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How & Where to Buy Monero (XMR) - Beginner's Guide

By Philip Hoey - Updated 16 May 2024
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Monero (XMR) is a privacy-focused cryptocurrency that is popular among crypto traders who value privacy and anonymity. Unlike Bitcoin and other digital currencies that are simply pseudonymous, Monero has made privacy its main component and is built from the ground up with anonymisation protocols.

Over the past few years, Monero has managed to capture the privacy market. Millions have profitably invested in Monero, but a lot of newbies have a hard time figuring out how to buy it. This guide covers how to securely buy Monero. We provide all the information you need to successfully buy your first XMR tokens.

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How to Buy Monero - Step-by-Step Guide

People who prefer a long term price discovery for Monero usually tend to go for investing rather than trading. This means that they buy XMR and hold Monero.

Just as selecting the right broker is crucial for trading crypto, having the right crypto exchange for buying and selling XMR is important. Apart from a reliable and reputable exchange, you should also look at their trading fee structure and any charges on deposit/withdrawal. Though fees can affect your decision on selecting an exchange, balance it with the security levels provided.

Similarly, check out the legal and regulatory compliance of the exchange. Not all are made equal in the crypto-verse. Using an unregistered exchange will put your investments at more risk as you will not be guaranteed any rights or the exchange just might pull the rug from right underneath your feet.

1. Set up a Monero Wallet

Digital assets require digital wallets and Monero is no different. Setting up a cryptocurrency wallet can seem complicated, with different confusing terminologies such as private and public keys, but it is a fairly simple process and all it takes is a bit of courage to delve into it.

Broadly speaking, there are two types of wallets and you can select the one that best suits your investment needs:

Software Wallets: Wallets that are as digital as the cryptos they hold are software wallets. Also referred to as hot wallets, they are always online and connected to the network. A drawback in security, the always-online nature means if the private keys are compromised, there is no stopping the bad actor. Hot wallets are app-based, can be on both mobile or computer. Crypto exchange wallets are also another form of hot wallets.

Hardware Wallets: Physical devices, these wallets are also referred to as cold wallets since they can be practically disconnected from the Monero network, offering a level of security that malicious parties will find difficult to break.

2. Choose and Join an Exchange that sells Monero

There are numerous exchanges you can register that support buying and selling of Monero. Popular examples include Binance, Coinbase and Poloniex. Though the basics of investing and buying XMR are the same, no matter which exchange you use, it is better to read up on their individual features, offers, fees and user reviews to get an idea of which one is best suited for you.

At the same time, see how much data do these seek from you in the form of KYC and other regulatory requirements. Some ask for only basic information and simple documents, while others may want in-depth data, including your income sources. Safer is always better, but balance it with the exchange’s public reputation.

3. Choose Your Payment Method to Buy Monero

Post-registration on your preferred Monero exchange, you will need to look into the funding options available on the platform. Depending on your exchange you might have the option to either use your fiat currencies or directly transfer over supported cryptocurrency.

If using fiat, you will have the options of directly funding with your bank account or using your credit card. The direct bank deposit option is safer but may require anywhere from a few minutes to days, depending on your bank and any cross border transfer delays. In the case of a credit card, you will be able to transfer money in a matter of minutes, but since you will need to enter your card details on the exchange, you need to be extra careful so as not to compromise your card.

In all cases, a regulated exchange will offer you more security.

4. Place an Order to Buy XMR

Your selected exchange may or may not give you an XMR to fiat trading pair. If it does in your deposited fiat, you can simply use it directly to buy Monero. If it does not, you will need to first buy crypto with a trading pair set up with Monero. Bitcoin, as leading crypto, is nearly always available in a BTC/XMR trading pair.

For example, Binance doesn’t have a fiat pair but supports BTC, ETH and BNB pairs while also giving USDT and BUSD stablecoin support. If you use US Dollars to deposit, Binance will automatically convert it into BUSD for you.

Head over to the trading interface and select your preferred XMR trading pair. Using the Buy section, you can use a market, limit or stop-limit order to buy Monero.

5. Safely Storing Your Monero in a Wallet

Though exchanges provide in-built wallets to store your crypto, it is always a better option to place them in your custody, off the exchange if you are looking for long term storage. Storage in a wallet option is required if you decide to buy and hodl the coins for a long period.

With a private XMR wallet already explained in step one of this section, you can access that wallet and note down the public key. You will need to go to your exchange’s wallet, select XMR and withdraw options. The withdrawal will ask you for the destination wallet address and you will need to enter the public key here to initiate the transfer.

You might need to enter a 2FA code if you have the security feature turned on. This is to ensure only you are transferring out the XMR.

