In 2012, the first cryptocurrency was created using the CryptoNote protocol — Bytecoin. It was an attempt to implement anonymity in cryptocurrencies, but the project ran into a number of problems. As a result, in 2014, the developers decided to create a fork of Bytecoin. This is how the new cryptocurrency Monero was born. The main goal faced by the creators of Monero is completely confidential transactions. It was executed using the CryptoNote protocol and the ring signature algorithm. Monero is open source, which allows developers to use cryptocurrency as a base for their projects. Monero is not the only anonymous cryptocurrency. You can read more in our article Anonymity of cryptocurrencies.
Monero uses 2 types of "special" private keys: a private send key (used to send funds from your wallet) and a private viewing key, which allows you to decrypt the transaction and see the amount of funds sent. Using the private viewing key, sender address and Monero software, you can decrypt the transaction and confirm the funds were sent.
The Monero wallet does not allow users to spend the coins they just received. Coins are unlocked only automatically. In order for coins to be unblocked, you need to wait 10 confirmations (on average, it takes 20 minutes). This is done to prevent double transactions and improve security.
The balance can be blocked even if you send XMR yourself. You will also need to wait for 10 network confirmations to unlock your balance. Let's consider this situation with a simple example:
Previously, you received 3 transactions for amounts 1, 2 and 4 XMR. After a while, you needed to send 0.2 XMR. When sending, the output from 1 XMR will be used. Therefore, 0.2 will go and 0.8 XMR will be blocked. 2 and 4 XMR will not be blocked. After 10 confirmations, the balance in the amount of 0.8 XMR will be unlocked and will be available for further use. The total available balance on your wallet will become 6.8 XMR.
If your transaction has the required number of network confirmations, but the wallet does not display funds, it is recommended to check the synchronization of the wallet with the current number of XMR network blocks. To do this, you can use the MoneroHash.com service. The Blockchain Height line shows the current number of blocks.
The average block release time is about two minutes. But sometimes delays do occur, and the block exit time can take 10-20 minutes.
Transactions on the Monero network are very cheap, even at peak network times they are only a few cents.