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Monero Deep Dive: The Cryptocurrency To Use If You Want True Anonymity, Far More Anonymous Than Bitcoin

http://www.cypherpunklabs.com/monero-deep-dive-the-cryptocurrency-to-use-if-you-want-true-anonymity-far-more-anonymous-than-bitcoin/
In the early days of cryptocurrency Bitcoin was considered the best payment method for those who wished to stay anonymous. At the time this was true, since Bitcoin required no personal identification information while fiat payment methods like banks and PayPal required a full suite of personal identification information. However, all Bitcoin transactions in history are stored on a publicly accessible block explorer, and with the rise of blockchain forensics it is now possible to figure out who owns a Bitcoin address and what they have been doing with their Bitcoin. Although it is possible to increase Bitcoin’s anonymity by using Tor, VPNs, and CoinJoin, as will be discussed in future Cypherpunk Labs articles, Bitcoin can only be considered pseudo-anonymous rather than fully anonymous.
Nicolas van Saberhagen recognized that Bitcoin lacked full anonymity, in addition to the fact that it is a slow and difficult process to change Bitcoin’s code. Saberhagen proposed to create a new cryptocurrency that was far more anonymous, in addition to correcting some other apparent deficiencies in Bitcoin, and wrote up these ideas in the CryptoNote White Paper.
The first cryptocurrency to utilize the ideas in the CryptoNote White Paper was Bytecoin (BCN), which is a lesser known but still functional stealth cryptocurrency. Bitcointalk user thankful_for_today modified the code from Bytecoin and created BitMonero), but there was community criticism since not everything in the CryptoNote White Paper was adopted. This caused thankful_for_today to apparently abandon the project, but a group of users led by Johny Mnemonic quickly took over and renamed the cryptocurrency Monero (XMR).
One of the most critical pieces of stealth technology that Monero uses is ring signatures. With Bitcoin a transaction is signed with a user’s private key and can be verified with the public key. With a ring signature a transaction is signed by your key as well as the public keys from several other outputs on the blockchain using a triangular distribution method. Essentially, each Monero transaction is signed by a group of keys, and it is not possible to distinguish which key the transaction originated from. This can be thought of as decentralized and trustless mixing, and ultimately ring signatures hide the destination and origin of a transaction.
Eventually Monero upped the ante and implemented ring signature confidential transactions (RingCT), which uses multi-layered linkable spontaneous anonymous group signatures to hide the amount of a transaction. However, RingCT transactions required a large amount of data in order to ensure that the sum of inputs and outputs equaled zero, and bulletproofs were implemented to solve this problem. More about bulletproofs can be read in this paper. Essentially, bulletproofs helped reduce transaction size, lowering transaction fees on the Monero network, and also made it cheaper to create transactions with higher degrees of complexity.
Another critical piece of technology that makes Monero anonymous is stealth addresses. The sender creates a random one-time address for every transaction on behalf of the recipient. This allows a recipient to have just one published address but all of their incoming transactions go to different addresses on the blockchain. Thanks to stealth addresses, only the sender and receiver can determine where a payment was sent, while an outside observer cannot figure that out.
A Monero user can see incoming transactions with their view key, and anyone without the view key cannot see the incoming transactions to any particular address. This view key can be shared, so Monero can be considered optionally transparent, but the default is stealth.
When a Monero user decides to spend their coins, the Monero in a stealth address is broken down into its components and combined with other equivalent components via ring signatures. For example, if 42.42 Monero is sent, then the coins are split into 40 + 2 + 0.4 + 0.02 and combined with other 40’s, 2’s, 0.4’s, and 0.02’s somewhere else in the blockchain. This renders outputs fundamentally indistinguishable, and Unlike Bitcoin’s CoinJoin, no participation from anyone else is needed since already present outputs are being mixed.
Further, Monero tried to increase decentralization of its network by being incompatible with application specific integrated circuits (ASICs) via the CryptoNight protocol. This was originally accomplished by requiring a MB of internal memory, which was unacceptable to ASICs at the time. Also, Monero fit into the L3 cache of modern CPUs, while simultaneously being slower on GPUs, hindering the efficiency of GPU mining firms. That being said, it seems if a cryptocurrency is valuable enough then an ASIC is eventually created for it, and the Monero developers have been in a long term battle where they have to periodically change their mining protocol in order to prevent ASICs from overtaking the network. Monero is expected to release their new mining algorithm, RandomX, in October in order to stomp out the ASICs once again.
