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What Is Monero?

Apr 8, 2024
16 min read

This blog post will cover:

  • What is Monero (XMR)?
  • Monero (XMR) price, supply and Market cap
  • How does Monero work?  
  • Key features of Monero
  • History of Monero
  • How Monero (XMR) Is Different From Other Cryptocurrencies
  • Advantages of Monero
  • Disadvantages of Monero
  • Privacy and Popularity of Monero 
  • Buying Monero (XMR)
  • Future of Monero
  • The Bottom Line 
  • FAQ

Monero emerges as a pioneer of innovation, establishing fresh standards for anonymity and private transactions. Operating as a discreet digital currency, Monero employs cutting-edge technology to protect user anonymity and transaction confidentiality. As we explore the essence of what is Monero, we unveil its unique characteristics, its significance in the cryptocurrency realm, and its potential to transform financial freedom in the future.

Key Takeaways

  • Monero is famous for security features, employing advanced cryptographic techniques to ensure anonymity and transaction confidentiality.
  • Despite facing regulatory challenges and bans in certain jurisdictions, Monero has demonstrated resilience and enduring demand, reinforcing its position on the market.
  • The future outlook for Monero appears promising, driven by continuous innovation and improvements to the protocol, with forecasts indicating substantial value growth by 2025.

What is Monero (XMR)?

Monero (XMR) is a notable cryptocurrency known for prioritizing confidential and untraceable transactions. In contrast to more widely used cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, which rely on transparent blockchains, Monero utilizes an opaque blockchain system, ensuring that transactions can’t be viewed - this answers the question of is Monero traceable. This unique strategy has a positive impact on its attractiveness to users.

Although the project is trying to safeguard confidentiality of senders, it encounters various obstacles. Monero faces bans by certain governments and removal from prominent cryptocurrency platforms in specific jurisdictions. Nevertheless, Monero weathered numerous downturns and demonstrated enduring value proposition.

It employs mechanisms that make transactions less visible. Notable characteristics of the token XMR include:

  • Anonymity: it guarantees this as a default setting, distinguishing it as the sole major decentralized cryptocurrency with this feature. Transactions conceal information about people engaging in exchange.
  • Confidentiality: utilizing sophisticated cryptographic methods, the project upholds transaction confidentiality, making it extremely challenging to trace transactions back to users.
  • Fungibility: every XMR token can be exchanged interchangeably with another, guaranteeing fungibility and maintaining equal value irrespective of transaction history.

Monero (XMR) price, supply and Market cap

Market Cap$2,660,875,492
Circulating Supply18,148,107 XMR
Trading Volume$39,145,008

How does Monero work?  

Monero employs the CryptoNote protocol to conceal sender and recipient identities, as well as transaction amounts, by obfuscating the involved addresses. This is achieved through three essential technologies, which we will elaborate on in the forthcoming sections.

Upon verifying funds, the recipient searches the Monero blockchain, which acts as the comprehensive record of all transactions, to identify any means for them. Utilizing a confidential view key and Monero remote nodes, the recipient scrutinizes each transaction to confirm its intended destination.


The project employs the Proof of Work (PoW) approach, which is sometimes referred to as RandomX. This distinctive Monero algorithm is designed specifically for CPUs, leveraging the execution of randomized code and memory-intensive methods. The objective of RandomX is to deter the utilization of specialized hardware such as ASICs for Monero mining. This fosters a more inclusive mining environment, enabling users with standard consumer-grade hardware to actively participate in the network.


Monero does not employ a Proof of Stake (PoS) approach; its consensus mechanism is solely reliant on Proof of Work (PoW). While the notion of transitioning to PoS has been deliberated within the XRP community, it's widely acknowledged that PoS cannot offer the same degree of privacy as PoW. Additionally, implementing PoS would necessitate substantial modifications to the codebase. Thus, currently, the coin continues to employ PoW as its consensus mechanism.

