Q2 from @marvelbounceDo you have any statistics that you can share about how people use Monero (for what kind of transactions)? It would help a lot to fight the negative view that it is used primarily for illegal stuff. Thanks
We don't. Monero is private and fungible, so we simply can't know what it's being used on. But let me emphasize something. WE WANT IT THIS WAY. Financial privacy is very important. You don't post your bank statements online for everyone to see every month, do you? Then why do you use transparency coins that have all of your transactions available for everyone to see, whenever they want, forever? It's insane. What I do with my money is my business.That said, we can look at how cash and Bitcoin are spent, especially in their early days, and we can make guesses that Monero is probably similar. The reality is that Bitcoin is mostly used for mundane things (trading and speculating, not even commerce!), and the sad reality is that Monero is probably also used for mostly trading as well. :)Another point of interest is that the dark net still primarily uses Bitcoin. Monero has been gaining adoption there, but most people still take Bitcoin rather than Monero. We think this is because of lack of education and/or convenience, but if Bitcoin is still the darling of DNMs, then they're probably used for more illegal things than us.
Q3 from @IsaacBraveOne of my friends who works in the German anti-laundering and anti-fraud department, said that they are able to track even Monero transfers. He didn’t give me specifics however. Can you tell if that’s true? What are the steps to be taken to become untraceable?
I find this extremely unlikely. Monero has a three-prong approach to privacy. It obfuscates the sender, receiver, and amount of transactions via different cryptographic methods. The sent output is protected by ring signatures, the receiver is protected by stealth addresses, and the amount is hidden by RingCT (confidential transactions modified for ring signatures). The weakest point of this privacy is the ring signatures. They aren't impossible to break via heuristics (just extreeeeeeeeeeeemely unlikely), but in so doing you only reveal the output sent. NOT the person, and the amount and receiver are still a mystery.Only under certain conditions would this lead to any identifiable information, the biggest one being an EAE attack (which you can learn more about here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iABIcsDJKyM)
The only way to break RingCT and stealth addresses would be to break the underlying cryptography, which is used all over the internet, for many many things (such as securing your bank accounts and passwords). So if somebody found a way to break those things, they could break the whole internet, and 'tracking Monero' would be the least of our problems.
All of this to say, we've got exciting technology in the pipeline that will allow us to really bolster the privacy offered by ring signatures. Within a year or two we hope to be able to take our effective anonymity set from 10 to over 100, really destroying any heuristics that can presently be applied to try to track outputs.
this is a good question. At this point, the exchange is the sending party, so they know both the receiver (the address anyways, not the name), the amount, and the sender (because it's them). So by using an exchange you are giving them all of the identifying information for one transaction. BUT!! This isn't the end of the world.
Monero is like cash. I can go to the bank and pull out one hundred dollars. The bank now knows who I am, and that I have one hundred dollars. But after I leave the bank they have no clue what I do with it. Six months later, they don't know if I still have it, or if I spent it all, or any combination of the two.
With Bitcoin, it's not like this. When you take out of the exchange, they can follow the Bitcoin across the blockchain. Maybe they see that you donated it to a non-profit, or you spent it at a website, or anything. It's as if the bank can watch what you do with the cash after you leave their building. So really, Monero doesn't care if you buy from a KYC/AML exchange. It's not damning evidence, like with Bitcoin and its derivatives .
the maximum ring size is the size of every output on the blockchain. Ring size just means the amount of decoys (or fake outputs) you put alongside your real output so nobody knows which is the real one that is being spent. To learn more about ring signatures (in a fun, animated video) you can go to this page: https://web.getmonero.org/get-started/what-is-monero/
sure. You can send a transaction to yourself after it leaves the exchange, and the plausible deniability increases by a lot. This is a process called "churning". It's not bulletproof, and there's still a little bit of leaked metadata, but it can help if you want to be super sure that you're getting good privacy.
Q4 from @iulya_iIn the last AMA with Ghost, it was claimed that Monero, Zcash and other coins are good but beside sending transactions, you don’t have more utility. What do you have to say about that? Thanks!
Do one thing and do it well. Money can just be money. Is your cash good for more things besides spending it? In my opinion, making your money an application for many different things increases the attack surface astronomically. We see this all the time where with 'smart contracts' that are implemented incorrectly, the end result is a loss of money. Monero is just interested in being money. Nothing more, nothing less. But money has a lot of utility. Some might say the utility of money is higher than anything else, since we use it for pretty much everything. I'm going to be 100% honest, the vast majority of you people that consider yourself crypto-savvy are probably not great at threat modeling and subsequent security. You're probably not good at analyzing attack surfaces, and, if I was to go further, you're probably just looking at white papers trying to see if there are buzzwords that will make you money.All of this aside, 'smart contracts' as they stand today, are pretty much useless without working oracles. There is currently no good, working solution for the oracle problem. All of the blockchain 3.0 solutions you're following are hilarious premature in their claims of 'utility', and will likely NEVER be as useful and full of 'utility' as they claim.I'm sorry to be the debbie downer and bearer of bad news here, but as a person who actually knows what I'm talking about, that's the truth. :) I'm more than happy to expand on this as well with reasons why. Sorry if you get mad at me because you have heavy bags. ;)
So all of this to say, Monero isn't trying to make big, grandiose (and ultimately false) claims about offering any utility beyond what a trustless, fungible, private money can offer. But make no mistake, that utility is massive!
Q5 from @halvvingIn a time when sustainability and green energy is a focus for more and more people, how do you comment the fact that Monero is a POW coin that uses a lot of energy to be created and if you (the project) plan to switch to POS or other technology that doesn't involve that much energy consumption?
