Privacy coins are meant to be anonymous and simple to use, and that’s exactly what NavCoin claims to be.
While there has been renewed interest in the NavCoin recently, it is actually quite an established project. It was launched in 2014 which was long before the wave of recent cryptocurrencies that have hit the market. It is also quite well known for being heavily driven by the community.
However, does it have what it takes to displace some newer tokens?
In this complete NavCoin review, we will take a deep-dive on the coin by analyzing their technology, team members and broader ecosystem. We will also take a look at the NAV token use cases and long term potential for general adoption.
What is NavCoin?
NavCoin was established in 2014 before the current wave of cryptocurrencies it came about without any pre-mine or ICO, and has stood the test of time as well. It continues to move along at its own pace, and over the years it has seen features added, improvements made and upgrades to its codebase. Thanks to that, and to a dedicated team, NavCoin continues to see consistent growth.
NavCoin’s Main Features. Source: NavCoin homepage
Of course consistent growth hasn’t allowed it to keep pace with today’s crop of popular privacy-centric coins such as Monero, DASH and Zcash. All three have overtaken NavCoin in terms of funding and adoption, but NavCoin has been catching up recently with a new emphasis on user experience, design and usability. NavCoin wants to become the defacto for simple, fast, private transactions.
NavCoin was built on the Bitcoin Core code, but there were several changes made by the developers. One such change was the addition of a sub-chain to the main blockchain. This sub-chain was named NavTech and it is what enables mixing and the anonymization of transactions on the NavCoin blockchain. NavCoin also put aside Bitcoin’s proof of work algorithm and went with proof of stake instead. And the developers made NavCoin far faster and cheaper when compared with Bitcoin.
Scalability & Fast Transactions
Since the beginning NavCoin has seen fast transactions as one of its strong points. In comparison with block times of 10 minutes for Bitcoin, NavCoin has block confirmations every 30 seconds. That’s even faster than the 2 minute Monero confirmations and the 2.5 minute Zcash confirmations.
It’s also faster than the 2.5 minute Dash confirmations, but Dash gets past that with its masternodes, which allow for instant transactions. Even so, NavCoin is by far the fastest of all the privacy coins.
NavCoin Scalability & Speed
And users aren’t paying more for fast transaction speed. Even though Bitcoin and Ethereum have struggled with rising mining fees, NavCoin sees a standard transaction fee of only 0.0001 NAV. Private, encrypted transactions will cost more, but are not required.
Scalability has always been important to the NavCoin team, and they made the move to proof of stake early in the life of NavCoin in order to support scalability. In addition, the community has approved and activated SegWit to reduce block sizes. In the future, NavCoin expects to implement something equivalent to the Lightning Network, which will move some transactions off-chain and provide instant settlement.
NavCoin is Anonymous and Untraceable
NavCoin has been described as a privacy coin since its early days, but that privacy wasn’t added for any malicious or illegal reasons. In fact, the privacy and untraceability added to NavCoin is actually an important feature of any currency. A currency with these features become more fungible, since its history can’t be traced, which keeps every NAV token equally valuable, just like fiat currency’s history can’t be traced.
While anonymous transactions are possible with NavCoin, they aren’t required. In fact, anonymous transactions aren’t even standard with NavCoin. Users have to make the choice to enable an anonymous transaction. When they do, the anonymous transaction no longer has any association with the sending wallet or the sending IP address on the blockchain.
Use of Subchains to send private Transactions. Image Source: Nav Coin Blog
Anonymous transactions were made possible by the addition of the NavTech subchain. Anonymous transactions are actually sent via encrypted transactions on the NavTech subchain, which involves multiple layers of encryption and mixing of the transaction.
Once the transaction has been fully anonymized the payment is sent to the recipient from a token pool managed by the NavTech subchain. Ultimately, the recipient does not receive the same tokens that were sent initially.
This combination of mixing, layered encryption and a managed token pool is what provides privacy and anonymity to NavCoin. It assures that transactions can’t be tracked to their destination, if that’s what the sender wishes. And the NavTech team continues to explore additional privacy measures to ensure NavCoin remains a private, fast, easy to use coin.