How to Use Monero

What is XMR and how can it be used? The coin finds application in various scenarios:

  • Confidential transactions: Monero is predominantly favored for transactions that are well-protected. Monero privacy features ensure the confidentiality of personal data and transaction details.
  • E-commerce: numerous online vendors and services accept payments in XMR, providing individuals with the opportunity to shop online safely.
  • Investment: similar to its counterparts in the cryptocurrency realm, Monero can be acquired and retained as an investment. This is an appealing choice for investors exploring the cryptocurrency landscape.
  • Mining: currency mining primarily relies on standard CPUs rather than specialized ASICs, setting it apart from Bitcoin. This accessibility to everyday users reduces the risk of centralization and bolsters network resilience against potential adversarial influences.
  • Tipping and contributions: it presents an avenue for tipping content creators or contributing to charitable causes, all the while preserving a safe environment.
  • Cross-border transfers: the currency facilitates swift and private cross-border money transfers and Monero loans, particularly advantageous for individuals in regions with volatile currencies or stringent capital controls.

Key features of Monero

What is XMR coin? The asset boasts several distinguishing features that differentiate it from other cryptocurrencies. These include:

Ring Confidential Transactions

RingCT serves as a technological safeguard for user privacy by obscuring the transaction amount. It represents an advanced version of ring signatures, ensuring concealed amounts, origins, and destinations of Monero transactions per second with remarkable efficiency, while also enabling verifiable, trustless coin generation.

Stealth addresses

These serve as an additional layer of protection for users. Stealth addresses ensure that the recipient's address remains unlinked to the transaction on the blockchain. Generated uniquely for each transaction on behalf of the recipient, these identifications uphold security by concealing transaction specifics.

Bulletproofs and Dandelion ++

Bulletproofs are concise non-interactive zero-knowledge proofs that do not necessitate a trusted setup. They are highly efficient in verifying range proofs, demonstrating a substantial dataset with only a small proof. The size of the proof increases logarithmically with the data's size being demonstrated. Dandelion++ is a technology employed by Monero to bolster anonymity by concealing the sender's IP address.


Although the project does not utilize P2Pool, it operates its own mining Monero pools. P2Pool serves as a complementary chain to Monero, where the blocks hold the capability to transform into blocks. Miners submit block templates containing payouts for all participants currently holding shares within the PPLNS window.

Ring signatures

These signatures represent a digital form that any member within a group of users holding keys can execute. They offer an additional level of security and privacy for Monero's users. Within a "ring" of potential signers, all members of the ring hold equal validity.


RandomX is a Proof of Work technique, created by contributors to Monero and integrated into it starting from release 0.15. Designed to enhance CPU performance, this groundbreaking Proof of Work (PoW) algorithm utilizes random code execution and memory-intensive techniques. It aims to deter the use of specialized hardware such as ASICs for coin mining.

Smart mining

Smart mining refers to a method where a miner operates at a reduced capacity when its operation does not pose significant drawbacks. These drawbacks may include heightened heat generation, reduced machine performance, or depletion of battery life. The aim of smart mining is to bolster network security by encouraging as many individuals as possible to maintain their smart miner operational continuously.

History of Monero

Monero was launched in 2014, originating from the CryptoNote protocol. It was designed to overcome the issues present in Bitcoin.

Who created Monero?

The project was created by a Bitcointalk forum user known as "thankful_for_today". The real identity of this user remains unknown.


Its origins can be linked to CryptoNote, a cryptocurrency protocol initially outlined in a white paper released by Monero founder Nicolas van Saberhagen (likely to be a pseudonym) in October 2013. In this document, the author emphasized privacy and anonymity as the "most crucial aspects of electronic cash". Building upon these principles, a Bitcointalk forum user named "thankful_for_today" implemented them into a cryptocurrency they named BitMonero.


Since its launch, the project has grown to become one of the key players in terms of anonymity and privacy. It has attracted a large community of developers and users who value financial security and freedom.

The major stakeholders of Monero

The primary stakeholders are its users and the developers who maintain and enhance its protocol. Previously, the lead maintainer of the protocol was Riccardo Spagni, a developer from South Africa. Many members of the core development team opt to remain anonymous. Enhancements to coin’s protocol and features are also handled by the Monero Research Lab (MRL), with some members choosing to maintain anonymity.

