“[PIVX] now has over 10 million PIV converted to zPIV accounting for nearly 20% of its coin supply, making it the largest anonymous set of any coin that uses the Zerocoin protocol.”
Many privacy coins, such as Zcash, let users opt in to privacy. This has resulted in fairly low amounts of privacy: just 6% of Zcash’s value is private, according to PIVX. One solution to this problem is to implement privacy by default, as Monero does, but PIVX disagrees with this approach:
“[Many people] have frowned upon non-mandatory privacy. Their claim is that not enough people will use the privacy transaction features…The 10+ million zPIV supply of PIVX proves otherwise.”
Instead, PIVX incentivizes privacy. It claims to have solved low-privacy rates thanks to its specialized proof of stake model, zPOS, which offers stakers a choice between public and private coins as block rewards. If stakers choose to receive private coins, they receive a higher reward.
A Dying Breed?
Even though PIVX has achieved an impressive amount of privacy, overall demand for privacy may be on the decline when it comes to crypto. Some have suggested that demand for privacy features decreases as a coin grows.
The argument is that people opt for privacy less frequently because private transactions are often resource-heavy and slow. Additionally, as a coin gains popularity, it is often adopted by third-party wallets, which may not fully support specialized features such as privacy.
Whether PIVX will face these issues is unclear: yesterday’s announcement claims that “The total number of zPIV is only expected to grow, as many improvements to zPIV and zPoS are in the pipeline.” PIVX is already planning to improve efficiency with “precomputed proofs”, and the announcement also mentions that one upcoming mobile wallet will support PIVX’s privacy features. Both of these are a good sign.
However, privacy coins may simply be less popular than they once were, as they have been falling through the ranks over the last few months. Time will tell whether this will give PIVX a chance to beat out its once prominent competition, or if the trend will eventually render privacy coins obsolete.
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