Dubai Prohibits Privacy Coins Like Monero Under New Crypto Rules

In Dubai, the issuance of, and all activities related to, anonymity-enhancing cryptocurrencies such as monero (XMR) are prohibited under new laws published Tuesday.

The new rules define anonymity-enhancing crypto as “a type of Virtual Asset which prevents the tracing of transactions or record of ownership through distributed public ledgers and for which the [Virtual Asset Service Provider] has no mitigating technologies or mechanisms to allow traceability or identification of ownership.”

“Any obfuscation of fund flows poses a challenge to detecting illicit activities, so it is unsurprising that regulators react strongly to these kinds of asset classes and mechanisms,” said Angela Ang, senior policy adviser at blockchain intelligence firm TRM Labs.

UPDATE (Feb. 8, 10:33 UTC): Adds comment from Angela Ang.

CORRECTION (Feb. 8, 16:08 UTC): Removes mentions of Zcash from headline and first paragraph. It is unclear whether Zcash is affected because the regulator made exceptions for mitigating features, which theoretically could include Zcash’s “unshielding” option.