Is Amazon Going Crypto? The Mystery of Monero. Is BTC The Future of Online Gambling?
Today’s Crypto Snippet
It appears Amazon is considering a leap into the cryptocurrency circus. The world’s largest online retailer recently purchased three cryptocurrency related domain names including amazonethereum.com, amazoncryptocurrency.com, and amazoncryptocurrencies.com. The company is already reported to own amazonbitcoin.com. Whether Amazon is simply buying the domain names to ensure some cryptocurrency swindler doesn’t take a hold of them or is truly looking to enter the cryptocurrency market is anyone’s guess. The acceptance of cryptocurrency from the e-commerce giant would certainly thrust cryptocurrency into the mainstream. That being said, it’s dubious as to whether the world’s most powerful blockchain protocols could handle transactions on a global scale.
Monero is one of a group of cryptocurrencies focused around extreme privacy and obfuscation of transaction history. While some may argue the only reason behind this is to foster nefarious activity, the central tenets behind Monero parlay well into the idea of a truly decentralized economy that insures equal purchasing power and protection. In a traditional blockchain, the ledger and wallet addresses are visible to every user, but in Monero, it is not possible to see where the transaction came from or went to. This also provides equal fungibility, since there is no association that can be made from any particular Monero coin, ensuring that all Monero coins have equal spending power.
A fork of the bytecoin protocol in 2014, Monero’s (meaning coin in esperante) key features are ring signatures and stealth blockchain addresses. When a transaction is initiated, it is mixed together with other transaction data, making it impossible to tell who the original sender was. Stealth addresses further obfuscate any identifiers behind transactions by creating one time use addresses.
Monero uses a hash based proof of work algorithm that unlike Bitcoin does not favor GPUs, making mining more distributed and less data intensive. Monero does not have a hard supply cap — rather, once there have been 18.3 million Monero mined (occurring on May 31st 2022) there will be a set supply of roughly 0.3 Monero created per minute, so as to incentivize further mining. The block size of Monero is also variable, with a maximum rate of fluctuation of 2X the current median block size, allowing the block reward to scale with demand and the quantity of transactions.
Monero’s stigma as the official currency of darknet activity is a largely inevitable consequence of its vastly superior anonymity and untraceability. It is also used as a means of virtual money laundering, with many people taking BTC, trading it for Monero and exchanging that Monero for new BTC. While the cryptographic functions behind Monero are very advanced, the main use case does seem to be inextricably tied with the idea of hiding the activity behind a transaction as much as possible. Time will tell how regulators and lawmakers contend with the nearly unbreakable anonymity behind Monero.
Monero currently trades for $86.18 per Monero at the time of writing. It has a market cap of roughly 1.3B and a current 24 hr trading volume of $31.4MM. The circulating supply is currently at 15,304,409. Monero is a top ten cryptocurrency by marketcap and available on a litany of exchanges, with the highest volume taking place on Korea’s Hitbtc followed by Poloenix and Bithumb.
Today’s Crypto Fact
With the proliferation of online gambling, what better way to place a bet than with a digital currency? Over the past two years, 24.5 billion online bets have been wagered via Bitcoin according to Bitcoin Strip. On average, online gamblers are wagering 337 bitcoin bets per second and wager up to 3BTC per minute. As far back as 2013, it was reported that 50% of bitcoin transactions were gambling related. While those numbers will continue to shift as the price of Bitcoin increases, there’s no doubt that cryptocurrency is finding a home across the online casino landscape.