On February 6th, Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange platform, announced that it would be delisting Monero (XMR) on February 20th, 2024. The announcement rocked XMR’s daily trading and slumped to a near 40% loss and a 20-month low, causing further uncertainty for the future of privacy coins. As a result, certain escrow payments for darknet market vendors lost up to 32% of their sales.
- Binance announced it would be delisting Monero (XMR) on February 20th, 2024.
- Following the announcement, Monero’s value dropped to $108.80: nearly 40%, reaching a 20-month low.
- Binance cited the delisting was due to XMR not meeting its listing standards.
- Richard Teng, the new CEO of Binance, indicated a shift towards a more corporate and transparent business model.
- Monero’s developers emphasized their commitment to privacy and the ability to trade XMR on other exchanges and through decentralized methods.
- Up to 79% of dark web marketplaces support Monero as a payment method.
- Certain escrow payments for darknet vendors lost up to 32%.
Monero (XMR), the world’s leading private coin and cryptocurrency, utilizes a blockchain with privacy-enhancing technologies which allows it to obfuscate transactions and achieve anonymity.
Binance cited in its decision to delist XMR that the token no longer met the platform’s listing standards. In an announcement, Binance said, “When a coin or token no longer meets this standard, or the industry changes, we conduct a more in-depth review and potentially delist it.”
The rationale behind the move to delist the privacy coin lacked specifics. However, Monero’s rapid adoption on the darknet and its link to illicit activities has cast a bad cloud over the coin.
According to Binance, when it conducts a review of its supported assets, there are several factors it considers, including the commitment of the team to the project, trading volume and liquidity, stability and safety of the network from attacks, and evidence of unethical/fraudulent conduct or negligence.
Changpeng Zhao, Binance’s ex-chief executive officer, stepped down after pleading guilty to charges of violating anti-money laundering and securities laws. Richard Teng, Binance’s new CEO, indicated that the exchange will be adopting a new corporate and transparent business model.
In response, the Monero X account posted the following
“Monero will never compromise on privacy. You can trade Monero on other exchanges, on DEXs, and with atomic swaps. Please self-custody your XMR…The delisting is happening because Binance is now requiring that deposits come from a publicly transparent address. Monero has used stealth addresses for ALL addresses since it’s launch in April 2014. Monero allows selective disclosure with view keys but not a transparent address”https://twitter.com/monero/status/1754877964133552501
Monero’s Importance for Darknet Users
Created in 2014, Monero is an open-source, privacy-oriented cryptocurrency. The coin is renowned for its privacy-enhancing technologies, such as ring signatures, stealth addresses, and ring confidential transactions (RingCT).
Monero’s blockchain is configured to obscure transactional details such as the amount of the transaction and the identity of senders and recipients. It achieves anonymity by disguising the addresses used by participants.
XMR’s ability to obscure the flow of transactions across its blockchain makes it increasingly difficult or almost impossible for law enforcement officials to determine the origins of the transaction and is appealing to darknet users.
The privacy coins’ enhanced anonymity features are particularly sought after by individuals seeking to purchase items off Darknet Markets and engage in illicit activities. Monero’s Atomic Swop feature allows darknet users to anonymously exchange Bitcoin for Monero, making it easier to launder illicit funds.
Despite Bitcoin being the leading cryptocurrency accepted on the darknet, up to 79% of dark web marketplaces support Monero as a payment method. The coin’s fungibility further enhances its value for darknet users.
The problem with offering complete anonymity is that once a transaction is sent, it can never be traced, attracting negative attention from financial institutions, law enforcement agencies, and governments.
Several governments and crypto exchanges have warned users of the dangers associated with privacy coins. In 2018 Japan announced the banning of privacy coins, delisting Monero and other coins from exchanges.
Dubai is the latest country to join suit, with others contemplating bans. Crypto exchange OKX also announced the delisting of XMR and several other privacy coins, including Dash and Zcash, at the end of 2023.
How Monero’s Crash Affects Darknet Users
Following Binance’s announcement, Monero slumped to a low of $108.80, the lowest since June 2022. The unexpected crash left darknet users in a peculiar situation, as escrow payments for darknet vendors lost up to 32%.
The crash can only signal tough times ahead for darknet exchanges and users. A lowered crypto price reduces results in a reduced incentive for darknet users to trade with the coin, as it cuts potential revenue.
In the early months of 2022, advertising on darknet exchanges became non-existent. The knock-off effects of the crypto crash caused many darknet exchanges to go bankrupt, temporarily ceasing trade, slowed down financial crimes, and illicit darknet transactions.
Binance’s decision to delist Monero (XMR) confirms a negative link associated with the coin and illicit activities on the darknet. Other crypto exchanges which support XMR transactions are sure to follow, limiting the number of exchanges accepting the coin.
Despite Binance’s delisting, Monero’s transactions remain active on its blockchain and the coin is still available on several major exchanges.
In response to Monero’s delisting, developers from the coin took to X and vowed to never compromise privacy. Furthermore, they encouraged XMR users to continue trading with other exchanges.
Monero’s developers further stated that the reasoning for the privacy coins delisting off the world’s largest exchange is that “Binance is now requiring that deposits come from a publicly transparent address. Monero has used stealth addresses for ALL addresses since its launch in April 2014. Monero allows selective disclosure with view keys but not a transparent address.”
It seems apparent from the developers response that Monero intends to continue to position itself as a the premium privacy coin in the cryptocurrency market. Darknet users can therefore rest assured that the privacy coin has no intention of departing from its focus on user privacy and anonymity.
Hey there, I’m a dark web geek who’s been around for the last 8 years. More precisely, I’m livedarknet’s senior content writer who’s been writing about darknet marketplaces, tutorials, and cybersecurity stuff for educational purposes.