How to Buy Monero (XMR) in India
So you’ve heard about Monero and are looking to invest in it. But you’re not quite sure what makes Monero interesting – and you’re wondering if it’s the right coin for you?
Learning how to choose the right cryptocurrency can be puzzling, as there are so many coins to choose from! But it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process.
In this guide, I’ll explain to you what Monero is, its features, how it works and if it’s the right investment for you.
Before we dive into how to buy Monero, let’s take a look at how Monero differentiates itself from a constellation of cryptocurrencies.
What is Monero
Monero (XMR) was launched in 2014 as “BitMonero” (a fork of the Bytecoin blockchain) with a focus on protecting user privacy that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies had failed to address.
Ever since its launch, Monero has made numerous advancements in the security and privacy architecture and is now the leading privacy-centric cryptocurrency – and rightfully so. This feature helps users to trade cryptos safely by concealing their identities and transactional activities.
XMR-INR is one of the most active trading cryptocurrency pairs in India. This indicates Monero’s popularity among thousands of alt coins.
|Market Cap Rank||#14|
|Current Monero Price||1 XMR in INR: ₹ 11,253.02
1 XMR in USD: $ 152.85
Here’s how Monero fared against INR in the past four years.
|XMR price in INR (2017)||₹ 6242 (September) | ₹ 24,454 (December)|
|XMR price in INR (2018)||₹ 23,016 (February) | ₹ 8329 (September)|
|XMR price in INR (2019)||₹ 4714 (March) | ₹6456 (August)|
|XMR price in INR (2020)||₹ 6356 (February) | ₹ 9524 (October)|
Why Buy Monero?
Monero was among the first cryptocurrencies to offer cutting-edge advances in privacy features. And it continues to capture the attention of traders and investors with its pioneering solutions.
Here are some of the key features that Monero improves upon Bitcoin:
Monero focuses on protecting user privacy.
In a traditional bitcoin transaction, you can see the transaction details (sender’s public address, the receiver’s public address, and the amount transferred) on the Bitcoin blockchain.
If you were to send some BTC to someone, your public address (which is hashed from your public key) will be visible to everyone. Although these addresses are anonymous, they are not fully private. Anyone on the network will know your transaction history and how much bitcoin you own. Over time, it is possible to trace the address owner’s real-world identity. And, this is a huge privacy concern.
In Monero, however, the transactions are completely private. The transaction details don’t appear on the blockchain. Since these details are selectively transparent, only the intended recipient can recognize the transaction. This makes Monero transactions untraceable.
Monero transactions are fungible.
Fungibility is the property of a commodity, whose individual units are interchangeable. In the fiat world, a bill’s face value remains the same regardless of its transaction history. Hence, a ₹500 bill has the same value as any other ₹500 bill.
Let’s translate this concept to cryptocurrencies with an example. Say you received a bitcoin payment as compensation for a service you provided. Suppose the bitcoin you received had a history of objectionable activities (like drug deals, crime, or fraud) – companies can track and blacklist those coins, rendering it useless. Since this “taints” the face value of those bitcoins, bitcoins are non-fungible.
Every Monero transaction is private, so it’s impossible to tell the transaction history of each coin. This makes Monero coins untaintable, and thereby, fungible.
Monero uses multiple-key architecture.
In Bitcoin (and most cryptocurrencies,) there’s just one pair of keys: a public key and a private key. When a transaction is made, the public addresses of both the sender and recipient are available on the blockchain.
To ensure that the privacy of the sender and recipient are not compromised, Monero adds an extra layer of security with two sets of keys: a pair of view keys and a pair of spend keys. By utilizing a combination of these keys, nowhere in the transaction process are sender’s or receiver’s public addresses made public. (We’ll discuss this feature of Monero in more detail in the following section.)
When you send XMR to someone, instead of your public address, a “stealth address” (one-time public address) appears in the public record of transactions. While observers of the network can see this one-time key, they cannot link the transaction to the wallet addresses. Only the sender and the recipient can know the transaction details.
How Monero Works
Like Bitcoin, Monero is an open-source and decentralized cryptocurrency. However, Monero’s superior privacy feature sets it apart.
Monero offers anonymity to users by employing three mechanisms that obscure transaction information.
1. Ring Signature
A ring signature is an anonymous digital signature that protects the privacy of the sender by obscuring the sender’s public address.
In every Monero transaction, a ring signature is generated by combining the actual signer (the sender who authorizes the transaction) with other non-signers who are arbitrarily chosen from the Monero blockchain. Due to the decoy signers, it is impossible to know which member’s user key was used to create the ring signature. Thus, helping the sender hide the origin of the transaction.
2. Stealth Addresses
Stealth addresses are one-time destination addresses created to hide the recipient’s public address.
In other words, when you send multiple Monero transactions to the same person, the recipient addresses for these transactions will appear (on the blockchain) as going to different addresses. Thereby, concealing the destination address of the transaction.
3. Ring Confidential Transactions
Ring Confidential Transactions (RingCT) increase the privacy of both parties by hiding the value of funds being transferred.
This means, only the participants of the transaction can see the transfer amount. However, if a user prefers transparency, they can share a view-only version of their wallet with others.
With these three protocols, privacy is embedded in Monero’s architecture.
Different Methods to Buy Monero
The best and safest way to buy Monero in India is through cryptocurrency exchanges. Crypto exchanges are online platforms that let you buy/sell cryptocurrencies.
You can purchase XMR in two ways:
- Using Fiat currency: This is the easiest option to purchase XMR with a currency you already own, INR. Some exchanges may also offer the option of other fiat currencies like USD or EUR.
