Monero, which was launched in 2014, stands apart from many of the popular cryptocurrencies in circulation today. Though it maintains the decentralized nature that boosted the popularity of cryptocurrency, Monero has been touted as offering increased privacy and security when compared to its competition.
While many of today’s most popular cryptocurrencies were built off the same blockchain as Bitcoin, Monero (XMR) stands apart, developing after a fork from Bytecoin. Today, Monero has risen to the top of some cryptocurrency circles due to its ability to anonymize transactions.
How is that different than other forms of cryptocurrencies? Though those who use other forms of cryptocurrency gain increased privacy when compared to centralized currencies, like euros, dollars, and yen, transactions are not fundamentally private. Instead, they exist on a public, open ledger, and coin transactions can be traced and viewed.
Conversely, founders David Latapie, Riccardo Spagni, and five other developers who remain anonymous launched Monero in an attempt to further address some of the common security and privacy weaknesses associated with other types of cryptocurrency.
In many ways, Monero is fundamentally different from its predecessors and existing competition, but there are a few significant differences that really set it apart.
As mentioned previously, one of the most significant differentiating characteristics of Monero is anonymity. Monero uses the CryptoNote protocol, and transaction within Monero are untraceable and cannot be linked to the original currency holder. This is in large part due to the way transactions take place. Many other trending cryptocurrencies rely on a user address to complete a transaction, moving the coin from one address to another on the public ledger.
Monero transactions implement a third, randomly created address as a "man in the middle,"so to speak. This reroutes traffic from the sender to the random address, and then from that address to the recipient. It's this random address that is recorded on the blockchain, shielding both the sender and the recipient from view.
In addition to a unique transit route and recording method, Monera also uses a “ring signature” to further mask transaction details. In this case, every transaction is grouped with other, non-related transactions, and those transactions are all mixed, making it hard to identify an exchange path and adding another layer of protection.
Finally, Monero has been viewed as highly scalable, whereas many other cryptocurrencies lack this claim due to mining maximums and transaction speeds. One reason for this is that Monero does not limit growth by pre-determined block size limits. Block size limits are often put in place to prevent malicious attempted to create large blocks that disproportionately dwarf other blocks on the network; however, Monera uses a penalty system that the decreases the block reward when any block exceeds the median size of the last 100 blocks mined, thus deterring or preventing disproportionate growth.
Though Monero is considered currency, it is not a physical coin or dollar. Instead, to access and use your Monero, you must have both the blockchain location (address) and corresponding key, which is similar to a password or pin.
Like other cryptocurrencies, Monero holders must use a “wallet” to access and use the cryptocurrency. There are numerous types of wallets, including online, software-based wallets; hardware wallets, such as Trezor; or paper wallets (often considered “cold” wallets) which exist offline.
To help you manage your Monero, xCoin offers the xCoin wallet to anyone who purchases Monero through our exchange. As such, you’ll gain easy, safe, and secure access to your Monero, allowing you to monitor, spend, or transfer it as you wish.
As cryptocurrencies like Monero become more popular among consumers, more and more retailers and businesses are accepting them as payment. Monero can be used to secure a variety of VPN and hosting services as well as to purchase unique services like nutritional therapy and immigration legal services. Additionally, Monero has also become popular among musicians, with Weezer, Lumineers, and Slayer, and several others using the currency.
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