How To Buy Monero: Complete Guide to XMR
In this complete guide to XMR, you will find out how to buy Monero on various crypto exchanges, how the coin works and how you can benefit from the privacy features.
This is a long guide and if you want to get specific information on Monero, use these links to scroll the page to what you’re after:
- What is Monero
- How to buy Monero
- Buy Monero with other cryptos
- Alternative methods of buying XMR
- Benefits of using Monero
- Final word
The world of cryptocurrencies is so far saturated with dozens of digital currencies with new ones entering the market every day.
While Bitcoin remains the preeminent cryptocurrency partly by virtue of being the first digital currency to be introduced in the market, there are currently over a thousand alternative currencies, more commonly known as altcoins in the market.
However, out of the about 1600 cryptocurrencies, only a handful of them actually have practical uses. One of such relevant altcoins is called Monero.
This article will provide an in-depth review on Monero, a step by step guide on how and where to buy Monero and the benefits of trading with Monero.
What is Monero?
Launched in April 2014, Monero (XMR) is an open-source, confidential, secure and untraceable cryptocurrency built on the CryptoNote protocol.
The development of the Monero network is completely driven by users with funds crowd-sourced via donations from the crypto community.
Monero was created to provide complete anonymity and privacy for transactions with digital currency. But aren’t all cryptocurrencies modelled to be anonymous?
Actually, cryptocurrencies are not anonymous.
Every verified transaction on a cryptocurrency network is entered on the public blockchain which can be accessed by all nodes on that network.
Here, the cryptographic protocol of the blockchain confers perceived anonymity or pseudo-anonymity. While privacy is maintained nevertheless on these other networks, it is not completely anonymous.
Monero was designed to address this deficiency; to provide a truly anonymous, private and fungible digital money.
The features of anonymity, privacy and fungibility on the Monero network are enabled by three unique and innovative techniques.
Ring signatures – Here, a group of cryptographic signatures with at least one actual participant in a transaction appear on the blockchain, every single signature is made to appear valid such that no one can decipher the real participant to protect the privacy of the sender.
Ring CT technology was implemented to hide the amount of money in a transaction on the blockchain.
Stealth addresses technology obscures the destination of transactions by hiding the address of the recipient such that the funds cannot be linked to their wallet.
Soon after its launch, Monero’s security and privacy-focused design gained traction among the cryptocurrency enthusiasts in the crypto community.
Unsurprisingly, the design also earned the cryptocurrency an objectionable reputation of being the “cryptocurrency of the dark web” as the totally anonymous feature of the coin has enabled criminal operations around the globe.
Nonetheless, with a database structure designed to provide maximum decentralization, security and privacy, Monero has earned itself a place on the among the top ten cryptocurrencies in the industry.
Currently, Monero has a market capitalization of about $1.84 billion with over 16.5 million coins in circulation.
How to buy Monero
Owing to it’s popularity in the crypto community, Monero has experienced growing demands since it was first listed on exchanges.
As one of the top cryptocurrencies, there are not a lot of exchanges that do not offer trading options for Monero.
A cryptocurrency exchange is basically an online platform where you can buy or sell cryptocurrency. While exchanges were all created to facilitate the trade of cryptocurrencies, every exchange comes with certain features and requirements that may not suit the needs of all buyers and traders.
As such before selecting an exchange to purchase Monero from, here are some things to put into consideration:
- Which cryptocurrencies are supported on the exchange?
- Does the exchange accept fiat currency?
- What portals of payment are available for fiat currency, if supported? (Credit/debit card? Bank transfer?)
- How much does the exchange charge in transaction fees?
- How secure is the exchange?
Once you find an exchange that meets all your necessary requirements, the next step to take before you proceed to buy Monero is to register for an account on your preferred exchange.
To create an exchange account, you first of all need to sign up with a valid email address.
In the account verification process during registration, you will be required to upload additional personal details like your ID card, bank statement, selfie etc.
