Newcomers to the field of cryptocurrency often associate it with its most well-known coin, Bitcoin (BTC). First launched in 2008 by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin began to peak in 2011 and drew many investors’ interest in the speculative, decentralized nature of crypto.
Today, BTC isn’t the only coin that’s making the waves. One crypto that’s slowly been growing in popularity is the CryptoNote-driven Monero (XMR), named for the Esperanto word for currency. With a current circulating supply of more than 17 million and one of the largest developer bases next to Bitcoin and Ethereum (ETH), Monero may eventually go head-to-head with its older, more storied counterparts.
Investors choosing between Bitcoin and Monero may want to know what sets these two cryptos apart from each other. To answer that, here’s a quick comparison of how they measure up:
Which Is the More Popular Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin or Monero?
To date, it is still Bitcoin that dominates the world of cryptos in terms of value and market capitalization. Monero has been able to hit a market cap of about USD 5.3 billion, but that has yet to hold a candle to Bitcoin’s USD 907 billion. Bitcoin also has the advantage of name recall, and it is thought of as the benchmark experience for first-time crypto investors.
Of course, there’s a lot of room for change to happen within the cryptocurrency market in the next few years. For reasons detailed further below, Monero may soon become the crypto of choice for an upcoming generation of investors.
Which Cryptocurrency Has Better Wallet Options, Bitcoin or Monero?
Given how many people use Bitcoin, there’s also a lot of variety in terms of BTC wallet options. Users can look for features like live charts, exportable private keys, USB encryption, and in-app trading when choosing BTC wallets.
By contrast, now that Monero has also started to gain traction, XMR traders can enjoy open-sourced wallet options like XMRWallet. The privacy and control that a trader can get from their Monero wallet will surely enhance their user experience with the crypto.
Thus, in terms of qualities like trustworthiness, both cryptos have solid wallet options behind them. That makes the wallet experience quite even between the two.
Which Cryptocurrency Is Easier to Mine, Bitcoin or Monero?
One big difference between BTC and XMR is the mining algorithm that each is dependent on. Bitcoin utilizes an SHA-256 algorithm and runs on custom mining chips called Application-Specific Integrated Circuits, or ASICs. ASIC computers may grant BTC miners more computing power, but they are also quite expensive, and they rule out any other computer option while the ASICs are running.
In contrast, Monero’s CryptoNight algorithm allows users to mine XMR using simple and ordinary CPUs. That means that they can get to the task of mining right away, and that might allow them a better mining experience overall.
Which does Cryptocurrency promise Full Anonymity and Privacy, Bitcoin or Monero?
Despite Bitcoin’s popularity, one of the biggest qualms that users have with the crypto is its lack of privacy. Though BTC transactions don’t reveal personal information, they can be traced to an individual user’s wallet. Someone might be able to guess the user’s identity, country of origin, and—to the chagrin of the owner—how much money is in the BTC wallet. This could pose security concerns during BTC transactions in high-risk places, and it could also adversely affect negotiations between businesses and suppliers who exchange in BTC.
Privacy is where Monero has the true advantage. Monero’s highly secure ring signature system grants an XMR trader full anonymity with regard to the details of their transaction, and its RingCT technology obscures each transaction’s value. For traders who value their privacy and don’t want any sensitive information leaked about their finances, Monero is the ideal option.
Which Cryptocurrency Is Cheaper, Bitcoin or Monero?
Though users of Monero back in 2018 may have complained about its high transaction fees, that is definitely not the case today. Frequent and timely optimization efforts, like bulletproofing, have since shorn down Monero’s transaction fees by as much as 80 percent. Whereas Monero can be sent for only a few cents at a time, the transaction cost for Bitcoin can be up to twenty times more than that.
Monero also has the upper hand when it comes to cost per byte. Bitcoin possesses a maximum block size limit, whereas Monero has an adaptive one. Users may end up having to pay hefty fees just to get their BTC transactions up to speed. Monero’s block size limit, however, can automatically expand to accommodate more transactions on the chain. This ultimately results in fewer expenses, as well as less stress, for users who have to go through additional steps like double verification.
Which Cryptocurrency Is Truly Fungible, Bitcoin or Monero?
The last point of comparison that’s worth looking at pertains to true fungibility. In cryptocurrency, fungibility means that two coins are perfectly interchangeable or indistinguishable from each other. While newbies to crypto might assume that all coins are fungible, that isn’t always the case. There’s a perfect example to be had in Monero versus Bitcoin.
Each Bitcoin in circulation right now comes with its own unique identifier, just like how dollar bills have unique serial numbers. That means that while the individual units of currency may have the same value, they aren’t necessarily completely interchangeable. It also means that someone can trace the unit whenever it changes hands. In contrast, Monero’s fully untraceable quality also makes it a 100 percent fungible cryptocurrency. For traders that want that extra layer of privacy, XMR’s true fungibility makes it a preferable asset.
Choosing Between Bitcoin and Monero for Your Next Crypto Investment
Both cryptos come with their own sets of pros and cons, and one may be better for a crypto trader than the other. Be sure to explore two sides of “the coin,” so to speak, before choosing between Bitcoin and Monero.