7 most popular privacy coins
In this review guide we will explore the world of privacy coins. A different type of cryptocurrency that fights to protect our right to privacy using decentralised technology.
Cryptocurrencies have created a lot of buzz due to the high degree of privacy that they have to offer us all. We can finally use our funds without having to worry about giving up on our right to privacy. With the centralised methods that are currently in existence, privacy is a significant problem because the centralised organisations always keep track of all our transactions. So when privacy coins started to appear, anonymity and true privacy genuinely became a thing.
While using cryptocurrencies solves this problem to a certain extent, even these transactions can be tracked. Thus, came the existence of privacy coins that make use of the zero-knowledge protocol to provide complete anonymity even in the crypto space, and protect our right to privacy. Let us now have a close look at some of these privacy coins, what sets them apart? And what are their main advantages, and where you can buy them.
Review of the 7 most popular privacy coins
1 – Monero
Monero is the oldest and the most popular privacy coins in existence. Other than giving the users their right to privacy, Monero is also ASIC resistant which means that miners need to use their GPUs in order to mine Monero. Monero makes use of a zero-knowledge protocol in order to completely hide the sender’s as well the receiver’s address from the public. And it has the Ring Signatures and Ring Confidential Transactions (RingCT) technology in place: This privacy algorithm was available on the network since January 2016. It allows users to keep their transaction amounts private
The protocol used by Monero also hides the transaction amount between the users. Thus, making it the ultimate privacy coin. No one can browse the Monero blockchain and track any user of the cryptocurrency. Monero has for the past years been the unchallenged leader in the privacy space. Monero prides itself of being the top privacy coin because it has the strongest suite of privacy features. Such as private transactions, untraceable addresses and wallets (balances), I2P (Invisible Internet Project) considers Monero to be superior to Tor because of it’s decentralised features.
Advantages of Monero:
- World class research. With top scientist, researchers and academics all building to Monero’s development (read more here).
- Stealth addresses: To keep accounts anonymous and untraceable
- Ring Signatures and Ring Confidential Transactions in place
2 – DASH
DASH is after Monero one of the most well known privacy coins. It also provides its users with the feature of private send. The way the private transactions are processed on the DASH network is that the transactions are broken down into smaller amounts and these smaller amounts are mixed with the transaction happening between two other users as well. In the end, the total amount that you intend to send is transferred to the receiver’s wallet. DASH is using a modified version of CoinJoin.
DASH makes use of a group of masternodes in order to help verify the transactions at a very high speed. These master nodes are hosted on dedicated VPS. Whenever a transaction occurs on the DASH blockchain, the wallet generates a new receiving address. The master nodes transfer the amount into this newly created wallet address and will never know the actual wallet address of the receiver. Thus, helping maintain the privacy of the network and maintaining our right to privacy.
Advantages of DASH:
- Strong suit or privacy features
- Run by a decentralised and community
- No record of any previous critical bugs
3 – Verge
Verge was created in mid-2014 by Justin (Vendetta) “Sunerok” Valo under the name DogeCoinDark. The privacy coin was later rebranded to Verge Currency. This is another privacy coins that was extremely famous during the last crypto bull run.
Unlike most other privacy coins, Verge does not rely on cryptography to hide the transactions. Verge makes use of technologies such as Tor and I2P to hide the IP address and the location of the user from the rest of the world. Verge also offers stealth addresses. That allow the users to generate a brand new Verge address to send the XVG to, which can only be seen by the owner.
But all is not great with Verge. Who came under heavy fire in the past 1-2 years. Much due to their leadership team (Verge’s lead developer is Justin Erik Valo aka Justin Vendetta aka Sunerok). Their apparent lack of commits to GitHub, the McAfee Incident, 51% attacks that Verge has suffered, and more. Read a recap of their controversial past here
Advantages of Verge:
- Their use of TOR and I2P, and the stealth addresses and wallets.
- No pre-mining and community led team
- Low fees and fast transactions
Where you can buy Verge: Buy Verge at Binance
4 – ZCash
ZCash was part of the ZeroCoin project. ZCash makes use of features of both DASH as well as Verge. ZCash provides its users with an option to send funds privately to other users. If this option is chosen then the transactions are going to be impossible to trace back to the source. ZCash makes use of the Zero-Knowledge protocol as well. This means that the user’s identity need not be compromised or for them to know that a transaction has been made to their wallet address.
“Zcash addresses are either private (z-addresses) or transparent (t-addresses). Z-addresses start with a “z,” and t-addresses start with a “t.” Using encryption on a blockchain is only possible through the use of zero-knowledge proofs. The owner of an address may choose to disclose z-address and transaction details with trusted third parties — think auditory and compliance needs — through the use of view keys and payment disclosure”.
