Beginner’s Guide to Monero

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Monero is a unique take on the cryptocurrency world, offering a private digital currency that is secure and untraceable. Monero is accessible to everyone and open source, allowing everyone to become their own bank. With Monero, each user is the only one who controls and is responsible for his or her own funds. Prying eyes cannot see your transactions or accounts.

Monero is a secure, private, and untraceable cryptocurrency. It is open-source and accessible to all. With Monero, you are your own bank. Only you control and are responsible for your funds. Your accounts and transactions are kept private from prying eyes.

With Monero, users don’t have to worry about fraudulent chargebacks or multiday holding periods. There are also no capital controls, measures that can restrict flow for traditional currencies in areas with economic stability. Instead, you are in control of your money.

Who Created Monero?

Monero is actually a community project of the grassroots variety. This means that the coding and development is the result of work by a large team of the best engineers and researchers in the cryptocurrency world. There are 30 core developers on the project, but more than 240 have contributed. The community is strong and everyone with an interest is welcome to get involved in the chat channels or forums.

Monero is an effort combining the work of those around the world. Distributed systems and cryptography experts from numerous countries either get funding from community donations or donate their time. Because no single country is the base for Monero, it cannot be shut down by one country or be limited to any specific legal jurisdiction.

When Did Monero Begin?

Monero first launched in April 2014 as a preannounced and fair launch of the CryptoNote reference code. The community didn’t agree with some of the founder’s controversial ideas, and a new core team took over, providing oversight since then. Since its original launch, Monero has migrated the blockchain to another database structure, improving flexibility and efficiency. The developers also set minimum ring signature sizes to make all transactions private, and RingCT was added, hiding all transaction amounts. Almost every improvement made so far has made Monero easier to use or enhanced security and/or privacy.

What Systems Can Monero Work with?

There are Monero downloads available for all major operating systems. These include Windows, Mac, and Linux. You can also download the latest blockchain as Monero is open source. This ensures that everyone can take advantage of Monero if they want.

How Do Monero’s Security Features Set It Apart?

While there are other options that aim to give users private digital currency, none offer the same security of Monero. The secret to this system is its nature as a decentralized cryptocurrency. In other words, this is a type of secure digital cash that a network filled with users operates. All transactions receive confirmation from the distributed consensus, and the blockchain records them. Because of its use of the blockchain and other crypto methods, Monero doesn’t need any third party to protect your money.

Monero is also completely private since all transactions are confidential. The combination of ring confidential transactions and ring signatures hides the origins, destinations, and quantities of every transaction. In other words, Monero gives users the advantages related to decentralized cryptocurrencies without needing to concede privacy like you would with other cryptocurrencies.

Because the default setting for transactions in Monero is to obfuscate the addresses of senders and recipients, you cannot trace transactions of the cryptocurrency. Transactions made on this blockchain are impossible to link to a real-world identity, giving you privacy. Monero is also fungible because of its private default nature. As it currently stands, there is almost no chance that vendors or exchanges will blacklist it due to the association of previous transactions.

By contrast, the vast majority of existing cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum and Bitcoin, feature transparent blockchains. That means that anyone with an internet connection can trace and verify transactions. Transactions made with those cryptocurrencies can even be linked back to the person’s real-world identity. None of this is a concern with Monero due to its cryptography and shielded information regarding addresses and transacted amounts.

Why Privacy and Non-traceability of Monero Really Matters

Before you look into the examples that prove the benefits of untraceable and private nature of Monero, it will be helpful to know that your anonymity is compromised when you trade using bitcoins regardless of whether you are sending the money or receiving it. When you give your wallet address to someone for receiving bitcoins, they can see how many bitcoins you own. In a similar way, the public ledger lets the other parties know about your bitcoin account size when you send them the money.

How is that unfavorable for you? Here are some examples taken from

  • Example 1 – As a business, when you make a payment to one of your suppliers for the goods they have provided to you, they can now access all your bitcoin transaction history and see which other suppliers you are dealing with. Knowing this information, they might raise the price of their goods and take away your power to negotiate since your public ledger is already available to them.
  • Example 2 – You visit a country or part of a country that has high crime rate. You make several purchases while visiting different places there—maybe to collect souvenirs on your way back home. Now, every shop or individual you have done a transaction with knows the frequency of your transactions, their sizes and the current bitcoin balance you have. This puts you in a dangerous situation.
  • Example 3 – You are a service provider where you charge your clients on a per-project basis. Being a reputable entity in the industry you not only charge clients for your services, but also for the value you bring to the table. However, looking at your past records in the public ledger your customers might never pay you the value of your service and end up negotiating your service fees most of the times.

How Do the Developers Plan to Make Monero Even More Private?

The Kovri Project is currently in development. Once completed, this project will encrypt and route transactions via various I2P Invisible Internet Project nodes. This process will hide the IP address of transactions, extending the security of Monero while reducing the risk of network monitoring.

How Do You Use Monero?

When using Monero, users are strongly encouraged to interact with the community for support and answers to any questions they have. You will need to download a Monero wallet to keep your funds secure and get started. From there, you can buy Monero using cryptocurrencies or fiat currencies on an exchange. Alternatively, you can mine Monero. Once you have Monero, you can send and receive it or even use the cryptocurrency to buy services and goods.

When accepting Monero, you don’t need to create a new address for each user or payment because of the stealth addresses. Instead, you give the person sending the money your payment ID, a hexadecimal string with 64 characters that the merchant typically randomly creates. You can then check for payments via the “payments” command within Monero-wallet-cli. There is also the option of programmatically checking for payment.

Monero Wallets

There are a number of Wallets you can download from the official website, it includes versions for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, ARM, Free BSD, DragonFly BSD, Source Code and Blockchain. There is also work in progress to crowdfund an official Monero Hardware Wallet and Ledger are also working on including it in their device.

