How would you feel if anyone were allowed to peep into your bank account and check how much money you had? And what if they could see how many transactions you did yesterday and to whom?
I would feel awkward and insecure if such a thing were to happen to me!!
And I bet you would feel the same.
Financial transaction privacy is one of the most sought after things.
But in reality, we are always being watched by banks or institutions before and after our transactions. They know the ins and outs of our bank accounts.
Wait a minute…
You might think cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin provide a solution to this. But not really; transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain exist on public ledger which is open for all to see.
The world of cryptocurrencies are diverse, and it is becoming more and more diverse each day. Out of these vast choices of cryptos, Monero is one of the most unique and different cryptocurrencies available.
Benefits of Monero Cryptocurrency:
- Private: No one can see how much balance you have by looking at the blockchain.
- Secure: Irreversible cryptographic math secures Monero transactions and wallets.
- Untraceable: Monero coins can’t be traced back to the blockchain due to encryption.
- Decentralized: All nodes or wallets are equally eligible to verify Monero coins.
- Fungible: All coins have the same market value irrespective of time or place.
When it comes to buying cryptocurrencies, you have plenty of options.
But when it comes to untraceable and anonymous cryptocurrencies, you have very few options.
What is Monero? A Definitive Guide for Beginners
Right now, not all cryptos can offer features of privacy, security, or fungibility at the protocol or fundamental code level. But Monero does, hence making it a very viable choice.
Monero, launched in 2014, is the world’s first private, secure, and untraceable digital currency of the internet.
You can say it is like a more confidential Bitcoin.
But Monero is made from scratch and is not just another clone of Bitcoin’s core code.
Note: Monero prices have shot up achieving an unprecedented fifty fold growth in just a span of one year. It is still in the top 10 cryptocurrencies list of CryptoCompare.
Now, let’s understand what makes it so compelling to own a currency which is untraceable and secure.
How is Monero End-To-End Anonymous?
Untraceability Through RING SIGNATURE
They are digital signatures which can be performed by any member of the ring or group, and all the signatures are potential and eligible signatures. A ring signature is by default applicable on the blockchain, and it enables transaction mixing.
This means that when money is sent, it is sent as a group of randomly picked ring signed transactions of the same amount. And out of this, only one is the actual sender, though all may be eligible to send.
Any incoming transaction is coming as a group of transactions and has many possible senders, and each sender has the same chance of being the true sender.
This makes Monero a top choice for maintaining a sender’s privacy.
Unlinkability Through STEALTH ADDRESSES
Stealth addresses take care of the recipient’s privacy. Stealth addresses don’t allow a third party to see any transactions done in and out of that address on the blockchain.
To make it easier to understand, consider your stealth address as your bank account number.
In traditional banking, even if you give your account number to someone, they can’t see your transactions, identify your balance, or find out your spending habits.
Stealth addresses guarantee the same level of transactional privacy in Monero.
When a transaction is done on the Monero blockchain, it doesn’t list the public address of the receiver on the blockchain. It instead creates a new one-time destination address which is not linked to a receiver’s public address.
Irreversible cryptographic math ensures this unlinkability between both the public and stealth addresses.
The receiver can only scan the blockchain for these one-time stealth addresses and verify their funds.
Transactional Privacy Through RING CT
Ring CT stands for “ring confidential transactions”.
This hides the amount that’s been transacted on the Monero blockchain. This feature is now implemented and will not only hide the source of the funds but also hide amounts being sent in a transaction. It is quite complicated tech so I would recommend you to watch this video on it.
Obfuscation Of IP Using KOVARI
Kovari is an open-source technology that hides the IPs while transacting Monero. Kovari uses both the routing techniques and encryptions to hide the IPs as well the geographical location of transactions by creating a new layer over the internet. It is still a work in progress but it is worth waiting for. Here is the official video explaining the workings of Kovari.
I think this is the final nail in the coffin for this anonymous cryptocurrency. And will make Monero the most trusted, open source, decentralized, and fully anonymous cryptocurrency.
History of Monero
Monero is an open source, proof-of-work cryptocurrency, and no one owns it.
Riccardo Spagni started this cryptocurrency along with six other developers. There is no concept of pre-mining or ICOs, which makes it a trustable currency backed by market forces.
It came into existence in April 2014 because of a fork (or split) from the Bytecoin cryptocurrency. The split up happened because Bytecoin, an open source cryptocurrency project, was not transparent enough in its operations. Evidence arose on crypto-forums that more than 80% of coins were already pre-mined.
This discrepancy and distrust led to its split into Monero.
Monero uses the CryptoNote protocol, which was initially used by Bytecoin. However, there are significant differences between both cryptocurrencies.