These details are needed to authenticate the user of the account but they cannot be revealed to or viewed by another party other than the owner of the account.
It is important to understand that these requirements are not standard to all exchanges, as a matter of fact, the requirements vary from exchange to exchange depending on their security procedures
Exchanges are typically easy to use; an exchange account functions like an online bank account allowing you to deposit funds where you can then place an order for your coins.
Like banking operations, every transaction on the exchange comes with a charge which is known as the transaction fee. Like the verification protocols, there is no fixed amount attached to transactions and the fees generally differ between exchanges.
Cryptocurrency exchanges with fiat currency support
When it comes buying Monero directly with fiat money like USD, EUR and GBP, unfortunately, there are only about a handful of exchanges that support this option.
Below is a guide on how to purchase Monero from exchanges with fiat currency using the cryptocurrency exchange, Changelly as an example.
You can buy Monero on Changelly using either a credit card or debit card, the exchange supports USD and EUR.
Register on Changelly using an active email account
Verify your account via the verification link sent to the email you registered with
Buy Monero with USD
Enter your purchasing amount in USD on the home page of the Changelly website.
The display will show the real time trading rate of all currencies including that of Monero (XMR).
Next, select USD or EUR from one bar and XMR on the next.
Click on ‘next’ to proceed.
The new page will load to display all the details pertaining to your transaction including the amount you are purchasing XMR with in USD, the amount of XMR coins you will receive in your wallet and the transaction fees you will be charge. Once you have verified every detail, click on next
You will be asked to enter your wallet details on the next page. This is where Changelly will send your coins to
The details of your transaction will once again be displayed here for the final stage of confirmation. Double check the details and if satisfactory, click next
Next, you will be required to provide the details of your credit card (Credit Card number, the expiration date of your Credit Card and security number). Click on ‘Pay’ afterwards.
Before the transaction goes through, you will have to verify your identity. Again, the verification requirements differ between exchanges.
For example in Changelly, you could chose to receive a phone call which would call out a 4 digit pin to input or you could take a passport of yourself holding your ID.
Once you have successfully completed all the steps above, you will receive your XMR in your wallet account.
How to buy Monero for fiat on different exchanges
Apart from Changelly, here is a list of other exchanges that support fiat-Monero trade with
Bitfinex officially opened dealings for XMR/USD combinations on the 30th of November 2016 making it the first exchange to support the fiat-XMR pair.
This exchange, however, only has provision for XMR/USD pair for direct fiat to Monero trade. It is available as a web application and as a mobile app supported on both Android and iOS platforms for ease of use.
On Kraken, you can simply deposit your fiat currency on the exchange and purchase Monero directly with your deposit.
For fiat-XMR trade, Kraken supports USD, EUR, GBP, CAD and JPY.
Payments are facilitated on the exchange through SEPA, Electronic funds transfer (Bank Wire), SWIFT, and Bank deposit.
Deposit and withdrawal fees vary depending on the location of the user and the currency they are purchasing with.
However, if you want to skip the deposit and other transaction fees, you can use Revolut.
Revolut is a third-party virtual bank that cost absolutely nothing and offers you the best exchange fees within the fiat environment.
For example, if you’re based in the UK and your base currency is GBP which Kraken doesn’t accept, you can use Revolut to convert GBP into EUR or USD at a rate close to the one that central banks offer.
It’s a really good alternative if you carry out a lot of deposits and withdrawals which might escalate to a large sum.
You can also use Revolut to make deposits on Coinbase Pro and save yourself even a bigger chunk of money.
LocalMonero is an exchange unlike most exchanges because it connects cryptocurrency buyers to traders in the marketplace for private transactions.
With LocalMonero, you do not even have to register to buy Monero and there are a wide variety of payment options to choose from.
Here, you can easily find sellers in your area willing to accept payment in fiat money, all you have to do is choose your preferred cash payment method.