How Monero (XMR) Is Different From Other Cryptocurrencies

Monero differs from other popular cryptocurrencies in several ways.

Bitcoin (BTC)

Bitcoin, primarily operates as a digital currency with blockchain characterized by transparency, enabling transaction tracing. In contrast, Monero implements a suite of technologies to enhance features that are important to users. With default anonymity for every user, transactions are both verifiable and hard to trace. This positions the currency in question as a more attractive alternative to Bitcoin.

Ethereum (ETH)

Ethereum, a blockchain platform widely loved by developers of decentralized projects. In contrast to Buterin's network, Monero smart contracts prioritize inherent transaction anonymity, utilizing sophisticated cryptographic techniques to guarantee confidentiality. This sets Monero apart from Ethereum's emphasis on different aspects of blockchain technology.

ZCash (ZEC)

ZCash offers users the choice between transparent transactions, where privacy is an optional feature. In contrast, Monero places privacy at the forefront by default. Through advanced and relatively unique technology, Monero guarantees strong privacy and anonymity, providing heightened security compared to ZCash.

Dash (DASH)

Dash features an optional function called PrivateSend, which enables users to mix their transactions with others, enhancing anonymity. This feature allows users to choose when they want to prioritize privacy, providing flexibility in their transactions. In contrast to Monero's default settings, where anonymity is prioritized from the outset, Dash's approach gives users more control over their preferences, allowing them to tailor their transactions according to their needs.

Advantages of Monero

Monero offers a myriad of advantages that set it apart within the cryptocurrency landscape. Some of them are:

  • Privacy: the project distinguishes itself as the primary major cryptocurrency where every user is automatically granted anonymity. Leveraging advanced methodologies, the project enables transactions to be verified while maintaining untraceability.
  • Security: transactions conducted within the ecosystem benefit from heightened confidentiality and untraceability. This elevated level of security makes Monero an optimal choice for individuals placing a premium on privacy and security in their financial transactions.
  • Fungibility: in the realm of digital currency, fungibility denotes that every unit of the currency is interchangeable with another unit. This characteristic makes Monero akin to cash or gold, where each unit holds equal value to another unit.
  • ASIC resistance: RandomX, is deliberately engineered to resist ASIC mining, preventing the use of specialized hardware. This resistance fosters decentralization by allowing anyone with a standard computer to participate in Monero mining, promoting a more inclusive mining ecosystem.
  • Adaptive block size: Monero features an adaptive block size mechanism that can dynamically adjust based on transaction volume. This adaptive capability helps prevent network congestion, ensuring the smooth operation of the Monero network even during periods of high transaction activity.

Disadvantages of Monero

Monero, despite its numerous advantages, also presents some drawbacks:

  • Limited wallet options: while there are wallets available, the selection is relatively restricted compared to other cryptocurrencies. This limitation stems partly from the project's  unique technology, which can pose challenges for integration with existing wallet software. Nonetheless, ongoing efforts are underway to expand wallet options for crypto users.
  • Complexity: developing applications that interact with Monero blockchain explorer, it can be intricate. This complexity arises from distinct cryptographic techniques, as opposed to alternative tokens. 
  • Untraceable transactions: XMR hallmark feature is its untraceable transactions. While this affords significant privacy benefits, it can also present drawbacks. For instance, it might make the coin more appealing for illicit activities. Moreover, it could potentially engender regulatory hurdles, as governments may express concerns regarding the risk of money laundering.

Privacy and Popularity of Monero 

Meticulously developed technologies described above bolster customer anonymity and make the process of tracing operations harder. The overarching objective is to construct an ecosystem that champions safety and anonymity above all else. Consequently, XMR is the only cryptocurrency adept at concealing the information about personas behind financial operations.

In 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recognized Monero's advanced technology and sought expert assistance to understand the characteristics. The agency went as far as offering a significant $625,000 reward for successfully deciphering them. This demonstration of technological sophistication marks its recognition as a safety-first asset, earning favor among those who like to stay anonymous. Nonetheless, it has also drawn regulatory attention, largely due to concerns.

