Monero is a secure, private and completely untraceable cryptocurrency.
It was created in 2014 by anonymous creators, as a Bytecoin fork. Monero’s primary goal is to provide a scalable Blockchain, which offers total anonymity by disguising the users’ addresses. It operates based on the Proof-of-Work method and can be mined by home PCs. Its low mining difficulty and anonymity, however, have turned Monero into the favorite cryptocurrency for Cryptojackers, which install malicious tools to their victims’ devices to mine Monero in small increments.
Unlike Bitcoin that operates in a pseudonymous manner with the SHA-256 algorithm, Monero makes use of the CryptoNote application layer protocol. It implements ring signatures and stealth addresses. This way, the sender’s identity remains opaque, by combining the sender’s account keys with public keys on the Blockchain.
Also, every Bitcoin is unique (same to paper money’s serial numbers) and the transactional history is recorded in a public ledger in perpetuity. This means that it is possible to block and isolate tainted units that are associated with illicit or fraudulent activities. Monero is entirely fungible; this means that every XMR can be mutually substituted. This makes its history untraceable, and such possibilities are eliminated. On the other hand, Monero’s invisibility feature has turned it into the preferable coin, for use in the Dark Web.
Monero has a 2-minute average block time and a maximum number of 18,3 million coins. At the same time, Bitcoin’s block time has an average of 10 minutes and 21 million Bitcoins will ever be created.
Bitcoin’s block size is fixed to 1MB, a reason that causes low transactional speeds and higher fees. The advent of the Lightning Network, however, is expected to change this issue. Monero has adopted a flexible block size that mitigates scalability problems and makes it friendly for micropayments. On the downside, this will eventually result in higher capacity needs, as the nodes will have to store a larger Blockchain.
While both Blockchains are based on the Proof-of-Work method, Monero aims to discourage centralized mining. ASIC grids do not offer an advantage in the process. Instead, Monero supports mining from personal electronic devices, utilizing CPU and GPU power. Moreover, in-browser Monero miners have been developed, as a way of monetization for websites. While this method is legal and requires the visitors’ consensus, hackers have implemented the tool to attack users and utilize their computational resources to their benefit.
While placed continuously on the top 15 of cryptocurrencies, Monero can’t compare to Bitcoin in terms of acceptance and liquidity. Monero cannot be traded for fiat currencies, but only for other cryptocurrencies.
When it comes to market cap, Monero has USD 3,430,110,723 total value, while Bitcoin is always the number one cryptocurrency with USD 151,780,117,170.