Privacy coins have grown to be immensely popular recently, with many in the crypto-community now realizing the value of coins such as Monero and Zcash. Riccardo Spagni, former lead maintainer at Monero, has been one of the foremost proponents of privacy coins. Spagni made waves after he appeared on a recent podcast and claimed that Monero had been built with a vision to secure financial privacy, adding that the coin is doing exactly the same.
“Monero does what it can to maximize privacy while still being really accessible and this is a cryptocurrency which is fairly widely used.”
Adding that Monero pretty much works like Bitcoin, Spagni said that the only difference between the two coins is that privacy coin Monero, as the name suggests, safeguards the anonymity of transactions that are recorded on its blockchain while Bitcoin is way too transparent. He also declared that it is practically impossible to hack into Monero’s transactions, adding that it would “take the depths of the universe to figure it out.”
Such a characteristic of the Monero blockchain has concerned some, however. Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre recently raised concerns over how certain transactions made through the privacy coin were untraceable, according to a report. According to Jerek Jakubcek, a strategic analyst at Europol,
“Whatever happened on the Bitcoin blockchain was visible and that’s why we were able to get reasonably far. But with Monero blockchain, that was the point where the investigation has ended. This is a classical example of one of several cases we had where the suspect decided to move funds from Bitcoin or Ethereum to Monero.”
When Spagni was asked about the illicit uses of Monero’s privacy, he noted that privacy breach is likely with everything around us, starting from Siri to Google. He also spoke about the time Monero’s official website was hacked for 30 minutes, stating that it was like a “wake up call for him.” He added.
“Monero and other privacy coins thus focus on providing maximum security.”
Towards the end of the conversation, Spagni also commented on the news of him stepping down as the lead maintainer of the privacy coin project. This was the right time to pull back and let others step up, he said. Spagni added,
“I’m stepping back as lead maintainer but continuing on as a maintainer, to further decentralize the project. This is real decentralization.”