What’s next for Monero?

Blog by afx_IDE | linkedin.com/in/oliver-ide | twitter.com/afx_IDE


In an effort to curb the use of cryptocurrency in money laundering operations, law enforcement has been coming down hard on crypto mixing services. On 24 April 2024, the official website of Samourai Wallet, a popular privacy-centric cryptocurrency wallet, was seized, and its creators, Keonne Rodriguez and William Lonergan Hill, were arrested. Just three weeks later, the developer of the Tornado Cash cryptocurrency tumbling service, Alexey Pertsev, was found guilty of money laundering and sentenced to 64 months in prison.

Samourai Wallet Seizure notice and Alexey Pertsev

Recent Announcements

One week before the arrest of Alexey Pertsev, the peer-to-peer exchange LocalMonero also announced that it would be “winding down” and stated that on 7 November 2024, the website would be taken offline. The reason for this take down is not known. Alongside this shutdown, the major centralised exchange (CEX), Kraken, announced that Monero would be delisted for clients in Ireland and Belgium. Another announcement by Kraken stated that many cryptocurrencies, including Monero, would be delisted for German clients by 10 July 2024.

When looking at some of the features provided by these platforms, it is easy to see why law enforcement would be concerned. Samourai Wallet offers a service called “Whirlpool” which it describes as:

“the only true zerolink coinjoin implementation in existence”

In short, a coinjoin is a process that is used to anonymise Bitcoin transactions and is one of the techniques that makes tracing laundered funds incredibly difficult. Tornado Cash provided a similar utility in which users deposit their funds into a pool of cryptocurrency and receive a cryptographic code that can later be used to withdraw the same amount of “clean” funds. 

Why Monero?

Monero, unlike other cryptocurrencies, provides near-perfect anonymity. Its use of cryptographic ring signaturesRing CT, and stealth addresses make transactions virtually untraceable.

Law enforcement intervention has proven that privacy technologies such as Samourai Wallet and Tornado Cash, which work on top of currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, might not be as reliable as they could be viewed as a single point of failure. It is also worth noting that Tornado Cash was blacklisted in August 2022, making it illegal for use in the US.

The characteristics of Monero mean that users do not have to rely on techniques such as mixing or coinjoins to remain anonymous which could make it the go-to choice for privacy advocates and/or criminals. But with LocalMonero announcing its closure and the currency itself being delisted from exchanges, how will anyone even acquire Monero? Haveno

Introducing Haveno

Following the announcement by LocalMonero, discussion online around the next best way to buy Monero started. Some users suggested simply buying a different cryptocurrency and converting it using a service like SimpleSwap. Others recommended that people contact their vendors to get them to continue conducting trades on platforms like Telegram. Amongst the discussion there was one solution that was almost unanimously agreed to be the most promising – Haveno. 

Development of Haveno started in early 2021 and it advertises itself as “a non-custodial, decentralized exchange platform for crypto and fiat currencies built on Tor and Monero”. This platform was actually mentioned on the announcement by LocalMonero and activity on their GitHub page saw a rapid increase shortly after.

Just one week after LocalMonero’s announcement, the first two Haveno networks called “Hardened Steel” and “Reto” were brought online. On the same day, the first ever transaction using Haveno and Monero’s mainnet was completed on the Reto network.

First ever Haveno transaction

This was celebrated by the community:

Monero users talking about Haveno

As of 17 May 2024, Haveno is still under active development and forum users often complain about it not being as user friendly as LocalMonero.

Update 03-06-24

Haveno Reto has started to gain popularity among the Monero community and it is starting to seem like it will be the go-to choice for non-KYC purchasing of Monero.