- Using Cryptocurrency: If you already own other cryptocurrencies like BTC or ETH, you can trade them for XMR. Choose an exchange that offers crypto trading pairs for the coin you already possess and deposit the crypto to your account. So, if you own BTC, then the trading pair will be BTC-XMR.
Key Things to Consider
Before you buy Monero (or any cryptocurrency) through a cryptocurrency exchange, here are some of the important factors you need to assess:
- Location: Does the cryptocurrency exchange operate in your country? Not all countries allow cryptocurrency trading, as some nations are wary of its volatility and decentralized nature. So, it’s essential to check your country’s regulations. Fortunately, in India, you can buy Monero from many cryptocurrency exchanges.
- Exchange Fee: Is the fee offered by the crypto exchange reasonable? All cryptocurrency exchanges charge different types of fees from their users. These fees are based on user actions. This includes membership fees, deposit fees, trading fees, and withdrawal fees.
- Payment Method: What payment methods do they accept? To buy cryptocurrency, you have to deposit funds into your exchange account. And there are many ways to do it. Most exchanges operating in India offer multiple deposit options to buy Monero in INR.
Some of the common payment methods with which you could buy XMR in India:
- Buy XMR with Bank Transfer
- Buy Monero with UPI (Paytm, PhonePe, Tez, etc.)
- Buy Monero with Net Banking
- Buy Monero with Instant Deposits (NEFT/RTGS/IMPS)
Best Monero Exchanges in India
Now that you are aware of all the important factors, you can go ahead and find a crypto exchange that meets your requirements.
Once you have your pick, go to the exchange’s website and complete the three steps: sign up for a new account, verify your identity (KYC) and deposit funds to your exchange account. Also, I highly recommend you enable two-factor authentication (2FA) in your exchange account. Now, you’re all set to buy XMR!
Here’s my listing of trusted crypto exchanges from where you can purchase Monero.
Best Monero Wallets in India
So, you’ve decided to buy Monero, but where do you store it? Should you keep it in an exchange wallet? Or should you move it to a private wallet?
Before we look at the differences, let’s take a look at what a crypto wallet does.
A crypto wallet is essentially a software program that ‘stores’ your coins. You can think of it as a banking application. Similar to how your banking app acts as a gateway to interact with your bank account, a crypto wallet interacts with the blockchain (where your coins are actually stored.)
Exchange wallets are created for trading within the exchange, whereas a private wallet is mainly used for secure storage. With a private wallet, the user has the right to their private keys – which is not the case in the exchange wallet. Also, exchange wallets are managed by the exchanges and not by the user.
However, exchange wallets make it easier for you to trade crypto assets. But if you want to secure your cryptocurrencies, it is highly recommended to transfer your crypto assets to a private wallet. Some of the private wallets are hardware wallets (electronic devices) and are more secure than other options.
Not every exchange wallet lets you hold XMR. So, we’ve made a curated list of secure wallets where you can store Monero.
What is Monero Mining
As an alternative to buying Monero, you can earn Monero by mining it.
In general, mining is a process of confirming transactions on the blockchain. This process is also responsible for introducing new coins into circulation, which allows cryptocurrencies to be decentralized.
A miner‘s role is to collect transactions between users in the network and add it to the block. And to verify these transactions, the miner is required to perform cryptographic operations to solve a complex computational math problem. The miners (who find the solution first) receive a block reward as compensation for the time and energy they spent in solving the math problem. Additionally, they also receive transaction fees from the block.
Monero mining is based on the CryptoNote (Proof-of-Work) algorithm, which requires fewer resources (electricity, equipment specifications) than other coins like bitcoin and ether. Since this algorithm is designed for use in ordinary devices (any x86 CPU and many GPUs), anyone with a computer can mine Monero.
How to Mine Monero
Monero mining is more profitable than bitcoin mining. But, there are a lot of factors to take into account before you start mining.
You can either mine Monero alone or join mining pools. In a Monero mining pool, a group of miners combines their hardware processing power to verify transactions. When a mining pool wins the competition, the reward is split between the miners (proportional to mining power).
If you’re just starting with Monero mining, it is recommended to join a Monero mining pool.
To find out if mining Monero is more profitable than buying them, you can use a mining calculator.
How to Sell Monero in India
Like any cryptocurrency, Monero trades on an open cryptocurrency marketplace.
Before you sell your Monero, you have to consider two aspects.
- Selling Method: You can either sell your Monero for fiat currency, which you can cash out into your bank account. Or, sell it for another cryptocurrency that you can send it to your wallet. (Make sure your wallet accepts those coins before sending it.)
- Asking Price: Depending on where you decide to sell XMR, the buyers’ offer price may vary. To make the most profitable sale, choose a global exchange that has a low trading fee, ascertains a buyer’s validity, and provides real-time updates of buyers’ orders.
XMR’s value rises and falls, so it is advisable to monitor the market for the best possible selling times.
Is it Legal to Trade Monero in India?
In April 2018, RBI (the central institution that controls the monetary policy of the Indian Rupee) had imposed a ban on cryptocurrency trading that barred financial institutions and other businesses from facilitating “any service in relation to virtual currencies.”
However, in March 2020, India’s Supreme Court overturned RBI’s ban on cryptocurrency trading.
The lack of an official framework to regulate and monitor cryptocurrencies places investors and traders in a grey area. Despite the confusion, most exchanges operating in India implement self-regulatory verification in the form of KYC and other identification steps to avoid legal risks. Following the Supreme Court’s verdict, the government and regulators are in the process of fleshing out a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies.
In the meantime, cryptocurrencies are very much legal in India. In fact, there are reports suggesting that cryptocurrency trading has seen a 400% increase during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
Experts believe that India has the potential to develop into a crypto-economic powerhouse in the next few years.
|Knowledge Base||Monero Website
Monero White Paper
Monero Source Code
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