What is Monero? A coin with privacy on its mind!
Most popular cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin or Ethereum, are public ledgers that show all the transactions on the network that can be verified by anyone in the world and hence potentially traced to a real-world identity. Monero (XMR) is a transparent privacy-oriented cryptocurrency with a focus on confidential transactions. So all the details of transactions (the identity of senders and recipients, and the amount of transaction) remain anonymous.
Monero appeared in 2014, but to trace its origins, we first need to look into cryptocurrency that was launched in 2012. Bytecoin was the first digital currency that used technology called CryptoNote. It was the backbone of most of the privacy-based coins.
Bytecoin was a good start for anonymous crypto, but it turned out that after the initial distribution, 80% of the coins were already in existence, which led to a fork in the Bytecoin blockchain. The new digital currency was supposed to be called Bitmonero but eventually was shortened to Monero. So what is Monero coin? Monero is a "coin" in Esperanto. Yes, funny like that.
So far, Monero has around 17 Million coins in circulation, and a maximum supply of coins is not restricted. It will continue after the main supply of Monero will be exhausted allegedly in May of 2022.
What is Monero mining, and what does algorithm Monero use?
Unlike many other cryptocurrencies, Monero is based on the CryptoNote protocol that significantly differs from the rest, and this is exactly what provides a high level of privacy. The "stealth addresses" generated for each transaction make it impossible to discover a destination, and therefore activity can't be blacklisted or refused by other network members. In Monero blockchain, every unit of the currency can be substituted by another, which makes them indistinguishable from one another. And finally, Monero uses a mechanism called "ring confidential transactions" that hides the transferred amount.
When launching Monero blockchain, its developers decided to go with a principle of "equal opportunities." So they didn't keep any stake for themselves. For the development of their virtual currency, they rely on the support and contributions of the involved community. And last but not least, mining Monero does not require specific hardware, like the application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). It can be performed on a standard computer.
The privacy-related features have helped Monero become the 16th largest cryptocurrency in the world. Its market capitalization is equal to $1.5B, with an average daily trading volume of $177.6M. Monero can be traded on the leading cryptocurrency exchanges like Bitfinex, Kraken, or Poloniex.