The 21st century has seen people being more cautious about everything they do, people want to be able to choose what everybody sees and know about them especially when it comes to their personal life and financial situation.
Since the introduction of the cryptocurrency, people have continued to embrace it because of the privacy and security it claimed to provide. As time goes on we come to realize that some of these cryptocurrencies are not as anonymous as we think.
The most popular and the earliest of cryptocurrencies, the Bitcoin is actually a pseudonymous cryptocurrency. A bitcoin address has been analogized to a nom de plume (pen-name) of a book writer. As long as the link between you and the nom de plume/address is not established, your privacy is preserved. However, if the link is exposed, all your transaction history / writing history will become public. ( Do you know you can check the balance + transaction history of any bitcoin address in the world? Try it yourselves here )
Many cryptocurrencies are now being created to address this issue of privacy and each one with their unique features that provide their users a more private cryptocurrency transactions. Here is a list of the top 10 anonymous cryptocurrencies you should know about.
1 Monero (XMR)
When it comes to providing users with complete privacy, Monero is at the forefront. It is privacy-oriented by default and not only keeps the identity of the user private, but also the amount involved in the transaction, which cannot be traced back.
This feature of Monero is made possible through the use of ring signature, stealth addresses, Kovri and the ring confidential transaction (RingCT). In the case of Bitcoin, the amount transferred is usually open to public, but with Monero, all information concerning a transaction is private except to the sender and receiver. The system always generates a new combination of addresses on behalf of the user for every transaction carried out.
However, there is a downside to this, the complex nature of Monero transaction makes the transaction size large and thus increasing the time for a transaction to be completed. But if your main priority is privacy then the time shouldn't concern you as much.
2 Zcash (ZEC)
Zcash operates on zk-SNARK protocol, short for zero-knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge ( also know as zero knowledge proof). In the simplest term, the protocol allows you to prove that the information that you are sending to another party is correct without having to display the actual information.
Zcash , however, is not private by default which is in part owing to the inefficiency of zk-SNARKs protocol. Creating transaction with zk-SNARKs demands up to 4GB of RAM up until the transaction is sent and the sender is required you to run a full node as a prerequisite. This has created a considerable barrier that Zcash need to address immediately if mainstream adoption is on its agenda. However, the development team does acknowledge this issue and active development is underway to improve the feasibility of the system.
3 PIVX (PIVX)
Zerocoin protocol uses zero knowledge proof to obstruct whatever link there is between two parties that are involved in a transaction ensuring that there is complete privacy. This is the protocol that has been adopted by PIVX since October 7th 2017, making it the first and only proof of stake cryptocurrency to fully implement the complete set of Zerocoin protocol practices at the time of writing.
Zerocoin PIV (zPIV) (PIV is a unit of PIVX), has a lot of benefits for the users and these benefits includes
- It uses the Zerocoin protocol to hide your coin balance thus protecting you from being the target of the ill-minded.
- The source and receiver addresses are hidden ensuring that the privacy of the users involved in the transactions.
- The zPIV transaction is very fast taking just 0.5 seconds to mint and 2.5 seconds to send the funds.
- The transaction history is well concealed and funds cannot be traced back to their address.
4 Komodo (KMD)
Komodo is actually a fork of Zcash. Using the zero knowledge proof and the newly introduced Delayed Proof of Work (dPoW) protocol, Komodo provide their users with full anonymity and an extra layer of security.
The zero knowledge proof ensure that within the Komodo platform all transactions, sender and receivers identity, and the amount are completely private and no one can see or trace it. The Delayed Proof of Work added another layer of security due to its capabilities to recycle the Bitcoin hashrate, thereby making it unchangeable.
This means that Komodo has signed its blocks on the Bitcoin blockchain making it difficult for anyone to hack it or change anything. If they try to tamper with a historic transaction of Komodo, they will have to first modify the Bitcoin blockchain which is practically impossible.
