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Monero (XMR), promoted as "cash for a connected world", is a fast, decentralized, secure and privacy-oriented cryptocurrency. It is an open-source project launched on April 18, 2014 as a fork of ByteCoin.
As with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, transactions in Monero are confirmed by distributed consensus and then immutably recorded on the blockchain. However, unlike other digital currencies, Monero offers full privacy as no one else can see anyone else's balances or transactions.
Monero promotes privacy by using ring signatures, ring confidential transactions, and stealth addresses to obfuscate the origins, amounts, and destinations of all transactions. A ring signature is an anonymous digital signature that does not reveal who signed the transaction. They are generated on the Monero platform through a combination of a sender's account keys and public keys on the blockchain.
Stealth addresses are randomly-generated addresses that are created during each transaction for one-time use, and they hide a transaction's destination address, as well as the receiver's identity. Ring confidential transactions (RingCT) also hides the amount of the transaction; this feature was added in January 2017 as a mandatory feature of all Monero network transactions.
Monero is based on the CryptoNote protocol, and it has dynamic block size and fees. Monero mining can be done solo or by joining a mining pool. Unlike Bitcoin, Monero mining does not require application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), because it uses an ASIC-resistant proof-of-work (RandomX) algorithm