30 Oct, 2018 at 13:05pm
Bitcoin is the most popular crypto coin on the digital market. It has changed the way the world sees money and it affects the future of finances on a daily basis. One of the most famous features of bitcoin is its privacy, as you can trade bitcoins with nothing but a virtual wallet address and, in most cases, a functioning email address. But how private is bitcoin, if people say the secret to crypto-globalisation is in a private coin future?
The truth is, the crypto-sphere is already offering an array of private coins, named so for their benefits over bitcoin and other normal digital coins. They offer complete privacy for the user and his personal data, which is harder to do in a decentralised, yet public ledger like the blockchain. We’ve put together a list of the most famous 9 private coins that will soon reshape the way cryptocurrencies work and influence our daily lives.
If you're looking for the best privacy-focused coin of the crypto world, few people would say anything else but Monero. This coin is the very first that has revolutionised the term "privacy coin" and has been able to keep itself up on the top ever since its inception. Monero is now the anonymity-based digital currency of choice. XMR was officially launched in 2014. The coin has since become one of the leading cryptocurrencies in existence, competing with the big names of the market. Monero vouches for unparalleled user privacy. It's basically anonymous, to put it in layman's terms.
The makers of Monero used more than a few sophisticated, highly intricate cryptographic technologies in order to make sure that the currency has the most secured, unbeatable level of privacy. For example, when you're sending or receiving virtual money, your prospect will see the entire address you've sent that money from and therefore know when you get or send some more digital cash. With Monero, all addresses are hidden within its own blockchain. This means that only the data of the set transaction is visible to the prospect and nothing more. Once the transaction is over, the prospect has no overview over your transactions.
You might say PIVX is just a smaller bitcoin, but with a different name, but you'd be wrong entirely. At its core yes, PIVX is a bitcoin-based digital coin, yes, but rather than that, it hasn't got much else in common with the most famous cryptocurrency on the planet. This privacy coin is centred around the community, having its main focus on decentralisation, privacy and real-world usage. The abbreviated PVIX means Private Instant Verified Transaction.
The coin's main purpose is being entirely private and still easy to use. One of the main benefits of the coin is that it lets users trade without them having to keep the pressure of doing so with normal cryptocurrencies in their minds. There are no influences by governments, movements, market fluctuations and so on. The makers of PIVX believe that people should be able to trade their wealth as they wish, without anyone being allowed to make the rules. One feature of PIVX is the Zerocoin protocol, which can literally make the coin anonymous entirely, something that bitcoin simply can't do. Also, because of the SwiftX transactions, you can send or receive PIVX coins in seconds and use them right away in a secured, private environment.
Zooko Wilcox is the developer and mastermind behind Zcash, one of the best privacy coins out there. The reason Wilcox decided to work on Zcash was that, although he loved bitcoin, he decided there were some things bitcoin was simply lacking, especially in terms of privacy. He wanted privacy for transactions, which is why he created a blockchain that does just that, allowing for complete privacy of the transactions regardless if you're a maker or a receiver. Wilcox simply performed what's called a fork in the original Bitcoin blockchain code and Zcash became a reality.
Have you ever heard of Edward Snowden? He's supposedly the biggest fan of this privacy coin. There are about 21 million ZCash coins on the market, almost the same volume as there are bitcoins. You might be wondering just how private can ZCash be? Well, the singular piece of information the two prospects of a transaction are able to see is the date and time of the set transaction. That's it! The blockchain of ZCash is completely decentralised, being sustained by miners who earn ZCash coins for their electricity and time. The team behind ZCash hopes the coin will one day become a globally-accepted method of payment.
The KMD token was first launched in 2017 and was valued at 10 cents a pop. The price of this coin has since doubled many times, but also dropped afterwards, now being sold at $1.37 in late October when this article was written. You can find this privacy coin on the Binance exchange, for example, as well as on many more online exchanges. The current low price is a direct result of the overall market weakness and has nothing to do with the Komodo blockchain behind the coin or with the coin itself.
There are more than 100 million KMD in circulation today. The team behind the Komodo blockchain wants to raise the market cap to 200 million units by 2030. Every single year, Komodo holders get a 5% annual interest back into their KMD accounts. The most valuable Komodo coin was sold on December 21, 2017, at the price of $12.54 per unit. Komodo stand-alone blockchain and the cryptocurrency that followed are kept private thanks to the innovative delayed Proof of Work, which allows for each transaction to be secured and therefore stay anonymous.
Soon to be one year old, Enigma is one of the newest, yet most privacy-oriented coins on the market. On the official Enigma website, you can read that Enigma is “a blockchain-based protocol that uses groundbreaking privacy technologies to enable scalable, end-to-end decentralized applications.” This means that Enigma is more of a protocol at its core, not a platform, so it allows for blockchains to become more private and secure. Still, the Enigma coin is out there and available to traders and investors the world over. The most famous platform where this private coin is used is called Catalyst, a platform developed by the people behind Enigma itself.
