The Anonymous Digital Currency
Monero is a peer-to-peer digital currency that has been attracting investors and users since 2014.
Like Bitcoin, Monero has managed to attract as much negative attention as positive, becoming a major digital currency for illegal activity.
That said, Monero's technology is still unique in the digital currency space, mainly because of cryptographic methods unused in other digital currencies. Let's take a look.
Back in 2013, the protocol that Monero would be based on was launched by an anonymous individual named Nicolas van Saberhagen. The digital token and associated blockchain were later launched by a Bitcointalk forum user named “thankful_for_today.”
At the time of launch, Monero’s name was BitMonero. The community decided to change the name five days later.
Despite its murky origins, Monero has enjoyed upward growth over the course of 2016 and into 2017.
A portion of this growth hinged on Monero’s adoption as the currency powering darknet market AlphaBay.
Like Silk Road before it, AlphaBay allowed users to buy and sell illegal goods anonymously by accepting digital currencies as payment.
And when it comes to being anonymous, Monero beats Bitcoin every day of the week.
Monero was developed specifically to protect user privacy.
While digital currencies like Bitcoin grant users transparency, they do not grant anonymity. The Bitcoin blockchain records the electronic addresses associated with each transaction. While your name and personal details aren’t recorded, if someone does make the connection between you and your electronic wallet address, they can see a detailed history of all of your market transactions.
Monero seeks to utilize blockchain while fixing the anonymity problem. It does so through a unique cryptographic method called “ring signatures.”
A ring signature is a unique digital signature that can essentially be done by any member of a group. That member simply has to have the correct keys. The benefit here is that it's impossible to tell which member of a group the signature actually came from, allowing the original sender to remain anonymous.
In 2017, some issues were raised about Monero’s underlying security. The Monero community addressed these issues by implementing Ring Confidential Transactions.
It’s clear that Monero is a unique technology. That said, its role in illegal activity is hard to dispute. Beyond that, many hackers have chosen to install Monero mining software on company servers, forcing companies to mine Monero without even knowing they were wasting computing power.
Investors interested in learning more about Monero can access the website here.
The Monero white paper can be accessed here.
How to Buy Monero
Monero can be bought on a wide range of exchanges, including HitBTC, Bithumb, Poloniex, and Binance.
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