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
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.