XMR.to, one of Monero’s oldest and most popular payment processors, has decided to close its doors. The board noted that, in the midst of their attempts to self-regulate, they conceived that it was impossible to continue operating without breaking their beliefs in favor of digital privacy.
This has been described in an official statement, where the company undertakes to maintain the XMR.to code and payment infrastructure for a few months, so that its customers have time to adapt to the disappearance of the service. The platform stood out in the market, since it acted as a kind of intermediary for XMR payments in merchants that accepted bitcoin.
Under the motto “the world should not see your purchase history”, XMR.to was in charge of receiving payments in XMR from clients who wanted to acquire a good or service in bitcoin, and then paid it to the merchant with the mother cryptocurrency. In this sense, the user’s transaction record was not exposed, as if it happens in Bitcoin where the transaction history of an address is completely public. This modality made it a widely used payment option in the Monero community, operating for six years.
However, in the course of the last two years (2019-2020), due to Following the explosion in the popularity of cryptocurrencies and the increase in regulation, the XMR.to board was imposing more and more restrictions on its users to operate on the platform. In a blog post for early 2020, the developers stated that they wanted to be “good citizens” and comply with the regulations of a responsible business provider.
The company he started logging all the VPN traffic that visited his website. Likewise, users in the United States were blocked from being able to use the service due to the country’s regulations. XMR.to had started self-regulation in order to prevent illegal financial transactions, even going so far as to ensure that it was necessary to cooperate with the authorities. However, this untimely shutdown of the processor is a sign that self-regulation had a limit.
Monero privacy and self-regulation
Although the company did not elaborate on reasons that have pressed the closure of the platform , such as having received a court order or any intention to apply KYC, if it stated that it was no longer feasible to continue operating if this was against its principles. “We are not going to turn our backs on digital privacy preservation technology, such as Tor and VPN,” the statement said.
According to its developers, the proper use of XMR.to fell on them as administrators, so it was their responsibility to restrict all illegal activity. Even so, they also considered that many of these regulatory practices went against their beliefs of digital privacy. «We do not believe in the right of governments to obtain massive information without a legal basis to do so, “they argued in another post.
The Tor network and VPN services are widely used on the Internet to maintain the privacy of user data, as well as to evade censorship in countries with strict cyber policies. Due to this, these tools have become great allies for companies and cryptocurrency users seeking greater anonymity, such as the incorporation of Tor addresses in Bitcoin Core reported by CriptoNoticias.
Although XMR.to’s decision will be a blow to Monero trading, it is also true that the company’s decision is in accordance with the privacy principles pursued by said cryptocurrency. Likewise, other payment processors are still active, such as GloBee, MyCryptoCheckout and CoinPayments, among others.