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A guide to Grin (GRIN) and where to buy it
Many regard Grin as one of the only cryptocurrencies that might actually be "the next bitcoin".
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Grin is an anonymous privacy-oriented cryptocurrency. Unlike bitcoin, its transactions are anonymous – without any visible wallet addresses or transaction amounts.
The reason some people regard Grin as one of the most likely successors to bitcoin's legacy is that it shares similarities with bitcoin that almost no other cryptocurrency does.
This is your complete guide to Grin, what makes it different and where you can buy it.
Quick guide: How to buy GRIN in Australia
- Create an account with an exchange like KuCoin.
- Enable 2-factor authentication (2FA).
- Deposit BTC, ETH or USDT.
- Explore the available GRIN pair markets.
- Decide whether you want to fill an existing order or place your own.
- Enter the amount of GRIN you want to buy or sell.
- Review your order details.
- Confirm your trade.
This is our quick guide to just one way of buying GRIN. Compare some other options in the table below.
Where to buy GRIN
Learn more about Grin
Step-by-step guide to buying GRIN
At the time of writing, you can only buy GRIN with bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH) or Tether (USDT). You cannot yet buy it directly with fiat currency such as USD.
How to sell GRIN
If you want to sell GRIN, the process for doing so is the same as buying, except you reverse the coins that you're buying and selling.
To sell it, you can exchange it for BTC, ETH or USDT, as well as any other trading pairs that become available.
What is Grin?
Grin is a privacy cryptocurrency based on the Mimblewimble protocol.
|Use||Private and anonymous cryptocurrency transactions|
|Consensus algorithm||Proof of Work (Cuckoo Cycle)|
|Notable team members||Unknown|
A privacy cryptocurrency allows anonymous transactions without revealing the sending or receiving addresses. Monero, for example, helps to conceal the addresses of the sender and receiver by seeding a transaction with decoys, while Zcash conceals addresses and allows for optional shielding of transaction values.
But in Grin's case, it doesn't even show the transaction amounts or the sender or receiver addresses. It aims to be the most private and anonymous cryptocurrency ever made.
However, achieving true and effective privacy on a public decentralised cryptocurrency is extremely technically challenging.
Grin achieves this level of privacy with something called the Mimblewimble protocol. It's one of the only cryptocurrencies in existence to use this protocol.
Mimblewimble is a design for private cryptocurrency transactions. It's a pre-assembled framework of several key features, which have been put together in a way that makes them compatible with each other.
Each of these features was individually developed and refined over time before being combined in Mimblewimble.
Wallets for GRIN
To create a GRIN wallet you will first need to set up a node. This is slightly more complicated than what you might be used to with other cryptocurrencies.
This is firstly because Grin is still in its early stages of development, and secondly because its unique privacy features come with some added complexity.
Detailed instructions for setting up a GRIN wallet are beyond the scope of this guide, but the general steps are to:
- Get a Linux virtual machine. At the time of writing (January 2019) GRIN wallets are only available on Linux.
- Get the GRIN wallet from GitHub.
- Get the latest Grin core version from GitHub.
- Start and sync your Grin node.
- Run the wallet.
Currently, Grin is largely geared towards more technically-inclined users. But over time, as more developers work on it, it's likely to get easier to use.
How to send and receive GRIN
Due to its nature, with hidden transaction numbers and amounts, sending and receiving GRIN is currently more difficult than other cryptocurrencies.
You will need to run a Grin node and wallet to make GRIN transactions.
With the node, there are three ways to identify the recipient of the funds and send them money.
- HTTPS: Send GRIN by identifying the recipient's IP address.
- File-based: Send GRIN as a file. You can send it through email, or in other ways that one might send data.
- GRIN box address: You can send GRIN by wallet addresses, similar to other cryptocurrencies.
In all cases, the receiving wallet's node will need to run the "listener". This essentially "listens" for incoming transactions.
What makes Grin different?
Its use of the Mimblewimble privacy protocol is what sets Grin apart.
Two cryptocurrencies quickly emerged and started building on top of Mimblewimble. One of them is Beam and the other is Grin.
One of the main differences between them is that Beam is a corporate venture while Grin is the result of volunteer developers, many of whom have adopted their own Harry Potter-esque pseudonyms in tribute to the original Mimblewimble creator.
The technical foundations of Grin, the very real privacy problems it aims to solve, its incorporation of solutions initially proposed for bitcoin, its anonymous volunteer team and its general vibe have many pegging it as bitcoin's spiritual successor.
Grin has also set itself apart with some technical differences. For example, it uses the Cuckoo Cycle proof of work mining algorithm while Beam has opted for Equihash.
Cuckoo Cycle is a memory-bound proof of work system that wants to help level the playing field for cryptocurrency miners. It does this by introducing artificial bottlenecks in the memory of mining machines.
The result is that Grin aims to have much more egalitarian mining than Beam does.
What to watch out for
- High volatility: Cryptocurrencies are volatile by nature, but Grin might be especially volatile due to its newness and low circulation to date.
- Adoption risks: Grin is still difficult to use, which might hinder real adoption. Real world demand for privacy coins may also be limited.
- Potentially centralised distribution: The Cuckoo Cycle mining system was designed to make the mining scene a lot more egalitarian, but it's also been dominated by heavy-handed venture capital investments from the start. Grin's wealth distribution may be highly concentrated from the start.
- Macroeconomic factors: Grin is coming into the world at a very different time than bitcoin. Despite its similarities and people's hopes for it, this means that Grin may be unlikely to mirror bitcoin's career arc.
- Proof of work concerns: There are growing concerns around the long-term viability of any kind of proof of work cryptocurrency, which Grin's Cuckoo Cycle does little to settle.
- Privacy downsides: The intentional opacity of the Mimblewimble privacy protocol can cut both ways. While it protects user privacy, it can also conceal bugs and other issues. Privacy coins might also be subject to sudden and unpredictable regulatory action.
Frequently asked questions
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author holds ETH.
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