In a recent announcement by Bittrex, delisting of the privacy coins in its platform will take effect on January 15, 2021, 23:00 UTC.
As further stated in the announcement, users are advised to withdraw any tokens before the posted withdrawal deadline.
Bittrex did not give further information behind its action. But the recent move could be related to a recent report on the crackdown of privacy coins. This is to curb the use of these altcoins for criminal activities like money laundering and fraud. Deputy Assistant Director of the US Secret Service’s Office of Investigation Robert Novy in a statement has sought the help of Congress to formulate a more rigid regulation. It has become difficult for the agency to fight financial crimes related to privacy coins due to the nature of these altcoins.
“Congress for help in preventing cryptocurrencies like Monero and zcash, which provide users with enhanced privacy and anonymity features, from being used for illicit purposes… We should also consider additional legislative or regulatory actions to address potential challenges related to anonymity-enhanced cryptocurrencies, services intended to obscure transactions on blockchains (i.e. cryptocurrency tumblers or mixers), and cryptocurrency mining pools.”
Delisting, Privacy Coins Dilemma
But Bittrex is not the first crypto exchange to delist privacy coins. On Dec. 22, LiteBit, a Dutch crypto exchange delisted privacy coin firo, formerly know as Zcoin. Earlier, ShapeShift, a Colorado-based crypto exchange removed XMR (Monero) and Dash as confirmed by Coindesk. Also, before this Bithumb has dropped XMR (Monero) from its platform.
Prices of XMR, ZEC, and Dash dropped by 9-12% in a 24-hour chart following Bittrex’s announcement. In recent data by Crypto.co, XMR (Monero) is down by 9.12% with its price at $138.50. ZEC (Zcash) is declined by 12.42% at $59.06. And Dash fell off by 13.83% at $90.28.
The massive delisting of privacy coins from crypto exchanges around the world is primarily due to regulations. This is to comply with know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) regulations implemented by regulators across the globe. Is this the end for privacy coins?
Reuben Yap, a Firo project steward had this to say:
“Privacy coins will continue to face opposition and challenges along the way, which will heat up as cryptocurrencies start becoming more mainstream. However, just as VPNs, Tor, HTTPS, and end-to-end encrypted messaging are now considered standard protection tools, privacy technology in cryptocurrencies will be considered commonplace, too.”