Against the myth, Bitcoin (BTC) isn’t really an anonymous currency. That’s why other assets have arisen among the crowd of the cryptocurrency market, offering different methods to ensure fully-anonymous transactions. Sadly, this isn’t for everyone’s liking.
Last month, Europol stated that privacy methods in cryptocurrency, like digital wallets, open markets, and decentralized assets focused on privacy features, can be threats of criminal activity. Now, this skepticism continues to grow, because more crypto-exchanges are joining the silent ban of privacy coins in several countries.
ShapeShift is the last addition to the list, since it has removed Monero (XMR) and Dash from its trading platform. Both of them offer privacy features to their users and are widely traded worldwide. Erik Voorhees, CEO of the exchange, assured he can’t provide any comment on why this decision for now, but the current regulatory landscape is a big bet.
A few days ago, the EU Council of Ministers proposed in a new resolution to remove end-to-end encryption in digital communication means, like WhatsApp, Telegram, Zoom, and Signal. For them, this would be a security measure, aimed to facilitate the work of the authorities in criminal cases. For others, this would be a flagrant privacy violation.
It’s uncertain for now if this is just a preamble to ban privacy coins in the EU and other regions.
Italia is considering this ban since 2016, India since 2018, and Japan effectively did it in the same year. Australia has been the last, if not by any official law, because of regulatory and banking pressure during the last months, as announced by the Australian exchange Swyftx.
South Korean authorities are joining as well to the tendency, by banning any trading with privacy coins starting next year. As a dire consequence of all this, exchanges like Bithumb, Coinspot, Huobi, Coincheck, Upbit, and Liquid delisted privacy coins like Monero, Dash, Komodo, and Bytecoin.
Meanwhile, in the United States, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) awarded +$1M to blockchain analytics firms Chainalysis and Integra FEC to break the Monero privacy system. Likewise, the American firm CipherTrace is developing a tool to track transactions in Monero.
It seems like this is the time for governments and authorities all around the world to consider their positions about privacy coins. However, for now, Monero and its peers can still be traded in numerous exchanges, like our non-custodial Alfacash.
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