It seems the Monero developers are succeeding in their fight against ASIC centralization, and generally Monero is the most profitable cryptocurrency to mine on a personal computer while it is not that profitable with ASICs. This is important because it allows regular joes to mine Monero on their personal computer, decentralizing the network hash rate, as opposed to Bitcoin which is practically impossible to mine on a personal computer and most of the hash rate is in the hands of big mining farms.
Also, Monero uses dynamic block sizes, ensuring low transaction fees and fast confirmation times, as opposed to Bitcoin which often has a clogged mempool which can lead to long waits for confirmations and high transaction fees.
Additionally, Monero technically has an infinite supply since the minimum block reward is 0.6 XMR, and this will be reached in 2040. This ensures that miners will always have an incentive to secure the network long term, even if transaction fees are kept as low as possible. Compare this to Bitcoin where block rewards will approach zero, which may wreck the mining community if transaction fees are not high enough.
Thus, Monero’s ring signatures, RingCT, bulletproofs, and stealth addresses combine to obfuscate the sender, receiver, and amount of the transaction, and transactions are split into chunks that are indistinguishable from other transactions. This provides far more privacy than Bitcoin, since Bitcoin transactions are easily traced on a block explorer. It is clear that Monero is an excellent choice for those that want true anonymity when using cryptocurrency. That being said, it is important to use encrypted messaging as well when organizing a Monero transaction, since anonymity can be compromised if a message regarding a Monero transaction is intercepted.
submitted by turtlecane to Monero [link] [comments]

Uh, I’m Marketing Specialist (Guerrilla)

Uh, I’m Marketing Specialist (Guerrilla)
I’m so glad you brought this up! It’s the one thing that LTC lacks in and it’s ironic because LTC is the only coin deserving of a full-time marketing team. I think people are starting to finally realize that it’s all about the marketing, word of mouth and branding in crypto. To put this into perspective as a self-funded/semi-retired internet entrepreneur, I’ll tell you exactly what caused my successes and failures. Initially (when I was young), I would launch a service or product in which I used 90% of the budget for development and 10% left over for marketing resulting in failure. At this point if I ever launch a new product or service online 70%+ of the entire budget would be allocated towards the marketing, so I can’t stress the importance of this. 1 million CNY ($150k) applied to a dev team is absolutely incredible, but LTC desperately needs a monthly marketing budget as well. It would be fantastic if these Scrypt mining manufactures or farms could consider that expense the cost of doing business. $5k a month starting budget could really do wonders for creating awareness.
You can see here that we desperately need to address this issue: (sleeping giant) https://www.google.com/trends/explore?q=litecoin
There’s really no need for a DM regarding the marketing unless someone is brought on to manage a campaign, but I would like to give feedback publicly on what I’ve seen so far (since I’m all about community/transparency and appreciate feedback). I can be very direct and hurt people’s feelings, but the only thing that matters is the success of LTC for the sake of humanity (financial freedom from total economic enslavement), so here are my thoughts below.
1.) Current Slogan. I’d like to first go over the silver analogy since Xinxi mentioned it earlier in a reddit post. Right off the bat there are pros and cons that I see with this association.
Pros: During a BTC pump breaking ATH’s it is very beneficial being known as the Silver to Bitcoin’s gold as we’ve already seen demonstrated with the pump in late 2013. People feel that they missed the BTC boat and turn to an alternative that is underpriced and somewhat similar to BTC. Bitcoin paves the infrastructure path while Litecoin trails behind receiving all the benefits, such as the hardware wallet support. It positions Litecoin as a “non-threating” alternative to Bitcoin and acts as a logical trading pair. If you like BTC, then theoretically you should like LTC as well. The Bitcoin association to a digital gold is very powerful because many cultures still understand it as a monetary metal throughout history. I remember in 2011 the BTC community was really pushing that deep psychological comparison. In 2013, Bitcoin hit parity with gold reaching $1,200 and LTC at $48 which is also very similar to what we saw with physical silver. That was not by accident, but now that BTC has hit that objective I don’t hear thought leaders comparing it too gold much anymore and they claim one Bitcoin will be worth 1 million dollars feeding into that gold fever hype. The other issue with changing silver analogy is that Coblee literally designed LTC to be the silver to Bitcoin’s gold and produced 4x more inflation. LTC is also deflationary similar to gold, silver and Bitcoin so logically I guess it only makes sense. PM comparison takes a very complicated concept and helps simplify it for your average man on the street.
