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Should Monero Users be Concerned with Investigations on Monero Addresses?

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergency Act on February 14, 2022 in response to the Freedom Convoy Protests. In relation to this act, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has sent letters to financial institutions, including cryptocurrency exchanges. The letter to crypto exchanges demanded that they should “cease facilitating any transactions” and it included a list of 34 crypto wallet addresses. Among the list, there were addresses for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano, Monero, and Litecoin.

These letters to financial institutions resulted to public uproar as the RCMP can decide to freeze assets and cut off services of people on the list once banks and crypto exchanges are compelled to submit customers’ private and financial details.

Monero is the number one privacy coin because it GUARANTEES privacy. Stealth addresses and ring signatures keep the identities of the recipients and senders, respectively. New stealth addresses are generated by senders in each transaction so the blockchain does not link back to the actual Monero address. RingCT is another cryptographic technology that obfuscates the amount in transactions. All these technologies working together make Monero totally private and kept confidential from the public.

The Canadian Emergency Act has been revoked nine days after its invocation. The issue, however, of privacy in connection with government regulations and mandates continues to be discussed and not just in Canada. Every person has a right to privacy because it will enable them to build boundaries that will protect them from unfounded intrusion in their lives. This includes access to bodies, places, things, communications, and information. Privacy International states that privacy is invaluable because it is an “essential way we seek to protect ourselves and society against arbitrary and unjustified use of power, by reducing what can be known about us and done to us, while protecting us from others who may wish to exert control.”

Don’t forget that power is not limited to authorities and regulators. It could range from something as basic as selling your personal information for dedicated ads on social media to nasty ones like identity theft or finances being wiped out. Here are some ways of protecting your privacy as you journey through the crypto space.

1. Use decentralized exchanges. Centralized exchanges use KYC to comply with regulations and they require identification.

2. Use a VPN to mask your IP address. Without a VPN, the government or enterprise can locate your physical address through your IP address. Once an entity does this, they have knowledge of who you are, where you live, and all your personal and financial transactions.

3. Limit your crypto purchases online to companies or entities that don’t need to know your name and address.

4. Use privacy coins such as Monero for transactions.

5. Use a browser that preserves privacy like Firefox, Brave Browser, and Ungoogled Chromium. Extensions that add to browser privacy are also available.

6. Consider using a privacy-preserving e-mail service like ProtonMail, CTemplar and Tutanota.

7. Instead of using Google as a search engine, choose from more private alternatives like DuckDuckGo, Whoogle, or Searx.

Privacy is every human being’s right and everyone has the right to keep any personal and financial information confidential to protect themselves from the “unjustified use of power.” Apart from using VPNs or Tor, decentralized exchanges, and privacy-centric coins such as Monero, a secure wallet is also of vital importance. Use XMRWallet.com, an open-source free Monero wallet that allows you to send and receive XMR instantly while remaining in complete control of your coins and keys.

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