The 7 Most Private Cryptocurrencies For You to Consider in 2022

Monero coin icon, broken padlock, eye icon, Zcash coin icon and anonymity icon on a light background
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The 7 Most Private Cryptocurrencies: A Quick Guide

Many people believe that cryptocurrencies are anonymous by design. This is not really true. They are usually pseudo-anonymous. This means that your wallet address doesn’t reveal you directly.

However, users can use this address and correlate it with other data (on the blockchain) to trace your identity. Once they’ve found out who you are, they can see all your crypto transactions and holdings.

But, there are some cryptocurrencies that value user privacy. In this article, we are going to talk about the seven most private cryptocurrencies that you can get in 2022, and what makes them so private:

  1. Monero (XMR)
  2. Dash (DASH)
  3. Zcash (ZEC)
  4. Horizen (ZEN)
  5. Verge (XVG)
  6. Grin (GRIN)
  7. Bytecoin (BCN)

Read the complete article below to learn more about these private cryptocurrencies and what sets them apart.

Private cryptocurrencies are designed to help buyers and sellers transfer money without revealing their identities. They allow for a decentralized financial system (one that doesn’t require a central bank) and afford a lot more privacy to users than conventional payment methods.

However, not all cryptocurrencies are inherently private. For many, you can easily track transactions online. For instance, all Bitcoin transactions are traceable as they’re stored on a public ledger.

But, there are several cryptocurrencies that use various technological methods to enforce privacy and protect users’ identities. After testing several top coins, we’ve narrowed down our list. Here are the 7 most private cryptocurrencies for you to consider in 2022.


The 7 Most Private Cryptocurrencies in 2022

Here’s a comprehensive description of the 7 top private cryptocurrencies in 2022, and the various security and privacy features that they offer.

1. Monero (XMR)

Monero website homepage

  • Stealth addresses, Ring Confidential Signatures (RCT)
  • Top privacy coin by market cap
  • Open-source
  • 1700 transactions per second
  • Available at the following exchanges: Binance, Bitfinex, HBTC, Huobi Global, Kraken and OKEx

Monero is one of the most well-known private cryptocurrencies around. In fact, it has the biggest market cap of all cryptos that can be considered private.

Its privacy measures are very useful, with an important one being its use of stealth addresses. These stealth addresses actually operate as a proxy address for Monero receivers. They will receive their Monero at this address, after which it will go to their real wallet address.

For every new transaction, a new stealth address is generated. This way, actual wallet addresses are never revealed, keeping the identities of both the sender and the receiver.

Ring Confidential Transactions (RingCT)

Being the best privacy coin, Monero doesn’t just keep receivers private. It also offers Ring Confidential Transactions (RingCT) to hide the wallet address of senders. This privacy measure even hides transaction amounts.

RCT is essentially an advanced version of the older (but still very effective) ring signatures technology. This technology “bundles” crypto users together in a group of key owners to anonymize their transactions and amounts.

All of the members can use their special key to approve a crypto transaction. This means it will never be clear to external parties which of the group members actually sent Monero.

Monero’s open-source nature contributes to privacy

Monero’s open-source nature also greatly contributes to its privacy and security. After all, this means that people who can read code can inspect whether Monero actually does what it says it does. They can also make sure Monero doesn’t have any security vulnerabilities.

For you coders out there, Monero’s source code is available for everyone to review. Another great advantage of Monero is that its transactions are private by default.

With a lot of private cryptocurrencies, this isn’t the case: you have to enable private transactions. Transactions are processed quickly, and the network is highly scalable. According to one of Monero’s developers, Monero is able to process 1700 transactions per second when working at full capacity!

Monero’s applications

Monero is one of the more tried-and-tested private cryptocurrencies. In fact, it is adopted by several popular dark web sites mainly because of how secure it is. As an example, White House Market, a popular former dark web market that shut down in late 2021, used it.

It’s vitally important that you know how to stay safe on dark web marketplaces, as many are fraught with malicious intent. You can also spend Monero, among others, with the following companies and stores:

  • InvixBox
  • StakeBox
  • Coincards
  • BitPanda
  • NordVPN

Monero is available on the following exchanges, among others: Binance, Bitfinex, HBTC, Huobi Global, Kraken, and OKEx.


2. Dash (DASH)

Dash website homepage

  • PrivateSend (using coin mixing similar to CoinJoin)
  • A Bitcoin fork
  • open-source
  • 56 transactions per second
  • Available at: Binance, Bitfinex, CEX, Coinbase, Digifinex, Huobi Global, HBTC, Kraken, OKEx, and Poloniex

Dash is one of the biggest private cryptocurrencies around. It has the largest market cap out of all private coins after Monero. Unlike Monero however, transactions are not private by default.

