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Research: Cryptocurrencies integrated with the dark web

The blockchain technology, which is the basis of cryptocurrencies, is expected to totally transform the global financial system during the next few years. The anonymity offered by many cryptocurrencies represents one of the main features enticing individuals, as well as organizations, to use cryptocurrencies instead of traditional fiat currencies. The dark web has also gained much attention lately, since it protects the privacy of internet users, enabling them to browse the internet in an anonymous manner.

Many cryptocurrencies were found to not be fully anonymous, such as bitcoin, which urged developers to create other coins that can address bitcoin’s anonymity issues. Privacy coins refer to cryptocurrencies whose transactions are almost totally anonymous. These include Monero, Zcash, PivX, and others. More recently, some cryptocurrency developers have decided to utilize dark web anonymity networks, such as Tor and I2P, to create privacy coins.

Throughout this article, we will take a look at cryptocurrencies integrated with the dark web, which include DeepOnion, Verge, and Spectrecoin.

DeepOnion (ONION):

DeepOnion is focused mainly on security and privacy. The coin’s protocol is integrated with the most recent Tor, Meek, and OBFS4 protocols to maximize the privacy of transactions. DeepOnion is the first ever anonymous cryptocurrency to be natively integrated with the Tor network. This not only boosts the anonymity levels of users, but also reduces the potential of being attacked or hacked by legal or illegal adversaries.

deeponion.png

DeepOnion is a hybrid cryptocurrency, as it is based on the proof of stake (POS), as well as the x13 proof of work (POW) algorithms. The coin implements the DeepSend feature, which is a hidden payment feature that is designated to conceal transactions and obfuscate the identity of both senders and receivers. DeepOnion implements several security layers, including Stealth Addresses which guard against deanonymization of the receiver of transactions.

The Tor protocol is integrated at the blockchain’s transport layer to boost the anonymity of network traffic taking place between the network’s nodes. DeepOnion users communicate via means of onion addresses, e.g. br3efyhgfkj4- jzfd.onion. The used onion addresses are self-authenticated, which means that the address represents a cryptographic proof of the identity of the service. Accordingly, this prevents adversaries from phishing the address. Integration of Tor into DeepOnion’s protocol involves multiple benefits which include:

– Privacy of the device used to store DeepOnion’s wallet, as its IP address becomes anonymous and untraceable

– Cryptographic verification that confirms the genuineness of the network a user connects to

– Protection against network oversight and surveillance

– Impossibility of a user getting blocked by a specific address

– Tamper-proofing via means of encryption and integrity of communications

Developers of DeepOnion also included the addition of zero-knowledge proofs to the coin’s protocol layer, in their roadmap, in order to conceal the traces of transactions sent to any user. The DeepSend feature also further boosts anonymity via utilization of multi-signatures. Anonymity is furthered even more via the application layer which involves the integration of services including decentralized exchanges and marketplaces that operate in a decentralized, anonymous, and cryptographically verified manner.

The DeepOnion blockchain is now verified by Bitcoin’s blockchain. To boost the security of the coin, DeepOnion’s blockchain hash is computed to a recent block and registered on Bitcoin’s blockchain. DeepOnion also boasts DeepVault, which is a unique information store created on the blockchain, so stored data is immutable infinitely. DeepVault guards stored files against counterfeiting, theft, and corporate espionage.

Verge (XVG):

Verge is an open-source cryptocurrency that allows users to conceal their IP address and geographical location while executing transactions. Verge’s transactions are further anonymized via the use of stealth address and utilization of Ring Transactions (Ring CT). Transactions are recorded onto the blockchain via relying on Tor’s and I2P’s technologies.

verge.jpeg

Verge is based on multiple proof of work (POW) algorithms including Scrypt, Lyra2rev2, X17, blake2s, and myr-groestl. Transactions are confirmed within 5-10 seconds, and the network will eventually be capable of handling up to 2,000 transactions per second.

