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What is Verge (XVG)?
Your comprehensive guide to Verge (XVG), a cryptocurrency built with a focus on privacy and anonymity.
In the rapidly expanding world of cryptocurrency, an increasing number of developers are focussing on providing secure and anonymous transactions to their users. Verge (XVG) is one of the popular contenders in the battle for privacy coin supremacy.
So, what does Verge offer, how does it work and what should you consider before buying XVG? Let’s take a closer look.
What is Verge?
Verge is a privacy-focused cryptocurrency designed to offer secure and anonymous transactions. At the same time, XVG also provides high transaction throughput, low fees and quick processing times.
According to the team behind this open-source project, the goal is to “empower people around the world by bringing blockchain transactions into everyday life”. The maximum supply of Verge is capped at 16.5 billion XVG, and at time of writing more than 14.9 billion of those coins were in circulation.
What makes Verge unique?
With Verge, privacy is offered as a choice, rather than by default. Thanks to the currency’s Wraith Protocol, users get to choose between public and private ledgers on the same blockchain. This means those who value transparency, for example, merchants, can benefit from the record-keeping advantages of blockchain technology, while anyone who wants to send funds privately has this option available to them.
If you choose to send a private transaction, Verge uses anonymity-centric networks, such as Tor (The onion router) and the Invisible Internet Project (I2P), to ensure that the IP addresses of the parties involved in the payment are fully obfuscated. The result: untraceable transactions.
Where to buy Verge (XVG)
The technology behind Verge
Ask a room full of programmers to solve a problem, and you’ll never see the same solution twice. With privacy coins the same is true and there’s more than one way to offer anonymous transactions. For Verge, the focus is on providing privacy by changing how a user connects to the network.
It all centres on Verge’s Wraith Protocol. When the protocol is turned on, transaction data is hidden and not publicly visible, with optional stealth addressing ensuring that the transaction can’t be linked to your public address. When Wraith Protocol is turned off, transactions are linked to your public address and visible to anyone.
To make user connections anonymous, Verge relies on two key technologies:
- Tor IP obfuscation. A popular obfuscation service for IP addresses, Tor uses multiple layers of heavy-duty encryption to protect your data, and then bounces your connection through a worldwide network of relay computers. Verge integrates Tor in its Core, Electrum and Android wallets, making it difficult to link transactions to an IP address.
- I2P tunnelling. I2P is an anonymous communication layer that allows users to connect with one another using peer-to-peer encrypted tunnels. It’s designed to anonymise all data sent over the Verge network, and also routes outgoing and incoming data through separate tunnels for increased protection.
Verge also has atomic swap capability, which will allow peer-to-peer trading of different coins across separate blockchains.
How a TOR transaction occurs – Verge blackpaper
A proof-of-work cryptocurrency, Verge is one of a small number of projects that uses multi-algorithm consensus. There are five algorithms used – Scrypt, X17, Lyra2REv2, myr-groestl and Blake2s – which means you can mine XVG in five different ways. The Verge team says this approach was chosen to allow for more equal access to the currency, ensuring that it can be mined using different hardware.
Verge team and history
Verge was initially created in 2014 and went by the name DogecoinDark. However, in an effort to move away from the light-heartedness of Dogecoin and the negative connotations associated with “Dark”, it rebranded to Verge in 2016.
The Verge team is at pains to point out that it is not a private company but is instead an open-source, community-driven project. And just like the coin they created, the team also places an emphasis on their own anonymity, with first names or pseudonyms only listed on the website.
Establishing strategic partnerships and relationships with businesses, investors and even other crypto projects can all impact on the price of a currency. Verge has had a couple of notable partnership announcements in recent times:
- In April 2018, Verge made worldwide headlines when it announced that it had partnered with adult entertainment company Mindgeek, the owner of sites like Pornhub and Brazzers, to be added as a payment option. Though controversial, the partnership does provide Verge with access to a potential customer base of almost 100 million daily users.
- At the time of writing (May 2018) Verge had just announced a partnership with TokenPay to launch XVG debit cards
What’s next for Verge: the roadmap
2018 has been a big year for Verge so far, with new partnerships, the launch of a new website and the stage two release of its Core Wallet 4.0. The following milestones are listed for completion in its 2018 roadmap:
- Mining update: XVGui Miner, Official Mining Pool, Mining Guide – Q1 2018 (not yet completed at the time of writing)
- RSK smart contracts – Q2 2018
- RingCT integration – Q2 2018
- Official iOS wallet – Q2 2018
- I2P Android wallet: Anonymous mobile transactions over the I2P network – Q2 2018
- Tor I2P Electrum wallet – Q3 2018
What to watch out for
If you’re considering buying any XVG coins, one key issue you should be aware of is that Verge is far from the only privacy coin competing for market share. Monero, Dash, Zcash, Bytecoin and Bitcoin Private are just some of the other currencies built with a focus on anonymous transactions, so you’ll need to consider how Verge stacks up against those other projects.
More generally, it’s also worth pointing out that all privacy coins (whether rightly or wrongly) inevitably develop associations with dodgy or even criminal activity. While privacy is an essential feature for many consumers, it’s also a double-edged sword that can cast doubt on the credibility of a coin and hamper its public perception.
Verge has also been no stranger to controversy throughout its history. From a 51% attack by hackers in April 2018 that forced it to fork, to earlier reports suggesting that it was being blackmailed by John McAfee, there may be a few question marks you want to clear up before deciding whether or not to buy.
The bottom line
Verge is one of many coins developed with a core focus on privacy. Depending on which way you look at it, the project’s open-source nature can be both a benefit and a drawback, and it’ll be very interesting to see how Verge fares in the battle for privacy coin supremacy over the course of 2018 and beyond. Make sure you compare Verge’s strengths and weaknesses with those of its competitors before deciding whether or not to buy.
Disclosure: At the time of writing the author holds IOTA and XLM.
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