Second Korean Exchange Ends Privacy Coin Support

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A second Korean crypto exchange, Upbit, has announced that it will no longer be supporting certain “privacy” coins, or cryptocurrencies that intentionally make their transaction records opaque.

OkEx’s Korean version recently made a similar decision.

Upbit is an active crypto exchange, posting almost $100 million in volume over the past 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap.

No “Possibility” of Money Laundering With Other Crypto Assets?

The exchange reports that it’s ending support as a way to “block the possibility” of money laundering, writing:

“Nevertheless, the decision to end trading support for the crypto-asset was also made to block the possibility of money laundering and inflow from external networks. Upbit will continue to consider crypto-asset that represent anonymity functions as candidates for designation of investment warning crypto-asset.”

Coins like Monero and Zcash allow their users to mask the details of transactions. In the case of Monero and several others, these protections are in place by default – only people with certain “view keys” are capable of knowing anything about transactions.

This is in contrast to the design of Bitcoin, which enables anyone to know the details of any transaction. The transparency of Bitcoin is such that, as far as criminal uses go, it’s actually far less ideal than traditional fiat cash.

Korean exchanges have lately responded to changing tides of regulation in the Korean government, which has concerns about the potential for privacy coins to be used in money laundering.

Dash And Others Affected

Upbit announced that it will be ending support for six such cryptocurrencies by September 30th: Monero (XMR), Dash, ZCash (ZEC), Haven (XHV), BitTube (TUBE) and PIVX.

While the last three tokens may be new to most readers, the first three are well-known, chart-topping cryptocurrencies.

Monero and Dash have each occasionally been in the top ten cryptocurrencies by market capitalization (which meant their price was high), but each had suffered losses over the 24 hour period, even as the wider market was rebounding.

Zcash and Dash both have rather formalized efforts developing them. Dash Core CEO Ryan Taylor has given interviews in which he expressed his discontent at Dash being considered a “privacy” coin just because it has optional, built-in privacy features.

Dash, unlike Zcash and Monero, does not make privacy one of its central development principals. Instead, privacy is one more part of an overall user experience.

More exchanges could yet follow Upbit and OkEx, and the moves demonstrate one way that regulators and their industry partners can effectively control crypto: get exchanges to remove liquidity.