Monero (XMR) Explained

Everything You Need to Know About Monero History and Technology

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Monero is a cryptocurrency that runs on a privacy-enhanced blockchain. Unlike Bitcoin, which is fully transparent, Monero works to make wallets and transactions completely anonymous. It enables fast, private transactions between any two parties in the world with a Monero wallet and Monero (XMR) currency available.

While it is more private than other cryptocurrencies, it uses similar underlying blockchain technology with open-source code and community-driven development. Keep reading to learn more about Monero and if it could make sense for your crypto strategy.

What Is Monero?

Monero is a privacy-focused cryptocurrency. Like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other popular currencies, Monero is an open-source project with a large community of contributors. Monero is unique in that it’s designed to keep wallets and transactions completely anonymous, including to network members, developers, and miners.

Monero launched in 2014 with a philosophy focused on security, privacy, and decentralization. New blocks are created every two minutes, and there’s no maximum block size, leading to faster transaction times and lower costs than you see with the original Bitcoin network.

For cryptocurrency enthusiasts that want to learn more about the technology that makes everything work, Monero is a good starting point. It’s relatively easy to use and interact with using a GUI (graphical user interface) or command-line-based (CLI) wallet, and it supports just about any type of device you have lying around. You can mine it at home using your own laptop or PC.

Special Features of Monero

Monero’s main unique features focus on privacy and anonymity. Monero software works differently from Bitcoin and Ethereum. It is routinely upgraded to improve security, privacy, and network features with a clear roadmap.

Monero is intended to be used as money, and the name even means “coin” in the international Esperanto language. You can keep Monero in your wallet (including supported hardware wallets) similar to other cryptocurrencies. But unlike others with public blockchains that allow anyone to view every transaction, Monero transactions use multiple layers of privacy tools to obfuscate every layer of the transaction.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are already known for anonymity, but Monero takes it several steps further.

Inception April 2014
Already Mined / Total Supply (as of July 6, 2021) 17,947,007 / no maximum
Special Feature Enhanced privacy and anonymity

How to Mine Monero

Monero is one of the easiest cryptocurrencies to mine, and that’s by design. You don’t have to jump through hoops or go through multiple steps of downloading mining software, connecting to a network or pool, adding your wallet, and so on. It’s all in one package.

To get started mining Monero, head to the downloads page on the Monero website and download either the GUI (better for most users) wallet or CLI wallet (for advanced users).


As of now, you’ll need to keep 90GB free to sync and store the entire Monero blockchain. If you don’t have that much disk space, you can use blockchain pruning to download a third of the blockchain, but you still need a lot of space to get the best experience.

More serious miners can use purpose-designed mining hardware, software, or join a pool for better results.

Total Supply of Monero

As of July 6, 2021, there were 17,947,007 XMR in circulation. New Monero is regularly added to the total supply through Monero mining. The mining rewards rate will drop through May 2022. At that time, mining rewards will be limited to “tail emissions” with ongoing fixed rewards of 0.6 XMR per block.

Mining Times

New blocks are minted about every two minutes. There is no maximum block size, so transactions don’t slow down due to network congestion.

How to Buy Monero

The easiest way to buy Monero is through an exchange like Binance, Kraken, Bitfinex, and others. If you’re looking to get involved more directly, you can download a Monero wallet to your computer and interact directly.


You can download and use a Monero wallet on your Windows, Mac, or Linux computer. Additionally, you can buy or sell Monero on any supported exchange, including Binance and Kranken.


Coinbase and Gemini do not offer buying or trading Monero.

You can also use Monero in a hardware wallet, including popular Trezor and Ledger models.

Notable Happenings

Monero takes a unique approach to development. While other networks may be actively developed, Monero upgrades with a new hard fork every six months.

The Balance does not provide tax, investment, or financial services and advice. The information is presented without consideration of the investment objectives, risk tolerance, or financial circumstances of any specific investor and might not be suitable for all investors. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal.

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