October 26, 2021, Brazil. In this photo illustration the Huobi logo seen displayed on a smartphone — Stock Editorial Photography

Huobi delists Monero, Zcash and other privacy coins amid regulatory pressure

Digital currency exchange Huobi has delisted seven privacy coins, including Monero and Zcash, amid a regulatory crackdown on anonymity in the digital asset market.

In its announcement on Monday, Huobi revealed that it has terminated the trading services of DASH, Horizen, Verge, Decred, and Firo as well “in compliance with the latest financial regulations.” 

Of the seven, DASH has most rigorously fought back against being labeled as a privacy coin, claiming to have the same privacy features as Bitcoin. However, it’s not lost on the industry that DASH was originally named Xcoin and then DarkCoin, with anonymous transactions being its prime selling point and the dark web being its biggest market.

“Huobi Global strictly complies with the compliance policies of every country and region and always endeavors to safeguard our users’ assets,” the exchange stated, without giving any specifics on which regulations it was adhering to.

The deposit services for the seven digital assets ceased on Monday, but users can still withdraw their assets. Trading services for the tokens in margin, futures, and OTC have also ended. The final delisting will be on September 19.

Huobi joins several other exchanges that delisted Monero and other privacy coins, including Bittrex, which axed three dark coins last year. ShapeShift, the direct-swap platform founded by Erik Voorhees, also delisted several privacy coins a few years back. 

The delistings are in line with the continued crackdown on digital asset anonymity by governments worldwide, from South Korea and Japan to the United States.

Most recently, the U.S. government cracked down on Tornado Cash coin mixer, which processed over $10 billion in 2021. A large percentage of this was criminal proceeds, with one analysis discovering that North Korea alone had laundered $1 billion through the platform. Half of this was by Lazarus Group, one of the world’s most notorious hacker groups.

While it has taken quite some time, Dr. Craig Wright’s foresight into the future of digital currency and how there was no space for anonymity has been vindicated.

“Many of those arguing for anonymity are truly arguing for power and the control of others. If we take into account the criminal violation by certain individuals of controls that are designed to provide privacy, we start to see the hypocrisy in the argument,” Dr. Wright wrote far back as March 2019. 

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