MetaMask IP collection: how to protect your privacy

MetaMask IP collection: how to protect your privacy

Self-custody is definitely the right approach to conserving crypto: it is the only solution allowing a true disintermediated ownership and privacy protection ?

The privacy part, however, might need some additional action, and the recent MetaMask news has once again highlighted it.

? What happened?

Owned by the American crypto development firm ConsenSys, Metamask is one of the world’s most popular wallets supporting Ethereum, BNB chain and other similar networks. It counts over 21 million users.

Metamask has recently updated its privacy policy, specifying that the wallet collects its users’ IP addresses and wallet addresses whenever a transaction is completed.

Unsurprisingly, this disclosure has outraged the crypto space, which is naturally concerned with its privacy.

Many, however, have missed the important detail: this only concerns transactions executed via Infura, a default Remote Procedure Call (RPC) application, or in other words – an endpoint service provider that wallets use to get information on and off of a blockchain.

Infura is a US-incorporated centralized entity, and it must comply with the country’s increasingly invasive regulations, which explains the IP collection.

? Is it new?

Despite the media fuss, this practice is not new – only the wording in ConsesSys’ privacy policy is.

Earlier this year, the crypto community has already witnessed the lack of privacy in Metamask: in March, its Venezuelan users found themselves unable to use their wallets for several hours. The issue was caused by Infura, which mistakenly included Venezuela into its geoblocking settings. The geoblocking has been corrected since, but everyone understood that Infura was acting as a bottleneck, censoring transactions.

? How to protect your privacy in MetaMask?

Crypto is made borderless and undiscriminating, and of course Infura’s procedures go against these principles.

Good news: this can be changed by replacing an RPC in Metamask settings ⚙️

➡️ All you have to do is go to:

Networks > Add a network > Add a network manually > Enter new RPC URL.

Here’s the list of EVM networks that can be used instead of Infura.

⚠️ Protecting your privacy is a proactive endeavor ?️