Dear community, we will open the chat soon. Please prepare your questions. @ofthesalazar will select 5 of themplease remember the rules:For Part 2 of the AMA, every user will be allowed to post maximum 5 questions. One message should contain maximum 1 question. If you post more than 5 questions, you will not receive the reward if selected. Thank you for understanding and good luck!😉Also, don't forget to join @bitmonero
Let's get one thing clear right off the bat, Proof of Stake is not a proven mechanism for securing a blockchain. Proof of Work is very very simple, and the security, trade-offs, and game theory are very easy to understand. Proof of Stake is much MUCH more complex, and the attack surface is much larger. That's not to say that in time it won't be as well understood as PoW, but it's currently not there yet. All of this talk of everything moving to PoS is extremely premature. It's like talking about moving to a new building or bridge design that we THINK is not going to collapse, but we can't prove it yet. That would be absurd.One (large) thing to note is that PoS requires weak subjectivity (i.e. trust) to get working properly. It's just a part of the security model. PoW is 100% trustless, but PoS requires a small amount of trust under certain conditions, and in those conditions. In this way, if you want a completely trustless currency in terms of a security mode, you cannot use PoS.Going even further, PoS is incompatible with privacy (and therefore fungibility). PoS requires you to put a discreet amount for staking, and that amount has to be known so blocks can be signed accordingly. Since Monero hides amounts, this would not be possible. It is theoretically possible that somebody can create a zero knowledge proof that would be able to show a number is in a certain range without revealing the number, and work is being done on that, but it's currently not possible for Monero.
Beyond the above, the argument of PoW not being green enough has been covered several times by several coins also using PoW. Usual arguments such as 'taking up unused electricity spaces', 'forcing innovation in efficiency', and 'it's not wasted if it's providing a strong utility, unlike Christmas lights' all apply here, but if none of these arguments have satisfied you in the past, then perhaps PoW coins aren't for you. If that's the case, you'll have to be satisfied with trusted blockchains, since we currently don't have a way to do trustless currency in an energy efficient way.
Thank you for your very good answers, Diego! Before we open the chat, could you provide 5 short key-points to remember from our conversation? Key-points you think are the most important to remember. We will make a poster with those to be shared after the AMA
Sure.1. Monero uses several different methods for privacy, and the 'breaking' of one does not constitute the breaking of the whole privacy scheme. 2. PoW is the only completely trustless form of blockchain security, and Monero prizes trustlessness above all.3. Monero just focuses on being money, but money itself is full of utility.4. KYC/AML does not affect Monero in the same way it affects transparency coins (like Bitcoin and its derivatives).5. Your financial privacy is very important! Ask questions about how much information you're comfortable with sharing, and evaluate your investments based off of privacy conferred.
Thank you for your questions! More than 600 were posted. @ofthesalazar , you can answer as many as you like, but please select 5 which will get the reward. Also, shall we make the quiz now and give you time to look through them or shall we proceed directly to answer them?
We have two big ones. Adding RingCT in 2017. Before, several more attacks were possible on Monero than anyone realized, but most of them were mitigated when RingCT was added to hide amounts. It brought Monero to a truly private coin.Second was bulletproofs. The addition of RingCT increased transaction sizes by a LOT (meaning less scaleable). Bulletproofs brought these down by over 80%, allowing us to increase the ringsize (i.e. better privacy) with much smaller transactions (i.e. more scaleable).There's more in the pipeline, and much more that we have done, but those are the big two, and both have been quite revolutionary.
Do you know what has supported money laundering and criminal sponsorship? Cash. Dollars. Corrupt governments. I don't want to get too political here, but some of the biggest sponsors of terrorist organization, criminals, and mafia-type gangs are our very own governments. Corrupt officials who have much to gain in this.It's actually hilarious how the governments have spread fear among the population about the spooky boogieman of cryptocurrency, when some of the biggest criminals in the system are those same people spreading fear.This isn't to say that no illegal things happen as a result of cryptocurrencies, or Monero specifically, but the VAST MAJORITY of money laundering is done with dollars, not Monero. Why don't we cross this bridge when we come to it rather than saying the sky is falling when really, the sky is falling with our current, traditional system many orders of magnitude worse than the tools we're building.j
This is such a big question. It's so important. The average person has ZERO IDEA how much their data is worth and who wants it. Literally everyone, from corporations, to governments, to various interests want your data. Your data is VALUABLE!With your personal information, people can sell to you better, arrest you, threaten you, intimidate you, give you better gifts, make you happy, take away your happiness, or much more. PLEASE PROTECT YOUR DATA! Not just your financial data, but ALL data. Once your information is revealed, it cannot be taken back. Let me repeat. Once your information is revealed, IT CANNOT BE TAKEN BACK! If you don't know my name, then it's up to me if I tell you or not, but once I tell you, I cannot untell you. This is why privacy (and Monero) is so important. If you transact stupidly on a transparent blockchain, there can be massive consequences, even if you did nothing wrong. Let me give an example:Let's say you own a tshirt selling business. You accept Bitcoin for your shirts. Somewhere two bad guys do a drug transaction with Bitcoin. Later, one of the guys buys a shirt from you with the same Bitcoin he received for the drugs. Now, you can be under investigation by the authorities. They'll ask you "where did you get this Bitcoin? Did you know it was part of a drug transaction? Were you a part of this?" You did nothing wrong. You sold a tshirt. But now you have a dirty bitcoin. Take your privacy seriously, financial and otherwise. There can be real consequences. In the first world, perhaps the worst you suffer is targeted ads, but in many other places, lack of privacy can lead to loss of money, freedom, or life.