Granny’s Guide to Monero
A simple guide to start using Monero.
Guide for newcomers
In this guide you will find the building blocks to start with Monero even if you know nothing about cryptocurrency. You will have the basics, and then some tips to start building some privacy and security. I would advise to always strive for a bit more privacy/security than you already have, this way you will always learn a bit and build at your own speed, but privacy is a process which is rarely achieved perfectly, but instead is built up as a process; Rome wasn’t built in a day.
I myself am not by a long shot a computer wiz, and this is just a friendly guide for grandmas and grandpas everywhere to help guide you through the adoption of Monero, a beautiful tool for privacy and freedom.
Why Monero? Because it’s digital cash. It’s private, hence uncensorable and promotes financial freedom, and helps preserve human rights.
How to start:
create a wallet
FIRST, CREATE A WALLET (where your Monero will be stored)
1. Get a physical piece of paper, and a pen.
2. Download a wallet. Begin with your smartphone; go to your app store and download Monerujo Wallet (photo attached).
3. Click next a time or two until you see a warning (photo below) that says your seed is very important, and it is.
Your seed is a set of words which mathematically generate your wallet, or the equivalent of a bank account for Monero. If you lose these words and lose access to your wallet, you’ve lost your funds forever. If you lose access to your wallet, but still have your words, you can regenerate your wallet.
Click Ok, or I get it, or whatever you need to continue.
4. You will get to your main page in Monerujo Wallet. You will see a node, don’t worry about that. You won’t see any wallets because none have been created yet. Let’s create one…
5. Tap the plus sign at the bottom right corner. Then click “Create new wallet”. Name you wallet with something to identify it like my coins, or test, or whatever, not very important. Type a password that you will remember, and tap “MAKE ME A WALLET ALREADY!”
6. IMPORTANT: Get out that piece of paper and pen from step number one, and write all of the 25 words. ALSO write down the resore height. Ignore your public address at the very top, and ignore the wallet files restore password. Just make sure you have those 25 words and restore height well written down.
Once you’re ready and have triple checked the words you wrote down, save that piece of paper somewhere safe and click “I HAVE NOTED THE MNEMONIC SEED”. DO NOT SHARE YOUR WORDS WITH ANYONE YOU DON’T TRUST FULLY.
7. Your wallet will sync in a couple of minutes, and you have your first Monero wallet.
receiving some funds from your grandkids
1. Tap “RECEIVE”.
2. You will see as in the photo below a QR code on the bottom. Your grandkids can just scan that QR code and send you your coins. If you want to send the address via any messenger app, or any other way via text, your address is shown above. In this photo it starts with 46xR1………. And ends with ……….aeGbPE
A Monero address looks like the following example:
EXAMPLE 1: 47ntfT2Z5384zku39pTM6hGcnF5yURYW2Azm87GiAAH2bcTidtq278TL6HmwyL8yjMeERqGEBs3cqC8vvHPJd1cWQrGC94f
To copy it, just tap on the two squares to the right to copy to your clipboard, and paste and send it to whoever will send you funds. It might take some minutes but you will see your funds in your wallet shortly if you go back.
send some monero
1. Tap “GIVE” on the bottom right of your app. You may click “SCAN” and scan someone’s QR code, or you may paste the address on the empty square on the top titled “Receiver”. Once you paste the address, double check it, and if correct, proceed to tap “AMOUNT” on the bottom right corner of the app.
2. Specify how much XMR you want to send. If you want to see in USD, or any other currency, just tap the down arrow next to XMR, and select your desired currency. Once you’ve typed how much you want to send, click “CONFIRM” at the bottom right. Review and confirm, and you’re set.
You have now sent the specified amount of Monero. Transactions take about a minute or two to “register” in the blockchain, please be patient and don’t worry, it either goes through or it doesn’t. It doesn’t stay stuck in limbo.
