A guideline issued by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is prompting OKEx to delist popular privacy-centering cryptocurrencies.
The Korean wing of the cryptocurrency firm announced on Monday that it is going to stop trading of Monero, Zcash, Dash, Horizen, and Super Bitcoin on its exchange. All the five assets, in one way or another, allows users to hide their financial transactions by introducing additional layers of security.
OKEx said in a note that the five cryptocurrencies could “violate laws or regulations/policies of government agencies and major agencies.” The exchange was citing FATF, an intergovernmental organization that combats money laundering on a global scale. The task force in October 2018 enforced a so-called ‘travel rule,’ which requires cryptocurrency exchanges to obtain relevant users’ information, including the virtual wallet addresses of senders and receivers involved in a cryptocurrency transaction.
Privacy coins such as Monero and Zcash assists users in hiding those details. That makes it difficult for cryptocurrency firms to monitor and report those transactions to FATF. OKEx said it would delist Monero, Zcash, Dash, Horizen, and Super Bitcoin, merely to keep itself in line of the global watchdog’s directives.
The move has made OKEx the second exchange to have gone after anonymity-focused coins under regulatory pressure. Earlier in June 2018, way before FATF had imposed the ‘travel rule,’ Japan-based Coincheck had removed Monero, Zcash, and Dash from its exchange after facing pressure from the Financial Services Agency (FSA).
OKEx would disable the privacy coins’ deposits on October 10, 2019. Nevertheless, users will still be able to withdraw their privacy coins to their wallet addresses until December 10, 2019.
Troubles for Litecoin Ahead?
As exchanges operating from FATF member states follow suit and start delisting privacy coin, the move could spell troubles on the world’s fifth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap.
The $4.5 billion cryptoasset Litecoin in August announced that it is going to become a privacy coin. Founder Charlie Lee went ahead and admitted that they are going to introduce “confidential transactions” in a “future release of the the full [litecoin] node” in 2019 – after the online community accused him and core developers of abandoning Litecoin.
The announcement kept Litecoin investors happy, as it maintained the coin’s bullish narrative intact. The LTC/USD exchange rate had risen by more than 500 percent between December 2018 and July 2019 – before Lee confirmed the development of “confidential transactions.” The upsurge majorly came on the shoulders of Litecoin’s halving event, which earlier this year reduce the cryptocurrency’s supply-rate by half.
Litecoin price slipped by more than 50 percent from its YTD high | Image credits: TradingView.com
The LTC/USD pair is now down by more than 50 percent, driven by higher demand for rival asset bitcoin. And as the Litecoin project goes ahead with its plans of becoming an anonymity-focused coin, the likelihood of it being rejected by exchanges operating from FATF’s 39 member states could go higher.
Monero [XMR] Hits a 6-Month Low as Major Exchanges Gear to Delist Privacy Coins
Monero [XMR], on Oct 14, fell to a 6-month low at $52.85 continuing with a downtrend which began almost a month ago. This downtrend, initiated by the news of XMR’s delisting from major crypto exchanges after the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) announced the “travel rule” for crypto exchanges, has resulted in a 35% dip in XMR’s price in less than a month.
XMR Hits $82.85 to Record a 6-Month Low on Oct 14
The news of the implementation of FATF’s travel rule seems to have hit XMR rather gravely as OKEx announced its plan of delisting XMR on September 10. XMR, which was at nearly $76 plunged and closed at $72.23. However, buying resumed the next day and XMR jumped back to $74.41 after hitting a low of $70.16. It continued to climb up the charts till Sept 19, hitting $81.76. However, it could not sustain above the $80 mark for long and came crashing down to $72.92 on September 20. The downtrend which began on Sept 20 has pushed XMR price to the present $50 zone.
FATF’s “Travel Rule” – Killer of Privacy Coins?
The FATF is an intergovernmental organization, comprising of 39 member countries, whose aim is to develop policies to combat money laundering. The FATF’s travel rule dictates cryptocurrency exchanges, some digital wallet providers and other firms to share customer data such as names and account numbers with institutions involved in receiving fund transfers. In other words, the rule demands virtual currency companies to behave like banks that share customer information with each other for wire transfers.
