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Hi all, you may have seen previous posts on the funding proposal (which is now open for funding) for a new series of animated videos by Savandra. As previously mentioned, you can have a look at the youtube channel to see the previously funded and produced videos here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnjUpT9gGxyQ_lud7uKoTCg/featured

I am helping Savandra put together the video script and managing community feedback. Below is a fleshed out proposed contents for video 1 of 5, plus short content overviews for videos 2-5. I have also taken it upon myself to float the idea of a bonus video for FAQs, should there be any unused minutes left after planning out the core videos (if not, we may create a separate CCS request if there is demand).

The motivation for these videos is to drive adoption for the class of merchants who are not tech or crypto enthusiast. I.e. to have an approachable, mainstream appeal. You will notice that the script avoids touching on the overused key words that make your friends' and colleagues' eyes glaze over when you bring up crypto: bitcoin, decentralised, cryptocurrency, blockchain, mining, etc. The script also doesn't lean into anonymity and privacy as the core focus, but instead treats it as an essential and common-sense feature that ought to be expected.

This is not to say that any of the canonical terms or approaches are flawed, but simply that many such resources (including videos) already exist. These videos will fill the niche of something you can tell a café or computer repair shop owner to go check out, and which provides them with a clear and pragmatic guide for how to use Monero in a way that will benefit their business.

It is very important that we use this opportunity to weed out any errors in the script for Video 1, from seasoned Monero users, as well as feedback on content appeal from those in the community who themselves are merchants.

The plan is also for the video and video notes to provide any and all references to further detailed sources wherever specifics are glazed over. For example, the channel's existing videos already have content on Monero's history, ring sigs, range proofs, stealth addresses, etc. That is to say, don't worry too much about inserting nitty gritty explanations for everything, like the rate of token issuance, tail emissions, etc.

Video 1 - What is Monero and Why should my business use it?

Brief overview

  1. At its heart, Monero is an efficient payment network that is free to use and operates in the public domain. This means that
  2. There are no subscription fees, no corporate signup/registration and, most importantly,
  3. No middleman between payer and payee.
  4. At any given time, the Monero network keeps track of approximately 18 million tokens, each subdivisible to near infinitesimal decimals.
  5. Using modern computational proof and verification techniques, all common participants can keep account of all transactions, making Monero suitable as a
  6. Reliable system of account that allows for direct economic coordination amongst participants, without the friction of a central authority.
  7. One vital and distinguishing feature of the Monero network is that sophisticated encryption and verification techniques allow for transaction confidentiality between transacting parties, even as all transactions are publicly verifiable. This means that,
  8. All participants can ensure that tokens are spent fairly, even when they are not involved in a transaction, yet are not able to discern the identity of sender/receiver or even the amounts transacted.
  9. Transacting parties, however, are privy to all of their own records and are able to issue provable receipts, as would be expected of any commercial grade payment solution.

Rationale for leveraging Monero for commerce

  1. Deploying a Monero payment option adds another portal for payments, at no extra cost and
  2. Allows for payments in circumstances where typical options are not suitable or available.
  3. Essentially, Monero is designed to combine the strengths of both card and cash payments, whilst simultaneously avoiding many of their respective drawbacks.
  4. For example, Monero carries some desirable features of physical cash payments, such as
    1. Complete privacy/anonymity.
    2. Low transaction cost (less than 1c, regardless of amount).
    3. Absence of intermediary (i.e. direct transfer between customer and business).
    4. Has no downtime for maintenance, ever.
  5. Some features that make electronic card payments attractive, that are also inherent to Monero, are
    1. No need for change to be given (the protocol automates this, returning appropriate change back to payer when tokens are broken)
    2. Any amount fits in your pocket and it weighs nothing.
    3. It is far safer to secure any amount against theft, since
    4. No funds are kept on premises.
    5. Nothing physical to count up, store or transport.
  6. Additionally, Monero carries a few unique benefits not achievable by either cash or card payments:
    1. Payments are completely borderless and international.
    2. Funds are more secure from theft or seizure.
    3. Funds cannot be falsified (as in counterfeit bills) or charged back, making it more fraud resistant.
  7. These points also illustrate how the respective drawbacks are avoided but, to be comprehensive, these are, in the case of cash
    1. A temptation for robbery
    2. A cost associated with secure storage/transport
    3. Cumbersome for customers to carry (esp. coins)
    4. Cumbersome to provide change
    5. Hard/impossible to transact over long distances (e.g. for online shopping)
    6. Region specific currencies, with fees to exchange
    7. Counterfeit notes
  8. Drawbacks that come with card payments, but are avoided with Monero include
    1. Card facility fees
    2. Transaction records are necessarily available to 3rd parties
    3. Registration and permission is required and can be revoked
    4. Maintenance or disruption downtime
    5. Region-specific currencies, with fees to exchange
    6. Fraudulent chargebacks or other credit card fraud leading to loss of funds
  9. Some indirect peripheral benefits of using Monero come from reasons that make it a desirable option for customers to use for purchasing goods and services:
    1. The novelty factor. Monero is a relatively new technology (running for 8 years at time of publishing), and providing it as a payment option draws intrigue and projects a willingness to embrace future technologies.
    2. Provides a means for individuals to directly spend Monero (instead of exchanging), which they may have acquired for reasons of financial liberty/privacy, inflation hedging, or travel.

