What is Monero?

Monero is a privacy-focused cryptocurrency designed to keep user transactions private. For coins like Bitcoin, each time you send it to someone, the public from/to address and the amount of that transaction is available in a public ledger. Monero offers an option to shield the from/to addresses and amount, allowing for censorship-resistant private transactions.

This guide will go through other features Monero offers, how it compares against Bitcoin, and competitors to Monero.


How Monero keeps transactions private

As Monero is privacy-focussed, we'll first go through how this is achieved:

  • Stealth Addresses are a way of unlinking a sender's public address to the recipient's address, where a one-time address is generated per transaction that only the recipient can use to link payments together (as only the recipient can derive the secret key associated with the one-time address). "Using stealth addressing, a recipient can publish one address and receive unlimited publicly unlinkable payments."
  • Ring Signatures are a type of digital signature that can be generated by a group of users, but not linked to a specific group member's key. This allows something to be endorsed by someone in a particular group anonymously (a good example use case might be as a voting mechanism, where a single user might be penalised for voting a certain way - where a ring signature protects them through anonymity, but also guarantees they're in a certain group of people and so allowed to vote).
  • Ring Confidential Transactions (Ring CT) are a method for hiding transactions amounts by changing amounts to commitments created with a blinding factor (this is quite technical to explain, it's best to read this if you're interested in how it works).
  • Kovri is a free decentralised anonymity technology that allows Monero users to hide their IP addresses (as some nodes on the Monero network may log this, potentially allowing them to for example block the transaction based on political views). This is considered more private than both Tor and a VPN, and will be enabled by default in future versions of Monero (and will offer an API allowing other cryptocurrencies to use it).

Monero vs Bitcoin

As Bitcoin is currently the most valuable cryptocurrency, it's useful to compare Monero against it. Below are some differences between the two coins, where you can decide for yourself which coin's approach in each area is the best:

  • The addresses and transaction amounts in Bitcoin transactions are publically visible on block explorers, for Monero they're not.
  • Monero has a block time of 2 minutes vs Bitcoin's 10 minutes.
  • Monero has much large blocks than Bitcoin.
  • Monero's development team has taken an ASIC resistance stance (where if an ASIC is produced for Monero, they'll hard-fork to become resistant to it), whereas a large portion of Bitcoin's mining power is ASICs. See this guide for information on their April 6th hardfork, where they became resistant to Cryptonight ASIC miners.
  • At the time of writing this, Monero transactions have double the transaction fee of Bitcoin (but this may just be a short-term trend).

Monero Competitors

Competitors to Monero include these privacy-focussed coins:

  • Dash
  • ZCash
  • Verge
  • PIVX

DISCLAIMER: This site cannot substitute for professional investment or financial advice, or independent factual verification. This guide is provided for general informational purposes only. Anything Crypto is UK-based and not regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority). The group of individuals writing these guides are cryptocurrency enthusiasts and investors, not financial advisors. The ideas presented are our analysis, learning & opinions on a range of cryptocurrency topics. Trading or mining any form of cryptocurrency is very high risk, so never invest money you can't afford to lose - you should be prepared to sustain a total loss of all invested money.

This website is monetised through affiliate links. Where used, we will disclose this and make no attempt to hide it. We don't endorse any affiliate services we use - and will not be liable for any damage, expense or other loss you may suffer from using any of these. Don't rush into anything, do your own research. As we write new content, we will update this disclaimer to encompass it.

Related Guides

July 10th, 2018

What is Bytom?

Get Email Updates

Opt-in to receive free emails with our latest guides, or updates on our Crypto Coin Tracker.

Opt-in to emails!

Tracking

Looking for a new system to track your Bitcoin, altcoins & ICOs?

Try our Crypto Coin Tracker for free!

We support API integration with 16 exchanges, and auto-sync with 14 coin wallets.

Click here for more info!


Coin Tracker

Never invest money you can't afford to lose.

All information on this website is for general informational purposes only, it is not intended to provide legal or financial advice. We encourage you to consult your own legal & financial advisors before making any cryptocurrency-related purchase.