Monero (XMR) is an open-source, privacy-oriented cryptocurrency that was launched in 2014. It is built and operates on the concept. These blockchains, which form the underlying technology behind digital currencies, are public ledgers of participants’ activities that show all the transactions on the network.
Monero started its life out in 2014 under a different name – ‘BitMonero’. This was a joining of the word ‘bit’, short for Bitcoin; and Monero, the Esperanto word for coin. 5 days later, the ‘bit’ was dropped in favor of its current name.
Since then, Monero has undergone multiple changes driven and implemented by its community and its core team of developers. Of this core development team, only 2 members have revealed their identities: Riccardo Spagni and Francisco.
What Is Monero
Monero is a privacy-focused cryptocurrency. Like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other popular currencies, Monero is an open-source project with a large community of contributors. Monero is unique in that it’s designed to keep wallets and transactions completely anonymous, including to network members, developers, and miners.
How Does It Work?
Aside from its privacy features, Monero works similarly to other major cryptocurrencies, using proof-of-work mining to control the issuance of XMR and to incentivize miners to add blocks to the blockchain. New blocks are added roughly every two minutes.
Notably, though, hobbyists may find that mining XMR is easier than on other cryptocurrencies, as the algorithm that governs this process is designed to prevent against specialized hardware.
This means users may be able to generate XMR when mining with a laptop (CPU) or graphics card (GPU), lower-cost forms of hardware that are more widely available.
Ring Signatures are electronic signatures that allow senders to conceal their identity from others in a group.
To create a ring signature, Monero combines a sender’s key and the public keys on the blockchain. It hides the identity of the sender since it is computationally impossible to determine which key was generated and by whom.
From 2019 onwards, a default Monero transaction is set up, each ring signature includes all 11 signatures.
Yet another feature contributing to Monero’s privacy is Stealth Addresses, which enables users to publish one address that automatically creates many one-time accounts for every transaction.
Using a secret “view key,” the owner can then identify their incoming funds as their wallet can scan the blockchain to identify any transactions with that key.
Ring Confidential Transactions
Introduced in 2017, Ring Confidential Transactions hide the amount users exchange in transactions recorded on the blockchain. In effect, RingCT makes it so transactions can have many inputs and outputs while preserving anonymity and protecting against double spending.
How to Mine Monero
Monero runs on all leading OS platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and FreeBSD. The currency supports a mining process where individuals get rewarded for their activities by joining mining pools, or they can mine coins individually.
Monero mining can be performed on a standard computer and does not need any specific hardware such as the application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). An ASIC is a costly form of hardware that is commonly used to mine cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Instead, you can use the CPU or GPU of your own computer to mine the currency. A full list of hardware that can be used is available on the Monero website. Users can also install certain software, which may cost a developer fee.
According to the company’s website, Monero relies on proof-of-work mining. This is an algorithm that provides security to certain cryptocurrencies like Monero. This system prevents problems surrounding double-spending, which can skew the supply, showing there’s much more than actually available.
Purchasing the currency is as easy as going on an exchange or looking for a seller who’s willing to unload their supply. You can also buy Monero through an automated teller machine (ATM) that is enabled for cryptocurrencies.