Monero (XMR) is the world’s most popular privacy coin. All transactions on Monero are untraceable and it’s impossible to see another user’s balance. Monero was launched in 2014, making it one of the oldest cryptocurrencies still in widespread use.
Despite being nearly a decade old, the Monero development team remains dedicated to the project and continues to push out updates on a regular basis.
In this article we’ll look into how Monero is responding to regulatory pressure from governments around the world. Here’s everything you need to know about Monero in 2022.
An update on Monero in 2022
Governments don’t want people to transact anonymously. Case in point, the macro analyst and investor Lyn Alden has suggested that if cash were invented today, it would be made illegal.
In an attempt to curb the use of Monero, several countries have started putting pressure on exchanges. As a result, Bithumb, Bittrex and Kraken have all delisted Monero. The UK and South Korea have been particularly unfriendly in their treatment of privacy coins. Here’s how XMR has been performing since these delistings.
Although the Monero price is down in 2022, it has generally been outperforming other cryptocurrencies. And this price outperformance could continue for the foreseeable future, given that it’s reaching the lower bound of its inflation schedule.
Unlike Bitcoin, which will continue to undergo halvenings for the next hundred years, Monero is about to reach its final and lowest level of issuance. At the end of May the network will reduce its security budget to 0.6 XMR per block. Supply issuance will remain at that level for as long as Monero exists. 0.6 XMR per block will amount to less than a 1% inflation rate, lower even than Bitcoin’s annual rate of roughly 2%.
As is the case with most cryptocurrencies, trading volume for XMR has been slowly decreasing over the last year. The average daily trading volume is around $60 million, roughly a 50% decrease from a year ago.
The good news for Monero is that the hash rate is near an all-time high. The network is currently secured by 3.23 GH/s (Giga-hashes per second). Despite XMR’s price volatility, the hash rate has been trending up since 2020.
The Monero community is preparing for a large update that will go live on August 13th 2022. Here are a few of the most important features that will be included.
- View tags are going to reduce wallet sync times by 30 to 40%. Anyone who has downloaded the Monero blockchain knows how big of a deal will be!
- The new Bulletproofs+ algorithm will make transactions 5 to 7% smaller. This will slow the growth of the Monero blockchain (in terms of storage size).
- An increase in the ring size from 11 to 16. Monero uses ring signatures to anonymize transactions, the more rings the greater the security.
More information about the upcoming update is available here.
Apart from the technical improvements, the best part of this new upgrade is the proof it provides that the Monero development team is still active. Scroll through the pages of CoinMarketCap and you’ll find thousands of “dead” coins (projects that the developers have abandoned). The fact that the Monero developers are still active, and they have tremendous community support, is extremely encouraging.
While it’s perhaps impossible to accurately measure a concept as intangible as “community,” it could be argued that Monero has one of the best communities in crypto. The blockchain is supported by a dedicated group of individuals who believe deeply in the merits of private money. This community support doesn’t consist solely of platitudes, either.
Donations fund the protocol’s development. Every year the Monero community donates hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay the talented developers who make these updates possible. For those interested, The Monero Moon is a weekly newsletter covering all the latest news for the blockchain.
The future of Monero
Monero could become increasingly necessary in a world that’s starting to look like society as portrayed in George Orwell’s 1984. Numerous freedom of speech violations are committed by our governments and social media overlords. A cancel culture demands uniformity of thought and opinion. Our data is harvested, evaluated and sold on to the highest bidder. The list goes on... Monero doesn’t solve everything, however, it is a step in the right direction.
Monero is arguably the best way we have to reclaim our monetary privacy in the digital sphere. It’s the only effective way to spend money without governments and corporations tracking our purchases. Although detractors often label Monero as “a tool for criminals”, the truth is far more complex.
The citizenry of any country should have the ability to transact anonymously. That’s not because people are criminals, but because our economic transactions shouldn’t be the business of anyone but ourselves. 99% of what happens in most people’s living rooms is perfectly legal, yet who would want a security camera to record what we do in our homes?
When we lose the privacy of money, we lose the freedom of economic expression. When people know that what they spend their money on can have consequences, they change their behavior. They self-censor, and the vibrancy of our economies diminishes as a result.
Monero is bringing privacy back to money. Unfortunately though, the extent of its utility will be largely determined by how governments treat XMR. It’s true that financial regulators cannot censor or track XMR transactions (not for lack of trying!), however, they don’t need to ban Monero to stop people from using it. Here’s what could happen instead.
Will Monero be banned?
Without having special insight into the minds of financial regulators and politicians it’s impossible to say with absolute certainty whether Monero will be banned. However, if governments do decide to go after Monero, a full “ban” is unlikely to happen. An outright ban on Monero would be almost impossible to enforce, the same way that it’s nearly impossible to prevent people from sharing pirated movies via torrents.
If governments want to stop people from using Monero, the most effective method would be to ban financial institutions from offering XMR services. For example, all centralized exchanges could be forced to delist Monero. The ban could also apply to banks and OTC (over the counter) trading desks.
Even if owning and using Monero remains legal, without a way to move between fiat and XMR the cryptocurrency will struggle to achieve mass adoption. This is not unique to Monero either. The same restrictions could be used to throttle Bitcoin, Ethereum or just about any other asset. Even gold was banned at one point!
In the event of a financial ban, there will always be a subset of people who find ways to acquire and use Monero. Unfortunately, they would likely remain a small minority of the population, unless the traditional monetary system became so corrupted that people were willing to go to any lengths to acquire Monero. While that would be a windfall for XMR, it probably wouldn’t be a world that most of us would want to live in.
Is Monero XMR the best privacy coin?
Monero is the best privacy coin by just about any metric.
Monero is superior to other privacy coins like Dash & Zcash in that every transaction on the network is private. Zcash users can choose to send a normal (publicly viewable) or anonymous transaction. The problem is that sending a private transaction raises a red flag. Why did you choose to send that transaction privately, what are you hiding? Monero’s model of 100% privacy is superior to optional privacy.
If you decide to invest in Monero it’s important to take more precautions than you would with other cryptocurrencies. Namely, you shouldn't keep your XMR on a centralized exchange, but in a non-custodial Monero wallet. An exchange can freeze your coins and we never know what kind of draconian policies the regulators will implement.
Exodus houses a non-custodial Monero wallet that lets you control your coins. No matter what laws the government passes, Exodus can never take your Monero or stop you from transacting. Self-sovereignty is a foundational ethos of both the Monero and the Exodus community.
This content is for informational purposes only and is not investment advice. You should consult a qualified licensed advisor before engaging in any transaction.