Cryptocurrency fever grips everyone, and if you are not investing in this exciting new type of technology, then you really should be.
Of course, you would have heard of Bitcoin – the crypto-coin that has taken the world by storm and raised the ire of the worlds governments and financial institutions. But did you know that there are hundreds of other options to choose from?
One of the up and coming coins that seem to have a promising future ahead of it, while still being accessible for small-time investors, is Monero.
In this article, we will give you the lowdown on how to buy Monero, as well as some background information on what it is, how to mine it, and where to keep it.
So, if you want to find out more about one of the most exciting coins on the market, read on to find out more!
Monero Coin Explained
Monero position itself as a secure, private, and entirely untraceable cryptocurrency. It is unique in the way in which it utilises a particular type of cryptography which enables all of its transactions to be completely unlinkable, untraceable, and anonymous in every way.
In a world where every part of our lives is being monitored, recorded, and analysed at increasingly alarming levels, it is easy to see why the level of anonymity that Monero offers, is enticing.
In 2012, a coin called Bytecoin was released on the CryptoNote application layer protocol. This protocol is used to power a range of decentralised currencies, and while it is similar in concept to the layer which runs Bitcoin, it also has many differences.
Bytecoin did have some potential. However, it quickly grew a reputation for being a bit dodgy, and some people noticed that 80% of the coins had already been published.
At this stage, a decision was made to fork the Bytecoin Blockchain and to call the new chain Bitmonero.
This was then shortened to just Monero which is the Esperanto word for “coin”. In the new and improved blockchain, each block would be mined, and a new one added every two minutes.
Monero was created by a group of seven developers, five of which are anonymous and operate under a pseudonym. The project is an entirely open source and crowdfunded.
What makes Monero unique is its CryptoNote system. The special features include the fact that the currency is entirely yours and you have 100% control over your transactions. As your identity remains anonymous, no one is ever able to see what you are spending your assets on.
The other big feature is the fact that it is fungible because of the concept of clean and tainted coins.
How To Mine Monero?
Like many other leading cryptocurrencies, Monero is a “proof-of-work” currency that can be minded through the use of computer power from a GPU or a CPU. At present, ASICs are not compatible with the mining of Monero.
Therefore anyone with a regular, desktop computer can mine it.
First up, you need to decide if you will mine solo or mine as a part of a pool. There are benefits to both, but be aware that mining with a pool can often come with a fee. That said, if you don’t have the resources to set up a mining machine at home, then a small fee to join a pool could be advantageous.
If, however, you are just looking to diversify your cryptocurrency portfolio, we recommend you only buy Monero through an exchange or another platform. The rest of this article will deal with how you go about this process.
The Best Cryptocurrency Wallets for Monero
When it comes to storing your Monero, you need to decide what kind of cryptocurrency wallet you prefer to use.
You can choose from web wallets and desktop wallets, but unfortunately and very disappointingly, there are no hardware wallets at present that support Monero.
According to the Monero website, The Monero community has funded a Dedicated Hardware Wallet which is now in progress. Ledger Nano S, one of the worlds leading hardware wallet providers, is also working to integrate Monero.
Here are the currently available options:
At present, there is only one web-wallet that supports Monero, and that is MyMonero.
While we are not usually supporters of web-wallets due to the security risks that come with them, we are quite trusting of this one as it was created by one of the leading Monero developers – Riccardo Spagni.
This wallet works much in the same way to an online bank account- you create your account, and then you can access your account via the internet, to gain access to your funds.
The nice thing about it is that Monero has no access to your funds as they are just responsible for encrypting the keys- everything else remains private.
Again, there is only currently one Monero desktop wallet on the market, and yet, it is created by the Monero team themselves.
Available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Mobile, and various other, slightly more obscure operating systems, it is a relatively secure option, although be aware that it is susceptible to hacking.
Anything that is stored on a computer which is connected to the internet is always at risk of being hacked or compromised. Even if you are following best practices, one should exercise caution when keeping large amounts of cryptocurrency on a device.
The alternative is to download the wallet application to a computer, put your Monero in it and then disconnect it from the internet entirely. This is one way of increasing the security of your assets until hardware wallet providers and other cold storage solutions are developed.
The Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges for Monero
There are lots of exchanges out there where you can buy, sell, and trade Monero – which one will choose will depend on your preferred method of payment.
Some exchanges only accept fiat currencies in exchange for coins, others will accept only cryptocurrency, and some offer both or a broader range of payment options.
If you are a beginner in the world of cryptocurrency, it is probably advisable to purchase your coins with a credit or debit care, whereas if you already hold a portfolio of products, it could be worth exchanging crypto for crypto, and hoping to make a profit at the same time.
These are good exchanges where you can purchase Monero, using a credit or debit card.
Unfortunately, if you are based in the USA, it does get a little tricky if you want to buy Monero using a credit or debit card.
For those US-based investors who want to buy it, this is the best way to do it.
Firstly, you need to purchase Bitcoin through Coinbase with a credit card. Then you need to navigate to Binance and convert the Bitcoin into Monero.
This is not as convoluted as you might think, and all in all, it will take you around 10 minutes. Coinbase is available to clients in the US, Canada, Europe, UK, Singapore, and Australia.
At present, Coinbase offers to purchase between Bitcoin, BTC, Ethereum, Litecoin and a selection of other digital assets in return for fiat currencies across 32 countries.
It was launched in 2011, and by December 2017, its mobile application became the most downloaded application in the iOS store. It is perhaps the worlds most famous and reputable digital currency exchange.
Read more details in our Coinbase review.
If you cannot use or do not want to use Coinbase, then you can purchase your Bitcoin through CoinMama and then proceed to Binance, where you can convert it into Monero.
CoinMama allows individuals to buy Bitcoin with a card, from pretty much every country worldwide, unlike Coinbase which has restrictions.
CoinMama was launched back in 2013 in Slovakia, but its headquarters are in Israel. It operates in 217 countries, and it is also available to use in 24 US States.
Users can utilise the platform to buy Bitcoin and Ethereum using debit or credit cards, and even through the Western Union. Its only real drawback is the fact that it doesn’t offer trading facilities.
It does, however, provide some of the easiest and quickest ways to buy Bitcoin and Ethereum and it is one of the few that offers to purchase with credit and debit cards.
Bitfinex offers both cryptocurrency exchange and currency storage since 2014. It is one of the largest exchange platforms in the world but has had a few controversial issues with hacks and security breaches.
It has also experienced problems because it can no longer offer withdrawals in USD after Wells Fargo cut off its wire transfers.
That said, it does remain as one of the top exchanges in the world, and it offers opportunities to purchase and trade with Monero and an extensive range of other products.
You can also, sort of purchase Monero directly for your bank account. If you live in the US, you will need to purchase Bitcoin using Coinbase and by making a bank transfer. Once you get the Bitcoins, you will need to exchange them for Monero using Binance, or a similar exchange.
If you live in Europe, you can use BitPanda to purchase Bitcoin and then exchange them in a variety of places.
BitPanda was previously known by the name “Coinimal”, and it functions as a Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, and Litecoin web-wallet as well as an exchange where you can buy cryptocurrencies with fiat currencies in moments.
BitPanda offers a very high level of security with 2-factor authentication, and various payments methods available Visa, Mastercard, Skrill, SEPA transfer, Neteller, and EPS. They have received positive reviews in the online community, and they are considered as one of the best wallets and exchanges out there.
Unfortunately, there is no way at all to purchase Monero with cash directly. At present, there is no ATM which supports the withdrawal of Monero, although as its popularity grows, perhaps this will change.
It is also not possible to directly purchase the coin via PayPal. Instead, you would need to buy Bitcoin with PayPal and then convert them to Monero.
For those living in Europe, there is another option, however, and that is Skrill. BitPanda users can buy Bitcoin with Skrill and then exchange them for Monero with Binance, and the same method can be employed, but with Ethereum instead of Bitcoin.
If you are set on investing in Monero, then your best bet is probably purchasing Bitcoin on Coinbase and then exchanging it for Monero on an exchange platform such as Binance.
While there are other ways of doing things, we recommend using this method as the platforms involved have a solid reputation.
Some users may prefer to wait until there are more secure ways of storing their Monero before they consider making significant investments, but for those that want to diversify their portfolio, Monero is a coin that you seriously need to think about.
Read more about Monero in our guide to the Monero Coin.