The Beginner’s Guide to Monero (XMR) – What You Need to Know

Beginner’s Guide / 26.02.2020

Monero is a cryptocurrency that emphasizes privacy and fungibility concerning all transactions occurring on its blockchain network. It was created in April 2014 to make transactions private. Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies developed into the crypto space were easily traceable, and Monero was created to ensure complete financial privacy.

Monero in a nutshell

  • Monero is a secured privacy coin.
  • Its transactions are untraceable with the use of Ring signatures privacy features.
  • It’s highly secured by a strong decentralized cryptographic network making it highly difficult for hackers to attack the system.
  • It has several privacy features like Stealth One-Time address that makes transactions unlinkable to any particular user, unlike other major cryptocurrencies.

A Brief History of Monero

Monero’s development was spearheaded by thankful_for_today, a bitcointalk forum user who forked the codebase of Bytecoin and named it as BitMonero. Thankful-for-today’s plans on upgrading Bytecoin in the aspects of block time, block reward, the BitMonero Community did not accept tail emission. This led to the vanishing of thankful_for_today from the project until some community members took the initiative of developing the project. Johnny Mnemonic, together with other developers, took over the BitMonero and renamed it Monero.

After two years of development, Monero was adopted by several crypto enthusiasts because of the privacy features that made it impossible for anybody outside the network to trace transactions to any user. Its market cap grew mainly as it was being used by people who operated within the darknet market. Monero became the preferred cryptocurrency for transactions over the dark web to purchase guns, drugs, etc.

Along the line, Gregory Maxwell’s algorithm Confidential Transactions was inculcated into Monero, further improving upon the privacy. This development additionally brought other blockchain influencers like Christopher Cantwell and Andrew Auernheimer, who started using Monero as a payment method and promoting it.

On the other hand, hackers took advantage of the growth of Monero. They deployed several mining codes into software applications and websites, which mined them without computer users’ knowledge. Malware and Antivirus Service in 2017 later blocked this dubious act.

How does Monero Work

Most of the major cryptocurrencies that have been launched into this industry had Bitcoin as its substrate. Still, Monero was engineered from a whole new different protocol, which is the CryptoNote protocol. This protocol is coupled with several privacy features that hide all transactions made by it, making it difficult to trace any transaction to a particular individual.

One of the privacy features used is Ring Confidential Transactions, which mixes the transaction with several other transactions making it untraceable and having any connection with any individual. The use of Ring Signatures combines a sender’s input to the other ten inputs making the transaction untraceable. Though the idea is to make transactions secured, it has to be verifiable without relieving the transaction’s exact details. The bulletproof feature has been integrated to ensure that transactions are verified without displaying the sender, amount sent, and any other information that reveals the user.

How to mine Monero Coin

Though bitcoin and most other major cryptocurrencies were created to be decentralized, most of them are not as their blockchain network seems to be controlled by some mining pools on the network. Bitcoin has been criticized several times that most Chinese mining firms control it and its network, as they have sophisticated mining farms to increase their mining power. These mining farms are filled with the Application-Specific Integrated Circuit, which increases their chance of mining on the network.

Monero was created to be fully decentralized, hence resistant to the use of ASICs as mining. The hardware used in mining is x86, x86-64, ARM, and GPUs. These are straightforward operating systems that anybody can set up to mine Monero coin. As time went on, the developers of Monero introduced RandomX Proof-of-work, which further was to strengthen the network against ASIC mining.

You can mine Monero by downloading any of their client suitable for your computer from the list below:

Windows

Linux

IOS

NB: All the above clients are 64-bit based operating systems.

Forks of Monero Coin

Developers at some point in time always disagree on some features or use cases of a project, and this leads to the division of blockchain communities. Bitcoin, Ethereum, and most of the major cryptocurrencies have all undergone forks due to some disagreements among the blockchain projects’ community members. Monero has also faced similar past issues, which led to the forks of coins like Monero Original (XMO) and Monero 0 (XMO). We will see two major forks happen on the Monero blockchain network in the nearest future, and these are MoneroV (XMV) and Monero Classic (XMC).

How to buy Monero

Aside from mining Monero coin as a miner on the blockchain network, you can decide to purchase it from Over-the-Counter platforms and Exchange platforms. Below are some of the platforms that you can buy Monero (XMR) from:

Binance

Bittrex

Coinbase

How much is Monero Coin

The price of XMR at the time of writing is $71.12, making it the 13th more valuable coin, according to coinmarketcap. It has a market cap of over $1 billion and a 24-hour volume of $141,387,122. XMR attained an all-time high of $495.84 on January 7, 2018, and an all-time low of $0.212 on January 14, 2015.

The Benefits of using Monero Coin

Monero Coin is used mostly in the dark web and other marketplaces that want to conduct transactions secretly. Basically, if you are thinking of making any transaction with anyone in the crypto industry and want to stay private, Monero is the ideal cryptocurrency.

Final Thoughts

Monero is the first privacy coin to be launched in the crypto industry. It has gained mass adoption and use by several crypto enthusiasts, especially people who use the dark web. Several other privacy and zero coins have been generated alongside Monero, and this clearly shows how crypto enthusiasts wish to stay anonymous in their transactions.

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Holds a degree in BSc. Nursing from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana yet an addict to the blockchain technology and the cryptosphere. He combines the promotion of crypto projects and also the making of professional contents all to get innovative projects to the real world. He is a passionate Community manager and a Marketing Advisor for blockchain startups.