Meet the Top 3 Coins in the Cryptocurrency Anonymity Race

As Bitcoin becomes more mainstream the idea of a way to cloak transactions are becoming less viable in some people’s opinions. There have been forum posts from community members detailing accounts being closed for using gambling services or making purchases on a darknet market. Consequently, some people have looked to the altcoin scene in hopes of a totally anonymous cryptocurrency.

Also read: How ‘Bitcoin City’ Arnhem Signed Up Its 100th Merchant, Burger King

In the world of cryptocurrency, many believe fungibility is a very important aspect for the future of this technology. Because Bitcoin is pseudo-anonymous and most coin shufflers require a third party, other altcoins are trying to fill the role of private zero-knowledge transactions.

Zcash: ‘All Coins Are Created Equal’

CryptocurrencyThere’s been a lot of talk about a cryptocurrency called Zcash in the virtual money community. The founder of the untraceable digital currency, Zooko Wilcox, launched the public alpha of the project back in January 2016. Zcash is a “decentralized and open source cryptocurrency that aims to set a new standard for privacy and anonymity through the use of groundbreaking cryptography,” according to its website. Wilcox is a well-known cryptographer in the space who created Tahoe LAFS, an encrypted storage system. The project had caused a lot of commotion in the cryptocurrency community when Zcash released its source code on GitHub.

Zcash transactions are untraceable because it uses encryption called zk-SNARK developed by the startup’s team. The transaction metadata within the network is encrypted, and zk-SNARKs are utilized to stop double spends. 

We believe that privacy strengthens social ties and social institutions, protects societies against their enemies, and helps societies to be more peaceful and more prosperous,” Wilcox said. “A robust tradition of privacy is a common feature in rich and peaceful societies, and a lack of privacy is often found in struggling and failing societies.”  

The publication Wired details that investors such as Naval Ravikant and the Digital Currency Group’s Barry Silbert have invested over $700,000 USD into the startup. Zcash has also just recently added a Jack Grigg as a member of the engineering team, who according to the team is “an applied physics Ph.D. student, and by night, a privacy-focused crypto-hacker.”

Dash: the Privacy-Centric Cryptocurrency

dashDash is an open source digital currency, released in 2014, formerly known as Darkcoin. The network uses Darksend to help anonymize the transaction process by mixing coins. Darksend has implemented a few variations but is originally conceived from the CoinJoin concept. The creator of Dash, Evan Duffield, said he created the coin because he realized Bitcoin wasn’t anonymous enough.

I discovered Bitcoin in mid-2010 and was obsessed ever since. After a couple of years in 2012, I started really thinking about how to add anonymity to Bitcoin,” Duffield explains. “I came up with maybe ten ways of doing this, but I soon realized that Bitcoin would never add my code. The developers really want the core protocol to stay the same for the most part and everything else to be implemented on the top of it.”

Darksend uses what Dash calls Masternodes to handle the mixing services. Masternodes have also helped the community form a voting mechanism hard-coded into the network. The network takes in transactions by combining identical inputs from multiple users into a single transaction with several outputs. The privacy-centric Dash also uses a protocol called InstantX, which sends transactions nearly instantaneously within the network. Dash’s value has risen to the top five cryptocurrencies in the overall coin market capitalizations and at one time reached $15 USD per coin. The digital currency is currently worth roughly $4 with an approximate market cap of $24 million.

Monero: The CryptoNote

moneroMonero is another strong competitor in the land of anonymous cryptocurrency that uses a method called CryptoNote. Monero is not a clone of Bitcoin and was derived from Bytecoin, an early altcoin. There are some significant differences compared to both Bytecoin and Bitcoin within the Monero architecture such as target block time, and emission speed. The virtual money also has a strong anonymity feature as well, and research has claimed its service CryptoNote may be superior to coin shuffling.

