Leading privacy coin Monero (XMR) has rallied 9.56% in the last 24 hours and 22.8% in the last week after developers confirmed on GitHub that a hard fork is due on July 16.
Monero currently trades for around $278 and has a market capitalization of more than $5 billion, according to data aggregator CoinMarketCap. This makes XMR the clear leader in privacy coins, with more than double the market capitalization of its nearest rival, Zcash.
Privacy coins vary in method and utility, but broadly speaking, they use cryptographic techniques to obscure identifying information like addresses and transaction amounts.
Zcash and Monero both use a technique called zero-knowledge proofs, which lets users make transactions without specifying details about the transactions in question, other than the fact that they are legitimate. While Monero only allows for private transactions, Zcash also allows for public ones.
Upgrade excitement, bank run, or both?
Monero’s upcoming hard fork is the fifteenth software version (v15) and will upgrade the privacy and general performance of the network. One of the major changes will be to increase Monero’s ring size from 11 to 16.
“Ring size” refers to a feature in Monero where, to protect a user’s privacy, the digital signature of the person “signing” the transaction is merged with the digital signatures of 11 other non-signers to produce a distinctive new signature that can authorize the transaction.
Monero also announced fixes to its multisig mechanism.
However, excitement for the hard fork is not the only possible factor driving XMR’s price right now.
On Monday, XMR enthusiasts mobilized on Reddit to do a “bank run”—jokingly called a “Monerun”—to mark the privacy coin’s eighth anniversary.
According to the post, Monero’s “obfuscated ledger” allows centralized exchanges to misrepresent their reserves to the public, so the group has taken it upon themselves to withdraw all the Monero they can afford.
Hard fork or bank run? Either way, investors have been bullish on Monero for the past few days.
The views and opinions expressed by the author are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice.
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