The mining widget on this page is mine, so thank you if you are mining for me whilst reading, every hash counts!!
Monero (XMR) is a privacy focused crypto currency. Mining Monero can be a profitable venture due to its cryptographic algorithm which is resistant to ASIC's mining. This means that anyone with a CPU or GPU can mine for Monero through a web browser.
Monero is the first, and currently only, crypto currency that can be mined through a web browser. You may have seen in the news recently that some websites have been mining in secret in the background on their web pages using their visitors computers/mobile devices.
Some BBC News items from this year:
Since all this has come to light this action is now being blocked by a majority of Antivirus softwares, so any web page that is mining in secret will be inaccessible to the general public. Whilst these web pages don't actually pose a threat to the unknowing visitors computer or mobile device, it is highly unethical to do it without the users (and website owners!) knowledge.
Naturally, technology develops (fast!) and finds a solution; so, now we have a widget with a button to press making it optional for the user instead. This system has already been snapped up by an online magazine to use as an alternative method for subscription payments: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-43053783.
Monero is also an untraceable crypto currency, Bitcoin is traceable. Even though the blockchain records transactions, it doesn't record it like "address 1 sends to address 2," as in Bitcoin. The Monero blockchain doesn't keep track of address balances. There is therefore no rich list. There are simply outputs to which your wallet claims ownership with its private keys, if Monero was sent to you. This is called stealth addressing.
Consequently, it has become popular on the dark web as a means of payment. For Monero this is actually a good thing since the more that use/want it the more value it gains.
In January 2017 one Monero was worth $10. It currently fluctuates between $300-500. It is fast becoming popular online as an alternative method for paying for services, products and access to content.
I started mining a couple of weeks ago, and yes I have a fair way to go still to make one full Monero, but because of the recent developments, in particular its growing popularity on the dark web and the use of it as an alternative payment method on normal everyday websites, I feel that by the time I have made one full Monero it may be worth a silly amount of normal money, similar to how Bitcoin is now. Of course, this is NOT a guarantee! This is crypto currency, it kind of doesn't exist but it does, and anything can happen, but since it costs me nothing to mine for it... I missed out on Bitcoin, I could have bought them for just a few dollars at the very start of that, but I didn't, and I'm not willing to miss out again!!!