The Monero daemon utilizes the CryptoNote technology within the currency’s network. The method used stealth addresses mixed with one-time ring signatures, which work to cloak transactions. Ring signatures were invented by Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Yael Tauman giving the world of cryptography a new type of key process. The method is similar to group signatures, but there is no way to reveal the anonymity of single users within the group of users. Monero says that it has improved upon the CryptoNote feature and the currency offers an opaque Blockchain with a system called viewkey. The team says this makes the system optionally transparent and unlike any digital ledger out there today.

Monero is currently valued at roughly 80 cents a coin and sits at the number 12 market capitalization. In April, the cryptocurrency turns two years old and has persevered as many anon coins have fallen by the wayside. Another interesting fact about Monero is that it is a trading pair on the U.S. exchange Poloniex and is paired with every major coin on the platform. There are not many Altcoins that has been used as a trading pair besides Litecoin.

Anonymous Transactions Will Continue to Increase

anonymousZCash is currently under development and has yet to show the world its methods, but it has been said to be a challenger due to the nature of its design. The community will judge its value when the release of this coin comes into public view. Both Dash and Monero have been around for some time with many other anon tokens nipping at their heels. Despite this, there are some who will not use altcoins and are waiting for better anonymizing features in Bitcoin to emerge.

ninjaCurrently, those who are against altcoins still use third party coin shufflers located on the deep web or will use something like Dark Wallet or Samourai with their Bitcoin transactions. Nevertheless, anonymity and privacy will likely play an increasing role in the cryptocurrency world. With government’s and central banks prying into our affairs it is very likely these type of privacy networks will only grow more popular.

Do you think anonymous cryptocurrencies are important? Let us know in the comments below!  

Disclaimer: is not affiliated with any of the above-mentioned businesses.

Images courtesy of Pixbay, Shutterstock, Dash, Zcash, and Monero websites

Jamie Redman is a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open source code, and decentralized applications. Redman has written hundreds of articles about the disruptive protocols emerging today.
  • the BadVirus

    Zcash sounds interesting on paper but I don’t like the fact that the developers will be profiting from it’s inception. Sorry, but a currency is not a product. Even, if Zcash isn’t succesfully forked with a better release in mind, Zcash itself will find it hard to combat Monero which is the current anonymous coin to beat. I suspect that Zcash is going to make a lot of noise, and seeing as investors will be involved, there will be a lot of buying up of editorials, publications, and PR. Ultimately however, PR only goes so far. Either way however, Zcash vs Monero is going to be an interesting battle.

  • Amoebatron

    The people don’t trust ZCash though. It’s like the cryptocurrency version of Marco Rubio – a blowfish project rammed down peoples throats by corporate finance. Even with the best will and technology in the world if people don’t like the setup… it’s game over.

    • Roeland Creve

      ZCash is corporate coin indeed. Nobody will like the 20% tax in the first 4 years of mining to pay of early investors.

      • aubreykohn

        Zcash and Dash/Darkcoin are both pre-mined. This is widely regarded as a scamming strategy, and is a substantial impediment to adoption.

        • prisonplanetdotcom

          I didn’t mentioned that just for the sake of not being “aggressive” but your completely right!

        • Incorrect. Just because a coin is pre-mined does NOT mean it is a scamcoin. This post is a year old and DASH is doing just fine and is highly adopted. When people research POW vs POS or 100% premining vs. a lower premining percentage, they read the first 1 or 2 opinionated articles and then they spread the news as if it is Gospel. There are many other parameters to consider when determining whether the coin is trusted or not. There are coins being created by developers as well as utility companies and financial entities that are 100% pre-mined and they are not scam coins. Let us stop using Google as our God of all Words. Use Google as a research tool and do actual research. It requires a lot more effort, but you will then determine what is OPINION and what is actually FACTUAL. Keep researching and using your critical thinking capacity. Therein lies the knowledge… p.s I have no relationship to the DASH or Zcash folks/developers.