OKEx was among the first major exchanges which announced that that it will delist privacy coins – Monero (XMR), Dash (DASH), Zcash (ZEC), Horizen (ZEN) and Super Bitcoin (SBTC) from its platform. The design of these privacy coins makes it impossible for OKEx to verify the identities of the senders and receivers, resulting in non-compliance with FATF’s travel rule. OKEx was supposed to withdraw transaction support for these coins on the 10th of October, and stop withdrawal services on the 10th of December 2020. At the moment, all the coins except for SBTC are available on OKEx for spot trading.Advertisement
South Korean exchange Upbit is another exchange that announced its plans of delisting privacy coins including Monero (XMR), Dash (DASH), Zcash (ZEC), Haven (XHV), Bittube (TUBE), and PIVX (PIVX).
In August, Coinbase also revealed that it is dropping support for Zcash.
ZEC and DASH – Price Update
ZEC has also been on a downtrend since the end of June. On 30th June, ZEC stood at $114. It began Q2 2019 by plunging to $96.69. The downtrend has continued and ZEC is now trading at $37, reducing to almost a third of its value at the beginning of Q2.
DASH had witnessed similar price movement. From peaking at $187.54 on June 26, it began Q2 on a bearish note at $156.42. In the time between the beginning of Q3 2019 and Q2 2019, it plunged further, losing over 50% of value to trade around the $70 mark. The coin is presently trading around at $71 at the time of writing this article.
Monero Records a 1.5X Growth Since the Start of the Year; Exhibits Its Efficiency
- Monero gets thumbs up on its advanced security features
- Monero is expected to cross newer price marks if the current market trend is improved.
In the last 30-days, the highest recorded value of XMR was $82, and if the trend gets better the coin is expected to cross this value soon again. However, this is possible if XMR escalates to move past $70 in the next few days and rise to $75 before the month ends. The coin has been one of the most talked-about for its security features, and this gives it an edge against many current top players in the crypto market.
XMR Price Analysis:
As on October 4, 2019, at 09:08:36 UTC, the price of XMR token is noted to be $55.27, and it has recorded a dip of over 25% in the last 30 days. The coin moved from $73.85 to $81.28 in the first few days but then started dipping and fell up to $55 gradually. The lowest recorded value of Monero in the last 30-days was $53.91. It has recovered from that but may take some time to move past $70 again.
XMR started the year trading at $46, and it is currently moving almost 1.5X above this value. The coin’s highest recorded value in the last 90-days was $107, and it can be expected from XMR to cross $100 again before the year-end.
This is an excellent time to start investing in the XMR token, as the coin may yield good benefits in the long run.
Monero’s RandomX will be a ‘more aggressive change’ than CryptoNight, claims Justin Ehrenhofer
Recently, Monero concluded testing RandomX on a private testnet. The coin is in the news again after Monero Community’s Workgroup organizer, Justin Ehrenhofer, said that RandomX, the new Proof of Work [PoW] algorithm, is not meant to be “ASIC-proof.” Ehrenhofer’s remark followed him talking about the Monero 0.15 software update in an interview.
The aforementioned update is a scheduled update for Monero that is conducted twice every year. The current upgrade contains privacy and security features, refined code and an improved GUI user experience, informed Ehrenhofer. These updates in turn, provide users with a more decentralized network and an effective anonymizing network [I2P]. The organizer added that the most significant change with this update will be RandomX, an upgrade which will prevent ASICs from dominating the Monero network.
This Proof-of-Work [PoW] algorithm has been around for over a year and depends upon random code execution, difficult to manipulate by specialized hardware. Ehrenhofer added,
“RandomX isn’t meant to be “ASIC-proof,” but it hopes to close the efficiency gap so significantly that other financial factors discourage significant network control. ASIC manufacturers’ small efficiency gains must be compared to the lost financial option to sell used generic hardware, for instance. In a volatile market, the flexibility of CPUs in particular shine.”
Calling it a “significantly more aggressive change” than CryptoNight, Ehrenhofer hopes it will retain Monero’s longstanding principles, especially since the regulatory landscape is uncertain. However, Monero has support from various US-regulated exchanges and foreign crypto-exchanges. Monero is set to see another major protocol change with ring signature upgrades. Ehrenhofer added,
“As far as major protocol changes are concerned, keep an eye on ring signature upgrades. Omniring, Lelantus, and RingCT 3.0 offer alternative ways to improve Monero’s privacy and efficiency, though these still need further evaluation before being used in production. “