Do you consider yourself on the cutting edge of cryptocurrency trading? You probably already know that the frontier of crypto includes much more than just Bitcoin and Litecoin. There are thousands of smaller coins on the market that have made waves among investors — including privacy-focused coin Monero (XMR). Monero burst onto the scene in 2014 and has quickly gained traction on many cryptocurrency exchanges and markets and reached a total market capitalization of over $1.1 billion. But what makes Monero so popular, and how can you get in on the action?
Today, we’re taking a look at some of the best cryptocurrency exchanges that trade Monero. We’ll show you the most important features of each exchange and help you learn more about this popular coin.
The Best Monero Exchanges:
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Overview: What’s Monero?
Monero is more than just a simple cryptocurrency — it’s an open-source exchange item that focuses on privacy and anonymity. Investors like Monero because the coin uses expanded privacy and security measures over Bitcoin. Unlike Bitcoin, Monero transactions are coated in layers of encryption and encoding so it’s impossible to track how much Monero moves and where it goes.
It’s important to understand Bitcoin and how it works to understand what makes Monero unique. Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency in the world and the first that was introduced to the market at large. Everyone who owns Bitcoin has an individual Bitcoin wallet address. In this example, let’s say that your wallet address is XXX. Every Bitcoin wallet address is totally unique — if you have wallet address XXX, it means that no one else has that wallet address. When you send Bitcoin, it’s recorded on a publicly viewable ledger called the blockchain.
One of the reasons why Bitcoin transactions can’t be tampered with is because everything is recorded in the blockchain. The blockchain contains information on which wallet addresses are sending bitcoin, which receive it and how much money moves from wallet to wallet. If you use wallet address XXX to send one bitcoin to your friend who has wallet address YYY, all of this information passes through the blockchain before the transaction finalizes. This means that if someone knows your wallet address, they can add up how much bitcoin you’re holding by analyzing the blockchain.
Monero also uses a public blockchain to record transactions. When you send or receive Monero, however, the transaction is automatically recorded as a random mix of numbers and letters instead of your true wallet address. Monero’s system uses a mixture of multiple addresses and public ledger keys to create a one-time address that gets recorded on the blockchain for both you and the sender. This is called a “ring signature” and it makes the Monero blockchain opaque and anonymous.
Monero also uses automatically generated “steal addresses” to help conceal the identity of the person to whom you send coins. This makes it impossible to track to whose wallet you’re sending Monero, as stealth addresses are used only one time.
Let’s take a look at how a Monero transaction differs from a Bitcoin transaction. Imagine you have Bitcoin wallet address XXX and your friend has wallet address YYY. You want to send your friend one bitcoin. You enter your friend’s wallet address and send the bitcoin from your wallet to his. On the public ledger, you’ll see a transaction that shows that XXX sent 1 bitcoin to YYY.
Next, let’s say you’re sending Monero. Imagine that you have Monero address XXX and your friend has address YYY. When you send Monero, the blockchain automatically generates a ring signature for you that conceals your transaction. Your friend can also use a stealth address that conceals his true wallet address. You may see a record that wallet address ZZZ sent one bitcoin to wallet address AAA on the blockchain — when actually XXX sent and YYY received. This system makes Monero transactions impossible to track or trace.
How Do You Trade Monero?
You can buy and sell Monero like any other cryptocurrency on the market. The easiest way to purchase Monero to create an account on an exchange that supports fiat currency storage and Monero transfers.
Here’s how it works. First, create an account with your exchange of choice. You may need to provide a bit of personal information (like your address or a scan of your photo ID) before you can start buying and selling coins. Then, link a payment method like a bank account or credit card. Keep in mind that many cryptocurrency exchanges do charge an extra fee when you buy coins with a credit card. Take a look at the market and decide when you want to buy Monero. Then, submit a buy order for the amount of Monero you want.
Cryptocurrency exchanges work in largely the same manner as stock exchanges. The exchange will fill the order on your behalf if someone sells their Monero at the price you specified. Your order may take some time to fill if no one sells their Monero when you place the order.
Some exchanges (like Binance) don’t support direct cryptocurrency purchases. If you choose an exchange that doesn’t allow fiat currency transfers, you’ll need to create a secondary account with another brokerage or exchange that does. Then, buy a transition currency. Most traders use Bitcoin because it’s universally supported. Finally, transfer your transition currency to your exchange account and convert it to Monero. It takes longer, but depending on which country you’re in, it may be your only option.
Our Top Picks for the Best Monero Exchanges
Ready to start buying and selling Monero? Begin by checking out a few of our favorite exchanges that support it.
Just getting started in the world of cryptocurrency trading? Changelly offers a great place to begin your career. Buying Monero on Changelly is incredibly simple and beginner-friendly. Create an account, link your payment method, set your buy order and purchase Monero.
Changelly connects to some of the most popular crypto-to-crypto exchanges in the world to complete your transaction. You’ll see your Monero in your Changelly wallet. You can buy as little as $50 at a time using Changelly’s platform.
Frequent traders will enjoy Changelly’s reasonable fee structure, a flat 0.25% per transaction total. Changelly also supports a wide range of over 60 of the market’s most popular coins, which makes it one of the most impressive exchanges on the market. Changelly offers a convenient and quick way to start trading Monero with transparent fees, an average processing time of about 15 minutes and an intuitive platform.
If you’re the type of trader who likes to manage cryptocurrency on the go, you’ll love the Voyager app. The Voyager app allows you to buy and sell some of the top coins on the market and track your portfolio’s value over time.
Like Changelly, the app is easy to use and suitable for beginners. Simply link your bank account, add funds and trade Monero or another top-20 coin.
Voyager also offers advanced charting features and data that more experienced traders can find useful to plan upcoming market movements.
Voyager’s enhanced security features are impressive and boast offline storage and government-regulated security procedures to keep your coins safer.
Open to traders in the U.S., Voyager has plans to expand internationally near the end of 2019. Its app gives you an easy way to trade Monero, wherever you are.
Bitfinex is a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange aimed at moderate to advanced traders interested in trading a large number of coins. Bitfinex supports Monero trades with an impressive offering of dozens of other coins. Bitfinex has one of the most active markets available and regularly reaches 30-day trading volumes of over $4 billion. This makes its market more liquid and you can buy and sell your coins with ease.
Bitfinex offers a number of unique advantages over other cryptocurrency trading platforms. First, you can customize your dashboard and see only coins that you’re currently interested in trading. This can allow you to organize your space in a way you understand and execute trades faster.
Bitfinex is also one of the only cryptocurrency platforms that allow you to trade on the margin — you can access up to 3.3x trading leverage with peer-to-peer financing options. Bitfinex offers a mobile app that’s fast and responsive with real-time data. The platform may have a bit of a learning curve for beginners but Bitfinex easily earns a place as a top trading platform for more experienced professionals.
Navigating the Cryptocurrency Market
Still learning how to trade cryptocurrency? It can be tempting to dive right into the market and figure things out as you go along. The volatility of the cryptocurrency market is exciting — and with daily high-value swings, there’s plenty of room to make money buying and selling coins. One of the most important things to understand when you trade cryptocurrency is that there’s also a large potential for loss.
Unlike the stock exchange, there is no central control board that manages the cryptocurrency market. Pump-and-dump schemes and artificial price inflation can cause you to lose money. Stay smart, time the market and make sure you read up on crypto trading strategies before you make your first trade. Remember, never invest more money than you’re willing to lose.