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Editorial: what's so special about Monero

This is a recurring question. So, instead of repeating it over and over, just point people to this editorial.

One-line summaries tend to radicalise people, but let's try anyway: great techs, great devs, great recognition.


It uses CryptoNote technology, which, compared to most other coins, means:

  • higher privacy if implemented correctly (ring signature + stealth addresses).
  • higher scalability (no fixed limit, including the infamous 1MB blocksize, very high efficiency of the ed255199 signature scheme)
  • higher security (the Curve25519 is considered safe by cryptographers, contrary to secp256k1
  • changes are so fundamental that the adage "whatever coin X can do, Bitcoin can add it" doesn't apply here
  • emulates bank secrecy on demand and permits regulatory compliance (view key - see Monero, the Next Step, slide 9)
  • enforces net neutrality by design (miners cannot become censors, Wikileaks cannot have its donations delayed and a competitor cannot hinders payments to your company)
  • smooth emission curve (no block halving here)
  • GPU-resistance (GPU are only slightly faster than CPU). CryptoNight is said to be "memory hard" or "AES heavy"
  • Code for wallet is separated from code for node, which is more secure


  • Some altcoins exhibit one technology that Monero has: Shadowcash has cryptonote-like privacy (but only on exceptional situation called Shadow-to-Shadow), Vertcoin and some others have stealth addresses, etc.
  • Improper implementation could lead to no actual privacy. Best example is Bytecoin, where 80%+ of the outputs are owned by unknown parties; so unmasking which signature in a ring is the real one is trivial for the said unknown parties.
  • More technical information on CryptoNote:


The undisputed leader in Cryptonote-based coins:

Specific development

Monero has its own improvements that other CryptoNote-based coins ("altnotes") do not have:

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