• In four European countries, Binance will pause trading services for a dozen privacy coins, including Monero and Zcash.

  • The exchange cited regulatory compliance as the key reason for this development, with the EU pushing through with MiCA.

  • Users mull over the effect of delisting privacy coins which have gained traction in recent years following harsh regulations.

Privacy coins like Monero and Zcash shield user identities and transactions from regulators but have been criticized for aiding money laundering and other illegal activities.

Binance has announced its decision to delist twelve privacy coins in France, Spain, Italy and Poland in the wake of new cryptocurrency regulations. The leading digital asset exchange will halt trading services for users in a dozen privacy coins from June 26.

The affected privacy coins include Monero (XMR), Verge (XVG), MobileCoin (MOB), Firo (FIRO), BEAM, Zcash (ZEC), Horizon (ZEN), Navcoin (NAV), PIVX, Secret (SCRT), Decred (DCR) and Dash (DASH).

The announcement comes when the European Union (EU) authorities have begun enforcing several aspects of the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) framework. MiCA is opposed to privacy coins unless such a company can verify the identity of its users. This is quite a stretch, as many have argued that it may defeat the purpose of privacy coins.

Some regulators within the EU have criticized cryptocurrencies for acting as a catalyst to boost money laundering operations and other illicit transactions worldwide. Binance stated that its decision to delist the assets was based on regulatory compliance, as the exchange aims to observe all laws in the financial market.

“As part of Binance’s ongoing compliance processes, we have reached out to affected users to notify them that they will no longer be able to purchase or trade privacy tokens on our platform,”​ the statement reads. 

Harsh reactions trail Binance’s decision

Although bad actors could use privacy coins for illegal transactions, users have argued that an outright ban is a reach for even the EU. Both digital asset users and the industry executives have criticized the move, with some calling it an “attempt by regulators to undermine the sector one coin at a time.”

Despite expressing his disappointment, Guy Zyskind, Secret’s CEO noted that Secret is not essentially a privacy coin and should not be included in the ban.

Secret is not a privacy coin. We reached out to Binance to clarify this. Secret’s transactions are public, it’s data in smart contracts that remain confidential. In fact, Secret is much more appropriate for GDPR-type applications in the blockchain setting,” he said. 

Twitter users have lashed out at the development, lamenting the huge pressure mounted on digital asset exchanges by regulators.