Sep 17, 2019
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FATF-Driven Delistings Capture the Criminalization of Privacy

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FATF-Driven Delistings Capture the Criminalization of Privacy

The delisting of privacy coins like monero, zcash, and dash is becoming something of a trend in Asia, and could soon expand elsewhere. In the wake of the intra-governmental Financial Action Task Force (FATF) issuing new global standards, Korean exchanges Okex and Upbit have announced they will delist and put warnings on several privacy coins in the immediate future, with Okex to axe the tokens in October. The progressive abandonment of such coins in “crypto-friendly” Asia is a warning call to all privacy advocates: you can’t have your regulations and privacy, too.

Also Read: European Countries Step Up Response to Facebook’s Libra

A Growing Trend

Prior to the issuance of FATF recommendations, one of Japan’s largest exchanges had already swung the axe. Coincheck delisted four major privacy coins in 2018 thanks to pressure from the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA). An outright ban on Japanese exchanges dealing in privacy coins followed soon after. Further, very few privacy coins are set to be listed on Binance’s upcoming U.S.-compliant exchange, making the concerted effort of regulators worldwide to put the brakes on privacy very clear.

According to a September 10 blog post by Okex, the widely used exchange will cease trading of XMR, DASH, ZEC, ZEN and SBTC for Korean customers as of October 10, 2019 17:00 KST. Users will be able to make withdrawals of the tokens until December 10, 2019 17:00 KST. The announcement, translated from Korean, states in part:

According to the statement corresponding to FATF R.16 … We decided to take measures to end the trading support of stocks that are privacy-oriented cryptocurrency, aka dark coin.

The Okex blog post specifically details the necessity of knowing both sender and recipient information as per the FATF guidelines, something privacy coins can make exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, for exchanges.

FATF-Driven Delistings Capture the Criminalization of Privacy
Okex Korea will cease trading of privacy coins on October 10.

In similar fashion, Korean exchange Upbit has now listed several privacy coins under an “investment warning” status, informing traders that the tokens are under review and may be removed if they are not found to meet FATF recommendations. A September 9 notice on their English website reads: “The amendment to the FATF R.15 states companies handling virtual assets must hold the standard equivalent to that of financial institutions and to register/report its legal business of operation. Particularly applicable in R.16, it states that the collection and retention of information related to the sender and the recipient of the virtual asset.” An update is expected soon as to the final fate of the coins.

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