Let Me Introduce Monero, Currency of the Darknet

Max Middelman
Nov 20, 2016 · 4 min read
Image for post
Image for post
Monero is a semi-anonymous cryptocurrency that’s mainly being used on the darknet

This week we’re joined by a mysterious coin. An anonymous animal gaining strength and following day by day. A coin so powerful that… Ok, nevermind, we’ll spare you the ridiculous intro and just get into it.

Monero is an anonymous coin that has seen a skyrocketing climb in value over the past few months largely due to a result of the promise of anonymity, security and most importantly scalability. Monero enjoyed a short time in the clouds, but we’re all familiar with the saying, “all good things must come to an end,” and unfortunately Monero’s mountaintops were no exception.

All markets are driven largely by speculation, and rumors soon corroded the peaks of Monero’s stock market mountains bringing them to a more earth-like standing, though still nothing to scoff at. Monero retains a notable trading volume and is an intensely valued asset with the fifth-highest market capitalization.

As briefly mentioned above there were a few determining factors that have led to the success of Monero and a few points of contention that still have its users wary. Below you’ll find a dialogue surrounding the pro’s and con’s.

The Details

In our last article about Zcash you might remember us mentioning something called a zk-SNARK which is a zero knowledge proof, or basically the method used for Zcash to achieve anonymity. Monero uses something called a Ring CT, or Ring Confidential Transactions to create a veil of anonymity, which is a less intense form of anonymity compared to Zcash. In a discussion about the difference in the styles Reddit user eb3f makes the commentary

“Monero uses ring signatures, as you may know, which is battle-tested and well-understood in the cryptography world and in practice. Zcash uses much newer zero-knowledge proof cryptography called zk-SNARKs. You get a number of huge advantages out of this: the entire transaction is private, including all values, and nodes do not need to store signatures or public keys perpetually. The anonymity set is also much larger than Monero: with ring signature schemes, you must choose some number of previous outputs to “mix” with, but this number is very small. In Zcash, the number is effectively “every previous transaction” which makes xcept at the network layer, where we are also working to eliminate almost all “partitioning” of the anonymity set.”

Wait… What?

Sound confusing? Yeah. Confused us a little too, so we’ll break it down into the most basic. Essentially Monero uses a method that’s tested and safer. It’s been around for longer and we know how to protect and use it better. On the flip side, Zcash is innovating with new forms of math like we discussed in the previous article, which may have more risks, but a potentially exponential array of benefits.

Another important note concerning Monero is that it uses built-in stealth addresses to hide account balances and make transactions unlinkable, while coins like Bitcoin makes account/address balances public so rest assured that no one will be able to trace you and all the naughty things you’re spending your Monero on.

So privacy is covered on Monero, which takes us to scalability and security. Cryptonight, the Proof-of-Work algorithm that Monero uses has no ASIC’s for it which was intentionally designed to bring the race between GPU’s, CPU’s and ASIC’s closer. In layman’s terms, this means that people with super powerful machines won’t be able to take over the marketplace as easily as we’ve seem them do with Bitcoin. The idea is to keep centralization from happening and certain groups dominating the marketplace with the majority of the hash rate. Monero wants to make it attractive and sustainable while creating a secure future for miners.

Image for post
Image for post
Source Steemit.com

As far as scalability is concerned, look around you for the proof you need. Websites existing off of the dark-web are accepting Monero. Every major darknet has integrated it. It’s becoming a medium of the internet, potentially on its way to the popularity of Bitcoin. Monero has no hardcoded limit, which means it doesn’t have a 1 MB block size limitation preventing scalability as does Bitcoin. It will continue to grow until our computers can’t handle it, and hopefully by then we will have created other resourceful ways to deal with scaling issues.

But all of this sounds rosy, so what are the real downsides? Is there anything that could hold Monero back? The honest answer is that there’s not much. Some vocalized concerns fell in line with Zcash, mentioning issues of potential hacks being untraceable or lack of backing from the government as it’s anonymous. There were a few mentions of fear of it just becoming overshadowed by newer forms of math and tech, such as Zcash, but the truth is that there are few articles, videos or dialogues and discussions betting against Monero….

And that’s why we’re with it all the way. The technology is tried, true and consistent. The community is vibrant and supportive, which has allowed for massive integration, and we honestly see a large future for anonymously oriented coins due to the globalization of communication and technology. At Futurevest Monero will be one of the coins we recommend you focus on.

Comment below or message me with any concerns or questions you might have. Happy Trading!

If you like this post, follow me here on Medium, Facebook and Twitter or download the Coinstack app for more articles about cryptocurrencies.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store