Heads Up: The Fed continues to raise rates — up 3% this year — making credit card debt even costlier.
Pay it off today with a low fixed-rate personal loan. View your rate —>

5 Most Private Cryptocurrencies

By Melanie Mannarino · March 07, 2022 · 5 minute read

We’re here to help! First and foremost, SoFi Learn strives to be a beneficial resource to you as you navigate your financial journey. Read more We develop content that covers a variety of financial topics. Sometimes, that content may include information about products, features, or services that SoFi does not provide. We aim to break down complicated concepts, loop you in on the latest trends, and keep you up-to-date on the stuff you can use to help get your money right. Read less

5 Most Private Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin is one of the most secure cryptocurrencies, with a hash rate that climbed to an all-time high in January 2022. But transactions made on the Bitcoin blockchain are transparent and can be seen by anyone using widely-available blockchain explorer websites.

While future upgrades to the Bitcoin core code could make transactions more anonymous, for now any Bitcoin transaction can potentially be traced back to its source. This has led developers on a quest to create the most private cryptocurrency.

Top Privacy Coins and How They Work

There are a variety of technological methods that cryptocurrencies use to anonymize transactions. Which method works best to create the most secure cryptocurrency is a subject of heated debate within the community.

For investment purposes, it should be noted that all of these coins are highly speculative, risky, and can require opening a digital currency exchange account to trade them. As a general rule, the smaller the market capitalization and daily trading volume, the higher the risk.

Here are some of the top privacy coins available on the market today.

1. Bytecoin (BCN)

Bytecoin , which is based on the CryptoNote technology, claims to be the “first private untraceable currency.” CryptoNote was created with the goal of making transactions both a) untraceable and b) un-linkable.

Untraceable means observers cannot tell who sent a transaction to a specific recipient, while un-linkable means that observers cannot tell whether or not any two transactions were sent to the same source. The untraceable aspect is accomplished through ring signatures.

These ring signatures make its transactions opaque, meaning observers can’t see who sent the transaction, how much it was for, or who received it. Ring signatures basically string transactions together in a way that makes it difficult (but not entirely impossible) to tell them apart from each other.

To achieve un-linkable transactions, CryptoNote uses one-time keys. With ring signatures, it’s still possible to see incoming transactions to a single public key (wallet address). To fix this, CryptoNote automatically generates one-time keys whenever someone receives coins. It’s based on an encryption method known as the Diffie-Hellman Key Exchange, which allows for the sharing of secret data between two parties.

When someone sends Bytecoin to another Bytecoin address, the sender creates a unique code that gets used in the transaction. This unique code makes it look like the coins were sent to a different crypto wallet each and every time.

As of late February 2022, BCN had a market cap of $30.2 million and daily trading volume of about $30,695.

2. Monero (XMR)

Like Bytecoin, Monero is a private cryptocurrency that has privacy features built into all its transactions. XMR is actually a hard fork of BCN. That means Monero uses the same privacy tech as Bytecoin and shares most of the underlying characteristics.

When Bytecoin was created in 2012, 80% of the total supply was already in existence, as opposed to most mineable cryptocurrencies that begin with very little supply in existence.

This led seven of the developers working on Bytecoin to create a new coin by hard forking the BCN network. They called this new coin Bitmonero, which was then changed simply to Monero, which means “coin” in Esperanto.

As of late February 2022, Monero is worth over $2.7 billion with a daily trading volume of about $128 million.

3. Zcash (ZEC)

Zcash uses a technology called “zk-SNARKs,” short for zero-knowledge succinct non-interactive arguments of knowledge.

The exact details are about as complicated as the name makes it sound. What matters is that zk-SNARKs allow one party to prove to another that something is true without revealing anything specific, making this solution ideal for private crypto transactions.

However, privacy is not a default feature of Zcash, meaning that transactions are not automatically made anonymously. Zcash allows for four different types of transactions with varying levels of privacy.

The pros of Zcash is that it has some of the strongest privacy protocols on the market and the second-highest market cap of any coin on this list. The con might be the different types of transactions leading to confusion among users, some of whom might assume all Zcash transactions to be private.

As of late February 2022, Zcash is valued at $1.5 billion with a daily trading volume of about $265 million.

Up to $100 in bitcoin2 – just for you.

With 30 coins available, our app offers a secure way to trade crypto 24/7.

4. Dash (DASH)

Dash was the first private cryptocurrency created in 2014. Originally called DarkCoin, the coin eventually rebranded itself as DASH, short for “digital cash.”

As the name implies, Dash is meant to be used as a medium of exchange. Transactions can clear in a second and can cost less than a penny.

