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What’s Verge (XVG), and how does it facilitate private transactions?

Currently, Verge is trading around $0.04, still far away from its heights in 2018 when the price rallied to $0.28 for a short time. But price performance is just one indicator of how a cryptocurrency is doing and adding value.

Verge has been around since 2014. Upon initial launch, it was known as Dogecoin dark. Yet, it didn’t have much in common with Dogecoin as it isn’t a fork of Litecoin, nor is its supply infinite as the non-dark brother. The addition dark was probably made to emphasize the privacy aspect that Dogecoin dark brought to the crypto world. In 2016 the team decided to rebrand to the verge and has since been offering its token under the ticker XVG.

The misconception that all cryptocurrencies are equally anonymous remains unchanged since the earlier days in 2014. Nevertheless, whenever a trader is transferring Bitcoin, it’ll all be stored on a public ledger. While the connection between an individual and a public wallet address isn’t always obvious, chain-analysis companies leveraging Big Data have made quite some advances in being able to circle in on who might be behind a public address.

Verge was created in an attempt to create a completely private cryptocurrency. In line with that, we still don’t know who the founder behind Verge is; the only thing we know is that he’s been operating under the username Sunerok. Verge is an open-source protocol where anyone who shares the belief that transacting money privately is a human right can contribute.

The maximum supply of Verge is set to 16.5 billion coins, and transactions are processed within 30 seconds in contrast to the 10 minutes it takes on average for one bitcoin transaction to be verified. What differentiates Verge from many other currencies is that miners can decide which mining algorithm they want to run to verify blocks.

Verge offers the choice between Scrypt, x17, Lyra2rev2, Myr-groestl, and Blake2s. While those names might not mean much to you, they all describe different implementations of the same Proof-of-Work consensus algorithm. In the case of most Proof-of-Work networks, miners have to run specialized hardware for a chance to receive rewards. Verge wants to give anyone a real chance to participate and contribute to the network by offering all these different algorithms.

Instead of running ASICs mining machines, individuals can use their CPU, GPU or Asics to mine Verge, potentially increasing the number of nodes that secure the network.

The team of volunteers running Verge is also implementing the Wraith protocol. Whenever sending crypto over traditional blockchain networks, all details are publicly available. However, when Alice and Bob send each other Verge, the transaction would look something like XXX sent 1000 Verge to XXX.

In contrast, a Bitcoin transaction would look more like: Public Wallet address 1 sent 1000 BTC to public wallet address 2, making it a lot less anonymous.

Another important distinction to Bitcoin is that Verge works together with TOR to enable encryption of data, including the information on the destination nodes. Using TOR, all data sent is encrypted and run through a network of nodes provided by thousands of volunteers worldwide to hide where the information came from. The Verge wallet integrates with Tor to reduce the probability of transaction tracking and ensures that neither hackers nor governments and other organizations gain insights.

In addition to TOR integration, Verge also provides traders with stealth addresses. These addresses grant additional security. When sending money, it’s obligatory to create a random single-use address (Stealth address) rather than sending it to the same address every time. The recipient will be able to claim the funds on the stealth address by using a key.

The team is implementing another cryptographic tool to make it possible for sender and recipient to exchange mutually agreed upon key and transaction signatures: Elliptic Curve Diffie Hellmann.

To make it easier to use Verge, it’s also implemented messaging payment. This way, users can make transactions in Verge in telegram, discord, or Twitter. To send funds, users just need the username of the recipient. The transaction is then facilitated by a bot that holds the funds and sends the recipient instructions on claiming the funds.

In 2018 Verge made headlines by partnering with a Canadian IT company named MindGeek that might be more famous for running PornHub. Later that year, PornHub even started taking payments in Verge.

Recently, there hasn’t been too much news surrounding Verge, but the community is integrating with RSK (rootstock) to enable smart contracts. It’d be interesting to see if they can actually create a private smart-contract platform.

Verge will start trading on Bitcoin.com Exchange on Tuesday, May 18th, with BTC, ETH, and USDT pairs.

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Naomi Oba

Naomi Oba

Writer in Crypto — passionate about financial education, blockchain, books, and food.