Looking for the best privacy coins in 2018?
When it comes to our online spending, anonymity is a big thing – and that means privacy altcoins have huge investment potential.
Now if you’re investing in cryptocurrency, then you already know that privacy coins are tipped for big things in 2018.
I’ve covered my best cryptocurrencies for 2018 before – but in this guide I’m going to specifically analyse my picks for the best privacy and anonymity focused coins.
1. What Are Privacy Coins?
Privacy coins are an anonymous form of cryptocurrency that protect the user’s identity.
You see, a lot of cryptocurrencies – like Ethereum and Bitcoin – just leave your transaction details flapping in the breeze.
That means anyone can look up your wallet address and see all of your payment details. Just imagine if someone could just look into your bank account and see what you’ve bought, when and how much money you have – not very nice right?
Most people hate the thought of someone seeing their email address online - let anyone their financial details.
And that’s how privacy coins help you:
They’re a great way to protect your identity online and keep your anonymity.
2. Why Privacy Coins Are A Big Deal In 2018.
- Demand: People want to protect their privacy online, especially when it comes down to money. There will be a huge demand for privacy coins in 2018 – which means prices are going to spike.
- Anonymity: With cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum etc. people can easily track your transactions and payment history. Privacy coins fix that – they’re completely anonymous.
- The Darknet: With the meteoric rise of the darknet, people want to protect their identity if they’re buying drugs, pirated materials and other nefarious things.
- Tax Avoidance: It’s a little taboo – but privacy coins are going to be the coins of choice for tax avoidance – mainly because authorities can’t see how much money you’re storing or where you’re storing it.
- The Technology: As you’ll discover, this technology goes way beyond Bitcoin – the best privacy coins (which I’ve covered below) are far cheaper, faster and more innovative than outdated cryptos like Bitcoin.
- They Work: This isn’t just a ‘nice idea’ – privacy coins like Monero are already transacting millions of dollars online (I’ll cover more about this below).
- People Are Already Choosing Privacy Coins Over Bitcoin: Monero is already becoming a favourite over Bitcoin – and that trend is expected to continue.
- Cryptocurrency Leaders: Whilst John McAfee (creator of the McAfee anti-virus) doesn’t have the greatest rep, he’s still one of the leading voices on cryptocurrency. And as you’ll see below, privacy coins are at the top of his recommendations list.
By the way, if you haven’t seen it already then check out McAfee’s Netflix documentary here – it’s definitely worth a watch.
3. The Top 28 Best Privacy Coins Of 2018.
1. Monero (XMR)
What Is Monero?
Monero is the most popular privacy coins right now.
It’s completely untraceable and gives owners the power to have complete control over their data and their anonymity.
Why Is Monero One Of The Best Privacy Coins To Invest In For 2018?
- Out of all the privacy coins, Monero is the most popular – and there’s a few reasons why.
- Monero has a really strong brand and a better marketing team compared to other privacy coins.
- It’s got some really unique technology – like the ability to optionally make it transparent if you want.
- It’s relatively stable – even when the crypto market occasionally takes a hit, Monero tends to stay pretty strong.
- It’s technology is dynamically scalable – meaning Monero can have a bigger reach for day to day transactions.
Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Invest In Monero.
- If you’re worried about the ethical use of Monero, this may not be for you because of the ‘dark side’ of XMR and it’s potential. However, this also goes for most privacy coins.
2. Navcoin (NAV)
What Is Nav?
Built on Bitcoin Core, it’s a low fee cryptocurrency with added features and upgrades.
Many investors have Navcoin on their list of the best privacy coins of 2018.
Why Is Nav One Of The Best Privacy Coins To Invest In For 2018?
- It’s pretty fast – transactions take about 30 seconds.
- They have a strong marketing team to promote their brand.
- The Navcoin development team have loads of updates and developments planned for the next couple of years – keeping it relevant and useful.
- If you’re running a business, it’s easy to setup online payments with Navoin using their merchant system via Coinpayments.
- It’s completely decentralised and anonymous.
Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Invest In Navcoin.
- NavCoin uses RSA technology – and there’s a few disadvantages to that.
- Whilst RSA is really powerful technology, it’s not bulletproof and critics have complained that RSA is more of a way to market their technology, rather than added value to their security.
- Some investors have complained that their transactions aren’t completely private – as you’ll discover here.
