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OKEx Korea Axes Privacy Coins as South Korean Purge Intensifies

OKEx Korea Axes Privacy Coins as South Korean Purge Intensifies 101
Source: iStock/PonyWang

The South Korean branch of cryptocurrency exchange OKEx says it will delist five privacy coins as of October this year, saying they “violate regulatory laws.”

The exchange announced that it will delist Monero, Dash, ZCash, Horizen and Super Bitcoin as of October 10, and has set a December 10 deadline on withdrawals for the five coins.

Per a report from media outlet Bridge Kyungjae, an OKEx Korea spokesperson stated, “[Anonymity tokens] violate the laws of regulatory agencies and major institutions. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has recommended abiding by the Travel Rule, and we are taking steps to follow it.”

The Travel Rule specifies that exchanges must share traders’ data with one another, allowing them to verify the identity of both senders and recipients – not possible with many privacy tokens. You can read more about the rule and FATF guidelines here.

With more domestic exchanges set to follow suit, experts have warned of a South Korean “coin clear-out.”

The OKEx Korea announcement comes hot on the heels of a statement from Huobi Korea, which last week stated that it was bringing in a delistings policy – falling in line with domestic market leaders Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone and Korbit, all of whom have recently announced new delisting protocols.

OKEx Korea has already delisted some 16 tokens this year – terminating support for tokens including AirSwap (AST) and Digibyte (DGB) back in February after “internal audits,” per a Newsway report.

The OKGroup also spoke to Cryptonews.com about Travel Rule compliance-related matters in July this year.

“It's almost like applying U.S. postal mail rules to email for U.S. communication roles. Like pushing a square peg into a round hole for us, the blockchain ecosystem,” Tim Byun, a former regulator, now CEO of OKCoin, one of the crypto exchanges owned by the group, said back then.

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