South Korean market-leading crypto exchange Bithumb is coming under pressure to delist monero (XMR) cryptocurrency as public outrage over the Telegram Nth room sexual exploitation and rape video case continues to dominate headlines in the country.
Per a report from Sisa Journal, the pressure is now intensifying after rival trading platform Huobi Korea took the decision to delist XMR yesterday. Monero is a high-profile “privacy” coin, in that it grants users a higher level of anonymity than most conventional tokens.
Mainstream newspapers have been damning in their criticism of monero as the Nth room investigation continues, with many drawing a direct link between the XMR and the dark web.
Huobi Korea had been the only other major crypto exchange in the nation besides Bithumb to list monero, but on April 9 stated that “anonymity” was one of its reasons for pulling the plug on XMR, although it added that “poor trading volumes” were another contributing factor.
Rival platforms Upbit and OKEx Korea delisted monero, along with other high-profile privacy tokens, in autumn last year.
A Bithumb spokesperson is quoted as stating that delisting-related issues are a matter for its auditing committee, which has yet to rule on whether or not monero will be delisted.
Bithumb is responsible for only 0.13% of the XMR trading volume in the past 24 hours, according to Coinpaprika data. At pixel time (11:04 UTC), XMR trades at c. USD 55 and is down 4% in a day, trimming its weekly gains to 2%.
There is not yet any conclusive evidence that monero was used by people paying crypto to gain access to Telegram chat rooms containing videos of abuse administered to some 74 female victims, a dozen or so of whom are believed to be underage.
However, media outlets say they have seen police evidence that suggests that monero payments were used by people paying to access the videos to hide their traces. Reportedly, they may also have been the token of choice for Cho Joo-bin, the chief suspect in the Nth room case, as well as his chief accomplices – the admins of a number of chat rooms that provided access to the Nth room.
Sisa Journal states that a suspected Cho accomplice and one of the admins of a suspected “Nth room gateway” Telegram chat room named “the Gotham room” told fellow admins in a private chat that monero was his favored token for video distribution-related payments because it was “untraceable.”
Police also believe that at least one other Nth room admin had spoken to Cho about using monero, and suspect that Cho paid at least some of his admins “monthly fees” in XMR – although they are yet to successfully trace payments.
Reporters believe that the chat room may have been active since 2018, and some outlets have claimed that up to 26,000 people – including at least one police officer – may have paid to view the videos using cryptocurrencies.