ZCash technology insights – ZCash website
Advantages of ZCash:
- Optional privacy features with greater flexibility between private and non-private transactions
- Strong background throughout the years, and with little to non critical bugs reported
- Low transaction fees
5 – NavCoin
NavCoin is a open source blockchain with a privacy coins. It also has a very strong community focus. What makes Nav interesting is three-folded. Being a privacy coin is one, the other two is that it is really fast to send and cheap. NavCoin is not yet the fully fletched privacy coin that they aim to be. Right now they provide us the users the possibility to transact between each other privately, and thus maintaining our right to privacy on the internet. But in the future they are looking to enhance their privacy offerings, with the Zerocoin protocol and ZeroCT. Find out more about ZeroCT, what it means and the ambitions NavCoin has with it here.
On the 15th of January 2019, NavCoin Core Engineer Alex Vazquez published his academic white paper describing ZeroCT — A new protocol for private on-chain cryptocurrency transactions. As the name suggests, ZeroCT is based on a combination of the Zerocoin protocol and Confidential Transactions. But it’s more than just the combination of two existing protocols. ZeroCT expands on the Zerocoin protocol, increasing privacy and improving usability.NavCoin medium article by NavCoin engineer Craig MacGregor
Advantages of NavCoin:
- Cheap (NAV can be sent for fraction of a cent)
- Fast (transactions will show up within seconds and confirmed in 30 seconds)
- Privacy (NavCoin wants to help you keep your privacy while interacting on the blockchain. So that your information can only be given with your consent, not taken)
Where you can buy NavCoin: Buy at NAV at Binance,
6 – PIVX
PIVX is a fork from DASH and another privacy coin and open sourced blockchain project. Similar to NAV it offers extremely fast and cheap transaction and privacy features, like sending private coins to each other through the “Zerocoin Protocol”. This is how PIVX works to make them a top privacy coin,
- Private identity: Allowing users to easily create new wallets without any personal ties.
- Private network: Allowing users to stake without entering their personal details.
- Private send and spend: A feature that uses zPIV allowing users to make their entire transaction history and balance completely private.
- Private rewards: With zPOS (Zerocoin Proof of Stake) users can now stake zPIV and keep their entire staking process private and anynoumous. Private exchange: A decentralised exchange that utilises the zPIV is also in the works.
Advantages of PIVX:
- Privacy enabled transactions, rewards, balance and wallet
- Really fast transactions
- Self-govern system in place that works. With voting and proposal system guiding future development
Where you can buy PIVX: Buy PIVX at Binance
7 – Komodo
Komodo platform is trying to build a blockchain ecosystem. And with that they mean a full range of products and services like a decentralised exchange, decentralised ICO crowdfunding platform. Together with their focus on scalability, interoperability (atomic swaps, cross-chain features, bridging) and security being keys to their identity. Komodo provides users with features to protect their right to privacy with for example its Jumblr feature.
The Jumblr feature takes non-private KMD and puts them through Komodo’s own tumblr. Making them completely private and anonymous. By using the zk-SNARK technology.
“While we here at Komodo Platform believe that personal privacy is extremely important, we respect each individual’s right to form their own personal opinion. We believe that each person should have the right to choose whether or not to keep their personal information private.That’s why Komodo offers users the option to make untraceable transactions with the Jumblr feature”.Komodo team about privacy
Advantages of Komodo:
- Strong set of security and privacy features
- The interoperability between different blockchains through their Atomic Swaps technology
- Unique decentralised add-ons like an exchange and ICO crowdfunding
Where you can buy Komodo: Buy KMD at Binance
What does government think about privacy coins?
Go Cryptowise could report earlier in March that France’s Finance Committee had published a report supporting the ban of privacy coins, like Monero, Zcash, Pivx, and more reviewed here above. The president of the committee Éric Woerth suggests (read Go Cryptowise article here).
“It would also have been appropriate to propose a ban on the dissemination and trade in [cryptocurrencies built] to ensure complete anonymity by preventing any identification procedure by design… This is the case for a certain number of [cryptocurrencies] whose purpose is to bypass any possibility of identifying the holders. To date, regulation has not gone that far.”Éric Woerth president of France’s Finance Committee – Forbes
Bottom Line – how to keep our right to privacy
Cryptocurrencies offer a very high level of anonymity to their users. However, these transactions can still be tracked. Privacy coins provide the perfect solution to this problem. As more users have realised this fact, privacy coins have become extremely popular in recent times. We are surrounded by leaks of data almost weekly. The giants like Facebook, T-Mobile, Google have all been compromised and exposing our private data to hackers and other ill-minded people (The 21 scariest data breaches of 2018 Business Insider article). Thus the fight to maintain our right to privacy even more important. And the importance of privacy coins will remain for time being.