    • prisonplanetdotcom

      Where’s VERGE in this list? Why you guys keep ignoring VERGE? Whatever ZCash is proposing VERGE is already at it. Dash and Monero even though on huge premium prices don’t come close to the anonymity you’ve got with Verge. It seems all this Cryptocurrencies business has become a huge business for VCs that’s all. Verge is a big proof of that never even mentioned by this site.

  • aubreykohn

    It’s not even reasonable to include Dash (aka Darkcoin) in this grouping. It’s not reasonably interpreted as a secure system.

    • Did you crack it, or just posting here s***?

      • Williams

        What is your Dash address? Yes it will tell you how many coins belong to that. How the eff is that privacy? BS article.

  • Roeland Creve

    DASH is an instamine scam: more than 2 million DASH were created in the first 48 hours of the coin’s existence. Currently 6.2 million coins are in circulation… Also DASH is less anonymous than BTC due to the lack of liquidity in their build-in coinjoin (DarkSend)

    Monero will be at the same level of anonymity as ZCash once RingCT (Ring Signature Confidential Transactions) will be implemented. I wrote about it on my website

    • Hello Monero troll how about XMR?
      Is thats why price of monero is almost flat line with bagholders?

      • Roeland Creve

        The emission rate was never affected. The emission curve never changed. Worst case a few 100k XMR went to some clever guys fining the hidden optimisation that was placed in the code by the original creators of the protocol, NOT by the Monero devs.

        DASH on the other hand did change their emission curve regularly. Check here for more info:

        • Fact two — botnets

          Monero is largely botnet mined and that has been confirmed on a number of occasions (even by the XMR devs themselves)


          That being said, XMR is likely to be mined mostly by the botnets at the rate that is not justified by the demand. Botnet owners dump the coin as it is not showing any stable growth. That’s it folks, the 78 BTC of daily trades come simply from the daily emission rate being pushed to the market. No surprise, why the price is generally going down.

          Why is that so? CryptoNote has created new ways for the botnet owners to profit. Monero was largely botnet mined from the inception, so the main stakeholders are basically botnet operators. How do you make sure your profits are secure? You need someone buying out those daily volumes. There are two simple ways to ensure that:

          1. Artificial PR/hype through purchased hero accounts.

          2. Secure yourself a whale.

          This has serious implications and may actually link us back to H1 on fake marketing/PR hype. Botnet owners are securing their profits by purchasing accounts and hiring shills. However, everything they do is for just one particular purpose: profit from their botnet mined coin. They make you feel that XMR is largely supported so that you give your money to them

          • Roeland Creve

            My opinion on botnets: BTC was also mined by botnets. Mlst biotnetowners are in it for the money, so they’ll probably dump the coins. This means that a lot of coins are bought up by the market. This isn’t necessarily bad.

            Monero is an opens ource project. Anyone can contribute. No closed source, no points of centralization.

            DASH is isntamined has a centralized masternode system. Its controlled by a select few who are very shady people. Read more about it here:

            But I’m not going to continue this discussion with a troll.

          • Roeland Creve

            did you read the topic title?

            “Blowing the lid off the CryptoNote/Bytecoin scam (with the exception of Monero)”

            I agree that Bytecoin is a scam. Monero isn’t.

          • Roeland Creve

            did you read the topic title?

            “Blowing the lid off the CryptoNote/Bytecoin scam (with the exception of Monero)”

            I agree that Bytecoin is a scam. Monero isn’t.

          • aubreykohn

            While I might prefer that no botnets existed, they do exist. I am happy to scoop up cheap monero dumped on exchanges by botnets for less than I would pay to mine them. It gives me a substantial advantage in the race to accumulate the only viable form of digital cash in existence today.

          • aubreykohn

            That is logically incoherent as well as factually false. There are only 25 btc of daily block reward at this time. Selling 100% of them would be less than 1/3 of your 78 btc number — which is a false number: As I write the 24 hour daily volume on just one of the several exchanges is 191 btc.

    • prisonplanetdotcom

      What about VERGE? Ignoring the most private cryptocurrency isn’t the way to prove your point.

