Monero Cryptocurrency – Does it tackle anonymity

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Monero Cryptocurrency – Does it tackle anonymity?

At its official website Monero, is presented as a secure, private and untraceable cryptocurrency. Monero uses a special type of cryptography to keep all transactions 100% untraceable and hence, anonymous.

Even though bitcoin is said to be an “anonymous cryptocurrency”, it’s not absolutely true. Read more to find out what is the difference between the two currencies.

In a nutshell, Monero is open-source and accessible to all. It doesn’t use any central server to record all transactions. One of the main benefits is low fees. The more transaction in the network, the lower the fee. All transactions are stored in two-minute intervals into a block and then put together into a blockchain – similar to litecoin. Transactions are validated through mining, the same as other major cryptocurrencies.

History of Monero

Everybody knows that Bitcoin was created in 2009. In 2020, it was followed by a “rival” Bytecoin, the first real implementation of CryptoNote. (CryptoNote is an underlying protocol used for the creation of numerous cryptocurrencies, very similar to the one used for bitcoin).

The problem was that 80% of coins were pre-mined by the authors of this cryptocurrency. This was bad news for Bytecoin. Therefore, it was decided to split the currency and create a new coin called Bitmonero, later shortened to Monero. This new blockchain adds a new block every two minutes, about five times faster than bitcoin.

Monero is controlled by a core team of seven developers, five remaining in anonymity and two revealing their identity: Davida Latapie, and Riccardo Spagni.

In the second half of 2020 you may have noticed a strange phenomenon: Monero mining websites. The case was that some web administrators installed a javascript code into their websites, which then led to illegal use of the computers of their visitors. Browsing over the internet and reading texts on the websites, the visitors unwantingly mined the cryptocurrency, which ended up in the pockets of the website owners.

What is so unique about Monero?

Monero has become popular thanks to a few unique features:

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  1. Your money is only yours.
    It’s only you who controls your transactions. Your identity is secured and nobody can track down what you used your money for, where you got it and how much of it you have. Unlike bitcoin.
  2. Monero is ASIC resistant.
    It doesn’t mean that it’s resistant in the true sense of the word. Given Monero’s underlying algorithm CryptoNote (using a hash system called CryptoNight), the ASIC miner would be so expensive that the production would not pay off.

Monero vs. Bitcoin

As opposed to bitcoin boasting its openness, which means that your transactions can be tracked down to the origin by anyone anytime, Monero’s mission is to be absolutely anonymous. All transactions are hidden. No miner, government, police, not even your mum will see any of them.

The blockchain of Monero has no limit and is dynamically scalable. Unlike bitcoin, Monero has enjoyed a long-term and stable growth. New coins are being pumped into the network. Monero supports only few hardware wallets. The transactions fees are low. While in bitcoin the fee grows with the number of transactions, in Monero this is the opposite.

Monero price / value

As already mentioned, Monero has been steadily growing for a long period of time. It was created after a fork from Bytecoin. The mining time was reduced from 120 to 60 seconds and the reward for mining a block halved. Later the mining time was set back to 120 seconds and the reward doubled. After the launch, speculators made the value plummet to a few dollars. Lower demand resulted into a fall. Few months later, the crypto recovered and stabilised at 0.5 USD/ XMR. In the next year, the value of XMR oscillated between 0.2 and 1 dollar.

2020 was a breakthrough year. The rate grew sharply mostly due to illicit trading at AlphaBay. In 2020, the value skyrocketed by 2760% (bitcoin 119%). The upward trend went on in 2020. In late May, the company admitted that there was a big flaw in the system enabling to generate an unlimited number of coins. The market reacted by falling from 60 to 30 dollars. After that the rate quickly returned to the previous level and continues to grow.

