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May 8, 2024

LocalMonero / AgoraDesk (two different trading names for the same company, a peer-to-peer exchange platform that allows trusted buyers/sellers to trade Monero directly between each other) just announced they would be shutting down and disabling all future trades 1 week from now, on the 14th of May.

At least for the next week LocalMonero will still be operating as normal and we'll be able to create new trades until the 14th - beyond that, I still haven't figured out where or if I'll continue with peer-to-peer XMR.

At this stage it's unclear what the best path forward is going to be considering there aren't any alternative P2P sites that specifically support Monero. Some people have been mentioning "haveno" which is an app that's been in development for a while now, but they still have no actual product and it's unlikely they're going to launch any time soon unfortunately.

I'm just a person, not a company providing a service, and my safety and security is more important to me than selling to people I don't know. Moving to a new exchange platform (if one even existed) would mean I'm basically starting from scratch with no idea who's real and trusted and who's pretending to be a crypto trader using fake IDs and stolen money, so that's not an option for me.

I haven't been accepting trade offers to sell XMR to new buyers for quite a while now because of record levels of fraud, so a big part of my reason to continue trading was the established pool of trusted friends in the community who I'm willing to trade with. There's no chance I would start from scratch as I'd have to redo KYC on everyone, and the IDs provided these days are usually all just deepfaked or stolen.

The risk of fraud has gotten worse and worse recently as AI tools get more powerful and Australian companies continue to have the worst data leaks out of every other major country in the world because we have basically no privacy laws or consequences for mishandling private data (like the GDPR in Europe)

Generally, the alternative for anyone who wants to use XMR in Australia is either going to be trading some other cryptocurrency like BTC and swapping to/from XMR (which is more of a hassle and can be more expensive, especially for smaller trade amounts when you consider the high network fees of other coins) or find some kind of legal alternative for AUD/XMR directly. At the moment, I'm not sure one exists.

##### UPDATE as of Saturday, May 11: I'm still doing my best to see what's possible after new trades are disabled on Tuesday. I've been talking with some major exchange providers on potentially helping migrate people but I'm waiting to hear back on some answers, notably regarding the availability of direct AUD/XMR pairs (no exchange currently has this publicly available) and if KYC is required, the process will need to be reasonable and non-excessive.

I've also been drafting an in-depth step by step guide on using some trustworthy exchanges to buy other crypto available within Australia which can then be swapped to XMR, but I would prefer if I'm able to either find an alternative P2P site myself or find an exchange provider that can commit to an easy AUD/XMR pair as this would be significantly more difficult than the easy "send cash and receive XMR in minutes" style trades we're all used to. I'm hoping to have any of these potential options done by the time new trades are disabled on LocalMonero, so watch this space or join my Telegram broadcast channel originally linked at the end of this page END UPDATE #####

I had no idea this shutdown was happening until I read the announcement like everyone else, so I'm in the same boat as the rest of you. No matter what happens, I'm proud to have been the longest-running and most trusted member of the Australian Monero community and I still believe in the technology behind Monero, it just really sucks that it gets a bad rep because of misuse by the wrong people.

For now, I've created a Telegram channel to post updates as I figure out the best way forward. At the moment it's looking like there'll be no future trades after the 14th, but in case there's some kind of miracle and anything changes I'll be posting updates on this page as well as that broadcast channel.

You can view the Telegram channel here even if you don't have an account (click "preview channel" below the big blue button) and if you do have Telegram you can join to receive updates, as well as message me directly.