Unlike what mass media may tell you bitcoin is not anonymous. All bitcoin transactions can be viewed of the digital currency’s public ledger called the blockchain. Hence, for digital currency users who rate transaction privacy and anonymity highly bitcoin is not the best option. Instead, users who want to be able to have complete personal financial sovereignty are starting to adopt monero (XMR), the leading privacy-centric cryptocurrency.
What is Monero?
Monero is an open source, secure and private cryptocurrency that offers untraceable financial transactions. Launched in April 2014, its default privacy feature has appealed to users who are concerned with mainstream digital currencies becoming less anonymous due to regulatory pressures. Monero is based on the CryptoNote protocol with one time keys being used to ensure transactions between individual parties are unlinkable and remain private.
Users details are shielded from outside observers by leveraging ring signatures and stealth addresses to hide the details of transacting parties. Ring signatures work by mixing a user’s account keys with public keys from monero’s network to design a “ring” of signers making it difficult for anyone to view your balance on the blockchain. Another privacy-enhancing feature would be the use of stealth addresses which are one-time addresses, generated randomly for each transaction on behalf of the buyer. This makes it near impossible to link the transaction to any of the parties published addresses.
Monero has no block size limit and thus is able to handle a large volume of transactions per seconds. It can be purchased through exchanges like Kraken, Poloniex, and Bitfinex. However, one exchange that is slowly gaining traction in the monero community is the new peer-to-peer exchange Localmonero.co.
Buy Monero anonymously using LocalMonero.co
LocalMonero is a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange that was launched in August 2017. Similar to LocalBitcoins, the platform allows users to purchase monero using fiat currencies. However, it differs from Localbitcoins and other traditional platforms by laying emphasis on the privacy of its users.
To begin with, the exchange does not require users to provide ID and address verification. The company also doesn’t retain any IP logs and trade chat logs are stored for 180 days only for the purpose of dispute mediation. The logs and any attachments uploaded in the chat are encrypted to prevent unauthorized use. The platform also allows users to buy and sell monero offline at a place of their choosing and is available worldwide.
How to Use the Exchange
Signing up to the platform is free and straightforward with requirements being a username and a password. Users have the option to register using their email address or not. Once a user has logged in he will view a list of people buying and selling XMR and their locations. Currently, there a number of active trades on the platform, indicating there was a need for the platform in the market.
Users can select any of the listed ads showing buy and trade orders and execute trades. It would be advisable to filter the search results using the “buy” and “sell” tab on top of the page by inputting the country, local currency and preferred mode of payment. This way users can concentrate on offers that meet their criteria. Alternatively, if nothing looks appealing you can scroll to the bottom section of any trade and create an ad. For the ad to be visible you need at least 1.000000000000 XMR in your LocalMonero wallet. Advertisers on the platform are charged a 1% fee on any completed trades. The exchange allows users to deposit funds in their accounts through bank transfers or via other conventional means.
Africans seeking to purchase XMR on LocalMonero will find the site flexible as users can contact the buyer or seller directly, request a meetup and most importantly, make use of the variety of payment options like Paypal, cash and even, “cash by mail”.
If you buy monero on the exchange the cryptocurrency will appear in your LocalMonero wallet and, thereafter, send it to your personal Monero wallets. The reverse will happen when you want to sell as you have to top up your LocalMonero account with monero from your other wallets. Sending or receiving Monero to your LocalMonero wallet should take about 10-60 minutes.
All online trades are protected by an escrow to ensure both transacting parties fulfill their obligations. Users who have issues with a trade, or payment for the matter, can dispute the trade and it will be resolved in a day or two by the LocalMonero team.
Presently, the price of monero (XMR) is currently at around $90 and the cryptocurrency has a market capitalisation of $1.3 billion. LocalMonero offers a direct and hassle-free way to trade fiat currencies for XMR that is secure and ensures users remain anonymous.
Particl Launches Decentralised Marketplace With Zero Commission Fees
Privacy-focused cryptocurrency project Particl has launched a decentralised marketplace with zero commission fees. The new e-commerce platform is leveraging blockchain technology to compete with the likes of Amazon and OpenBazaar.
Privacy and Zero Commission Fees
The new decentralised marketplace respects user privacy and does not require personal information from its users. The platform only requires a shipping address. Moreover, the decentralised nature of the Particl marketplace ensures that no commissions are added to sales as is the case on Amazon.
According to an article on Big Commerce, fees for sellers can be as much as 45 percent of a product’s cost on Amazon. Particl’s zero-free model, therefore, enables sellers to significantly increase their revenue and lower their prices to stay ahead of the competition while still making a profit.
“Using a combination of P2P and blockchain technologies, Particl Open Marketplace can provide a verifiable private shopping experience that ensures no user data can be created or collected by any party other than the one you are transacting with. The Particl protocol also brings the cost of buying and selling online to the bare minimum as no central entity can charge fees,” said Particl’s Project Marketing and Strategy Manager Paul Schmitzer.
