Monero ($XMR) is a digital asset that provides users and their crypto-related transactions with a high level of privacy and anonymity. As it is with Bitcoin—the leading cryptocurrency—Monero is also decentralized and a secure peer-to-peer cryptocurrency but more privacy-oriented than BTC.

With a developer community ranking third in size, Monero follows Ethereum and Bitcoin in terms of active participation. Monero's open-source protocol originates from CryptoNote, as outlined in Nicolas van Saberhagen's 2013 whitepaper. Focusing on privacy, Monero leverages zero-knowledge proofs, ring signatures, IP obscuring techniques, and stealth addresses to obfuscate transaction information. These inherent features are ingrained in Monero's protocol, allowing users the option to share view keys for third-party auditing purposes.

Monero validates transactions via a miner network running RandomX, which is proof-of-work. With Swapzone, users can easily swap XMR to over 1600+ other assets among 15 different instant exchanges, in just a few clicks.

Monero Exchange Rate

XMR by TradingView

What Is Monero?

Monero is an exceptional digital asset that prioritizes decentralization, privacy, and security. Its groundbreaking encryption techniques ensure that all transactions remain untraceable and unlinkable. The project's remarkable success within the cryptocurrency space can be attributed, in part, to its powerful anonymization feature.

Unlike typical tokens like BTC, Monero users are provided with a public key or unique wallet address for transaction purposes. With traditional tokens, if someone receives a public address, they can easily ascertain the amount of tokens held and even access information about recent transactions associated with that address. However, Monero's innovative approach ensures that such transparency is not possible, preserving the privacy and confidentiality of its users.

Most blockchain networks, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Tron store or record these transactions. However, with Monero, the sender has no access to the recipient’s crypto holdings, even if they know the receiver’s public address. All deals are untraceable, and the coins given to the recipient go through a one-time randomly generated address for that transaction.

Monero’s ledger also does not store the recipient and sender’s actual stealth addresses, and the one-time generated address that it records isn’t traceable to any party’s actual address. This makes inspecting or identifying the project’s opaque blockchain ledger a fruitless activity.

Who Are the Founders of Monero?

During the development of Monero, the cryptocurrency industry was not as widely recognized and popular as it is today. As a result, the team of developers working on the project primarily did so out of curiosity and interest. Despite rumors suggesting that Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious creator of Bitcoin, may have been involved in the invention of Monero (XMR), no confirmation has ever been provided. The original Monero team consisted of five developers, three of whom remained anonymous and used pseudonyms, while the other two were publicly known.

What Makes Monero Unique?

Monero is one of the leading privacy coins globally and is unique for many reasons, including the following:

  • Monero is the first digital asset that offers users complete anonymity. An example of this feature is that the total amount reflected in your wallet isn’t made public. This is a cool feature, especially as an anti-hacking benefit, because hackers can’t see how much an address or wallet holds or know how much or little they should steal.
  • CryptoNight algorithm is another reason it is unique and different from other projects. Monero doesn’t involve ASICs in mining. It allows only GPUs and CPUs making it a fair and accessible asset that truly enables decentralization and stops resourceful miners from getting bigger control over assets.
  • It is completely fungible. Fungibility means that two units of XMR can be substituted for one another without any difference. Every unit is the same and has no distinguishing quality that can make them “tainted” or face discrimination since there is no way to trace where the coin had been. This is unlike USD notes that have traceable unique serial numbers or Bitcoin that reveal transaction history, showing whether the coin has been used for unlawful transactions or not.
  • Amounts being transferred in any contract are also obscured, so outsiders can’t know how much the sender is transferring to the recipient.

What Gives Monero Value?

Most users consider anonymity and privacy the two factors that give Monero its value. It offers millions of users the chance to make transactions whenever they want without worrying about their wallet address being tracked by hackers, the government, or third parties.

Companies can’t blacklist XMR for suspected criminal links because there’s no way actually to trace them—they are fungible. Besides, it has value for investors who believe and hope that the demand for anonymity and privacy will increase and make the market for privacy coins bullish, driving up market cap and price.

How Is Monero Different From Bitcoin?

Bitcoin uses randomly generated alpha-numeric pseudo name addresses to shield the identity of participants but with limited privacy. Transaction details on bitcoin are registered on the blockchain and hence open to public access.

Monero uses a randomly generated one-time address for every transaction, and transactions have non-traceable history. Bitcoin relies on the SHA-256 algorithm for its mining, while Monero uses Cryptonight/GPU mining.

How Does Monero Improve Privacy?