Where and how to buy Monero

You can buy Monero online via exchanges such as Bitfinex or Binance or through mining. To keep your coins safe you can download a wallet onto your PC or use a web wallet My Monero. There are also various wallets for smartphones but these are not trustworthy. When creating a wallet you will get a private key that you must keep in a safe place. Monero is divisible into 12 decimal places. The smallest unit is piconero. It is estimated that within the next eight years, the number of coins will reach 18.4 million.

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More about the author J. Pro

Unlike Stephen (the other author) I have been thinking mainly about online business lately. I wasn’t very successfull with dropshipping on Amazon and other ways of making money online, and I’d only earn a few hundreds of dollars in years. But then binary options caught my attention with it’s simplicity. Now I’m glad it did because it really is worth it. More posts by this author

Monero – Privacy and Anonymity on the Blockchain

Fittingly, the exact origin story behind Monero is still somewhat mysterious. Like digital cash, it’s untraceable as it changes hands.

What is Monero?

The concept behind Monero was first published by Nicolas van Saberhagen. This name was later proven to be a pseudonym and can refer to either an individual creator or developing team.

Monero was created to enhance the user’s anonymity, an issue that was increasingly experienced in the Bitcoin community.

While Nicolas van Saberhagen came up with the idea behind the cryptocurrency, it was coded by a user simply known by their online pseudonym “thankful_for_today”.

Monero was initially called Bitmonero, taking the “monero” part from Esperanto, where the term means coin. However, after a hard fork in 2020, the cryptocurrency evolved into the Monero that we know today.

While users technically enjoy a degree of anonymity on the Bitcoin network, the network still allows transactions to be traced back to the accounts from which they originated. In addition, users on the bitcoin network can see each other’s total bitcoin holdings available in their accounts.

While it’s relatively easy for bitcoin users to keep their real-life identities hidden on the Bitcoin network, it becomes difficult to do so once you engage in any Bitcoin deals that require you to use your name.

After attaching your name to a deal, it becomes easy for other users to trace transactions back to you. While the regular user would not be too alarmed by this, those users who need bitcoin for not-so-legal activities obviously consider this a major issue.

To address this, Monero uses several techniques to ensure anonymity on its network. All users are issued with “stealth addresses”. These unique addresses are encrypted which prevents any transactions from being traced back to its account of origin.

In addition, the Monero network lumps hundreds of transactions together, meaning that it’s incredibly difficult for a curious user to single anyone transaction. The exact amount in every transaction is also not displayed, which makes any tracking virtually impossible.

Monero is an open-source cryptocurrency that focuses on privacy, decentralization and scalability.

Emergent Privacy Problems

Recently, it was discovered that hackers have taken to targeting YouTube ads in order to distribute cryptocurrency mining malware to audiences all over the world. Attacks of this nature often referred to as “cryptojacking,” have become more popular and frequent ever since the price increase of most major cryptocurrencies over the last few months.

Cryptojacking involves the distribution of malicious code that allows the hacker to hijack the victim’s computer processing units (CPUs) to covertly mine cryptocurrency to the benefit of the responsible hacker.

While the increasing frequency of the attacks is unsurprising, the surprising factor is the fact that all these attacks use Monero as their mining cryptocurrency of choice.

Monero was established in 2020 and was created to allow its users’ maximum anonymity. However, a 2020 report from Wired notes that this enhanced anonymity has made Monero a popular currency on the Dark Web.

The Dark Web is perhaps a somewhat notorious online black market where users frequently use cryptocurrencies to purchase questionable and illegal goods such as stolen credit card information, weaponry, and illegal substances.

Ever since the Wired initial report, however, Monero has become more prominent in mainstream culture. At the time of writing, Monero is ranked as the world’s 13th largest cryptocurrency, in terms of market capitalization .

Over the past month, Monero reached a high of $420. It is currently trading at a 40% discount of $248.

According to the cryptocurrency coin rankings, Monero is currently priced at $248 per coin. Experts also predict future great expectations for the cryptocurrency and believe that Monero could become even more prominent and valuable in 2020.

However, what exactly is Monero, how can you invest in it, and what can be expected from this cryptocurrency in the future?

