Q1: My first question surrounds wallets for Monero. I have come to understand that remote nodes can be tracking your IP address and hence are not secure. Would light weight wallets like MyMonero APP be considered a remote node?

Q2: When activating my full node wallet from getmonero.org should I be using a VPN/TOR to do this? Whilst using my full node wallet could anyone be tracking my IP or viewing my transactions and stuff?

Q3: I don't currently have my full node wallet setup yet, but I would like to buy an item with Monero without the payment chain being traceable back to an exchange with my ID. So, this is what I had in mind.

1.Buy Bitcoin from coinbase with my ID attached.

  1. Using Tor, I will access an exchange that will allow me to buy Monero for Bitcoin. This exchange will be one without KYC.

  2. I will have the exchange send the Monero to a website wallet that has a .onion site. Such as XMRWallet.

  3. Finally, I will access the website XMR.to (the Tor .onion version) which is a site that allows you to send it Monero and in return it will send Bitcoin to any recipient address. Using XMR.to, I will have them purchase the item that I wanted with Bitcoin, whilst I cover the costs with Monero from my XMRWallet.

I would like to emphasise, Steps 2-4 inclusive were all done using Tor. Would this be traceable back to my coinbase account?

1 Answer 1


Same question, same answer

  • Yes. Remote nodes can track your IP address, in which case your privacy could be lessened.
    If you feel, if someone might knowing your IP address, as a security issue, don't use remote nodes, or use VPN.
    Yes. MyMonero is using a remote node. Anything not connecting to a local node, is using a remote node.
    Note that communication between a local wallet and a remote node is encrypted, and nobody will know what you are doing.

  • When connecting your wallet to a local node, that traffic is, well, local.
    Your local node will connect to remote nodes, and they will know that a node is running on that IP address.
    Using TOR/VPN will mask that.

  • If you want to buy something, using Monero, why not just get XMR from an exchange?
    As soon as those XMR leaves the exchange, they are gone.
    The exchange will know that you got some XMR, but that's where the the trail ends.
    If you go The Bitcoin route, your your trail will lead all the way to the No KYC exchange.
    Using a remote XMR wallet, onion or not, will not give you more privacy, than using your local wallet.
    Your transactions can not be tracked on a local wallet. They might be, on a remote web-wallet.
    So, instead of all that bouncing around, you could just:
    VPN=>KYC Exchange=>(clearnet) XMR => Your wallet=>(Onion) XMR=>XMR.to=>Bitcoin=>Vendor

  • 1
    "Note that communication between a local wallet and a remote node is encrypted, and nobody will know what you are doing." <- This is not quite right. It can be, but not enforced.
    – jtgrassie
    Oct 22, 2019 at 0:04
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    Is SSL/TLS not the default, between wallet and node daemon? Is transactions not generated/encrypted in the wallet, before being handed over to the daemon? Oct 22, 2019 at 5:02
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    There is some TLS stuff available now but that doesn't mean all remote nodes<>wallets are using it. The bigger (or equal) issue using a remote node is trusting the decoys they give you. And lightwallet (eg mymonero) servers have their own unique issues also.
    – jtgrassie
    Oct 22, 2019 at 5:13
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    For lightwallet issues, see this answer. You divulge your view key. And MyMonero, whilst technically remote, it is not a usual/typical remote node, it's a lightwallet/server. Hence it's unique privacy issues.
    – jtgrassie
    Oct 22, 2019 at 5:21
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    Okay. In a light wallet setup, you delegate the wallet-daemon communication, to someone else. I guess, in that case you have little control over things, but has to trust whomever is running that service. I was talking about a local wallet "talking" to a remote node. Oct 22, 2019 at 12:22

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