Bitcoin is not as anonymous as you may think. Due to its public blockchain that allows anyone to follow bitcoin transactions, numerous bitcoin de-anonymization methods have been developed over the years that enable regulators and law enforcement agencies to link bitcoin addresses to real-world identities.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that so-called privacy coins which enhance users’ anonymity have risen greatly in popularity.
In this guide, you will find the ten best privacy coins rated on a scale of 1 to 5 and reviewed to get insight into this booming sector of the cryptocurrency markets.
|Private Crypto||Description||Market Cap (USD)||Daily Trading Volume (USD)||Years in Existence||Number of Supported Exchanges||Size of Community (Measured by Twitter Followers)||Reputation||Score|
|Monero||Monero (XMR) is considered the most secure and anonymous privacy coin in the market today. |
Launched in 2014, Monero enables users to hide the amount of digital cash they send and receive, the source of the funds, the recipients, and the amounts held in their wallets.
Monero utilizes ring signatures and stealth addresses to make it an untraceable digital currency, popular among those who value financial privacy in the digital age.
|Zcash||Zcash (ZEC) had a highly publicized launch in 2016 after receiving backing from several influential cryptocurrency investors. |
This privacy coin leverages the Zerocoin protocol and zero-knowledge proof cryptography called zk-SNARKs to provide financial privacy to its users by enabling them to hide information about the sender, the recipient, and the transaction amount.
Despite the controversy around the 20 percent “miner’s tax”, which goes to the Zcash team, this privacy coin has established itself as one of the leading coins in this market segment.
|Dash||Dash (DASH), which stands for “Digital Cash”, was launched in 2014 to provide instant, private transactions at a low cost.|
Dash was originally called XCoin and then Darkcoin, until it was rebranded as Dash in early 2015.
Dash is run as an autonomous decentralized organisation (DAO) where masternode users vote on how the DAO’s funds are being used to push the project forward.
|PIVX||PIVX, which stands for Private Instant Verified Transactions, is a privacy-focused digital currency launched in 2016 as a code fork of Dash.|
PIVX uses the Zerocoin protocol to provide its users with anonymous financial transactions using its zPIV “sub-currency.”
This privacy coin project managed to gain popularity due to its community focus and its Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism, which enables users to earn passive income by holding and staking their coins.
|Verge||Verge (VXG) was launched in 2014 under the name DogecoinDark. |
This privacy coin uses Tor and i2P to mask its users' identities.
Verge rose to “crypto fame” after becoming one of the best performing digital currencies of the year 2017 with the help of a McAfee recommendation on Twitter.
Despite Verge’s impressive gains in 2017, however, the privacy coin lost its credibility in early 2018 after experiencing three 51 percent attacks, which demonstrated its network’s weakness and the inability of its development team to successfully fix its issues.
|Komodo||Launched in 2016, Komodo (KMD) is a privacy coin that uses zero knowledge proofs to provide its users with complete financial anonymity. |
Aside from offering increased financial privacy through its digital currency KMD, the Komodo platform also offers the launch of decentralized ICOs (dICOs), a decentralized exchange, and blockchain development solutions, among other services.
|ZCoin||Zcoin (XZC) is a privacy coin that uses the Zerocoin protocol and comes with Tor integration to enable complete transaction privacy for its users. |
Zcoin was launched in 2016 as the first digital currency to use the Zerocoin protocol.
The Zcoin project aims to provide the highest level anonymity possible without sacrificing usability and the auditability of its coin supply.
|Horizen||Horizen (ZEN) is the new name of the privacy-focused cryptocurrency project ZenCash. |
Horizen was launched as ZenCash in 2017 of a fork of Zclassic (which was a fork of Zcash).
The Horizen team, however, wants to go beyond purely offering an anonymous payment currency and also wants to offer end-to-end encrypted messaging and privacy-focused applications.
|Particl||Launched in 2017, the Particl project aims to “to empower society by fostering a new decentralized, private and democratic economy supported by its blockchain platform.”|
The privacy-focused project is developing a decentralized anonymous marketplace and decentralized applications (DApps).
The project’s digital currency, Particl (PART), uses a combination of ring signatures and Confidential Transactions (CT) to ensure financial privacy for its users.
Particl also offers an opportunity to earn passive income due to its Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism by holding and staking PART through the project’s native wallet.
|Bitcoin Private||Bitcoin Private (BTCP) was launched in March 2018 as a merge fork of Bitcoin and Zclassic. |
Bitcoin Private uses Zcash’s zk-SNARKS cryptography to provide financial privacy for its users.
As BTCP has kept the Bitcoin name after forking, it has garnered criticism from the cryptocurrency community for piggybacking of Bitcoin’s brand name.
- How to Buy Monero, a Step-by-Step Guide
- How to Buy Zcash, a Step-by-Step Guide
- Here’s What Bitcoin Investors Need to Know About Anonymous Altcoins
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