Note: Sometimes finding a node might take about 20 seconds when you open the app. Be patient. Also, feel free to close the app and re-open if you think this got stuck, but be patient! You may also manually choose a node to connect to. Nodes are computers where the whole blockchain is stored and synced and act as a network that broadcasts or “registers” your transactions into the blockchain, and anyone can run a node, but this is just side information, don’t worry about that.
With this anyone can go from zero to Monero in about 20 minutes. That’s it. Keep your seed words well stored, remember your password and you may access your wallet anytime, you may participate in a financially free society without censorship, contratulations!
How to obtain monero
There are a variety of ways to buy Monero. You are always better off if you buy any crypto without KYC (without giving your personal information, which then gets catalogued and matched with your name), however it is easier to buy through an exchange. This is why I explain different of ways to buy, with the pros and cons of each.
Because it is a private coin and most governments don’t really like their citizens to have true privacy, Monero is delisted from almost all exchanges. I will do my best to keep this guide up to date but always start with small amounts with any exchange and gradually work your way up. Exchanges like Binance or Coinbase often freeze users’ funds.
- OPTION A (buy with KYC): Buy directly from an exchange with your credit card using Kucoin: Here is a 6 minute video on how to buy using your credit card: https://yewtu.be/watch?v=hUBLRpma-gM
Once you’ve bought your Monero, ALWAYS send it to an external wallet (take your funds out of your exchange). SEE HOW TO CREATE A NEW WALLET section.
Do not underestimate the importance of withdrawing. Having your crypto on any exchange is not owning crypto. Exchanges very often freeze accounts indefinitely.
Here’s a video on how to withdraw from Kucoin: https://yewtu.be/watch?v=_IVIo_iSCaA (this video withdraws Litecoin, but the process to withdraw Monero is basically the same).
- Option B (buy without KYC). It is a bit more complicated to buy Monero without KYC, but here is a quick video on how to use Localmonero.co : https://yewtu.be/watch?v=4Kkpt1zm4EU . Localmonero is a website that works as an escrow so you can buy Monero relatively safely in most countries through a bank deposit, Zelle, in person exchange, etc.
Buying KYC pros: Simple and easy. Cons: although Monero is private, there will be a record that you bought crypto. It is perfectly legal to do so but I suggest you slowly migrate to only buying non-KYC. KYCNOT.ME is an awesome website that lists all the ways to buy NON KYC.
Buying NON-KYC pros: Only you will know you own crypto. Cons: A little bit less practical and more effort (well worth it though)
exchange your bitcoin or other crypto for monero
Maybe you already own some Bitcoin or Litecoin that your grandkids gifted to you, and you’ve realized the intrusiveness that a transparent blockchain brings. If you want to exchange it for Monero instantly, the following link (Majestic Bank) is a great and simple option;
VIDEO TUTORIAL: https://vimeo.com/user174588566
Other instant exchanges include:
- SIDEHSIFT.AI (video here https://invidious.sethforprivacy.com/watch?v=3m8747tFzQI)
- or CAKE WALLET (video here https://invidious.sethforprivacy.com/watch?v=6juLQPvOQnQ)
Now I will build on top of this with some brief explanations, you may quit this guide any time if you are happy with your current knowledge, since it’s not VITAL, but recommended that you beef up your security and privacy with the following tips. I will speak genererically, so some features might be a bit different on some other wallets or exchanges, but more important than the exact details, my intention is to give an idea of the following concepts…
where to spend your monero
Unlike the Bitcoin community, Monero is a real fungible digital currency you are encouraged to use and accept. Sure, hold some if you really like it, but the idea is to use it to fortify privacy and a free market.
https://monerica.com/ is a great directory of everything you can buy using Monero worldwide. If you live in the US you can use Cake Wallet, which has a huge catalog of gift cards you may buy with Monero and spend in a ton of US businesses.