What’s next for Monero?

Monero offers an alternative to the original p2p coin model. Its privacy capabilities allow the consumer/investor/holder certain privileges that other coins just can’t provide.

In addition, the Bitcoin network has become increasingly impractical in its transaction times and fees as the network has become too popular. Even if the Bitcoin network could solve its structural problems, its issues of privacy remain.

For example, even if you could pay your bills using Bitcoin, your creditors could still see how much money you actually have available in your account. Monero offers its users much more privacy in this respect in addition to a more practical network.

Monero might also be pushed to new heights as influential figures join its developing team. Charlie Lee, who became famous as Litecoin’s creator and founder, tweeted that he would like to collaborate with Monero so that the two cryptocurrencies could be integrated seamlessly.

Although @fluffypony was kidding here, I think it would be good for Litecoin and Monero (2 of the top non-scam coins ��) to work together. A while back, I proposed to him that we work on making it easy for people to do on-chain atomic swaps of LTC and XMR in a decentralized way. https://t.co/idDn7Dmzf7

However, the cryptocurrency industry is becoming increasingly competitive and Monero has a growing list of worthy competitors that are likely to give it a run for its digital money.

For example, both Dash and ZCash offer similar privacy protocols and are currently worth more than Monero at $685 and $385, respectively.

How to Buy Monero

While Monero is not currently available on Coinbase, the interested investor has plenty of other options.

Popular cryptocurrency exchange platforms such as Bitfinex and Kraken allow you to buy Monero using fiat currency, while over-the-counter

Explainer: ‘Privacy coin’ Monero offers near total anonymity

LONDON (Reuters) – Bitcoin’s share of the cryptocurrency market is sliding, with a host of alternative digital coins gaining ground as developers race to create digital cash that can gain a footing in mainstream commerce and finance.

As these “altcoins” grow in prominence, Reuters is publishing a series of stories that examines the features and characteristics of some of the alternatives to bitcoin that have grabbed the attention of developers, investors and regulators.

The first in this series looks at Monero – referred to as a privacy coin because it allows users to conceal nearly all details of transactions. It has become increasingly used for illegal purposes.

Since its launch in 2020, Monero has grown to be the 12th biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization with around $1.4 billion-worth in circulation.

HOW IS MONERO DIFFERENT TO BITCOIN?

Every transaction involving Monero obscures the digital addresses of the senders and receivers, as well as the value of the transaction. That offers users near-total anonymity, allowing them to instantaneously send digital cash without leaving any clues.

Bitcoin was initially seen as opaque, as the identity of the owners of digital wallets used to send and receive bitcoin is not public.

But details recorded permanently on the blockchain after bitcoin is sent and received can, in fact, give up clues that can be used to pinpoint those identities. This has become increasingly easy with the advent of firms that specialize in analyzing blockchain transactions.

WHY’S IT GAINING ATTENTION?

When Norwegian police earlier this year gave details of the kidnapping of the wife of a wealthy businessman, they said the family had demanded a ransom in cryptocurrencies. Local press reported that the suspects wanted to be paid in Monero.

The unusual request underlined a growing trend for criminals to seek alternatives to bitcoin, which through its first decade has become the cryptocurrency of choice for illicit activities from buying contraband to laundering money, cyber security experts and law enforcement agencies say.

Bitcoin proponents say that traditional cash is also widely used for criminal activities.

Monero’s use on darknet marketplaces – sites used for buying illicit goods from drugs to stolen credit cars – is on the rise, said Tom Robinson, chief data officer of Elliptic, a London-based firm that provides blockchain-tracking software to law enforcement agencies and private companies.

Three of the biggest five darknet markets now accept Monero, Robinson said, though he added the caveat that bitcoin is still the most widely used cryptocurrency for darknet payments.

One of Monero’s developer team said Monero enables crime no more than cash. Its developers should stay out of debates on its traceability or risk undermining its decentralized nature, Francisco Cabanas told Reuters.

