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With cryptocurrency prices finally showing signs of improvement over the past few weeks, the privacy-focused coin Monero (XMR) has found itself inexplicably surging in popularity and transaction count.

While the digital currency’s valuation has only risen by roughly 10 percent over the past week, the number of successful transactions per day has shot up four-fold.

While there is no way to accurately pinpoint the source of this sudden influx, the Monero community unanimously believes that Minko.to, an online Monero-based gambling platform, is responsible.

Gaming: Monero’s Silver Bullet?

According to data from BitInfoCharts, the XMR network recorded a whopping 15,325 transactions on May 2, 2019. Exactly one month prior, that figure was within the 3,000-4,000 range, with a few rare spikes beyond 5,000.

Towards the end of April, however, the number of transactions began ballooning and approaching the 10,000 transactions per day mark. Given that Minko.to made its debut on April 18, it is easy to see why many are giving it credit for the increased blockchain activity.

The gaming platform in question, Minko, was first introduced to the Monero community on Reddit as a ‘social gambling’ experience with a strong emphasis on privacy. The platform was deliberately released on April 18 to coincide with Monero’s fifth birthday.

While Minko was developed in part by a member of the Monero Core Team, the post clearly disclaims that no direct affiliation is intended. For the first month of the platform’s existence, all profits are reportedly being funneled to the Monero general donation fund to support future development efforts.

While gambling platforms are relatively common adopters of cryptocurrencies, the popularity of Minko is undeniable. On the day of Minko’s release, the total transaction count nearly doubled from 3,700 to 7,100. Two weeks later, the Monero network recorded more transactions than any previous day. The previous all-time high count was 10,800, observed on December 6, 2017, notably at the peak of the cryptocurrency industry’s popularity and valuation.

Positivity Ahead for Privacy Coins

In the past, privacy-focused cryptocurrencies such as Monero have attracted a bad reputation as they have been known to enable illicit activities and empower malicious actors.

A press release issued by law enforcement agency Europol today confirmed that illegal darknet marketplace, Wall Street Market, was found to be in possession of Bitcoin (BTC) and Monero (XMR) in six-digit amounts.

Regardless, in spite of the increased transaction count and activity, the Monero network clearly has sufficient capacity. This is largely thanks to a recent protocol upgrade, codenamed ‘Beryllium Bullet,’ which reduced transaction size and subsequently, transfer fees by over 90 percent.

According to a tweet by CoinMetrics.io, the average size dropped from 18.5kb to 3kb shortly after the update went live.

Do you think this event will signify a shift in the general public’s attitude towards privacy coins? Will legitimate use cases for Monero prevail over the questionable ones? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Rahul N.

Rahul Nambiampurath is an India-based Digital Marketer who got attracted to Bitcoin and the blockchain in 2014. Ever since, he's been an active member of the community. He has a Masters degree in Finance. Email me!

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