One of the many types of cryptocurrency or more fondly known as the digital currency being traded across the globe today is Monero. Among the benefits of Monero amongst the many other cryptocurrencies, today is its focus on privacy.
What about Monero?
Designed to run on most major operating systems, Monero was known in short as XMR is typically a cryptocurrency that is open source. Its major focus is on privacy and operates on a decentralized platform. This is because of the rising cases of illegal use of the cryptocurrency that have promoted a lot of attention. As such, Monero becomes extremely popular through its egalitarian concept.
Background of Monero
Monero first came about back in October 2013. Then, it was launched by Nicolas van Saberhagen and was made popular after it was launched over the Bitcointalk forum by someone known as BitMonero. This was a combination of 2 words, Bit and Monero. The former got its name from Bitcoin which was rising in popularity then while Monero is the Spanish word for coin. Barely a week after its launch, the name was changed to Monero.
By 2016, Monero has become one of the major digital currencies in the world. This was most evident around that year after it was adopted by AlphaBay, a major darknet market. This was the year when Monero enjoyed a huge jump in transaction volume and market capitalization. A year later, Confidential Transactions adopted Monero, giving it more strength and stature.
Highlights of Monero
There are several traits that make Monero so demanded and popular. Among them includes:
- Improved existing cryptocurrency design
- the more egalitarian mining process
- obscuring sender and receiver
The Monero digital currency is designed based on the CrytoNight PoW hash algorithm. This is derived from a reliable protocol named CrytoNote. This protocol has a reputation of providing high privacy levels and it is fungible.
In operation, Monero prides itself to be:
- A private digital currency – being open-sourced and designed to be secure, it is untraceable and private. The buyer has full control over how the funds move. As such, the accounts are not known in public
- Secure and decentralized – operated by a network of users, the distributed consensus is used to confirm the transactions before they are captured in the blockchain.
- Untraceable – this is where users can enjoy anonymity. As transactions are not linked to a certain user, the addresses and amounts are by default obfuscated.
- Private – Ring signatures, stealth addresses and ring confidential transactions are used to obfuscate the information, allowing them to be hidden from the private domain
- Fungible – private by default, Monero is not associated with previous transactions and as such cannot be manipulated in any way
Monero and the Dark Web
The security and privacy features of Monero as mentioned above however comes with a certain significance. Europol recently reported that wallet services that are privacy-enhancing are among the top threats on the internet. In its IOCTA 2020 report, privacy integrated cryptocurrency mixing services have become among the most threatening and there, Monero has become the most popular cryptocurrency used in transactions on the Darkweb. Bitcoin was once the most used but has since been taking a backseat due to more recognition and regulation on the BTC token. Besides Monero, other crypto coins reportedly used on the Darkweb include Dash and Zcash.
The Internet Organized Crime Threat Assessment report stated that Wasabi and Samourai wallets are also becoming more threatening. But the focus will very much be on Monero where transactions carried out on the Darkweb have already shifted from Bitcoin to other cryptocurrencies including Ethereum and Litecoin while Monero takes the lead.
Monero – 2021 Updates
In the last few years leading up to 2021, Monero and its token XMR have come under the spotlight. This is because the financial authorities across the world have voiced their concerns about how certain cryptocurrencies have been used for illegal trading and in the Dark Web. To date, there are now close to more than a thousand businesses that are accepting XMR while close to 30 crypto payment service providers are offering services involving XMR too.
The authorities have been trying to curb cryptocurrencies that protect privacies which is a common game plan among illegal traders. Even if that is so, there seems to be no sign of slowing down as the adoption of Monero across the world continues to grow steadily. As of May 2021, there are now about 950 businesses accepting Monero. Back in July 2018, there were only 41. This means that in 3 years, the growth in terms of businesses accepting Monero has grown by more than 2,000%!
May 2021 saw Monero growing its market capitalization to about US$7.4 billion. It is among the top 10 most popular cryptocurrencies among merchants and in the top 30 largest cryptos. Between April 2019 and April 2020, the transactions involving Monero have been growing in the thousands each day.
The price of Monero usually hovers around the US$300 point. Analysts believe that 2021 will see Monero’s price move about to as high as US$400 and could stoop until US$200. This however would continue to grow in the next few years. The reason for this is mainly because the trend of consumer uptake and merchant’s acceptance will continue to increase in the near future. As such, 2022 could see the price of Monero breaching the US$400 mark and stabilize above that threshold.