Monero(launched April 18, 2014), a descendent of Bytecoin, is a privacy-centric cryptocurrency which uses the CryptoNight(64-bit CPU-only) PoW hash algorithm. The use of this algorithm, combined with the anonymity of the CryptoNote system, gives Monero a number of key features, including:
- Untraceable Payments
- Unlinkable Transactions
- Double-Spending Immunity
- Blockchain Analysis Resistance
- Egalitarian Proof-of-Work
- Adaptive Parameters
More information is available here and here.
Monero means “coin” in Esperanto(International Auxiliary Language) and was the name adopted by the community after it’s original inception as BitMonero. It was created as a fork of Bytecoin because of Bytecoin’s rather obscure and pre-mined launch. Many of the adopters of Bytecoin were upset by this launch and the resulting unstable ecomony due to concentrated coin distribution. Thus, Monero was created with a completely fair and open-sourced launch.
A proactive dev team is very important for a coin to take off and, so far, Monero’s team has done an exceptional job with marketing and pushing the Cryptonote technology forward. As a result, they have pushed Monero to number 7 on CoinGecko’s Crypto Chart, falling only one spot behind DRK; closest popular anonymous coin. However, DRK relies on transaction mixing and doesn’t have true anonymity built into it’s coding.
Mining is a huge part of all cryptocurrencies and Monero has some definite pros under it’s belt due to it’s fundamentals. This includes, but is not limited to:
- An active mining community
- No pre-mine
- CPU/GPU friendly
- ASIC resistant
- Block target = 60 seconds
- Emission schedule has a flatter curve
- Smoothly rising difficulty
I will close this overview with the only current downsides I see hindering Monero’s adoption and they are simply hurdles that all cryptos see along their development path: it’s ease of use and a little more hype! Monero is still in it’s infant stages, however, and these issues are being addressed with some upcoming features: a database overhaul, official GUI wallet, rpc wallet, and possibly a mobile client. Once things smooth out a bit more, widespread adoption will be easier and greater hype will follow.
Monero seems to be all the rage nowadays. Still very hard for the non-techie to use though.