Monero Wallets

Finally, there is also a Lite Wallet available at MyMonero, which allows you to quickly generate a wallet address and private keys online using their website.


Creating a wallet at MyMonero is super-simple, you just need to click the “Create an Account” button and on the next screen you will be presented with a list of seed words – its extremely important that you store these somewhere safe as this is how you will recover your wallet should you ever need to in future. The website then asks you to copy and paste these into a text box and click the login button.

You will then be given access to your wallet where you will see your address, transactions history and can send or receive payments.

MyMonero Wallet

How to Buy Monero XMR

Now you have your wallet setup, you will want to purchase some Monero to hold in it. You are not able to purchase XMR with “Fiat” currency so you will need to first purchase another currency – the easiest to buy are Bitcoin or Ethereum which you can do at Coinbase using a bank transfer or debit / credit card purchase and then swap that for XMR at Changelly.

Register at Coinbase

For first time buyers of crypto currency, we recommend that you use Coinbase to make your first purchase – its easy to use, fully regulated by the US government so you know it is one of the safest and most reputable places to purchase cryptocurrency from. Coinbase offers the ability to purchase Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum with a credit or debit card or by sending a bank transfer. The fees are higher for cards but you will receive your currency instantly.

You will have to carry out some identity verification when signing up as they have to adhere to strict financial guidelines. Make sure you use our link to signup you will be credited with $10 in free bitcoin when you make your first purchase of $100.

Coinbase Website

To get started, click the “Sign up” button where you will be taken to a registration form where you will need to enter your name, email and choose a password.

Coinbase will then send you a link via email to verify your email account, once you click the link in the email you will be taken to a verification page. You must then add your phone number and upload a photo of your ID – this can be a passport, driving license etc.

You also have to add your payment details, so you can add your bank account or a debit or credit card as required – after a short period your account will then be verified and you can then make your first purchase.

Coinbase Verification

Purchase Ethereum or Bitcoin

For this guide, we will be purchasing Ethereum to swap for our target cryptocurrency. The reason for this is that it has far cheaper fees than bitcoin for sending and the transaction also happens a lot faster. So in Coinbase, visit the “Buy / Sell” tab at the top, select “Ethereum”, choose your payment method and enter the amount you wish to purchase – you can either enter a US Dollar amount or a number of Ether.

Buy Etherum

You will then be asked to confirm your transaction, if paying with a card you might have to complete a verification with your card provider. Once that’s complete, your Ethererum will be added to your account.

Purchase Monero at Binance

If you are familiar with how exchanges work, the one we recommend for purchasing XMR is Binance. It’s easy to signup and you get 2 BTC worth of withdrawals each day without having to submit ID verification, all you need to do is send your BTC or ETH to your account there and swap for XMR. For more information read our complete guide to Binance here.

Binance Wallets

Using Changelly

For beginners, an easy way to buy Monero is with Changelly.

The next stage, is to use the Changelly website to swap your Ether for XMR. Use this link and enter how many Eth you will like to convert and it will show you how many Monero you will receive in return, if you are happy then go ahead and click the green “Exchange” Button.

On the next screen you will be prompted to register an account which you can do so by using a social media account or entering your email address.

Once that’s done, you will be taken to a page showing the transaction details – check it over and make sure the amounts are correct. Once you are happy click the green “Next” button.

On the next screen, you will be prompted for your Monero wallet address where you will receive the coins. Paste this into the box and click the green “Next” button.

Changelly Wallet Address

You will then be shown a final confirmation screen, again, make sure all details are correct before proceeding.

Changelly Confirmation

Changelly will then provide you will an address to which you mush send your Ether, so copy the address that they give you and then head back to your coinbase account.

Changelly Send to

Send Your Ethereum or Bitcoin

In Coinbase, click the “Accounts” and Select your Ethereum Wallet on the left and then click “Send”.

Enter the address that Changelly gave you before.

Send Ethereum

Click “Continue” and then you may have to confirm the transaction with your email or phone if you have 2 factor authentication enabled.

The transaction will now be sent over the Ethereum network and will take a short while to arrive – you can check in your Changelly account where it will notify you of the following steps :

  1. Waiting for payment
  2. Exchanging
  3. Sending to your wallet

Once it’s complete a confirmation message will appear on the screen saying “Transaction Complete”. You can now check your Monero Wallet where you can confirm you now own your XMR.

Changelly Transaction Complete

How Can You Help Improve Monero?

As a community-driven project, Monero encourages users to help in any way they can. You can work on developing, and Monero is mostly written in C++. You can also assist by running a full node to help distribute the blockchain and maximize privacy or mine. Of course, you can also donate money or become a sponsor.

What Are Monero’s Plans for the Future?

Current projects for Monero include fluffy blocks, sub-addresses, multi-signatures, a GUI port to Android, and a redesign of the Forum Funding system. Future projects include the alpha release of Kovri, more MRL research papers, more efficient proofs or range for the RingCT as a way to reduce transaction sizes, and second-layer solutions to improve scalability and speed.

Monero Roadmap


For those who want additional privacy in their cryptocurrency transactions, Monero is a very useful option. While some other currencies offer the option of stealth addresses, this is the default with Monero, ensuring that everyone’s information is secure, as are the transaction amounts. It is straightforward to use, and because Monero is community driven, it connects users with others around the world, building a sense of being part of something larger.

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Editor-in-Chief of Blockonomi and founder of Kooc Media, A UK-Based Online Media Company. Believer in Open-Source Software, Blockchain Technology & a Free and Fair Internet for all. His writing has been quoted by Nasdaq, Dow Jones, Investopedia, The New Yorker, Forbes, Techcrunch & More. Contact

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