Monero is a cryptocurrency that specializes in anonymity. The coin cloaks transactions and their amounts. Monero also hides all previous transaction history of a coin, which is much different from coins like Bitcoin that have an open ledger for all to see. This matters because it makes the coin fungible- any particular coin can be exchanged for another without the holder worrying about the coin’s past transactions. This unique characteristic makes Monero the most popular coin used on the darknet.
What Problem Does it Solve?
Monero keeps your data secure and hidden, which is unlike current transacting intermediaries like PayPal who share your data with over 600 companies. Not everyone cares that their data is being used as an asset, but there are certainly people that do.
Rising Through the Shadows
The darknet community has taken special interest in XMR due to its incognito characteristics. Many take advantage of these features to safely purchase illegal goods over the internet. Like that or not, it means there is a valuable use case for Monero. Darknet black markets are responsible for hundreds of millions in annual sales revenue, meaning the coin’s value will likely withstand major cryptocurrency crashes.
Monero is performing essentially the same function that Bitcoin did 8 years ago. It is rapidly becoming the primary currency for Deep Web users. Monero’s utility is likely to grow after they launch their major project, Kovri.
Upcoming Developments – Kovri
One current problem with Monero is that they don’t provide end-to-end anonymity. Unless the user is running a VPN or Tor, their IP address is still susceptible to leaks.
The developers of Monero are committed to creating a product that protects the user throughout the whole purchase journey. They started developing Kovri to achieve this.
Kovri cloaks a user’s IP address and further provides protection against network monitoring. The technology is based on Garlic Routing, which is largely viewed as an upgrade from Onion Routing. With Garlic Routing, peer’s messages are encrypted and bundled together before they’re sent over the internet, which makes it even more difficult for attackers to identify a particular user.
Kovri is currently in alpha stages, and anyone is welcome to use the application, although beware- it is not yet tailored for the technically impaired.
Once Kovri is fully implemented, it will make transactors virtually untraceable.
The lead developer of the Monero’s development team tweeted on January 26 about his excitement for the possible partnership with Litecoin.
Litecoin Monero Merger
This would create the ability to do on-chain atomic swaps of LTC and XMR. Currently, traders need to first sell their coin for Ethereum or Bitcoin and THEN purchase either LTC or XMR. On-chain atomic swaps would provide a seamless way to convert LTC into XMR or viceversa. This gives easy liquidity for Monera users while also providing anonymity for Litecoin users.
Not only is Monero decentralized like Bitcoin , but they take it a step further into anonymity. The privacy properties of Monero go well beyond other coins.
Whether Monero becomes a top 5 coin or not really depends on the strength of its developers. However, considering there are over 30 and all working full-time (salaries come from donations from the Monero community) implies that it won’t likely be an issue.
Overall, Monero has a promising future ahead, and will likely be around regardless of cryptocurrency investors.