We covered Monero (XMR) previously in our Beginner’s Guide to Monero. A year has passed, and it’s now time to revisit the interesting subject of this privacy-focused cryptocurrency. Our claim that Monero is the premier coin for anonymous transactions appears to have been borne out both via its growing adoption by darknet markets (DNMs) and the launch of Libertas, the first Monero-only DNM.
Tip: for those looking for the ultimate in private payments, check out this guide to using Monero with Tails.
Monero continues to improve, as we can see from the growth of its economy and the following technical developments:
Monero Has Finally Gone Graphical
The official Monero wallet is no longer confined to the command-line interface. It now sports an attractive graphical user interface (GUI). This makes Monero far more accessible to new users.
With the recent release of version 0.11, the Monero GUI wallet now syncs a lot faster (I’d estimate about 400%) with its blockchain. This makes running a Monero full node—which is definitely the best option for privacy—a lot more convenient, especially for those with slow internet connections.
The fancy new Monero wallet.
XMR-based Web Mining Is Shaking Up Online Business Models
Ledger Hardware Wallets Are Adding Monero
Ledger’s popular Blue and Nano S hardware wallets, which we highly recommend, will soon support Monero. The process of implementing Monero has begun, and it will hopefully be complete soon. This will greatly improve the convenience of storing Monero securely.
Greg Maxwell Doesn’t Hate Monero
As listed in the previous article, various Bitcoin developers and experts have said positive things about Monero. Recent comments from legendary Bitcoin Core developer Greg Maxwell may now be added to that list:
If Maxwell—not known for his altcoin enthusiasm—considers Monero “interesting” and “valuable,” its developers must be doing something right. However, his criticisms of Monero’s scalability and uncapped supply are worth noting for the long term.
How to Buy Monero
Step 1: Find an exchange
Local Monero is a marketplace that brings together buyers and seller where you can find a wide variety of payment options as well in order to buy Monero.
Kraken allows fiat deposits which then allow you to purchase Monero directly. This however requires you to go through the exchange verification process.
Another way to buy Monero is to first buy Bitcoin with fiat (i.e., USD, EUR, GBP) then exchange your Bitcoin for Monero.
If you live in the United States, you can buy Bitcoin with a credit card through Coinbase or Coinmama then use Changelly to exchange your Bitcoins with Monero. Don’t try to buy Monero with a credit card directly on Changelly—it will be too expensive.
If you don’t want to use Changelly, the following major exchanges, in order of daily volume, support Bitcoin for Monero trading: Bitfinex (no longer accepts US customers), HitBTC, Poloniex, Bithumb, Bittrex, and Kraken.
Step 2: Get a Monero Wallet
If you don’t already have a Monero wallet, we recommend the official desktop wallet from the Monero devs. If a lower level of privacy doesn’t concern you, the My Monero web wallet is convenient to use and doesn’t require you to download the Monero.
Either way, remember to make a secure backup of your wallet’s seed for recovery purposes. Also note the payment ID associated with your Monero receiving address.
Step 3: Buy Monero!
Once you’ve bought your Monero from the selected exchange, make sure to move it into your own wallet. Never leave your coins on an exchange, as it puts them out of your control.
Congratulations! You’re now the proud owner of some Monero!
The majority of cryptocurrencies are only good for speculation. Monero is one of the few I feel comfortable recommending to my friends as worth holding over the long term. Monero has proven itself to be both useful and (despite some of its uses) legitimate. I expect Monero will still be around in five years—likely priced higher than it is today.