What is Monero? The ultimate guide to XMR

The ultimate guide to XMR

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What is Monero?

If you’re looking for a secure, anonymous, and untraceable currency, you should consider whether Monero has you covered.

Monero (XMR) appears to have become synonymous with anonymity and secure transactions. While many people believe that bitcoin is already anonymous, this is definitely not the case as we’ll see in this guide. The anonymous nature of bitcoin is very much up for debate and Monero is the natural outcome of that debate.

Learn more Buy Monero

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade.

What is Monero?

Icon Symbol Initial release date Algorithm type Max. supply
XMR April 2014 CryptoNight 18.4 million XMR

Rising from a need identified by developers to make a more secure, anonymous and untraceable cryptocurrency, Monero was released in April 2014. It presents itself as standing for three core values:

  • Security. Without trust, no cryptocurrency can survive and none of them are more reliant on that trust than Monero, whose users not only trust it with their money but also with keeping their transactions anonymous.
  • Privacy. Monero claims that they need to be able to protect their users’ anonymity, even in a court of law – including, as their website states “in extreme cases, from the death penalty”.
  • Decentralisation. Monero isn’t run by anyone. It’s unlike some other coins where there’s a central agency that runs the network, or blockchain. In the case of Monero, not only does this central, controlling agency or business not exist, but the development decisions and the developer meeting logs are published and available online for anyone to see.

How is Monero different from bitcoin?

Monero focuses on anonymity, and this is where it diverges significantly from bitcoin. Many believe that bitcoin already is anonymous, but that’s just a very common misconception, as we’ll see.

The problem with public transactions

Bitcoin is built over what is known as the public ledger, or blockchain. This was done so that users of bitcoin can verify other people’s transactions, especially in cases where these payments need to be transparent (eg, government spending and not-for-profit organisations (NPOs).

The issue is that once you share your bitcoin address, all past and future transactions and how much money you’re sending/receiving will always be linked with you. Buyers may not always find this desirable. It’s not only an issue of revealing that users may be purchasing or paying for illegal services/products. You just might not want your employer to know that you sent money to WikiLeaks, or maybe you don’t want to have freelance clients know how much you’re charging other clients.

Bitcoin’s solution

Bitcoin did come up with somewhat of a temporary solution or a user guideline, so to speak. The idea is that whenever you’re requesting money from someone you should always provide them with a temporary wallet address. This address is related to your actual wallet but would be a one-time-use address and then will be destroyed, making it harder to trace your wallet’s main address back to you. This solves the problem for one-off payments, but organisations and businesses who want a public address visible on their website, for example, would still have all their transactions traceable back to them.

Monero presents a solution to this problem by using what is known as Ring Signatures and Stealth Addresses.

Ring Signatures

Monero mixes addresses for a user’s transactions with another user’s addresses making the path between sender and receiver virtually untraceable. Analysis of the Monero blockchain would reveal nothing more than a cryptographic hash of the transaction.

Stealth Addresses

Similar to the explanation of bitcoin’s suggested solution, Monero hides addresses behind one-time-use ones, which are then destroyed so that the transaction cannot be traced back to a public address.

Today’s Monero price

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Updated: 17 Oct 2019 13:35:43 UTC

Where can I use Monero?

Many of the merchants that currently accept bitcoin and the other more common cryptocurrencies already accept Monero.

How do I buy Monero?

Here’s a list of exchanges for you to consider:

Name Product Deposit methods Fiat Currencies Supported Cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, XRP, USDT, ETH, NEB, XVG, TRX, NEBL, ETH, NEO, FUN, ETC, BCC, POE, DASH, ELF, & 80+ more
Trade an extensive range of reputable coins on this world-renowned exchange, popular for its high liquidity and multi-language support.

US residents: US-based users have been restricted from Binance since June 2019.
UK residents: In addition to normal crypto trading services, Binance offers margin lending. As this is a regulated activity which they are not authorised to offer in the UK, we advise you not to use this service. If you're interested in margin trading, see authorised providers.
Electronic Funds Transfer
Bank transfer (SEPA)
Wire transfer
USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CAD
BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, EOS, LTC, ADA, XLM, DASH, XMR, USDT, ETC, QTUM, ZEC, REP, DOGE, GNO, MLN, ATOM, XTZ, SC
Buy, sell and trade a range of digital currencies on this high-liquidity exchange – suitable for beginners right through to advanced traders.

