Satoshi Nakamoto had several specific visions in mind when they created Bitcoin. Decentralization was critical – but so was privacy. The ability to trade digital currency back and forth, with a public ledger but private identities, is still a major component of most blockchain projects. However, blockchain forensics is an increasingly advanced field of law enforcement. The process of scraping the Bitcoin public ledger led to multiple arrests and a plethora of evidence for ongoing criminal cases.
No one is overly concerned about the arrest of a handful of criminals that chose to use cryptocurrency. Rather, users are concerned about the inevitable governmental overreach. The United States in particular consistently shows that they are willing to monitor the actions of individuals with no known criminal background. This is where Monero enters the picture. Privacy is the absolute mantra for the Monero development team, and they’ve done everything in their power to ensure the anonymity of their users.
Privacy as a Critical Component
The Monero development team created a completely new blockchain for the XMR currency. This helped them ensure several critical components of their stated goals. First, the platform uses ring signatures to create groups of users for each transaction. These transactions are accomplished using one time use keys, and pass through multiple anonymous addresses before reaching their ultimate target. Each unit of Monero is also unidentifiable – they have no internal ID that separates them from one another. This has the added benefit of creating a fungible currency, while also avoiding ‘blacklisting’. Several cryptocurrencies suffer from entire subsections of their coin being blacklisted due to use in black market dealings.
A second feature baked directly into the Monero blockchain is ASIC resistance. Most blockchains that use a mining algorithm are subject to large scale ASIC mining farms. These highly specialized processing units are created with the sole purpose of calculating the hashing algorithm of specific cryptocurrencies. Monero is dead set against these systems, and even bricked a series of Bitmain’s Antminers recently to prove this point. As a result, even relatively low computational power miners can still profit off the Monero blockchain.
An Alternative to Advertising
As a result of this egalitarian approach to mining, several new avenues for monetization appear. Popular media website Salon recently created an opt-in pilot program that uses Monero mining in place of advertising. Using a web application to conduct the mining, Salon borrows computational power from the visiting computer to briefly mine Monero. Each individual visitor contributes very little, but the net effect is a greater revenue stream than traditional advertising offers.
As a result of this unique approach to the blockchain sphere, Monero is now the coin of choice for users looking for privacy. The fact that it is also viable for small scale mining brings in some investors that aren’t even focused on that aspect. These factors combined show a very positive outlook for Monero going into the future.
Article By: Adam Stone