“It doesn’t selectively encourage crime, it encourages commerce,” said Cabanas, who goes by the nickname “ArcticMine,” in an interview via Skype from Vancouver. “In that respect, it’s no different to cash.”

Monero is also widely used for “cryptojacking,” or illicit cryptocurrency mining, where hackers infect computers and steal their power to mine new coins – a highly lucrative endeavor.

Nevertheless, over 4 percent of the 17 million Monero in circulation were mined using malware, said Guillermo Suarez de Tangil, a cybersecurity lecturer at King’s College London who has researched Monero.

“There is a clear phenomenon of the underground using Monero, and selling malware that will contribute to Monero mining,” he said.

Monero’s developers say its characteristics make it a useful tool for companies looking to maintain commercial secrecy. Users in repressive countries looking to avoid censorship or surveillance can also safely move money in the form of Monero, they say.

IS LAW ENFORCEMENT WORRIED? WHAT DO REGULATORS SAY?

Cryptocurrencies are mostly unregulated. Though countries from Britain to the United States are looking at how to deal with the phenomenon, few have set out comprehensive strategies for dealing with digital coins.

Asked about Monero, Borja Pastor de la Morena, an official at Europol in The Hague who oversees the agency’s work on money laundering said: “This kind of alternative cryptocurrency is more opaque and better at concealing the activity of the users.”

He said: “It’s a phenomenon that we are paying attention to”

And though aware of the propensity for cryptocurrencies to be used for money laundering, few financial national-level regulators have specifically addressed privacy coins.

Britain’s finance ministry, which leads a task force that is looking at if and how Britain will regulate cryptocurrencies, said it was aware of the potential for Monero to be used for criminal ends.

“We recognize the risks with cryptoassets like ‘privacy coins’ being used for illicit activity,” a spokesperson said, adding that it would “soon” launch a consultation on bringing crypto-related companies under anti-money laundering regulation.

Japan’s financial watchdog, sensitive to money laundering potential of privacy coins, last year asked a Tokyo-based exchange to review its listings. The exchange later ceased trading Monero.

WHO’S BEHIND MONERO?

Like bitcoin, Monero is governed by a virtual community of hundreds of developers that lacks any centralized authority.

Cabanas is one of only two publicly-known members of its seven-person core developer team, who act as stewards for updates to its code.

Mitchell Krawiec-Thayer, a San Francisco-based blockchain developer who is part of Monero Research Labs, said Monero is designed so it can be easily mined by individuals rather than powerful groups that team up to mine coins in industrial quantities.

“This lowers the barrier of entry to everyone,” he said. “The downside is that criminals have started using that. Stealing other people’s resources, putting strain on their equipment – it’s a straight-up threat.”

Monero has recently launched a response group, where those infected by malware can seek help, Krawiec-Thayer said.

WHO USES MONERO FOR LEGITIMATE PURPOSES?

Data on who uses Monero, and why, is scarce. That’s a challenge for understanding the usage of any cryptocurrency, even more so for one designed to obscure its tracks.

Daily transactions for Monero – one proxy for how widely the cryptocurrency is used – have hovered around 8,000 this month, data from website CoinMetrics shows. The number of active digital wallet addresses for Monero has hung around 5,000.

By comparison, bitcoin sees around 320,000 transactions a day, with about 785,000 active addresses.

Monero is not the only privacy coin. Others, such as ZCash, have grown popular with investors, often for speculative reasons but also because of interest in their privacy features.

Grayscale, the world’s biggest crypto asset manager with around $1.3 billion under management, allows investors like hedge funds to invest in ZCash.

Amid growing acceptance of privacy coins, a number of major exchanges list Monero. For example, Malta-based Binance, one of the world’s largest exchanges, allows users to trade the coin.

Binance declined to comment on Monero, but said it has a comprehensive review process for evaluating coins and tokens for listing, and that it carries out periodic reviews on projects.

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