Monero (XMR) is an open-source cryptocurrency created in April 2014 that focuses on fungibility and decentralization. Monero uses an obfuscated public ledger, meaning anybody can broadcast or send transactions, but no outside observer can tell the source, amount or destination. Monero uses a Proof of Work mechanism to issue new coins and incentivize miners to secure the network and validate transactions.
The privacy afforded by Monero has attracted illicit use by people interested in evading law enforcement during events such as the WannaCry Ransomware Attack, or on the dark web buying illegal substances. This has been acknowledged by Monero, and not entirely disavowed. Despite this, Monero is actively encouraged to those seeking financial privacy, since payments and account balances remain entirely hidden, which is not the standard for most cryptocurrencies.
The egalitarian mining process of Monero has made it an alternative choice for websites and applications looking for substitute sources of income. In 2018, Change.org led the way by implementing a Monero miner on their screensaver to raise funds for the Change.org Foundation. While some organizations use Monero miners to cover hosting costs as an alternative to paywalls or advertisements, malicious hackers have also used it via covertly embedding mining code into websites and apps seeking profit for themselves.
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