What are the characteristics of Monero?
Monero is a fully decentralized cryptocurrency with no central server for recording all payments. This cryptocurrency officially proclaims to be a private, secure, and completely untraceable currency system (“a person’s right to financial privacy“).
Monero operates on its own protocol called CryptoNote, which was created in reaction to the insufficient anonymity of Bitcoin transactions (Bitcoin is anonymous only until you identify the owner of a particular address, after which you know what transactions they have completed, unless they use a different address for each transaction). The main advantage of Monero is therefore the full anonymity and exchangeability of coins (that is, the movement of coins cannot be traced from the sequence of transactions in the blockchain).
Another advantage of Monero is the dynamic size of harvested blocks – this is adjusted according to the network workload. If the workload is increasing, the size of the block increases as well in order to absorb all the transactions. Monero’s principle is that the more transactions there are in the network, the lower the fees which are paid for them.
History of Monero
The cryptocurrency dates back to the year 2014. It was based on the CryptoNote protocol (a different protocol than Bitcoin’s – it’s not its „clone“), with the goal of ensuring improved anonymity of transactions and the users themselves. Monero’s actual creation carried the spirit of breaking off from Bitcoin which was the first cryptocurrency implementing Cryptonote. The problem was, however, that the majority of Bitcoin’s coins had been mined in advance by the currency’s authors (which defied one of the main points of cryptocurrency, which is independence and decentralization). For this reason, Monero was created by breaking off from Bitcoin; in addition, Monero also reduced block creation from 120 seconds to 60 and coin emission was slowed down by 50%. Later, Monero reverted back to a 120-second block (still 5x faster than Bitcoin), while maintaining its original reduced emission by doubling the reward per block.
The system of mining, or validating transactions, is based on the proof-of-work principle. This means that so-called miners play a significant role – using their computing power, they „mine“ new units according to a previously known timetable and, for a small fee, confirm transactions which are being completed. They also prevent changes from being made to the blockchain’s past records (abuse of the network). Interestingly, no specialized machines were created for mining Monero, unlike for Bitcoin or Litecoin (for example, Altminers). Mining is done by using GPUs or processors.
Using Monero is simple, just like using Bitcoin or Litecoin. You set up your own wallet (or you might already have a hardware wallet) and then you use a simple user interface to send or receive this cryptocurrency to the recepient’s address.
This is what the official deskop wallet’s interface looks like
See how Monero works in real life
Number of Monero coins
The total number of Monero coins does not have a set limit, but their emission is regulated. By May 2022, a total of 18,132,000 coins will be in circulation. Currently, over 17,000,000 coins of this cryptocurrency are in circulation. The coin is divisible to 12 decimal places and the smallest unit is called piconero.
All time high – 495,84 USD (7th of January 2018).
Monero can be purchased on the Binance cryptocurrency exchange where you can purchase Monero in conjunction with Bitcoin or Binance Coin. On Binance you can buy cryptocurrencies up to 2,500 USD without identity verification requirenments.
If you are planning on storing Monero in a hardware wallet, use one of the wallets pictured below.