Privacy coins are meant to be private: that’s their raison d’être. Without this functionality, they’re just altcoins, and dangerous ones at that for anyone relying on them for anonymity. Verge (XVG) is one of the best known privacy coins on the market, but it risks becoming famous for all the wrong reasons. A new websiteclaims to list the IP addresses associated with hundreds of verge transactions, stripping bare the coin’s claims of anonymity.
Verging on the Ridiculous
XVG has soared in price over the past month, which may owe more to the coin being heavily shilled by John McAfee than its strong fundamentals. Nevertheless, a combination of privacy coins being en vogue and XVG costing mere buttons – or rather satoshis – until recently have also contributed to its rise. Anyone snapping up the coin for its privacy features, however, could be in for a disappointment.
In a recent article on privacy coins, news.Bitcoin.com wrote: “The generalconsensus is that verge isn’t as private as some of its competitors, so don’t trust it with your life.” That may have been an understatement given that a website is now purportedly listing IP addresses pertaining to verge transactions. The operator of the website is anonymous, which is more than can be said of the transactions it reveals.
The revelatory site currently lists transactions that were conducted via the Verge Core wallet, but the Electrum XVG wallet will soon be added. There’s also the ability to determine transactions which went via a ‘rich list’ address; verge is notorious for having a large number of coins in possession of a handful of ‘whales’. One of these whales spent a cosy weekend with John McAfee before the formersoftware tycoon extolled the virtues of verge, but the pair later fell out over claims that McAfee reportedly wanted millions from Verge and XVGWhale to shill the coin.
Concerns about the veracity of this claim have abounded for some time, with the creation of xvg.keff.org now seeming to confirm as much. Not only does verge fail to provide the privacy that is the coin’s USP, but it arguably provides less privacy than other cryptocurrencies in allowing IP addresses to be recorded.
As the whistleblowing site explains:
Obviously not all of the IPs below will be correct. Some might just be relaying a transaction. The point is that a large amount will be correct due to the Verge network being so small. If your IP appears in the list with a TX you didn’t do, it means you relayed it for someone else. Would you want your IP to be connected to other users’ transactions?
It is telling however that the developmentteam have yet to issue an outright denial of the site’s claims. Even if a handful of IPs on the list are correct, it is evident that privacy proponents relying on verge are taking a risk every time they transact.
The roadmap for Verge – which began life as Dogecoin Dark – lists branded apparel and RSK smart contracts as next on its to-do list. Before it tackles these tasks, XVG’s developmentteam may wish to return to the drawing board and take a look at their privacy coin’s alleged lack of privacy.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Verge website.
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