Darkcoin (DRK) celebrated its first birthday two days ago, and has reflected on its achievements during what was both an accomplishing and turbulent year in the world of digital currency.
On January 18, 2014, ‘XCoin’ was officially launched by web developer Evan Duffield, later renamed to Darkcoin. According to its website, Darkcoin “is a privacy-centric digital currency based on the Bitcoin software.” It doesn’t rely on SHA-256 or Scrypt as proof-of-work algorithms, instead employing a process called X11, which applies eleven rounds of different hashing functions.
On its FAQ page, the coin’s creators say that 100% anonymity is unlikely to be achieved by any cryptocurrency. Darkcoin, however, says to obfuscate transactions to the point that even an adversary with “NSA-level” resources is incapable of cracking them.
Many have raised the issue if total or near-total anonymity is a good thing, as such technologies can serve as fertile breeding grounds for criminal activity. Duffield indicated to Medium in an interview that the project does not condone criminal behavior, rather merely endeavors to give common users privacy. The coin’s FAQ page adds:
“According to Article #12 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, privacy is a basic human right that should not be infringed. This is also constitutionally guaranteed in most countries although a lot of governments are joining the trend where mass surveillance is enforced under the excuse of terrorism…Privacy is our right and 100% legal. The practices that violate it are not – no matter where they originate from.”
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Throughout the first year, the coin graduated further from its testing and beta phases and underwent multiple enhancements. In November, ‘InstantX’ was unveiled. The technology allows for instantaneous transactions “much like what Visa and Mastercard offer.” Most other cryptocurrencies require at least a few minutes until a transaction is confirmed.
Also in November, it was reported that Darkcoin support was added on dark net drug sites.
In December, 2-factor authentication (2FA) was added to minimize theft.
Since hitting a peak worth roughly $15 per coin last May, DRK has struggled along with the rest of the market. It currently trades for the equivalent of $1.35.
Darkcoin was created during the late 2013-early 2014 period, one which saw the proliferation of myriads of other altcoins. Many have failed to prove themselves and have faltered during 2014. The select few that will survive in the future will undoubtedly employ original innovation. Darkcoin at least has its anonymity, a key attribute valued by many in the crypto space, among other features going for it.