In an email cited by Reddit users, Kraken, the world’s eighth largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, announced that it will de-list privacy coin Monero (XMR) in accordance with UK regulations. The platform will cease all XMR trading activity, set XMR wallets to withdraw only, and liquidate any existing XMR margin positions after November 26.
Through advanced cryptography, privacy coins like Monero obscure participants’ public wallet addresses and payment amounts when their transactions appear on the blockchain, making it unlikely, in the context of current technology, for forensic entities like Chainalytics to digitally track transaction identities at parties.
The development of privacy coins such as XMR has been a controversial topic. Proponents claim that they provide users with greater personal privacy than cryptocurrencies with globally viewable ledgers such as Bitcoin (BTC), knowing that public wallet addresses for individuals and transactions cannot be compared to KYC information stored on exchanges to infiltrate the shroud of their identity. However, critics say the untraceable nature of privacy coins makes them ideal for criminal adoption, such as for use in drug smuggling, tax evasion or money laundering.
As a result, privacy coins are facing scrutiny from cryptocurrency exchanges around the world. Last year, Coinbase declined to list XMR, citing regulatory concerns. Earlier in January, Bittrex delisted XMR, along with leading privacy coins Zcash (ZEC) and Dash. Ricardo Spani, a former supervisor of XMR, was arrested in the United States in July at the request of the South African government over alleged fraud crimes in that country between 2009 and 2011. He has since been released from custody, but court proceedings are ongoing. .
Despite the growing backlash from central financial institutions and governing bodies against privacy coins, they have continued to gain traction among cryptocurrency users. According to CoinGecko, the total market capitalization of all privacy coins is now close to $15 billion.