Monero F.A.Q.

Find answers to recurring questions and concerns about Monero.

Table Of Contents


What’s the meaning of [technical word]?

The terminology used in Monero can be quite complex, for this reason we have the Moneropedia.
A comprehensive list of terms that you often see and their explanation.
If you don’t know what a word means or you would like to have more info
about it, just visit the Moneropedia. Some example of often searched
terms are: node, fungibility, view key, pruning.

How can I contribute?

Monero is an open source community project.
Meaning that there is no company who runs it and there is no CEO who
hires people. Everything is built by volunteers or community-funded
contributors who dedicate their time to the project. There are many ways
to contribute:

Translations. It’s easy and anybody speaking a language beside English can help. Translations happen mostly on Weblate.

Contact a Workgroup. Almost everything in
Monero is managed by workgroups, which are groups of contributors (often
lead by a coordinator) working on some specific aspect of the
development. Some examples are: the localization workgroup
(translations), the community workgroup, the GUI workgroup, the Outreach
workgroup and so on. Workgroups are mostly independent and have their
own structure. Contact the workgroup that interests you and ask how you
can help. For a list of contacts see the Hangouts.

Do what you can do best. Are you a designer?
Create Monero related images and spread them around. Are you a writer?
Write about Monero. The only limit is your imagination. Find what you
like to do and do it for Monero!

The Outreach workgroup wrote a useful article to help newcomers: Getting started with Monero.

More Info: Improving Monero

How can I get Monero?

You can buy Monero from an exchange or from
an individual. Exchanges are the most common way to buy Monero; there
are compliant exchanges in most jurisdictions. Some wallets include
functionality to easily buy Monero with fiat or other cryptocurrencies.
Alternatively, you can try mining Monero to get coins from the block reward.

In past, you needed Bitcoin to buy Monero,
but that’s not the case anymore. You can directly trade Monero for
national currencies (USD, EUR, GBP, etc) or other cryptocurrencies on
many exchanges. Some require KYC (proof of identification); others do
not, like those on our list of top anonymous crypto exchanges.

How is Monero different from Bitcoin?

Monero is not based on Bitcoin. It is based
on the CryptoNote protocol. Bitcoin is a completely transparent system,
where people can see exactly how much money is being sent from one user
to another. Monero hides this information to protect user privacy in all
transactions. It also has a dynamic block size and dynamic fees, an ASIC-resistant proof of work (randomx), and a tail emission, among several other changes.

Why is Monero called ‘Monero’?

Monero is an Esperanto word which means
‘coin’. Initially Monero was called ‘Bitmonero’, which translates to
‘Bitcoin’ in Esperanto. After the community decided to fork from the
original maintainer, ‘bit’ was dropped in favour of simply ‘Monero’.

Is it true that Monero has a hard fork every 6 months?

Monero used to have 2 network upgrades (hard
forks) a year, but this is not the case anymore. The choice of the
biannual hard forks was taken in order to be able to introduce important
consensus changes, which added privacy features and network-wide
improvements (For example bulletproofs
and CLSAG both required a hard fork) and avoid the ossification of the
protocol. Recently, the biannual hard forks included changes to the PoW
algorithm, to preserve ASIC-resistance.

The dev community and the Core Team agree
that the protocol is stable and mature enough and biannual hard forks
are not necessary anymore. Furthermore, the ecosystem around Monero has
grown exponentially during the years and frequent protocol changes would
be increasingly hard to coordinate, could be detrimental to the growth
of the ecosystem and to the user experience. Cherry on the top, the new
algorithm RandomX
is ensuring long term ASIC-resistance, so regular changes are not
needed anymore. Network upgrades will still be used to add important
protocol improvements and consensus changes, but at a lower and less
strict frequency (every 9-12 months). The last hard fork was on August
13th 2022.

More Info: A note on scheduled protocol upgrades

Are there videos I can watch to learn about Monero?

