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Cryptocurrencies have many goals, but most have at least a passing desire for anonymity and privacy. While others may pay passing lip service to this vision, Monero embraced it. Chief among the privacy coins, Monero is a gateway to the ‘dark web’. The complete inability to trace transactions within the blockchain makes it the coin of choice for illicit trades. While this may cause negative perceptions of the coin, it does have another effect. If the privacy is that strong, it means Monero has succeeded at their stated goal. While viewing the transactions from a specific wallet is possible, it requires active consent and a specific viewing key.

Privacy Above All Else

Monero is a completely unique blockchain – built from the ground up for privacy and security. It uses a ring signature system that sends transactions through a group of users. Stealth addresses generate for each transaction and do not necessarily require the send and receiver to know each other. So long as they have the one-time use address, they can be certain that the XMR will reach the proper location.

Furthering this entire process, single units of Monero are not identifiable. Blockchain forensics solve some of the more difficult court cases involved in money laundering. Law enforcement has been able to follow the trail of specific coins to determine who paid which amount and to where. Coins that are positively identified as involved with criminal activities can be blacklisted. Monero’s complete anonymity of coins makes this an impossibility, with the added benefit of creating a fungible currency.

MicroMining

The length of the Bitcoin blockchain is becoming a problem. As more people mine Bitcoin, more transactions occur and it requires a greater amount of computational power. This includes new block generation through the difficulty algorithm. While mining was relatively easy in the early days, it now requires a dedicated setup. The electricity alone is becoming an issue for entire communities. Most new Bitcoin blocks are created by massive mining farms that exist solely to produce the cryptocurrency.

Monero sought to avoid this issue and created a specifically ASIC resistant algorithm. This makes dedicated mining rigs inefficient for the Monero blockchain. In turn, it has become the currency of choice for web applications. Small-scale mining software can be embedded to perform computations in lieu of advertising. Unfortunately, it also means that malware can leverage the Monero blockchain to earn money from infected computers. Still, this has not prevented mainstream businesses from recognizing the long-term potential.

High Profile Adoptions

The ability to mine Monero through web applications has one major adopter – Salon. The news site has struggled against adblocking software in recent years. They have decided to experiment using Coinhive’s Monero mining software as a replacement for advertising. They are understandably being very upfront about the process – it’s opt-in and only intended for users that make the choice consciously.

This is an important distinction and could open the path for other high profile sites to use the same process. Furthermore, non-profit sites like Wikipedia could theoretically embed the Coinhive software – and no longer require donation drives. However, it’s critical for Monero to establish itself as the ad-alternative, and not the coin of choice for malware.

Impervious to the Cryptocrash

The end of 2017 was a banner time for cryptocurrency – a huge spike of new investors lifted the price of almost every coin available. The top cryptocurrencies hit all-time highs and major news media began covering the crypto-sphere regularly. This all ended in January with the sudden crash of the miniature bubble burst soured new investors and resulted in a fairly stagnant start to the new year.

Monero did not have this problem. Their value against BTC has grown steadily since mid-2016. Although volatile, it has been in a continuous uptrend since November of last year. This is completely unmatched by other currencies. In fact, Monero only hit their all-time high BTC value in March. This is a strong indicator of investor confidence and suggests that Monero should do very well in the days to come.

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Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide, investment advice. Global Coin Report and/or its affiliates, employees, writers, and subcontractors are cryptocurrency investors and from time to time may or may not have holdings in some of the coins or tokens they cover. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency and read our full disclaimer.

Image courtesy of Christina Saint Marche via Flickr


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