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About


Welcome to Moneroinfo.  This site serves as a multilingual, educational primer for the understanding and basic use of the anonymous cryptocurrency Monero (XMR).

 

 

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About


Welcome to Moneroinfo.  This site serves as a multilingual, educational primer for the understanding and basic use of the anonymous cryptocurrency Monero (XMR).

 

 

ABOUT MONERO

Monero is the world's leading secure, private, and untraceable currency.  Built upon the principles of privacy, scalability, and decentralization Monero provides a private place to conduct your financial transactions.  

While most people would hopefully agree that financial privacy is important, we consistently see that corporations, banks, and governments repeatedly compromise the private information of their members or citizens.  The unfortunate reality is that traditional financial practices leave us with no place to exchange money privately.

Monero provides an effective alternative.  By combining peer-reviewed cryptography to provide transactions that are private and untraceable Monero serves as truly anonymous and fungible electronic cash.  In other words, Monero makes it impossible for an outside observer to determine how much money was sent from point A to point B, nor how much money remains in either location.

Furthermore, Monero is scalable in that its block sizes adapt to the network's current needs rather than remaining fixed at a specific size (as we have seen with Bitcoin) and limiting the growth and speed of the network.  Monero also addresses scalability by implementing a "tail emission."  This means that once Monero's initial 18.4 million coins have been mined, there will be a permanent block reward of 0.3 Monero per minute.  This will encourage miners to continue mining and therefore contributing to the strength of the network.

Lastly, like other cryptocurrencies, Monero allows its users to "be their own bank" by holding their own private keys and thereby being the sole owners of their funds rather than depending on centralized entities such as banks.  However, Monero takes decentralization a step further by allowing for CPU mining, which greatly reduces the risk of so-called "mining farms" where only a few parties have control over a large percentage of the network's mining hashrate.  Additionally, Monero's open-source format allows anyone to contribute to the project, either directly or by offering related products and services.  This philosophy has led to a number of remarkable achievements including Openalias, which allows users to generate their own unique, simplified account addresses.

Technical Details

  • Monero was launched on 14 April 2014 with absolutely no instamine or premine.
  • It is built upon the Cryptonote protocol.
  • Monero uses ring signatures to obfuscate transactions at the protocol level rather than depending on centralized mixing services such as Dash's masternodes and Bitcoin's CoinJoin.
  • Its total initial emission is 18.4 million coins.  After this, there will be a permanent fixed emission of 0.3 XMR per minute.
  • Its emission smoothly decreases rather than halving abruptly.
  • Unlike Bitcoin, Monero does not have a block size limit.  Rather, Monero's block sizes are dynamically adaptive, allowing it to adjust to the needs of the newtork.
  • Monero is a Proof of Work (PoW) cryptocurrency where the probability of mining a block is dependent on how much work is done by the miner.

A note on Bitcoin

A common misconception is that Bitcoin is sufficiently anonymous.  Unfortunately, the reality is quite the opposite.  In fact, Bitcoin is quite possibly the most transparent payment system in the world due to the fact that all Bitcoin transactions are public, traceable, and permanently stored on the blockchain.  Furthermore, it is possible for anyone to look up the balance and transactions of any Bitcoin address, such as this one, containing over 66,000 Bitcoins.

In addition to problems with Bitcoin's fundamentals 2015 has brought forth the rise of "blockchain analysis," the focused effort of bringing together metadata, IP addresses, and other forms of identification in order to unmask the owners of specific wallets.  Examples of companies that now provide blockchain analysis as a service include Blockseer and Coinanalytics.

For further reading on Bitcoin and anonymity, an excellent resource is bitcoinisnotanonymous.com.

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Storage


STORING AND PROTECTING MONERO

Storage


STORING AND PROTECTING MONERO

Storage Overview

Monero is stored on an account, which is based on two distinct cryptographic keys: the spend key and the view key.  The spend key is the only key required to authorize the transfer of funds out of a Monero account.  The view key grants access to view (but not spend) the balance of an account and can be handed over for the purposes of an audit.  Both the spend and view keys are 64 characters long.

Sample spend key: 084afe9dfacb0012c7c553122300c42f0bbd1a5bfce86ac94f9c4e70fefd8b08

Sample view key: de512ca7994295a90f5554bedc75612f5d5cd3dbdbc99c3dfa631c37eecec604

In addition to the spend and view keys, your Monero account also consists of a public address and mnemonic seed.  A public address is what you share with others in order to be able to receive Monero.  A mnemonic seed is a string of 13 or 25 words that you receive when you first create a new Monero account.  This seed can be used to backup or restore your account, so it is absolutely imperative that you write it down and keep it in a safe place.

Sample public address: 

449Sq9yXRys4phfqoMWGKt7wHnJdcvxKWSENc6im3xXqWWKzJTUe2LnTWQVisy6pTAhFKoTGfSsww7A1L2E3wWVBQhJAgDf.

Sample mnemonic seed: 

school exquisite owls maverick bounced pepper ruling oxidant scenic roster upbeat adept memoir onto wipeout surfer hubcaps agreed payment jagged aphid phone apricot awesome aphid

 

Storage options

MyMonero

The most simple way to store your Monero is via the online web-wallet MyMonero, which works in your computer or mobile internet browser and doesn't require any installation.  However, it is important to note that MyMonero's servers can see (but not spend) your Monero balance.  Thus, you do run the slight risk of a loss of privacy.  MyMonero is owned and operated by Riccardo Spagni, one of the Monero core team members.