List of exchanges that let you buy Monero with other cryptos
While most cryptocurrency exchanges do not allow for fiat-XMR trade, there are a lot of options available for crypto-XMR trade.
However, not all cryptocurrencies can be traded for Monero, most exchanges have base pairs for only the most established coins which usually are BTC, ETH and LTC.
As such, unless you already have BTC or ETH, before you can buy XMR on these exchanges, you must first of all buy one of those coins and then exchange it for Monero.
Buy BTC or Ether and exchange it for XMR
It’s best to check for yourself whether your country is accepted on all of those exchanges as the laws change quite frequently and you might be allowed to make a purchase on an exchange that was listed here as a no-no.
For example, Coinbase is allowed for most European countries with a few exceptions.
Using Coinbase as an example, below is a step by step guide to buying BTC or ETH
Sign up for a Coinbase account using a valid email.
Verify your account by uploading an image of your photo ID, a phone number, and a valid credit/debit card. Once your account is verified, you can proceed to purchase coins.
Purchasing with a credit/debit card on Coinbase offers instant purchase, however the transaction fees are ridiculously high.
A bank transfer is cheaper but a single transaction can take as long as a week to be processed.
You can leverage Revolut here and use this for your deposits and making free of charge purchases through Limit Orders.
Click ‘buy/sell’ from the main menu.
Select ‘Ethereum’ or ‘Bitcoin’ and at the bottom of the page and fill out the details of your purchase – amount you want to spend in fiat money/the amount of coins you want to buy.
Click the ‘Buy’ button.
Click the ‘Confirm Buy’ button to confirm your purchase.
You have successfully bought BTC or ETH. Next, you will have to go to an exchange where Monero can be traded for BTC or ETH.
Buy cryptos with Binance to exchange later for Monero
This is a thorough step by step guide on how to deposit fiat money on Binance, how to convert your funds into cryptos and how to buy Monero with it.
Register your account on Binance.
Verify your Binance account via the verification link in your email.
You can now log into your verified account.
It is recommended that you set up the two factor authentication to provide an extra layer of security to your account.
Deposit some funds in your Binance wallet.
Go to the tab labelled ‘Funds’ and click ‘Deposits’.
From the drop down menu, select the cryptocurrency you want to deposit.
Select ‘Bitcoin’ or ‘Ethereum’ depending on the coins you previously purchased from Coinbase.
A deposit address corresponding to your selected coin will be displayed on the screen. i.e if you select BTC, you will get a BTC address, if you select ETH you get an ETH address.
Return to your Coinbase account and send your Bitcoin or Ethereum to the deposit address.
Wait for the coins to appear in your Binance wallet, it could take about 20 to 60 minutes for the coins to move across the network.
Once your available balance on Binance has been updated, you can proceed to buy Monero.
Go to the ‘Exchange’ tab on Binance homepage and locate XMR/BTC pair.
You can buy XMR using the ‘Limit’ order, which allows you to manually set the price you want to buy XMR or the ‘Market’ buy, which automatically fills order at the best price available.
Choose your preferred method; a market buy is generally the more recommended option but more expensive because you remove liquidity from the market by acting as a market taker.
Should you use a limit order, you add liquidity on the exchange and you become a market maker which in return you’re rewarded by paying a lesser fee for your transaction.
Fill out the details of your order. You can use the percentage buttons underneath the input box.
Here, you decide the percentage of the funds in your wallet that you want to exchange for Bitcoin or Ethereum.
Click on the ‘Buy XMR’ button.
Once the purchase is completed, your new Binance account balance will reflect your XMR coins.
To view your account balance, from funds in the top menu, go to balances, then type in XMR to see your available balance.
Other exchanges that offer crypto to Monero swap
Here are some other exchanges that belong to the most popular ones and also allow you to exchange prior bought BTC or ETH for Monero.
