Hello to all the Monero faithful. Sad news today. With heavy hearts we are announcing that the XMR.to service will no longer be operated. It's been a grand ride, and a great privilege for us to have participated in and contributed to the growth of Monero since its early days. In a strange way this announcement also makes us happy - happy because we can shut down safe in the knowledge that by now Monero users have plenty of great options to spend their moneroj.
So, why are we shutting down? As you will have noticed (and as many of you have complained about) over the last years and months, we have increasingly been self-imposing restrictions on the service. As discussed in previous blog posts, this is necessary as part of our responsibilities in running this type of service. Our attitude has always been that responsibility comes first and we have consistently imposed necessary restrictions even when it hurt our bottom line. However, we won't compromise on our principles and, to give one example, are not prepared to turn our back on digital privacy preserving technologies such as TOR and VPNs. We have now got to the point where it no longer looks feasible to run this service in a manner consistent with our core beliefs.
And with the writing on the wall, why are we making this hard decision now? We see the great adoption that Monero has had in the past years. If we had shut down in previous years, it might have been a genuine inconvenience for Monero users. We are proud to see that the ecosystem has grown and that monero users now have plenty of options to spend their moneroj directly. We are super confident that in the future these options will just keep growing along with Monero adoption in general.
In terms of supporting the community, which was always our priority from day one, please note that for the time being we will continue to support our community contributions code and infrastructure. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to keep these alive forever, but we'll keep them around for a few months at least, and will devote some resources to figuring out how best we can hand over these elements so as to minimise impact on the community.
For six years (an eternity in the crypto space) we are proud to have set the bar of trust and honesty high for what we believe a crypto service should be - how users should be treated, how a service can be run responsibly without compromising on its principles, and how a service can and should give back to the underlying ecosystem (to both the community and the technology contributors). We sincerely hope that we have set an example and that the ever growing Monero ecosystem will keep the torch lit that we are passing on, and hold it high for a bright Monero future.
Long live Monero!