Cons: What I don’t like about the silver association. So I believe most here will agree that Gold feels like it’s more important/sought after than Silver. Considering historically kings have access to gold and commoners have access to the silver. I do believe it’s hard for people to chant and cheer, “We’re #2, We’re #2, We’re #2!!!”. Do you see what I mean here? It’s hard to get Excited about that for people and the same goes with hoarding LTC vs BTC. It also creates a dependency on Bitcoin for eternity and keeps LTC under the thumb of the BTC overlords (I know some of them and they hate LTC). The association should be more like Pepsi and Coke or Ying to Yang and one could technically still operate without the other. If LTC dies (I doubt this), then people will forget about the silver association and just continue chanting for Bitcoin #1/Gold2.0/21 Million/I’m Rich Bitches. If BTC dies or is bottlenecked to death it would be nice for LTC to still exist in the minds of the crypto community and that dependence is also dangerous for LTC (as we keep seeing Bitcoins lack of scaling). You’ll notice every time BTC bottlenecks transactions that the price rally gets cut short again which affects the potential LTC rally. This is also a big part of why hedging out of BTC into alts such as LTC is important, but many think why would I hold LTC when I can just hold BTC so they invest in something totally different like ETH as a hedge. The other issue is the ratio and stability of LTC when the ratio both snaps back (short-term) and is suppressed (long-term), so it doesn’t make for the most stable currency when this occurs (although a 40x gain in value again would be nice). Many precious metal bugs will state that the physical gold/silver ratio should be around 1:16 ounces and technically if BTC/LTC had identical network-effect the value ratio would be closer to 1:4. Right now, we’re nearing 1:200 which is absurd. Not only that, this association is not so accurate because the gold and silver volume/ratio of atoms on this earth is unknown. While the tokens to exist currently and in the future are precisely known with BTC/LTC (1:4) which means LTC is actually even more undervalued than physical silver to physical gold. It would be nice to talk about LTC without ever having to mention BTC and I do feel it’s a setback, but at this point maybe necessary especially considering this next BTC pump.
2.) Slogan Suggestion. As you can see I am really on the fence about the silver analogy, so maybe we can just leave it as an unspoken association as we seen Bitcoiners mentioning gold analogy less and less. The funny thing is Coblee and Xinxi totally changed the game with LTC while nobody noticed. It’s so different that I almost think this one change alone has put the silver branding into question. By adding CT transactions and Segwit it provides enough differentiation from BTC to make it a more worthwhile hedge for wealth storage (This is important and helps maintain a higher per coin price). For those that want to save their earnings in a more private blockchain they now have a reason to transfer some BTC over to LTC or bypass it as a means of storage and we already know it’s much better for transfer. Coblee states fungiblity reasons, but I already know people will be taking a second look at LTC after this is implemented because I personally don’t like when people can see all my transactions at a particular address, so having both a fully public and private blockchain is a must. Not only that he knows about the censoring of coins for associations with the dark web even if you weren’t directly involved and that hurts fungibility, so once again the right decisions are being made.
With that said, I would personally prefer LTC being considered the “The Swiss Bank of Money”. Money and Currency are actually two VERY different things by the way while gold/silver being money and currency being a derivative of that money. Obama was recently at South by Southwest and gave a speech mentioning crypto directly. It would be hilarious if we embraced his terminology of crypto. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsDijAoxG9g
“It’s like having a Swiss Bank Account in Your Pocket.”
