Monero (/məˈnɛroʊ/; XMR) is a decentralized cryptocurrency. It uses a public allotted ledger with privacy-improving technology that obfuscates transactions to obtain anonymity and fungibility. Observers can’t decode addresses buying and selling monero, transaction quantities, address balances, or transaction histories.
The protocol is open-source and based on CryptoNote, an idea described in a 2013 white paper authored via Nicolas van Saberhagen. The cryptography community used this concept to design Monero and add its mainnet in 2014. Monero uses ring signatures, zero-expertise proofs, “stealth addresses,” and IP address obscuring strategies to obfuscate transaction details. These capabilities are baked into the protocol, even though customers can share view keys for third-party auditing. Transactions are established via a miner network running RandomX, a proof of work algorithm. The algorithm issued new coins to miners and was designed to be proof against ASIC mining.
Monero has the third-biggest developer network among cryptocurrencies, at the back of Bitcoin and Ethereum. Its privacy functions have attracted cypherpunks and customers wanting privacy measures not supplied in other cryptocurrencies. It is increasingly used in illicit activities, including money laundering, darknet markets, ransomware, and crypto-jacking. America internal revenue service (IRS) has published bounties for contractors that can increase monero tracing technologies.
The attribution of Monero to illicit markets has stimulated a few exchanges to forgo listing it and made it more difficult for customers to exchange Monero for fiat currencies or other cryptocurrencies. Due to regulatory strain, South Korea and Australian traders have delisted monero and other privacy coins.
In 2018, Europol and its director Rob Wainwright wrote that the year could see criminals shift from Bitcoin to the use of Monero and Ethereum, Dash, and cash. Bloomberg and CNN suggested that this demand for Monero was due to the fact government was becoming better at monitoring the Bitcoin blockchain.