- 3 things you can do, VPN, change your RPC or change your wallet.
If you are on Metamask, undoubtedly, you should know that your IP address gets logged with every transaction you make, making it possible to identify who you are and your location.
Not only do they collect data whenever you send a transaction, but all your addresses under the same IP also be recorded the moment you unlock the wallet.
“We believe in transparency and want to ensure all users know what we are collecting and how it is being used, including what is collected by the MetaMask wallet versus what is collected by a wallet service provider. “
The team also stated that the new policy change did not result in more intrusive data collection/processing and came out to remind all that their “policy has always said that certain information is automatically collected about how users use our Sites and that this information may include IP addresses. “
When users interact with Ethereum or other blockchains through an RPC provider such as Infura (the default RPC you use when you use Metamask), the provider will receive the user’s IP and wallet address to provide the service.
Especially when users are exploring non-custodial ways to hold their assets, the policy update also made an effort to educate users that they can use their Ethereum node as an alternative to Infura, the default RPC provider in Metamask.
But, of course, under you are subjected to the custody of any RPC provider you wish to employ.
What are your next steps?
The most obvious solution is to use a VPN. However, according to Romeo on Twitter, one major downside is that most VPNs log your activity and link your account to it.
So it offers worse privacy than if you weren’t using any. Even when going for a no-log policy, alternatives may not work. The largest VPN, NordVPN, openly states they will, at the expense of law enforcement data requests.
Using a decentralized VPN client like Sentinel dVPN not only claims they can’t log you in but for you to enjoy secure and free interest access.
Always be curious to ask questions which compromise your position.
2. Continue to stay with Metamask, but change your RPC instead
RPC is a set of protocols that allow a client (such as Infura of Metamask) to interact with a blockchain.
If you didn’t know, you could use another RPC endpoint on Metamask.
Of course, you undertake the inherent risk of any RPC you employ, but here’s how you can do it in 10 simple steps with Alchemy.
- Create an account with Alchemy here.
- Click on “Create App.”
- Enter any name or description, select the Chain as “Ethereum”, and choose the Network as “Mainnet”.
- Click on “Create App.”
- Next, click on the “View key.”
- Copy the “HTTPS” link
- In Metamask, click on “Add Network” and “Add a network manually.”
- Enter the Network name as “Ethereum Mainnet Alchemy”, and paste the RPC Url we copied earlier.
- Enter chain id as “1”.
- Block URL as “https://etherscan.io“.
- Click “Save”, and it’s done. You are using Alchemy instead of Infura.
3. Changing your wallet
While many started to shill their product in light of the new Metamask update, finding one might be difficult, especially when you’re spoiled for choice.
We decided to look into XDEFI wallet. The first reason is that it supports over 20+ chains, NFTs and over 10K swap options. XDEFI wallet is also a great alternative to Metamask, as it has compatibility with all of the same dapps Metamask has.
Furthermore, their plans to support other blockchains may give them better accessibility for investors who invest across various ecosystems. They even hinted at wallet support for NEAR, Cosmos and Trezor in the near future.
There are two sides to the coin. While Metamask clarified certain misunderstood data collection components, some may think it is better to be safe than sorry.
Changing wallets, RPC, or even having a VPN may be viable options for you to retain your privacy, and honestly, you have every right to take responsibility for doing so. Just be sure you’re getting yourself into something that doesn’t exploit your privacy in creative ways.
But there could be a chance that the coin lands on either. And that is where we find common ground.
Engaging in conversations, even with a sensitive topic like privacy being brought up, is a needed step to move forward.
Even with valid points for both parties, when the conversation steers towards being a competition on which is better, it will distract crypto from seeing greater adoption in the future.
[Editor’s Note: This article does not represent financial advice. Please do your own research before investing.]
Featured Image Credit: Chain Debrief