The Battle of the Anonymous Cryptocurrencies!
Since Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin and blockchain technology, many innovative enthusiasts have tried to replicate the success of it.
Some have created direct copies of Bitcoin, with slight enhancements and upgrades, like Litecoin, while others have opted into certain niches. For example, innovation builders, like Ethereum or the popular privacy-based currencies.
Anonymous coins have proven to be extremely popular with consumers, investors, and technology enthusiasts, with some even being used on the dark Web, and even catching the attention of the FBI.
There are many coins that are running the anonymous coin race, each with an extremely passionate following, but the two that people talk about most on forums and online videos are Monero and Dash!
What Makes Monero and Dash Anonymous, and Are They Similar?
The question is yes and no. Yes, they both have a blockchain behind them, and yes, they have miners, but that’s where their similarities end.
I will quickly explain how each coin works and what its functions are.
Dash (Formerly Known as Darkcoin and XCoin)
Dash has quite an interesting history, and it wasn’t always named Dash. What was once known as XCoin, then Darkcoin, and is now widely known as Dash, has started stepping away from targeting dark markets and more recently tried to appeal to the more commercial and mainstream markets.
Simply put, Dash wants to be the new Bitcoin, clinging on to its privacy features, yet wanting to make an impression in the mainstream sector.
Dash boasts far more features than Bitcoin, including instant transactions and the option to use “PrivateSend,” which was formerly known as DarkSend (I will explain that next).
What Are Dash’s Features?
Dash has many features for its users. The one that gives Dash its claim to privacy is a feature called PrivateSend. How this works is by using nodes to mix the transactions together, making it harder to trace people’s transactions and giving people a level of privacy when using the cryptocurrency.
Another handy feature is InstantX. This gives almost instant transactions, something that the Dash community proudly mentions when comparing the currency to Bitcoin, which, in all fairness, is much slower at this time of writing.
Within the Dash ecosystem, there are some great, innovative developments, such as Master Nodes and Dash Evolution.
In terms of marketing, Dash is the best out of all the cryptocurrencies. It has recently been added to the cold storage device Trezor, which enables users to store their Dash safely in an offline wallet.
Dash makes itself known extremely well with newcomers and the less tech savvy audience.
Monero, the Dark Market’s Chosen One!
Monero is the champion of the privacy-based coins in terms of being the most anonymous and actually being used in an particular niche.
Since its creation in mid-2014, the community and currency have gone from strength to strength. In late 2016, Monero’s price spiked after it was accepted on Alpha Bay, an extremely popular online dark market.
Different from its rival Dash, Monero’s privacy isn’t a feature or an off-and-on add-on. Instead, it is part of its software that enables users to have total anonymity, which is why the dark markets choose Monero over all the other privacy-based coins.
Monero isn’t trying to become a direct competitor to Bitcoin, or even become a mainstream currency. The Monero community and Bitcoin community have no rivalry, and usually, the Bitcoin enthusiasts side with Monero over Dash!
What Makes Monero’s Privacy So Much Better Than Dash’s?
If we look at who is proving themselves more in their specialist field, Monero is at the moment. Although not the most politically correct of specialities, Monero has found its niche and is handling it well.
While Dash mixes transactions with other transactions, Monero uses a Ring Signature system to mask users’ transactions and protect their privacy, allowing users to make untraceable transactions.
The technology is rigorously tested, and there is no block size limit with the number one privacy coin, meaning the problem of scalability is non-existent, something that Bitcoin is struggling with as we speak! There is also an “easy mine” feature with Monero, helping users mine coins from their home computer (CPU).
Monero doesn’t hype much, and its marketing isn’t as extensive and far-reaching as Dash’s. The coin’s developers state that Monero is more likely to fail than succeed. It’s probably the most honest and blunt altcoin alongside Litecoin. Monero’s achievements and potential have vastly gone without praise. That being said, the private currency has an extremely passionate community.
Recently, the popular cryptocurrency wallet Jaxx was going to add Monero to its long list of coins users can store. After numerous talks with Monero’s creator, known as “Fluffy Pony,” Jaxx had pulled out at the last minute. Many believe the reason was due to the fact that Monero’s level of privacy was too much of a risk for Jaxx, especially as Monero isn’t government-friendly.
Other rumours also floated around that Coinbase was considering implementing Monero due to its huge popularity!
The FBI Gave Monero Free Advertising!
Perhaps not quite right, but the FBI is concerned with Monero and is watching its development closely. As this image from CoinDesk shows, an FBI agent is talking to law students and mentions Monero and the challenge it possess to authorities.
Monero, at the time of writing, is valued at around $12.80, with a market cap of $178,418,426. This places it at number five in terms of market cap, and as long as Monero’s popular dark markets don’t get shut down, it seems like it will have a place to be used by buyers/sellers and flourish.
Some Honourable Mentions
Dash and Monero may be what everyone’s talking about, but other privacy-based coins that deserve recognition include Zcash, Zclassic, NAV Coin, Aeon, and VeriCoin, to name a few!
Conclusion and the Long-Term
As privacy-based coins gain more popularity, it is likely that governments across the globe will implement regulations to try to control them.
While coins such as Dash and Bitcoin aim to be seen in a more government-friendly image, Monero continues on its current trajectory, gaining support and more large-scale usage.
Users are warming up to the idea of their money becoming private and untraceable, especially those who take part in illegal activities.
All the coins mentioned have good and bad points, and it is always important to conduct extensive research if you are thinking of investing or using these currencies in their respective markets.