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.