Top 5 Cryptocurrencies That Promote Anonymity

Throughout the past few years, bitcoin has pillared a revolutionary financial concept of decentralization that relies on utilization of a peer-to-peer network to confirm transactions between trustless parties. However a feature, and to some flaw in bitcoin’s blockchain is a public ledger that stores every single transaction, allowing the records to be visible by anyone.

Even though your bitcoin address is a form of a “pseudonym”, this doesn’t provide total anonymity. The public ledger permits the linking of a transaction to a previous transactions originating from the same address. A number of approaches can be used, either independently or in a combined manner to deanonymize the sender and/or the receiver of a large percentage of bitcoin transactions. Some of the methods include Analysis of the Transaction Chain (ATC), IP address mapping, taint analysis, amount analysis, and time sequencing. Accordingly, anonymity is prominently one of the main drawbacks of bitcoin, which inspired the creation of a few cryptocurrencies that promote full anonymity.

Here are the top 5 coins that can provide maximum levels of anonymity across the blockchain technology.

#5 Bytecoin

Bytecoin was the first ever Cryptonote cryptocurrency to be released back in 2012. It provides high levels of anonymity via “ring signatures”. Although it reached mass adoption in 2013, today a single Bytecoin is worth around 5 satoshis.

#4 ShadowCash

Similarly to Bytecoin, ShadowCash utilizes “ring signatures” to maximize anonymity. What sets it apart is that it is considered the first coin to deploy “ring signatures” on bitcoin’s codebase. A single ShadowCash coin is worth roughly $1.35 on todays market.

#3 Dash

Dash promotes anonymity via its “PrivateSend” feature which represents the developed version of CoinJoin, which is a bitcoin mixing concept. Along with CoinJoin’s mixing concepts, Dash implements a series of added features including decentralization, a chaining approach for maximizing anonymity, passive ahead-of-time mixing and denominations. Currently a single Dash is worth roughly $14.

#2 Zcash

Although Zcash has been launched in January, 2016, the technology behind this new cryptocurrency is getting appreciated more and more each and every day. Zcash has been described as the untraceable cryptocurrency due to its high levels of anonymity, mainly due to the implementation of zk-SNARK (Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-interactive Argument of Knowledge) cryptographic model.

Without delving into technical jargon, zk-SNARKs represent proofs of work over given inputs without having to reveal all of those inputs. zk-SNARKS are not only ideal for promoting anonymity, but also permit reduction of the transaction verification costs when compared to smart contracts. Currently, Zcash is worth $47.83.

#1 Monero

Monero is by far the cryptocurrency that provides maximum levels of anonymity. It is a CryptoNote coin and represents a rather new cryptocurrency concept. Although the basic framework of Monero’s blockchain and the structure of its transactions are the same as those of bitcoin, it utilizes a new concept of “ring signatures” and address derivation.

When Monero coins are transferred, the sender A will formulate a new address for the receiver B, which is based on the public key of B. The private key of the newly formed address can only be formulated by B’s private keys. When coins are spent, the transaction is signed and time-stamped with a “ring signature”. Ring signatures are verified against a group of public keys without having to reveal the used private key. Monero is currently worth $15.47 on today’s market.

If you liked this article, follow us on Twitter @themerklenews and make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and technology news.


  • lunokhod

    What is your criteria for making this list?

    In terms of anonymity, only Zcash is 100% provably anonymous.

    In terms of usage, the winners would go to Monero and Dash.

    Unfortunately, all of these coins kind of suck. ZCash used a trusted setup and the developers are greedy in taking a 10% cut. Bytecoin is a proven scam coin. Dash had a huge premine that benefited the developers, and given the history of that coin, it is borderline scam.

    • Eli

      zcash is not opensource. we do not know how it works in reality.

      • Daira Hopwood

        Zcash is fully open source (as is the software that was used to generate the zk-SNARK parameters). Apparently I cannot link the source without my comment dropping into a moderation black hole, but it is prominently linked from the download page. A full protocol spec is also available from the “support” page.

        Disclosure of interest: I’m a Zcash developer.

        • Platypus Paws

          Your a Zcash developer? I’d be interested to know your view on my comment, 2 comments after yours.

          It would be also great if a Crypocurrency helped the poorest rather than was used as a get rich scheme.

    • Afonso Henriques

      Bytecoin BCN is a scam coin!? No it is not! It got more then 6000 miners just one one mining well knowed pool!
      Actually this Bytecoin is the only one Bitcoin like, but much better at all levels and more ready for the future!

  • CosmicV

    As much as I had wished that ZCash had done a presale, I don’t hold it against them on taking a cut. What they produced is amazing and hasn’t been seen before. We can’t imagine the effect of these privacy oriented cryptos, but ZCash may just be the most useful, as it doesn’t have the weakness of master nodes that Monero does.

    • ฿rian

      monero does not have masternodes. dash does and they are not a realistic/cost effective attack vector.
      for someone really paranoid you may want to use both on-chain anon solutions (monero, zcash, shadowcoin and on and on) as well as futureproofed off-chain anon solutions like Dash.
      For me Dash alone works fine plus you can earn around 9-10% ROI running a masternode. and get to vote on things like funding and general governance issues. Also, premixed anonymous instant transaction.
      the dash evolution release will take things to the next level of real world usability and protocol level scaling and all in a non centralized way.

      • paul smart

        wow,very informative discussion,i will like to know more.Daira Hopwood and Brian can you pls add me on facebook or any platform where i can read what you share or where i can interact more with you guys.I seek indepth knowledge of this cryptocurrencies.

  • Ade

    How are these more secure than me generating a new random Bitcoin address offline.
    Before anyone can send you Monero / Dash Zcash, you must tell them your address,
    Either post it online, or meet them in a bar, where I can just as easily show them my freshly generated offline Bitcoin QR code.

    • ฿rian

      Dash addresses this issue in the upcoming evolution release. Not sure of all the details but when you first interact with the person it then sends/creates 5 (or as many as you need) encrypted private address that you two use in the future.
      it will also use usernames and email to send to instead of long crazy strings of non memorable alphanumeric crap. unlike other solutions it will do this in a decentralized way at the protocol level.

      • Ade

        ooh, thanks for that,I will look in to this, sounds interesting idea.

  • Knel

    What about Nav coin? It is in top 3 for sure?

  • Daira Hopwood

    A correction: Zcash was launched on 28 October, 2016.

    It is unclear what criteria are being used to compare the anonymity of Zcash and Monero. In principle the note traceability set of a Zcash transaction includes all previous notes (coins) that the attacker does not control or know to have been spent, which gives it an asymptotic advantage over Monero (and other CryptoNote coins) in which the traceability set is limited by transaction size. On the other hand Monero currently has an advantage from its earlier deployment, and there are many differences that make a fair comparison difficult; as a Zcash developer, I wouldn’t try to claim we had an unequivocal advantage over Monero in this respect.

    Also note that it isn’t very meaningful to compare absolute exchange rates to USD. The absolute value of the primary unit of a coin is somewhat arbitrary; as for fiat currencies, what matters is changes in value.

  • Platypus Paws

    I reckon it would be better to have a relatively transparent Cryptocurreny, not an anonymous one.
    I desire for authorities to be transparent, so shouldn’t I be too?
    Can you imagine if the world ran with am Anonymous Cryptocurreny, then so much dodgy dealings and corruption would become much easier rather than harder?

    Is there a more ethical, transparent Cryptocurreny?

  • Juan De wit
  • Xaos