  • cardbordoranges

    Why is Dash included here? Its obvious instamine, in tandem with the centralized masternode structure, cripples any possible hope of anonymity.

    • indigopete

      It’s included because it’s the only one that delivers genuine anonymity in a bitcoin compliant, transparent blockchain as opposed to one that no-one can see or verify and where they just have to cross their fingers and hope that “math” is gonna take care of it and that the whole chain won’t be sprung open with a can opener like shadowcash was. (But that can’t happen to any other cryptonote of course 😉 )

      • fluffypony

        Woah there buddy. Dash can be sprung open like a leaky can, since it’s based on Bitcoin. Here’s a research paper on what can happen to Bitcoin (and Dash!) if a cryptographic primitive is broken:

        Thankfully, the chances of that happening to Bitcoin and Dash are pretty low, just like the chances of Monero’s privacy (which is based on similar cryptographic primitives) being broken is pretty low.

        In fact, since we’re talking about points of minutiae, Bitcoin and Dash use an elliptic curve that SafeCurves has indicated is DEFINITELY unsafe:

        Monero’s use of Curve25519, on the other hand, is listed as safe. Consider that next time you want to slap a comment up on a website somewhere.

        • indigopete

          Quite. Satoshi made the blockchain transparent. Re-read your own post and you might realise why.

          • fluffypony

            Actually, Satoshi was looking at using group signatures (what Monero uses for part of its privacy enhancement) in Bitcoin. Here’s his post on the matter:

            Where is your god now?

          • indigopete

            You’re talking technology. I’m talking money. A monetary premium on any commodity is far greater than a technology premium. You don’t need to look further than the last 2 years of technological advancements over bitcoin. Technology # Money, Technology Premium # Monetary Premium and you need a transparent blockchain to even run in that race.

          • fluffypony

            Nonsense; that’s like saying “just look at the number of people using a regular Internet browser, Tor is dead. You need a clearnet browser to even run in that race.”

          • indigopete

            In some senses it’s like that, yes. But money is not technology otherwise bitcoin would have been far more threatened by the 500 or so alt coins that came its way trying to grab some of its marketcap, none of which had any success in doing so and most of which were technologically superior in some way or another.

          • Nano Sapian

            TokNormal, is that you? I’d recognize that definition of money (that you made up) anywhere. Keep on, keeping on brother. Maybe someday in the future people will want half-ass privacy based on your money requirements–probably will come about when you get an economics degree.

  • Hippasus

    Vanilla Coin is far more impressive technically than any of these 3 projectsanon coins. I’m not so familiar with zcash but vanilla coin is leaps and bounds ahead of Monero or Dash. Both systems privacy isn’t secure.

    • fluffypony

      This is the biggest load of nonsensical, unsupported, ineffectual, pathetic, excuse-my-French bullshit I have read in ages.

      Vanillacoin is a clone of Bitcoin by a desperate scammer that resorted to obfuscation to hide the code’s origins, and then proudly proclaimed that it wasn’t a clone.

      Additionally, Monero’s privacy *is* secure, and has been the subject of extensive academic research and papers. Every iteration improves Monero’s privacy from good-and-secure towards excellent-and-secure, and eventually to bulletproof-and-secure.

      Next time you’re going to write a load of rubbish how about you stop, find references, cite them, and write a brief exposition explaining how you arrived at your conclusions. Ignorant trailer trash comments have no place anywhere on the Internet where thinking people may be.

      • prisonplanetdotcom

        I can trace Monero coins and users location. How can that be secure? Now try that with Verge you’ll end up wasting your time and resources.

        • fluffypony

          Really? How?

          Here’s my Monero address: 49VNLa9K5ecJo13bwKYt5HCmA8GkgLwpyFjgGKG6qmp8dqoXww8TKPU2PJaLfAAtoZGgtHfJ1nYY8G2YaewycB4f72yFT6u

          Please trace my location, or trace any transaction from that address, or tell me the balance held by that address.

