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What is Monero? The ultimate guide to XMR

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

Updated

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

1
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Updated: 29 Nov 2020 03:03:48 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 Cryptocurrencies
Credit card,Cryptocurrency,Debit card,Osko,PayID
USD, AUD, GBP, CAD, EUR, CNY, RUB, TRY, NGN, UAH & 40+ more

262
cryptocurrencies

Trade an extensive range of reputable coins on this world-renowned exchange, popular for its high liquidity and multi-language support.

US residents: As of September 2019, US-based users can only trade USD on the American dollar onramp of Binance, Binance.US.
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,Wire transfer,Osko,PayID,Ethana Custody
USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CAD, CHF, AUD

50
cryptocurrencies

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.
StormGain Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
USD, EUR, AUD, CHF, CZK, DKK, GBP, HUF & 5+ more

23
cryptocurrencies

Stormgain aims to make cryptocurrency trading easy, and also lets you buy crypto with fiat via Simplex.

UK residents: In addition to normal crypto trading, Stormgain 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.
Credit card,Cryptocurrency
USD, EUR, AUD, CAD, CHF, CZK, DKK, GBP, HUF, ILS & 20+ more

115
cryptocurrencies

Trade various coins through a global crypto to crypto exchange based in the US.
Credit card,Cryptocurrency
USD, JPY, RUB, EUR

387
cryptocurrencies

CoinSwitch allows you to compare and convert over 250 cryptocurrencies across all exchanges.
Credit card,Cryptocurrency,Debit card
USD, EUR, GBP, RUB, CNY, AUD, KRW, JPY, TRY, VND & 40+ more

210
cryptocurrencies

Finder Exclusive: Get up to 10 USDT in trading fee rebates for signing up and making a deposit, and up to 30 USDT in trading fee rebates after buying with fiat. T&Cs apply.
Browse a variety of coin offerings in one of the largest multi-cryptocurrency exchanges and pay in cryptocurrency.
Bitfinex Professional Trading Exchange
Cryptocurrency
USD, EUR, GBP, JPY

164
cryptocurrencies

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, GBP, AUD, CAD, CHF, HKD, JPY, PHP, ZAR & 30+ more

146
cryptocurrencies

Access competitive crypto-to-crypto exchange rates for 150+ cryptocurrencies on this global exchange.
OKEx Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer,Cryptocurrency,WeChat
USD, CNY, EUR, ARS, AUD, BGN, BRL, CAD, CHF, COP & 20+ more

269
cryptocurrencies

Listing over 100 cryptocurrencies, OKEx offers its users a variety of payment methods and coins to choose from.
Indacoin Cryptocurrency Exchange
Credit card,Debit card
USD, EUR, RUB

158
cryptocurrencies

Use your credit or debit card to buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrency without having to verify your identity.
Huobi Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
GBP, USD, AUD, EUR, INR, BRL, KHR, CAD,CNY, NZD & 15+ more

290
cryptocurrencies

Huobi is a digital currency exchange that allows its users to trade more than 190 cryptocurrency pairs.
Bittrex Digital Currency Exchange
Cryptocurrency,Wire transfer
USD

278
cryptocurrencies

Buy from one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges with a selection of over 190+ cryptocurrencies and 3 USD pairings.
ShapeShift Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-

51
cryptocurrencies

Quickly swap between more than 40 cryptocurrency assets or use your credit card to instantly buy bitcoin.
Bitit Cryptocurrency Marketplace
Cash,Credit card,Debit card,Neosurf,Bank transfer (SEPA)
EUR, USD, JPY, DKK, GBP, SEK, NOK, TRY & 5+ more

50
cryptocurrencies

Buy cryptocurrency with cash or credit card and get express delivery in as little as 10 minutes.
Hotbit Cryptocurrency Exchange
Hotbit Cryptocurrency Exchange
AdvCash,Cryptocurrency,Payeer,Perfect Money
USD

512
cryptocurrencies

A multi-currency exchange with 150+ pairings that can be accessed through desktop as well as a mobile app.
Liquid Cryptocurrency Exchange & Margin Trading
Credit card,Cryptocurrency,Debit card,Bank transfer (SEPA),Swapforex
AUD, EUR, JPY, USD, SGD, PHP, HKD

132
cryptocurrencies

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.
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Frequently asked questions

Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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