But, you can easily send crypto anonymously by using their “PrivateSend” feature. This feature mixes your crypto with other users’ crypto transactions before sending the right amount to the receiver of your transaction.

The idea of mixing your crypto with crypto owned by others might sound troubling, but PrivateSend ensures that transactions are discrete.

Coin mixing (a la CoinJoin)

Imagine handing someone a few coins directly. For someone observing the transaction, it will be very clear who paid what to whom. Now imagine you put a few coins in a big bag that has thousands of coins in it already.

These coins belong to tens or hundreds of owners. Now imagine you gave someone with access to this bag a secret note that reveals how much money you put into the bag and to whom it should go.

This is more or less what happens with Dash’s PrivateSend feature, but virtually. One main difference is that with PrivateSend, you can mix your money two to 16 times! This increases your privacy even more.

Just like Monero, Dash is open-source and you can easily access Dash’s source code on GitHub. This makes it quite secure thanks to constant vulnerability detection by a dedicated community.

Dash’s applications

Dash is a big player among private cryptocurrencies. As such, its adoption is in a much further stage than other private cryptocurrencies.

It also helps that Dash has a great transaction time (only two seconds when you use InstantSend!) and can process 56 transactions per second. You can spend it, among others, with the following online vendors:

  • DashDirect
  • Bitfy
  • Cloudbet
  • BitPlaza
  • Coinpay

Dash is a Bitcoin fork that’s available on Binance, Bitfinex, CEX, Coinbase, Digifinex, Huobi Global, HBTC, Kraken, OKEx, and Poloniex.


3. Zcash (ZEC)

Zcash website homepage

  • Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge (zk-SNARKs)
  • Bitcoin fork
  • Open Source
  • 6-25 transactions per second
  • Available at: Binance, Bitfinex, Bithumb, Coinbase, Gemini, Huobi Global, Kraken, OKEx and Poloniex

Zcash is quite an innovative private cryptocurrency. It uses an advanced privacy measure: zk-SNARKs (Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge). This is part of Zcash’s “Orchard shielded payment protocol.”

This means that it allows crypto users to prove they have certain information, such as the keys to a certain amount of crypto, without actually giving up this information. This system is also called zero-knowledge proof.

Rather than actually handing over your wallet address or other information that is necessary for the transaction, zk-SNARK will communicate a complex equation that mathematically proves you have the information before the funds are released.

zk-SNARKs are great for privacy since they allow you to hide sensitive transaction information. This includes your wallet address, the wallet address of the receiver, and the transaction amount.

For the transparency and privacy enthusiasts among us, it will be good to know Zcash is open-source. The entire Zcash source code is available on GitHub for review.

Zcash’s application

Zcash lends itself very well to private payments across a great number of (online) stores. Below you’ll find a few of the vendors that accept Zcash:

  • Gamestop (through the SPEDN app)
  • Dunkin Donuts (through the SPEDN app)
  • The Tor Project
  • WikiLeaks
  • Freedom of the Press

Zcash is a fork of the Bitcoin blockchain with its own blockchain and token. It can currently process between six and 25 transactions per second. The crypto is available on the following exchanges: Binance, Bitfinex, Bithumb, Coinbase, Gemini, Huobi Global, Kraken, OKEx and Poloniex.


4. Horizen (ZEN)

Horizen website homepage

  • Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge (zk-SNARKs)
  • Open-source
  •  1000 transactions per second per blockchain, with a maximum of 10,000 blockchains and 10,000,000 transactions on all blockchains together
  • Available at: Coinbase, Bittrex, and Binance

Horizen isn’t as popular as other cryptocurrencies on this list, but the core infrastructure that they use is fairly robust. What is assuring is that many of their solutions are open-source. This includes the protocol that they use for their sidechain, Zendoo.

According to Horizen, this sidechain offers a high level of privacy since it makes use of zk-SNARKS, the same system that Zcash uses to ensure transaction anonymity.

Horizen claims impressive transaction speeds

What’s really interesting about Horizen is their claim about scalability and transaction times. According to their site, a single Horizen blockchain can process up to 1000 transactions per second.

Moreover, they claim about 10,000 Horizen blockchains (and presumably sidechains) can operate simultaneously. This means that theoretically, Horizen could process a whopping 10,000,000 transactions per second.

Take these claims with a pinch of salt, though, as they haven’t been tested. Nevertheless, we are excited to see if Horizen can, in practice, prove these claims. And not just with computational arguments, like their zk-SNARKs, but with real-life empirical proof.

One thing is certain: if they can, and if they are as private as they claim, we might be looking at one of the pioneers of private digital finance. If you want to be one of the first people to find out if this will be the case, you can get some ZEN at these exchanges: Coinbase, Bittrex, and Binance.