In addition to the typical crypto miners, Dash uses something called “masternodes.” These central masternodes receive 45% of all DASH mining rewards in exchange for performing essential functions on the network, including making transactions private and processing them quickly.

One of the potential cons of DASH is that these masternodes make the network more centralized than some other crypto networks.

As of late February 2022, DASH is valued at more than $968 million with $176 million in daily trading volume.

5. Verge (XVG)

Verge describes itself as a “cryptocurrency designed for people and everyday use.” Verge was created in 2014 as DogeCoinDark. Like Dash, DogeCoinDark rebranded itself shortly after its inception, changing its name to Verge.

Verge uses a technology called the Wraith Protocol to make transactions private. Wraith Protocol anonymizes transactions through the Tor Network.

By routing internet connections through multiple anonymous nodes around the world, The Tor Browser works to hide IP addresses. Wraith Protocol uses this tech for the purpose of anonymizing cryptocurrency users. This feature is optional and must be turned on.

Some benefits of Verge include fast transactions, low fees, and the potential to scale and be used by more people. The big drawback is that most of the total supply of XVG is already in circulation, so the coin will likely lose value in the long-term due to inflation, just like Bytecoin.

As of late February 2022, Verge is valued at around $155 million with a daily trading volume of around $6.4 million.

The Takeaway

Privacy coins have only existed since 2012, and didn’t really burst onto the scene in a big way until 2014. The tech is even newer than Bitcoin, and the landscape is constantly changing.

Monero is thought to be one of the most private cryptocurrencies, so much so that it has been the subject of scrutiny by regulatory agencies. But some privacy enthusiasts argue that coins like Zcash have better privacy protocols and that they might be the most secure cryptocurrencies. The subject is still up for debate.

Looking to get into cryptocurrency? With SoFi Invest® you can buy cryptocurrency from more than two dozen crypto coins including Bitcoin, Chainlink, Ethereum, Dogecoin, Solana, Litecoin, Cardano, and Enjin Coin. Investor information is kept secure and never shared with any third parties beyond what is detailed in our privacy policy.

Trade crypto and get up to $100 in bitcoin! (Offer is available through 12/31/23; terms apply.)

SoFi Invest®
The information provided is not meant to provide investment or financial advice. Also, past performance is no guarantee of future results.
Investment decisions should be based on an individual’s specific financial needs, goals, and risk profile. SoFi can’t guarantee future financial performance. Advisory services offered through SoFi Wealth, LLC. SoFi Securities, LLC, member FINRA / SIPC . SoFi Invest refers to the three investment and trading platforms operated by Social Finance, Inc. and its affiliates (described below). Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of the platforms below.
1) Automated Investing—The Automated Investing platform is owned by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC registered investment advisor (“Sofi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC, an affiliated SEC registered broker dealer and member FINRA/SIPC, (“Sofi Securities).
2) Active Investing—The Active Investing platform is owned by SoFi Securities LLC. Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
3) Cryptocurrency is offered by SoFi Digital Assets, LLC, a FinCEN registered Money Service Business.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above, including state licensure of Sofi Digital Assets, LLC, please visit www.sofi.com/legal. Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform. Information related to lending products contained herein should not be construed as an offer or prequalification for any loan product offered by SoFi Bank, N.A.
Crypto: Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies aren’t endorsed or guaranteed by any government, are volatile, and involve a high degree of risk. Consumer protection and securities laws don’t regulate cryptocurrencies to the same degree as traditional brokerage and investment products. Research and knowledge are essential prerequisites before engaging with any cryptocurrency. US regulators, including FINRA , the SEC , and the CFPB , have issued public advisories concerning digital asset risk. Cryptocurrency purchases should not be made with funds drawn from financial products including student loans, personal loans, mortgage refinancing, savings, retirement funds or traditional investments. Limitations apply to trading certain crypto assets and may not be available to residents of all states.
Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

2Terms and conditions apply. Earn a bonus (as described below) when you open a new SoFi Digital Assets LLC account and buy at least $50 worth of any cryptocurrency within 7 days. The offer only applies to new crypto accounts, is limited to one per person, and expires on December 31, 2023. Once conditions are met and the account is opened, you will receive your bonus within 7 days. SoFi reserves the right to change or terminate the offer at any time without notice.
First Trade Amount Bonus Payout
Low High
$50 $99.99 $10
$100 $499.99 $15
$500 $4,999.99 $50
$5,000+ $100

All your finances.
All in one app.

SoFi QR code, Download now, scan this with your phone’s camera

All your finances.
All in one app.

App Store rating

SoFi iOS App, Download on the App Store
SoFi Android App, Get it on Google Play

TLS 1.2 Encrypted
Equal Housing Lender