During the years the community has created a
vast amount of informative content like articles and videos. Most of
these videos are publicly available on platforms like YouTube. On this
website we host a few videos that explain the fundamentals of Monero. To
optimize their effectiveness, they should be viewed in sequence:

  1. Introduction to Monero (also available in Russian and Brazilian Portuguese)
  2. The Essentials
  3. Stealth Addresses – More info on the Moneropedia entry: Stealth Addresses
  4. Ring Signatures – More info on the Moneropedia entry: Ring Signatures
  5. Ring Confidential Transactions – More info on the Moneropedia entry: RingCT
  6. Tail Emission – More info on the Moneropedia entry: Tail Emission
  7. Node – More info on the Moneropedia entry: Nodes

Does Monero have a block size limit?

No, Monero does not have a hard block
size limit. Instead, the block size can increase or decrease over time
based on demand. It is capped at a certain growth rate to prevent
outrageous growth (scalability).

Is Monero a mixer or mixing service?

No. Monero uses a completely non-interactive,
non-custodial, and automatic process to create private transactions. By
contrast for mixing services, users opt-in to participate.


How is Monero’s privacy different from other coins?

Monero uses three different privacy technologies: ring signatures, ring confidential transactions (RingCT), and stealth addresses. These hide the sender, amount, and receiver in the transaction,
respectively. All transactions on the network are private by mandate;
there is no way to accidentally send a transparent transaction. This
feature is exclusive to Monero. You do not need to trust anyone else
with your privacy.

More Info: About Monero

Is Monero magic and protects my privacy no matter what I do?

Monero is not magic. If you use Monero but
give your name and address to another party, the other party will not
magically forget your name and address. If you give out your secret
keys, others will know what you’ve done. If you get compromised, others
will be able to keylog you. If you use a weak password, others will be
able to brute force your keys file. If you backup your seed in the
cloud, you’ll be poorer soon.

Is Monero 100% anonymous?

There is no such thing as 100% anonymous. If
nothing else, your anonymity set is the set of people using Monero. Some
people don’t use Monero. Monero may also have bugs. Even if not, ways
may exist to infer some information through Monero’s privacy layers,
either now or later. Attacks only get better. If you wear a seatbelt,
you can still die in a car crash. Use common sense, prudence and defense
in depth.


What is ASIC resistance? Why is it important?

ASICs are basically special computers created
to do only one job, contrary to normal computers, which are made for
general purpose. This characteristic makes ASICs very efficient for mining.

The problem is that these devices are very
expensive and can be afforded by few. This leads to few entities owning a
big amount of the hashrate of the network, which is a serious threat to
the security of the network itself. For example, if big ASIC operators
collude and manage to gain the majority of the hashrate of the network,
they could arbitrarily reject transactions.

Monero fixes this problem by being ASIC-resistant: it uses an algorithm (randomx)
that strongly reduces the efficiency of ASICs, making them not
profitable to build. Miners can use common consumer hardware, which
allows them to compete fairly. The Monero network is currently protected
by thousands of miners using ‘regular’ computers. This results in a
network much harder to attack, no miner having significant advantage
over other miners (they all use more or less the same hardware).

Are there known vulnerabilities in Monero?

The Monero community has created a series of
videos called “Breaking Monero”, where potential Monero vulnerabilities
are explored and discussed. There are 14 videos, with each exploring a
different subject. Check out the videos on

More Info: Available on Spotify as podcast

Why is my antivirus/firewall flagging the Monero software i just downloaded as malware?

After you have downloaded the Monero software
(GUI and CLI alike), your antivirus or firewall may flag the
executables as malware. Some antiviruses only warn you about the
possible menace, others go as far as silently removing your downloaded wallet / daemon. This likely happens because of the integrated miner, which is used for mining and for block verification. Some antiviruses may erroneously consider the miner as dangerous software and act to remove it.

The problem is being discussed and solutions
are being elaborated. In the meantime, if you get a warning from your
antivirus, make sure the software you downloaded is legitimate (see the
guides linked below), then add an exception for it in your antivirus, so
that it won’t get removed or blocked. If you need assistance, feel free
to contact the community.

More Info: How to verify your Monero CLI/GUI software is safe on Windows (beginner), How to use the command line to verify your Monero CLI/GUI software is safe (advanced)


How does Monero have value?

Monero has value because people are willing
to buy it. If no one is willing to buy Monero, then it will not have any
value. Monero’s price increases if demand exceeds supply, and it
decreases if supply exceeds demand.

