Coinbase has announced its 2019 new digital assets support
shortlist. The listed eight lucky tokens might get onto one of the world’s
biggest crypto exchanges. Curiously missing and to the disappointment of many a
crypto enthusiast are IOTA, Nano, and Monero. Dash, Cosmos, Decred, Harmony,
Algorand, Waves, Matic and Ontology are however in the running for a Coinbase
The announcement made on the Coinbase blog, says:
“Coinbase’s goal is to offer support for all assets that meet our technical standards and which comply with applicable laws. Over time we expect our customers around the world will have access through Coinbase to at least 90 percent of the aggregate market cap of all digital assets in circulation”.
The exchange further adds that their evaluation is done against
their Digital Asset Framework. The major
considerations for listing include compliance and security. Besides, the
exchange also considers a token’s alignment with the exchange’s mission of
“creating an open financial system
for the world.“
Monero’s Rampant Crypto Jacking Woes
Monero’s privacy-focused cryptocurrency enables blockchain transactions that are both untraceable and anonymous. The proof-of-work consensus platform has, however, been accused of cloaking the identity of criminals. Monero has become the choice token for criminal activities.
The cryptocurrency has been increasingly blamed for crypto-jacking, whereby criminals access private devices and remotely mine crypto without the owner’s knowledge. In a report, Palo Alto Networks, an enterprise security company attributes 5 percent of all XMR in circulation to crypto jacking mining. The report further adds that Monero derives at least 2 percent of its hash power from crypto jacking scripts.
The digital currency and its ilk are currently banned from exchanges by Japan’s Financial Services Agency. Privacy coins are often at the forefront of the crypto regulatory discussion. It is highly probable that Coinbase has steered from listing XMR to avoid the regulatory hurdles.
Privacy tokens have received a lot of heat from law enforcement
authorities, being blamed for facilitating international money laundering. A
Norwegian real estate multi millionaire’s wife kidnappers have for instance
demanded a $10.3 million ransom in Monero. The investigators claim that if
Monero was not part of the payment plan, they would have less difficulty
tracing the criminals.
The US Department of Homeland Security has its eyes set on these
privacy coins. Should the crime levels rise, Monero may be banned in other
regions around the globe.
Trouble and Nano’s Controversy
While the problem of scalability hampers most blockchains, IOTA has found an innovative way around it. Through The Tangle, the blockchain can handle low-cost micro-transactions, unlike Ethereum or Bitcoin blockchains. Nevertheless, as innovative a blockchain as IOTA is, it has had some eyebrow-raising systemic flaws and scandals as well. It has had a range of technical errors, and episodes of poor PR management. In 2017, for instance, a team from Boston University and MIT investigated the IOTA hash function and found it vulnerable to attacks.
Nano’s first taste of infamy started with the hacking of the somewhat obscure Italian exchange BitGrail. At least 17 million units of Nano were lost, a $170 million loss for the exchange. The investigations pointed to unauthorized XRB transactions. The situation soured further when the Nano developer team and the exchange tussled and laid blame on each other on social media. It is possible that such poor press and accusations of insecure protocols could have made Coinbase wary of these tokens too.