- ShapeShift has delisted the Monero and Dash privacy coins
- The exchange did not announce the move
- Privacy coins have been targeted by authorities for their money laundering capabilities
ShapeShift has delisted Monero and Dash as the pressure on privacy coins continues. No announcement was made by ShapeShift regarding the twin delisting, but with privacy coins coming under more and more scrutiny from regulators and governments, the move is perhaps indicative of a souring of opinion towards them.
ShapeShift Stays Tight Lipped on Delisting
ShapeShift’s delisting of Monero and Dash was picked up by Decrypt’s UK news editor Tim Copeland, who was unable to obtain a response from the Erik Voorhees-owned company as to why they had taken the steps and why they had kept it quiet.
Like the rest of the ecosystem, privacy coins gained huge notoriety in 2017, since when they have been held up by a variety of agencies and governments as examples of how cryptocurrencies are routinely used for nefarious purposes. This has led to growing talk of crackdowns by regulators, which has already seen action taken by exchanges – in October 2019 OKEx Korea delisted a host of privacy coins, including Dash, Monero, and Zcash.
This move by OKEx Korea seems to have been prescient as last week South Korea set a deadline of January 2021 by when exchanges in the country would not be allowed to offer privacy coins to users, an eventuality that was predicted by privacy advocate John McAfee in April this year:
Privacy coins and distributed exchanges will soon be outlawed.
But these laws will have no more teeth than the ineffective laws against Marijuana.
Do not abdicate your rights!
You have, absolutely, the right to financial privacy.
Ignore unconstitutional laws.
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) April 7, 2020
Privacy Coins Set for Tough 2021
South Korea is the first country to have actively singled out privacy coins for special attention, which makes the actions of ShapeShift all the more confusing – there was no need for them to take action on privacy coins, yet they have done so.
The exchange is either being proactive in the same way as OKEx was and is delisting the coins in the expectation (or the knowledge) that legal guidelines are imminent on the matter, or it is trying to gain favor with the authorities.
With 2021 set to be the toughest year yet for crypto regulations, it’s likely that far from being an outlier, ShapeShift will end up being the first of many.