Note: This is an opinion blog post, and I don’t own any of the coins mentioned.
Our human right to privacy is a giant, confusing, long-accumulated mess right now – and it is all getting thrust in our faces thanks to the controversy surrounding the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The company had harvested 50 million Facebook users’ data (without their permission) to develop methods of targeting potential Trump voters, and the confusing details are all getting digested by the public.
Even though Facebook executives, and at least one integral member of the Donald Trump presidential campaign, Steve Bannon, haven’t provided the public with the answers we deserve, one thing is very clear. We, as a society, are re-evaluating what privacy means and how we want financial and tech corporations to handle it.
Meanwhile, the blockchain revolution has given birth to a number of cryptocurrency projects that center on privacy – allowing people to make transactions without the data being linked back to their identity or IP address. Two of those coins are Monero (XMR) and Verge (XVG), with the former being the highest-valued privacy coin on the market.
XMR is the top privacy coin for a couple of reasons, and Verge (XVG) – thought it certainly tried – has fumbled its chance of being able to unseat Monero’s dominance. That ship has probably sailed.
Monero (XMR) already has mass-adoption advantage over Verge (XVG) – and most other privacy coins
Any privacy-focused cryptocurrency that wants to climb the ranks and overtake Monero (XMR) will have a massive uphill battle – because XMR coins are already the preferred payment coin for illegal activities on the dark web.
Yes, it’s not the best topic to bring up, but it’s true that this coin was basically adopted by the dark web so that people can make anonymous transactions. According to one Reddit user: “Everything and anything can be purchased on the dark web using Monero.”
That being said, this coin’s reputation has encountered some trouble lately – after researchers from a group including both MIT and Princeton published an academic article explaining how XMR’s ring signature technology isn’t as fully secure as its users had thought it was.
But, thankfully for fans of this coin, WIRED contacted one of the project’s core developers – Riccardo Spagni – and he had some (mostly) reassuring responses. According to Spagni, they had already known about what the researchers had discovered years ago, and have been able to make periodic improvements to make things less traceable.
But, they are still working on it – what Mr. Spagni calls a “constant cat-and-mouse battle.”
Nonetheless, it is still the top privacy coin, and it’s semi-minor controversy regarding the MIT/Princeton study pales in comparison to what Verge (XVG) has done recently.
Meanwhile, Verge (XVG) is in a tailspin – things aren’t looking good for this coin
If you follow cryptocurrency fans on social media, you may have already heard about this. To make a long story short, Verge (XVG) has had a pretty shoddy PR strategy as of late.
Because of its behavior, The Merkle named it one of the biggest fails of 2018 so far.
First, its release of its long-awaited Wraith Protocol – which allows users to jump on or off a private ledger, effectively producing on-demand anonymity – had a very flawed rollout. It is a pretty cool system, being able to pick when you want to remain private.
It came out in early January, later than it was supposed to, and it was not as exciting once it arrived. It’s basically a version of a stealth address, and other crypto projects are offering a similar feature. It’s just an add-on.
Then, people found out in January that a portion of the Wraith Protocol was actually taken from another piece of code – that was sourced from a project called OpalCoin. Without referencing OpalCoin, that’s not a good look.
But, worst of all, Verge (XVG) recently launched a crowdfund campaign asking its supporters to donate their own money so that they would be able to unveil some mysterious, huge partnership with a company they wouldn’t mention by name. They did that – the people with massive stacks of coins (the XVG team) is asking the investors who made this project what it was for FREE MONEY because they mismanaged their project’s finances.
A non-crypto company would never be able to pull that off.
That may have been the final nail in the coffin for previous fans of this coin – but at least it’s proof that Monero (XMR) is a much more solid option. It’s also highly unlikely that they would ever beg for money from you, either.
If any coin is going to unseat XMR as top privacy coin, it would more likely be Particl (PART) or Phore (PHR).
Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide, investment advice. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency.