When the whole Bitcoin scene took the world by storm, it opened the doors for so many similar yet unique crypto projects. However, not ever crypto project could enjoy the same level of popularity on and off the charts. But obviously popularity doesn’t really do justice when it comes to truly gauging a project’s potential. Some of the lesser-known cryptocurrencies have stirred up the cryptoverse, sometimes more so than the really famous ones. Which brings us to Monero, which despite not being initially popular as other cryptocurrencies of similar market capitalization were, still managed to attract quite the loyal following and garner respect in the cryptocurrency community.
What is Monero?
Monero is basically a decentralized blockchain, but what sets it apart from the plethora of blockchains, is its focus on complete anonymity. And due to its single-minded emphasis on privacy, a section of the crypto community has gone as far as to refer to Monero as “what Bitcoin was meant to be”.
Monero (XMR) was originally launched back in the April of 2014, and it was known as BitMonero, where Monero literally means money in Esperanto. It is a fork of Bytecoin and is a super secure, private and untraceable currency, and is built on the Cryptonote protocol and Ring Signatures.
Ring signatures go way back to 2001, where they were originally proposed at a 2001 Cryptography conference in Queensland, Australia, which was called the Asiacrypt. In Monero it has become the core mechanism behind the structuring of transactions after being broadcasted from the wallet.
Key Features of Monero
Privacy is really the USP for Monero. Monero’s stealth addresses are fundamental use case behind it as they assure that the transactions are not linkable or traceable. Thus, it offers protection and privacy to both, the sender and the receiver. Moreover, it also allows for selective observation of transactions through a public/private view key construct, in addition to normal private/public keys.
Also the public and hidden Monero ledger provides anyone with the opportunity to send and receive transactions in a private manner. This protects the identity of the sender from any outside observer, as well as the amount or destination.
Monero has a variable block limit, the point of which is to allow for flexibility in data management and scalability as well. And it is highly needed by Monero in particular because of its specific architecture, where transactions are surrounded by much more cryptography and data.
Fungibilty refers to the characteristic of equal units of currency to be valued equally regardless of their source, usage or any other effect. Monero claims to be truly fungible and that in itself is pretty interesting as this particular feature isn’t shared by many different cryptocurrencies. It is because of the fact that blockchains are public, and coins can be blacklisted based on their source.
Now this is a trait that many cryptocurrencies have in common, however they are decentralized only to certain extent. What happens is with ASIC miners minting a lot of the everyday produced coins, the supply of these cryptocurrencies is excessively in the control of a handful of people. Whereas with Monero, mining is only possible via CPUs and GPUs, hence it is a much more decentralized currency around.
New coins on the platform are issued via the Proof-of-Work (PoW) mechanism, which goes by the name of CryptoNight. This basically incentivizes the Monero miners to secure the network and validate transactions as well.
Monero has garnered a well-supported developer community, with a Monero Original wallet available on multiple platforms, that include:
- Hardware Monero wallet integrations
The reigns of the very promising Monero are in the hands of a group of seven developers. Interestingly enough five of those chose to maintain their anonymity. The ones that have chosen to come out are, David Latapie and Riccardo Spagni aka “Fluffypony”. Plus the team has kept the project as open sourced and crowd funded.
What Does the Future Hold For Monero?
As different industries are become more open to the whole concept of decentralization, Monero’s allure will only increase, with its potential to offer unprecedented security to its users. Probably the most interesting thing about Monero is that its one of the very few non-Bitcoin based coins that have the tendency to soar in the market.