Could Monero Become Bitcoin’s Anonymizing ‘Appcoin’?

Monero’s stratospheric rise in value, darknet market acceptance and positive outlook mean this year could see it become Bitcoin’s de facto ‘appcoin.’


The altcoin, which has shot from $0.50 to $12 per coin since January 2016, boasts privacy and anonymity features, which are gaining a steady stream of well-known fans.

“If I pay my rent in Bitcoin, it wouldn’t be that hard for the landlord to figure out how much money I earned if I don’t take extra precautions,” cryptocurrency consultant Peter Todd told Wired.

Then they can decide whose rent to increase. You’re giving away information [with Bitcoin] you don’t want to make public.

At the same time as Monero debuts on exchanges, Bitcoin trading businesses are facing increasingly tough regulatory pressures across the board, notably in China.

Monero dark net drug markets

Users and traders looking to actively utilize cryptocurrency in the classic no-ties style could potentially tap into Monero’s inherent anonymizing “stealth address” and “ring signatures” features. As an ‘appcoin,’ Monero would function via conversion from Bitcoin and back again using online services like ShapeShift, for example, which has removed a barrier to entry (and exit) for cryptocurrency users.

A new GUI wallet announcement by the Monero team in December even suggested the altcoin could cause Chinese investors to abandon Bitcoin en masse.

“China’s population will skyrocket the price of Monero. This could cause the next round of cryptonaires,” a press release stated.



Since then, Bitcoin trading volumes in China have decreased by 90% as exchanges introduce fees as part of an ongoing regulatory reshuffle. While this has done little to affect its price, Monero meanwhile continues to offer considerable appeal.

“That uptick among people who really need to be private is interesting,” lead developer Riccardo Spagni commented to Wired about the coin’s recent price surge. “If it’s good enough for a drug dealer, it’s good enough for everyone else.”


With the myth of Bitcoin’s (full) anonymity already long gone, various options have sprung up in order to make transactions less traceable. Of these, so-called “tumblers” or “mixers,” which scramble address information, are the focus of regulatory recommendations from Interpol this week.

Europol head of financial intelligence Simon Riondet said that these mechanisms are a “powerful new tool” for criminal activity, specifically terrorists looking to finance illicit operations despite some contradicting reports.


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