Privacy on Monero and Lightning: an interview with Riccardo Spagni

Riccardo Spagni worked as a Monero maintenance manager for several years, before starting his own project.

Crypto services must constantly evolve to stay ahead of the people who try to stand in the way.

Is it possible to complete Riccardo’s six-month challenge?

The Trust Project is an international consortium of news organizations based on transparency standards.

BeInCrypto recently spoke with Riccardo Spagni, also known as @FluffyPony, to talk about the state of privacy on Monero and the Lightning Network.

BeInCrypto: Welcome, Riccardo, and thank you for your time. First of all, can you tell us about your specific role at Monero?

Riccardo Spagni: As a member of the core team, I started as a maintenance manager, at the very beginning of BitQT. I worked as a maintenance manager for about six years and then left the leadership position late last year to focus on Tari. I still work as a maintenance manager.

Monero offers several models to pay developers

BeInCrypto: It’s often difficult to know how open source projects compensate their developers, especially when people are spending the majority of their time on the project. How does Monero solve this?

Riccardo Spagni: There are several compensation models for developers. Even within Monero, we use different approaches. As in most open-source projects, the majority of our developers are made up of volunteers, who help them in their spare time or when they have free time for their work.

Second, a business can sponsor someone to work on Monero. For example, there are companies like XMR.to, mineXMR, and others who have paid developers in the past to work on Monero, and some of them still do.

The third way is quite interesting and somewhat unique to Monero. Monero has a crowdfunding system where teams or individuals can propose that they want to create a particular feature or just work on Monero for a few months.

They can then fundraise in XMR from the community. It used to be called the Forum Funding System (FFS), while it still worked on the Monero forum.

Now that it has its own section on the Monero website, it’s called the Community Crowdfunding System (CCS), and there are tons of activities, many great proposals, and many proposals that have been fully funded. . It has been working pretty well for about five years now.

How to reconcile regulation and confidentiality?

BeInCrypto: Right now, privacy wedges are fighting on three different fronts: there’s regulation, then there’s tracing companies, and third, there’s adoption. Let’s talk about regulation first.

While governments and regulators cannot shut down Monero directly, they can at least hamper its progress by pressuring exchanges to pull XMR out. How do you try to balance the demands of regulators and confidentiality?

Riccardo Spagni: There are a few aspects here. Tari Labs worked with Perkins Coie, an international law firm, to develop a regulatory white paper , which helps regulators, law enforcement agencies, exchanges and others who deal with privacy-focused cryptocurrencies to understand how they can comply with existing legislation and still interact with these cryptocurrencies.

This also includes payments on Lightning Network or deposits made with CoinJoin obfuscation, so this doesn’t just apply to Monero. The journal came out about a month ago, and so far it’s been quite successful, especially getting a lot of interest from exchanges.

Ultimately, regulators need to be educated and they need to understand that, to a large extent, privacy wedges are like money. Cash is not an anti-law enforcement thing or an anti-government thing, and it is perfectly compatible with existing regulations.

Regulators need to learn that having a publicly traceable currency is not good for anyone. It’s not good for governments, it’s not good for individuals, and it’s not good for businesses either. In fact, privacy is what governments, individuals and businesses want.