1. It's not clear how centralized is the team of developers (by seeing all the forks and code updates go by, Monero seems to be quite easily changeable at this point - "move fast, break things" vs Bitcoin's "move slow, fix things")
  2. We have a chance that we never had before to create a truly unifying monetary network for everyone around the world based on single set of time-hardened rules.
  3. There's always syncing happening when you open the app, which can be annoying UX in some cases.
  4. The user base is smaller compared to Bitcoin, so your anonymity set is smaller ("oh, so you are the guy that uses Monero for transactions in US timezone, runs Tails on Lenovo laptop, signs his messages with pgp, is only one in his ISP's network running on Tor ... and tags all his friends in a picture taken with his iPhone")

To note - I think in short to medium term Monero has its place. The thing I'm waiting for is an app ("wallet") that has my BTC balance and can seamlessly in the background atomic swap for Monero and back when I'm paying or receiving (ideally it would automatically also do things to prevent timing analysis). This way in practice Monero would just become privacy sidechain to Bitcoin.

  1. Monero has the third-most devs of all cryptocurrency projects, behind only Bitcoin and Ethereum. It's consensus is not easy to change, but when the proposed changes are well-reviewed, audited, and align with the core ethos of Monero (privacy for all users, ASIC-resistance, etc.) and social consensus aligns the Monero community is open to hard-forks to improve the protocol.
  2. Good point, and one reason that I'm still hopeful Bitcoin can iterate and improve and make Monero unnecessary.
  3. It can be mitigated by running a lightwallet server like monero-lws and connecting with a wallet that supports it, allowing you to retain privacy while negating all sync drawbacks. I'm currently testing this out and it's very promising, and is very easy to use for anyone who already runs a Monero node.
  4. This is a common misunderstanding, the anonymity set for Monero transactions is much higher than even that of privacy-preserving Bitcoin transactions, as far more people use Monero than use Bitcoin privately. Your anonymity set in Bitcoin is 0 if you don't use it properly, and most users have 0 privacy on Bitcoin.

I haven't checked in on Monero for a few years. Is it still the case that the project has a consistent schedule of a hard fork every 6 months in order to combat ASICs? If so, a concern I'd have with that is that it then REQUIRES competent, trustworthy devs to keep pace and never let up. Whereas Bitcoin Core could completely stop releasing code for 5 years and bitcoin would be fine.

It does not :)

Reasonable and well articulated answer. All good points. 🙃