You have already heard of Bitcoin and Ethereum and by now, and hundreds of other coins each promising to offer an improvement of Bitcoin.
Some promise cheaper transactions, others faster. As for Monero, its most unique selling point is anonymity. Thanks to the currency’s cryptography, the sender, receiver and the amount cannot be viewed by anyone else.
It’s for this reason that the currency is being used to evade international sanctions by North Korea and payment means on the dark web. There are pretty good reasons for having a private form of money that is not illegal.
This guide covers a little bit of Monero’s history, how it works and its difference from the rest of the currencies.
The History Of Monero
To trace its origin, we need to look at another cryptocurrency-Bytecoin. Bytecoin was launched in 2012 and was the first currency to be written in cryptonote technology.
Today, the technology is the pillar of most privacy based cryptos that exist, including Monero. Cryptonote’s privacy is ensured by grouping together public keys. The combination of several keys in a single transaction enables anonymity from the sender.
Bytecoin had a great effort in anonymity. There were however few issues with its distribution. When it was launched, turns out that over 80% of the coins that would ever be mined was already in existence. This led to a group of seven developers to diverge from Bytecoin and create their own currency-Bitmonero. Eventually, it was later shortened to Monero.
Of the seven developers that created the currency, five decided to keep their identities secret. Only two of them are known. That is Riccardo Spagni (Fluffypony) who is the main developer and David Latapie.
What makes Monero different?
Monero has bits of similarity with other cryptocurrencies. Monero is open sourced and is entirely permissionless. The fact that no authority can block you from using the cryptocurrency is also world changing.
Those without access to modern facilities like banking can as well take part, all they need is an internet connection and a device to connect with. Millions around the world lack access to facilities like banking but have phones and Wi-Fi hotspots.
Privacy. The privacy value of Monero is what makes the currency different from others. The fact that no one can link you to a transaction makes it a favourite to those concerned about privacy.
Fungibility is another important feature with the Monero cryptocurrency and it relates to its privacy as a currency. Bitcoin, on one hand, can be tracked from one user to the other depending on how they use the currency. Bitcoin can be followed from address to address. Therefore if the currency was previously involved in a crime, it is possible for the user to know. For you, it may not be an issue but if you plan on spending it elsewhere, the users may decide that they don’t want a tainted currency.
With the advanced features of Monero, it’s impossible to link the currency to past crimes since there is no transaction history.
Monero for the future
In a world where there is nothing private anymore, there is a need for currencies like Monero. The currency also has the potential to allow people to transact in an instant without the need for permission from authorities. This fact makes it useful in oppressive regimes and can be a useful tool in the pursuit of freedom.