The Complete History of Monero (XMR)

Privacy coins always meet the high demand in the crypto market. In our days of increasing government control, some people simply want to keep their capitals private. That’s why since 2014 private coins are at the top of Coinmarketcap. DASH, Monero, Zcash - all of them aren’t just alive, but at high demand and actively developing. Monero is one of the most popular privacy coins, providing censorship resistance and scalability. Unlike Bitcoin or Ethereum, its transactions can’t be traced back to participants, protected by powerful cryptography, and hiding identities of both sender and receiver as well as the value of the transaction. Here we’re going to recall the history of Monero (XMR), talk about its development roadmap, its past and future.

How it all began

Monero blockchain was launched in April 2014, as a fork of the Bytecoin cryptocurrency, another private coin. The original name of the fork was BitMonero. Initially, the fork wasn’t received well. Many features, such as improved block time and block reward system, expected by the community, were missing. As a result, community decided to improve it by itself. The name was changed to “Monero”, which means “coin” in Esperanto. The first team of Monero had 5 developers, 3 of them were anonymous, 2 were publicly known. Riccardo Spagni, one of these five, still works on this project today. The crypto industry in general back then wasn't popular, and the developers were working on the project out of curiosity.

Cryptocurrencies were more of an experiment, magic Internet money, as they were called. Monero was used primarily as a vehicle of value transfer for payments in DarkNet, and for experimental transactions. But private coins weren’t in demand only for illegal activities, they were also used to store money anonymously. That’s the purpose of cryptocurrency - to truly own personal funds.

Keeping privacy for years

Since 2014, the core team of Monero developers hasn’t changed much. It still has Riccardo ‘Fluffy Pony’ Spagni and Francisco ‘ArticMone’ Cabañas. Other members of the team are known by their pseudonyms: smooth, othe, NoodleDoodle, binaryFate and luigi1111.

Over the years, Monero has continuously developed and improved by the efforts of its community. Initially, blockchain used the CryptoNight algorithm. In December 2019, Monero was hard forked to implement RandomX, an algorithm that removed ASIC support permanently, replacing it with CPU support. It was the first algorithm change since the Genesis block. Some critics said it would make the blockchain more vulnerable to 51% attack, but currently, it’s the largest coin with the CPU-oriented PoW algorithm, thus nobody has enough resources to attack it, it’s simply not profitable for any attacker.

The last update, called the Nitrogen Nebula, was released in May 2020. It included the implementation of Zk-SNARKS, a zero-knowledge test for performing anonymous XMR transactions. The Monero team started to work on Zk-SNARKS integration in 2020. It also allows to make transactions faster and more efficient, requiring fewer confirmations for each funds transfer.

Recently, a documentary “Monero means money” reached first place in the list of the highest-grossing movies in the USA for a very short period. It was filmed and produced by a group of Monero enthusiasts and shown in independent theatres.

Some controversy about Monero

Unfortunately, some hackers also use XMR for shady things, such as planting viruses and other malware for turning the victim’s PC into a mining node. It’s called cryptojacking. Monero is the favorite coin of hackers due to 2 reasons: it’s completely anonymous, thus it can be moved between wallets and sold without any problems, and it can be mined on any PC, being CPU-friendly.

In 2018, a large botnet that included over half a million computers was found. By that time, it had already mined over 9,000 XMR over a period of 9 months. Also at that time a new kind of malware, ransomware, became popular. This malicious type of program encrypts important files on a computer and demands a ransom from its owner. Using XMR in such programs guarantees to a hacker that he won’t be traced. That’s why officials around the world think about the way to counter it, but all in vain.

The main principles of Monero

As it was previously said, Monero transactions are currently untraceable. It’s impossible to track someone using the Monero blockchain because it’s protected by its core architecture. The architecture is based on using ring signatures and stealth addresses. Ring signatures are the technology that allows hiding the initial sender of funds on the blockchain by combining their unique signature with other signatures of non-senders to form a ring. All users in the ring are equal, so the original sender doesn’t really matter. A stealth address is designed for one-time use, in a similar way Satoshi Nakamoto planned. All this makes Monero one of the most secure financial solutions on blockchain.

How to use XMR

Private coins aren’t going anywhere, so you might probably have a couple of them. How to use XMR except for buying things, if you look at it just as the way to invest your money by purchasing promising assets? You can’t only hold XMR in your wallet but also put them to good use. You can use them in the same way as fiat money by making deposits and taking loans backed with your Monero coins. That’s what such platforms as CoinLoan are for. You can receive interest on your cryptocurrency, not only Monero, but many other assets. Alternatively, you can deposit your coins and get fiat money in exchange as a loan. That can greatly help if you need money quickly, but you don’t want to sell your assets at the current prices. People buy crypto to hold it for years - but anything can happen, and having such an option as to use your capital for your financial needs is very handy.