Also, help the circular economy, accept Monero as payment for your goods or services and decentralize the economy using privacy!
various tips and other stuff
IF MONERO IS PRIVATE, HOW CAN I PROVE A TRANSACTION?:
Most wallets will be enabled with a link to the blockchain explorer. You tap or double click on any transaction and it has a TX ID, a transaction identifier. You may copy it and go to any Monero blockchain explorers, a few are listed below:
All of them have a search bar. Copy and paste the transaction ID. A TX ID looks something like this:
When you click “Lookup”, or “Search”, etc. you will be able to see if your transaction went through yet (# of confirmations), the fee you paid, and some other details not important at the moment. If you need to PROVE you sent the transaction you will find 2 fields, one for the recipient’s address, and one for your Transaction Secret Key (which you will find on your wallet). To find your Transaction Secret Key, go to your wallet, click on the transaction in question and there with your TX ID you will be able to find the TX secret key.
So to prove it you paste the receiving address as well as the TX secret key and you will be able to prove it was sent. Just print your screen, or send the URL to whoever you want to prove it to.
NOTE: When you send Monero, some of your funds will be TEMPORARILY unavailable. This is because Monero uses it as decoys in bogus transactions to obfuscate your real transaction. So don’t worry if you had 1 Monero and send .6 Monero and can’t access y our other .4 it will be available in 10 minutes.
TIP: PLAY WITH OTHER WALLETS: If you downloaded Monerujo, download another wallet. I recommend Feather Wallet (desktop only), from featherwallet.org, or another good smartphone wallet is Cake Wallet. Now restore your wallet using your 25 words and restore height. It might take a while to sync, depending on how long ago you created your wallet, but if done correctly you will see all of your transactions made with the other wallet.
HARDWARE WALLETS: Hardware wallets are good ways of storing large amounts of crypto. Many are made for Bitcoin mainly, and I do not recommend hardware wallets for Monero, I won’t go into specific details, but what I recommend is:
TIP: Get an old smartphone or computer you no longer use. Create a new wallet. Write down and STORE SEED WORDS AND RESTORE HEIGHT SAFELY. Now turn off that phone, or computer, store it safely and do not access it until you want access to your funds again.
TIP: Always make small test transactions before sending the big guns. Send to and from a new wallet, or program you’re testing out BEFORE you send your life savings.
TIP: Bitcoin “Boating Accidents” are instances of when someone loses their Bitcoin and therefore loses all gains related to that Bitcoin. The funny thing about Bitcoin boating accidents, is the funds mysteriously keep moving after the accident.
Monero accidents, may be boating accidents, or accidents of sending your funds to a wrong address, are final and untraceable, so you will not get your Monero back and nobody will be able to know where the funds are or how much was lost unfortunately. It’s important to know the difference.
TIP: Google whatever you need, there are a lot of resources, and the Monero community is happy to help newbs, just be mindful NEVER to give your seed phrase to anyone for any reason, a lot of phishing scams rob people of their Monero this way. Also, use Reddit’s r/monero forum to ask anything, ask me or the Monero fam on Twitter too.
TIP: NEVER, for any reason give out your 25 words. No program should ever ask you for them unless you are trying to restore a wallet. Do not share with your grandchildren either.
TIP: If you want to exchange crypto privately in a decentralized way, there’s an app called Incognito Wallet. I did not mention it previously because it is not at all user friendly, and is choppy and laggy, but it is a great resource if you’re feeling adventurous.
TIP: Use a VPN while connecting to your wallet so that your ISP (Internet service provider) will have no idea you own Monero. Not that there’s anything wrong with this, but if you want privacy it’s a nice little improvement. I recommend IVPN or Mullvad VPN.
FINAL THOUGHT: This is not a guide to become a crypto security analyst or anything like that. It’s just meant to be a friendly ramp to get started with Monero. There may be better methods, but these are what I consider the simplest. I hope you find it useful and please contact me if you think of something that could improve this guide.