Monero (XMR) is a secure, private, and untraceable digital currency. Although it offers the option of transparency, it is typically known for its use of privacy technologies such as ring signatures, ring confidential transactions, and stealth addresses to obscure the origins, amounts, and destinations of transactions.
You can buy Monero from an exchange or from an individual. Alternatively, you can mine Monero to get coins from the block reward. Monero is based on the CryptoNote protocol. Unlike Bitcoin, where people can see exactly how much money is being sent from one user to another, Monero hides this information to protect user privacy. Monero also features a dynamic block size and dynamic fees, an ASIC-resistant proof of work, and a tail coin emission.
Monero’s Kovori is an anonymized router which integrates I2P technology and has been under development since 2015. The project will improve the privacy of the network by hiding the IP addresses of those who wish to interact with the Monero blockchain.
Due to the stringent privacy features, Monero experienced rapid market capitalization growth in 2016, far surpassing that of other cryptocurrencies. This was reportedly due to its adoption by the darknet market and rightwing extremists.
Monero is an open source project maintained by a group of core developers and a community of open source contributors and researchers. There are no public details about the founders in the public space; the first whitepaper with a focus on the CryptoNote protocol was written by Nicolas van Saberhagen (assumed to be a pseudonym). In 2018, it was widely reported in the crypto press that Monero had 7 members, 49 developers, and 3 researchers, with the unofficial figurehead of ‘pseudonymous Luigi’.
Monero suffered another PR issue in 2018 when hackers took advantage of weak code to manipulate the amount of XMR shown in a wallet, before convincing exchanges to pay out.
A team of researchers from a broad collection of institutions, including Princeton, Carnegie Mellon, Boston University, MIT, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, also claim that a token’s movements on Monero are not as obscured as they seem and that it is possible to extract information on individual transactions.