5 Things to Consider if you Want to Buy Monero

There are several factors you have to consider before you buy Monero for the first time. This next section includes all the steps you need to take to safely and securely buy Monero.

1. Carefully choose your preferred secure payment method

Platforms typically offer multiple secure payment methods, but it is your location that determines what methods are available to you specifically. Every payment system has a cost and speed involved, so that’s something you need to consider before you hit the “Buy” button. Depending on where you live, the cost of a transaction as well as the time it takes to complete might be higher than you expect.

2. Will you need to set up your own wallet?

While every platform automatically creates a digital wallet for users, it is common sense to have an independent and separate cryptocurrency wallet to store your XMR tokens. You don’t have complete control over wallets that are built into exchange or broker platforms. These wallets also tend to be more vulnerable to hacks and theft. The only exception to the wallet rule is if you’re using a broker to enter a CFD agreement or other derivative that doesn’t require a wallet.

3. Comparing costs

Every cryptocurrency network has fees and costs for transactions. Take the time to compare the transaction fees on the Monero network with other cryptocurrency systems. The good news is that using cryptocurrency as a means of payment is typically more affordable than traditional payment systems. That’s why cryptocurrencies have become a popular option for foreign exchange and remittance.

4. Safety and security

The Monero network is regularly updated to introduce new cryptographic advances and keep it private. It uses several technologies to keep transactions secure and anonymous. Below are some examples:

  • Ring signatures: The Ring Signature protocol combines the digital signature of one sender with the signatures of other users. It mixes them up before adding the entries onto the blockchain so it isn’t clear who is the true sender.
  • Stealth addresses: Monero uses stealth addresses to create several one-time addresses for every transaction from a single address. The protocol then provides the user’s wallet with a password it can use to scan the blockchain to identify any transactions relevant to them. It’s a way to make sure your transactions cannot be linked back to your published address.
  • RingCT: Monero’s developers introduced Ring Confidential Transactions (RingCT) in 2017. It hides the exact amount of XMR users exchange in transactions before the entries are added to the blockchain.

Monero features other cryptographic technologies, but a combination of ring signatures, stealth addresses and RingCT makes transactions nearly impossible to trace.

For a truly safe and secure experience, combine Monero’s built-in privacy features with security protocols available on brokerage and exchange platforms, such as two-factor authentication (2FA).

Can you understand and navigate the platform?

Cryptocurrency brokers and exchanges come in all shapes and sizes. Before you commit to using a particular platform to buy Monero, take some time to explore its features. It’s important to know all of the mechanics involved before you make a purchase.

Monero sounds complicated on paper, but it is adaptable to all kinds of users. The official wallet even features a “simple mode” for less technically inclined users who want to use Monero as quickly as possible. Navigation is intuitive by default.

What Fees are Involved in Buying Monero?

There are fees associated with using Monero, particularly on broker or exchange platforms. While these fees are generally negligible, you should consider them before making your purchase.

Transaction Fees The Monero network charges a fee for transactions, but it is small enough to be considered negligible. At the time of writing, the fee for each block was less than $0.05. Some exchanges may charge a fee for holding XMR in an exchange wallet, so read the terms carefully before committing to a platform.

Deposit Fees Deposit fees are set by the platform and not the Monero network. The fees typically don’t vary from one currency to another, so make sure to learn what deposit fees your chosen platform charges.

Withdrawal Fees Like deposit fees, withdrawal fees are also set by the cryptocurrency exchange. Most exchanges don’t charge anything for withdrawals, but a few do. It is in your best interest to seek an exchange that doesn’t charge withdrawal fees.

Safely Storing Your Monero

Securely storing your Monero tokens requires the right wallet. Wallets come in software or hardware forms with different specialised security features to keep your tokens safe from theft.

Web Wallet: Web wallets are baked into exchanges and brokerages to ensure these platforms have the functionality required for transactions and storage. They are incredibly convenient, but they have many risks. Since the exchange or broker has complete control over the wallet and your assets, you could lose your investment if the platform is hacked or liquidated. Carefully consider the risks before committing to a web wallet.

Mobile Wallet: Mobile wallets are specifically made for mobile devices. They are convenient because you always have access as long as you have your phone with you. Phones offer good security via screen lock codes, built-in security protocols, and more. However, all of these security features are useless if someone manages to gain full access to your device. Examples of popular mobile wallets include MyMonero, Mycelium, Abra, Edge and Airbitz.

Desktop Wallet: Desktop wallets are for your computer. They are less convenient than mobile wallets, but they offer improved security and are tougher to crack. Desktop wallets tend to have advanced encryption and security protocols like 2FA built-in. Good desktop wallet options include Electrium, Exodus and the Monero GUI wallet.

