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BitBay Also Delists Monero, Citing Money Laundering Concerns

Sead Fadilpašić
Last updated: | 2 min read

Poland-headquartered, Central and Eastern Europe-focused cryptocurrency exchange BitBay said it will delist Monero (XMR) early next year.

Source: iStock/isa_ozdere

The exchange announced on Monday that, come February 19 2020, it will end its trading support with this privacy-focused digital currency. When that moment comes, XMR buy / sell orders requested before the end of the transaction will be canceled, the announcement states.

BitBay is one of the largest exchanges in Europe, as per the website, with more than 800,000 active users. It has 36 digital assets listed, and a daily trade volume of over USD 21.7 million, at the time of writing (according to Coinpaprika). There are five XMR pairs available with Bitcoin (BTC), EUR, GBP, USD and PLN, while the total XMR trading volume reached almost USD 23,000 in the past 24 hours.

As for the reason behind this decision, BitBay, cited its concerns over the coin’s anonymous nature, regulations, and money laundering. It is due to XMR’s ability to “selectively utilize anonymity features among projects,” that the exchange has reached a decision to end the support and thus “block the possibility of money laundering and inflow from external networks.” Furthermore, as a licensed exchange, BitBay says, it has to follow and be compliant with the market standards and regulations. BitBay states that this is also why Monero and similar cryptocurrencies have already been delisted on other fiat-crypto exchanges. However, the company did not mention another privacy-focused coin, Zcash (ZEC), which is also listed on the exchange.

BitBay also provided a timeline, according to which already on November 29, it will stop accepting deposits in XMR. As said, the end of trading XMR support and orders cancellation is planned for February, and the deadline for all Monero holders to make their withdrawals is May 20 next year.

At the time of writing (15:04 UTC), XMR, the 14th coin by total market capitalization is trading at c. USD 51. Like most of the market, XMR is in red for the last 24 hours, dropping 0.5%, but also in the the past week, falling 13%.

There seems to have been an increasing pressure on the exchanges to delist privacy-focused cryptocurrencies, such as XMR, ZEC and Dash (DASH), particularly in the two large crypto exchange markets, South Korea and Japan, while the U.S.-based exchanges have been reluctant to list them as well. Much of that pressure has been coming from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), but also the Group of Seven (G7) largest advanced economies.

Already in May 2018, South Korean exchange Korbit discontinued sales in the mentioned three “anonymous” currencies. It came a week after Japan’s Coincheck delisted them in order to comply with the Financial Services Agency (FSA). Then, in September this year, UpBit announced that it delisted and ceased trading support for the trio, as well as Haven (XHV), BitTube (TUBE) and PIVX, for the same reasons as given by BitBay. Starting with October 10, OKEx Korea delisted XMR, ZEC, DASH, Horizen (ZEN) and Super Bitcoin (SBTC), following the announcements by Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone, and Korbit of new delisting protocols in late August.
Learn more: Are Privacy Coins Being Driven to Extinction? Good Luck, Governments!