Monero Pumps 10.9% in Wake of Global Mining Scandal; Can XMR be Stopped?

Monero (XMR) recorded sizeable gains leading into Sunday evening while much of the crypto market floundered or remained in stasis. The 10.9% surge by XMR comes a matter of hours after one of the most widespread crypto mining viruses ever witnessed was closed down.

French police brought an end to an XMR mining botnet which infected 850,000 computers over two and a half years. This isn’t the first time Monero has been at the center of a mining bot scandal. The ability to mine XMR with a CPU, coupled with its privacy, make it a prime candidate to be used in such scams.

Interesting to note is the fact that Monero has shown the same kind of resolve in the face of adversity all year. While the coin price rose and then dumped along with the rest of the market, its performance relative to other privacy coins proved much stronger.

Monero Stubborn in Face of Market Decline

Comparing XMR’s year-to-date performance against Zcash (ZEC) and Dash (DASH) shows Monero to be highly favoured in the privacy sector. Monero is currently up more than 60% since the turn of the year. For some context, major cryptocurrencies like XRP, Stellar and TRON are all in the red for the same time period.

Likewise, Monero’s competitors have proved rather lightweight compared to the most well-known privacy coin. Zcash is currently down 20% since January – that’s despite almost tripling in price during the summer pump.

Another major cryptocurrency with privacy options is Dash. After racking up more than 200% gains during the summer, Dash gave most of them back. The coin price is up 2.5% since the start of the year.

Few cryptocurrencies get mentioned on the pages of the BBC, yet Monero’s name has been found there often. Maybe the reason Monero is the most well-known privacy coin is partly because of its constant embroilment in criminal mining scandals. Naturally the coin will attract those looking to hide or launder money, but are they picking it based on its tech?

What’s Behind Crypto’s Most Well-Known Privacy Coin?

Finding the truth among the mass of speculation on the internet is difficult. Google will throw up multiple posts from angry crypto enthusiasts claiming every one of these coins are not fit for purpose. Whether its a supposed error in the code, allegations of being an opportunistic scam, or claims of a devious pre-mine, dirt can be found on all of these coins.

That said, Monero’s CryptoNote protocol has proved the most popular in the crypto community so far – and for good reason. Its peer-reviewed technology provides not just privacy but also plausible deniability, due to the way it mixes coins passively. Untraceability and unlinkability are also standard features.

This little love-in with Monero doesn’t necessarily have a happy ending. Place your finger on a spinning globe and you’ll likely hit a country that has already made moves to ban private cryptocurrencies. Recently the state of Texas proposed legislation that would require crypto users to register their identity before executing a transaction, while France made similar moves.

XMR Coin Price

Coming back to the coin price, no doubt XMR will fall along with the rest of the market this year, assuming Bitcoin continues to drop. But it has already shown more resilience than its peers – probably because it’s still one of the few cryptocurrencies with an actual use-case. Even if that use-case is sometimes criminal in nature.

On Sunday night Monero came from nowhere to spike 10.9%, sending the coin price from $67 to $74.32.

Monero Surge
Most of Monero’s surge came in a short, sharp 2 hour burst | Source: CoinMarketCap

CoinMarketCap reports $60 million in volume, while data taken from “Real 10” exchanges shows XMR’s true volume to be closer to $6 million.

Disclaimer: The author owns Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. Chart via CoinMarketCap. 

Greg Thomson is a freelance writer who contributes to leading cryptocurrency and blockchain publications like CCN, Hacked, and others.