Over the last several years, the number of digital currencies has skyrocketed. While some of these have developed substantial market capitalizations and carved out their own unique niches, few have shown promise for offering users a high level of privacy and fungibility.
Bitcoin, which had its genesis block mined in 2009, was the first digital currency to scale. While many early adopters took interest in bitcoin because of its promise of privacy, the digital currency failed to provide this benefit, as interested parties can look examine the transactions recorded on bitcoin’s blockchain to get a sense of exactly what a person or entity has purchased.
In the years following bitcoin’s release, developers have created privacy-oriented digital currencies including Dash and Monero. Both of these use innovative technologies to help increase the chances of their users remaining anonymous.
Dash leverages a technique called “CoinJoin”, in which several users put funds into the same transaction in order to increase the chances of privacy. Alternatively, Monero harnesses ring signatures to reduce the chance of detection.
Both of these cryptocurrencies have made great progress toward realizing the goal of anonymous transactions, and Monero has received widespread adoption in the dark web.