Now https://www.moneroblock.io, Moneroblock is available to all API developers in the Github, Reddit, Telegram and other communities worldwide.
This easy to use API script can be used with multiple applications in mind. Similiar to block.io, where api is available for litecoin, bitcoin and dogecoin. Now, the long awaited API script is available for Monero.
How can Monero compete with Bitcoin’s network effect?
Other social networks existed before Facebook, and they were protected by their own network effects. Facebook did not need to overcome those network effects in order to win. All it had to do is stand out as a clearly superior product during a period in time when enormous numbers of people were starting to use a social network for the very first time. New users have no switching costs, because they are not already using a competitor.
We believe that Monero is a superior product, which has come along at the right time in history when massive new adoption of cryptocurrencies is about to occur.
Why might Monero see greater future adoption than Bitcoin?
Monero is private.
The most critical flaw in Bitcoin is its lack of privacy. If you give me your Bitcoin wallet address so that I can send you a payment, you immediately compromise your privacy. I can see as a matter of public record how much money you have in your Bitcoin wallet (there are messy workarounds to attempt to fix this problem, which we will address shortly). The same situation applies even if you are the one sending Bitcoin. Any recipient can then see how much money you have in your Bitcoin wallet, both now and in perpetuity. To understand how critical this privacy problem is, consider the following scenarios:
1. You are travelling through parts of a country with a medium to high violent crime rate. You need to use some of your Bitcoin to pay for something. If every person you transact with knows exactly how much money you have, this is a threat to your personal physical safety.
2. You are a business that receives a payment from a supplier. That supplier will be able to see how much money your business has, and therefore can guess at how price sensitive you are in future negotiations. They can see every single other payment you’ve ever received to that Bitcoin address, and therefore determine what other suppliers you are dealing with and how much you are paying those suppliers. They may be able to roughly determine how many customers you have and how much you charge your customers. This is commercially sensitive information that damages your negotiating position enough to cause you relative financial loss.
3. You are a private citizen paying for online goods and services. You are aware that it is common practice for companies to attempt to use ‘price discrimination’ algorithms to attempt to determine the highest prices they can offer future services to you at, and you would prefer they do not have the information advantage of knowing how much you spend and where you spend it.
4. You sell cupcakes and receive Bitcoin as payment. It turns out that someone who owned that Bitcoin before you was involved in criminal activity. Now you are worried that you have become a suspect in a criminal case, because the movement of funds to you is a matter of public record. You are also worried that certain Bitcoins that you thought you owned will be considered ‘tainted’ and that others will refuse to accept them as payment.
Monero solves these privacy issues by automatically applying privacy techniques to every single transaction made. You can have confidence that it is not possible to own ‘tainted’ Monero. This is a concept in economics known as ‘fungibility’ and is historically considered an important characteristic for any currency to have.
The Bitcoin community has attempted to solve these problems by introducing ‘mixing’ features. Their solutions have been described as ‘a band aid over a stab wound’. A more detailed explanation can be found here.
Because everyone that uses Monero automatically has privacy features applied to their transactions, Monero has a huge advantage over other cryptocurrencies whose privacy features are only optional. You never have to request and then verify whether other people have enabled a privacy mechanism when sending you funds, because privacy is always automatically applied to all transactions. Furthermore, the always-on nature of Monero’s privacy features means that even if the majority of Monero users are not privacy sensitive, they will still automatically participate with the strengthening of the privacy mechanisms for other users that are privacy conscious.
Four other major advantages of Monero over Bitcoin
1. Monero’s superior mining algorithm
‘Mining’ is the name given to running a program on a computer which verifies and processes the cryptocurrency transactions that other people announce to the worldwide network. We believe the creators of Bitcoin chose poorly when it came to their mining algorithm. The Bitcoin algorithm runs dramatically faster on custom made mining chips (known as ASICs) than on standard PCs and laptops. This means it is almost completely pointless for any ordinary computer user to attempt to participate in the mining process for Bitcoin, and leads to a relative concentration of miners in countries with the cheapest electricity costs. In contrast, the Monero mining algorithm was specifically designed such that ASICs will not have too much of an advantage over ordinary computers owned by the general public.
This means people all over the world will be leaving mining software running on their home or work PCs. Those that do this will earn Monero in exchange for running the software that processes and verifies other Monero transactions. Therefore, if someone else is paying the electricity bill (e.g. an employer or university housing complex), then there will be a financial incentive for people to mine Monero using the spare capacity of the computers they already have access to. Far more people will be willing to casually use existing computers for this task than there would if they would need to purchase and install purpose built ASIC mining hardware. Because no special mining equipment is required, it means that it would be easy for anyone that downloads a Monero wallet to simply click a single button to start mining on their computer.
Because we predict a dramatically larger number of people participating in the Monero mining network vs Bitcoin, an important consequence will be that ordinary people who are interested in Monero will be able to earn their first little bit of Monero by participating in the mining process. This is a major marketing win, as it distributes Monero to the broadest possible number of participants to fuel their enthusiasm.
2. Monero’s ‘Adaptive block size limit’
When transactions are announced to the Monero or Bitcoin networks, they appear as part of a ‘block’. Monero blocks are produced on average every 2 minutes, and Bitcoin blocks are produced on average every 10 minutes. Bitcoin blocks have a maximum size, so if there is no room then your transaction will be delayed. If you are desperate to have your transaction included in a Bitcoin block promptly, you will have to increase the transaction fees that you pay to the Bitcoin network.
Monero, however, has been designed to have an automatically adaptive block size limit. This means it will automatically be able to handle future increases in transaction volume by automatically expanding the size of blocks to accomodate higher future transaction volumes.
3. An impressive integration of the ‘invisible internet project’ I2P layer into Monero is in development
This will add even greater privacy protections when transacting in Monero. I2P will protect you from passive network monitoring, so that not only are your payments untraceable, but people snooping the network cannot tell you are even using Monero at all.
4. The quality of the development and research team behind Monero and their design goals are seriously impressive
There are over 180 contributors to the Monero project.
Please remember, cryptocurrencies are currently extremely risky investments and our enthusiasm biases our reasoning. This essay does not constitute investment advice and may contain errors or omissions. Do your own thorough research before proceeding. Remember to diversify your investable assets. In no event should you allocate more than 1% of your liquid net worth into Monero, as this would leave you too exposed to volatility while Monero matures. If the price of Monero drops precipitously and this would spoil your day, then Monero is not for you at this time.