3. ZCash (ZEC)
What Is ZCash?
Although slightly lesser known, ZCash is still a strong contender for one of the best privacy coins to invest in 2018. It uses a unique system called zk-snark.
Why Is ZCash Is One Of The Best Privacy Coins To Invest In For 2018?
- ZCash isn’t that popular yet in comparison to other privacy coins like Monero or Navcoin – that means there’s more growth opportunities for investors.
- If you’re worried about ethics and the murky reputation of privacy coins, Zcash is a good option – they have a more ‘corporate feel’ to their brand.
- ZCash has even started working with companies JPMorgan Chase – one of the biggest banks in the world.
- It’s fungible – i.e. difficult to trace and strong in terms of privacy cryptography.
- They donate 1% of their ‘Founder’s Reward Tax’ to non-profit charities.
Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Invest In Zcash.
- Zcash’s cryptography is relatively untested and new to the industry. No one’s really tested Zcash on a practical, mass scale – and therefore no one knows if it works or not.
- The actual creation of Zcash has a lot of controversy behind it, as you’ll find here.
- It’s a little slow on transaction speeds – payment confirmations can take up 2.5 minutes which isn’t ideal for day to day transactions.
4. PIVX (PIVX)
What Is PIVX?
Abbreviated for Private Instant Verified Transaction, Pivx is another open source privacy coin.
You can buy Pivx via a few different exchanges online – here’s a list of the top ones.
Why Is PIVX One Of The Best Privacy Coins To Invest In For 2018?
- It’s already grown like crazy – a lot of investors in cryptocurrency favour Pivx.
- But Pivx still has a lot of growth potential – it’s not even hit the top 50 most traded cryptocurrencies (yet).
- Pivx is a hardfork of Dash – with the aim of improving and developing some better features.
- It has a strong following and community – with fans even creating art and advertising around the Pivx brand.
Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Invest In Pivx.
- Pivx doesn’t have the strongest marketing team – some worry that this may hinder Pivx’s adoption and growth.
- Others worry about it’s lack of ambition as a business – because their mission as a company isn’t goal focused the same way companies like Verge or Monero are.
5. Spectrecoin (XSPEC)
What Is Spectrecoin?
Spectrecoin is pretty unique because of it’s energy efficient algorithm – which is also designed to rapid transactions too. You can buy Spectrecoin on the exchanges listed here.
Why Is Spectrecoin One Of The Best Privacy Coins To Invest In For 2018?
- They have an impressive community
- Stealth addresses – for completely anonymity.
- Only 30 seconds to transaction time.
- Spectrecoin has no known transaction fees.
- Most privacy coins already have a huge market – but Spectrecoin aren’t in the same league – meaning huge potential for cryptocurrency investors.
- Strong development team working hard to improve it’s technology.
Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Invest In Spectrecoin.
- They don’t have anywhere near the same brand recognition or marketing efforts of big players like Monero.
- However, that means there’s more potential for the coin to grow if they fix this.
6. Sumokoin (SUMO)
What Is Sumokoin?
Sumokoin is untraceable, using Ring Confidential Transactions (RingCT) technology.
It uses highly encrypted technology, so that the user’s identity remains anonymous.
Why Is Sumokoin One Of The Best Privacy Coins To Invest In For 2018?
- Still relatively young to the crypto market, Sumokoin has a lot of growth potential for 2018.
- Sumokoin uses Ring Confidential Transactions (RingCT) – which hides your transactions and adds an extra layer of security to your wallet.
- It’s a hard fork from Monero – one of the most popular privacy coins on the crypto market right now.
- This also means that Sumokoin has all the advantages of Monero’s technology.
- It has a limited supply of 88,888,888 coins for the first 20 years – it’s scarcity factor adds more value to the coin.
Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Invest In Sumokoin.
- Some critics of Sumokoin have doubted the credibility of their development team and their cryptography techniques.
- You can find out more about that here.
7. Verge (XVG)
What Is Verge?
I'm not a big fan of Verge, but I'll give it an honourable mention.
Since being backed by John Mcafee, Verge has skyrocketed and then crashed dramatically.
It was tipped for big things in 2018 but personally, I'm not convinced.
Why Is Verge On The List?
- It’s rise to fame has been meteoric – Verge has received a lot of attention in 2017/2018.
