What is XMR (Monero coin)?
Monero (XMR) is a special kind of digital cryptocurrency. It focuses on privacy and offers fast, secure and anonymous exchanges. The system uses cryptography to guarantee that all transactions stay untraceable.
Launched in April 2014, Monero has slowly but steadily grown in popularity and climbing to 10th-11th largest cryptocurrency in the market. Its main feature is privacy. Transactions and accounts are hidden from other parties except to those involved.
Based on the CryptoNight hash algorithm instead of Bitcoin, sending and receiving is fully encrypted. The only people aware of the transactions going on are the ones dealing with them. This anonymity is what makes Monero a favorite for privacy geeks.
What to look for in a Monero Wallet?
Before getting a Monero wallet, here are things you should consider:
XMR support – Not all wallets support Monero. So before doing transactions, make sure that the wallet serves Monero.
Security – What security precautions does the wallet have? Does it have notable features like two-factor authentication? How does it encrypt your private data? Is it easy to backup and recover your wallet?
Privacy – Determine the features and protections of the wallet that allows you to keep your anonymity.
Simple User Interface – Is the wallet user-friendly even for beginners? A wallet that is simple and easy to use is important for your convenience. At the same time making sure that it has features that you need in storing your coins safely.
Customer Support – How is the support in case you will encounter problems regarding the wallet? Does it have phone, chat, or email support that is readily available in times of needs?
Platform Availability – Depending on what you prefer, does it suit your needs? Like for mobile wallets, is it available for iPhone or/and Android devices?
Positive Reviews – Check the reviews from other XMR owners who have used the said wallet. A positive response from users is always a good benchmark.
Storing XMR in an Exchange Wallet
After buying Monero, you may be tempted to leave and store your coins in an exchange wallet. This is only practical for a few hours or days if you are planning to trade soon. Generally, though, it is not recommended for long term storage.
When storing in exchange wallets, the private keys are owned by the exchange thus you don’t have control of it. It also means you don’t have full control of your funds.
Aside from this, exchanges are favorite targets for hackers. Any security disturbances could be catastrophic for you and your investments.
To ensure this, getting a secure and private wallet for your XMR is the safest way.
Top 6 Monero Wallets
As stated above, the safest option in keeping your XMR is to get a secure and private wallet. Here is a list of recommended wallets for different platforms.
#1 Ledger Nano S – Hardware Wallet
Ledger Nano S is one of the best and popular hardware wallets available in the market. And it is the only hardware wallet that supports Monero that started last April 2018.
Ledger Nano S is recognized for its security features. It is centered around a secure chip that isolates your private keys from any connected devices. The device has PIN access and two-factor authentication making sure your assets are always safe and secure.
Aside from XMR, the Ledger Nano S also supports leading cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple, Bitcoin Cash NEO together with other hundred ERC-20 tokens. Check their website for a list of all cryptocurrencies supported.
#2 Monero Paper Wallet – Paper Wallet
Paper wallets are not as popular as several years ago. But they are still dependable in securing your coins. When used correctly, it is one of the most secure wallets that the risk of getting hacked is slim to none.
Monero will let you generate your own paper wallet here. It comprises two QR codes and two keys. One QR code will help you generate a public address and the other one has the private key. You can also use it offline so your keys will not be exposed.
#3 Monero Gui Wallet – Desktop Wallet
For an easier storing and transacting Monero assets, Monero made its own official desktop wallet, the Monero GUI Wallet. It is free to download from their website and supports Windows, MacOS, Linux and other various operating systems. This is also available in various languages.
The Monero GUI Wallet is a full node wallet (also known as a heavy wallet) meaning you have to download the wallet and sync it with the full blockchain. Thus, it consumes a lot of time and takes up a big amount of hard drive space and processing power. But once downloading and syncing is done, the wallet is ready to use. The downside though is that it doesn’t have statistics and trading features which matters when investing.
With that being said, if you want to have a secure desktop and at the same time connects to the Monero network security, then this would be perfect for you.
