J. R. Swab's Blog

Monero is our future

Categories: Technology
Tags: open-source privacy cryptocurrency decentralization money

I know I do not talk about cryptocurrency a lot on this blog and that is because of how fast the market can change. This coin is different though, Monero started back in 2014 and had slowly gained ground in a steady climb and often sits in the top 10 cryptos by market cap.

I overlooked Monero for a long time due to being a Bitcoin maximalist, but the more I learn about this coin, the more I love what it stands for on an independence level. It is the mixture of nerd and anarchist within me that stirs up all kinds of fuzzy warm feeling as I understand the Monero mission and development.

Why Monero

Privacy And Security

As some of you know, I am a big advocate for personal freedom, security, and privacy online and in our daily lives. I find it distasteful that our information is mined to sell to other organizations. That may sound weird being an anarcho-capitalist, but I'm not saying companies should not be allowed to use these practices, only that they need to be upfront about it.

The reason I do not like the data mining of all the data is that it creates a vulnerability in our security. That is why I go out of my way to limit the amount of information I share with free services. But how does this translate to cryptocurrency?

The majority of coins out there are on an open ledger with what we call pseudo-anonymity. This lack of privacy means that with enough effort the slight anonymity that Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others have is only so deep. If I know your public key, which I would if you send me funds, I can see your entire balance as well as every transaction you ever engaged in with that address.

Pseudo-anonymity, to me, is a significant privacy breach and a threat to user security. On the privacy side of things, we are unable to keep our income and savings secret from other people. We don't go around telling people how much money we make or save over time because that information is private.

The same scenario applies to the security side of money. If everyone knows how much we made or saved in a given year, we would be at a massive risk for crime. Given enough funds, a thieve could find out how much we have and threaten our lives for the private key to steal our funds. I don't want that for anyone let alone myself.

Monero is different.

What Monero does is not only hide the amount we have currently but also how much we send and receive. Monero allows for greater security and privacy just we would go with our fiat currency. Keeping this information private from peeping toms (sorry if your name is Tom) removes the threat of crime against us due to the size of our wallet.

I won't get into all the math and technology behind Monero in this post since the goal is to introduce this Monero and explain why this cryptocurrency is here to stay. If you care about your private information stays private online than you need to care about your digital currency remaining hidden as well.

Mining Monero

I wrote a post a explaining how to set up an AMD GPU Monero miner on Ubuntu Linux. That post is still useful today and seems like it will be for as long as xmr-stak exists. Your CPU is still relevant because the Monero development team and community aim to always have the coin minable on CPUs and GPUs.

ASICs do exist for the cryptocurrency today, but with each update to Monero they get drastically reduced and are not worth the investment. That's just the way I like it! The more people that can mine a coin without losing out on the cost of electricity the more secure the coin's chain becomes.

Because of the ASIC resistant nature of Monero, this allows for all kinds of miners to exists. You can even mine right in your web browser!

Issues With Monero

I'm not going to get you all excited about Monero without giving you some real-world issues that I see the coin facing at the time of writing. They are not deal breakers for me because I am used to the "cost" of security over continence. However, that may not be the case for everyone, and that's ok (I guess...).

Large Blockchain

The potential for a large blockchain is one of those trade-offs that will always exist for the security and privacy that Monero provides. Since there is more going on to keep everything private on the Monero blockchain the chain itself is more significant than other coins. The bigger the blockchain gets, leads to the need for more storage for nodes hosting the chain.

As time goes on, we may see fewer nodes with a full copy of the blockchain but only time will tell if this becomes the case. The blockchain size is not new to Monero, and I believe the devs are working on ways to lessen the load to keep more nodes around.

I don't find it to be a huge deal at this time since as I write this the entire blockchain is around 40-50GiB in size. This trade-off becomes a much more significant problem as adoption increases, and we hit hundreds of gibibytes in size. (Yes it's Gibibytes, not Gigabytes)

Nothing To Hide?

Remember, just because what you do today is not illegal does not mean a state or government can's outlaw it tomorrow. There are many places today where it is illegal to buy a Bible. Using Monero today will ensure that you stay safe even if the laws change for the worse tomorrow.

Use Monero, it's secure, private, untraceable, and fungible.


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