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Monero (XMR) is a new coin using the CryptoNote protocol and is not a descendent of Bitcoin. Monero was launched on April 18, 2014.

Specifications^

Algorithm
CryptoNight
Block reward
Smoothly varying using the formula (M−A) / (220) / (1012) where M = 264 −1 and A = supply mined to date.
Difficulty
Retargets at every block

Social^

Freenode
#monero (it will change later)
Reddit
reddit.com/r/monero (ditto)

Announcements^

[Logo contest - till 28 April - bounty 300 XMR]
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=580155

FAQ^

What is CryptoNote?^

CryptoNote is the technology that allows creation of highly private egalitarian cryptocurrencies. You can visit their website. The level of anonymity provided by CryptoNote isn’t possible with Bitcoin code base by design. Two of the main features of CryptoNote are ring signatures that mask sender identities by mixing and unlinkable transactions accomplished by creating one-time keys for individual payments. Ring signatures are explained below and you can read the white paper for the details. The images below come from CryptoNote’s website.

A normal signature looks like this. There’s only one participant.

cn01
A ring signature obscures identities because it only proves that a signer belongs to a group.
cn03
This allows a high level of anonymity in cryptocurrency transactions. You can think of it as decentralized mixing.
cn02

What are the features of this coin?^

  1. It uses the CryptoNote code base.
  2. Started from scratch (i.e. from genesis block).
  3. Emission schedule has a flatter curve (80% of the coins are mined within 4 years).
  4. Monero – XMR (monero = coin in the Esperanto language).
  5. Block target = 60 seconds.
  6. Penalty-free block size is increased.CryptoNote doesn’t have hard limits: all parameters are adaptive. Max block size is adaptive also. It is recalculated the same way difficulty is. In case miner creates block bigger than 1*CURRENT_MAX_BLOCK_SIZE the penalty is applied to block reward (i.e. block reward is decreased). In case miner creates block bigger than 2*CURRENT_MAX_BLOCK_SIZE such block will not be accepted by network.For blocks below penalty-free block size this logic isn’t applied. I.e. even in the blockchain with all blocks empty you can create a block of this size with full block reward. In reference code this penalty-free block size is 10Kb – this is good for 2-3 private transactions (strong privacy is given with a mixing factor of 5 or more; no privacy is given with 0). It’s better to have a bit more.
  7. Decimal point has been moved from BCN (18.446 million max supply instead of 184.46 billion). This is purely a UI change – technically there will be 264−1 atomic units (roughly 1019).

My blockchain doesn’t work^

The first time you mine monero on a machine, you may want to speedup the syncing process by copying the blockchain from a previous machine. The blockchain.bin file is incompatible between Windows and Linux. It is a known problem with the boost library this is using to save the files. Download a recent blockchain on the OP.