The platform is a true game-changer, being the very first algorithmic trading space for crypto assets. On the platform, users trade with Enigma coins in a completely secure and private medium. Not only is the Catalyst platform private, but the coin itself is as well, which makes it an untraceable asset. ENG tokens are used for any actions or computations the users might want to do, but also for data storing and security deposits. Every single user has to deposit Enigma funds on their accounts. If the system detects malicious behaviour that might jeopardise anonymity, the account is suspended on the spot.
NAV is a digital currency designed especially for investors or traders who want to keep it off the grid. The currency came into existence in 2014, before the current wave of ICOs. The best part about this cryptocurrency is that it passed the time test cum laude. The coin has gone through various improvements and received new features over the years. The NAV team is extremely well prepared and dedicated to their craft, so it's only normal that the coin has been constantly growing on the markets. Yes, the growth has been slower than top competitors on the privacy coin market have had, like ZCash or Dash, but the project is constantly improving on usability and design, but also on experience.
The main goal besides privacy, for the team, is to make NAV easy to use and available everywhere. The Bitcoin code stands at the core of NAV, yet developers have managed to transform some important features in order to offer privacy and secrecy to NAV's users. The main code has a sub-chain named NavTech. This allows for complete anonymization of transactions and also for mixing them up to ensure secrecy. NAV also changed the Proof of Work system from Bitcoin to what they call "Proof of Stake", which makes the transactions with these coins cheaper and much faster.
The XVG coin is one of the most famous coins of the 2018 market. Why? Because, believe it or not, this privacy coin was one of the sole two gainers when the market crashed at the beginning of 2018, when the entire crypto community was hit by the digital monetary crisis. Verge has managed to do some important things that assured its well-passing through the collapse of the market. First, the coin has a huge community of fans, including investors and traders, of course, around it. Also, there are a lot of developers around the coin that have been around since its inception and are not going anywhere in the foreseeable future.
This means Verge is always up to date with the latest technologies and ready to take on any challenges. The coin is coming back together after a 51% decline. The majority of the comeback was possible thanks to a hard fork in the blockchain's code and also other updates the team has made on the software. Verge's future is one of the brightest of the entire market, regardless if we're talking normal or privacy-oriented coins. Transactions with Verge are masked with TOR and i2P, which makes them completely private. That's a benefit Bitcoin has to work hard for, to achieve.
Although a newer privacy coin, Horizen, which was formerly known as ZenCash, has managed to gain its fair share of popularity and attention in the last few months. While other cryptocurrencies are forking their base code in order to allow for a more private blockchain, Horizen is proving itself to be extremely interesting to investors, but not because of its differences from other coins, but for its similarities with another very popular privacy altcoin, ZCash. The entire platform is designed for private communications and private economic activity.
Horizen has its good deal of features that are unique and appealing to a large number of investors. Why would you choose a coin like Horizen? Well, you know how when you trade with bitcoins, for example, the blockchain registers all transactions which can then be traced back to your name? And also, how every single transaction stays on the blockchain forever?
With Horizen, you not only get rid of these unwanted features that mingle with your privacy, but you also get a bunch of other advantages that the normal coins are lacking. Horizen is the very first TLS encrypted digital denomination. You get not only the virtual cash but also a messaging network, a content platform and also a domain fronting, all in one product. Zk-snarks work on the Horizen too, keeping every single transaction private.
Combine the original blockchain code and technologies with complete privacy and you get Bitcoin Private. The people behind this innovative coin took the previous ZClassic coin and merged it with Bitcoin while keeping both their powers and weak spots in mind when developing their “baby”. The coin is decentralised, as you would expect from a privacy coin, fast in its transactions, has an open source code and it's focused on the community. There are more than 200 contributors at this hour, and the great thing is, the developing team is always expanding. Prior to the fork-merge, 20 developers took on the coin in just 30 days.
Bitcoin Private uses zk-snarks technology to ensure all transactions are private. Any payments you might want to make are still published on the blockchain in order to keep its transparency characteristics, but the metadata of the transaction that would help anyone get a hold of the sender or the receiver is unavailable. Also, because of the decentralised nature of Bitcoin Private, you get support for your transactions, as you don't need a middleman in order to get them done. You just open up a transaction, confirm it and, because of the original peer-to-peer system of the Bitcoin blockchain, you're done in no time.
Yes, privacy coins have their disadvantages. They’re still young, so to speak, as they don’t have the same background like the normal digital coins do. Also, because they’re still young, they are not as widely spread and accepted as bitcoins are, for example, which is normal, if you think about it, because everything takes time to develop and reach every single part of the world it intends to. Just remember that Bitcoin was a $1 coin one day, as well.
The advantages of trading or investing in these coins are great. You get total privacy for your transactions, which is a feat Bitcoin, Ethereum and other top digital currencies can’t state they offer anymore. Yes, they’re private as well, but other people can see where they’re coming from and where they’re going from your wallet.
With the privacy coins above, this is impossible. One other advantage of privacy coins is the constant development of the background systems these coins are based on. Developers simply reach for the stars in their attempt to deliver a product that is safe, convenient and, most importantly, offers complete privacy, the dream Satoshi Nakamoto himself had in mind when he came up with the world famous Bitcoin.
Image Source - CoinSutra, CryptoCompare