Darkcoin gaining value due to privacy qualities

Darkcoin gaining value due to privacy qualities

May 21, 2014

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Someone out there likes anonymous money.

In only a month, the little-known bitcoin alternative known as Darkcoin has rocketed nearly tenfold in value–from around 75 cents a coin to almost seven dollars. Its selling point: Darkcoin offers far greater anonymity than bitcoin, mixing up users’ transactions so that it’s incredibly difficult to trace a payment to a person.

darkcoin

And though few have yet to accept that more-anonymous coin for actual goods and services, the promise of Darkcoin’s privacy features seems to have sparked a miniature boom.

It’s one of the fastest growing among the wave of cryptocurrencies that’s followed bitcoin’s success, with the total value of its combined coins topping out at nearly $30 million.

Darkcoin, supporters argue, serves a real privacy need. Despite its reputation for being more anonymous than traditional money, the bitcoin network actually allows anyone to see every transaction on a public accounting ledger known as the blockchain. Users often have to take extra steps, like mixing their coins in a “laundry” service, to prevent those addresses from being tied to their identity by any government or corporation that wants to snoop.

Darkcoin adds an extra layer of privacy by automatically combining any transaction its users make with those of two other users–a feature it calls Darksend–so that anyone analyzing the blockchain has a harder time figuring out where a particular user’s money ended up. “A large community believes that the way bitcoin’s blockchain is designed is a problem,” says Evan Duffield, the 32-year old Arizona-based software developer who launched Darkcoin in January. “Darkcoin has this anonymity aspect to it, which is attractive to a lot of people.”

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