There was a time when Bitcoin was the digital currency of choice on the dark web, with which huge capital from various activities was laundered.

But the times of Silk Road are over and, although Bitcoins remain to dominate the black market of the web as a trading volume, by now the new criminals are looking to another type of cryptocurrency, the so-called privacy coin or the anonymity-enhanced cryptocurrencies (AECs).

These are particular cryptocurrencies created precisely for the purpose of guaranteeing a higher level of anonymity and privacy than Bitcoins, since some information normally visible with other tokens here is obfuscated.

To give an example, the strength of Bitcoin is transparency with anyone who can see when a transaction has been made and what cryptographic addresses are involved.

Otherwise, Privacy Coins like Monero obfuscate the starting and destination addresses and certainly if they are not cryptocurrencies born for illicit purposes, they become a fantastic tool in the hands of various darknet market.

What are Privacy Coins and how do they differ from Bitcoins

We have been accustomed to conceiving the blockchain as a digital database where transactions are stored and recorded in a completely transparent way.

The Monero blockchain uses Stealth addresses, Ring Signatures and RingCT which allow you to carry out private transactions anonymously, where you can read the cryptographic address of departure and destination as another series of information normally visible on the Bitcoin blockchain.

Why Privacy Coins like Monero (XMR) are born

Let's clarify immediately that the purpose with which this family of cryptocurrencies was born, the privacy coins, was to offer a higher level of security to users who use them. One of the advantages of Monero for example is that even knowing that a wallet contains large amounts of capital, one cannot go back to the various movements that are made with these.

The other side of the coin is that this high level of security, where some information is obfuscated, predisposes Monero (XMR) and the other privacy coins to illicit use. It is no coincidence that these become more and more popular on the dark web and their use is constantly growing.

Big cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase say no to Privacy Coins

If Privacy Coins are created with the aim of increasing the level of security of transactions, there are many authorities who have a bad eye on this group of cryptocurrencies, of which the one with the largest market capital is Monero (XMR).

For now, governments have not taken strong positions, for example by banning these cryptocurrencies, but they are in many centralized exchanges such as Coinbase who refuse to market Monero and Privacy Coins, precisely because of their possible illegal use. 

Remember that Monero still has its own blockchain and that XMR cryptocurrencies cannot be stored using classic and popular wallets such as MetaMask.

Authorities too are particularly vigilant with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) USA which is looking for technological solutions that allow at least the tracking of these tokens and therefore reduce their illicit use.

Read also: Do you really need to have Bitcoin? Here are 4 common uses nowadays

An in-depth look at the king of Privacy Coins: Monero (XMR).

Let's take a closer look to the undisputed king of Privacy Coins, that is Monero (XMR).

Consulting today's data from CoinMarketCap 1 XMR has a market value of approximately 108 & euro. Also in this case we are facing a price that is affected by the bear market and far from its all-time high which is of 492.93 euro, that is about 80% more of the current value.

As for the market capitalization, at the moment that of Monero is of almost 2 billion euros which takes the nineteenth place among cryptocurrencies.