Huobi is one of the major cryptocurrency exchanges with about 34 coins listed on the website. The supported pairs for Monero on Binance exchange are XMR/BTC and XMR/ETH.
Gate.io is a popular crypto-to-crypto exchange. Here, you need to deposit other cryptocurrencies to buy Monero (XMR).
Users can also chose to use Poloniex after buying ETH or BTC on Coinbase. Not only is it pretty easy to use, with an average of 15 minutes of downtime; it is also pretty fast.
Alternative methods of buying Monero
Although it is not widely known nor commonly used, you can buy Monero with PayPal.
The main drawback to purchasing digital assets with PayPal is the high transaction fees which can go as high as 10%.
First you can go through the open marketplace LocalMonero where you can be connected to a seller who may want payment via Paypal.
The second option is via VirWox (The Virtual World Currency Exchange).
Here you can trade the money in your PayPal balance for SLL, a form of currency used on the Second Life platform.
Once you have obtained SLL, you can exchange them for Bitcoin on VirWox.
With Bitcoin, you can easily transfer your digital assets to any crypto to crypto exchange to purchase Monero.
Just remember that any Paypal transaction could be reversed and you expose yourself to an increased risk by using this method to buy Monero.
Usually, it’s better to stick to the fiat or crypto swap methods to get some XMR coins and you should test this out first before venturing the Paypal route.
Benefits of using Monero
Monero is currently the only private cryptocurrency in use which truly offers privacy, anonymity and fungibility. Below is a review of the benefits of each of these features.
No node (computer user) on the Monero network can see your balance simply by looking at the database of the blockchain.
Monero gives its users complete control over their transactions on the network.
Essentially, you are responsible for your digital asset, no one can trace or link a transaction to you, not even the recipient of the money. The blockchain is totally private.
The blockchain of most cryptocurrencies are public so anyone with your public address can view all your transactions on the ledger and see how much money you have in your wallet.
This compromises privacy, one of a few things that cryptocurrencies were designed to provide.
With Monero however, the address of both the sender and recipient in a transaction are hidden from the rest of the blockchain offering complete privacy to every user.
Irrespective of time or place, every coin on the Monero blockchain has the same market value and can easily be substituted or interchanged with another XMR coin.
So what makes fungibility such on innovative feature on the network?
To truly appreciate the fungibility feature of Monero, you first of all have to understand how fungibility works.
How it works
First, let’s assume your borrowed $100 from a friend and the money was lent as a single $100 bill.
You can easily and conveniently spend this particular $100 bill and pay back the money in another $100 bill.
You can even choose to pay back the money in different denominations – $20, $10 and may be even $5 dollar bills.
Your friend would be okay with the repayment nonetheless. As any unit of the currency can be exchanged with another, in this case, fiat money is fungible.
Next, assume your borrowed a car from another friend for the weekend at the end of which, your friend would expect their car back.
Here, you can’t just return a car. It has to be the one who had borrowed earlier.
In this case, a car as an asset is not fungible.
Now, let’s apply it to a cryptocurrency.
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and most other altcoins have an open ledger meaning that anyone on the blockchain can see transactions and more importantly, they can also trail the origin of transactions.
Thus, if you own a coin let’s say BTC that was used in an illegal transaction to facilitate a criminal operation, that particular coin can always be linked back to that transaction.
With such a transaction imprinted on the coin, the coin has been tainted.
Once a coin has been tainted, it is impossible that it will ever be worth as much as a clean coin.
Thus every new coin holder has to be extra cautious to not receive tainted coins and should a coin holder own tainted coins, they may be forced to trade it for far less than the worth of its peers.
But then, whoever received a coin like that doesn’t really know whether it was involved in a shady transaction without doing a prior due diligence. This, in turn, puts a lot of pressure on the future holder.
Monero was designed to address this flaw in the system.
Why should the new coin holder have to pay for an illegal transaction carried out by previous owners?
All data pertaining to transactions on the network are completely private leaving no transaction trail.
