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What Is the Monacoin Project?  Introduction to MONA Cryptocurrency

What Is Monacoin?

Monacoin is a blockchain-based cryptocurrency and Litecoin hard fork that, like Dogecoin, is based on a popular internet meme. The project was conceived in December 2013 and based on Mona, an ASCII cat created in the late 1990s and popular in Japan. MONA is the native cryptocurrency of the Monacoin platform and serves as a vanilla peer-to-peer (P2P) digital currency.

Monacoin echoes the Japanese internet community’s cryptocurrency wishlist. It’s ASIC-resistant, shifting from Scrypt to the Lyra2REv2 mining algorithm to combat Scrypt-compliant ASIC miners like Vertcoin did. There’s a large coin supply (105,120,000), and block processing times are a lean 1.5 minutes (versus 2.5 minutes for Litecoin).

Of course, the ASIC industry is pushing hard for affordable ASIC miners that can crack Lyra2REv2. And Monacoin is competing with more than just Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Dogecoin these days.

Can the cat-based Monacoin sustain the cult status its canine companion does, or will it lose all nine lives trying?

Let’s start our research into this project with a look at MONA, the proprietary cryptocurrency coin of the Monacoin project.

MONA Cryptocurrency Summary

As mentioned, the total supply is 105,120,000 MONA. The peak price of Monacoin so far was $19.75 on December 6, 2017.

Like we said above, MONA is mined using a Lyra2REv2 hashing algorithm. It also adjusts the mining difficulty every block using the Dark Gravity Wave v3 algorithm.

Despite its continued moves to stay ASIC-resistant, late 2018 saw ASIC mining rigs start to pop up in Asia that claim to be capable of mining MONA, VERT, and other Lyra2REv2 cryptos. It’ll be interesting to see how the ASIC resistance movement evolves throughout 2019.

Over $350,000 worth of MONA is traded on a daily basis. Cryptocurrency exchanges that accept MONA include Bitbank (where the majority of MONA trading occurs), Bittrex, Upbit, Livecoin, and CryptoBridge. MONA trading pairs include BTC and fiat JPY.

MONA can be stored in the Coinomi or Electrum Mona cryptocurrency wallets. Monacoin Core wallets are also available for a variety of platforms.

MonaCoin Chart

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Monacoin Stuff to Know

Monacoin is a pure cryptocurrency meant to be used strictly as digital cash. It launched January 1, 2014, alongside a Bitcoin Forum post that’s a great place to keep up with updates throughout the project’s lifetime.

The pseudonym “Mr. Watanabe” is credited with the creation of Monacoin, which appears to be an homage to Satoshi Nakamoto. Watanabe is one of the most common Japanese surnames and has its roots in the ferrymen’s guild of medieval times.

And in true bushi fashion, the Monacoin team is mostly silent (you can keep up with updates on the project’s Github), but it serves the crypto community with great competency.

Segwit was implemented in Monacoin via a soft fork at block 937440, and it’ll be compatible with the Lightning Network, although this appears to still be under development. This puts it easily on par of other vanilla cryptos like DOGE, BTC, and LTC.

Monacoin is also among approximately 100 cryptocurrencies actively working on ASIC resistance. This is a major arms race in crypto that’s unlikely to be resolved anytime soon. Ultimately hardware is hardware, and there’s no algorithm that an ASIC rig can’t ultimately be set up to crack better than a desktop PC.

“ASIC resistance” is similar to how many people still believe Apple to be a more secure OS than Windows. The only time this was true was when so few people owned Apple devices that it wasn’t worth breaking into them.

Apple is as vulnerable as any tech company, and anyone who tells you otherwise is repeating a myth. Apple was hacked by a teenager recently who hid from them for years. Apple customers were phished this year too.

MONA is only ASIC resistant to the point that it’s not economically worth developing an ASIC rig to mine it. At that point, how many desktop PC and phone users will still be mining? Still – ASIC resistance is a major selling point, and it’s more about having an active development team willing to continuously adjust the mining algorithms than anything else, and Monacoin clearly has this.

Monacoin started with Litecoin’s Scrypt mining, then it switched to Lyra2REv2, which was written by and for Vertcoin (VTC). It’s also used by Verge (XVG) and Shield (XSH). With this many coins running it, Dayun and Pascal Project created Lyra2REv2-capable ASIC mining rigs in late 2018.

Expect Monacoin to continue adjusting its algorithm (or at least following Vertcoin’s lead) in 2019.

Block processing times for Monacoin are 1.5 minutes, and reward halving occurs approximately every three years. Mining difficulty is adjusted every block, and it’s still possible (although not easy) to mine with a CPU or GPU.

And, of course, there’s Monacoin’s association with Mona. Mona has been around since the 1990s, and this popular mascot evolved from ASCII to flash animation, becoming a Japanese icon in the process. Imagine Garfield the cat appearing on Lasagnecoin, and the inherent marketing power that would bring.


Monacoin is a Litecoin fork that uses a popular Japanese meme cat as a mascot. It dubs itself the first official cryptocurrency of Japan and may have the staying power of its mascot (which has been around for over 20 years already). Monacoin’s success hinges on these key aspects.

  1. MONA is ASIC-resistant, following Vertcoin from Scrypt to Lyra2REv2 mining algorithms.

  2. Monacoin was created by an unknown party, but its development keeps up with the rest of the blockchain industry, implementing Segwit and Lightning.

  3. Monacoin is faster than Litecoin and an easy way to convert any currency into fiat Japanese Yen.

With these pieces in place, Monacoin isn’t trying to be the next big blockchain platform. It’s just a simple cryptocurrency meant to be used as digital cash, and that’s all it needs to be.

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