Cryptocurrencies are becoming more mainstream day by day as lots of services are offering easy crypto purchases with bank/credit cards – which is a good thing. But a common sentiment is that cryptocurrencies are decentralised, private, and untraceable assets that even the government can’t track. But this isn’t really all that true.
Is it decentralised? Sure, for most currencies at least, but not all.
Is it untraceable? Absolutely not, for most currencies.
Almost all cryptocurrencies have a transparent blockchain, where everyone can see every single transaction in the history of the coin; things like how much was sent, the sender’s wallet and the receiver’s wallet. When you purchase a cryptocurrency on your favourite exchange, then send it over to your non-custodial wallet, it is visible to the whole world. How you distribute that between your other wallets is also visible to the public.
But not for the privacy-focused pioneer of crypto that is Monero. Launched in 2014, Monero (XMR) is the go-to for a bulletproof cryptocurrency that is private and untraceable, and in my humble opinion, it is integral that every crypto investor knows what Monero is, and the power of privacy that it brings.
It is also, arguably, severely undervalued.
Monero uses a proof-of-work (PoW) blockchain known as RandomX, which is an ASIC-resistant algorithm, meaning that you can only mine using regular CPUs. As of writing this article, each XMR token costs $242 USD, with a circulating supply of 18M $XMR with a market capitalisation of $4.4B USD. For comparison, Bitcoin has a market cap of $1.1T USD or $1100B, ETH is at $507B and BNB is at $97B.
If Monero were to achieve a $100B market cap, which is certainly feasible in the long run, each XMR token would be worth $5500. For the sake of a little humour, if the market cap was equal to bitcoin’s market cap at $1.1T, each token would be worth $60,500.
In any case, the current price of Monero, in my humble opinion, is quite low. As more people realise the necessity of privacy, the value of Monero will rise.
“You don’t need privacy if you don’t have anything to hide”
This is probably the most common argument used against Monero. After all, if you have nothing to hide, you have no need for a privacy coin, right?
Let’s rephrase that.
Your bank statements. Let’s say, with your personal information redacted, the whole world is allowed to see it; what you spend your money on and how much you spend. Not great right? This is pretty much equivalent of the current state of blockchain technology with almost most coins.
With the data from exchanges tying your name to your wallets and using chainalysis (computer programs that analyse blockchain transactions to find out who’s sending to who), you can build some pretty big datasets that have a disturbing amount of private data. Both private companies and governments around the world are doing this, as we speak. The moment you use a service to purchase cryptocurrencies, data is being collected, and using that with chainalysis, the data you can get is disturbing to say the least.
Privacy is a fundamental human right. Maybe you don’t care too much as to your privacy as an individual, but the principle of it is that privacy should be afforded by default to anyone.
Monero is cash
The “Monero is very under-valued!” argument aside, another principle of Monero is that Monero is cash. Cryptocurrency today is seen as merely an investment, something which we will sell off in the future for fiat currencies, with which we can buy stuff with. Sure, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with investing; the majority of us are in it as an investment, myself included.
But, dear reader, it’s perhaps not a bad idea trying to consider the mindset that Monero is the platform with which we transact commodities with. Imagine a world in which we could buy a car with Monero. Or maybe a few groceries. How great would that be?!
Before we think of such a future, the first step is mass adoption. If enough people use a crypto, naturally more and more people will be happy to simply transact from within the crypto; no fiat necessary.
In today’s technological world, privacy is a joke. Your phone is listening to you, your apps somehow know exactly what to advertise to you; what’s to say they don’t know about your finances? The flip side to modern technology is that we can create something that is private, decentralised, and secure. Monero is arguably one of the best examples of this, and it is the way of the future.
This is not to say that there aren’t other privacy coins, such as Zcash (which I like as well!) or Tornado Cash (this one works a little differently), but Monero is the first and arguably the best there is. The transaction fees are also ridiculously low.
Fun fact: IRS has a bounty up to $625,000 if you can break Monero’s anonymity (another fun fact: you literally can’t).