Huobi Korea delists Monero, piling pressure on Bithumb

Huobi Korea has delisted Monero, a privacy coin whose use in crime has led many other exchanges to take similar actions. The exchange was one of only two major exchanges in South Korea to list the digital currency. After it was alleged that Monero was the currency of choice in a recent high-profile sex exploitation scandal, Huobi Korea decided to drop it, citing its anonymity.

Huobi Korea ceased supporting Monero on April 9, announcing the delisting through a blog post the day before. The exchange cited Monero’s anonymity as one of the reasons for its action. This came just days after it emerged that the darkcoin had been the primary payment method in the now infamous “Nth Room Scandal.” This was a sex exploitation scandal in South Korea involving at least 74 women, 16 of whom were minors. The clients would allegedly pay in Monero for access to videos involving the women being abused. The culprits used Telegram, a heavily-encrypted messaging service to distribute the videos.

Huobi also cited low trading volumes as another reason for the delisting, although given the timeline, it’s apparent that the Nth Room scandal was the primary reason for the delisting.

Huobi was one of the two large exchanges that listed Monero in South Korea, with the other being Bithumb. The other exchanges including OKEx and Upbit delisted the darkcoin in 2019, with its anonymity features being the major reason.

The pressure is now piling on Bithumb to take a similar measure and delist Monero. According to a report by local newspaper Sisa Journal, the exchange is weighing the move but is yet to make a decision. Bithumb has a policy that dictates it can delist any digital currency that’s proven to be used in criminal activities. It holds a monthly meeting with an internal committee that reviews listing eligibility. As it stands, however, it’s yet to be proven that Monero was used in the Nth Room activities, a source at Bithumb told the newspaper.

While it hasn’t been officially ascertained that Monero was used in the scandal, the outlet has accessed some messages on Telegram that prove its use. In one of the chatrooms known as Gotham Room, the admin wrote that Monero is his chosen payment method as it’s untraceable.

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