Monero (XMR) is an open-source cryptocurrency created in April 2014 that focuses on privacy, decentralisation and scalability. Unlike many cryptocurrencies that are derivatives of Bitcoin, Monero is based on the CryptoNote protocol and possesses significant algorithmic differences relating to blockchain obfuscation. Monero experienced rapid growth in market capitalization (from US$5M to US$185M) and transaction volume during the year 2016, partly due to adoption in 2016 by major darknet market AlphaBay (closed July 2017 by law enforcement).
A few weeks after launch, an optimized GPU miner for CryptoNight proof-of-work function was developed.
On 4 September 2014, Monero recovered from an unusual and novel attack executed against the cryptocurrency network.
On 10 January 2017, the privacy of Monero transactions strengthened further with the optional use of Bitcoin Core developer Gregory Maxwell’s algorithm Ring Confidential Transactions, starting at block #1220516. A ring signature algorithm introduced an additional layer of confidentiality by not displaying the amounts implicated in a transaction to someone who did not directly take part in it. RingCT transactions are enabled by default, but it is still possible to send a transaction without RingCT until the next hard fork in September 2017. By early February, over 95% of all non-coinbase transactions used the optional RingCT feature.
Official website: getmonero.org
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