Monero is a cryptocurrency that has made its name in the industry for its privacy-oriented features. In this article, we will take an in-depth look at what Monero is all about and on how you can buy and securely store the token.

What is Monero?

Monero is an open-source, privacy-oriented cryptocurrency that runs on a blockchain. Monero's name is derived from the Esperanto word meaning “money”. Since its launch, Monero was consistently valued among the top 20 cryptocurrencies in the world.

The cryptocurrency was originally launched in April 18th 2014 as a fork from another cryptocurrency called Bytecoin under the name “BitMonero”. The digital currency's was updated to Monero within a week and denoted by the symbol XMR.

Monero - the privacy coin

Similarly to other cryptocurrencies, a blockchains forms the underlying technology that powers Monero. Blockchains are public ledgers that keep all the details of transactions of participants in the network.

Monero’s blockchain, however, is intentionally programmed to be hidden. It conceals transaction details such as the identities of the sender and recipient as well as the amount transacted by disguising their addresses.

Monero has attracted quite a following and respect in the cryptocurrency community. Some people have gone as far as calling it “what Bitcoin was meant to be” due to its sheer focus on privacy.

Besides anonymity, Monero uses the principle that everyone is equal, and hence everyone shares opportunities equally. When launching the cryptocurrency, the developers did not stake any assets for themselves, encouraging contributions from other participants to drive the coin forward.

Monero also utilizes a different mining process than other cryptocurrencies, allowing for a fairer distribution of mining rewards. As a result, Monero can be mined on lower end computers and even smartphones on many popular OS platforms such as Windows, MacOS, Linux and Android.

Advantages of Monero

  • Privacy – privacy is Monero’s unique selling point - by using a technique called “ring mixing”, Monero has achieved for transactions to become completely anonymous and untraceable. This has allowed users to transact privately without the need for VPNs or other additional software. Also, no one else has access to your wallet balance.
  • Fungibility – compared to other cryptocurrencies, Monero is truly fungible – meaning that like a piece of gold, one Monero is valued equally to the next regardless of the source, usage or other effects. Other coins can be traced and therefore lack fungibility. For instance, if you happen to own Bitcoins that were ill-gotten even without your knowledge, exchanges or other receivers are able to tell and reject the coins.
  • Decentralization – most cryptocurrencies are only decentralized up to a certain point since there are ASIC miners who can mint more coins than the rest and end up controlling a larger share. Since mining can be done only via CPUs or GPUs on Monero’s platform, it is more decentralized compared to other cryptos.

Disadvantages of Monero

  • Illegal use – due to the completely private and anonymous nature of Monero, the coin can be abused for disreputable purposes and at questionable marketplaces, e.g. on the dark web.

How to Buy Monero

Monero has been around quite some time. Yet, it has not seen as much adoption when it comes to cryptocurrency exchanges listing the token. This is mainly due to it's very distinct, privacy focussed algorithms which require quite some effort to implement technologically.

Nevertheless, there are more and more marketplaces offering Monero in exchange for US dollars, euros or pounds. In order to buy Monero, simply follow these four steps:

  1. Find a cryptocurrency exchange
  2. Sign up for a cryptocurrency exchange
  3. Buy Monero using US dollars or euros
  4. Store Monero safely

1. Find a Monero exchange

There are hundreds of different cryptocurrency, so how should you decide which one to use? Well, we've compiled a list of aspects that you should consider when choosing a cryptocurrency exchange:

  • Security & trust: if you're looking to buy Monero, chances are that you are sensible towards privacy and data security. Hence, make sure to select a platform that follows security best practices such as cold storage or two-factor authentication. You can also learn more about the trustworthiness of an exchange by reading experiences and reviews from other users.
  • Fee structure and rates: Fees and price rates can range from 0.1% per transaction to up to 10% per transaction, depending on the cryptocurrency marketplace. Look for an exchange that offers you a good trade-off between fee and user-experience. So, if you're tech-savvy, the cheapest marketplace might be the best on for you. However, if you're new to crypto, you might want to look for a marketplace that is easy to use.
  • User experience: for the average digital currency investor, the user interface and functionalities of an exchange or broker service is crucial. An intuitive user interface enables you to be more informed and efficient with less chances of making errors.
  • Payment methods: make sure that the selected cryptocurrency exchange offers your preferred payment methods, such as bank transfer, credit card payment, or Skrill.
  • Supported cryptocurrencies: if you are looking to buy other cryptocurrencies besides Monero, it can be worthwhile to choose a marketplace that ideally offers all the cryptocurrencies you are interested in.

How to use Cryptoradar to find a cryptocurrency exchange

Cryptoradar helps you find a cryptocurrency marketplace that suits your needs by providing you a comprehensive yet compact overview Monero marketplaces.

Currently, there are five cryptocurrency marketplaces that offer users Monero in exchange for US dollars (BC Bitcoin, BitBay, Bitfinex, EXMO, and Kraken) and six that offer Monero in exchange for euros (Anycoin Direct, BC Bitcoin, BitBay, EXMO, Kraken, and Litebit).

By default, exchanges on Cryptoradar are sorted by price, which always gives you the cheapest option for buying cryptocurrencies. The listings also provide you a quick overview of important factors to consider, such as ease-of-use, verification times and fee structure.

Use the filters in the sidebar to amend your criteria. You can filter marketplaces by payment method, type, country of origin, features and user rating.

2. Sign up for a Monero exchange

It's easy to create an account at an exchange. Simply enter your personal details to get started.

However, to complete account setup, you will usually need to verify your identity. This process can either require you to upload identification documents (e.g. a copy of your passport and a recent utility bill as proof of residence) or to make a video call with a support agent who will remotely verify your identity.

3. Buy Monero using US dollars or euros

After finishing account setup, another prerequisite usually is to deposit money on the exchange. You can do so by using your preferred payment method. Deposits made with credit cards, Skrill or other instant payment methods are usually credited in real-time, while bank transfer deposits may take a day or two to process.

Once your payment is received by the cryptocurrency marketplace, you can finally go ahead and buy Monero. This is actually the easiest part of the whole process. On most marketplaces it’s as easy as selecting the purchase amount (in US dollars or euros) and clicking the buy button.

4. Store Monero securely

A optional fourth step is to transfer your newly purchased Monero to a wallet that you control. This is a recommended best practice as cryptocurrency marketplaces can be attacked and hacked and funds lost as a result.

The Monero foundation recommends a number of wallets. Make sure to fill the required information (Wallet Address & Payment ID) in the correct forms and always adhere to the instructions of the selected wallet when transferring your funds as incorrect transactions cannot be reversed.

Image credits: © Monero.How