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When privacy coins are outlawed, only outlaws will use privacy coins

Japanese exchange Coincheck – which experienced a $500 million NEM hack in January – has announced it will delist four privacy coins: DASH, Monero (XMR), ZCash (ZEC) and Augur (REP). (See https://cointelegraph.com/news/hacked-crypto-exchange-coincheck-confirms-removal-of-four-anonymity-focused-altcoins.) The move apparently comes as part of its compliance efforts with Japanese regulators.

Separately, South Korean exchange Korbit is delisting DASH, Monero, ZCash and Augur, also suggesting a move against privacy cryptos (see https://ambcrypto.com/korbit-dash-monero-xmr-zcash-ec-rep-steem/).

Whilst it’s possible to anonymise any crypto if you know what you’re doing, this is a feature of XMR, DASH and others by design. Augur, meanwhile, is associated with unlicensed gambling. Privacy coins therefore obviously represent opportunities for money-laundering and terrorist financing, above those of regular cryptos such as bitcoin.

As such, it’s highly likely we’ll continue to see a crackdown on privacy coins as regulation evolves and becomes clearer. Large exchanges will not touch them due to the regulatory fallout and image concerns: they would be seen as facilitating terrorism and money laundering. This will almost certainly impact the price of privacy cryptos, since they will be listed on fewer exchanges and will have lower liquidity.

At the same time, you may feel that if regulators and governments are sidelining them, there may be a case for holding a small amount for emergencies. Financial privacy is important, after all, and blockchain represents the greatest opportunity for financial surveillance the world has ever seen.

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