MonaCoin

Symbol: MONA

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MonaCoin (MONA) is a cryptocurrency designed for peer-to-peer transactions via the MonaCoin network. Calling itself the “first Japanese cryptocurrency,” MonaCoin was created from a hard fork of Litecoin (LTC) in December 2013. The digital asset is named after "Monā" or "Mona," a cat-like figure created using ASCII characters that became a popular meme on the online community 2channel (2chan). Although MonaCoin is popular within Japan, it’s struggled to find wider relevance in other countries.

The project was announced on 2chan by the alias, “Mr. Watanabe.” Watanabe is one of the most common surnames in Japan. Similarly to Satoshi Nakamoto (the creator of Bitcoin), the true identity of “Mr. Watanabe” is unknown.

MonaCoin’s proof-of-work (PoW) mining algorithm is designed to be ASIC resistant. It originally ran Scrypt (just like Litecoin) to fortify itself against ASIC mining but miners figured out a way to build Scrypt-compliant ASICs. Committed to allowing regular GPUs and CPUs to mine the coin, MonaCoin was moved to the Lyra2REv2 hashing algorithm created by the team behind Vertcoin (VTC). Monacoin also employs the Dark Gravity Wave v3 algorithm which readjusts its difficulty after each new block (90 second block time). The total supply of MonaCoin is 105,120,000.

Although the creator of Monacoin is unknown, the project continues to be developed by its community. MonaCoin was one of the first coins to implement Segwit and has also implemented the Lightning Network on top of the MonaCoin blockchain.

The MonaCoin Foundation was created in July 2014 by community members who wanted to promote the digital asset in Japan and throughout the world. According to the website, the primary activities of the foundation are 1) to provide a place where MonaCoin owners can interact with one another and 2) the collection and dissemination of information related to MonaCoin. Unlike other projects, none of MonaCoin’s developers are members of the foundation.

In July 2014, the cryptocurrency was pushed into the national spotlight when Tokyo TV Network, WBS, reported that a man purchased a plot of land in Nagano, Japan with 32,001 MonaCoins and erected a Shinto shrine in honor of the digital asset.

In 2017, Akihabara (a region known as “the world’s largest electrical equipment marketplace” with thousands of merchants selling every technological device you can think of) began accepting MonaCoin as a form of payment. More and more shops and restaurants in Japan have followed suit.

In May 2018, the MonaCoin blockchain was hacked with a selfish mining attack. The attacker successfully established a longer chain and caused $90,000 in damages.

In the fall of 2018, a hacker stole $134,500 worth of MonaCoin from Monappy, a social media network and web-based wallet. In March 2019, the hacker was caught by the Tokyo police and was the first person in Japan to be charged with crypto theft.

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