What is fungibility, and why is it important?

is a simple property of money such that there are no differences
between two amounts of the same value. If two people exchanged a 10 and
two 5’s, then no one would lose out. However, let’s suppose that
everyone knows the 10 was previously used in a ransomware attack. Is the
other person still going to make the trade? Probably not, even if the
person with the 10 has no connection with the ransomware. This is a
problem, since the receiver of money needs to constantly check the money
they are receiving to not end up with tainted coins. Monero is
fungible, which means people do not need to go through this effort.

If Monero is so private how do we know they’re not being created out of thin air?

In Monero, every transaction
output is uniquely associated with a key image that can only be
generated by the holder of that output. Key images that are used more
than once are rejected by the miners as double-spends and cannot be
added to a valid block.
When a new transaction is received, miners verify that the key image
does not already exist for a previous transaction to ensure it’s not a

We can also know that transaction amounts are
valid even though the value of the inputs that you are spending and the
value of the outputs you are sending are encrypted (these are hidden to
everyone except the recipient). Because the amounts are encrypted using
Pedersen commitments
what this means is that no observers can tell the amounts of the inputs
and outputs, but they can do math on the Pedersen commitments to
determine that no Monero was created out of thin air.

As long as the encrypted output amounts you
create is equal to the sum of the inputs that are being spent (which
include an output for the recipient and a change output back to yourself
and the unencrypted transaction fee), then you have a legitimate
transaction and know no Monero is being created out of thin air.
Pedersen commitments mean that the sums can be verified as being equal,
but the Monero value of each of the sums and the Monero value of the
inputs and outputs individually are undeterminable.

More Info: About supply auditability

What is Monero’s maximum supply?

Monero has a fixed emission rate, not a set
maximum supply. Around May 2022, Monero’s emission will drop to and
permanently remain at 0.3 XMR per minute (0.6 XMR per block). This is approximately 1% inflation for the first year and will approach 0% inflation in future years. This tail emission allows for permanent incentives to secure Monero, even in the far future, while keeping inflation at a very low percent.

Why does Monero not have a maximum supply?

Miners process transactions on the Monero network by mining blocks. The miner of a block is paid the constant block reward of .6 XMR, and the transaction
fees of the users who have transactions in that block. Monero has the
block reward rather than relying solely on the transaction fees to give
the miners incentive to keep securing the network with their hashrate,
and keep transaction fees low.

The tail emission
caused by this constant block reward creates an inflation rate of less
than 1% which trends towards 0% over time. The fixed emission of the
currency ensures human corruption cannot over inflate the supply.
Keeping the network predictable, decentralized, and secure.


What is the difference between a lightweight and a normal wallet?

For a lightweight wallet, you give your view
key to a node, who scans the blockchain and looks for incoming
transactions to your account on your behalf. This node will know when
you receive money, but it will not know how much you receive, who you
received it from, or who you are sending money to. Depending on your
wallet software, you may be able to use a node you control to avoid
privacy leaks. For more privacy, use a normal wallet, which can be used
with your own node.

What wallet should I use?

There are multiple wallets available for a
vast number of platforms. On this website you’ll find the wallets
released by the Core Team (GUI and CLI) and a list of widely trusted and
open source third party wallets for desktop and mobile.

More Info: Downloads

I can’t see my funds. Did I just lose all my Monero?

You probably didn’t. It’s very hard to simply
‘lose’ your coins, since they are technically nowhere. Your coins
‘live’ on the blockchain and are linked to your account through a system
of public and private keys secured by cryptography. That’s why if you
don’t see your funds, it’s probably because of a technical issue. Take a
look at the ‘Resources & Help’ section at the top of this page for a
list of useful resources that will help you identify and fix your

I haven’t touched my Monero in a long time, did I lose my coins as a consequence of a hard fork (network upgrade)?

Don’t worry, your coins are safe. To be able
to spend them you only have to download and run the latest Monero
software. You can use the mnemonic seed
you previously saved to restore your wallet at any time. Note that hard
forks in Monero are scheduled and non-contentious. Which means no new
coin is created.

