Monero is an open-source cryptocurrency and currency system. Monero puts a focus on ensuring that transactions are untraceable and secure by using a unique method of cryptography. A notable differentiator between Monero and other cryptocurrencies is their obfuscated public ledger. Anyone can send transactions. However, nobody can identify the source, destination, or amount of a particular transaction.
Additionally, user account balances are also hidden. It is highly uncommon among cryptocurrencies for such in-depth privacy features. This sets Monero itself apart from the rest of the market.
In 2014, a fork in Bytecoin’s codebase birthed a combination of Bitcoin and Monero. This lead to the currency name of BitMonero. Bytecoin was the original version of CryptoNote, which is the protocol that powers many decentralized cryptocurrencies. This Bytecoin fork was the result of many unhappy members of the cryptocurrency community who noticed a dishonest publication of coins. This communal effort was led by user and developer who went under the pseudonym, Johnny Mnemonic. BitMonero was eventually renamed Monero, which means “coin” in the Esperanto language.
Monero’s advancements in privacy began to attract users and an increased volume of transactions throughout 2016. Not surprisingly, Monero was the fastest growing and best-performing cryptocurrency that year. This quick growth, however, was not all created from quality sources. The darknet market was using Monero as a way to collect payment for illegal materials. Everything from stolen credit cards to narcotics was being bought and sold with Monero. Monero was especially appealing due to its hyper-secure nature. In 2017, primary darknet market sources were shut down, helping to limit the illegal use of Monero.
2017 proved as an important year for Monero’s security and privacy features. Their team had adopted an algorithm from Bitcoin Developer, Gregory Maxwell. This algorithm was called Confidential Transactions and allowed for hidden transaction amounts along with several other improvements.
As of 2018, seven developers comprised the core team behind Monero. They unofficially go by the pseudonym, Luigi1111.
Despite considerable growth and efforts to improve Monero’s foundation, 2017 brought upon serious privacy threats to Monero users. Input amounts were being exposed, users were “churning” (sending funds to themselves), and ring signature outputs could easily be predicted. Monero’s research department highlighted these underlying issues and implemented plans to address and fix them.
Monero prides itself on providing features that allow users to conduct untraceable transactions and, “be their own bank.” In parallel, Monero also gives users the option to provide selective transparency to any parties involved in a transaction.
When buying monero, fee amounts can vary depending on which exchange a user goes through. Monero recommends using a direct trading exchange such as Kraken. Additionally, Bitcoin or Litecoin can be purchased, then used to trade or convert to Monero. Users can access different BTC/XMR exchange services. Some user-friendly options include Changelly and Shapeshift.io. Monero can also be purchased by buying Bitcoin or Litecoin, and then exchanged for Monero using Poloniex. Coinbase or Binance are popular trading methods as well, depending on the user’s preference.
It's important to make sure that your cryptocurrencies are safely stored after purchasing them. Users will need to find a secure wallet hold their Monero. The Monero GUI Wallet is a popular desktop option that is designed explicitly for XMR. MyMonero is a web-based wallet with what many would consider being a simple user interface. Monerujo, contrary to other cryptocurrency wallets, is mobile-based. This open-source wallet uses remote nodes which sync to Monero’s blockchain. Monerujo could be an appropriate option for users who seek the ability to manage their Monero on the go.
As of September 2018, Monero’s price peaked in January of 2018 at $542.33. This peak occurred from several factors. The token price has since stayed between a range of $85 to $150 during the summer of 2018. While there is data to infer the future of Monero, many factors need to be taken into account when making an XMR price prediction. While experts expect the price of XMR to rise, 2018 has proven to be a year of rapid fluctuations for the market.
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