Electrum is integrated with Tor and I2P to maximize the anonymity of transactions. This can preserve the anonymity of users of desktop and mobile wallets. Transaction information and the IP addresses of users are obfuscated and can never be leaked to connecting servers. The integration of Electrum enables users to execute multi-signature transactions.

Verge also features a P2P messaging system that secures communications via encryption. All sent messages are encrypted via the AES-256-CBC algorithm and then distributed among Tor nodes in a way that protects message recipients from being identified by adversaries using complex traffic analysis techniques.

Spectrecoin (XSPEC):

Spectrecoin is a cryptocurrency focused on privacy and anonymity of users, via full integration of a Tor and OBFS4 layer to obfuscate the IP address of senders and receivers of transactions. Anonymity is maximized even further via implementation of ring signatures. Spectrecoin is based on an energy efficient POS algorithm that promotes very short transaction confirmation times (< 60 seconds).

Spectrecoin.png

On Spectrecoin’s network, all nodes operate as Tor hidden services. Nodes are not addressed via their IP addresses, but via their .onion address, which is used to generate a public key for encryption of network traffic. The network does not include any exit nodes, and at any time, all communications taking place between two nodes are fully encrypted. Users cannot connect to the coin’s network, without the Tor browser, due to the fact that all network nodes are only reachable via their .onion addresses. No IP address is visible to any user on the network, except for their own, and the protocol framework makes it infeasible for an adversary to analyze the network traffic or attempt to censor the network.

Final thoughts:

Even though cryptocurrencies offer users means for executing anonymous transactions, integration of anonymity networks, such as Tor and I2P, can boost anonymity even more. Even though there are currently only a handful of cryptocurrencies integrated with darknets, it is highly likely that we will see many more during the next few years.

9 comments

  1. so many shitcoins

  2. Sorry but this is only bullshit coins. Check Particl, it’s the one that implemented RingCT on bitcoin coinbase and they are about to release their decentralised privacy marketplace in the next months. Verge is planing to copy it because their developper’s can’t innovate. Besides putting a radio on their wallet (incredibly dumb idea) that leaked the user’s IP and being victim of two exploits doesn’t make them really in line for a privacy coin.

    SpectreCoin is a pale copy of ShadowCash (the former project of Particl before their re-brand which by the way developed stealth addresses that Verge copied). It’s more or less a dead coin.

    DeepOnion i don’t know but it doesn’t seems promising.

    Anyway better stick to Bitcoin than any of this shit.

    • Because BTC is untraceable?? [email protected] Do some research please.

    • Anthony clinton

      You need to check the big community behind DeepOnion supporting the project, and the developers are busy developing new features, among them are DeepSend, LN, Segwit, and Smart contracts to be added to the new code rebase! and many e-commerce plugins for store owners to accept ONION as payments.

  3. DeepOnion is miles above the rest. Please only speak of what you know. If you don’t know, rather don’t speak. DeepOnion is the future, and the future is Know. DeepOnion is much alive……..

  4. I must disagree when it comes to DeepOnion. DeepOnion is actively being developed, decisions are suggested through a decentralized governance system called vote central- where community members can suggest and vote upon future development plans and funding- its more democratic than most of countries that call themselves democratic.
    Also I believe it is one of the friendliest online communities ever built. The way the platform was launched could be used in many real life instances to bring together local communitys as well. I would say DeepOnion has been a pioneer and will keep innovating regardles of what the haters say.
    So one day in not so far away future, when a real breakthrough have been made, demand starts rapidly growing, we’ll see 25%-100% growth a day for weeks upon weeks. As DeepOnion climbs in the ranking of cryptos into top 100 and one day even top 10 and everyone familiar with crypto will have heard about DeepOnion.

  5. Rather that hating on other projects and name calling like children I would point out that DeepOnion is a premier privacy/security/anonymity crypto with a great Dev team and community to support it. I would suggest reading the whitepaper and see the accomplishments and future path of the project. Also take a look at the DeepOnion Academy videos on youtube.

  6. I am waiting when coderebase of DeepOnion will be finished. Think it will pump the price.

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