.82, 6% down in the past 24 hours. Exchanging hands for $57.61, Zcash fell 9% in the same period while Dash, which is in the red by 9.7%, is going for $89.97. 

Privacy coins delisting around the world

The purging of privacy coins has been going on for some time. In December, a Dutch exchange LiteBit delisted firo partly due to its privacy features. The country’s crypto regulator sees privacy coins as a threat.

Shapeshift, a cryptocurrency exchange with headquarters in Switzerland but operates from Denver in the U.S., delisted the three privacy coins that Bittrex is removing from its order books.

The delisting of privacy coins seems to have taken root in Asia, particularly South Korea and Japan. In November, South Korea’s financial regulator the Financial Services Commission (FSC) announced its plan to ban privacy coins because they have the potential to be used for money laundering.

The ban will come into force in March this year. The commission termed them as “dark coins” because their transactions are difficult to trace.

Korean exchanges argue that they are purging privacy coins in compliance with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) regulations.

Abra to suspend trading of privacy coins

Abra, a mobile for buying cryptocurrencies among other financial assets, announced that it is suspending the trading of privacy coins Monero, Zcash, and Dash on Jan. 15, 2021.

“Due to regulatory uncertainty surrounding the status of XMR, ZEC, and Dash our custody partners will no longer be supporting these assets. Therefore, Abra has no choice but to suspend trading of these assets for the time being,” reads part of the announcement.

Users who fail to withdraw the affected privacy coins by the deadline risk losing their assets.

South African exchange VALR is also delisting the privacy coins, but with the addition of Grin. The exchange claims that it has to take this action because its liquidity providers are removing support for the mentioned coins.

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