I've spent much of this year trying to understand how cryptocurrencies (and cryptography) works, and looked at what separates all these different projects from each other.
My conclusion is thus: Most of this space is full of low effort clones, renamed with minor changes. Only a handful stick out as being innovators and actually working towards a goal. My research has led me to believe that only one of these is truly fair to its users in more aspects than one; Monero.
Here's how I define "fairness":
* Transactional fairness: It shouldn't be possible to distinguish and ostracize against any particular users or groups, whether on-chain or off-chain, i.e. Fungibility.
* Ease of involvement: How low the barriers for entry are.
* On-chain: Ensuring the hash power remains evenly distributed and that no party is unfairly rewarded (ASICs, dev-tax, staking, et cetra).
* Off-chain: Letting anyone contribute as long as their work is properly scrutinized and having open discussions regarding future upgrades and changes. Having a properly skeptical/critical community also helps.
I could perhaps add distribution of coins to this, but the greater fool theory works against this. Monero does somewhat mitigate this via having a smoother curve and tail emissions.
Monero fits the criteria really well. It's also amazing how, like linux, this project is only successful because of the kind of motivated contributors it attracts. **There is a need and a want for a project just like this.**
I should also add that the devs are lovely folk who actually will give you their time if you reach out to them. They're humble, there's no air of superiority to them.
The only other project that comes close is Nano, but it fails the test at fungibility.
*"No miner is unfairly rewarded, all transactions are equal. All receivers the same, all senders intertwined. It's a marvelous system."*
Edit: [Here is a list of the sources I used](https://zerobin.net/?5bfb92668558f595#mAmZCSFCHN5DCA0VCsHp3IS...
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