The company claimed that it would not turn its back on technologies like Tor or VPN to be regulated.
XMR.to had recently applied restrictions to its community, ceasing to operate in the US.
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 agrees to maintain the XMR payment code and infrastructure for a few months., so that your customers have time to adapt to the disappearance of the service. The platform stood out in the market, since it served 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 paying 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 the explosion in popularity of cryptocurrencies and increased regulation, the XMR.to directive was imposing more and more restrictions on its users to be able to operate. on the platform. In a blog post in early 2020, the developers stated that they wanted to be “good citizens” and comply with the regulations of a responsible business provider.
The platform allowed making payments with XMR in merchants that accepted bitcoin. Source: XMR.to
The company began recording all VPN traffic that visited its 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 pushed the closure of the platform, such as that they have received a court order or any intention to apply KYC, it did affirm that it was no longer feasible to continue operating if this went 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 rested with 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 in 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 publication.
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.