5 Verge (XVG)
This is a new cryptocurrency which is privacy-oriented and is capable of keeping all the transactions private, anonymous and completely untraceable. Verge uses the Tor and 12P to combat the issue of privacy and ensuring total anonymity of its users and their funds and this is a snapshot of how it works
- Tor is a peer-to-peer network well known for its ability to encrypt message in multiple layers, and this it does by bouncing your internet connection off of many nodes on their network.
- This changes the IP address making it hard to trace, so implemented by verge it gives users the needed privacy.
- I2P provides the added security to verge users by ensuring the path through which the message was sent is not the same as the path through which the response will be received.
Verge leveraged these two technologies to ensure that their user’s transaction and identity are always private.
Read More : What is Verge? The Beginner’s Guide to XVG
Zcoin is another cryptocurrency that is based on the zerocoin protocol. The unique "mint, spend and repeat" system enables any individual to turn the coins on the public ledger into private coins via "minting". The spending of the coin doesn't reveal any information regarding the minted coin owner, allowing for an anonymous transaction.
Other intriguing features of Zcoin including its implementation MTP ( Merkle Tree Proof )algorithm which address the security centralization issue that Bitcoin is suffering from. This is made possible via Egalitarian Computing which essentially prevent any mining entity from obtaining a competitive edge over the rest of the community.
7 Navcoin (NAV)
Navcoin is a cryptocurrency that was established back in 2014. Despite not as popular as its competitors such Monero and Zcash, it has stood the test of time. The code of Navcoin is based upon the original Bitcoin code with a few key changes that allows the introduction of a few unique features for instance NavTech. NavTech is a secondary sub-chain that enables the anonymization and mixing of transaction. Compared to Bitcoin, a Navcoin transaction is much faster and cheaper. The development team also plan to carry out the implementation of smart contracts to Navcoin in the near future which enable direct coding of anonymous decentralized applications onto its Blockchain.
8 Zencash (ZEN)
ZenCash was introduced to the world as a hard fork from Zclassic. Like its predecessors, it focuses on the transactional privacy and anonymity but claimed to represent a so-called " evolved form of Zk-Snark technology ". A encrypted communication protocol known as Zentalk is one of the features that sets it apart, along with systems like Zenpub ( An anonymous document publishing platform ) and ZenHide ( A domain fronting technique that could circumvent banning of crytocurrency data and user by hostile regulators ).
Zencash is also the very first cryptocurrency to build in Transport Layer Security (TLS) which enables protection not only on the protocol as well as the data packets that are sent between client/server applications.
9 Deeponion (ONION)
Deeponion, as its name suggest, is a anonymity- focused cryptocurrency. The operation of this cryptocurrency relies mainly on TOR connectivity. It is a hybrid cryptocurrency that comprises a extended array of unique features including the X13 Proof of Work algorithm, Proof of Stakes and a complete integration with the Onion Router. Besides, Deeponion also utilizes the a public key obfuscation protocol known as OBSF4 to encrypt the content of the message going through the protocol. Zero-knowledge protocol support as well as smart contract technology will be allegedly launch in late 2018, which would potentially make deep onion a serious contender among all its privacy and anonymity oriented counterparts.
10 Spectrecoin (XSPEC)
The spectrecoin was first introduced to the world in December 2016 as a result of hard fork from ShadowCash (SDC). It operates through the Tor network and features a few new improvements over its predecessors such as wallet UI upgrade, OBFS4 Bridges, improved stealth addresses to name a few. The team also plan to introduce a few exciting features in the foreseeable future including stealth staking which is one of its kind in the crypto scence as well as the launch of the mobile wallet.
There are plenty more other anonymity privacy-focused cryptocurrency out there that yet to make the list ( which might be better than those listed above in certain aspects ) There are simply too many to cover them all and that's where we need your help. If you do know any other alternatives that you think deserve to be on the list, let us know in the comment section below and sphare with us the reasonings behind your proposal. We are looking forward to hearing from you ! 🙂