- Influencers in cryptocurrency – like Mcafee – have promoted Verge as a promising privacy coin to invest in.
- A lot of people already know the Verge brand – it’s pretty well recognised in the cryptocurrency market.
- Verge has open-source software – so followers of Verge can input into future decisions and developments of the technology.
- It’s innovative Wraith Protocol technology – which allows users to switch between private and public transactions – is quite unique for cryptocurrency.
Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Invest In Verge.
- Since John Mcaffee’s promotion of Verge, it’s dumped pretty hard. Check out the graph below.
- Personally, I just don't like the hype Verge has received so far. I tend to steer from coins like these because they're so unpredictable.
Next Up: Now we'll move on to some of the best low cap privacy coins on the cryptocurrency market.
There's less information about these coins, and like most cryptocurrencies, their technology is mostly speculative.
8. DeepOnion (ONION)
First of all, it's got a great name.
But more than that, DeepOnion is a privacy coin that runs via the TOR network. TOR is infamous for the dark web - and it's technology uses military grade encryption.
DeepOnion is advertised as being 100% untraceable.
9. CloakCoin (CLOAK)
CloakCoin is one of the low cap privacy coins. It utilises the Enigma network to allow fully anonymous transactions.
(I'll explain what Enigma is below.)
One CloakCoin's biggest USPs is their lightning fast transaction times.
10. Enigma (ENG)
One of the biggest criticisms of most cryptocurrencies is the problem of scaling up:
If an altcoin can't be traded on a mass scale, it's adoption and value will suffer.
Enigma's platform actually focuses on scalability.
The Enigma Protocol can host Decentralized Applications and instead of 'smart contracts' - it's actually created 'secret contracts'.
11. Hcash (HSR)
Hcash uses a dual sidechain:
It's composed of both the blockchain and DAG systems.
This means it can authenticate transactions anonymously between blockchain and blockless systems.
Another useful feature of Hcash is it's dual consensus mechanism.
It uses both Proof of Work and Proof of Stake consensus for mining.
Note: To understand the difference between Proof of Stake and Proof of Work, check out my guide to cryptocurrency mining here.
12. Zcoin (XZC)
XZC uses the Zerocoin Protocol to allow users to mint a new coin.
Why is that important?
Whereas Bitcoin's transactions are shared on a public ledger, Zcoin uses zero knowledge proofs.
That means transactions within the Zcoin network are completely untraceable.
Another benefit of Zcoin is it's minting system. Coins are 'burnt', and then new coins are created with no previous transaction history.
This stops tokens being seized and avoids coin owners getting tied to tokens that were previously involved in illegal activity.
13. StealthCoin (XST)
Stealthcoin is an anonymity focused coin determined to allow cryptographic identity protection.
It's one of the first privacy coins to combine Proof of Stake with the TOR privacy network.
14. Hush (HUSH)
Hush coin focuses on preserving the freedom of speech.
Essentially, this is a Zero Knowledge messaging system, encrypting messages and allowing anonymity within online communications.
Hush operates using zkSNARKS technology.
15. Crave Project (CRAVE)
Crave Project was launched using the DASH blockchain.
With Zerocoin Protocol for anonymity, masternodes for faster transaction speeds and a user friendly interface, it's definitely one of the best low cap privacy coins to watch out for.
16. Bulwark (BWK)
Implementing PrivateSend and InstantSend functions, Bulwark's transaction times are faster than most other coins.
Already operating with Proof of Work mining, they're planning to move into Proof of Stake soon.
17. InnovaCoin (INN)
InnovaCoin's algorithm is ASIC resistant. This allows more people to mine it's coins, because there's less computing power required.
InnovaCoin's technology utilises DarkSend to make transactions anonymous.
18. Zoin (ZOI)
Zoin also operates on the Zerocoin Protocol to ensure anonymous, private transactions.
Interestingly, it's mining algorithm is CPU only - that means no ASIC or GPU requirements.
They're planning to launch on more mainstream exchanges on their roadmap, whilst encrypting their chat system and creating a community voting mechanism.
19. Phore (PHR)
The Phore Blockchain promises fast, secure and scalable transactions.
Privacy will be optional too - so you can choose between transparent or private transactions.
Phore is also offering democratic community governance, low fees and a secure, private market place.
