Looking for the ultimate level of privacy in the crypto world? Then look no further than Monero. In this guide, we’ll touch on the basics of this open-source cryptocurrency, then provide you with the tools and information about how to buy Monero.
What is Monero?
Monero is an open-source cryptocurrency created in 2014, and stands as one of the 3 main privacy-based coins, the other two being DASH and Zcash.
Monero hides the amount of the transaction, including the receiver/sender address and also the sender’s IP address. It achieves this using the technical features of RingCT, stealth addresses, and ring signatures respectively.
Every Monero transaction hides the address of both the sender and the receiver. This can be contrasted to Zcash, where this function is still there, but optional. There is an advantage to making this feature non-optional.
With Zcash and other cryptocurrencies, a currency unit could be linked with an illicit transaction in the past and thus become tainted as an “illegitimate” coin from a regulatory perspective. The coin could possibly be banned from trading.
Additionally, Zcash does not obfuscate IP addresses like Monero does, meaning the IP of traders could be tracked and monitored. This cannot happen with Monero, where 1 XMR (the Monero token) is always 1 XMR due to its inherent privacy features. In monetary terms, Monero is one of few, if not the only, fungible cryptocurrencies.
If you’re a visual person, let’s break down the basics of Monero using a video that’s simple and easy to understand:
In short, Monero is completely private and non-traceable, more so than Zcash and DASH, though both are still safe and secure cryptocurrencies. Monero was just $1 in March 2016 and has reached highs of $540 as of January 9, 2018.
Its market value shot up in the latter months of 2017. It had previously been sidelined in relation to its main competitor, DASH, due to a number of factors, but investor interest has since been rekindled.
Bitcoin core developer Grey Maxwell said that Monero was…
…far more valuable than almost all other altcoins…and Monero is one of the only if not the only altcoin that I don’t think is massively overpriced relative to Bitcoin.
We know what Monero is, buy how do we buy it?
How to buy Monero
It’s possible to buy Monero using multiple methods, including…
- credit/debit cards
- altcoin exchange
- and more.
Let’s touch on a few of these methods now.
Swap Bitcoin for Monero
You buy Monero on an anonymous platform such as Changelly, which does not require registration. But using this methods, you’ll incur high fees and will definitely be paying a premium.
If you’re using this exchange, it’s better to buy Bitcoin and then exchange for Monero than to buy Monero directly using fiat currency. Changelly only works with credit cards which are more expensive than bank transfers, and Monero does not support PayPal.
Buy Monero with a credit card
If you’re looking to use a credit card though, you can buy Bitcoins with a credit card using Coinbase, which is the largest bitcoin exchange in the United States, and is available in the many other countries including, Canada, Europe, UK, Singapore, and Australia.
Once you have bought your Bitcoins, you can transfer them to another low-fee exchange such as Binance to swap them for Monero.
One of the best ways to acquire Monero is to first purchase Bitcoins on Coinbase and then swap BTC (Bitcoin) for XMR (Monero) on ShapeShift.io. This service is fast, with minimal fees and does not require registration.
Once you have your Bitcoins, you can convert to Monero within 15 minutes.
Buying Monero with a credit card is easy and convenient, but will rack up hefty fees. Instead, the cheapest way is buying with a bank transfer, and then exchanging the Bitcoins for Monero.
Bitcoins are easy to acquire compared to a few years back when they were treated with widespread skepticism. ShapeShift alternatives include Changelly, Evercoin, Bitsquare and Alfa Cashier which can be used to transfer BTC to XMR.
It is also possible to buy Monero locally using cash, though this is not exactly sophisticated and involves meeting up in person and giving the money to the individual who will transfer the Monero to your wallet address.
While this is an option, it is very much a cloak and dagger affair that was very popular for buying Bitcoin anonymously before it became accepted and popularized on exchanges and online trading platforms.
Monero can be bought online on all large exchanges. Kraken, Bitfinix and Poloniex all offer the option to purchase Monero. Kraken allows users to trade Monero via EUR SEPA, EUR/USD bank wire, USD/GBP SEPA and SWIFT and JPY/CAD bank deposit.
Generally speaking, Kraken offers the best rates on cryptocurrencies, but not by much. All of these exchanges allow Bitcoin to Monero trading.
If you have a European bank account, the easiest way to acquire Monero directly is with Litebit.eu though a direct SEPA transfer. They offer a quick and streamlined service with minimal fuss and documentation.
You can store your Monero on the Litebit online exchange, though this is not recommended. LocalMonero.co is another easy way to purchase Monero directly via bank deposit, and it can be bought anywhere.
Of course, when buying Monero and Bitcoin you need to have wallets for both of these cryptocurrencies. Each wallet will have a receive address which you give to the platform before purchasing a cryptocurrency. The cryptocurrency will be transferred to your wallet address once payment has been made.
The best local Bitcoin wallets are Exodus and Electrum, while the safest online Bitcoin wallet is Blockchain.io. For ultimate protection, you can buy a hardware wallet such as the Trezor.
The main issue with Monero at present is getting a secure wallet, as there are reports of stolen Monero on both Wallet Monero and MyMonero. It is the only cryptocurrency where your funds might actually be safer on an exchange than on the actual official wallet, which is undergoing difficulties right now.
If you are looking to buy a secure and private cryptocurrency, then Monero is by far the best option. Zcash does not hide the IP address of users and the DASH community has failed to respond to the allegation that if the data on the master nodes are not encrypted, then the ISP could simply be logging all the data.
Monero is the best there is from a privacy standpoint and the majority of cryptocurrency technicians and developers are very aware of this. If you believe privacy-based coins are going to increase in value, then Monero is the best solution and it is relatively easy to acquire. The only difficult lies in securing your wallet.