#4 Guarda – Multi-platform Wallet
Guarda is known as one of the most complete and full fledge Monero wallets available for different platforms. It supports MacOS, Windows, iOS, and Android. You can also get a web app for it. So, it’s not just a desktop wallet, there is also a mobile version.
Guarda is a multi-asset wallet as it supports various cryptocurrencies such as Monero, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Zcash and much more.
One thing that Guarda stands out from other wallets, is that it doesn’t ask you to enter your personal information when creating one. Client information, private keys, and wallet data are not stored in their servers. The private key is kept in the device’s secure memory but deletes itself once you are logged out from the wallet.
#5 MyMonero – Web Wallet
When it comes to web or online wallets for Monero (XRM), MyMonero would be on top. It was created to cater to newbies that were having a hard time using Monero.
As the simplest wallet on this list, MyMonero doesn’t have any additional features. The sole function of this is to allow users to send, receive and check their transactions.
In making your account, simply go to their website and sign up. You will be asked to save the 13-word key that is given to you. Make sure to keep it in a safe place as this is your login key. In this process, MyMonero creates, stores and encrypts your private keys. This is to ensure that they cannot access your account.
Monerujo – Android Mobile Wallet
Monerujo is one of the most popular XRM wallets in the market as it is the first Android wallet that supports Monero (XMR) blockchain.
Considered to be a lightweight wallet, it uses remote nodes to synchronize to the Monero blockchain. This makes it faster compared to Monero full-node wallets.
Monerujo’s user interface is simple and easy to use. Setting up a wallet is as quick as few taps. Sending and receiving payments is as convenient as scanning QR codes.
The wallet is also open-source which means your private data is stored on your device.
Tips for Storing XMR
In storing your XMR, make sure to do these things first:
Do Research – Read about the wallet you are about to get. Know its features, the company’s reputation, its developing team, the security services, and user’s reviews.
Updated Security Software – Before installing, check your antivirus and security software programs on your device. Make sure they are up to date to prevent infiltrations.
Choose Cold Storage – In keeping your private keys, doing it offline is viewed to be the safest way. There are different wallets you may consider.
Use Strong Passwords – Create a strong, unique random password that is impossible to crack.
Secure Private Keys – Keep in mind that your private keys are used to access your funds. Safely store them away. Don’t make a digital copy of it. Never share them with anybody.
Divide Assets – Having multiple wallets mean multiple private keys. This may be a hassle as you will need to store a lot of private keys. Yet, this will be helpful. If you cannot access one wallet, at least you still have control over your other funds. That if you have divided your funds to more than one wallet.
Best Places to Buy Monero and How to Buy Them
There are two ways to buy Monero. Either you use other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoins, Ethereum and Litecoins or buy with fiat currencies (USD, EUR, GBP, etc.). With these two possibilities, various exchanges to buy XMR exist.
For fiat currencies, here are three of the most popular exchanges:
Buying Monero for the first time? Changelly might be the best exchange for you. You can link your bank account or credit card to buy XMR. The exchange carries USD and EUR.
Bitfinex started accepting XMR/USD combinations last November 2016. This is the first exchange to support XMR-fiat pairing. It is a multi-platform exchange with web application and mobile apps for Android and iOS. Perfect for on the go users and is also user-friendly.
Kraken supports USD, GBP, EUR, CAD, and JPY fiat currencies. You can deposit directly on the exchange and purchase XMR. Transactions are made through SEPA, bank transfer, SWIFT, and bank deposit. Transaction fees vary depending on your location and the currency used.
How to Buy Monero with Fiat currency?
Ways in buying XMR with USD through Changelly exchange.
Once you have signed up and your account is verified, you can now buy Monero.
When you go to their homepage, you will see the display of real-time trading rates for all currencies. On the first box drop-down, select USD or EUR and XMR on the other one. Click on “Next” to continue.
A new page will load to display the information regarding your transaction. This includes the number of your XMR purchases with USD, the amount of XMR coins you will be receiving in your wallet, and the total transaction fees. Once you have verified all the details, you can click on “Next”.
On the next page, you will need to enter your wallet details. This is where Changelly sends your coins.
The specifics of your transaction will be displayed for the final confirmation. If everything is correct, click “Next”.
