How to buy Monero anonymously

Published:
monero anonymizing itself under localmonero mask
1. What is Monero?
As per Wikipedia: Monero (XMR) is an open-source cryptocurrency created in April 2014 that focuses on fungibility, privacy and decentralization. Monero uses an obfuscated public ledger, meaning anybody can broadcast or send transactions, but no outside observer can tell the source, amount or destination. Monero uses a Proof of Work mechanism to issue new coins and incentivize miners to secure the network and validate transactions.
Monero is actively encouraged to those seeking financial privacy, since payments and account balances remain entirely hidden, which is not the standard for most cryptocurrencies.
2. Why Monero? (as explained by getmonero.org)
lock Monero is the leading cryptocurrency with a focus on private and censorship-resistant transactions. Most existing cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, have transparent blockchains, meaning that transactions are openly verifiable and traceable by anyone in the world. Furthermore, sending and receiving addresses for these transactions may potentially be linkable to a person's real-world identity.
Monero uses cryptography to shield sending and receiving addresses, as well as transacted amounts.
classified folderMonero transactions are confidential and untraceable. Every Monero transaction, by default, obfuscates sending and receiving addresses as well as transacted amounts. This always-on privacy means that every Monero user's activity enhances the privacy of all other users, unlike selectively transparent cryptocurrencies (e.g. Z-Cash). Monero is fungible. By virtue of obfuscation, Monero cannot become tainted through participation in previous transactions. This means Monero will always be accepted without the risk of censorship. The Kovri Project, currently in development, will route and encrypt transactions via I2P Invisible Internet Project nodes. This will obfuscate a transactor's IP address and provide further protection against network monitoring.
growing plantMonero is a grassroots community attracting the world's best cryptocurrency researchers and engineering talent.Over 420 developer have contributed to the Monero project, including 30 core developers. Forums and chat channels are welcoming and active.
Monero's Research Lab, Core Development Team and Community Developers are constantly pushing the frontier of what is possible with cryptocurrency privacy and security.
cash bills Monero is electronic cash that allows fast, inexpensive payments to and from anywhere in the world. There are no multi-day holding periods and no risk of fraudulent chargebacks. It is safe from ‘capital controls’ - these are measures that restrict the flow of traditional currencies, sometimes to an extreme degree, in countries experiencing economic instability.
3. Buying Monero Anonymously With Cash

Step 1

Register an account with LocalMonero. You get a free and secure online Monero wallet. No additional apps are needed. If you already have an account, skip to the next step.

Step 2

Go to the main page and in the search box fill in the form with the amount you want to buy in your currency, your location and a payment method. If you're unsure how you want to pay, choose 'All online offers' as your payment method. The site will list Monero traders available in your region.

buy monero online: search options to select currency, country and payment method

Step 3

From the list of advertisements, choose one from a trader with a good reputation score and a high amount of trades. A green circle means the trader has been online today, a yellow circle means they have visited the site this week and a grey circle means that the trader hasn't been here for over a week. You can click the 'Buy' button to view more information about an advertisement.

buy monero ad details such as user's reputation, trade limits and price

Step 4

After you press the 'Buy' button you'll see more information about the advertisement, including the terms of the trade. Read through them before submitting the trade request, if you don't agree with them you can go back to the previous page and choose another advertisement. To start the trade, type in how much Monero you want to buy and click the 'Send trade request' button to the start the trade. Be sure you're ready to pay when clicking the button, if you don't pay before the payment window is over, the seller will be able to cancel the trade.

buy monero ad details, terms of trade and trade amount input

Step 5

Once you have made the payment, click the 'I have paid button'. Once the trader has verified that your payment has been received, your Monero will be released from escrow and they will be instantly available in your LocalMonero wallet. And that's all there is to it, congratulations on your first Monero trade!

buying monero online trade window, showing chat, trade status and 'I have paid' button
4. Advanced Techniques of Staying Anonymous When Using This Method of Buying Monero
Use Tor
tor logoAccording to TorProject.org, Tor is free software and an open network that helps you defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security.
To use it, simply download and install the Tor browser from their official website. After you launch it, you can access LocalMonero through our special Tor portal: localmonerogt7be.onion
When Buying on LocalMonero, Use Payment Methods that Involve Cash
Cash Payment IconWhenever you buy using a bank transfer, or PayPal, or other such payment options, there will always be a privacy leak due to the records kept by the companies that process your payment. In order to avoid that privacy leak, stick to methods that involve cash.
Use methods like cash by mail, ATM cash deposits, face-to-face meetings, or gift cards bought with cash.
5. Why Financial Privacy is Important
Unfortunately, coins like bitcoin have no privacy embedded in their protocol. All the transactions and amounts traded between all parties are publicly visible. This prevents bitcoin from being fungible, and leads to fundamental problems with the viability of bitcoin as a global monetary base.
Imagine the following scenario: bitcoin has become the only used currency in the world. What would some of the implications of the lack of privacy be?
1. Physical safety
customer paying with btc to a criminal cashier
You are traveling through parts of a country with a medium to high violent crime rate. You need to use some of your Bitcoin to pay for something. If every person you transact with knows exactly how much money you have, this is a threat to your personal physical safety.

2. Trade secrecy
surveilace btc eye
You are a business that makes a payment to a supplier. That supplier will be able to see how much money your business has, and therefore can guess at how price sensitive you are in future negotiations. They can see every single other payment you’ve ever received to that Bitcoin address, and therefore determine what other suppliers you are dealing with and how much you are paying those suppliers. They may be able to roughly determine how many customers you have and how much you charge your customers. This is commercially sensitive information that damages your negotiating position enough to cause you relative financial loss.

3. Price discrimination
inflation of food products
You are a private citizen paying for online goods and services. You are aware that it is common practice for companies to attempt to use ‘price discrimination’ algorithms to attempt to determine the highest prices they can offer future services to you at, and you would prefer they do not have the information advantage of knowing how much you spend and where you spend it.

4. Tainted funds
bitcoin as a bomb in an envelope
You sell cupcakes and receive bitcoin as payment. It turns out that someone who owned that bitcoin before you was involved in criminal activity. Now you are worried that you have become a suspect in a criminal case, because the movement of funds to you is a matter of public record. You are also worried that certain bitcoins that you thought you owned will be considered ‘tainted’ and that others will refuse to accept them as payment.

How Monero solves this
Monero solves these privacy issues by automatically applying privacy techniques to every single transaction made.You can have confidence that it is not possible to own ‘tainted’ Monero. This is a concept in economics known as ‘fungibility’ and is historically considered an important characteristic for any currency to have.