The Monero project (like many other open-source projects) has no central company, entity, or funding behind it, all of which are necessary for decentralization and resilience. However, this means that the success of the project depends entirely on the contributions of passionate individuals in the community for funding, development, and outreach just like you.
A post in a similar vein was done by the Monero Outreach workgroup in 2019, entitled “Getting Started with Helping Monero” and is a good additional resource.
The vast majority of people in the Monero community will necessarily not be developers, and so I’ll start out here by walking through many of the ways us non-devs can give back to such an incredible project.
Monero’s Community Crowdfunding System
Monero uses a unique system for funding work called the Community Crowdfunding System (or “CCS”) which allows anyone in the community to present an idea for funding. If approved by the community, these proposals are then opened for funding by the community.
There are two stages to the system, each of which benefit from more involvement by people from all backgrounds.
Participating in “Ideas”
All CCS proposals start out as “Ideas” that are open for comment to the community and are often discussed in community meetings as well. This is a chance for everyone in the community to read through the proposal and comment on what they think could be changed or improved, or whether or not the proposal should be approved for funding at all. This allows you to not only stay up to date with ongoing efforts by others in the community, but to have an active say in who and what is funded by the community, improve proposals before funding, and provide oversight after funding.
You can see all proposals that are in the “Ideas” stage at CCS Ideas.
Funding proposals in “Funding Required”
The second stage of an approved proposal is the “Funding Required” stage. This is where anyone in the community who likes a proposal and sees the value in it can easily, quickly, and privately donate their Monero to the specific proposal.
To donate to a proposal, simply go to CCS Funding Required, click on the proposal you want to donate to, and scan the QR code or copy the address and send however much (or little!) you would like to contribute. Every bit helps, no matter how small!
You can see all proposals that are in the “Funding Required” stage at CCS Funding Required.
Another great way you can get involved in the Monero project is to help to educate and empower new and existing community members. This can come in many forms, but can be as simple as sharing what you’re learning about Monero on social media, a blog, etc.
Here are a few concrete ways you can help in education:
- Start up a blog of your own
- Write up threads on Twitter or Reddit posts about things you’ve learned about or learned to do with Monero
- Make video “how-tos” of everyday things you do with Monero, such as sending Monero, using a Ledger device, etc.
Awareness and engagement
A simple way you can help out is just being active on the normal social media avenues and talking about, educating, and sharing great Monero content.
The more of us that are out there sharing how Monero has helped us, what we love about it, what needs to be improved, and why we choose to contribute, the more people will be able to see the value in a powerful tool like Monero.
Twitter is a common place for cryptocurrency users (among others), and is a place I’ve found valuable for both learning and engaging with the Monero community. While it can be a toxic and harsh place at times, there are some great people putting out great content regularly.
Feel free to jump in and start sharing about Monero and engaging with others there!
You can find me on Twitter @sethforprivacy.
Reddit is a popular avenue for interacting with the Monero (and broader cryptocurrency/privacy) crowd, and is a great place to share longer-form content, media, news, etc.
There is an extremely active Monero community there, with some of the most popular subreddits being:
- The home for most Monero discussion, news, and media
- A great place to get support and help out those needing support with Monero issues
- A general place for community-focused discussions
- All your mining needs and discussions
- The home for all price/market/speculation related discussions about Monero. Price/market-related topics are generally prohibited on all other Monero subreddits to keep the community focused.
Make sure to jump in and participate in discussions, share interesting news and posts, and contribute where you see fit!
You can find me on Reddit at u/sethforprivacy.
The vast majority of the “inner workings” of Monero happen on Matrix and IRC, two chat networks that are bridged to each other. If you want to stay involved in the “nitty-gritty” day to day discussions, participate in meetings, or just chat with other Monero users, you’ll want to jump into either Matrix or IRC.
A list of the most common Matrix/IRC channels is available on getmonero.org.
You can find me on Matrix @sethforprivacy:matrix.optoutpod.com, or IRC under the nick “sethforprivacy”.
