Everything you need to know about privacy coin Monero and how to buy XMR in the United States.
Monero (XMR) is a decentralized and untraceable digital currency designed to provide secure and private transactions. A fork of Bytecoin, Monero is built on the Cryptonote protocol and uses a number of features to obscure the origin, amount and destination of transactions.
If you want to find out more about how this cryptocurrency works or how you can buy Monero in the US, keep reading.
Where to buy, sell or trade XMR
You can buy Monero on an extensive range of cryptocurrency exchanges, including:
How to buy XMR
If you want to buy XMR, here’s how to do it:
Step 1. Register for an account with an exchange that allows you to buy XMR
The first thing you’ll need to do is search for an account that lists XMR in one or more currency pairings or choose from our list above. Once you’ve found a suitable exchange, provide your email address and create a secure password to register for an account.
On some platforms, this is all you need to do before you can start trading. However, many exchanges require additional information, including your full name, contact details and a valid form of photo ID, to satisfy know your customer (KYC) laws. You’ll need to provide those before you can buy any Monero, and it’s also a good idea to enable two-factor authentication on your account for extra security.
Step 2. Deposit funds into your account
Unfortunately, many cryptocurrency exchanges don’t allow you to exchange fiat currency, such as US dollars (USD), for XMR. As a result, you may need to own or buy a crypto that’s listed in a currency pairing with XMR, such as Ethereum (ETH) or bitcoin (BTC), before you can exchange it for Monero.
Step 3. Buy XMR
Navigate your way to the markets section on your chosen exchange, then search for the currency pairing you want, for example BTC/XMR. Follow the directions to buy XMR, then enter the amount you want to buy or the amount of USD, BTC, etc. you want to spend.
Before finalizing your purchase, make sure you review the full details and total cost of the transaction.
How to sell XMR
If you want to sell your XMR, look for the sell XMR instructions on your chosen exchange and then follow a similar process to that detailed in step 3 above. However, remember that as exchanges don’t list every potential currency pairing, it may not be possible to trade your XMR directly for the currency you want.
Which wallets can I use to hold Monero?
Due to the security risks associated with cryptocurrency exchanges, storing your XMR on an exchange for an extended length of time is not recommended. Instead, it’s generally safer to set up a secure wallet for storage.
You can download the official Monero wallet for Windows, Mac, Linux and other operating systems. If you’re searching for mobile and light wallets, My Monero and Monerujo are two options worth considering. A dedicated Monero hardware wallet is still a work in progress.
How Monero works
Monero can trace its origins back to 2012 when Bytecoin, the first real-life use of the Cryptonote application layer protocol, was launched. However, the Bytecoin blockchain was later forked and, in April 2014, BitMonero was launched.
Eventually renamed Monero, this digital coin aims to offer a feature important to many cryptocurrency users: privacy. While the world’s most well-known cryptocurrency, bitcoin, is widely perceived by the general public to be completely anonymous and untraceable, this isn’t actually the case, and it’s this lack of privacy that Monero aims to address.
An open-source, crowdfunded project, Monero offers a decentralized and anonymous cryptocurrency that it claims is untraceable, unlinkable, secure, private and resistant to blockchain analysis. It relies on three key features to ensure the privacy of transactions:
- Ring signatures protect the sender’s identity.
- Ring confidential transactions (RingCT) obscure the amount sent.
- Stealth addresses protect the identity of the recipient by ensuring that their funds can’t be linked to their wallet.
This high level of privacy also means that Monero offers fungibility, which means that every coin has equal value and is interchangeable. Because no two Monero coins are distinguishable from one another, this removes the risk of XMR being refused by vendors or exchanges due to their association in previous transactions, for example theft.
Key things to consider if you’re thinking about buying Monero
Before buying any cryptocurrency, it’s important to be aware of just how complicated, speculative and volatile this asset class can be. You’ll also need to familiarize yourself with all the risks and potential benefits of a currency before you buy.
If you’re thinking of purchasing XMR, consider the following factors first:
- Supply. According to CoinMarketCap at the time of writing (2/15/18), the circulating supply of Monero was 15,722,547 XMR. There’s also a permanent fixed production of 0.3 XMR per minute to counteract lost coins.
- Value. Monero gets its value from the number of people who are willing to buy it. From the FAQs on the Monero website: “If no one is willing to buy Monero, then it will not have any value. Monero’s price increases if demand exceeds supply, and it decreases if supply exceeds demand.”
- Acceptance. A critical factor that will help determine the value of Monero is the number of merchants that accept XMR as a form of payment. You can find an extensive list of places where Monero is accepted on the coin’s website.
- Criminal concerns. As a coin valued for its privacy and anonymity, Monero has been reportedly linked with criminal activities. For example, whoever was behind 2017’s WannaCry cryptoransomware worm is thought to have exchanged their bitcoin for Monero, while reports have also nominated XMR as the currency of choice on the dark web black market. This public perception of the coin’s links with illicit activities could potentially hamper its widespread adoption.
- Competitors. Monero is far from the only privacy coin that aims to offer security and anonymity to users. Other similar coins include Dash (DASH), Zcash (ZEC)and Verge (XVG).
- Regulation. The threat of new regulations and crackdowns on cryptocurrency from several governments around the world could potentially create increased demand for privacy coins like Monero among people looking to avoid tax and legal barriers. On the other hand, this also leads to fear that privacy coins will themselves be the subject of regulations, which is worth keeping in mind when thinking of buying XMR.