Blockchain tech has been making waves as it is rapidly implemented into business models, governing systems, and educational endeavors all over the world. There is no question that this tech, which was born as the driving force of cryptocurrency, is fundamentally changing the world. However, with the inherent need for transparency that blockchain can provide, the question remains: Exactly how public are some of our transactions? Do we want that? When it comes to currency there are two forms we are all fairly familiar with, regardless of where you are from: Cash and Card.
Transactions made with a credit or debit card carry several guaranteed “protections” while remaining transparent with details on every transaction made. On the other hand, transactions made in cash are practically untraceable. Bitcoin BTC and its blockchain protocols are like a decentralized version of the debit card system. While you are guaranteed certain levels of security, your transactions are far less anonymous than many have been led to believe. So what becomes the replacement for cash when fiat currencies are no more? Enter CryptoNote.
CryptoNote is not a new cryptocurrency. It is a new protocol; a blockchain with a difference! Coins created on the CryptoNote platform perform much like cash, allowing for total anonymous transactions. This is achieved by the implementation of “ring signatures”. Unlike traditional blockchain where transactions are created by a single private and public key, ring signatures use a group of cryptographic keys for each transaction. This means that any one of the keys in the group sent or received funds; however there is no way of knowing which one it was. While it is easy to link anonymity with unsavory or illicit activity, there are in fact many legitimate reasons for making anonymous purchases from time to time. Gifts or charitable donations are one example. A pregnancy test (or similar item) you don’t want family members to know about is another. The most obvious, especially for anyone making regular larger transaction, is just privacy. Having control of your own privacy is priceless! Some of the coins running on CryptoNote even allow you to toggle your transparency. CryptoNote also set out to reign in the competition involved in mining by introducing the CryptoNight algorithm. Mining of CryptoNote coins is based on Proof-of-work, however, in comparison to bitcoin’s CHA-256 algorithm, CryptoNight is resistant to powerful dedicated miners, also called ASIC devices used in larger mining rigs and “crypto farms”. Another key feature is that CryptoNight is memory bound which is how it is able to resist ASIC mining, making the field more even for everyone.
The flagship coin on CryptoNote is Bytecoin. Bytecoin BCN features instant global transactions that are as fast as your internet connection, resistance to high powered GPU mining, and complete anonymity via ring signatures. Bytecoin has parameters set in a way that will make it value slowly, but I believe this coin is currently very undervalued. Monero XMR is the most widely known fork of Bytecoin, and has been gaining a lot of attention recently. Monero has similar emphasis on privacy, hiding even the amounts of transactions made, as well as mining that is more open to anyone. With Monero XMR came the implementation of “browser mining”. Through this process you can run the CryptoNight algorithm through your browser, which uses your CPU power to mine Monero XMR. However, many hackers use this code maliciously to use your CPU power without your permission. Luckily there are easier ways to mine these, and other coins with the computer you already have!
Usually getting involved in mining of any kind takes at least minimal technical know how. Between downloading the appropriate application and creating batch files to route to your pool and even which pool to use it can quickly become confusing to even those who know what they are doing. MinerGate makes this whole process more accessible to anyone by offering software that does all of the background work for you. All you have to do is download the MinerGate application and open it. Run the benchmark test on your computer to find out exactly what your mining capabilities are and the smart mining feature will automatically begin mining the profitable currency for your device. In particular, when mining CryptoNote coins such as Monero XMR, MinerGate allows for simultaneous mining of Fantomcoin without any addition hash requirements. MinerGate is the only mining pool that allows for this feature.
While blockchain moves on to bigger and more widespread uses, privacy will be more of concern than it already is. The way in which we interact with the world currently shows a trend in relinquishing a great deal of privacy for the greater good. More than ever, having the control over your own financial privacy is of paramount importance. CryptoNote is the next logical move in cryptocurrency, filling in where blockchain may be better suited for other applications. Bytecoin BCN seems severely undervalued at the moment and may be a great investment to make — or mine — with the potential to make significant gains as CryptoNote continues to build momentum. Bytecoin forks like Monero XMR and Aeon have some very innovative features and have already gained significant value. I encourage you to look further into these and other coins on the CryptoNote platform and to try your hand at mining some of them with MinerGate. Stay in control, stay anonymous and be safe.
Author: Jarrett Ashley