They're eventually planning to create a Decentralized Crowdfunding platform, where users can support the projects of up and coming businesses, entrepreneurs, creatives and artists.
Grin is still in the early, experimental stages of development.
They've released their first testnet, and their plan is to implement a MimbleWimble blockchain.
They're creating a truly community driven project, where developers can join the community and help implement new updates.
It's a simple technology, with a simple aim, but one that could appeal to many developers interested in contributing towards a privacy coin's development.
21. Aeon (AEON)
It's privacy model uses the ring system to make transactions untraceable. This is also combined with CryptoNote technology.
It's kind of like a lightweight version of Monero, however there are some key differences:
- Aeon is designed to be more mobile friendly than Monero
- With it's pruning methodology, it's blockchain could be more scalable
- Unlike Monero, Aeon's privacy controls are optional. So you can choose between being anonymous or being transparent
22. Bytecoin (BCN)
Bytecoin has 3 main users:
Investors (for crowdfunding projects and storing funds privately), individuals (Bytecoin enhances security) and businesses (for funding).
With the BCN blockchain, the code is open source. This allows anyone to contribute to the network, creating a greater sense of community.
23. SolarisCoin (XLR)
Switching from a Nist5 mining algorithm to XEVAN in October 2017, it's an ASIC resistant cryptocurrency.
It boasts an instant send feature for faster transactions, decentralized governance and the option to transfer tokens anonymously.
24. Pure (PURE)
Like the name suggests, Pure coin is on a mission to 'purify the blockchain'.
Here's some of Pure's key features:
- X11 Pos network for anonymous transactions
- Fast transaction speeds
- Masternodes to ensure the integrity of the network
- Private transactions using the Darksend network
- A block reward of 20 Pure and a 60 second block time
25. Digital Note (XDN)
XDN's struggled recently with internal problems within their community.
They actually released a statement on Medium explaining why earlier in 2018.
However, despite this DigitalNote's development team is active and working on future updates.
They're planning to release a web wallet, open source pool software and other promising features.
26. Shield (XSH)
Shield didn't actually conduct an ICO.
With updates planned for RSK Smart Contracts and Quantum resistance protocols, it's an interesting project.
They're also planning to operate a more environmentally sustainable Proof Of Stake model, which could also help prevent attacks on their blockchain.
27. SagaCoin (SAGA)
SagaCoin's masternode network is designed to act as a payment network.
They've also implemented darksend, to create anonymous transactions.
As an extra security feature, their advanced scrypt hashing technology could prevent attacks on the blockchain.
Their mining model operates on Proof of Stake, rewarding users who hold SagaCoin tokens.
28. Electroneum (ETN)
Electroneum's privacy model is ambitious.
They're aiming to achieve mass adoption, and improve the coin's scalability.
In fact, their mass adoption roadmap aims to reach between 10m to 100 million users.
One of the key USPs of ETN is it's mobile friendly wallet, where users can mine Electroneum via their mobile device.
4. Before You Invest In Any Privacy Coins.
If you’re considering investing in any of my picks for the best privacy coins in 2018, please do your own research first and only ever invest in cryptocurrencies you believe in.
Cryptocurrencies are pretty volatile investments:
And if things get a little ugly, you need to be able to weather the storm without worrying if your investment will be around for much longer.
Also, when you’re investing long term in privacy coins in 2018 and beyond, don’t leave your money in an exchange. They’re great short term, not so great long term.
Check out my guide to the best cryptocurrency hardware wallets if you want some advice.
5. Privacy Coin FAQs.
5.1. How do you convert privacy coins back to normal coins?
The same way you'd cash out any other cryptocurrency.
Essentially, you'd sell your coins on the exchange back into Fiat currency (normal coins).
5.2. What are the top privacy alt coins?
In terms of market cap, technology and potential, Monero, ZCash and NavCoin are 3 of the top privacy altcoins to watch out for.
5.3. Why are privacy coins so popular?
More and more people are concerned about protecting their privacy.
With increasing online surveillance and in a world where data is becoming a commodity, privacy coins are a valuable option.
5.4. Who needs privacy coins?
Privacy coins aren't just for criminals and nefarious online activities.
Anyone who wants to protect their online data and anonymity needs privacy coins.
As you'll discover in the list above, privacy coins aren't just for financial transactions.
Messaging, communications and any other flow of confidential data can be conducted via a privacy coin network.