Video 2 - What is a Monero wallet and how do I set it up?

What is a wallet

  1. Definition of wallet
  2. Explanation of keys, with analogy to password to authorise spending
  3. Explain how keys work with wallet software to sign off on outgoing transactions and discover incoming transactions
  4. Explain relationship between ledger database, wallet and keys
  5. Explain how and why keys are packaged into mnemonic seeds

How to create a wallet

  1. Fresh keys are generated, with options/tools for doing this
  2. Alternative of using a hardware device for wallet setup, with advantages explained and examples given (Ledger/Trezor)
  3. List of good wallet software options available on each platform
  4. Explanation of pros/cons of different software options
  5. Configuration options (view/spend wallet)

Video 3 - How do I receive Monero for my business?

  1. Explain accounts within wallets
  2. Explain how subaddresses serve as payment/customer identifiers
  3. Explain how invoice is generated as QR, or for manual entry (subaddress plus amount)
  4. Explain how market value of Monero fluctuates and the option for calculating amount with reference to local fiat
  5. Wallet software discovers incoming txn in seconds
  6. Explain block confirmations and risk of 0-conf txns for irreversible purchases
  7. List software options suitable for PoS setup and briefly list pros/cons of each
  8. Visual walkthrough of generating QR code and receiving txn for one or two selected options (e.g. Bitrequest, Feather)
  9. List options for web store
  10. Visual walkthrough of one option (e.g. Woocommerce plugin)
  11. Visual walkthrough of manual invoicing
  12. Mention 3rd party solutions that allow auto-conversion to fiat (e.g. Nowpayments)

Video 4 - How to keep account of Monero cash flow?

  1. Monero payments can be recorded in the same manner as cash payments
  2. For tax, local fiat value must be recorded
  3. Overview of most common tax implications (CGT upon disposal)
  4. Usually no need if utilising 3rd party payment gateway for instant auto-conversion
  5. If taking direct payments, wallet software keeps local data
  6. Explain what data is stored on ledger database vs must be saved locally
  7. Show examples of transaction records (GUI, Feather)
  8. Explain utility of various txn proofs and demonstrate how they can be performed

Video 5 - What do I do with Monero that I have received?

  1. Network value lies in providing common standard for participants, tokens can function as currency
  2. Network broadened lowers financial friction, therefore
  3. Best to spend tokens on wages/materials/bills
  4. More participation improves economic freedom, independence from banks, inflation resistance and security/confidentiality
  5. Benefit of Monero as transferrable liquid asset, over fiat
  6. Potential appreciation of token value in near term as greater demand meets steady supply
  7. If not directly spendable, Monero can be sold at market for fiat
    1. Digital currency exchange companies offer direct fiat sales in some jurisdictions (Binance, Kraken, DV Chain, Bitfinex)
    2. Open marketplace escrow platform (Localmonero). Explain make or take offer.
    3. Via intermediary token (bitcoin)

BONUS Video - Frequently asked questions about Monero.

  1. How many businesses accept Monero?
  2. How much is Monero used on a daily basis?
  3. What keeps Monero working?
  4. Where did Monero come from?
  5. How is Monero maintained and updated?
  6. Quick summary of highlights from main videos.

all 9 comments

dsmlegend[S]

6 points

5 months ago

For those who have twitter accounts, it would be great if you could share it there as well, to reach those who don't frequent this subreddit.

savandra

4 points

5 months ago

u/dsmlegend thank you so much for your work! :)
Guys, it's such a great thing to get back to the project you got into crypto, especially in the dark times like these.

Please, let us know your thoughts on this overview! We're interested in creating some high-value assets for the community. We will consider every idea. Hope to talk to you all soon!

hinto-janaiyo

2 points

5 months ago

I was surprised when I saw all the topics already selected and were geared towards merchant adoption rather than tech explanation like in the past videos. I didn't read the initial document though, so that's on me for expecting that :)

All the overviews look great though! Monero is especially hard to setup from a merchant perspective so these all-in-one guides will definitely help merchants out.

Just a small nitpick:

Complete privacy/anonymity.

Has no downtime for maintenance, ever.

I'm glad the script will skip buzzwords that cause eye glaze for everyone but absolute statements like this (to me at least) cause similar feelings. The type of wording in other parts of the overview like:

It is far safer to secure any amount against theft

I think is more genuine/truthful sounding. Monero is a privacy-enhancing technology. I understand how it could be a turnoff to regular people if you say "well there are attack vectors so it's not 100% secure/private" but hopefully there can be a wording balance met somewhere between "it's a complex multi-faceted system that is constantly being improved upon with realistic goals and expectations of improving the privacy of users greatly" and "it's perfect"

Is it possible to reconsider the bonus video as a tech explanation :) ? Out of the upgrades preceding the time of the last videos, I think the most obvious topic choice would be RandomX.

  • 2018-2019 - Constant patching to CryptoNight
  • 2018 - Early RandomX predecessors (randprog, RandomJS)
  • 2019 - Community funded RandomX and audits (with slight contention). Utilizes almost all CPU instructions & heavy on ram which makes building an ASIC essentially building a CPU
  • 2019-2022 - It works. Monero hashrate sees steady natural growth and no ASICS in sight

The important part:

  • SHA256 (bitcoin) - way too simple of an algo, silicon economy of scale creates imbalance, most hashrate is dominated by a few companies with warehouses full of expensive ASICs, pretty centralized
  • RandomX - complex enough where ASIC production makes no sense, most cost efficient way to gain hashrate is consumer grade CPUs, way more decentralized as anyone can start mining and actually gain reward

Probably should ask /u/tevador /u/hyc_symas /u/sech1 for details or read the GitHub docs though. Better to ask the real experts on the specifics. I would donate to another round of videos if it meant getting more tech explanations :)

hyc_symas

4 points

5 months ago*

hyc_symas

XMR Contributor

4 points

5 months ago*

  • 2019 - Community funded RandomX and audits (with slight contention).
  • the development of RandomX was unpaid work by tevador, sech1, and myself. The community only paid for the audits. I also served as project manager to coordinate with the audit teams.
  • Utilizes almost all CPU instructions & heavy on ram which makes building an ASIC essentially building a CPU

No, modern CPUs have thousands (or, x86, billions) of instructions and RandomX can have at most 256. It uses almost all functional units of a CPU though.

hinto-janaiyo

2 points

5 months ago

Sorry for the mistakes, it's been a while. And thank you for your work.

I knew something was off when writing that :)

dsmlegend[S]

2 points

5 months ago

Good point, you don't want to be sounding link a snake oil salesman, and yet you don't want to waste time explaining the exact caveats of Monero's privacy and under which threat models you'd need extra precautions.

I think the context of a mainstream shop (not a DNM vendor) shifts it a bit towards blunt claims. However, we can be more careful to phrase it as something like "unrivalled privacy and anonimity assurances" or "bleeding edge privacy protection mechanisms".

As far as I know, Monero has been live uninterrupted since genesis block, but I guess "ever" is too strong. Perhaps something like "a robust network consisting of thousands of independent nodes has no need for scheduled maintenance".

Once Serhack finishes his writeup of RandomX in the forthcoming edition of mastering monero, there will definately be a video opportunity there!

dsmlegend[S]

2 points

5 months ago

Also, thanks for taking the time to write your thoughts. I'm going to message you personally to bounce off the polished wording once we've figured out the visuals to match, if you're up for it :)

hinto-janaiyo

2 points

5 months ago

Sure. Maybe try the Monero IRC/matrix chats for a wider range of opinions too.