The Six Most Private Cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrencies have gained popularity due to several factors, including privacy and anonymity. Some of them help users to conceal their identities and their transactions. Amid mounting concerns about the anonymity of early cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, users are searching for new options.
Let’s take a look at the some popular privacy-oriented cryptocurrencies, which have several built-in privacy features. These claim to offer enhanced security features or options that help to keep users’ identities and activities concealed.
Beam is a security-focused token with core features that include complete control over your privacy. All transactions are private by default and no addresses or other private information are stored on the blockchain. It claims superior scalability due to its compact blockchain size, opt-in auditability, support for online and offline transactions, atomic swaps, and hardware wallets integration.
Horizen (ZEN) offers privacy shielded Z-Addresses and public T-Addresses that work similarly to Bitcoin. However, sending funds from a Z-Address to a T-Address will show the amount received. Horizen also boasts a vast node network, which helps to improve anonymity.
Instead of relying on cryptographic techniques, Verge (XVG) banks on the existing and tested technology of The Onion Router (TOR) and the Invisible Internet Project (I2P) to protect users’ identities. TOR bounces a user’s communications over a distributed network of relays and tunnels run by volunteers spread across the globe, thereby hiding the user’s identity. On the other hand, I2P encrypts user data before sending it through an anonymous, peer-to-peer, and volunteer-run globally distributed network. It allows hiding the locations and IP addresses of the transacting participants.
Verge made headlines when a popular adult website adopted it to start accepting cryptocurrency payments. The primary reason for the development was Verge’s privacy features.
Created in 2014, DASH is a cryptocurrency that allows the user to choose whether or not their transactions are anonymous and private using its PrivateSend feature. This allows users who would like to remain within their countries’ regulatory standards to do so. The feature works by obscuring the origins of your funds. Choosing to use the private send feature will slightly raise the fee for the transaction. DASH achieves this through a mixing protocol utilizing an innovative decentralized network of servers called master nodes.
Zcash (ZEC) defines itself as “If Bitcoin is like http for money, Zcash is https,” underlining its enhanced security and privacy features. Zcash has implemented a cryptographic tool called Zero-Knowledge Proof and grants participants an option to shield transactions. It allows participants to transact without any of them revealing their addresses to the other(s). Zero-Knowledge Proof also obfuscates the transaction amount.
Monero’s (XMR) popularity has been on the rise, primarily due to its ability to help anonymize users. Monero transactions are much more difficult to trace because they use ring signatures and stealth addresses. These methods help to hide the identities of the sender and the receiver. Additionally, Ring Confidential Transactions, or RingCT, helps to conceal the transaction amount, providing more privacy.
While cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are often touted as being private and encrypted, the blockchain technology employed is actually a public ledger allowing for less privacy than many realize.
Certain methods exist, such as coinjoin, to obscure one’s identity or transaction history on Bitcoin, but this requires some technical know-how and comes with transaction fees.
Several other cryptocurrencies have built-in privacy features or options that users can enjoy for more private online commerce.
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