Monero removes privacy concerns and improves them by using important concepts that are at play in some of the recent privacy-based projects.

  • Ring Signatures: They allow a sender to hide their identity from other participants in a group. It is impossible to know which member’s keys were used to create a signature.
  • Stealth Address: They add extra privacy because they are randomly generated addresses for one-time use for every transaction. It helps conceal the actual destination address of a transaction and obscures the recipient’s identity.
  • Ring Confidential Transactions (RingCT): They enable the obfuscation of the amount within a transaction on the Monero network.

Monero’s Challenges

No doubt, the rapid adoption of Monero has been down to its privacy features, but this also brings some challenges.

  • Privacy and non-traceability features allow people to use Monero for different activities and in questionable spaces like the darknet/dark web.
  • A 2018 CNBC report showed that North Korean hackers created malicious software that infected people’s computers and mined Monero, which they sent back to North Korea.
  • Users can use Monero for illegal and illicit activities against the law because it remains outside capital controls with zero traceability. This has made some governments consider placing restrictions or bans on cryptocurrency.

How to Use Monero

You can leverage Monero for daily transactions or simply buy and hold. It can be used the same way as fiat money, allowing holders to make deposits, transfer funds, or swap for other cryptos or fiat discretely and anonymously.

How to Mine Monero

Monero runs on all the top operating system platforms such as macOS, Linux, Windows, FreeBSD, and even Android. The mining process allows individuals to receive rewards for their activities by joining mining pools or mining individually (solo mining).

You can mine on a standard computer without using specific hardware like the expensive application-specific integrated circuits (ASICS). Your computer’s CPU or GPU can help you mine XMR with Monero’s proof-of-work mining algorithm.

Frequently asked questions

How many Monero are left?


As of now, the number of available Monero (XMR) coins is 18.39 million. Unlike certain cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, which have a supply cap, Monero does not have a specified maximum limit on the number of coins that can be in circulation. This means that the supply of XMR coins can continue to grow over time with each block reward, ensuring ongoing mining incentives for participants in the Monero network.

Is it safe to buy Monero?


Monero itself is a secure cryptocurrency, but the overall security of your Monero holdings relies on the safety of the wallet in which they are stored. Just like with any investment, prioritizing the security of your Monero is crucial. The security of your Monero is directly linked to the wallet you choose to store them in. Ledger hardware wallets have been specifically designed to provide a high level of security for storing Monero and other cryptocurrencies, offering an additional layer of protection against potential threats.

How is Monero untraceable?


To ensure privacy, Monero employs a cryptographic mechanism known as confidential transactions. This tool effectively conceals the amount of XMR (Monero's native cryptocurrency) transferred in each transaction. By encrypting the transaction amounts, only the sender and receiver, who possess the appropriate keys, can access the actual amounts exchanged. This feature guarantees confidentiality and prevents unwanted parties from gaining insights into transaction value, enhancing the privacy and security of Monero transactions.

Why is it so hard to buy Monero?


Compared to widely recognized cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, purchasing Monero (XMR) presents more limited options. This is primarily due to Monero's emphasis on privacy and anonymity, which can make it less accessible on regular exchanges. Unlike the straightforward process of buying Bitcoin or Ethereum with a credit card or bank transfer on most platforms, acquiring XMR often requires utilizing specialized cryptocurrency exchanges that prioritize privacy-conscious transactions. These considerations contribute to the perception that buying Monero is comparatively more challenging than acquiring other popular cryptocurrencies.

What are the weaknesses of Monero?


Monero, being a fungible cryptocurrency, ensures that transactions on its privacy-focused blockchain cannot be traced back to specific users. In other words, it is not possible to identify the sender, receiver, or amount involved in any given transaction on the Monero blockchain. This characteristic, while promoting privacy, has also made Monero less favored among financial regulators who prioritize transparency. The inability to track and link transactions has been a point of concern for regulatory bodies, contributing to Monero's reputation and relative unpopularity from a regulatory standpoint.

Does XMR have a limited supply?


Monero (XMR) does not have a limited supply. Unlike some cryptocurrencies with a predefined maximum number of coins, Monero continuously creates new coins through mining rewards, allowing its supply to expand over time.

Is XMR a coin or token?


XMR is a cryptocurrency that operates as a coin. It has its own dedicated blockchain and functions independently, distinguishing it from tokens that are built on existing blockchain platforms such as Ethereum.

Recent articles

Browse all

Learn how to exchange cryptocurrency with the lowest fees or zero fees as well as how to find the best crypto exchange rates and choose the safest cryptocurrency exchange provider.