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10.MONERO (Published: 22nd Jun, 2017)

Monero was launched in April 2014 with the focuses on privacy, decentralisation, and scalability. Instead of a derivative of Bitcoin, it is based on CryptoNote which has a brand new codebase.
Monero’s major feature is about protecting customer’s privacy. Unlike Bitcoin which clients’ public addresses and funds can be seen by everyone on the blockchain, Monero can hide all of them, with ring signatures making addresses untraceable and ringCT hiding the amount of funds.
About decentralisation, Monero uses a CryptoNight Proof of Work algorithm with a designation for common used CPUs so that this smart mining feature can allow transparent CPU mining, instead of the centralization of mining farms and pool mining. Besides, scalability issues are solved by having no limits on block size with decreasing rewards for larger blocks.

In August 2016, AlphaBay, the largest dark net black market has announced the acceptance of Monero in addition to Bitcoin. Moreover, in September of the same year, Monero launched the Monero Market in the dark net marketplace with the aim of creating a market that solely uses Monero. Unfortunately, the markets went offline 20 days later due to zero activities in it. Apparently, Monero is trying to gain some popularity among the dark net markets due to the fact that its privacy features are very compatible with the black markets.
On the other hand, despite having several projects being developed at the moment like the Kovri router to improve privacy and the URS anonymous voting system, there are no announcement about major big updates.

Indeed, among other altcoins, Monero seems to have the best solution in terms of privacy, and it is still working in different features to make it better. However, the problem is that retail users are not that concerned about privacies, unlike institutional investors and hackers. It seems that more marketing and education has to be done in order to make Monero more popular. Also, the increasing engagement with the dark net market has also given bad reputations to Monero and made it even harder to be adopted by ordinary users.
Nevertheless, the price of Monero has been showing some good signs with an uptrend since September 2016. In fact, it is the best solution to privacy issues in cryptocurrencies. The potential should not be overlooked but its features are not critical enough to become a widely adopted cryptocurrency. Hence, I will suggest selling it.

It is foreseeable that Monero will continue engaging with the dark net markets to promote its coin. The risk, however, is that investigating authorities are monitoring them very closely and they might intervene those markets at some time. if this happens, Monero will be struggled to develop a solid market and its value will drop

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