          Or alternatively, here’s a transaction:

          How about you tell me either the address that transaction was sent from, the address it was sent to, the amount that was sent, the change amount, the location of the sender or the recipient, or anything at all?

          • Alit Trisatya

            I know it’s one year ago, but a dev of top 10 cryptocurrency like monero shouldn’t be arguing to some random nobody on the internet.

          • Josh Madison

            That’s why it’s about to fall from the top 10. Fluffy wrecked his coin

  • JuicyG

    Dash is the only true viable option here. It`s not even a contest.

    • Leo Treasure

      Dash is too centralised and slow.

  • Thobeus

    “Love” it how the Dash-trolls jump at every opportunity to promote FUD. There is a reason it’s a top marketcap, constantly for 2 years now. Serious investors are not idiots. Just have to look at the amazing development made and join the dots together. I have the highest respect for the serious Monero supporters, but everywhere these FUDsters appear as teenagers with a lot of hate and misinformation. Dash is absolutely solid.

    • And still is 1 year later!

      • Josh Madison

        Still going strong DASH. 1 billion market cap

  • BCNext

    Nxt has offered coinshuffle for Anonymity with fully decentralized method.

    • fluffypony

      Wake me up when it passes the vapourware stage. Oh that’s right, it’s NXT, it’s all vapourware to enrich the handful of holders at the top of the pyramid scheme.

      • BCNext

        The point.NXT was intentionally created by this way for better development.

  • Peter Herbst

    Dear Readers
    I have to apologise for most comments below , as you can see some people really think there is a race going on , which 1st of all was settled by last year , and second never actually happened except in the heads of some desperate troll like investors !
    please do your own research and do not fall for the FUD !
    (trolls will never learn)

  • truthteller

    “Disclaimer: is not affiliated with any of the above-mentioned businesses.”

    That’s interesting considering Roger Ver (the owner of this domain) is one of Zcash’s key investors.

  • Billy Jones

    No mention of Verge (XVG). This is the only coin to have an electrum wallet that connects directly to i2p nodes. It’s the only anonymous coin that exists today.

    • prisonplanetdotcom

      Your right but that for them doesn’t matter. Is Verge VC backed? Was it instamined by the devs? Is mining centralized? If your answer is no they will tell you to go to hell. VERGE is already doing what ZCash is asking millions to START doing. Verge is decentralized its definately only private coin I.e. Untraceable coin but seems the idea here not having something really working but to just screw people. For those who want the real deal Verge is always there.

    • fluffypony

      “forked from doged/electrum-doged-i2p”

      Well I guess that’s a lie, then, since Dogecoindark clearly is another coin to offer that same functionality.

      • Billy Jones

        It’s not a fork. It’s the same exact coin with the same exact technology with the same exact DEV. The community decided we should move away from Dogecoin and try re-branding. With enough pressure from the community, the DEV agreed and we all voted on the name Verge.

  • Victor Monro

    In my opinion if the Cloakcoin will succeed then To be the first and only anonymous cryptocurrency

  • Trusty1

    Cloakcoin has just relaunched, and seems to be getting closer to the holy grail of truly anonymous payments.

    • yeah its back from the dead which is encouraging cause it shows there is commitment behind it. Not just pump and dump




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  • investmonitor

    A new monero pool is launched for easy computer home mining at here:

  • Cristina Garcia

    I think in my personal experience I’ve bought in bittrex and the increasing price has stopped for about 3, 6 days monero, dash, decred, in the market when I sell it afew hours later the price is up,

  • Waseem Bhatti

    Verge is a lot more secure and anonymous than Monero.

  • Ro Bot

    I prefer Verge XVG. its the only coin way much better than the coins stated above. Its cheap right now but once majority of ppl finds this out, theyll know what i am talking about.
    Verge XVG is way ahead when it come to anonymous coins. Dash Zcash and Monero is nothing.