Another interesting point is the ironclad privacy that Swiss Banks were known for has been completely undermined by the US probing and global FATCA compliance for all other banks globally. There is no safe haven anymore and in a subtle way this almost alludes to LTC being the last bastion of financial freedom. Picture this, but instead LTC: http://i.imgur.com/yrQYmxO.jpg (The financial system is being completely turned upside down with some countries going to negative interest rates… AKA you pay them for holding your money, so that picture is very accurate.)
3.) Litecoin Constitution or Oath. I will eventually get to the marketing aspect, but this all ties into everything, such as word of mouth. Every great company has a motto, a country a constitution or religions with commandments. It is important because it condenses down why we are here, our beliefs, what we are fighting for, our principles and what is out of scope of the vision or deemed acceptable. We’ve seen glimpses of this from Coblee like when he mentioned after an altcoin forked due to a theft that LTC will never hardfork due to a theft (So, let’s outline it for everyone). This is so important that I could even see a URL being dedicated to it so the world is clear as too what LTC is and stands for.
An example of what this would look like: Litecoin Beliefs/Oath: - LItecoin will strive to be as transparent as possible in all aspects of development, marketing, future updates. - Litecoin will strive to remain as decentralized as possible while maintaining a pristine blockchain. All aspects of management for social media and other platforms will also remain decentralized. - Litecoin will never reverse or roll back the blockchain or fork due to a theft or unauthorized transaction. - Litecoin will strive to operate the most financially fair network of wealth storage and transfer as possible. - Litecoin will always strive to bring modern financial access from the richest to the poorest and most remote people on earth. - ETC ETC.
Something like this needs to be in place in the event Charlie goes MIA or anyone else in management so we have our guide stone in place. A wealthy individual looking to speculate in LTC and store his wealth there would feel much more comfortable if he knew what LTC stands for. The examples I gave above are how I perceive LTC but writing it in stone would make everything clear for everyone.
4.) Enthusiastic Keynote Speaker. While I love Charlie to death and he’s fighting the good fight it would be nice to see someone like an Andreas equivalent for LTC (English/Chinese speaker would be incredible). When I hear Andreas speak about BTC I literally get goosebumps and my faith/passion is restored in crypto because sometimes we get beat down when our family and friends can’t see the “lite”. While I believe Charlie should never stop spreading awareness at as many events as possible he doesn’t come off as being very confident and a bit shy (which is fine). What I would like to see is high energy, passion, excitement and a confidence in LTC that is unshakeable. Assume the sale man! Charlie observed BTC operating in the wild, made a few tweaks and somehow made a better version of it capable of more yet incredibly stable/functional (without the suspect Satoshi early miner stash). However, I do understand it being difficult to hype LTC when there is not much to talk about since BTC hit all the talking points and LTC was no different other than 4x. For the future we really need to stress the scalability and fungibility improvements.
5.) Thinking out of the box. Xinxi’s paper wallet suggestion if done on a grand scale could be quite massive for adoption despite how primitive it sounds. This is the type of thinking we need to bring LTC functionality/awareness to the masses. Get creative/think outside the box and reach out to the appropriate companies/visionaries or start a business (we need more entrepreneurs and now is the time to get involved and solidify your spot in the industry).
Some examples: a. In previous posts we discussed the paper wallets for LTC. If I were to walk up to any person on the street and explain to them that I had one LTC paper wallet in my hand worth $4 and I would be willing to sell it to them for $5 and explained it was rare and similar to Bitcoin (second largest), in addition hit $48 in the past and could happen again and BTC is currently at $780.. I guarantee I could sell them on the spot. That could literally be turned in a business model and scaled as one idea that seems silly, but with awesome potential.
b. Tonight I watched the unveiling of the new Tesla solar home roof in addition to the PowerWall 2 unit. Seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRqSkR4ENAg Who’s to say we couldn’t contact Tesla and integrate a Scrypt Asic chip into their future PowerWall 3 unit and offset homeowner’s extra battery power into the form of crypto. I mine BTC, LTC, DASH, ETH/ETC and LTC is by far the most profitable to mine, so maybe this actually could be viable. It’s out of the box and worth looking into from a technical standpoint. Coblee literally lives down the street and could meet with them.
c. Another idea could be a sidechain mobile mining concept. I’ve thrown that idea around with the LTC devs, just to see what their thoughts were. It would have to be structured in a very particular way to work, but I believe there could be some merit there as well to draw in new users. I would really love some feature to be offered through this additional hash/computational power via a sidechain and potentially something like a Dash masternode for the monthly yield since for some the simple buy and HODL method doesn’t work for them. LTC is supposed to be “money”, so monthly yield is inappropriate similar to how gold doesn’t produce monthly yield by its very nature.