Horizen’s applications

Horizen is a bit different from many other private cryptocurrencies. After all, they don’t just focus on being a private payment method or investment vehicle. Rather, a big part of their strategy involves offering their technology to other developers and companies to build their own highly-customizable blockchains on.

Horizen offers two toolkits on their website that developers can use to build their own blockchains. The first one is called Blaze and allows you to build very fast and highly decentralized blockchains.

The other one is called Latus and lets developers build fully decentralized blockchains. Only Blaze is operational as of now, but at the time of writing, Horizen says they’ll release Latus soon.

Horizen’s source code is also on GitHub, easily accessible for anyone to review. You can also use Horizen to make purchases at selected (online) shops, such as the ones below:

  • Bitcoin Meister
  • Bangkok Express Restaurant
  • Battlefield Bangkok Social Club and Game Store
  • Cheshire Wellness Center
  • Darkcrypt Networks

5. Verge (XVG)

Verge website homepage

  • Capable of sending transaction data past the Tor network
  • Open-source
  • 100 transactions per second
  • Available at Binance, Bittrex, Huobi Global, Litebit, Bithumb, Guardarian, Swapzone, Bitladon, and others

Verge is one of the most interesting entities on our list. This is because it’s the only private cryptocurrency we have found that has seen major adoption so far. In 2018, Verge got accepted as an official payment method on adult entertainment platform PornHub. According to PornHub executives, Verge’s anonymity features played an important role in their decision.

The above, in a way, is already a testament to Verge’s privacy infrastructure. It’s obviously not as strong as others like Monero, but it’s easily one of the best. Here’s how it protects user privacy.

Using the Tor network for anonymity

Instead of developing its own advanced cryptographic solutions, Verge banks on a powerful existing privacy tool: the Tor network. It routes its transactions past this network. This is great because it will hide the IP address of transacting parties. This gives users a lot more anonymity.

After all, the operators of blockchain nodes get to see a lot of information, including IP addresses. Verge prevents this with their main privacy measure. Moreover, routing your traffic past Tor is always great, thanks to their strong triple encryption.

Our only criticism is that this form of privacy is quite easily achievable by using other methods. For instance, Verge could urge users to use the Tor network directly. Or, you could use a VPN.

The advantage of using a VPN is that it (generally) doesn’t slow your traffic down as much as the Tor network. This is especially true if you use a fast VPN, such as Surfshark.

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Stealth addresses, open-source technology, and great transactions speeds

Verge also uses stealth addresses. As we discussed above, this is a great way to hide the identity and wallet address of the receiving party. A new proxy address will be generated with every transaction, which is shown on the transaction instead of your actual address.

Verge is an open-source project, which makes it a lot more trustworthy. The entire Verge source code is on GitHub, making it easier for community members to review and make sure that the developers can back up their claims.

Supposedly, Verge supports up to 100 transactions per second. This is very impressive, considering Bitcoin processes over twenty times fewer transactions in the same time span.

You can get Verge on Binance, Bittrex, Huobi Global, Litebit, Bithumb, Guardarian, Swapzone, Bitladon, and many other exchanges.

Verge’s applications

As we discussed earlier, a popular application of Verge is its use as a payment method on PornHub. There are more vendors that accept Verge, however. Some of these include the following:

  • TrafficJunky.com
  • Ganja.com
  • High Life Goods
  • EarthVPN
  • SwitchVPN

6. Grin (GRIN)

Grin website homepage

  • Uses the MimbleWimble protocol
  • Open-source
  • 10 transactions per second
  • Available at KuCoin, gate.io, Bitforex, Bibox, and Bkex,

We have the impression that Grin is one of the most revolutionary (private) cryptocurrencies around. It uses the highly innovative MimbleWimble protocol which comes with its own blockchain and processes transactions very differently (increased focus on security than speeds).

As MimbleWimble claims, its blockchain doesn’t even make use of wallet addresses to process transactions and doesn’t record transaction amounts.

The MimbleWimble protocol only requires two pieces of information to verify a transaction:

  1. Is the transaction amount correct and “whole?” This means it wants to verify no new (fake) coins have been created. Essentially, it makes sure the sender isn’t committing fraud.
  2. Are the transacting parties the owners of their crypto keys?

The Pederson Commitment

To verify the first piece of information and do so anonymously, MimbleWimble uses the Pederson Commitment. This technique verifies the transaction moment by simply making sure the input amount and output amount of the transaction are equal. These amounts are encrypted, so Grin users don’t have to worry about their privacy.

The amounts mentioned above are encrypted by what is called “the blinding factor.” It also encrypts the sender’s and receiver’s public and private keys. This blinding factor is subsequently shared secretly between the two parties. This system allows Grin to maintain anonymity, unlike traditional wallet addresses.

