At the time of writing in late October, Monero (XMR) is worth US$143.35 according to CoinMarketCap data. Monero’s market capitalisation (market cap) currently sits at US$2,651,700,339. Market cap is a cryptocurrency’s current price multiplied by its circulation supply.
Monero has experienced a downward value trend in the past year. However, all cryptocurrencies across the board have experienced these lows lately. This is likely due to what is known as a ‘crypto winter’, which is an extended period of low prices. While performance trends are valuable to consider when investing, the features of a coin are arguably more important. Lets break down some of Monero’s defining features.
Monero’s ability to offer wallet address and transaction privacy is made possible through a small collection of keys, and ring signatures. This tech is known as Cryptography.
There are three necessary keys Monero users receive: a public key, a private spend key and a private view key. When you open a wallet with Monero these will be created automatically, further securing your account. The private view key simply allows you to view your transactions, a public key is for receiving payments and a private spend key is for sending payments. A large string of impossible to guess numbers constitute each key.
A Ring Signature is a Cryptographic digital signature, and the key to Monero’s operations. It functions by obscuring the input side of a transaction, making it near impossible to determine who signed the transaction and thereby protecting the sender’s identity. At the same time ring signatures can easily verify the authenticity of a signature.
How it is Mined?
‘Crypto mining’ is the process of receiving new coins as payment for verifying blockchain network transactions. Crypto miners are typically tasked with solving a variety of intricate cryptographic puzzles and recording investor transactions on the ledger. This incentivised procedure upholds the security of crypto networks.
Monero is considered by many to be one of the simpler coins to mine, as it does not require the miner to have any specialised hardware. Therefore, anyone with the appropriate know-how can earn an income through the mining of XMR. Monero aims to maintain egalitarian mining into the future. So, if you have an interest in learning to mine crypto, Monero may be a good starting place.
Link to Ransomware
Unfortunately, the recent ransomware attack on Optus was not the first example of hackers requesting Monero payouts for criminal behaviour. A 2021 CipherTrace report titled ‘Current Trends in Ransomware’ found that a minimum of 22 of the more than 50 ransomware groups would only accept Monero.
Privacy coins are notorious for their links to the black market and ransom activity. Whilst this has little effect on the everyday investor, it is worth noting the levels of scrutiny privacy coins face. While regulatory action around Monero and other privacy coins is not yet significant, governments are likely to attempt to use their full power to restrict the criminal activity surrounding anonymous crypto.
How it is Performing?
As mentioned, Monero did not escape the crypto winter. In fact, the past year has not been overly successful for the price of XMR according to CoinMarketCap data:
The above graph shows price performance in USD. Meaning, with the current value sitting around US$145.79, Australian investors can expect to pay approximately AU$227 for Monero. This bear market can be positive for new investors, however.
If you are looking to buy the dip in the market, it is imperative to ensure you are properly educated before investing. Also keep in mind the volatility of crypto as an investment—a coin’s positive history is not indicative of its future performance.