Verge (XVG), a privacy-centric cryptocurrency that started out as Dogecoin Dark in 2014, recently became well-known, but some of its fame may now come for the wrong reasons. A new website claims to list the IP addresses associated with Verge transactions, taking down the cryptocurrency’s privacy claims.
Last month, cybersecurity pioneer John McAfee named Verge the “best buy” among privacy coins, in a list containing Monero (XMR), and ZCash (ZEC). XVG’s price was about $0.0125 prior to McAfee’s claims, and has since surged to an all-time high of $0.25, before it started correcting. At press time, the cryptocurrency is down 15% to $0.1478 in the last 24-hour period, partly because of the website’s claims.
The website, xvg.keff.org, currently lists transactions conducted via the Verge Core wallet, some of which come from a “rich list” address. The cryptocurrency is known for having a large number of coins in possessions of a small number of ‘whales’, including XVG Whale who visited John McAfee.
The website plans on adding transactions from the Electrum XVG wallet soon. Its claims are hard to verify, but given other occurrences in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, caution is advised. Some users claim the IP addresses listed on the website are proxies, but as Riccardo “fluffypony” Spagni, Monero’s lead maintainer put it some have been verified:
Yes – as an easy way of verifying, you can pick a repeated IP (eg. 22.214.171.124) and confirm that many/most of the transactions originating from that IP come from the same wallet. This isn't just random data, and it's not Tor exit nodes.
— Riccardo Spagni (@fluffypony) January 1, 2018
Granted, some of the IP addresses listed may lead to dead ends. The website’s owner claims that some of these won’t be correct, and that some may just be relaying a transaction. To him, given the small size of the Verge network, a large amount of the IPs will be correct. Moreover, the website’s owner claims that if someone’s IP appears with a transaction the person didn’t do, this just means it could be connected to someone else’s transaction. He added: “would you want your IP to be connected to other users’ transactions?
Verge supporters claim its FUD
Most Verge supporters claim the website is just aimed at taking down the cryptocurrency. To Verge holders, who just saw the value of the cryptocurrency surge over 1.000% in little over a month, it is nothing but people trying to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD).
A twitter account associated with Verge disputed the accuracy of the site’s claims. It states that so far it hasn’t found any accurate IP/transaction pair, but adds it is working on it.
Sunerok, the cryptocurrency’s founder and lead developer, revealed that the update that’s set to help improve Verge’s privacy has been integrated, but not yet released. Per his comments, it is “very near completion.”
Latest @vergecurrency wallet 4.0 "Not Private" using @justinvendetta 's own definition. Also appears to be connecting to https://t.co/YejKiFAkIv (126.96.36.199) and lastfm's (188.8.131.52) API endpoint over unencrypted http. pic.twitter.com/qruC3UHgDO
— Fuzzbawls (@Fuzzbawls) January 1, 2018