What is Monero (XMR)?
Monero (XMR) is a decentralized privacy coin. It can be used to conduct completely anonymous cryptocurrency transactions. Monero is one of the best-known examples of privacy assets that are completely decentralized and difficult to trace back. You can see the most up-to-date Monero price performance data using the dynamic chart above.
Who Developed Monero?
The developers of Monero, referred to as the Core Team, have chosen to remain anonymous. The whitepaper was published by Nicolas van Saberhagen, although it’s presumed that this is a pseudonym. One of the co-founders, Riccardo Spagni, known as Fluffypony, was charged with fraud in South Africa.
The project did not hold an initial coin sale (ICO). Since its launch, the Monero price has been notably volatile. This may be due to the changing market conditions since crypto is considered to be a high-risk investment.
The idea for a privacy coin was initially proposed by the user thankful_for_today on the Bitcointalk forum. According to the user, one of Bitcoin’s (BTC) biggest flaws was its traceability, as all transactions are recorded on the distributed ledger and accessible to all members of the blockchain.
Monero aims to improve on two aspects of digital currency – anonymity and privacy. Despite the presumed anonymity of Bitcoin, transactions can still be traced to specific wallets that belong to individuals. Due to the fact the initial BitMonero project was seen as controversial in the Bitcoin community, thankful_for_today created the Monero fork in 2014.
At the time of its launch, one XMR coin was valued at around $2. As of June 2022, the all-time high was reached in January 2018, exceeding $540. The lowest-ever recorded Monero price was $0.22 in January 2015.
In the years since its launch, Monero has amassed the third-biggest developer community in the world, falling behind only Bitcoin and Ethereum (ETH). The exact number of developers involved in the project is unknown, although it’s believed to be hundreds.
What Are the Key Features of Monero?
Based on the protocol, Monero has an unlimited coin supply. This ensures the lack of scarcity of the privacy product. Although the Monero price is not directly impacted by the available supply in circulation, it’s susceptible to general market trends.
The Monero crypto platform uses the Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus mechanism to mine new coins. This system is also employed by Bitcoin which Monero directly competes against in the market. The platform aims to be completely decentralized and trustless. New blocks are mined roughly every two minutes.
Monero uses advanced cryptographic technology to ensure that the data related to both ends of the transaction is obscured. This makes it difficult and, in many cases, nearly impossible to track down the wallet addresses of the sender and the recipient.
The platform has implemented several technologies that help obfuscate transaction data, including ring signatures and zero-knowledge proof (ZKP). Besides, Monero uses a method of information concealment, known as Bulletproof, which proves that a transaction has taken place without revealing its actual value.
Each transaction is conducted by using decoy transaction addresses, known as stealth addresses. They are single-use and help prevent external parties from linking different transactions to each other.
Monero and Criminal Activity
Monero has been linked with illicit online activities, malicious attacks, and other forms of cybercrime. The rise of criminal activities involving the privacy asset has been particularly notable with the increased attempts to set up cryptocurrency regulations. While some of the XMR price changes reflect some market trends, others are impacted by the negative press.
XMR coins are often used as a payment method on the darknet. Similar to how Bitcoin was used on Silk Road, Monero can be used to pay for illegal goods, such as drugs or weapons. However, unlike Bitcoin, XMR’s obfuscation technology makes it next to impossible to determine who the sellers and recipients are.
Monero has also been used by various malicious parties, accounting for nearly half of all crypto-ransomware attacks in 2018. One of the biggest ransomware attacks involving Monero occurred in 2021. The hackers stole data from the US-based oil pipeline system Colonial Pipeline and demanded $4.4 million worth of cryptocurrency as ransom.
Hackers have also involved XMR in the deployment of crypto-mining malware. Computers that are infected by such viruses contain hidden Monero crypto mining software which can slow down the processes and wear out the hardware faster. This method of hacking is also known as cryptojacking.