The two-year-old currency Monero has more than quadrupled lately after gaining support from prominent websites that anonymously peddle drugs. It spiked to as much as $10 after a popular site, used to buy drugs like liquid LSD and hybrid cannabis, said it will accept the currency. The total value of all Monero in circulation pushed past $100 million in the last week of August, up from about $25 million at the end of June.Bitcoin, the most popular digital currency in the world with a total value of $9.1 billion, also allows users to move funds discreetly and uses a network of miners to verify the authenticity of each trade.But its privacy has come under threat as governments and private investigators increase their ability to track transactions across the bitcoin network. Monero similarly uses a network of miners to verify its trades, but mixes multiple a transactions together to o make it harder to trace the genesis of the funds. It also adopts “dual-key stealth” addresses, which make it difficult for third parties to pinpoint who received the funds.
“For any two outputs, from the same or different transactions, you can not prove they were sent to the same person,” Riccardo Spagni, a lead developer of Monero, said in an e-mail.Jumbling trades together makes it “impossible to tell which transaction, of a set of transactions, a particular input comes from. It appears to come from all of them.”
The features have earned praise from influential players in the community, including millionaire angel investor Roger Ver, known as `Bitcoin Jesus’ for his evangelical support of the currency during its early years. Ver said his investment in Monero is “substantial” and his biggest in any virtual currency since bitcoin.
“Monero at a protocol level is very, very private and has that big advantage over bitcoin,” Ver said. “Bitcoin hasn’t been allowed to scale, but Monero still has a lot of room before it starts bumping into any sort of scaling issues.”
Source : The Economic Times (Delhi)