Regulation could threaten privacy coins like Monero, Dash, and Zcash. The Bittrex exchange has decided to stop offering them on its service as of January 15th. Dash refuses to be a cryptocurrency in this category.
Cryptocurrencies can be counted in thousands. Some, such as Monero, have the particularity of offering transaction confidentiality. This feature contributes to their use for illegal purposes.
For regulators, as in the United States, privacy coins could therefore be a problem. Their prohibition or a strict framework is therefore not to be excluded. Offering access to these cryptocurrencies would therefore present a legal risk for exchanges.
Bittrex chooses to anticipate regulation in this sense. Thus, as of January 15, it will no longer be possible to exchange Monero, Dash, and Zcash for other cryptocurrencies. These three tokens will be delisted.
In addition, withdrawals of these assets will also be closed after a maximum period of 30 days. However, “in some cases, the withdrawal period may be shortened,” Bittrex warns. “Users must withdraw any tokens before the posted withdrawal deadline,” the exchange insists.
The company does not provide a rationale for the new policy. In general, Bittrex explains the removal of tokens as a result of “changing regulatory standards and other compliance issues.
The effects on the price of the three cryptocurrencies involved are, in any case, immediate. After the surprise announcement of the exchange, the value of the privacy coins lost an average of 10% according to CoinGecko.
However, Bittrex is not an isolated case. Some exchanges, due to money laundering regulations, refuse to list these tokens or withdraw them. This is notably the case for ShapeShift, Bithumb and LiteBit, recalls Decrypt.
For the issuers of these cryptocurrencies, it’s a major blow. All the more so since Bittrex’s policy could be a stain, as with XRP, which is in the process of disappearing from exchanges in the United States. Dash therefore strongly contests this decision.
“From a technical point of view, Dash’s privacy functionality is no greater than Bitcoin’s. The label “privacy coin” is therefore not appropriate for Dash,” the firm writes on Twitter.
CEO Ryan Taylor is also rising to the occasion to challenge this label, which makes Dash seem like a Monero. The company says it is in contact with Bittrex’s compliance team for a review of its decision.
“As a Bitcoin fork, all Dash transactions are completely transparent. All inputs, outputs, addresses and amounts are recorded on every transaction and can be viewed – by anyone – on its public blockchain,” he argues.