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Korbit delists Dash, Monero (XMR) and ZCash (ZEC) as Asia turns against privacy coins

Wooden master key lock icon on pile of coins

Korbit, one of the oldest and most prestigious cryptocurrencies in South Korea, has announced the delisting of five coins, including Dash, Monero and Zcash, the three largest “privacy coins”.

In its statement Korbit said that it would “bid farewell” to them through a “gradual termination of the buy and sell functions”. Buying will be prevented from the 28th May, while investors will be able to sell out of positions until the 21st June.

Korbit says it has yet to “yet to determine the date for resumption of trades” and that its users should “protect [their] interests” by “selling or withdrawing the said cryptocurrencies.”

Also withdrawn was REP, which functions as a token in the Augur platform for prediction markets.

No reason was given for the move, though it comes shortly after Coincheck’s removal of the same coins last week.

Coincheck had been faced with a probing review by the Japanese Financial Services Authority to determine if it was fit to continue business following the theft of $500 million worth of NEM in January.

As part of the review it was decided that it would not be “appropriate” for Coincheck to deal in currencies where there is “some concern”. The above four currency options were removed as a result.

Korbit is making the same call, with the addition of Steem. There seems to be three potential explanations. First, that those options did not receive enough trading volume. Secondly, that Korbit is either bowing to pressure from existing regulators or has an eye on expansion into Japan. It seems likely that any new entrant to the Japanese cryptocurrency scene will have to abide by similar rules to those given to Coincheck.

The third option, which has the virtue of simplicity, is that Korbit is neither making a principled stand, nor is it cynically trying to win favour with regulators. Instead, it may have relied on Coincheck for its liquidity in those markets, and that liquidity has now dried up.

Either way, while Bitcoin and Ethereum are becoming increasingly accepted by mainstream politics and finance, the status of the “privacy coins” is still largely undetermined.

Though Gemini, perhaps the most regulated US exchange, added ZCash earlier this month in news which seemed to secure privacy coins’ place in the mainstream, it will not allow withdrawals to shielded addresses. Some might argue that the mainstream will only truly allow privacy coins if they stop being private.

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