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Huobi delists seven privacy tokens, citing compliance policies

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Huobi delists seven privacy tokens, citing compliance policies

Huobi delists seven privacy tokens, citing compliance policies Christian Nwobodo · 3 hours ago · 2 min read

DASH, DCR, FIRO, XMR, XVG, ZEC, and ZEN will cease to exist on the Huobi platform effective Sept. 19.

2 min read

Updated: September 12, 2022 at 7:38 pm

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

Crypto exchange Huobi has announced plans to delist seven privacy tokens in compliance with new regulatory policies.

Huobi terminated the trading for privacy tokens: Monero (XMR), Dash (DASH), Decred (DCR), Firo (FIRO), Verge (XVG), ZCash (ZEC), and ZenCash (ZEN )on Sept. 6. Users are informed that deposits will not be accepted after Sept. 12. All open trade orders with the affected tokens should be canceled before delisting.

The affected tokens have been scheduled to permanently cease existing on the platform effective Sept. 19.

Huobi said it had to delist the privacy tokens as they violate certain countries’ financial regulations and the Huobi token management rules.

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According to Huobi, it delists a privacy token when it does not support offline signatures or conceals its node source codes.

Privacy tokens advancing features

Despite growing regulatory scrutiny against privacy tokens following the Tornado Cash saga, privacy protocols like Monero and Litecoin are still strengthening their security features,

Earlier in June, crypto exchange Binance withdrew support for Litecoin because it implemented the MimbeWimble Extension Blocks function. The privacy feature allows Litecoin users to make confidential transactions without revealing any details.

Litecoin’s MimbeWimble upgrade was considered a violation of South Korean anti-money (AML) regulations. As a result, Bithumb, Upbit, and Gate.io moved to delist the privacy token.

Flagship privacy token Monero also enhanced its security feature by upgrading its ring signature and security algorithm to bulletproof+.

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Following the rising instances of delisting Monero (XMR) from centralized exchanges, the community planned to execute a “Monerun.” The move was to collectively withdraw all XMR deposits across from Binance, Huobi, and Poloniex.

Upgrades make privacy tokens more secure for users concerned about preserving their identity. However, is becoming increasingly difficult to track bad actors. In 2021, Monero was used as a payment method for ransomware criminals to receive illegal funds amounting to $602 million.

Censorship

Despite Tornado Cash fiasco, Bitcoin SV launches ‘Blacklist Manager’ tool

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Despite Tornado Cash fiasco, Bitcoin SV launches ‘Blacklist Manager’ tool

Despite Tornado Cash fiasco, Bitcoin SV launches ‘Blacklist Manager’ tool Samuel Wan · 6 hours ago · 2 min read

Following Tornado Cash sanctions, censorship has become a hot button topic of late. But Bitcoin SV launches a new tool enabling miners to freeze tokens.

2 min read

Updated: October 6, 2022 at 5:20 pm

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

Bitcoin SV has launched “Blacklist Manager,” enabling miners to freeze lost or stolen tokens “to comply with court orders” and assist in asset recovery.

A tweet announcing the new function opened with an analogy of gold turning to lead when stolen and back into gold if returned.

‘Imagine if gold turned to lead when stolen. If the thief gives it back, it turns to gold again,’ #SatoshiNakamoto

We proudly announce #BlacklistManager the 1st software tool allowing #Bitcoinminers to comply with court orders to freeze lost/stolen coins: https://t.co/j7Wyb7qi67 pic.twitter.com/a5M7bGMbgG

— Bitcoin SV (@Bitcoin_SV_) October 5, 2022

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Bitcoin SV stated the Blacklist Manager function is consistent with the original Bitcoin whitepaper in that it operates similarly to the “now-retired” Alert System, which acted as a network messaging system.

Bitcoin SV Blacklist Manager

To enable the Blackllist Manager, Bitcoin SV miners must install and run the program in conjunction with their node.

The system depends on “Notaries,” who link miners to orders to freeze coins. The team described the role of Notaries as equivalent to bailiffs. In that, bailiffs are responsible for maintaining courtroom security in the legacy world, among other tasks.

“The Notary acts analogously to a bailiff for conventional assets, translating legal documents into machine readable format and broadcasting it to miners.”

In essence, Blacklist Manager excludes frozen UTXOs from being written into transaction blocks. Miners who do not install the program risk falling out of consensus with the BSV chain, leading to their blocks being orphaned by the rest of the network.

Bitcoin SV said this function “will allow rightful owners of digital assets to enforce their property rights” if tokens are lost or stolen. However, critics have said it also makes BSV censorship much easier.

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Censorship controversies

The basis of Blacklist Manager relies on obtaining a valid court order. However, court orders do not always carry out justice in the interest of the people or even reflect moral judgments.

For example, court orders, among other strategies, were used against Canadian Truckers in February to suppress their right to demonstrate over vaccine mandates.

Twitter user @BitMax offered his perspective by pointing out a lack of clarity over which jurisdictions’ courts can issue a court order recognized by the Blacklist Manager.

