A new atomic swap program between Bitcoin and Monero (XMR) is coming. But while the prospect of being able to anonymously buy bitcoins is exciting for privacy-conscious cryptophiles who want to exchange their bitcoins away from the prying eyes of governments, there is one technical constraint that spoils the (almost) good news.
Bitcoin vs. Monero: one-way street?
Monero developer Erciccione reports in a blog post on August 20, 2021 that “the Atomic Swap implementation developed by the COMIT team is mature enough to be used on the Monero network.
On paper, Monero or Bitcoin users will now be able to convert XMR to BTC in a decentralized manner – a trusted third party like an exchange is not required – and without needing to trust the other party for the transaction to go through. In practice, makers need to buy bitcoins, and takers need to buy Moneros. However, anyone can be a taker or a maker.
It is indeed for the moment “easier to sell Bitcoins against Moneros than to do the opposite.” This constraint diminishes the interest of this atomic swap for cryptophiles who were rather looking for a way to anonymously buy bitcoins based on the private nature of Monero.
A promising program, but still in testing
To perform an atomic swap, users need to download the asb software. Erciccione points out that this can be used with Tor for added privacy.
The developer warns, however, that “unexpected bugs” may occur. As a result, he urges users to be cautious and only test the atomic swap with small amounts of cryptocurrencies. He also encourages them to report any problems they may encounter to the developers. Users can find swap providers at unstoppableswap.net. Swap providers are people who want to exchange their bitcoins for moneros.
An atomic swap that would allow to acquire bitcoins with moneros is all the more important in a context of tightening regulations, where countries like the United States with the bill infrastructure, put more and more pressure on exchanges to disclose to the authorities the details of transactions, a legalized voyeurism and justified by the “public interest”.