Monero was launched in April 2014. It was a fair, pre-announced launch of the CryptoNote reference code. There was no premine or instamine, and no portion of the block reward goes to development. See the original Bitcointalk thread here. The founder, thankful_for_today, proposed some controversial changes that the community disagreed with. A fallout ensued, and the Monero Core Team forked the project with the community following this new Core Team. This Core Team has provided oversight since.
Monero has made several large improvements since launch. The blockchain was migrated to a different database structure to provide greater efficiency and flexibility, minimum ring signature sizes were set so that all transactions were private by mandate, and RingCT was implemented to hide the transaction amounts. Nearly all improvements have provided improvements to security or privacy, or they have facilitated use. Monero continues to develop with goals of privacy and security first, ease of use and efficiency second.
Monero is the leading cryptocurrency focused on private and censorship-resistant transactions.
The majority of existing cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, have transparent blockchains. Transactions can be verified and/or traced by anyone in the world. This means that the sending and receiving addresses of these transactions could potentially be linked to real-world identities.
Monero, on the other hand, uses various privacy-enhancing technologies to ensure the anonymity of its users.
Monero transactions are confidential and untraceable.
Unlike selectively transparent alternatives (e.g. Zcash), Monero is the only cryptocurrency where every user is anonymous by default. The sender, receiver, and amount of every single transaction are hidden through the use of three important technologies: Stealth Addresses, Ring Signatures, and RingCT.
Because every transaction is private, Monero cannot be traced. This makes it a true, fungible currency. Merchants and individuals accepting Monero do not need to worry about blacklisted or tainted coins.
Monero is electronic cash that allows fast, inexpensive payments to and from anywhere in the world.
With Monero, there are no wire transfer or check clearing fees, no multi-day holding periods, and no fraudulent chargebacks. Because Monero is decentralized, it is not constrained by any particular legal jurisdiction and provides safety from capital control.
Monero is a grassroots community attracting the world’s best cryptocurrency researchers and engineering talent.
The Monero Project is at the forefront of cryptocurrency privacy and security. Its Research Lab and Development Team are constantly working on new, innovative technologies. Since its launch, the project has received contributions from over 500 developers located all around the world.
Numerous forums and chat channels are available for anyone to join, and the community is always welcoming new members.