Monero is one of the most popular privacy coins on the market. Here’s how to use it.
- Monero (XMR) is the largest privacy coin by market capitalization and users.
- Unlike Bitcoin, Monero transactions and balances are private by default.
- As a top-20 coin, Monero is listed on several major cryptocurrency exchanges.
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Monero is one of the most popular privacy coins in the crypto market. It’s easy to use XMR to make untraceable transactions—here’s how.
Monero is untraceable. Unlike other blockchains, only holders of the cryptocurrency can see their transaction data and balances. Identifying information about other people transacting on the network is also obfuscated. These features ensure that analytics companies cannot track people who use the privacy coin, solving a problem that Bitcoin has fallen victim to in recent years.
You can purchase Monero (XMR) on several major cryptocurrency exchanges.
Popular exchanges with BTC/XMR trading pairs include Binance, Bitcoin.com, Bitfinex, Bittrex, Huobi, Kraken, Kucoin, and Poloniex. Kraken and Bitfinex also offer USD/XMR trading pairs.
Some exchanges do not list Monero. BitBay and OKEx have delisted the cryptocurrency due to regulatory issues, while Coinbase has never listed it. Something to keep in mind is that the exchanges mentioned above are centralized: they manage user identities and can monitor trades. If not done carefully, purchasing XMR through a centralized exchange can defeat many of the coin’s privacy benefits.
For maximum privacy, we recommend buying XMR from decentralized exchanges such as OpenLedger or Waves.Exchange, or from peer-to-peer exchanges such as Bisq or LocalMonero.
Choosing a Monero Wallet
To move XMR off of an exchange, it is necessary to create a new wallet address and then send those funds to that new address. Use any of these wallets to create a new address:
- Monero GUI: the official Monero wallet.
- Monerujo: a mobile Monero wallet for Android.
- Cake Wallet: a mobile Monero wallet for iOS with built-in exchange features and currency conversion.
- X Wallet: another mobile wallet for iOS.
- My Monero: a simple wallet that can be run as a desktop app or mobile app, or within a web browser.
- Lightwallet: a “slim” wallet, written in Python.
We recommend the official Monero GUI wallet. It is easy to set up, and it offers streamlined access to Monero’s basic features—just choose “simple mode” after opening the application. Step-by-step wallet instructions can be read here.
Understanding Keys and Addresses
Monero addresses and keys are represented by strings of text. It is essential to understand these terms:
- Mnemonic seed: recovers a Monero wallet. Sharing it will allow anyone to access your funds.
- Secret spend key: spends Monero and signs transactions. Sharing it will allow anyone to access your funds.
- Secret view key: displays address data. Sharing it will reduce your privacy but will not…