Over the past few years, a few privacy-centric cryptocurrencies have gained both in popularity and value. Many of these coins like monero, dash, pivx, zcash, and more were at one time top ten digital asset contenders as far as market valuation is concerned. Now even though a few of these specific digital assets have dropped out of the top ten capitalizations, some of them are not too far behind the highest valued coins, but a great majority of them have significantly lower market caps.
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It’s been close to a decade since the birth of the original Bitcoin protocol and there have been over 1600 cryptocurrencies with all types of features launched since then. One specific digital asset feature that’s always been popular among cryptocurrency fans is anonymity. Most people know bitcoin transactions are not anonymous unless a mixing application is used, and even that type of tool is not 100 percent as the method obfuscates transactions at best. Because of this issue, a myriad of privacy-centric cryptocurrencies have been introduced over the years and many of them held top ten positions among the most valued digital assets but all of them have been bumped off the list. Quite a few of the most popular privacy-focused coins have lost considerable value since last December and a few of these tokens are also approaching some new changes and protocol upgrades.
Where Are They Now?
Monero (XMR) is a privacy-focused cryptocurrency that claims to offer untraceable payments, unlinkable transactions, blockchain analysis resistance, and adaptive parameters. The cryptocurrency is different than most digital assets because it’s not based on the original Bitcoin protocol and its consensus is based on the Cryptonight protocol. Since Monero was launched in 2014, the currency has done well as far as market value is concerned. For instance, the first week of trading saw XMR prices reach .99 cents to $2 per coin and over the past couple years XMR has gained around 6,900 percent since launch.
However, this December monero touched a high of $390 per XMR and so far in 2018, with current spot prices on July 28, the coin has lost -64.10 percent of value. More recently, the XMR community found out that XMR was mineable by ASIC hardware and decided to hard fork the protocol which resulted in four different monero forks. Monero is in the midst of planning to add compatibility with a privacy method called Bulletproofs and the XMR development team has announced the first Bulletproofs audit (by Kudelski Security) was successful. Monero is currently priced at $140 per XMR and the cryptocurrency holds the 12th largest market cap position.
Another coin that offers privacy sending features and enjoyed a long stay in the top ten is the cryptocurrency dash (formally known as darkcoin). Back in 2014, the cryptocurrency was trading for $1.25 -1.50 per DASH and at today’s current prices the digital asset is up 16,100 percent in value which is a pretty extraordinary feat. Although, people who didn’t get in real early on dash and bought the 2017 high have seen a loss of -83.8 percent during dash’s ATH of $1,500 per coin on December 21.
People like dash for a few reasons which include its private send feature which uses the protocol’s masternode program to mix coins and obfuscate transactions. The masternode protocol is a favorite among dash proponents as it allows nodes to earn revenue and it’s also used with the dash governance voting system. Recently, on the dash-focused Three Amigos Podcast, it was revealed that the financial institution Fidelity owns a 15 percent stake in Neptune Dash which is a firm that offers chunks of masternode ownership. People also dislike dash for a few reasons like how it’s always been haunted by the instamine rumors back when the currency launched. Some people accuse dash of being a planned instamine, but the developers have addressed the topic many times denying the allegations. Many dash supporters believe the its features and the community’s marketing have bolstered the coin. Dash is now four spots behind the top ten cryptocurrency capitalizations sitting in the 14th position.
Another privacy-centric coin that has seen a lot of market action since it was launched is zcash (ZEC). In fact, ZEC markets have been pretty wild since it was introduced because if you invested in the currency during the first week of launch you might be seeing a big loss. During the first day of trading ZEC prices were around $2,044 per coin, $574 the next day, then a day later it was $1,624 a ZEC. In a few rare instances, some exchanges hit $12K per ZEC the first day. In order to make transactions private Zcash users send ‘shielded’ transactions which are protected by zero-knowledge cryptography. The zero-knowledge methods the ZEC protocol utilizes are called zk-SNARKs and zcash users can also send open and public transactions as well. However many skeptics believe the minting ceremony process of zero-knowledge proof coins (trusted setup) is not 100 percent foolproof.
The ZEC protocol has some changes taking place on October 28, 2018, as the cryptocurrency will be upgrading to what’s called ‘Sapling.’ According to the developers, the upgrade will add increased efficiency to shielded addresses and transactions. As mentioned above, ZEC markets have fluctuated intensely since it was launched last October, and during the second week of December, it was roughly $500-675 per coin. Today, on July 28, ZEC is worth $220 per ZEC and investors who bought in December 2017 have lost -56 to -67.40 percent. Moreover, if you purchased during the first week you could have lost -89 to -80 percent.
The cryptocurrency PIVX (Private Instant Verified Transaction) is a privacy-centric Proof-of-Stake (PoS) coin that derives its codebase from the bitcoin protocol 0.10 and dash. The PIVX system also uses a masternode mechanism and the developers claim to have recently introduced Zerocoin (zero-knowledge proofs) technology. If an individual bought PIVX during the first week of launch, the person would have gained 230,900 percent. However, if the person purchased PIVX on January 10, 2018, they would have lost -83.38 percent today. PIVX is not very close to the top ten positions at all, as the currency holds the 80th position amongst the top valued coins within the crypto-economy. Furthermore, the PIVX community has a long history of feuding with the dash community which is likely due to the project’s similarities.
A Bunch of Different Cryptocurrencies Aim to Provide Anonymity — But As Far As Market Performance is Concerned, Many of these Coins Have Significantly Lower Valuations Than the Top Ten Cryptos
These four coins have all been top contenders within the cryptocurrency space and there are many other cryptocurrencies that have aimed to offer anonymity. Other cryptocurrencies that have done well within trading markets at one time and offer privacy-centric solutions include Zencash, Bitcoin Private, Komodo, Spectrecoin, Bitcoin Dark, Verge, Navcoin, Boolberry, Zcoin, Deeponion, and more. All of the methods these coins use consist of three similar ideas like zero-knowledge proofs, ring signatures, and masternode mixing services.
Now, most of these cryptocurrencies have some value but a great majority, minus the few mentioned above, are not very close to the top ten crypto-market valuations. The highest valued privacy coins that are somewhat close to the top ten positions include monero, dash, zcash, and verge. That’s only four digital assets, and the rest anon-coin’s market valuations are below the 40th position and don’t seem to be making it to the top-ten lineup anytime soon.
What do you think about privacy coins and how they have performed over the past year? Do you expect any of these cryptocurrencies to make it into the top ten highest valued digital assets? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
Images via Shutterstock, Pixabay, and the various logos for each coin.
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