Hardware Wallet: Hardware wallets are the most secure of all wallet options because they are completely offline. They offer cold storage, which is immune from computer viruses and other common vulnerabilities that can affect web, desktop, and mobile wallets. Examples of hardware wallets include Ledger Nano S, Trezor T and Kastelo.

Wallet Combinations: Some wallet brands have both desktop and mobile wallet options, and they are compatible with hardware wallets. This interconnectivity enables users to adopt a combination of different wallet types for convenience and better security. For example, the Ledger Nano S is compatible with the Monero GUI wallet. You can use the GUI wallet to check your balance, send, and receive from your Ledger wallet.

What Other Coins Can I Trade or Use to Buy Monero?

Fiat currency isn’t the only option for buying Monero; cryptocurrency exchanges also accept trades or purchases made with altcoins. You could, for example, buy Monero with Bitcoin or Ethereum. However, please note that exchanges may charge additional fees for trading one cryptocurrency for another. Check your chosen platform’s fee structure for crypto-to-crypto trades before completing the transaction.

What’s the Smallest and Largest Amount of Monero I Can Buy?

Monero newbies often ask: What’s the minimum allowed purchase for Monero? Like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies, you don’t have to buy a whole Monero token. It is possible to buy small amounts of Monero on most exchanges.

The minimum Monero buy limit is typically 0.02 XMR, so the currency is accessible to enthusiasts with a tight investment budget. On the other hand, nothing is stopping you from going all in. Thanks to its popularity as a privacy coin, you can buy Monero without limit on most exchanges.

Can I Buy Monero Anonymously with no ID? Is it Safe and Legal to Buy Monero?

Monero’s entire premise is untraceable transactions, and that has made it popular with hackers and cybercriminals. For this reason, many people wonder: Is buying Monero illegal? The answer is no. It is perfectly legal to buy Monero and many well-established exchanges offer secure XMR purchase. However, reputable platforms will require you to verify your identity to comply with Know Your Customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) practices.

It is also possible to buy Monero without ID on P2P exchange platforms using cash, gift cards, credit/debit cards, PayPal, or other cryptocurrencies. The caveat is that there is no guarantee the sellers you interact with on these platforms are genuine. You may have little legal recourse if you become the victim of fraud or theft. The less risky option is to use reputable exchanges or brokers that vet users if you want to buy Monero safely.

Will Buying Monero Make Me Money?

Queries about the profitability of buying Monero are always the top questions on search engines. Does buying Monero make you money and does it have the potential to help you get rich? Unfortunately, no one can accurately answer those questions.

Variables like historic price movements and who is buying Monero and supporting the project are a good indication of its potential longevity and profitability. Savvy investors use these indicators to make an informed guess on the direction the market might trend.

If you would like to know how much does it cost to buy Monero or the best price to buy XMR, check out our Monero Price Page. It contains all the information you need before you make a purchase.

How to Spend your Monero

Monero offers near-total anonymity by hiding the sender and receiver, as well as the value of the transaction. It’s the perfect form of payment for anyone who wants to pay for goods and services without leaving a trail. Users can also use it to avoid surveillance and safely make money transfers.

While Monero likely won’t ever boast daily transaction numbers that rival the likes of Bitcoin and Ethereum, it has managed to carve out a niche for itself with its unique privacy features. It is growing more popular as people around the world become more privacy-conscious.

How to Sell your Monero

The easiest and safest way to sell Monero is through exchange or broker platforms. Any exchange worth its salt will walk you through the entire process from start to finish. You can either sell your XMR tokens at the current market price or, depending on the platform, set your own price. You can also trade your XMR tokens for more popular crypto like BTC or ETH and then convert that to fiat currency.

CFDs are another alternative; it is generally easier to sell a cryptocurrency that is tied to a CFD. Several leading CFD brokers support XMR trading.

Long vs Short Term Investment

The time length of your investment will usually define the platform you will select for Monero. If you want to hold on to your XMR coins for a long period, or are a supporter of the Monero network and its mission, you are better off using a reputable exchange.

If you don’t want to hold Monero for that long and want to take advantage of the ever-fluctuating prices, you should go for a broker and use short term trades, anywhere from a few minutes to hours or days, repeatedly buying and selling the contracts to ride the waves and increase your profits. This also frees you from the complexity of having and maintaining wallets.

3 Tips to Buy Monero

Following are three small, but extremely important tips you should always keep in mind while buying Monero.

Choose the Right Time and Do Your Own Research on Monero

Do your homework right. There are hundreds of factors that can affect Monero’s price. Use fundamental and technical analysis or at least contact a few experts if you cannot research on your own. Knowing when is the right time to buy (and at what price) is crucial to your success.