What’s also great to know is that Grin is open-source. This means (security or privacy) flaws in its code can be picked up quickly by code-savvy crypto enthusiasts. This will likely only serve to make Grin more secure and more private. This is especially useful since Grin is still a work in progress according to their team.

Grin says it allows for about 10 transactions per second. This might not sound blazing fast and it isn’t. However, if we consider that’s still twice as fast as Bitcoin’s current transaction speed, combined with Grin’s much, much stronger privacy, we can be somewhat forgiving of this.

Of course, we would like to see Grin improve on this in the future. Grin is currently available at these exchanges, among others: KuCoin, gate.io, Bitforex, Bibox, and Bkex. All of its development can be found on Grin’s GitHub page.

Grin’s applications

Grin states that they’re “very young and experimental.” They add: “Use at your own risk.” This probably explains why, unfortunately, we haven’t been able to find any practical applications of Grin yet. Nevertheless, we are very excited to see its development and to see if it will get adopted sooner or later.


7. ByteCoin (BCN)

ByteCoin website homepage

  • Uses the CryptoNote protocol with ring signatures and private (stealth) addresses
  • Open-source
  • Available at Paybis and Bitbns

Bytecoin might not be as popular as some others on this list, and it’s definitely not widely accepted or traded on different exchanges, but they’re privacy-oriented. They include many features to help preserve user anonymity. Two of these in particular help to improve your privacy: ring signatures and stealth addresses.

Ring signatures and private wallet addresses

ByteCoin’s ring signatures hide all ByteCoin senders. As mentioned, ring signatures ensure that multiple users each have a key they can use to approve a transaction.

At the same time, Bytecoin uses a system that keeps users’ wallet addresses private, by only displaying their “public wallet” addresses. These are one-time addresses that change with every transaction.

As such, this system looks a lot like the stealth addresses we discussed earlier. It serves to hide the “real” wallet address of the receiver.

CryptoNote

Bytecoin uses the CryptoNote protocol to enable private transactions. Since it’s open source, you can find its entire development history and Bytecoin’s source code on GitHub.

We were not able to find out its transaction speed anywhere on its site. This is unfortunate, as presenting this sort of important information clearly increases a coin’s trustworthiness. The only exchanges where we found Bytecoin to be available so far are Paybis and Bitbns.

Bytecoin’s applications

Bytecoin isn’t exactly at the top of private cryptocurrencies in terms of adoption and market cap. Nevertheless, there are still over 300 online stores and vendors that accept Bytecoin.

Here are five of the biggest retailers and vendors that accept Bytecoin:

  • Hustles Casino
  • The Bitcoin Wardrobe
  • SandboxCasino
  • Playhub Casino
  • CoinPayments

The Bottom Line

As we discussed at the start of this article, many cryptocurrencies aren’t as private as they seem. This includes popular coins like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin. You may also want to read about the underlying technologies that make cryptocurrencies private.

If you really want to keep your transactions private, Monero is by far the best choice. It’s widely accepted, has a very robust infrastructure, and the development team is committed to its goal of ensuring complete user privacy.

Apart from Monero, there are other private cryptocurrencies that offer exceptional privacy, including Zcash, Dash, Horizen, and Bytecoin. Have you used any of these? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

The 7 Most Private Cryptocurrencies: Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a specific question about private cryptocurrencies to which you need a quick answer? Check out our FAQ below. If we haven’t answered your question yet, feel free to leave us a comment below. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

There are several private cryptocurrencies that you can consider in 2022, and Monero’s at the very top of the list. This cryptocurrency has taken measures to hide the sender, receiver, and amount of a transaction.

Different private cryptocurrencies have different methods of improving privacy. Common methods include using stealth addresses to hide the recipient’s wallet address and using ring signatures to hide the sender.

Some fairly well-known private cryptocurrencies include the following:

  • Monero (XMR)
  • Dash (DASH)
  • Zcash (ZEC)
  • Horizen (ZEN)
  • Verge (XVG)
  • Grin (GRIN)
  • Bytecoin (BCN)

The main difference between private and public cryptocurrencies is that public cryptocurrencies take no measures to hide sensitive transaction data that appears on the blockchain, such as the wallet addresses involved and the transaction amount.

It’s very important to protect this data if you’re serious about privacy. We also recommend hiding your IP address to stay completely anonymous. You can use a VPN to achieve this.

Tech journalist
Nathan is an internationally trained journalist and has a special interest in the prevention of cybercrime, especially where vulnerable groups are concerned. For VPNoverview.com he conducts research in the field of cybersecurity, internet censorship, and online privacy. He also contributed to developing our rigorous VPN testing and reviewing procedures using evidence-based best practices.