shutterstock monero coin 738x410

Full speed ahead. But quietly.

Monero (XMR) started 2017 at about US$10. It finished at around $350. And since ringing in the new year it’s grown to about $412 at the time of writing.

Monero built its reputation by being one of the most private, secure and anonymous coins in the world. Unlike bitcoin, which broadcoasts all transactions on a public ledger, Monero keeps wallet addresses and transactions under wraps.

This has made it an attractive proposition for a lot of people, and led to solid growth.

Why Monero could keep going

It’s wanted

Monero has become a popular options among criminals and underworld figures. It’s a wanted coin, so to speak. Recent reports that North Korea has been mining the coin, and stealing it by hacking servers in South Korea, seem to have only fuelled the price rises.

Demand like this is undeniably good for prices, and it doesn’t look like Monero will be unseated as the king of anonymity anytime soon.

It’s proven

Unsurprisingly, people whose number one priority is security want a coin that’s proven itself. Monero was created in 2014 and spent the next couple of years paddling in the shallow end of the price pool, mostly at under $1. But its rise appears to have been largely fuelled by bitcoin’s growing popularity. When bitcoin got hot, people simply started switching to Monero.

Its status as a proven coin is especially important given its emerging competitors.

It’s competitors are falling by the wayside

Newer coins have also come along with claims of extra-security and high anonymity, but they’ve tended to stumble and encounter problems. Technically, high-security and complete anonymity isn’t all that easy to achieve, and some have stumbled.

Verge is one such contender, but its “optional anonymity” Wraith Protocol feature proved to be buggier than expected, dropping its price down and Monero’s up.

Meanwhile, Safex never even got a chance to prove its functionality. It got delisted from exchanges before it could.

But even if they worked perfectly, it would still be a few months at least before criminals, North Korean technophiles, generally paranoid people and other investors would feel confident enough in the coin’s technology to trust its anonymity.

It’s a quiet achiever

Monero might not be legal tender anywhere, but it’s definitely being used to buy things. Complete privacy and anonymity is a strong feature. And other than attracting new users, it has the practical side-effect of letting Monero side-step regulations in a lot of its markets.

Monero is probably one of the most widely used cyptocurrencies for actually buying and selling things.

The verdict

Regardless of whether or not you can see yourself actually using Monero, a lot of other people do. Monero is undoubtedly just scratching the surface of potential demand.

There’s also an increasing trend for newer cryptocurrencies to be more transparent, and to commit to working in line with local regulations in order to increase uptake, which makes the emergence of a new dark coin less likely. And even if a new competitor does emerge, it still has a long way to go before being as trusted as Monero.

It’s also extremely difficult for authorities to crack down on cryptocurrencies, especially ones that are as anonymous as Monero.

There are very few things that can stop Monero’s growth at this point, and the future of the dark coin is looking bright. It would be a surprise if it didn’t top at least US$1,000 by the end of the year.

It’s almost certainly not too late to buy Monero.

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This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrencies or a recommendation to invest. Historic performance is no guarantee of future returns. As an investment class, cryptocurrencies are speculative investments and investing in cryptocurrencies involves significant risks – they are highly volatile, vulnerable to hacking and capital loss and sensitive to secondary activity. Before investing you should obtain advice and decide whether the potential return outweighs the risks.

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