Verge is another privacy-focused cryptocurrency that offers anonymous transactions to its users. Unlike its competitors, Verge uses a different approach to achieve its goals. Verge is not utilizing the internet as we know it but rather the technology of Tor and I2P. Not only about privacy, but Verge also has technological features to speed up blockchain transactions. So, how did Verge become important in the blockchain space and why its approach to privacy different from the rest of crypto world? Let’s find out!
History of Verge
In October 2014, The Verge project was created. At the time, it was named DogeCoinDark before it got rebranded later. Straight from the launch, Verge’s DogeCoinDark branding was already a controversy because there was another DogeCoinDark that was launched one month earlier. What made it even more confusing, DogeCoinDark was not a fork of Dogecoin nor Bitcoin. They only ‘borrowed’ the name to get attention from the Bitcointalk community. One more controversy to note from the launch, they straight up promoted “Global Darknet” in the thread title.
Despite all these controversies at the same time, DogeCoinDark successfully gathered some followings. In February 2016, it finally got rebranded to Verge to avoid confusion and to distance the project from “Darknet” branding. In its earliest days, The Verge project was just maintained by a single developer. Sunerok aka Justin Vendetta aka Justin Erik Valo. When his identity was broadcasted to the world, many doubts linked to his past started to come to the surface. While nobody doubted Sunerok’s ability to create a great blockchain network but he had a lot of public arrest records. Some critics started to associate his past with his desire to create a cryptocurrency for the “Global Darknet” world.
But again, despite all of these problems, Verge project kept growing and silenced all critics with its market valuation. After the slowly-but-surely growth, Sunerok decided to team up with other individuals to develop Verge together. Maybe because he believed he couldn’t just do it alone anymore. CryptoRekt was hired as a technical writer and advisor, Benji was hired as the head of marketing, and StanFaas was recruited as Lead Web Developer. Other recruits also used aliases and not their real names.
The team’s efforts successfully gathered more attention from the crypto community at the end of 2017 and early 2018. Several times the Verge’s valuation successfully broke through the top 50 crypto rankings by market cap, and a lot of people started talking about it. And although now this project is not as ‘hot’ as it used to be, Verge is still able to maintain its position inside the top 100 rankings.
Verge’s best moment in history so far happened at the beginning of 2018 when Pornhub started accepting cryptocurrency payments. And yes, as you might have guessed it, Verge (XVG) coin was chosen to be that pioneer coin for Pornhub’s crypto payments. The market, at the time, also reacted positively to the news. XVG pumped significantly for a couple of weeks before finally it got dumped again.
Purpose of Verge
The purpose of Verge is to send completely anonymous transactions. It serves similar purposes to Monero, ZCash, or DASH. However, Verge was probably one of the very few privacy coins that (in the early days) publicly promoted ‘Darknet’ for its use cases. However, since the rebranding from DogeCoinDark to Verge, the core team has made enormous efforts to distance the project’s image from the dark web and deep web.
And unlike more popular public blockchain networks such as Ethereum or EOS or NEO, Verge believes that cryptocurrency transactions should focus on four different aspects. Decentralization, security, scalability, and privacy. While many popular cryptocurrencies focus on decentralization, security, and scalability, but they often ignore the privacy part. The Verge team believes you cannot simply ignore privacy because everybody wants to be as private as possible when it comes to money.
Verge is also trying to solve blockchain scalability issues, and the team wants to make sure that transactions in the Verge blockchain are fast. However, as stated before, their main focus until today is still about privacy.
The center of Verge’s anonymity solution is the combination of two privacy-centric systems. They are Tor and I2P.
Tor: It is short for “The Onion Router.” People who have accessed the deep web would have known already what is Tor. Usually, the Tor browser is used to surf the ‘dark side’ of the web. So, the idea of Tor is not to use a simple one ISP to deliver data from point A to point B. Tor network delivers the data by using multiple layers of encryption. Tor does it by bouncing the connection among volunteer relay computers on the peer-to-peer network. With Tor, the IP addresses can change a couple of times before it reaches its destination. This strategy has been proven to be much more difficult to trace.
I2P: It is short for “Invisible Internet Project.” I2P basically facilitates anonymous internal connections among its users. I2P enables two separate tunnels for in and out messages and encrypts the messages in two separate bundles. Along with a dynamic routing feature that conceals people’s IP addresses, I2P messages are very hard to be decoded.
So, both Tor and I2P are utilized in the Verge ecosystem. You will see the option to route your Verge transactions via Tor or I2P.
Apart from Tor and I2P, Verge also has one other solution that they introduced in 2017 to help protect your privacy. It is called the Wrath protocol. With the Wrath protocol, you can switch between public and private blockchain systems. If you want a completely private transaction, you can choose private blockchain with the Wrath protocol.
Unfortunately, Verge is not a newcomer when it comes to controversies. There have been a lot of controversies related to this project. From the very beginning of its existence, Verge has been criticized for its ‘relationship’ with the Darknet. As we have written above (under ‘History of Verge’ section), Verge’s original name was DogeCoinDark. The name was criticized by the skeptics due to its branding of using Dogecoin’s name. It was also criticized for promoting Darknet usage.
And like we have mentioned in the same section as well, Verge’s founder, Sunerok, had a lot of public arrest records from the year 2003 to 2010. Some of these records involve false names, narcotics possession, and trespassing. To be fair, none of his past histories should be relevant to his ability to lead the Verge project. But still, most people prefer someone with a clean record to become the face of Verge.
The controversies did not stop there. In November 2017, there was one big ‘hack incident’ involving a Verge wallet app service. CoinPouch, a popular Verge wallet app service at the time, lost around 125 million Verge coins. Nobody really knew what actually happened, but Sunerok blamed the CoinPouch team for not properly securing the API. Sunerok even claimed that the main guy of the CoinPouch team did not know anything about programming. Ironically, Verge core team recommended CoinPouch to the Verge community before this hacking incident took place.
The last but definitely not least big controversy that happened in April and May 2018. At the time, Verge blockchain suffered from three 51% attacks. In April 2018, a hacker exploited a bug in the Verge code, and he successfully ran away with more than 20 million Verge coins. The hacker submitted mined blocks with false timestamps. And then, he mined multiple blocks within 1-sec intervals to exploit the mining algorithms. Because the Verge team did not fix the problem, two other 51% attacks happened again within just one month. Both hack incidents have caused serious damage to the Verge’s reputation. Since then, many crypto enthusiasts believe there are better and more secure projects to support than Verge.
Verge’s biggest competitors are other privacy-centric cryptocurrencies. Monero, ZCash, and DASH remain the most significant privacy coins in the crypto space. All of these three coins have a larger market cap than Verge, and they also did not suffer the same 51% attack that happened to the Verge project.
Verge Coin (XVG) In The Crypto Market
At the time this post was written (October 9th, 2019), Verge coin (XVG) is ranked 74th in the crypto rankings by market valuation. It has $58,809,141 USD market cap and more than $2.8 million daily trading volume. You can find XVG in most decent crypto-to-crypto exchanges such as Binance, Bittrex, Upbit, Huobi, Bithumb, or Gate.io. Being a member of older-gen cryptocurrencies (released pre-2016), it benefits XVG, as at the time the Verge team did not need to pay a lot of money just to get listed on a crypto exchange.
Verge coin has a lot of potential to gain mass adoption as well as to become the ‘face’ of privacy coins. The partnership with Pornhub in 2018 was massive publicity for the project. However, Verge has too many controversies and security breaches in the past, and the core team needs to spend a great deal of time to fix the image of the project. As of now, Verge remains a ‘dark horse’ to the likes of Monero and ZCash.