How to buy Monero online
This guide is an introduction to the Monero coin, which is also known as XMR. Take a quick look at its history, then find out its investment prospects, and discover where you can buy XMR now.
Compare where to buy Monero, and open an account
To buy Monero straight away, use one of the brokers below. These are some of the most popular platforms around and have been vetted and approved by our team of experts. If you don’t want to buy just yet, keep reading to learn more.
What is Monero?
Monero is a cryptocurrency that focuses on privacy. It’s similar to Bitcoin, in that it’s a digital currency you can use as a means of payment. The main difference is that Monero obscures the details of all its transactions to make it much harder to track who sent money to whom.
The Monero coin (XMR) was created in 2014 as one of the earliest crypto projects. Its goals have always been to prioritise privacy and security, and it’s something of a pioneer in the space as a project that’s more innovative than the competition and rolls out updates every six months.
Each update tends to increase privacy even further. Some major advances have been the addition of an option for users to create one-time ‘stealth’ addresses, and one to hide the amount spent in a transaction.
How does Monero work?
Monero works by storing a history of its transactions on a blockchain, which is like a public ledger that anyone can view. Monero’s defining feature is that those transactions are deliberately obscured, so that it’s a lot harder to track the path of coins from one user to another.
On a regular blockchain, each user has a wallet ‘address’ (which is a string of numbers) and each transaction includes both the payer and the payee’s address. Monero essentially mixes up the addresses when it adds a new transaction to the chain, so that you can’t tell which one the money came from.
In practical terms, this means coins can’t be ‘blacklisted’. Both with Bitcoin and regular currency it is possible to track the movement of money and use it to identify the people involved. Monero’s technology means you can’t do that with its coins.
How to buy Monero online – a step-by-step guide
Step 1. Find an exchange to buy Monero
The best place to buy XMR coins is through an exchange. Exchanges are peer-to-peer platforms where you buy and sell coins from other users. The best exchanges have a wide range of coins and offer lots of different pairs to swap between. Here are two of the top ones:
- Binance: Binance is the leading crypto exchange platform in the world. It handles many millions of transactions every day and offers a ‘lite’ version with limited features if you’re just getting started. Sign up for Binance now >
- KuCoin: KuCoin is an easy to use platform with lots of learning material for beginners. There are more than 450 coin pairs available and there’s a pro version for more experienced users. Join KuCoin today >
Step 2. Sign up and fund your account
To create an account you need to provide some contact details like a phone number and email address, and often a form of photo ID as well. To fund it, the top exchanges accept fiat currency (like GBP, USD, or EUR) but some only accept cryptocurrency deposits. In that case, it’s a good idea to buy Bitcoin elsewhere first and use that as a deposit.
Step 3. Buy Monero
Each coin has its own ticker symbol that you need to search for to find it on the exchange. In Monero’s case, the symbol is XMR. If you’re using Bitcoin to buy it, look for the XMR/BTC pair and execute the trade.
Step 4. (Optional) Get a suitable wallet
When you own coins, you have the choice to keep them sitting in your exchange account or move them to a dedicated cryptocurrency wallet. Wallets are safer, and use encryption to protect your coins. Below are a couple of the top wallet providers:
- BitLox: BitLox is an advanced hardware wallet, which means it keeps coins in ‘cold storage’ – offline – and requires multiple pins to access them once they’re locked away. Sign up for BitLox >
- Ledger Nano S: Another hardware wallet, the Ledger Nano S is one of the most popular on the market. It’s like a USB stick that has a mini-screen that you can use to access your coins. Get the Ledger Nano S now >
How to trade Monero – a step-by-step guide
Step 1. Find a broker
Trading XMR means finding a broker that charges low fees. Brokers are a bit more user-friendly than exchanges and usually offer a wider range of assets beyond cryptocurrency as well. Low fees are important because you want to make lots of trades and don’t want to pay too much each time. Here are two top broker options:
- eToro: eToro is a CFD broker that lets you specualte on the prices of top assets, including cryptocurrencies. It has lots of beginner-friendly material, including the ability to copy trades of more advanced users. Sign up for eToro now >
- Robinhood: Robinhood similarly offers CFD trading on top cryptocurrencies like XMR. You can use CFDs to predict price moves, up or down. Sign up with Robinhood >
Step 2. Deposit money
Brokers only accept deposits in fiat currency (GBP, USD, EUR, etc) and won’t let you deposit cryptocurrency. Most of the top platforms offer some kind of new user deposit bonus but often also charge for deposits and withdrawals, so make sure to check the rules of your chosen broker before you start.