Comparing Costs to Buy Monero

It is not only the cost of Monero you will be paying but also others such as the trade or exchange fee, funding or transfer charges, the difference in exchange rates (both when sending fiat to the platform and the differences in Monero prices on different exchanges). All these are often ignored but can have a big impact if your investment or trade is of a significant amount.

Safety and Security when Buying Monero

You will be handing over your money to a platform and their security weaknesses can mean your assets and money being wiped off. Always look into the type of securities and safety features being offered by a platform. 2FA, multi-sig wallets, how many assets are in the platform’s hot wallets can make all the difference. Regulations are also important as it forces the platforms to comply with different rules that protect your investments and rights.

What is the Best Payment Method for Buying Monero

  • Buy Monero with Cash: Escrow or P2P services are popular for Monero.
  • Buy Monero with Credit Card: Most accepted form, easy to use and get hold of XMR in minutes.
  • Buy Monero with Bank Transfer: The most secure method; can take a bit of time but is low on cost.
  • Buy Monero with Bitcoin: Almost all exchanges and platforms offer XMR/BTC pairs. Instant and extremely fast.
  • Buy Monero with PayPal: Fast and cheap, but not all platforms support it.

Other Ways to Buy Monero

Though Monero can be bought or traded using crypto exchanges and brokers, there are other ways to get your hands on the cryptocurrency.

Peer to Peer (P2P) exchanges can allow you to instantly purchase Monero, sometimes without even signing up. Though cheaper at times, the network congestion and average transfer fee can make it slower and at times expensive.

Mining is another option you can look into. Though using Proof of Work, Monero is ASIC resistant and you can use a good CPU or GPU to mine the coins yourself. If you are successful in finding a block, you are awarded Monero. You can also make money on the transaction confirmations. Using mining pools can increase your reward speed, though denting your overall rewards in a block. If the costs of running a miner are too high, you can always use cloud mining and rent out computing power.

So there it is, you are now ready to buy and invest in Monero and begin your crypto investment journey.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to mine XMR?
Monero is still a mineable cryptocurrency as of 2021. The network supports CPU/GPU mining. A new block is mined every two minutes, and the reward per transaction block is approximately 4.99 XMR. There are several mining pools available for anyone interested in Monero mining.
Is it worth mining Monero with CPU?
It is worth mining Monero if you join a mining pool. Solo mining XMR is not likely to be profitable unless you have really cheap or free electricity and a powerful CPU mining rig that has low energy consumption.
Does Monero have an official XMR wallet?
The Monero development team has released official GUI and CLI wallets. They also have a list of recommended third-party mobile and light wallets, including Cake Wallet, Monerujo, MyMonero, and Edge.
Can Monero freeze or monitor XMR transactions?
Monero offers users near-perfect anonymity through privacy features like stealth addresses, ring signatures, and RingCT. A combination of all three technologies can hide sender and receiver details, as well as the transaction amount. No one can theoretically monitor your transactions.
Is using Monero illegal?
Monero is popular among hackers and cybercriminals because of its strong privacy features, which make it almost impossible to trace. Its use on darknet marketplaces has given it an unsavoury reputation, but it is as legal as any other cryptocurrency.
Can government agencies track Monero?
In theory, nobody should be able to view your XMR transaction details as long as your view keys aren’t compromised. However, government agencies and analytics firms have been working on ways to trace Monero transactions, including funding tools that track transaction flows. It is unclear if those efforts have been successful.
Can Monero Beat Bitcoin?
It’s tough to compare Monero to Bitcoin because they have completely different use cases. Monero was specifically designed with a focus on user privacy. It is superior to Bitcoin on privacy, fungibility, transaction fees, and mining efficiency. Bitcoin beats Monero on network effect, trading volume, merchant adoption, exchange support, and availability of derivatives.
Is Monero faster than Bitcoin?
Monero is faster because it has an average block time of two minutes, while Bitcoin has an average block time of 10 minutes. At the time of writing, Monero fully completed a transaction in about 20 minutes. Bitcoin can take over an hour.
Do I need to complete KYC to buy Monero?
Yes. Most regulated exchanges will insist on KYC procedures. This extra step is to prevent fraud and provide a safe and secure environment for all users.
Is it secure to hold Monero in my exchange wallet?
Unless you intend to keep selling and buying frequently, it is advisable to store your Monero in a private wallet where only you have access to it.
Can I have more than one Monero wallet to store XMR?
Yes. You can have as many wallets as you like. Just don’t lose their public and private keys.
Can I use Monero to pay for services or products?
There are hundreds of firms and companies, ranging from tourism to marketing that accept XMR as a means of payment.
Can my Monero purchase be traced?
Though Monero is a privacy coin, reputable exchanges and platforms will always keep a record of your purchase.

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