First OKEx, now Upbit – who will be next in the war on privacy coins?

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First OKEx, now Upbit - who will be next in the war on privacy coins?

The war on privacy coins continues as South Korean crypto exchange Upbit announced that it is ending market trading support for the popular cryptocurrencies.  

In an official statement published on its website on Friday, Upbit announced that they will be delisting several privacy coins, including Monero (XMR), DASH, Zcash (ZEC), Haven Protocol (XHV), BitTube (TUBE) and PIVX. 

The South Korean crypto exchange stated that it will cease trading support on September 30, 2019, and has already disabled deposits for the soon-to-be-delisted privacy coins.

Furthermore, any unfilled buy/sell orders on the books in Korean won, Bitcoin, Ether, and USDT markets at the end of transaction support will be cancelled.

Upbit explained that the reason for its decision to delist the six cryptocurrencies is to “block the possibility of money laundering and inflow from external networks.”

Tough times for privacy coins

Upbit’s announcement comes just days after OKEx Korea, the South Korean arm of popular crypto exchange OKEx, announced that it would be delisting five privacy coins from its platform.

Citing pressure from regulators to comply with new Financial Action Task Force (FATF) guidelines, OKEx Korea will be ending support for Monero (XMR), Dash (DASH), Zcash (ZEC), Horizen (ZEN) and Super Bitcoin (SBTC) on October 10.

Even Coinbase appears to be bowing to regulatory pressure. In August of this year, the U.S.-based crypto exchange removed support for Zcash from its customers in the United Kingdom.

Unlike Upbit and OKEx, Coinbase’s decision stemmed more from a banking requirement than a regulatory one, as the delisting of Zcash was a prerequisite to gain access to the UK’s ‘faster payments’ system.

FATF a thorn in the side of cryptocurrencies

In June of this year, the FATF issued a new set of guidelines regarding cryptocurrency exchanges, which they refer to as Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs).

Under the new guidelines, crypto exchanges, hedge funds, and other businesses in the crypto market would have to share customers’ transaction data with government agencies. 

Basically, that means that if an individual sends a transaction, the platform would have to report information about both the sender and recipient – including names, account numbers, and addresses – to the appropriate regulatory agencies. 

The FATF’s stated goal in issuing these new guidelines is to “protect the global financial system against money laundering, terrorist financing and the financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.”

While not mandatory, failure to comply with the guidelines could result in the refusing countries being put on the agency’s blacklist, effectively cutting off access to the global financial system.