Step 3. Decide how you’d like to trade
There are a couple of ways to trade cryptocurrencies. You can use contracts for difference (CFDs) or bet the spread. CFDs are a way of speculating on the price of individual assets without owning them, while spread betting means predicting how the overall market will move.
Step 4. Start trading
If you’re a beginner, the best way to start trading is with a demo account. Your broker will offer one, and it’s an opportunity to get used to the market with virtual money before you put your own funds at risk.
When it comes to deciding how a coin is going to perform, you have two options: do you think it’s going to go up or down? If it’s the former, then you should buy some, which is known as taking a ‘long’ position. The latter, then it’s time to sell, which is also known as going ‘short’.
For more advanced traders, you can use leverage to make bigger bets. To do this you put down a small deposit (‘the margin’) and borrow money from your broker to make up the trade value. This can lead to big gains, but losses can spiral very quickly if you don’t know what you’re doing.
To help you come to a final decision, we’ve summarised Monero’s pros and cons in the boxes below. After that, there are the answers to some final questions that you might find useful.
- It’s ideal for anyone who wants a cryptocurrency with more privacy than Bitcoin
- Has been around a long time and is regularly updated
- Already accepted by a number of merchants and payment platforms
- There’s no limit to its total supply so it could suffer from inflation
Finally, here are three more things to consider before you decide whether to invest in Monero.
1. Is it a good time to buy Monero?
If you simply want to buy and use Monero, then it is a good time to buy. Otherwise, it depends on how soon you want to see a return on your investment. If you’re a long term investor who thinks the only way is up, you might want to buy some coins now as well.
For those with more short term thinking, you should look at the current XMR price to decide whether it’s an opportunity to buy. You can use trading indicators to help you pick out a point to enter the market, or use our expert analysis to help you.
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2. What problem does Monero solve, and what are the coin’s investment prospects?
Monero solves the problem of cryptocurrencies being traceable. If you buy or sell Monero, it’s virtually impossible for anyone to know about it. It’s probably closer to the true ‘ideals’ of cryptocurrency in terms of privacy and security than Bitcoin itself.
It isn’t the only coin that offers these features, however. The likes of Dash and Zcash are similarly privacy-focused, while there are a lot of Bitcoin alternatives like Litecoin that try to solve issues with the top dog.
For the time being, despite their own unique advantages, all of them trail in Bitcoin’s wake. They still grow in value along with the market as a whole so represent good prospects, but in a crowded market it’s hard to stand out. Follow the latest news to see if any of them break free from the pack:
Travala.com adds Monero (XMR) as a payment option
Monero price analysis: XMR lags behind the rising crypto market
Monero (XMR) announces second audit of Bulletproofs+ Code
3. Do you want to hold Monero for the long term?
It depends on your outlook for the cryptocurrency market, and whether you intend to use Monero as a store of value. The final decision depends on whether you have a long term or short term outlook, and you can find a few final points for your consideration here.
Considerations for a long term investment strategy
If you expect Monero’s price to go up over time, then the best thing to do is to sign up for an exchange and buy some coins straight away. Then you can get yourself a wallet so that you can store your coins securely as they grow in value.
Considerations for a short term trading strategy
Short term traders don’t need to worry so much about the state of the market. In this case, the most important thing is finding a broker with low trading fees. You should also consider learning how to read tools and charts so you can time your entry into the market.