Next step will be requiring you to enter your credit card details like credit card number, expiration date, and security number. After which click “Pay”.
One last identity verification for you before the transaction will be completed. The requirements differ between exchanges. For Changelly, you have options to either receive a phone call for a 4-digit pin to input or take a photo of yourself holding an identification card.
After everything is successfully completed, you will receive your XMR in your wallet account.
Examples of 3 exchanges that support XMR/BTC:
Binance is one of the popular exchanges to buy XMR using Bitcoins or Ethereum. It has supported Monero from the time its launch in 2017.
When you already have an account with Binance, it will be easier to buy Monero. Make sure your account has been verified.
Bittrex is known as a secure cryptocurrency exchange. It has a custom trade engine that is formulated to process and fulfill orders in an efficient way.
One thing that stands out Bittrex from other exchanges is that it focuses more on trustworthy coins. Thus, this is perfect for Monero.
Bittrex support XMR/BTC, XMR/USDT, and XMR/ETH pairings.
Gate.io has seen its popularity rise in 2017. Users have noticed that this exchange is a perfect platform to trade dominant cryptocurrencies like XMR.
This is also a crypto-crypto exchange. So, you have to have cryptocurrencies like BTC, and ETH to acquire Monero.
Gate.io support XMR/BTC and XMR/USDT.
How to Buy Monero with Bitcoin?
In this guide, we will use Binance exchange.
- Once your account is verified, you can start to fund your account. Go to the tab with the label “Funds” and then click “Deposits”. The dropdown menu will give you the choices for the cryptocurrency that you need to deposit. When you choose BTC, Bitcoin deposit address will appear. Take note of it.
- Send your Bitcoins from Coinbase to this address. It will take about 10-20 minutes for your coins to appear.
- Once your balance is updated, you can now buy your Monero coins.
- Back to Binance’s exchange homepage, go to the “Exchange” tab. You can find the XMR/BTC pairing.
- Once the transaction is complete, you should see your Monero coins in your Binance account.
You can now transfer your coins to a safe place like your wallet.
How can I get a Monero?
You can get Monero from any exchange or from an individual. You can also try mining Monero to get coins from the block reward.
What is a blockchain?
A blockchain is an online database that stores all transaction history of the Monero network. In every new transaction, a block with the latest information is added to the blockchain. This chain helps the network verify the amount of money the accounts have. In return, this makes the network robust.
What is the difference between Monero and Bitcoin?
Monero is based on a CryptoNote protocol. It hides information to protect user privacy in all transactions. Bitcoin is a transparent system. People can see how much money is being sent from one user to the other.
How is a lightweight wallet different from a normal wallet?
Less privacy. Lightweight wallets give your view key to a node. The node then searches the blockchain and looks for incoming transactions to your account. Which means the node will know when you receive money. However, it cannot tell how much you receive, who did you receive it from or who are you sending money to. Normal wallet will give you more privacy as it can be used with your own node.
Can I have multiple addresses in my local node?
Yes. One wallet holds a single address. When you want to have multiple addresses, you need to create and execute multiple wallets.
Why is Monero have limited options for wallets?
There’s no definite answer for this. But this will soon change as Monero is gaining popularity. More Android and iOS wallets are expected to be supporting Monero soon same goes with hardware wallets.
Do I need to generate a new Monero wallet address for a transaction like Bitcoin?
With Monero, this is not needed. For every transaction, a new receiving address is automatically created.
How long does a transaction last?
The average time for a transaction to first appear in the blockchain is one minute.
However, exchanges require at least 18 confirmations before putting funds to your account. The standard wallet requires confirmations before considering received coins to be available for use.
How come my wallet takes so long to sync?
When you are using a full node locally, you have to copy the entire blockchain to your computer. This can be time-consuming especially with a slow internet connection or if you have an old hard drive.
How is Monero’s privacy different from other coins?
Monero has three different privacy technologies: ring signatures, ring confidential transactions, and stealth addresses. These are the ones that hide the sender, amount, and receiver during transactions, respectively. By mandate, all deals on the network are private. It is impossible to accidentally send a transparent transaction. Monero has the only that has this feature.