Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies are not completely anonymous and untraceable as many think.
Most blockchains leave a public record of all transactions. There is a concern that users can still be identified based on their activity, which is why some people turn to private currencies. Below is a list of some of the best and most popular coins for privacy.
Monero was launched in 2014 and is currently the 10th most popular cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization. It is a bitcoin fork with different anonymity functions. Monero transactions are completely anonymous. The three most important functions are Ring Signatures, Ring Confidential Transactions (RingCT) and Stealth Addresses.
A ring signature is a digital signature that can be performed by any member of a group of users who has each key. A message signed with a ring signature is approved by someone in a particular group without disclosing which of the group members' keys were used to produce the signature.
Ring Confidential Transactions (RingCT)
RingCT is the way in which the transaction amounts are hidden in Monero. It is an improved version of the ring signatures and was implemented in 2017. RingCT allows hidden amounts, origins and destinations of transactions with reasonable efficiency and reliable and verifiable coin generation. Now it is mandatory for all transactions on the network.
Invisible addresses allow the sender to create random disposable addresses for each transaction on behalf of the recipient. Monero users have a public address that is shown on the blockchain, but their transactions will be passed through stealth addresses. Only the sender and recipient can determine where a payment was sent.
Monero is currently implementing BulletProofs rather than RingCT to reduce transaction size. Their roadmap is available here.
Dash is both a cryptocurrency and a DAO. Like Monero, Dash is a bitcoin fork created in 2014. It is a peer-to-peer open source cryptocurrency with many bitcoin-like features, but Dash also offers an option for instant and private transactions.
The InstantSend the function sends the transactions along the second level of the Dash blockchain, which allows a quick confirmation.
The PrivateSend the function is a reliable method for executing a sequence of transactions that makes it impossible for an external observer to determine the source of funding when a PrivateSend transaction is created.
Dash is a self-funded organization because 10% of the premiums for a resolved block go to Dash DAO. Another 45% of mining rewards the masternodes that serve as the second level to the network. Masternodes verifies transactions and network governance. In order to execute a masternode, a user must have more than 1000 tokens in his portfolio.
Dash is currently working on an updated version of their roadmap.
Zcash is also a Bitcoin fork. Zcash users can choose public or private addresses. Unlike the other coins on this list, Zcash has only a handful of privacy features.
The main function of privacy is ZK-snarks; Non-interactive knowledge tests with short zero knowledge. This function encrypts all transactional data stored on the Zcash network. zk-SNARKs verifies the accuracy of the data without revealing all the details of the transaction.
Zcash plans to release Sapling by the end of 2018. Their roadmap is available here.
SafeX aka Secure Exchange is a decentralized market and aim to destroy the e-commerce world. As stated on them website, "It [the marketplace] it resides on a blockchain that allows autonomous exchange with the crypto currencies. "They are using Chille's blockchain for the exchange of goods and services, cryptographic charging systems and classification systems will guarantee high quality experiences while transactions are anonymous." SafeX will provide a platform that protects the civil liberties of people from criminals / hackers. The fees charged on the blockchain will be distributed to holders of SafeX coins.
SafeX has recently launched its blockchain and are hoping to launch the safex marketplace in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Nav Coin based on the latest Bitcoin Core. Unlike Bitcoin and the other coins in this list, the Nav Coin consensus mechanism is Proof-of-Stake which enables faster transactions and does not require expensive hardware maintenance. Holders of a Nav coin can bet on their investment and receive 5% of annual fees to do so.
Nav Coin provides its users with easy-to-use and functional portfolios. Transactions require 30 seconds and costs are kept to a minimum.
Like the other coins in this list, Nav Coin is also very privacy-oriented. The dual blockchain security system allows users to send and receive the NAV completely anonymously and even have a built-in option to use the Tor network for more privacy.
They are currently implementing lightning network transactions to allow instant atomic exchange, cross-chain between the NAV and other supported cryptocurrencies. Their roadmap is available here.