Anonymity and Bitcoin are two concepts which do not mix well. Bitcoin has no anonymity traits. Third-party services such as coin mixers can provide a degree of anonymity and privacy. XMR.to is one of those companies trying to make a name for itself now that BitMixer is no longer operational. Always do your own research before sending money to such a company.
What Makes XMR.to So Special?
Ensuring total transaction anonymity with Bitcoin is not an easy feat. In fact, it is nearly impossible without using third-party services. Projects such as the Breeze Wallet bring Bitcoin one step closer to anonymity, but there are other ways to go about it as well. Coin mixers such as XMR.to will always be around until the Bitcoin protocol provides anonymity by default, which will not be happening anytime soon.
To that end, XMR.to is trying to make a name for itself right now. According to the operators, this coin mixing service provides full Bitcoin transaction anonymity. It uses cryptocurrency exchanges to convert incoming Bitcoin transfers to Monero, which is the anonymity-centric altcoin that so many have come to appreciate over the past few months. Monero can make transactions “disappear” from a public ledger, ensuring no one can trace the origin or destination of a particular blockchain-based transfer.
The mixing service will ensure that the path taken by funds in between destination and origin is obfuscated entirely. It will also attempt to use exchanges to convert from Bitcoin to Monero. Though it is an interesting concept, it remains to be seen if the operator can deliver on this promise. The platform claims to ensure anonymity for the sender of money, whereas the recipient may not enjoy the same benefits for the time being.
Anyone using this service must be comfortable with receiving payments in Monero. Given the popularity of XMR, that may not prove to be much of a challenge for the time being. Indeed, converting Bitcoin into an altcoin is something everyone can do. One does not even need to use an exchange to do so, as services such as ShapeShift allow for these types of transactions as well. Tumbling services offer slightly more privacy and anonymity than people exchanging the currencies themselves could ever enjoy.
Additionally, it appears the choice for converting Bitcoin to Monero was made out of self-interest by XMR.to. Using Monero allows them to remain hidden, whereas regular Bitcoin mixing services would not grant them the same privilege. This may also cause a bit of a trust issue, considering no one knows for sure who is behind this new mixing service or what their ulterior motives are. Given the shutdown of BitMixer not too long ago, tumbling services are a bit harder to come by.
Anyone looking to use this service should do their own research first and foremost. A service offering full transaction anonymity without disclosing any information about themselves always sounds fishy. Coin mixing services require a lot of inherent trust between parties. Trusting strangers on the Internet is difficult enough, but entrusting them with your money is a different matter entirely. There is no evidence to suggest XMR.to is a scam by any means, but caution is nonetheless advised.