Let’s face it, the numero uno cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is actually pseudonymous. Meaning, all your transactions are publicly visible to everyone on the blockchain. This lack of anonymity is detrimental to the fungibility of Bitcoin. Hence, many privacy coins have arrived on the scene that are challenging the supremacy of Bitcoin and harping on this major flaw of BTC when it comes to providing anonymity to user transactions.
Down below we have listed the best privacy coins that are an ideal replacement for BTC. These privacy coins are trying to bridge the gap between privacy, anonymity and fungibility through their own unique approaches. Without further ado, let’s get started.
9 of the Best Privacy Coins in 2021
Touted as the best privacy coin on the planet, Monero is known for its secure, anonymous transactions and fungibility. Buoyed by its complex on-chain cryptographic methods such as RingCT, Kovri, stealth address and Ring signatures to safeguard the privacy of its users, even law enforcement agencies cannot see the amount transacted between two different parties.
Which is why, the IRS had set a bounty of $625,000 for anyone who could crack Monero. It is believed that Monero and Bitcoin were created by the same person or entity since the two cryptocurrencies have many features in common.
However, due to its complicated cryptography, Monero’s transaction sizes can get up to 50 times bigger than that of Bitcoin. That said, the team behind the development of Monero is highly skilled and dedicated to make it the top crypto in the years to come.
An exciting privacy oriented cryptocurrency, PivX have implemented a privacy feature on it to entice savvy users who value their privacy. PivX is the first proof of stake cryptocurrency that implemented the popular Zercoin protocol a while ago. Many other privacy coins such as Zcash later followed suit.
The implementation of Zerocoin protocol has definitely given PivX an edge over other POS coins especially when it comes to safeguarding the anonymity and privacy of crypto enthusiasts.
Operating on a zk-SNARK protocol or zero-knowledge proofs, Zcash deploys a unique approach to become truly anonymous. That said, this protocol is not used as a default option on Zcash currently. It implies that they also have an open blockchain ledger which is somewhat similar to Bitcoin.
To use this privacy protocol feature on ZCash, your device will need at least 4 gigabytes of RAM which may not be feasible for mass usage currently. However, ZCash can be one of the best privacy coins to look out for in the future.
4) Firo (formerly ZCoin)
Thanks to the implementation of Zerocoin Protocol, Firo (also known formerly as Zcash) is another unique privacy cryptocurrency that has piqued the interest of crypto enthusiasts who wish to maintain anonymity whilst doing transactions (who doesn’t?). For starters, Zerocoin Protocol is a very popular cryptographic approach for anonymous transactions in the crypto realm.
However, the downside is that their ‘trusted setup’ at the start of the project is centralized meaning a few people (developers) had all the powers to set the initial parameters for the launch of Zcoin.
Since Verge doesn’t rely on cryptography alone, it is one of the best privacy coins out there that offers a unique way to keep transactions private, secure and anonymous. Verge relies on Tor browser and I2P network to achieve anonymous transactions for all their users.
The team behind the development of Verge are of the strong view that an open ledger such as Bitcoin is a framework where its users are required to verify and check where their transactions are being received or sent. This creates an unnecessary burden on the users and hampers true cryptography ethos.
Interestingly, Verge also offers unique features such as atomic swaps which are fast becoming popular in the crypto sphere.
A lesser known privacy coin in the cryptocurrency world, Komodo attains the status of an anonymous cryptocurrency by implementing the zk-SNARK protocol (also called zero-knowledge proofs) that it inherited directly from Zcash.
Komodo actually forked out of Zcash and implemented an enhanced proof of algorithm citing better security among other reasons. However, please note Komodo also shares a similar downside as Zcash viz. private transactions.
One of the most undervalued anonymous cryptocurrencies in the world, NAV is also one of the safest and best privacy coins that you must have a gander at. NAV Coin doesn’t rely on cryptography to become private.
Rather, NAV Coin relies on complex arithmetic obfuscation techniques with a sub-blockchain running in parallel to the main blockchain for achieving its private nature. NavTech servers help in the obfuscation process.
However, although pretty unique and simple to use, concerns have been raised over Nav Coin’s centralization issues.
Although DASH claims to be a privacy coin, they are not quite on the same pedestal as its competitors. DASH attains its privacy status from a coin-mixing service performed by its master nodes known as PrivateSend.
However, this method of privacy does provide an analyzable meta-data for finding out the real sender or receiver of DASH. Hence, anyone with knowledge of cryptography can suss out DASH’s transactions.
9) Horizen (formlerly ZenCash)
Rounding off our list of the best privacy coins is another fork of Zcash that relies on zk-SNARK protocol, Horizen formerly known as ZenCash. The zk-SNARK protocol popularly known as zero-knowledge proofs helps ZenCash achieve its anonymity.
However, since ZenCash have also used Horizen’s trusted centralized setup, they demand a minimum dedicated RAM requirement of 3.2 gigabytes on a 64-bit processor with a 64-bit operating system for sending and encryption transactions.
That said, HoriZen makes up for this by offering widespread usability and implementation of multiple wallets for ease of transactions.