ShapeShift delists DASH; Dash team asserts DASH is not a privacy coin

Written by: Jinia Shawdagor
November 13, 2020
  • ShapeShift alleges it delisted DASH, XMR, and ZEC because of their regulatory concerns.
  • Per Dash Core Group CEO, Glenn Austin, the DoJ might have influenced ShapeShift to delist DASH.
  • Austin asserts that DASH is no more of a privacy coin than BTC.

Renowned crypto exchange ShapeShift recently delisted three privacy-focused coins, namely DASH, ZEC, and XMR. The exchange unveiled this news on November 6, noting that it decided to delist the coins because of their regulatory concerns. Per the exchange, this move sought to mitigate the organization’s risk from a regulatory standpoint.

Reportedly, this news came as a shocker to many in the crypto space considering the exchange’s historic devotion to privacy. At the initial stages, the non-custodial platform did not force its users to verify their identities. However, in 2018, it initiated a change in its operating model by gradually introducing KYC policies and a membership program. Per the exchange, these changes sought to minimize friction with regulators and to protect its customers.

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While ShapeShift cited regulatory concerns as the reason for delisting the three coins, other leading exchanges such as Coinbase, Kraken, and Binance.US are currently listing the digital assets on their platforms. This fact further obfuscated matters leading the CEO of the Dash Core Group, Glenn Austin, to say that the delisting was frustrating considering a simple 10-15-minute call could have prevented it.

Per Austin, ShapeShift’s decision to delist DASH comes down to an education issue. He went on to note that while the exchange did not offer an official reason for delisting DASH, the Department of Justice’s mention of the coin in its recently-published Cryptocurrency Enforcement Framework influenced the exchange’s decision. The publication mentioned DASH twice alongside ZEC and XMR as an example of privacy-enhanced coins.

Dash Core Group says DASH is not a privacy coin

Trying to prove that ShapeShift delisted DASH based on false information, the Dash Core Group noted that the coin is not truly a privacy coin. The team cited Perkins Coie’s evaluation of the coin in September 2019, which found that the widespread perception that Dash is a ‘privacy-coin’ is likely a legacy of its former moniker, Darkcoin, which gives the illusion that the coin facilitates darknet transactions.

However, the renowned law firm believes that DASH is no more of a “privacy coin” than Bitcoin. Adding to this, Austin said,

“There are various privacy-enhancing techniques that can be implemented on top of any public blockchain including features like off chain-transactions, shielding addresses or amounts, Mimblewimble, tumbling/mixers, and Coinjoin. CoinJoin is the only privacy feature that currently exists in Dash wallets. Bitcoin also has many wallets that support CoinJoin.”

Blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis concurred with Perkins Coie, noting that from a technical standpoint, categorizing DASH as a privacy coin is inaccurate. According to the firm, independent wallet software offers more enhanced forms of CoinJoin that are compatible with leading coins such as BTC, BCH, and LTC.

Defending DASH further, Austin said that Bitcoin’s Lightning Network and the coin’s widespread use in the darknet makes it a higher risk from a regulatory point of view. He added that more-sophisticated data-obscuring software such as Chaumian CoinJoin is compatible with BTC wallets, but not DASH ones.

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