Full Node

If you would like to run a full Monero client while also contributing to the strength of the network, consider running a full Monero node. Doing so also affords you the highest level of privacy while still allowing quick access to your funds.   It also does not require a large amount of processing power on your computer, though you will need a few gigabytes worth of disk space.  Instructions (English only) on how to run a Monero node may be found here, and all the relevant downloads may be found here.

GUI

There is is an official GUI wallet for Monero, but it is currently in the beta stages of development.

Paper Wallet

For absolute security, you may consider storing your Monero on a paper wallet, effectively moving the funds offline and into what is commonly referred to as "cold storage."  In order to remove your funds from the paper wallet and back online, you can either enter your mnemonic seed at MyMonero (which requires a 1 Monero fee) or by inputting the seed into your Monero client.  

An offline wallet generator may be found here, and this is an example of a paper wallet on which you can write your keys.

Hardware Wallets

Though no hardware wallets exist currently, the team at Ledger has indicated they are presently working on a Monero integration for their products.

Note: As stated above, regardless of the method that you choose to store your Monero it is absolutely critical that you write down several copies of your mnemonic seed and keep them in multiple safe places.

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Send and receive


SENDING AND RECEIVING MONERO

Send and receive


SENDING AND RECEIVING MONERO

Sending

Monero functions somewhat differently than Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.  While the basic principle of a sender and recipient's public or account address remains true, what Monero adds to the transaction is a payment ID, which is a hexadecimal string that is 64 characters long.  Since you can not distinguish which is the sender’s real address in the Monero transactions,  the payment ID serves two purposes: It allows the recipient to uniquely identify their incoming payments from others, and also allows the sender to distinguish their outgoing payments, particularly when there are multiple payments going to the same address but for different orders.

Sample payment ID: 8a631acb70e8f96701073cc3b7f33a44ab51be3b40506dd27f4c3ff344d46b32.

Note: While a payment ID is not required to guarantee a successful transaction, sometimes recipients of funds will require the use of a payment ID.  For example, the cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex requires that you use a payment ID that they generate in order to guarantee a successful deposit of Monero into your trading account.

Apart from the use of a payment ID, sending Monero is nearly identical to sending Bitcoin.  Simply enter your chosen party's account address, select your level of mixin (how many outputs you would like your coins to mix with), and send the funds.  

Sample account address: 

449Sq9yXRys4phfqoMWGKt7wHnJdcvxKWSENc6im3xXqWWKzJTUe2LnTWQVisy6pTAhFKoTGfSsww7A1L2E3wWVBQhJAgDf.

Receiving

Receiving Monero is very simple.  Simply share your public address with whomever you would like to send you money, and await your funds.  Please take note that giving the other party a payment ID of your choice may help you in identifying the transaction, though as long as the other party can identify their transaction to you with their own payment ID then either method should work.  The exception to this is, as discussed above, when receiving Monero at a trading account with an exchange such as Poloniex where a predetermined payment ID is required.

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How to buy


How to buy Monero

How to buy


How to buy Monero

pRIMARY EXCHANGES

At this time, Monero is available for Bitcoin through five primary exchanges: ShapeshiftPoloniexBittrex, Bitfinex, and Bitsquare.

Users interested in purchasing Monero with USD on an exchange may visit Bitfinex.  

There also exists the option to buy Monero directly with fiat currencies EUR, GBP, USD, CAD, and CNY at MoneroDirect.

Shapeshift

Shapeshift is currently the easiest way to buy Monero.  Follow the steps below to in order to complete a successful transaction: 

  1. Firstly, you must possess Bitcoin, which is acquirable through vendors such as Coinbase and Circle, or exchanges like BTC-E, Bitstamp, or Huobi.  
  2. Next, you must have a Monero address at which to receive your funds.  The easiest way of acquiring an address is through Mymonero, which has been described above.
  3. After you have an address, go to Shapeshift, select Bitcoin as the "deposit" currency and Monero as the "Receive" currency.
  4. Paste in a Bitcoin return address (in case your transaction to Monero fails and your Bitcoin need to be sent back to you), and paste your own Monero address in the following box.
  5. Finally, send your Bitcoin to the deposit address Shapeshift provides for you, and that's it! After the transaction is processed and the new funds are sent you are now the proud owner of some Monero!

Poloniex, Bittrex, and Bitsquare

If you would like to buy Monero through PoloniexBittrex, or Bitsquare follow their instructions for setting up an account and depositing funds.  As cryptocurrency exchanges, Poloniex and Bittrex offer a different environment for acquiring Monero in that you must buy it by fulfilling other traders' sell orders.  This means that prices may vary, sometimes widely.  If you are uninterested in trading Monero and would prefer a platform that temporarily guarantees a certain purchasing price, then Shapeshift is a better alternative.

Bitfinex

On 30 November, 2016, the exchange Bitfinex opened trading for XMR/BTC and XMR/USD pairings, making it the first exchange to support a fiat-XMR pair.

Kraken

On 2 January, 2017, the exchange Kraken opened trading for XMR/BTC, XMR/USD, and XMR/EUR.

A note about exchanges:

While we would all like to believe that cryptocurrency exchanges have our best interests at heart and practice sound security measures, it is highly recommended that you never keep a significant portion of your funds on an exchange in the event of a hack or other calamitous event (i.e. MtGox).  By doing this, you practice good security and retain control of your private keys, therefore retaining full control of your funds.

Peer-to-peer purchases

LocalMonero

In August 2017 the site LocalMonero launched, providing interested customers with the opportunity to buy Monero directly from other individuals.