In essence, on the Monero network, there is no such thing as a clean or tainted coin.
Every coin has the same value as there is no history to be traced and thus, it can be said the XMR coins are fungible.
Transactions on Monero aren’t just anonymous, they are completely untraceable back to the actual sender and unlinkable to the real recipient.
The amount of money in the transaction is also efficiently hidden as well.
Now what are the benefits of this anonymity to the user?
As Monero is completely anonymous, users can easily carry out financial transactions independent of banking institutions which can monitor and trace the origin of your money to determine if it was involved in an illegal or criminal transaction.
Essentially, these banks can not tell how much you spend, how you spend it or where you spend it.
Individuals can easily launder money without the fear of being watched or monitored by any regulating authority.
Whilst this isn’t something I recommend, it is an option for a Monero user.
Tax evasion or avoidance
There’s a difference between the two.
Tax avoidance is legal as long as everything adheres to law.
Tax evasion is illegal and there’s not much more to it.
If you are in a jurisdiction or country where the government closely monitors your assets, Monero can provide a platform through which you can own and hold digital assets without the knowledge of the government.
Without the information advantage of knowing how much you earn or the total amount you own, the government cannot force you to pay taxes as taxation is proportionate to your income.
Hence, users of Monero can easily skip taxes by keeping all their financial transactions within the network and to themselves.
Again, this isn’t something I recommend, but it remains an open option.
It’s up to you whether you decide to become a rogue or not.
If someone knows your public address, they can trace your transactions and if your transactions are traceable to you, your safety is at risk.
Knowing how much money you have and the businesses you are dealing with is commercially sensitive information that could compromise future negotiations.
With Monero, you have a safe haven.
No one knows who you are dealing with or how much money you have and consequently, no one has an advantage over the other.
Criminals and fraudsters cannot target you for their criminal operations, neither can businesses attempt to use the concept of ‘price discrimination’ on you to name a couple of advantages.
Monero and offshore accounts
The Monero network is even better than an offshore account.
An offshore account is basically a bank account located in a country away from your resident or home country where regulations of financial transactions are lax with extremely beneficial tax laws.
Monero is essentially better than this because at the end of the day, offshore accounts are still under the control of banking institutions, whereas, on the Monero network, you are your own bank.
You alone are responsible for your digital assets and no one else can view the details of your account.
Conclusively, it is safe to assume that Monero is deserving of the prominence it has gotten in the world of cryptocurrency.
This article should help you better understand how Monero works and the myriad of benefits that come with using the network.
The design goals of the network are extremely impressive and more developments on the blockchain are geared towards improving privacy, security and efficiency.
Fintech analysts predict that the Monero is bound to experience higher market valuation in the future than it is today, so it also might be a good investment for yourself if you have enough time to carry out your own due diligence and research the market in terms of the future price
Especially with such solid fundamentals that Monero provides, being a pioneer in this sector at the same time.
Also, should the need ever arise, you can always bookmark this page and follow the provided guidelines on how to buy Monero if you’re new to the crypto space and use this as a reference.
Good luck and let me know if you need more answers on Monero — I’ll be happy to assist!
PS. If you’re thinking of using other privacy coins, check out this guide where I introduce Dash and compare it to Monero – Dash vs Monero: The Difference.
BCH – qrr63e483sl5c0rzqjf8pnds26pegex0h52gc6tndx
ETH – 0x2F678cF4A0bc4B2D6F4e22A3A1bfC4BA746BDDBe
BTC – 3DsiPb26ugH4N7urkq6P3T9meSp2NMNqan
LTC – MU4iw9ydysAu9egDsp6gmiQ45DX6ujYBqQ
Disclaimer: You should do your own due diligence, research and analysis before you invest any money in cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile and classed as high-risk investments. You should never invest any money unless you’re prepared to lose your capital. The author of this article holds the said assets and might be biased towards them.