How Particl’s Decentralised Marketplace Works
Particl is uniquely approaching fraud and trade insurance through the use of a double deposit escrow system without intermediaries and with zero fees. This system is based on MAD game theory where two parties deposit PART coins as collateral into a smart contract. Once the transaction between them is complete, the coins are released back to the parties and no fees are charged. This system allows users to be in control of their transactions and to eliminate fraud.
Since the marketplace is decentralised, the protocol generates all listing fees and redistributes them to the global network of users.
Particl is made up of three components: an untraceable multi-purpose privacy coin, a private decentralised marketplace where users can shop with cryptocurrencies, and a platform where developers can build decentralised applications.
Particl allows a wide range of cryptocurrencies and uses atomic swaps and third-party integrations to convert these coins to PART during transactions. The company will soon add more payment options to its marketplace.
In 2018, Bitcoin Africa talked to Particl’s spokesperson Desi-Rae about the project. Read the full interview here.
South Africans Can Now Buy Ether (ETH) Using Rand on Luno
Global cryptocurrency exchange Luno has now enabled crypto traders in South Africa to buy ether using rand on its platform.
Trading on Luno
Luno offers users an easy and safe place to buy bitcoin and ether and to learn about cryptocurrencies. The exchange has more than 2.7 million customers across 40 countries.
Luno also has a dedicated Ethereum series on its learning platform to help users make informed investment decisions.
Commenting on the new launch, Luno’s General Manager in Africa, Marius Reitz, said: “The direct Ethereum/Rand pair will make it quicker, simpler, and cheaper for customers to interact with and use Ethereum on the exchange. We are working on a number of enhancements to our platform and this pairing has been introduced in response to demand from our customers. Previously, customers could buy Ethereum through our instant buy option but having this ability directly on the exchange makes it faster and cheaper for traders.”
According to Reitz, Luno makes sure that every coin listed in its exchange has undergone due diligence. “There are over 2000 cryptocurrencies. However, many of these are scams, so customers need to trust that the exchange they use has verified the track records of cryptocurrencies available on their platforms. Luno limits the currencies on offer to those on which we have completed extensive research and due diligence and we are satisfied with their credibility in terms of security and adoption. Luno will be adding additional cryptocurrencies to its platform later this year,” he explained.
“Individuals in these markets cannot afford to, and should no longer need to, pay high exchange rates, accept national currency devaluation or lose out when they simply transfer money. Access to a more inclusive financial system will enable people everywhere to think of new and better ways of exchanging value and technology allows this,” Reitz elaborated.
Luno plans to upgrade its platform, expand its team, and open new offices in expectation of the next surge in the value of cryptoassets.
Emerging Markets More Likely to Adopt Cryptocurrencies from Global Brands, Luno Study Says
A new study by digital asset exchange Luno indicates that emerging markets are more likely to adopt cryptocurrencies from global brands. This finding was collected from a survey called the ‘Future of Money’ carried out between May 17, 2019, and June 7, 2019. The survey interviewed over 7000 respondents from Nigeria, South Africa, the United Kingdom, France, Indonesia, Italy, and Malaysia.
Emerging Markets, the Future of Money and Libra
According to the ‘Future of Money’ survey, the early adopters of cryptocurrencies are likely to come from emerging markets. The findings, therefore, show a close connection between emerging markets and the future of money confirming the view that those with “less appear to take greater financial risks.”
These results come at a time when Facebook recently announced that it will introduce Libra, a new digital currency in 2020. The aim of Libra is to help people make financial transactions online, especially in emerging markets where banks are not servicing the population as well as they should be.
Luno’s CEO Marcus Swanepoel said: “As some of the world’s largest tech giants announce they are launching cryptocurrency coins, we believe developing markets will be the lead adopters. Our research shows that in these markets people are more financially savvy because they have to be, which means that they need and understand the benefits the new coins can offer.”
To further show why the future of money could have a greater impact on emerging markets, data from the survey indicated that 33 percent of people in Indonesia are more likely to remain within a set budget compared to 0 percent in the UK.
Additionally, the number of people that establish a monthly budget is 80 percent in Malaysia, 65 percent in Nigeria, 73 percent in South Africa, 74 percent in Indonesia, and 54 percent in the UK. Asked why money is crucial to them, the respondents said it was to secure their families’ well-being (60 percent) and to pay for education. This answer was given by 25 percent of the respondents from Nigeria compared to 8 percent in the UK.
Luno is a global cryptocurrency company headquartered in London and with offices in South Africa.
Crypto adoption will probably take place at the grassroots level than at the institutional level, Swanepoel observed. He based this argument on the findings that most people from emerging markets will probably seek financial advice from family, friends, and colleagues than from government organisations.
“It is very clear that if money is not simply a ‘nice to have’ and is vital for your future, then you spend more time understanding it, managing it, preserving it and to an extent being creative with how you maximise the use of it. Therefore, if a cryptocurrency can provide a secure and cheaper means of exchanging value better than the existing system, it will be used. This is why we believe that as new cryptocurrencies linked to global brands are introduced, they will find an important audience in emerging markets,” Swanepoel added.
Luno’s study paints a clear picture of what the future of money could look like. However, certain factors such as Internet connectivity could inhibit the fast adoption of crypto in developing markets.
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