Monero (XMR) is a cryptocurrency which is based on the concepts of decentralization, anti-censorship, privacy and anonymity. Monero is completely open source and is developed by a worldwide interest group rather than a company or foundation.
The Monero system has introduced the use of many interesting cryptography and IP protection applications to cryptocurrencies, and is constantly being developed with the aim of creating a fully anonymous and private electronic currency. It was developed based on the CryptoNote source code.
Monero uses proof of work mining, but includes features aimed at preventing mining from being cornered by large-scale mining operations.
Transactions in Monero are automatically mixed based on complex mathematical algorithms. This obfuscation ensures that the unit of Monero which a recipient receives is not the same unit which the giver transferred. This prevents (or severely hampers) the tracing of transactions in individual units of Monero. This is important to the fungibility of the cryptocurrency because it prevents blacklisting of individual Monero units by governments or users, which could result in specific units having less value than others (or no value at all) because they have been used for certain kinds of transactions at some point.
Bitcoin, arguably the first cryptocurrency, automatically publishes wallet addresses and wallet balances on a public ledger. Every transaction made, the exact units transferred, and the wallets between the transaction occurs are also recorded on the public bitcoin ledger. Monero, on the other hand, uses encryption to hide information about wallets and wallet balances, and to obscure information about the wallets involved in Monero transactions.
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