Introduction to Crypto Currency Investing
Crypto currencies remain one the most volatile, yet attractive investments today. However, with such a large number of coins, platforms and assets available, one needs a simpler way to approach this lucrative market. By concentrating on key aspects of these digital offerings and picking one or two of their most significant characteristics, I have broken down this page into two categories. I intend to list and update my favorite crypto currency picks - those with "unique features" and those striving to be purely "anonymous."
Anonymous Crypto Currencies?
"PIVX is focused on true privacy. We are thrilled to announce that PIVX will be the first 'Proof of Stake' coin to have the Zerocoin Protocol publicly available for transactions within PIVX. These perfectly anonymous transactions will also maintain the speed and security already inherent to PIVX." (website quote)
You might ask what exactly is a "perfectly anonymous transaction" and that would be a fair question. Nevertheless, here are the main features of PIVX as explained on their website. In a nutshell, PIVX is a POS 3.0 coin using the bitcoin core and applying obfuscation (mixing), SwiftTX, masternodes and a special seesaw rewards mechanism (for the miners).
Verge (XVG) is a decentralized crypto currency designed for users who value privacy. Verge improves upon the original Bitcoin blockchain by using multiple anonymous networks such as Tor and I2P. It utilizes multi-algorithm mining support to improve security and provide equal coin distribution to miners.
Verge offers a wide array of secure wallets for multiple operating systems, including the revolutionary Tor Android Wallet which offers mobile anonymity, a unique feature among privacy-oriented coins. Transactions are ultra-fast compared to other coins with "Simple Payment Verification" (SPV) technology allowing average confirmation times to drop to under 5 seconds.
Monero (XMR) is a secure, private, and untraceable cryptocurrency. Significant privacy is provided using ring confidential transactions to obfuscate the amounts, origins, and destinations of all transactions, coupled with stealth addresses for both the sender and receiver.
Transactions are confirmed by distributed consensus and then immutably recorded on the blockchain. Third parties do not need to be trusted to keep your Monero safe. Transactions on the Monero blockchain cannot be linked to a particular user or real-world identity. One drawback however, is the larger block size on the chain resulting from the increased sizes of the transactions.
Zcash (ZEC) is the first open, permissionless crypto currency that can fully protect the privacy of transactions using zero-knowledge cryptography. This somewhat unique process enables verification and privacy of data with transaction amounts, sender and recipient addresses all being encrypted.
With Zcash, users can enjoy the advantages of using a public blockchain, while still being sure that their private information is protected. However, one complaint often associated with the Zcash protocol is that it does not hide public data that may be linked to personal identifiers.
Unique Crypto Currencies?
Vertcoin (VTC) stays true to the original vision of crypto currency: a financial system owned by its users, the people’s coin. Vertcoin is not controlled by large banks or mining hardware manufacturers and can be mined by anyone profitably. Vertcoin features an algorithm designed to resist the development of custom mining hardware and multipool mining, ensuring that transactions are validated by a widely distributed network.
What may very well make Vertcoin unique, is its plan to explore "atomic swap" capabilities with other like-minded currencies using the Lightning Network, namely Litecoin and perhaps even Bitcoin!
IOTA - the backbone of the "Internet of Things" is here! Scalable, modular, decentralized and with no fees, IOTA will be able to handle the enormous number of device transactions, allowing machines to actually trade exact amounts of resources on-demand, as well as store data from sensors and data-loggers securely on the ledger.
The main innovation behind IOTA is the "Tangle," a revolutionary new block-less distributed ledger which is scalable, lightweight and for the first time ever, free. With IOTA, consensus is no longer decoupled but instead an intrinsic part of the system, leading to a decentralized and self-regulating peer-to-peer network.