Security Focused? Monero may be for you - A Beginner's Guide


A Dummies guide on why a person focused on security would use Monero

Cryptocurrency is growing in popularity due to currencies value and the speed and ease in which money can be transferred. There are many to choose from, so why would someone choose Monero? What makes Monero stand out from the others?

Why Cryptocurrency?
Obviously this point is for readers starting out on their crypto journey and not for seasoned readers.  Cryptocurrency allows users to make inexpensive payments quickly and anywhere in the world. There is no check clearing fees, no multi-day holding periods, wire transfers, and no risk of fraudulent chargebacks.  Cryptocurrency cannot be shutdown by any particular country as there is no centralised control; they are also exempt from any capitol controls.

Cryptocurrency is becoming a convenient and useful alternative to conventional currencies and therefore are rapidly growing in popularity.

What does Monero offer? 
Monero (XMR) is a secure, untraceable and private type of cryptocurrency that is available to everyone.  Monero cannot be hacked therefore your funds are safe. You are responsible for your funds and there is no third party involvement.

In 'normal' real world money circumstances, what you gain in security you lose in privacy.  Monero, however, gives you the cryptographic security of the blockchain but with added privacy.  In laymen's terms Monero makes it vague where funds have been spent; this means your funds will not likely be traced back to the original source.  Monero is a truly fungible cryptocurrency.

Monero vs. Bitcon 
One of the most attractive security advantages Monero has over Bitcoin is superior privacy due to its opaque blockchain. With Bitcoin it is possible to re-trace and match transactions - potentially your financial history can be visible to anyone with the technical know-how, this means that anyone who you trade with or who trades with you will potentially have access to transaction history of your wallet.  Monero in contrast can not be traced and remains anonymous.
  • Monero has a superior mining algorithm to Bitcoin.
  • Monero has no hardcoded maximum block size it is scalable.
  • Monero's I2P will eventually add even greater privacy
  • Monero has a higher quality of research and development 

Monero privacy
Monero protects your privacy in three different ways -
  • Ring signatures - hides the sending address.
  • RingCT - hides the amount of Monero involved in a transaction.
  • Stealth addresses - hides the receiving address.

 A fourth way is currently in development+, I2P, which will hide the origin node for transactions.
These measures add up to ensure that nobody can obtain any information about you from the blockchain.

How to use Monero
You can set up and use Monero in two ways, via the Monero GUI wallet or via a lightweight web client.

The Monero GUI is a piece of software that is available to download on Windows, MAC, and Linux operating systems.

  • Download Monero GUI Wallet and extract the Monero Wallet on your system
  • Locate the file monero-wallet-gui.exe, double click and follow the instructions. 
  • During the initial setup, you will be asked to note down a unique 24-word key (aka seed - THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT) and create a password.
  • Once you have finished the initial set up the Monero Core initial synchronization will download lots of data, the time this will take will depend on your internet speed.
  • Once the blockchain download finishes in it's entirety your wallet is ready to use
The lightweight web client is a third party website that allows you to access your wallet in one central place online. Online wallets can be accessed via any internet capable devices with no need to download any software.

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