At press time, premier privacy coin Monero (XMR) is hovering around new all-time price highs at $298.42 USD. The crypto’s now up an astonishing 38 percent from just 24 hours ago.

Monero is making a major run – Image via CoinMarketCap.

Those of us who aren’t plugged into the Monero community wondered what was going on. So what is the deal?

Turns out there was a major announcement that made this acute price surge catalyze. And that announcement had to do with some of America’s most popular musical acts. Is mainstream adoption finally here … for XMR of all coins?

Forbes breaks the XMR adoption scoop

In the wee morning hours of December 5th, 2017, Forbes reporter Laura Shin dropped a bombshell: 50 major American recording artists would be accepting Monero as a method of payment through their respective online shops.

The collaboration initiative is dubbed Project Coral Reef by the Monero team.

The artists involved will now be able to accept XMR payments in exchange for goods through their online shops. Some of the participating artists will also be allowed to offer 15 percent discounts to customers using XMR for payments.

Standout acts participating in the project include:

  • Alice Cooper
  • Anthrax
  • The B52s
  • Bush
  • Dixie Chicks
  • Dolly Parton
  • Fall Out Boy
  • Five Finger Death Punch
  • G-Eazy
  • Kaskade
  • Lamb of God
  • Lana Del Ray
  • Mariah Carey
  • Marilyn Manson
  • Mastodon
  • Morrisey
  • Motorhead
  • Panic! at the Disco
  • Roger Waters
  • Sia
  • Slayer
  • Weezer

XMR Core team makes Reddit announcement

In the hours after the Forbes article appeared, redditor and Monero Core development team member u/fluffyponyza explained the campaign and what went into it:

Our original goal was to get like 10 high profile artist stores to accept Monero, and I am pleased to announce today we have over 50 online stores accepting XMR payments. Many of these stores are also offering an exclusive additional 15% discount on orders paid with Monero. These stores in aggregate get millions and millions of impressions and every store customer will see Monero during checkout even if they end up paying with fiat currency.”

But why music specifically? Why not another field, say, closer to the tech industry? The dev had a great answer:

There are several reasons we went for musicians instead of trying to canvas something like Newegg. The first is that a lot of those stores already accept Bitcoin, which means you can already use Monero on them via xmr.to and similar. The second reason is that the Newegg target audience largely already know about Monero, or have at least heard of it […] Music fans, on the other hand, are rabid. If they can save 15% on a purchase, or get something exclusive, but have to jump through hoops to do so they absolutely will.”

Flashy move should help clean up Monero’s image

In being the most private and fungible cryptocurrency, Monero’s gotten a reputation for being destined only for illicit activities. This latest campaign from the XMR team shows this reputation isn’t going to be well-founded going forward.

It’s a surprising campaign, to be sure. Welcomed, but surprising. It seem as if other coins would’ve been in better positions to secure such partnerships, at least in the present, yet it’s Monero who’s come away with the deals that matter.

If XMR can continue to see mainstream adoption, it will reach even further incredible success on the basis of being the most fungible, cash-like cryptocurrency currently available.

Posted by William M. Peaster

William M. Peaster is a cryptocurrency journalist and copy-editor based out of Pensacola, Florida. He’s an avid fan of Ethereum, ERC-20 tokens, and smart contracts in general. Follow him on Twitter: @WPeaster