One of the early appeals of blockchain technology was its ability to offer detachment from the financial system. Early proponents envisioned a world where you could buy and sell in Bitcoin, and no one would be able to track what you're doing. However, that hasn't proven to be the case. Bitcoin transactions can eventually be traced, as can most other cryptocurrencies. It's for this reason that a new breed of cryptos focused exclusively on privacy has emerged, like Monero (XMR).
While not as popular as some other tokens, Monero is as close to anonymous as tokens get. Here's what you need to know about this token, and whether Monero is a buy in 2021.
What is Monero?
Monero first started in 2014, when it became apparent that Bitcoin and Ethereum weren't nearly as private as many hoped. Because blockchains are transparent, it's easy to trace any transaction back to its original source. Monero, on the other hand, is designed to make senders and receivers completely anonymous, thanks to its advanced cryptography.
According to the Monero team, the token's primary goal will always be privacy, with ease-of-use and mainstream accessibility being secondary goals. Therefore, you shouldn't expect Monero to become a top 10 altcoin anytime soon, as it has no intentions of trying to beat Ethereum or Bitcoin. It's always going to have a passionate following among the crypto community, though.
Is Monero used by criminals?
Cryptocurrencies have been used by money launderers for a long time now. Even with modern KYC (know-your-customer) protocols, criminals still manage to launder billions per year in crypto. Regulators have singled out Monero as a possible risk, as it enables criminals to get away with money laundering.
Unfortunately for Monero proponents, there's some truth to this. Taking a radical, privacy-based approach means that there's always going to be some degree of criminality involved in the token, even if that applies to just a minority of users. Having more privacy and freedom means that criminals are going to use it. On the other hand, totally eliminating money laundering will require giving up privacy and freedom. Governments are more concerned about the latter, while libertarian-minded crypto proponents tend to care more about the former.
Monero's price prediction for 2021
Monero is currently the 30th largest crypto in the world by market cap, having recently reached a new all-time high. Considering Monero is the world's leading privacy token, it's always going to have interest and demand. While some fans think Monero could replace Bitcoin in the future due to its privacy advantages, that seems like a stretch. Most crypto users care more about convenience and simplicity than privacy.
I think Monero could be one crypto project that sticks around for the long term. The XMR token is currently sitting at $238, and it hit a new high of $483 earlier in May. Prices could easily surpass $500 by the end of the year and grow even more as the years go by.
Where to buy Monero
Monero isn't available on Coinbase just yet, but it is available on most other crypto exchanges. Binance, Kraken, and Bitfinex all offer the token.