UK residents: In addition to normal crypto trading, Kraken offers margin lending. As this is a regulated activity which they are not authorised to offer in the UK, we advise you not to use this service. If you're interested in margin trading, see authorised providers.
Credit card
Cryptocurrency
USD
BTC, BCH, MIOTA, XVG, NEO, ADA, XRP, TRX, ONT, ZIL, GAS, LTC, ZRX, QTUM, ETH, ETC, VET, ICX & 300+ more
CoinSwitch allows you to compare and convert over 250 cryptocurrencies across all exchanges.
Cryptocurrency
Wire transfer
USD, EUR, GBP, JPY
BTC, BCH, BTG, IQ, TRX, GNT, AVT, DASH, DATA, EDO, EOS, ETC, ETH, LTC, MIOTA, NEO, OMG, QTUM, SAN, USDT, XMR, XRP, BAT, ZRX, FUN, MANA, SPANK, TNB, RLC, RCN, REP, ELF, AID, SNGLS, SNT, QASH, YOYO, MITH, ETP, XTZ, CNN, BOX, GOT, TKN, UTN
Cryptocurrencies are a highly volatile investment product. Your capital is at risk.
Spot trade all of the major cryptos on this full-featured exchange and margin trading platform.
Credit card
Debit card
USD, EUR
BTC, BCH, ETH, XMR, ZEC, DASH, XRP, ETC, LTC, DOGE, XLM,1ST, ADX, AMP, ANT, BAT, & 75+ more
Access competitive crypto-to-crypto exchange rates for more than 35 cryptocurrencies on this global exchange.
Bithumb Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
Wire transfer
KRW
BTC, BTG, BCH, DASH, ETC, LTC, EOS, XRP, ETH, QTUM, TRX, ICX, VET, XMR, ZEC, MITH, WAVES, WTC, ITC, LINK
A global platform where users can make KRW and cryptocurrency deposits to purchase up to 15 popular cryptocurrencies.
Bittrex Digital Currency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
Wire transfer
USD
BTC, ETH, BOXX, XVG, SC, XRP, DOGE, STRAT, XMR, ADA, OMG, ETC, BCC, XLM, DGB, UKG, & 128+ more
Buy from one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges with a selection of over 190+ cryptocurrencies and 3 USD pairings.
Poloniex Digital Asset Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, ETH, XRP, DOGE, XLM, ETC, STRAT, LTC, SC, DGB, BCH, LSK, XMR, LOOM, BAT & 50 more
Trade various coins through a global crypto to crypto exchange based in the US.
Exmo Cryptocurrency Exchange
Credit card
Cryptocurrency
Debit card
Payeer
Perfect Money
Bank transfer (SEPA)
Wire transfer
USD, EUR, RUB, PLN, UAH
BTC, BCH, ETH, ETC, XRP, KICK, DASH, WAVES, ZEC, XMR, LTC, DOGE, USDT, ADA, INK
A UK-based cryptocurrency platform that provides buyers with a wide variety of payment options.
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, BCH, XMR, DAG, ETH, XRP, EOS, LTC, ADA, TRX, NEO, ONT, STEEM, BTM, BCD, ZINC, VET, OLT, USDT, BSV, & 134+ more
Browse a variety of coin offerings in one of the largest multi-cryptocurrency exchanges and pay in cryptocurrency.
Livecoin Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
Payeer
Perfect Money
Qiwi
USD, EUR, RUB
BTC, BCH, ETH, LSK, LTC, XMR, XEM, DASH, BCC, CLOAK, EMC, NEO, TIME, SHIFT, STRAT, & 146+ more
Trade at an exchange that has an extensive offering over 160 coins and numerous fiat and altcoin currency pairs.
BitBay Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
Express Polish Post Office 24/7
Express Zabka Market
Wire transfer
USD, EUR, PLN
BTC, BCC, BTG, LTC, ETH, LSK, GAME, DASH, KZC, XRP, XIN,ZEC,XMR
This Polish-based exchange offers a variety of accessible payment methods, including Express Polish Post Office 24/7 service and Express DotPay.
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, EOS, XVG, LTC, ADA, MIOTA, TRX, NEO, DASH, XMR, XEM, VET, ETC, ICX, QTUM, OMG, & 70+ more
Buy and trade 100+ cryptocurrencies on this global cryptocurrency exchange.
ShapeShift Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, BCH, BTG, ETH, ETC, FUN, 1ST, ANT, BAT, BNT, BLK, CVC, CLAM, DASH, DCR, DGB, DNT, GAME & 29+ more
Quickly swap between more than 40 cryptocurrency assets or use your credit card to instantly buy bitcoin.
Liquid Cryptocurrency Exchange & Margin Trading
Liquid Cryptocurrency Exchange & Margin Trading
Credit card
Cryptocurrency
Debit card
Bank transfer (SEPA)
Swapforex
AUD, EUR, JPY, USD, SGD
BTC, CRPT, ETH, XRP, BCH, NEO, QTUM, QASH, ETN, LIKE, EARTH, MRK, and 40+ more
Disclaimer: Highly volatile investment product. Your capital is at risk.
Liquid is a unified, globally-sourced trading platform that bridges the worlds of fiat and crypto.

Compare up to 4 providers

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Image sources: Shutterstock, CoinMarketCap

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