What is Monero (XMR)? Future of XMR Cryptocurrency and know how to buy XMR
#1 - What is Monero (XMR)?
Monero doesn’t enjoy the popularity that many other cryptocurrencies of similar market capitalization do. Despite this, it has attracted quite a loyal following, and respect amongst the cryptocurrency community. A section of the masses even calls it ‘what Bitcoin was meant to be’. This is due to its single-minded focus on privacy.
Monero: The Basics
Monero is a decentralized blockchain which allows for complete anonymity of the transactions of its users when they use its network. Its cryptocurrency is denoted by the symbol XMR, with a total supply of 18.4 million coins.
The coin was born in April 18th, 2014, originally named ‘BitMonero’, from a hard fork of another coin called Bytecoin - which had been plagued by issues such as hacks and vulnerabilities. Within a week, the name was updated to Monero.
Monero uses the CryptoNight algorithm to secure its network and offer privacy to its users. This is different from Bitcoin’s SHA-256 algorithm that its miners use.
#2 - What are the Benefits of Monero?
Monero boasts of a dedicated community of developers who continue to innovate and push new changes to Monero technology fairly regularly. It is not promoted by any single organization, but is instead a community effort from all over the globe.
Riccardo Spagni is the most popular amongst its development team. He joined in on Monero development in 2014 and has led the way in many of its updates.
Monero’s first transaction was a painting purchase. It sold for 2500 XMR - valued at about $1500-3000 back then, which would be worth USD 325,000 as of June 2018.
In 2017, Monero expanded its privacy features when Gregory Maxwell’s algorithm - Confidential Transactions - was implemented in Monero. Now, even the amount value in transactions (and not just sender/receiver details) could be hidden.
Monero runs on the CryptoNight algorithm, which is distinct from the SHA-256 algorithm Bitcoin runs on. The algorithm emerged from the CryptoNote protocol, which allows for transactions on the blockchain to be ‘mixed’ with each other, making it difficult to trace where they actually originated from.
Since multiple sets of transactions being conducted on the Monero network are mixed with each other (a process called ‘ring mixing), it is fairly difficult to trace the source and origins of funds in them. A real-world analogy would involve multiple groups of senders pooling in their cash into a common pool, and having the receivers take away the amount they are owed. Except that in Monero, even the amount taken away would be hidden.
The algorithm is also not compatible with ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuit). This allows for more decentralization since people with powerful machines cannot mine Monero and gain a larger control on the network. Monero mining can be done exclusively via Central Processing Units (CPUs) or Graphical Processing Units (GPUs).
Privacy: Privacy is Montero's USP - it allows for truly anonymous transactions that cannot be traced. No one else can also see your wallet balance - which is a much-needed feature for many cryptocurrency users.
Fungibility: Monero is truly fungible, unlike many other cryptocurrencies. Fungibility refers to the characteristic of equal units of currency to be valued equally regardless of their source, usage or any other effect. This feature isn't shared by many cryptocurrencies since blockchains are public, and coins can be blacklisted based on their source. For eg., if you receive bitcoins that were stolen from a hack, exchanges or other receivers could refuse to accept them, for no fault of your own. With Monero being truly untraceable, every unit of Monero has the same value.
Decentralisation: Many cryptocurrencies are decentralised, but to a limited degree. With ASIC miners minting a lot of the coins that are produced every day, the supply of these cryptocurrencies is disproportionately controlled by a few people. With Monero mining only possible via CPUs and GPUs, it is a more decentralized cryptocurrency.
#3 - How to Buy and Store Monero?
How to buy Monero / How to buy XMR
Despite not sharing the same popularity as other coins, the Monero cryptocurrency has found itself listed and supported on multiple major exchanges - such as Binance, Bittrex, Cryptopia, OKEx and more.
It is very often paired with BTC, but has also been introduced to ETH and USDT pairings, and in some cases - even fiat currency like USD.
With the XMR cryptocurrency being available with over 80 pairings across nearly as many exchanges, it can get difficult to get the best price for your transactions. Which is where CoinSwitch steps in.
While cryptocurrency exchanges provide you a platform to buy or sell the XMR cryptocurrency, CoinSwitch comes in to help you make the right decision by providing the prices for XMR on multiple crypto exchanges. It supports more than 140 coins and 45,000 pairs of cryptocurrencies. You can choose whichever pair you want with your token and compare the prices at exchanges. This way you can choose the best deal for you!
What’s more - with CoinSwitch, best cryptocurrency exchange you do not rely on a separate XMR wallet from the exchange to store your XMR cryptocurrency. Instead, all transactions happen to and from your own personal private wallets.
Monero has a well-supported developer community, with a Monero Original wallet available on multiple platforms, including:
Hardware Monero wallet integrations - like Ledger and Trezor.
#4 - What is the future of Monero?
As of June 2018, its market capitalization stands at $2.6 billion, putting it in the top 15 cryptocurrencies of the world. The total supply of the Monero cryptocurrency (XMR) is about 15.42 million, with a value of $155.89 per unit.
With privacy and anonymity becoming increasingly important in nearly all markets, Monero is very well placed to be at the center of the shift to privacy-centric technology. Monero has a fairly large history amongst the cryptocurrency industry, having launched in 2014. Priced at around $8 during the end of 2016, it rose with rapid pace to touch over $400 - giving its investors an impressive 50x returns in just about a year. As of May 2018, it was trading at upwards of $200 on global exchanges.
Many analysts suggest it will eventually touch $1000 as well, with its increasing adoption and use cases being recognized by a wide range of sources.
#5 - How is Monero different from other cryptocurrencies?
As discussed earlier in this post, Monero has multiple standout features making it unique from most other cryptocurrencies.
It is entirely anonymous and private, unlike its counterparts Bitcoin and Ethereum, which lay bare their blockchains for everyone to take a look at.
It is also truly fungible - a characteristic every ideal cryptocurrency should have, but is, unfortunately, lacking in many.
Monero is also more decentralized since its CryptoNight algorithm helps in keeping ASICs away from Monero mining. This makes it a more equitable technology, and more resistant to power grabs from resourceful miners with powerful machines.
Faster: A block is added to Montero's blockchain every 2 minutes, compared to the far larger 5-10 minutes Bitcoin takes.
#6 - Should you Invest in Monero?
From an investment perspective, even if you personally do not require privacy and anonymity in your transactions, it is undeniable that a significant chunk of the world’s market desire it. This makes investing in Monero a fairly obvious decision.
Monero has been gaining wide acceptance in privacy-centric sectors - which also includes controversial platforms such as websites on the darknet. This raises some concerns around Monero’s acceptability in the long term and whether it’ll face regulatory hurdles. But on the other hand, it is also a sign of its prowess as a privacy-centric coin.
With many other mainstream brands also beginning to accept Monero, its future does look bright. Its developers have exhibited solid dedication to the project, with frequent updates and efforts to keep the network thriving and secure.