The People Behind Monero
As I mentioned, Monero is not controlled by any central authority, institution, or foundation. But there is a core team of seven people who look after its development, research, and maintenance. These seven members crowdfund the project with their own money.
Out of this core team of seven members, two members have revealed their identity, and the rest of the members prefer to stay anonymous at this time.
Apart from the core team, there is the Monero Research Lab comprising of academics, scientists, and researchers in math and cryptography.
Total Supply of Monero
The mathematics of the total supply of Monero coins is pretty smart. There will be a total of 18.4 million XMR in circulation. Its mining will go until May 31, 2022, and after that, 0.3 XMR per minute will be fed into the system continuously forever.
This continuous supply of 0.3 XMR/minute will ensure that coins never run out of supply and incentive to miners will continue.
Apart from that, there will also be an acceptable inflation rate maintained by this supply.
Market Cap of Monero
At the time of writing this article, the total available circulating supply of Monero (XMR) is approximately 15.42 million, and the price of each unit of XMR is $173.18. (basilpuglisi first covered Monero when it was 42$ in June 2017)
Hence, the market capitalization of Monero (XMR) is $2.6 billion.
Where To Keep Monero?
You don’t have a lot of options to store your Monero (XMR).
But here at basilpuglisi, we try to equip you with tried and tested methods so that you don’t waste your time and money.
One such tested method is to create a “MyMonero” online wallet.
- Go to MyMonero.com
- Click on Create an Account.
- Write down your private key and keep it in a safe place.
- For confirmation, re-enter your private key.
That’s it; now you can access your “MyMonero” online wallet.
For a step by step guide on “MyMonero”, refer to:
Word of caution: Only with your private key can you access your Monero coins (XMR), so don’t misplace or lose your private key. And don’t store large amounts of XMRs in your online wallet.
The beta version of the Trezor wallet supporting XMR tokens is available, but it is not recommended to store a large amount of XMRs on it.
If you are comfortable with paper wallets (which are more secure), head to this address & generate your Monero paper wallet. I will be making a detailed guide on Monero paper wallets in future write-ups. For cold storage, refer to this guide.
Some of the exchanges which support Monero are:
Word of advice: Don’t store your coins on exchanges for a long time. Only 1-2 days is fine, but in general, this is a very bad and risky practice.
How To Buy Monero?
Buy Monero From Changelly
One of the easiest ways to get ahold of your first Monero (XMR) is to get it exchanged from Changelly.
To do this, you will need the following things:
- First, get your Monero address ready where you would like to receive your Monero.
- Second, you should have some bitcoins/altcoins to exchange for Monero.
Head toward basilpuglisi’s Cryptocurrency Exchange – Changelly and follow the steps given in this guide.
Note: Though the guide shows how to buy Ripple in exchange of BTC, the process is exactly the same to buy Monero.
Buy Monero From Exchanges
- Binance-Supported pairs XMR/BTC, XMR/ETH
- Bittrex-Supported pairs XMR/BTC, XMR/USDT, XMR/ETH
- Poloniex-Supported pairs XMR/BTC, XMR/ETH
- Bitfinex-Supported pairs XMR/USD, XMR/BTC
- Kraken-Supported pairs XMR/USD, XMR/EUR, XMR/BTC
- Cryptopia-Supported pairs XMR/USDT, XMR/LTC, XMR/BTC, XMR/DOGE
- Livecoin– Online exchange supporting wire transfer (SWIFT).
- Coincut– Online exchange supporting GBP bank transfer.
- LiteBit– Online exchange supporting multiple fiat purchase options.
- MoneroDirect– Uses OKPAY to offer MasterCard, VISA, Webmoney.
- MoneroForCash– Purchase with fiat money.
Monero vs. Bitcoin
Monero is a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin.
But unlike Bitcoin, it doesn’t have a finite supply.
Also unlike Bitcoin, it is untraceable and focuses on the privacy aspects of cryptocurrencies. Monero doesn’t use any logs or servers to store transactional history.
That’s why it is an obvious choice of “darknet” users.
Also, if Monero were to go for mainstream adoption by companies, governments, or big institutions, this type of super private technology only makes sense.
It also solves problems of scalability, anonymity, and constant supply.
There are some more features which allow Monero to compete with Bitcoin. Some of these are shown below:
These unique features make Monero one of the most lucrative and worth investing in cryptocurrencies. I know Bitcoin is enjoying the first mover’s advantage with the largest market cap at present, but other cryptos like Monero are not far behind.
You can act now and get some cheap Monero because it is still cheap
Who knows what will happen in the future…it might be in the top 5 cryptos…
Now you tell me: What do you think about Monero? Do you own any Monero? Do you see it becoming one of the next big altcoins? Share your views in the comments section below!
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Below are some links that may help you understand Monero further: