Monero is a privacy-centric cryptocurrency, which provides untraceable and unlinkable transactions. The user’s transaction history cannot be followed on the blockchain, but you can still easily prove your ownership of funds if you need to.
Official slogan: “secure, private, untraceable”
# CryptoNote protocol
Monero uses the CryptoNote protocol which distinguishes it fundamentally from the Bitcoin protocol. The CryptoNote’s transactions cannot be followed through the blockchain in a way that reveals who sent or received coins. In the case of Monero, the transaction sender can’t know if the receiver spent the funds or where they went and the receiver can’t know where the funds came from unless proven by the sender. Second main point for using the CryptoNote protocol is the decentralization. ASIC mining is not profitable in Monero, thus making CPU mining for regular PCs possible.
# Ring signatures
As a further step ensuring full privacy, Monero implements ring signatures. Ring signature is a type of digital signature that can be performed by any member of a group of people. If someone from the group signs a message or a transaction with his/her private key, it should be impossible for someone to determine which group member signed the transaction.
Learn more about Monero on the official website.
As of 19/07/2017 the market cap of Monero is $550,379,598. For more recent information please refer to coinmarketcap.com.
Big thanks to the Monero community for the provided information.