Monero bans and regulation

Now that we know a bit more about what is Monero crypto, let’s explore controversies associated with it. With more attention or wider acceptance, there often arise discussions around the projects of similar kind. Countries like Japan and South Korea have taken steps to prohibit the listing of Monero on exchanges, targeting the fight against money laundering and the reduction of organized crime. However, regulatory authorities are not limiting their scrutiny to Privacy Coins alone; they are also considering regulating or even prohibiting other cryptocurrencies. In this landscape, Monero stands out as a beacon, offering unparalleled anonymity and traceability protection. Whether one buys or holds the asset, its transactions can’t be tracked. Furthermore, history has shown that banned items often persist, with their values appreciating over time due to sustained demand. Therefore, despite facing regulatory challenges, Monero's resilience and enduring demand continue to reinforce its position in the cryptocurrency market.

Buying Monero (XMR)

Let’s say you want to buy Monero. What should you do? We suggest you go to the SimpleSwap homepage and follow the instructions below:

  1. For example, you want to swap BTC for XMR. Select the currency you want to exchange (e.g. BTC) in the first drop-downlist. Then enter the amount you want to swap.
  2. Select XMR in the second drop-down list. You’ll see the estimated amount that you’ll get after the exchange.
  3. Click the Exchange button.
  4. Enter the Recipient's Address. XMR will be sent. Be careful and make sure you use the correct address.
  5. Create the exchange.
  6. You will see the Bitcoin deposit address. You need to transfer the necessary amount of BTC to this address to start the BTC to XMR exchange.

Future of Monero

The outlook for Monero is bright, driven by its strong emphasis on privacy features and the dedication of its development community. Constant innovation and improvements to the protocol reinforce Monero's standing as a frontrunner in cryptocurrency privacy and security.

Several forecasts indicate that Monero's XMR may reach substantial value by the end of 2025. Nonetheless, it's crucial to recognize the risks associated with the cryptocurrency market and conduct comprehensive research to accurately assess risks and market dynamics.

Crypto enthusiasts hold an optimistic perspective, with their commitment to the project's goal of establishing a decentralized network emphasizing privacy and security. Despite facing regulatory challenges and bans in certain areas, the project's robust features have earned considerable acclaim from users who value financial security and freedom as top priorities.

The project has an extensive roadmap outlining its historical milestones, ongoing projects, and future objectives. This roadmap details forthcoming efforts focused on improving security and operational efficiency. Planned endeavors encompass the integration of innovative technologies to fortify network security and optimize functionality.

Moreover, Monero is preparing for a hard fork to improve security, as well as offer a different approach to fees. Before that, one could also expect a testnet deployment. Such upgrades bring numerous improvements like refining the multisignature (multisig) mechanism.

The Bottom Line 

After a brief Monero review, it becomes clear - it emerges as an important player in the crypto world. Coupled with an engaged community, positions it as a promising option for those seeking a secure financial alternative. However, as with any cryptocurrency, Monero comes with its own set of risks and challenges, urging potential users to undertake thorough consideration before utilizing or investing in the platform.

SimpleSwap reminds you that this article is provided for informational purposes only and does not provide investment advice. All purchases and cryptocurrency investments are your own responsibility.


Here’s a list of the most popular questions about XMR.

Why is Monero illegal?

Monero itself is not illegal. However, its strong privacy features have made it popular for illicit activities such as money laundering, darknet markets, ransomware, and other organized crime. This has led to increased regulatory scrutiny and even bans in some countries.

Is Monero still untraceable?

Yes, Monero is designed to be untraceable, using technologies like ring signatures and stealth addresses to hide transaction details.

What network is XMR on?

XMR operates on its own blockchain network, which is designed with a focus on privacy and security.

When was Monero created?

Monero was launched in April 2014 as a fork of Bytecoin.

How to buy Monero anonymously?

You can buy Monero anonymously through various methods such as using peer-to-peer platforms, online exchanges, or decentralized exchanges that prioritize privacy.

Who created Monero?

Monero was created by an unknown developer using the pseudonym Nicolas van Saberhagen. The project was later forked and led by a team of developers, including Riccardo Spagni.

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