Bitcoin vs Monero


 2017-03-17 11:42:00

Bitcoin (BTC) showed us decentralization can happen. Monero (XMR), the altcoin born in 2014, is showing us privacy can happen. Democracy includes our right to privacy.

One of the main similarities between BTC & XMR is the open-source and pure proof of work concept. However, the concept between them are slightly different. Bitcoin is digital money and Monero is untraceable digital money. Let’s start comparing these two wonderful cryptocoins with a technical approach.

The total coin supply for Bitcoin is limited at 21 million coins and the last coin will be mined in ~2140. Meanwhile Monero will have a total of 18.132 million (by the end of May 2022) and after that, a constant tail emission of 0.3 XMR/minute will occur. A major difference between them is that Bitcoin is limited and Monero is not.

Privacy may be considered as a trespass feature, but like we said before, democracy includes privacy. A common misconception, that Bitcoin is entirely untraceable digital money, is still there. Every single BTC transaction is public, all the wallets are transparent. If you send an amount of BTC to someone (even mixing the wallets), she/he can track down to your main wallet and check how much BTC you own. The Monero developers believe that is not OK for someone to know how much money you own. In FIAT nobody knows the amount of money you own. This feature leads to untrackable transaction, which is good.

Transaction example:

BTC => Alice sent 1.34 BTC to Bob;

XMR => ? sent ? XMR to ?;

Blocks are keep getting added to the end of the blockchain on every 10 minutes in Bitcoin and every approx. 1-2 minutes in Monero. Transaction speed highly depends on transaction fees. The average time it takes for a Bitcoin transaction to be verified is 40 minutes (for now). Some transaction can stay even days if the fee was very small. The time for a Monero transaction to be verified is approx. 2 minutes. The fees are dynamic since the last hard fork (January 2017), based on the block size in a past window and the current block reward, expressed in kB. Also the fee may increase if you select to send the desired amount of XMR with more than 3 mixers.

Since the last hard fork, Monero is able to make transaction untraceable through ring signatures. This features, mixes and individual’s set of transactions with others so it is not clear on the blockchain who own which addresses. Also is hiding balances through stealth addresses which are random one time addresses that can’t be associated with a person’s address.

One of the negative aspects of Monero is the difficulty of usage. A newbie may have problems trying to use Monero on a daily basis, but keep in mind that the Monero developers have planned a hardfork every 6 months for new progress and new developments.

Monero is an exciting digital currency. We are not saying which one is better. Bitcoin can be used for some purposes just like Monero can be used for specific purposes. Both of them are powerful, with huge potential.

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