HISTORY OF MONERO

Monero was launched in April 2014. It was a fair, pre-announced launch of the CryptoNote reference code. There was no pre-mine or “insta”-mine, and no portion of the block reward goes to development. See the original Bitcointalk thread here.

Monero has made several large improvements since launch. Nearly all improvements have provided advances to security or privacy, or they have facilitated use. Monero continues to develop with goals of privacy and security first, ease of use and efficiency second.

WHAT DOES MONERO MEAN?

The word Monero is from the Esperanto language. The creators chose to use Esperanto because it is a ‘decentralized’ language and represents the breaking of barriers between people, on a global scale. In Esperanto, Monero is a word composed of three elements freely put together, one syllabus each: mon + er + o. Each has a meaning. Which means ‘monero’ can be analyzed as meaning: “a noun that describes the smallest part of money”. Or, a coin.

mon- : money
-er- : the smallest part
-o : a thing (grammatically speaking : a noun)
Key Differentiating Factors
  • Monero Uses the CryptoNote Codebase: This is fundamentally different from codebases used by Bitcoin or Ethereum and the many other cryptocurrencies that are derived from each. It is known for its considerable privacy improvements.
  • Privacy is Mandatory; Transparency is Opt-in: Monero’s state-of-the-art cryptography obfuscates every layer of a transaction: information of the sender, receiver, or the transaction itself. If a user prefers transparency, they may opt-in by creating and sharing a view-only wallet that reveals inputs.
  • Routine Network Upgrades: The community of Monero developers regularly perform network upgrades (hard forks) to ensure that all users can take advantage of the best available security, privacy, and features. This allows the Monero network to remain more nimble and secure by adapting to any opportunities or threats that arise. What’s with all the hard forks I’m reading about?
  • Monero Block Reward Trajectory: Rewards will gradually drop until tail emission commences at the end of May 2022, when rewards will be fixed at 0.6 XMR per block. Tail emission will provide for continued and indefinite mining incentive. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, tail emission gives Monero a built-in, stable, and predictable inflation - considered essential for real, sound money.
  • Monero Research Lab: Monero is not only committed to making a fungible currency, but also to continuing research into the realm of financial privacy as it involves cryptocurrencies in general. Monero Research Lab (MRL) is a group of academic researchers in fields of mathematics, physics, security, and blockchain computation who research solutions for Monero and publish academic papers with their findings.
  • Mining is Accessible: Anyone with a connected device or web browser can participate.
Real-world Implications & Uses

Because Monero is secure, low-fee, and borderless, people can easily send money despite corrupt and broken governments or banks. This provides economic empowerment of individuals in oppressive countries or depressed economies.

Private financial history protects consumers and companies from price manipulation, supply chain exploitation, economic discrimination, or the like. Monero is the only cryptocurrency that has the features to serve as completely fungible, decentralized, electronic cash.

TECHNICAL FUNDAMENTALS
(As of 5/20/2019)
Amount of Active Nodes: 1,516 (Source:monerohash.com/nodes-distribution.html)
Network Hash Rate: 292.3 MH/s
Average Transactions/Hour: 400 (30-day average)
CPU Cores Securing the Network: 9,741,776
Monero in Circulation: 16,992,041 XMR (Approximate)
Market Capitalization: $1,449,743,819 USD (~ 0.60% of total cryptocurrency market cap)
Current Block Reward: 2.77 XMR
Average Block Interval: 2 Minutes
Reward rate will steadily decrease until the end of May 2022, when there are 18.132 million XMR in circulation, at which point a 0.6 XMR block reward will remain indefinitely.

With “tail emission” of 0.6 XMR/block, by 2040 there will be an equal amount of Monero as Bitcoin (roughly 21 million)
FEATURES IN DEVELOPMENT

Although Monero is already available and being used across the globe, the community of developers have exciting goals to continue enhancing the privacy, security, and usability features of Monero and cryptocurrency in general. These are a few that are coming soon:

RandomX: A new kind of proof-of-work algorithm designed to prevent the centralization of mining due to ASICs and encourage CPU mining as a more egalitarian way to secure the network. RandomX is currently entering the auditing process and is expected to go live in the next network upgrade.

Blockchain Pruning: To facilitate scalability, Monero recently added blockchain pruning to its software. This feature allows users to optionally “prune” about 2/3 of the blockchain data, while still contributing to the network.

I2P-zero: A Monero project to create a small-footprint, zero-dependency installation of I2P which can be easily bundled with Monero. This allows users to use Monero nodes more privately by securing meta data and obfuscating the users IP address.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES