Monero, with a currency code of XMR, is an open source, secure, private and untraceable cryptocurrency system that was created via crowd-funding. Transactions remain totally untraceable and cannot be linked. Monero grew from bytecoin, which had been losing credibility and had also already published 80 percent of its coins. Monero is an independent blockchain, where a block is mined and added every two minutes. Today, Monero is led by seven developers, five who remain anonymous and the others have been named as David Latapie and Riccardo Spagni
Monero gives the total individual control over transactions whilst keeping identity anonymous so that no one sees details of the buyer, seller, goods bought and sold or transaction amount. This is in contrast with Bitcoin, where the open ledger means that everyone can see the transaction trail. This means, that if a Bitcoin has been used in illegal activity, like buying class A drugs, the transaction details are available for everyone to see. This makes that particular Bitcoin worth much less at exchanges than those that have not been used to break the law.
Unlike other cryptocurrencies, Monero has no pre-assigned size limit. To prevent miners from creating huge blocks that clog the system, there is a sliding scale block reward penalty incorporated into the system. This means that if a new block exceeds the average size of the last 100 blocks, the reward is reduced by a percent which starts at one percent for being 10 percent above the average, increasing up to 100 percent for blocks that are double the average size.
Unlike other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, Monero has multiple keys instead of just one public key and one private key. Monero's public view key generates a one-time stealth public address where the funds will be sent to the receiver, and the private view key is used by the receiver to scan the blockchain to find the funds sent to them.
In total there are 18.4 million XMR, and mining is projected to go on until the end of May 2022. When the Monero supply runs out, there will be a continuous 0.3 XMR/min supply to incentivise miners. As of 14 February 2019, the current value was around £36, a 78% drop from the same time last year.