Don’t forget to introduce your friends, family, and others to Monero offline, as well! A great way is to have the person download a mobile wallet like Cake Wallet (iOS/Android), Monerujo (Android), or MyMonero (iOS), send them a bit of Monero, and have them send some back.
It also can be helpful to compare a transaction between something like Bitcoin and Monero in an explorer like ExploreMonero to let them see how little information is exposed publicly when transacting using Monero compared to other transparent blockchains.
If you’ve been around Monero for a while or have a good grasp on how to use and troubleshoot using it, a great way to get involved would be to jump into the r/monerosupport subreddit and provide support to users who post there.
There are constantly users who need help with (normally) basic issues, and there are only a few of us who are active in the subreddit to help them out. It would be great to see more people dive in and contribute to help new and existing users work through their issues!
Almost all community discussions on specific topics happen in Matrix or IRC, so if you’re interested in just learning from/following meetings or want to actively participate, you’ll want to get setup on one of those chat networks.
Once you’ve done that, keep an eye on the topic set for each room you’re in or on the Monero meta repository for meetings that are scheduled.
If you do choose to come and participate, please be respectful of the topic order, stay on topic, and try to only speak up when necessary/called on.
For those who are bilingual or more, a very important way to contribute is to help with translations into other languages. There is always a need for new languages to be translated and existing languages to be updated across the ecosystem.
The last way for non-developers to contribute to Monero is to be sure to log issues in Github when you have an issue that is not resolvable on r/monerosupport or in Matrix/IRC or see an area for improvement to the software.
When you go to open an issue:
- Be sure there is not an existing issue related to yours
- Search open issues in Github for keywords related to yours
- Provide as much information as possible
- If you’re experiencing an issue that normal troubleshooting was unable to resolve, make sure to:
- Collect all relevant logs when experiencing the issue
- Collect the version of Monero software you are running
- Collect your system’s OS and version
- Link to any relevant existing issues, Reddit threads, etc.
- If you’re experiencing an issue that normal troubleshooting was unable to resolve, make sure to:
- Keep an eye out for replies and notifications of updates to your issue
- More information or clarification is often needed, so be sure to keep an eye out for updates and comments to your issue that may need your input
The more information you can provide in the issue, the better!
For those of you reading this who are developers (or who want to become developers), here are some ways you can contribute to the project directly via the code.
The core Monero repositories are the ideal place for you to start contributing and house the Monero daemon, CLI wallet, GUI wallet, and RPC server.
- If you’re familiar with C++, dive into the code on Github or take a look at one or more open issues.
- Information on how to contribute can be found in the CONTRIBUTING doc
- If you’re familiar with QML and/or C++, you can dive into the code for the Monero GUI wallet on Github or take a look at one or more open issues.
- If you’re familiar with CSS and/or HTML, you can dive into the code for the Monero site on Github or take a look at one or more open issues.
- Information on how to contribute can be found in the README
A list of all repositories under the main Monero organization can be found at the monero-project organization on Github
This is a great place to keep an eye out for ecosystem projects you would like to support, compare ideas you have against existing ecosystem participants, etc.
Build on Monero
The last suggestion I can make is to come up with new ways that you can build on top of Monero. This could be a for-profit business like Cake Wallet or MyMonero, a new member of the Monero Ecosystem like a library, bot, or wrapper, or anything you can build that leverages the unique properties of Monero.
It would be great to see more businesses and projects being built on top of Monero, and you could be one of those doing so! If you do create something, be sure to share it widely on Twitter, Reddit, and Matrix/IRC for the community to see, comment on, and contribute to themselves.
Hopefully this guide has sparked some ideas on how you can give back to Monero using your unique skill-set, background, and experience. The more of the community that gives back in ways like these, the larger and more mature Monero will be and the more easily we can fulfill the goals of private, fungible, self-sovereign, censorship-resistant money.
I look forward to hearing about things you do after reading this, so please feel free to reach out via Signal, Matrix, Threema, or email with what you’ve chosen to do or new ways you’ve thought of to contribute that could be added to this post!