What about sanction lists like OFAC? Is it only the US list or is it also Germany, Russian, Chinese lists? What if a country don’t like competition and put addresses of its competitors to such lists. Or if they get a court order to stop a competitor?

This is bad centralization!

— BitMax (@BitMax14) October 5, 2022

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What’s more, current literature does not explain whether Notaries have fail-safes to verify court documents and avoid accepting and processing fake court orders.

Remember, it’s a court order or “document of comparable force”. They will argue that this is that document pic.twitter.com/Kmxj46l7Au

— a void (leaks) (@Tak_Horigoshi) October 5, 2022

One Twitter user casts doubt on Satoshi Nakamoto endorsing a function that interferes with direct peer-to-peer transfers, especially not at a court’s behest.

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US Treasury Department requiring US citizens to get a license for withdrawing assets from Tornado Cash

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US Treasury Department requiring US citizens to get a license for withdrawing assets from Tornado Cash

US Treasury Department requiring US citizens to get a license for withdrawing assets from Tornado Cash Christian Nwobodo · 2 hours ago · 1 min read

US citizens who had sent cryptocurrency to Tornado Cash but did not complete the mixing transaction before the sanctions can apply for a withdrawal license from the OFAC. 

1 min read

Updated: September 13, 2022 at 6:30 pm

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

The U.S. Department of the Treasury wants people who had pending transactions before the Tornado Cash sanctions went into place to apply for a license to process the withdrawal of their assets.

In an FAQ response on Sept. 13, the Treasury said the policy applies to transactions initiated before the sanctions were implemented on Aug. 8.

Users who had sent cryptocurrency to Tornado Cash but did not complete the mixing transaction before the designated date can apply for a withdrawal license from the OFAC.

“U.S. persons or persons conducting transactions within U.S. jurisdiction may request a specific license from OFAC to engage in transactions involving the subject virtual currency.”

Affected users are required to submit detailed information relating to their interaction with Tornado Cash, including wallet address, transaction hashes, date and time of the transaction(s), as well as the amount involved.

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Open-source code not prohibited

The Treasury added that while facilitating transactions through Tornado Cash remains prohibited in the U.S., interacting with open-source codes is not prohibited.

“U.S. persons would not be prohibited by U.S. sanctions regulations from copying the open-source code and making it available online.”

CryptoSlate reported previously that Professor Matthew Green re-uploaded the Tornado Cash source code on GitHub to teach his students about cryptocurrency and zero-knowledge technology.

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Coinbase finances Tornado Cash users’ lawsuit against US Treasury Department

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Coinbase finances Tornado Cash users’ lawsuit against US Treasury Department

Coinbase finances Tornado Cash users’ lawsuit against US Treasury Department Oluwapelumi Adejumo · 4 hours ago · 2 min read

The plaintiffs argued that the authorities overstepped their authority and also violated their rights.

2 min read

Updated: September 8, 2022 at 3:45 pm

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

Coinbase is financing a lawsuit filed against the US Treasury Department by six users of sanctioned crypto protocol Tornado Cash, CNBC reported on Sept. 8.

The lawsuit argued that the sanctions were a violation of the plaintiffs’ rights as guaranteed by the US constitution, adding that the authorities overstepped their authority in sanctioning a “decentralized, open-source software project” that “law-abiding Americans (use) to engage freely and privately in financial transactions.”

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and OFAC Director Andrea Gacki were also defendants in the lawsuit.

Plaintiffs used protocol for legitimate purposes

The plaintiffs revealed they have some Ethereum (ETH) locked in Tornado Cash, which they can no longer access due to the US sanctions. They said they used the crypto mixer for legitimate purposes like donating to Ukraine and protecting their public identities.

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The lawsuit wants the court to vacate the sanctions imposed on Tornado Cash.

The plaintiffs include two Coinbase employees, Tyler Almeida and Nate Welch, Prysmatic Labs co-founder Preston Van Loon and brother Joseph Van Loon, GridPlus engineer Kevin Vitale, and angel investor Alexander Fisher.

Coinbase’s reason for sponsoring the lawsuit

Coinabase’s CEO Brian Armstrong, in a Sept. 8 blog post, said the US sanctions would stifle innovations. Additionally, Armstrong noted that the “Treasury used a hammer instead of a scalpel” in restricting legitimate users’ access to the protocol.

The exchange’s chief legal officer, Paul Grewal, said:

“The novel sanctions harmed innocent individuals and threatened the critical development of crypto privacy protocols.”

The Tornado Cash sanction

The Tornado Cash sanction had drawn wide condemnation from the crypto community, who argued that the sanctions were inappropriate. However, US authorities vowed to pursue crypto mixers that criminals use to launder money aggressively.

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Coin Center, a non-profit organization, said it was preparing to challenge the sanctions in court.

Meanwhile, since the sanction, Tornado Cash’ TORN token has shed 53% of its value in the last 30 days. However, its value increased by over 30% within the last hour after news of this lawsuit broke.

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