Monero: Q&A

1. Who is behind Monero? Backgrounds?

Monero is based on the Cryptonote Whitepaper created by a guy called “Nicolas van Saberhagen” and was launched by a guy called thankful_for_today, but the early community forked away from him after he made several weird decisions and didn’t want to listen to the community but literally dictate what to do. Currently Monero is being developed by several people all over the world, some of them are publicly known, some are not. Anyone is invited to join the community and contribute to it.

2. Why Monero is unique, better than the other privacy coins and why it will thrive?

Monero offers mandatory privacy, which means all transactions are truly private hiding the sender, amount and receiver of every single transaction. Unlike other projects claiming some kind of privacy, the privacy set of Monero is its whole userbase, not just people opting in for a privacy feature. It’s hard to hide among 50 people, but it’s getting easier when you have millions of people. Monero tries to bring privacy to the masses without having to know the technology behind it, out of the box.

3. How will Monero simplify the usage of privacy coins for mass adoption?

In the early days Monero was not user friendly at all, since there was just a command line implementation and most work has been done on optimising the protocol. Unlike most other coins Monero is not just a Bitcoin fork where you can use existing tools without much effort, but it has a completely unique codebase. However, there is a Beta version of the official GUI (Graphical User Interface) and more and more external tools are adopting Monero. Ledger Hardware wallet support is ready, MyMonero’s Desktop client is ready, there are third party mobile wallets for Android and iOS, an open hardware Monero-only Hardware wallet is in development and we have a ready Point of Sale system for merchants without any middlemen called Kasisto.

4. How will Monero and Tari tackle scalability once Tari goes live?

Tari will be merge mined with Monero so it will not affect Monero’s scalability at all. Miners will have just an option to mine both using literally the same hashrate but getting rewarded in XMR and Tari. However scalability is a big issue for Monero like for every public ledger and there are many efforts to improve it. The most recognised among these is probably Bulletproofs replacing range proofs, reducing Monero’s transaction size by 80–90%. They are currently being audited by three external organisations and probably going live in September or October. Unlike most other projects in this space, Monero has no fixed block size but a dynamic one. So if there is more demand for transactions being included into blocks, miners will be able to adjust and grow the block size so it will not get stuck like in Bitcoin lately. However, Monero’s team is aware that you cannot scale onchain forever and the Monero Research Lab (MRL) is also evaluating off-chain solutions from Bitcoin and other projects. Most of the implementations are also better suited on a private base layer like in Monero rather than a transparent one like Bitcoin.

5. Following above question… How will it stacks up versus competition?

Tari is a very fresh project and specifications are not yet available, but it chose Monero as base layer for two main reasons: The private ledger Monero is able to offer for all of its transactions and Monero’s decentralised aspect with ASIC resistance making it possible for literally anyone in the world to mine Monero with his existing hardware instead of centralising it just for big companies and data centres. Tari’s aims to back assets by the Monero blockchain, which can’t be controlled by a single entity.

Overview of a Monero Transaction

6. How will Monero handle the continuous delisting due to compliance issues by centralized exchanges?

Regulators tend to react very irrational when it comes to new technologies. You can see that in their latest reactions in Japan or Korea where along with Monero other coins which are just claiming but not delivering privacy at all were banned, too. In the end you cannot ban cryptography and if you ban Monero, anyone can fork it and call it whatever he or she wants, since it’s open source. Monero is like cash, truly fungible and you don’t have to fear for whatever it has been used before you got it. If you get a Dollar bill, you probably don’t check if it has cocaine on it, it’s fungible with any other note and that’s what Monero also is.

7. Wouldn’t be appropriate for Monero think about creating a decentralized exchange?

OpenBazaar and Bisq support Monero already, Waves is going to introduce Monero within the next few days, Atomic Swaps will be developed by the Tari team. So if a country doesn’t ban crypto in total, you will have plenty of possibilities to get into Monero, even if your authorities might not like it. Even if they banned cryptocurrencies in total, there will be ways to undermine it… Just look at Venezuela’s inflation problems, the demand on Bitcoin and other cryptos or the whole war on drugs. I must have missed that drugs are not available on the streets after they are prohibited for dozens of years now.
So no, Monero will not create a decentralised exchange, but maybe some community member will do. There is localmonero.co where you can trade p2p, but that’s not the aim of the Monero project to introduce such stuff. Monero is meant just to be the perfect digital replacement for cash and anyone can built tools around it.

8. Plenty of competition privacy coins, who tech wise are close to Monero?

The only privacy coin which might get close to Monero is Zcash. However, they fucked up their setup and you have to trust like 5 people that they have been honest and neither their hardware nor software has not been compromised, just follow Peter Todd who was one of them and is very critical about the setup. Also, Zcash has optional privacy and hardly anyone uses it, since it’s still a pain. Less than 1% of transactions on their network are fully shielded hiding sender, amount and receiver like Monero does for 100% of all transactions. You simply cannot hide among a handful of others. DASH, Pivx or Verge are more or less jokes, probably more than less.

9. Are there any plans to eventually change to PoS, or it will be detrimental to Monero?

No, simply no. PoS is some kind of a perpetuum mobile and it is not considered to secure a decentralised network like PoW obviously does.

10. What will the roadmap look like 2018 and beyond?

Bulletproofs as a major optimisation coming probably around September / October, Kovri routing transactions through a decentralised hidden network like TOR, not actually using TOR but I2P and hiding the origin IP from external observers, also allowing people to transact in very restrictive countries like China or Iran. Probably Monero’s open hardware wallet will be ready, many third party integrations coming in. Monero is however not good in announcements, the team prefers to deliver when things are ready.

Monero: Kovri (How Monero hides IP addresses)

Monero aside from Bitcoin, is THE privacy coin that should always be on your portfolio, and the back of your mind. Is the GOLD privacy standard in crypto.

Monero should be everybody’ long term, no compromises, stress-free, crypto you hold on to dearly. I am vastly impressed with the community, development, and ambition. It will definitely will be one of the handful crypto projects to outlast all the rest.

Thankful to @monerocurrency, and Paul for their time, approachability, and thoroughness with answers.

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