Bitcoin, with its public ledger where transactions can be traced years after they occur, is a privacy nightmare. If you are concerned about your privacy and don’t want the whole world to know about your transactions, you’d better consider currencies that offer better privacy protection. These are the five best privacy-centered cryptocurrencies.
1. Monero (XMR)
At present, the most popular privacy cryptocurrency is Monero. It’s a ByteCoin fork and was launched in April 2014. It’s so private that even the addresses and the amount involved in a transaction can’t be seen by a third party. Because of the fact that Monero is CPU and GPU mineable, it’s especially popular among miners. One of the disadvantages of Monero is its high transaction fees, which is a downside for small transactions in particular. However, if you are looking for a really private coin, Monero is your best choice.
2. Aeon (AEON)
Aeon, frequently called “the little brother of Monero,” is another coin with good privacy features. It’s meant to be lightweight, and even though it doesn’t have all the features of Monero, it still offers untraceable transactions. However, it also offers the option to make a transaction traceable, resulting in lower fees and faster transactions. Aeon is CPU and GPU mineable, too, and this is certainly a factor that contributes to its popularity. Its transaction fees are much lower than the fees of Monero, which makes it a good choice for small amounts. Still, Aeon has a long way to go before (if ever) it reaches the mass adoption of Monero.
3. Dash (DASH)
In terms of privacy features, Dash is way behind Monero, but since it is a very popular coin (in the top five, together with Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum) and is widely accepted, it makes sense to include it on the list. Dash offers a very simple form of coin mixing service (performed by a master node on the network). However, transaction metadata can be analyzed, which makes it a not so private currency. Still, if you are OK with wide currency acceptance and some privacy features, Dash is your coin.
4. Verge (XVG)
Verge is one more good privacy coin to try. Unlike the other coins on the list, it doesn’t use cryptography but Tor and I2P instead to protect the privacy of transactions. This also means users’ IPs and other private data is untraceable. Non-private transactions are available as well, if a user chooses so. In addition to its great development team, its low transaction fees and fast transaction times are two major advantages of Verge. At present the coin isn’t as popular as Monero, Dash, or Zcash, but it certainly has a huge potential.
5. Zcash (ZEC)
Zcash is another popular coin (not as popular as Dash, though) with some privacy protection (better than what Dash offers). This currency offers selective transparency, meaning you can choose what transaction info is publicly visible. It is possible to encrypt addresses and amounts, but you can also send fully transparent transactions. One of the downsides of Zcash is that their privacy protocol requires at least 4GB of RAM.
There are more privacy-centered currencies, such as Pivx, Komodo, ZenCash, etc. that I didn’t include on this list becaue I wanted to list currencies that are both good for privacy protection, yet popular. If a currency is not traded anywhere and is used by its creator and a few other guys only, it’s not a very useful currency. However, if you don’t like the currencies I picked, rest assured, there are more for you to try.