The debate surrounding cryptocurrency generally circles around the question of ‘what real-world or practical use does crypto have?’ Monero is used around the world for transactions between individuals because of its practical application in reality. It’s also extremely useful for individuals looking to wash the transaction history of their digital assets. If you need to use this technology or are curious about how it works, keep reading.
Disclaimer: This article is not condoning the actions explained and is for informational purposes only.
Participating in Peer-To-Peer Barter Is a Human Right
The statement made here is the core belief of the Monero development team and, more-so, the belief of the majority of rational human beings. Preventing two consenting adults engaging in barter is to strip away a fundamental truth of existence. This belief is so ingrained in our culture that our government has created cash for this exact purpose.
Cash exchanges between individuals are not illegal, nor are they frowned upon. Websites such as Craigslist are built upon this underlying foundation of free-market principles. According to the Federal Reserve, cash is the most frequently used consumer payment method. While credit card companies and online payment processors would love to usurp cash payments, it’s clear cash isn’t going away anytime soon.
Creating A Digital Transaction Equivalent To Cash
Understanding why cash transactions are so popular will help you realize the importance of Monero.
Cash is private
Conducting a bank transfer, a wire transfer, or even a credit card purchase allows the transaction to be viewed by another party, which means it is not private. Entities such as credit card companies, banks, and governments are able to track consumer history and even pinpoint specific individual’s purchasing habits. When people engage in cash transactions, the flow of money itself is anonymous.
This is not to say that cash transactions can’t be regulated. If a good or service is being exchanged, there is still a physical interaction which can be traced with traditional surveillance methods.
Cash creates autonomy over wealth
When an individual controls their own cash, they control their wealth. Controlling a physical manifestation of value gives enormous power to a person without sacrificing their liberty to a 3rd party. Money stored in banks is ultimately controlled by the institution housing it, not the person who put it there. For a free society to function, people must be able to control their own money.
Cash is king
Few services and goods cannot be bought for cash. This is especially true with low-dollar transactions. Small purchases from groceries to gas are readily facilitated with cash transactions. To use another method of exchange would be bulky and unnecessary.
Monero is digital cash
As the world becomes connected at an extreme rate, the demand to conduct cash-like transfers via the internet has exploded. We see this demand in the price of Bitcoin and the meteoric rise of the crypto industry in general. Where Monero stands apart is in the protocol’s ability to balance the anonymity demands of cash transactions with the speed and trust of a decentralized currency.
Monero is anonymous
I am not going to dive into the tech behind Monero. Let’s just say, it’s pretty f***ing secure, private, and anonymous. XMR is so robust that the FBI dislikes it to the extreme.
Monero is fungible
Similar to how a one dollar bill is exactly the same as another one, each XMR token is identical to the next one. It can be argued that Monero is even more fungible than cash dollars because physical markings on paper bills can be traced.
Monero is in demand
Monero is the 11th most popular cryptocurrency with a market cap of over $972,244,211. It’s clear the value of XMR is a real phenomenon which allows it to be used in place of cash for multiple transaction use-cases.
Transaction fees are minuscule
Thanks to a recent hard-fork, XMR has experienced a 96 percent reduction in transaction fees. The current fees are hovering around $.01. With fees that small, microtransactions are possible, putting XMR on track to compete with cash transactions.
How Money is Washed With Monero
If you’re still interested in the philosophy behind this privacy token, let’s begin the conversation with how people take advantage of it.
If you are in the possession of cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, the public ledger allows your payments to be traced easily. If you want to keep the amount of cryptocurrency you have a secret, you are looking to anonymously transfer funds between addresses, or you simply want to be left alone, one can wash his or her crypto with Monero. Implementing technology to anonymize your trades is not complicated or hard to use.
Use a VPN
Your computer has an IP number. This number allows your internet service provider and by default, anyone else, to see your browsing history. To combat this initial lack of privacy, we recommend using a VPN (virtual private network). It’s a software that encrypts your internet connection through a 3rd party server, and then onto the internet. It makes tracking your web presence extremely difficult.
- One recommendation is hide.me, as it features the strongest encryption available. The best part of this service is that you can pay in Monero! Most VPN’s require the use of credit cards for payments which, of course, are highly traceable.
When accessing the internet, try to use a large public place such as a library or coffee shop. This will add another layer of obfuscation to your connection. Be careful though, avoid places with security cameras. If you can’t find a place without surveillance systems, stay home to connect.
You can also use a separate device to interact with the internet on. If privacy is your end goal, investing in a small laptop may be a smart purchase. Use it only for your most private transactions. When buying it, use cash. Purchase it in person using websites like Craigslist.
Access The Internet With Tor
With a VPN protecting your IP address, the next step to anonymity is to use the Tor browser. This browser bounces your traffic through multiple servers, making tracking your search history extremely difficult. It’s another layer of privacy on top of your VPN.
Four Websites That Facilitate Anonymous Monero Transfers
Once you are online, you can use existing interfaces to make anonymous cryptocurrency transfers. With your IP address masked and hidden with both a VPN and Tor browser, it will be next to impossible to prove you made the transaction.
To use it, you send Monero through the website and the service sends Bitcoin to the address you provided. There are numerous reviews of the site across the internet and it is trustworthy, for now. The end result is in BTC, which means the transaction itself is now public. However, all of your personal information around the move is now erased.
Remember the good old days of Limewire? Bisq is a decentralized exchange, hosted by people running the software. It automatically connects to Tor and anonymizes your traffic. Pair the software with a VPN and you have an extremely private method of trading cryptocurrency.
It doesn’t require any information to use and keeps your transactions purely peer2peer. You can transfer Bitcoin and most altcoins onto the exchange to use in trading. Unfortunately, it’s built to facilitate the selling or buying of Bitcoin, not the exchanges of altcoins. But as long as you have BTC, you can buy Monero with it — and vice versa.
Another really cool benefit of Bisq is the ability to trade fiat for crypto. While there are no AML or KYC requirements to use this function, connecting your bank account or credit card will allow your payments to be traced. Use the fiat functions with caution.
Local Monero is the craigslist of Monero buying. You can buy the cryptocurrency with bank transfers, moneygrams, and even cash. However, be warned, there is no 3rd party mediator. This allows scammers to take your money and never send you XMR. Meeting in person to exchange cash for Monero is definitely the most anonymous method to acquire the currency but there is a greater chance of violence for in-person exchanges. Use extreme caution. Check a seller’s review history.
An easy to use website that lets you buy Bitcoin semi-anonymously. Using a bank transfer, Paypal or credit card will require your identity, an Amazon Gift Card or Western Union transfer will not. They only deal in Bitcoin but it’s another anonymous way to exchange your fiat into crypto.
Don’t Fear Privacy
What you do with your funds is your business, we are not here to pass judgment or arbitration. Don’t get trapped into using more popular websites like Coinbase just because you don’t know about other options. All the arguments used to discredit Monero, such as its popularity with criminal,s can be made for US-backed cash transactions. If we were to follow the logic of outlawing Monero, we would have to outlaw all cash transactions along with it.
There is technology in existence that allows you to enjoy the privacy of a decentralized currency. Using it requires a small learning curve but is not rocket science. Anonymize your wealth with Monero and keep your online traffic private. It’s your right as an individual, and as a human being.
What do you think of Monero? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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