Why is my wallet taking so long to sync?

If you are running a full node locally, you need to copy the entire blockchain to your computer. This can take a long time, especially on an old hard drive or slow internet connection. If you are using a remote node,
your computer still needs to request a copy of all the outputs, which
can take several hours. Be patient, and if you would like to sacrifice
some privacy for faster sync times, consider using a remote node or
lightweight wallet instead.

Why my wallet needs to be scanned everytime I open it?

Because new transactions have been recorded on the blockchain
from the last time you opened your wallet, which needs to scan all of
them to make sure non of those transaction is yours. This process is not
necessary in a mymonero-style (openmonero) wallet, a central server
(which could be managed by you) does this work for you.


Can I manually import the blockchain?

Yes, you can, but you probably shouldn’t. Importing an external blockchain
is very resource intensive and forces you to trust the entity providing
you with the blockchain. It’s usually faster to download it the normal
way: running a node and letting it synchronize with the other nodes
in the network. If you really need to import an external blockchain,
you can download one in the ‘Downloads’ page of this website. Follow the
guide below if you are using Windows. If you are a linux user, you can
use the tool “monero-blockchain-import”, which is included in the
archive when you download the GUI or CLI wallets. Start syncing the
imported blockchain with this command: “monero-blockchain-import
–input-file blockchain.raw”.

More Info: Import Blockchain

How can I connect my node via Tor?

Support for Tor is still in its infancies,
but it’s already possible to natively send transactions through the
network and to run a Monero daemon on the Tor network. Better Tor and I2P integrations are in progress.

More Info: How to connect your wallet to your own node over Tor

How do I decide if I should run a full node or a pruned node?

A full node
requires a considerable amount of storage and could take a long time to
download and verify the entire blockchain, especially on older
hardware. If you have limited storage, a pruned node is recommended. It
only stores 1/8th of unnecessary blockchain data while keeping the full
transaction history. If plenty of storage is available, a full node is
recommended but a pruned node still greatly contributes to the network
and improves your privacy.

How big is the Monero blockchain?

The Monero blockchain
is always growing so there is no fixed size. As of 2022, the full
blockchain is around 140-150GB. A pruned blockchain is about 50GB. Check
out Moneropedia entry pruning to learn the difference between a full and a pruned blockchain.

Why does the blockchain need so much space?

When you download the blockchain, you are downloading the entire history of the transactions
that happened in the Monero network since it was created. The
transactions and the related data are heavy and the entire history must
be kept by every node to ensure it’s the same for everybody. Pruning
a blockchain allows to run a node which keeps only 1/8 of not strictly
necessary blockchain data. This results in a blockchain 2/3 smaller than
a full one. Convenient for people with limited disk space. Check out
the Moneropedia entries node and remote node for more details.

Can I avoid downloading the entire blockchain?

Yes. You don’t need to download the blockchain to transact on the network. You can connect to a remote node, which stores the blockchain for you. All the most common wallets
(including GUI and CLI) allow to use remote nodes to transact on the
network. There are multiple ways to take advantage of this
functionality. For example GUI and CLI offer a ‘bootstrap node’ feature,
which allow people to download their own blockchain while using a
remote node to immediately use the network. Ways to improve the
usability of the Monero network are constantly being explored.

More Info: How to connect to a remote node within GUI wallet

Is it dangerous to run a personal node?

Running a personal node
is the safest way to interact with the Monero network, because you are
in full control and you don’t need to rely on third parties. From a
general point of view running a node is not dangerous, but keep in mind
that your ISP can see you are running a Monero node.

Is it dangerous to use a remote node? What’s the data a node operator can get from me?

It’s always advisable, especially for
privacy-conscious users, to use a personal node when transacting on the
network to achieve the highest rate of privacy. Some people for
convenience prefer to use remote node which are not under their control (public nodes). The convenience of not having to deal with a personal copy of the blockchain
comes at a cost: lessened privacy. A remote node operator is able to
see from what IP address a transaction comes from (even if cannot see
the recipient nor the amount) and in some extreme cases, can make
attacks able to reduce your privacy. Some dangers can be mitigated by
using remote nodes on the Tor or I2P networks or using a VPN.


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