Privacy is a buzzword these days, and rightly so. It seems the entire world is having a conversation both online and offline about just how much of our personal data and lives we want to share with other governments, corporations, and other people.
While privacy as a hot topic has only burst into the mainstream within the last year or so, partly due to theFacebook data debacle and the election microtargeting stories which took the world by storm, it’s been a part of cryptocurrency and its various communities since day one.
In fact, many of the original Bitcoin users value privacy deeply. So, it only stands to reason that there are specific privacy-related coins which aim to keep Uncle Sam and the likes of Mark Zuckerberg at bay.
Let’s explore which cryptocurrencies serve online gamblers best when it comes to keeping your affairs (the financial kind) private.
Dispelling a Myth – Bitcoin Is Not Totally Anonymous
There’s a pervasive myth out there than somehow Bitcoin is totally untraceable and can be used by cybercriminals, fraudsters, and all kinds of nefarious characters to do just about anything they please, just as they can with cash.
Yet, that’s just not true. This is evidenced by the fact that some darknet site owners have ended up in jail for life because they falsely believed that Bitcoin was totally anonymous.
In fact, while Bitcoin wallets can’t be traced to you without serious investigation, it’s possible to track every single Bitcoin transaction that has ever taken place, thanks to tools like block explorers and whatever tracking tools Uncle Sam and friends have that we don’t know about.
That’s just that nature of the Bitcoin blockchain – it was designed that way. The entire point of it is so that people can’t cheat you and claim you never sent the money. This works in the favor of online gamblers like us, of course. If a casino claims we never made a deposit, we can prove we did, and everyone who has a copy of the Bitcoin ledger can confirm it.
Likewise, a rogue casino such as these blacklisted casinos can’t claim it has paid your winnings if it hasn’t. You’d be able to verify the transaction instantly, and so you would have evidence of having been cheated.
Yet, it is exceedingly difficult to say who owns which Bitcoin wallet addresses. It took six government organizations several years to find the owner of the infamous Silk Road website, and that’s actually where Bitcoin got most of its (false) press as a totally anonymous currency in the first place.
So, now that that’s out of the way let’s look at some of the privacy-focused cryptocurrencies out there today.
The Best Privacy Coins for Gamblers
I’m not going to get into the technicalities of how these individual cryptocurrencies work in too much detail, because this isn’t a site about the tech behind crypto. However, having a decent understanding of how private they are and what makes them so will help you decide which to use.
Monero – Monero transactions are as close to totally private as you can get. Others can’t tell how much you’ve received, where it was sent from, or where you send it to.
This crypto uses something called ‘ring signatures’ to hide the sender, ‘ring confidential transactions’ to hide the amounts, and ‘stealth addresses’ to hide the receiving address.
Monero breaks down a transaction into hundreds of smaller amounts and bounces it around on the blockchain. It’s sent to many different addresses known as ‘stealth addresses’ before sending those on to the receiver. All of this happens in a flash, making Monero completely untraceable.
ZCash – This coin was built out of the original Bitcoin code and has 21 million coins, just like Bitcoin.
ZCash takes a different approach to Monero, which mixes it’s data up into a tangled mess nobody can decipher, and instead eliminates the traces of the transactions in the first place.
It does this by using something called ‘zero knowledge proof’ which allows Zcash network participants to verify transactions without knowing anything about them. This effectively eliminates any trace of the transaction.
Essentially, there’s no trace for anyone to follow even if they wanted to. That’s awesome if you’re concerned with gambling online without leaving footprints.
Dash – While Zcash grew out of Bitcoin, Dash grew out of another hugely popular cryptocurrency – Litecoin.
Dash privacy works in that there are participants in the network who run ‘master nodes’ which offer an extra privacy service for a small fee. This service mixes multiple transactions into a single transaction with multiple outputs. This makes it close to impossible to find out who sent what.
There are a few extra advantages of using Dash for gamblers. First, you can get Visa cards which can be loaded with Dash. Also, you can trade them out for USD or EUR directly using either the popular wallet TenX.
Privacy Upgrades for Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash?
If you know about cryptocurrencies already, you might have noticed that the above-mentioned privacy coins aren’t exactly the ‘major’ coins. With the exception of Monero, none of them are in the top 10 on Coinmarketcap.com at the time of writing. These are ‘altcoins’ and relatively minor ones at that.
There’s constant chatter about the biggest cryptos, those being Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash, implementing privacy features in the near future. It would be great news if they did since you’ll find many more casinos which accept them than you will the other coins listed above.
Yet, I wouldn’t hold my breath for any of these coins to implement a solid privacy feature. Why so? In one word – regulations.
All of these coins are fighting for wider spread adoption in the economy. They want to be used as major currencies right alongside the USD, CAD, and EUR.
Their development teams know that Uncle Sam and his various associates around the world don’t like privacy features as they enable things like money-laundering and make it easier for criminals and terrorists to move money.
Believe me, none of these teams will risk violating the crypto regulations which are being drawn up in capital cities around the world as we speak. You won’t see any privacy features implemented in them until they gain a wider foothold in the economy and can’t be stopped.