5.) More Accessible Scrypt Miners. It looks like Alcheminer is gone and Titans are no longer obtainable leaving really only Innosilicons terminators older ones and the newer ones coming. It would be nice if we had more affordable smaller miners for your average joe. GPU dominates the word of mouth aspect because of accessibility. Any gamer can get involved, he gets a few coins and then tells his friends being that there is also financial incentive for him to spread awareness. It would be great if we could see more scrypt manufactures producing something to fill this niche.
6.) Localbitcoins.com equivalent. I don’t want to offend anyone again, but the litecoinlocal.net website really does need work. Aesthetically it doesn’t look as visually appealing as LBC and also does not function as well. The .net extension is also not so favorable, so maybe they could acquire a .com equivalent and 301 it. In addition, I see little to no available trades which also does not bode well on the psyche of potential LTC investors. LBC is really a major backbone to Bitcoin adoption considering its functionality for the community and allows people to buy BTC in a more anonymous fashion. Plus, the owner of LBC makes great profit so there is much incentive for running a high caliber local exchange.
7.) Marketing. There really is no marketing for LTC and I’ve never seen any marketing efforts on behalf of the LTC association other than maybe some sponsored ads on reddit (which is fine). This really does need to change because when we saw Dogecoin doing the Nascar stuff or Jamaican bob sled team, I was thinking my god why can’t we get a budget going to spread awareness. While I believed even at the time that their particular choices were foolish I was impressed that they were actually trying to bring about public awareness for Doge. We can maintain interactions on all the social profiles we want in the world, but we really need to be paying for ad placement on networks such as YouTube, Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, etc etc. A/B split testing with a test budget would be wise and gauge interaction via a landing page.
Side note: It’s funny one of my first projects when I was a kid was a penny stock newsletter site accessible via monthly subscription. We ran ads that were very professional and reasonable such as “Join our newsletter and receive monthly returns up to 20%-30%”. At the time that was very reasonable and realistic based on our track record/advice. The only problem was the ads performed horribly, but then eventually we said screw it and ran ridiculous ads like, “GAINZ of 30000X, GET RICH, GET BITCHES, LIVE ON BEACH IN PARADISE”…. And it worked almost too well. This tells me humans react off greed and dreams of grandeur. I see these claims with altcoins that get pumped which claims of “next Bitcoin” or will “overthrow Bitcoin”. I think that’ more sensational for most people and fills their dreams of becoming rich overnight. There’s those types of people and then there are the more ideological type like we see in the BTC community such as miners that will continue to mine at a loss because they believe so strongly in BTC or the HODLRS that won’t sell even when BTC loses half its value in 48 hours and people are shitting their pants. It would be nice if we could appeal to all demographics.
I keep hearing about the LTC Association meetings. Why don’t we publicly post the meeting day/time do it via Google Hangouts so we can all listen in on the conversation. We really need to build a sense of community and that’s lacking as well. Outreach programs could also be a very inexpensive form of marketing. Such as contacting Twitch.tv for potential integration of LTC. If the fundamentals were explained I’m sure there would be successes in furthering adoption of the technology.
If the Litcointalk.org website is not going to get fixed can we at least 301 it to the litecointalk.io address for now? Seeing "Hacked" at the top of the site doesn't instill confidence again... Not so great for branding... lol
… to be continued.
I’m starting to ramble. It’s 3am here and I’m half asleep. I’ll continue writing more on potential marketing efforts/ideas I’ve had (tomorrow).
In the meantime, I’ve love to hear feedback on things I’ve shared so far.
submitted by dballing1 to litecoin [link] [comments]

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MASSIVE Crypto Mining Farm Tour Bitcoin, Dash, and GPU ...

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