Overview of Monero
- Monero and other privacy-oriented currencies have concerned regulators targeting illicit activities and money laundering. Exchanges in South Korea and Australia have delisted Monero and other privacy coins due to regulatory pressure. In September 2020, the IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) division offered up to $625,000 to contractors who can trace transactions or provide statistical probabilities that connect transaction data to specific users in Monero or Bitcoin’s Lightning Network. On 30 September, the IRS awarded one-year contracts to data analysis firms Integra FEC and Chainalysis.
- Monero is designed to be resistant to application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) mining, which is commonly used to mine other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. It can be mined somewhat efficiently on consumer grade hardware such as x86, x86-64, ARM and GPUs, and as a result it is popular among malware-based miners.
- Monero’s use on darknet marketplaces – sites used for buying illicit goods from drugs to stolen credit cards – 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.
- Monero is a digital currency that was launched in 2014 to fulfil only a single goal; become one of the world’s first cryptocurrency with an innovative approach to private exchanges, secure transactions and dependable fungibility that adheres to every protocol.
- Monero is a private decentralized cryptocurrency that obfuscates the 3 parts of any transaction – the sender is obfuscated through ring signatures, the amount sent is obfuscated through RingCT and the receiver is obfuscated through stealth addresses.
- Monero has drawn the attention and endorsement of another party at least tangentially tied to the WannaCry worm—the individual or group behind Shadowbrokers, the entity responsible for leaking the NSA exploit used by WannaCry’s author.
- Monero uses the proof of work algorithm, which requires that miners compete against themselves in trying to resolve a mathematical difficulty by guessing the required solution needed for a new block to be broadcast on the ecosystem.
- Monero’s vast community of skilled developers, with their strong focus on implementing privacy-based features through unique pieces of technological protocols, will continue to improve the privacy mechanisms that Monero provides.
- Monero price today is $269.62 USD with a 24-hour trading volume of $2,850,255,756 USD. Monero is up 11.98% in the last 24 hours.
- Monero has a non-traceable transaction history, which offers participants a much safer network where they don’t run the risk of having their held units be refused or blacklisted by others.
Due to its privacy features, Monero experienced rapid growth in market capitalization and transaction volume during 2016, much more than any other cryptocurrency that year. This growth was driven by its uptake in the darknet market, where people used it to buy stolen credit cards, guns, and drugs. Two major darknet markets were shut down in July 2017 by law enforcement. From the beginning, Monero has been used by people holding other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to break the link between transactions, with the other cryptocoins first converted to Monero, then after some delay converted back and sent to an address unrelated to those used before.
On 4 September 2014, an unusual and novel attack was executed against the Monero cryptocurrency network. This attack partitioned the network into two distinct subsets which refused to accept the legitimacy of the other subset. This had myriad effects, not all of which are yet known. The attacker had a short window of time during which a sort of counterfeiting could occur, for example. This research bulletin describes deficiencies in the CryptoNote reference code allowing for this attack, describes the solution initially put forth by Rafal Freeman from Tigusoft.pl and subsequently by the CryptoNote team, describes the current fix in the Monero code base, and elaborates upon exactly what the offending block did to the network. This research bulletin has not undergone peer review, and reflects only the results of internal investigation.
The main feature of Monero is that the currency utilises an obfuscated public blockchain, which means that while anyone can conduct transactions on the network, but no outside observer can establish the source, the transaction amount or destination address with the help of Ring Signatures and Zero-Knowledge Proofs. The Monero blockchain uses a Proof of Work consensus mechanism to reward blockchain consensus nodes with newly issued coins.
Despite being ASIC resistant, there is still a large degree of centralization of miners on Monero. Roughly 43% of the hash rate is controlled by just three pools. There are not many wallets that have been developed for Monero. You won’t find support for Monero on any hardware wallets or multi-crypto solutions like Jaxx. To store Monero in a way that is properly secure is much tougher than most other cryptocurrencies. This might be why it hasn’t been more widely adopted by the wider community. Being as Monero isn’t based on Bitcoin, it is harder to develop applications that interact with its blockchain.
If you see either that Monero is soon to be approved on a major exchange or that the United States or the European Union are about to tighten cryptocurrency regulation, that’s the best time to buy.
History of Monero
- In 2014, Bitcointalk forum user thankful_for_today forked the codebase of Bytecoin into the name BitMonero, which is a compound of bit (as in Bitcoin) and monero (literally meaning “coin” in Esperanto). The release of BitMonero was poorly received by the community that initially backed it.
- In 2014, developers that were unhappy with the initial distribution of Bytecoin forked it into a new project known as Bitmonero.
- In 2015 Monero developer Anonimal accused the Tor network of working for the U.S.
- In 2016 administrators of the now defunct criminal marketplace AlphaBay attempted to manipulate the price of Monero, encouraging mass buying of the currency.
- In 2017, Monero’s development team introduced another game-changing technology called RingCT (Ring Confidential Transactions).
- In 2018, researchers presented possible vulnerabilities in a paper titled “An Empirical Analysis of Traceability in the Monero Blockchain”. The Monero team responded in March 2018.
- In 2018, the website getmonero.org had published its content in several languages such as French, Polish and Arabic to facilitate global investors.
- In 2019 developer Moneromooo and a bunch of others received substantial amounts of donations to continue the work.
- In 2020, the IRS offered a bounty of up to $625,000 to anyone who could crack Monero’s privacy.