NavCoin’s Valence Project
NavCoin is also working on adding features that will make it more than just a currency. One of these projects is called the Valence Project. It plans to use the NavTech subchain to add many different types of functionality, with the first being the addition of the first anonymous platform for decentralized applications.
One big difference between Valence and other dApp platforms is that there will be no virtual machine used for Valence. Rather than having developers code in an environment that’s hosted on the blockchain, Valence will allow developers to code directly to the blockchain.
NavCoin Private Send Functionality in Wallet. Image Source: NavCoin Blog
There are many safety issues associated with this type of implementation, and the development team realizes they will all need to be addressed. Valence will operate on a different blockchain from NavCoin, but the two will interface with each other.
Details on Valence are sketchy at this point, and there’s no concrete release date for the project. That’s not surprising as it is a huge challenge, and the development team has many issues to confront and iron out before a final solution can be reached. If the team can pull off Valence it should offer a unique solution to decentralized applications.
Proof of Stake Mining
Many of the early cryptocurrencies used proof of work as their consensus method, but the NavCoin team was quick to switch to proof of stake mining, and was one of the first cryptocurrencies to do so. With proof of stake mining the holders of NAV tokens put up, or stake, some or all of their holding to provide block confirmation.
If the block created is verified by the network the person staking receives a reward. However, if you confirm a block that contains fraudulent transactions the proof of stake algorithm can take away your stake. This incentivizes block creation and good behavior.
Staking NavCoin with the NavPI Raspberry Pi. Image Source: NavTech Servers
NavCoin makes it possible for those staking coins to earn 5% interest, but one requirement is that you run a staking node on the network. This is accomplished by downloading and running the NavCoin core client and setting an amount of NAV you want to stake. It is also possible to purchase a Raspberry Pi and set it to run a staking node. This client is called NavPi and it is an elegant solution to staking and running a node. It is also far more energy efficient and it is always on.
The NAV Token
The NAV token was released in 2014, and spent the first two years of its life trading well under $0.01. It began to rise in August 2016, and by September was over $0.05. It traded up and down in the range of $0.025 to $0.05 for the following six months, and in April 2017 began climbing again.
This time there was a huge spike in September 2017 which took NAV to an all-time high of $1.72, followed by a pullback into November, when the NAV token rallied along with the broader crypto markets to hit $4.21 in mid-January 2018. Since then it’s been trending steadily lower alongside the rest of the crypto market, and as of October 30, 2018 it’s trading at $0.363939.
One thing to keep in mind is that the NAV network remains small, even after nearly 5 years in existence. Just 1000 wallets hold 92% of all the NAV tokens and 72% of the total tokens are held in just 100 wallets.
Roughly 95% of all trading volume is on the Binance exchange. You can also buy NAV tokens on Bittrex and Poloniex, and there’s a very small trade volume on Upbit. In addition, you can purchase NAV tokens directly from the NavCoin website using a credit card. NavCoin has an agreement with Changelly to help with fiat purchases and coin swaps.
To store your NAV tokens you’ll need a NAV wallet, which you can download from the official NavCoin website here. In addition to the official NAV Core wallet, they also have links to several third-party wallets that can be used to store NAV.
Those who are interested in earning by staking NAV will need to download the Nav Core wallet, which is available for Windows, MacOS, Linux and Raspberry Pi. If you just need a lightweight wallet you could also use NavPay, which is available in both mobile and web versions.
The NavCoin Team
The team behind NavCoin has been incorporated as Encrypt S Ltd and the project is an open-source project that anyone can contribute to. Because of this there is a fairly large and active team behind Navcoin.
In fact, the development team is so active that they typically release new updates to the project on a weekly basis. Recently they released NavCoin version 4.4.
The Founder and lead developer for the project is Craig MacGregor and Encrypt S Ltd. is registered as a blockchain development company in New Zealand.
Yesterday I chatted with @Oracle NZ about #Blockchain, #Bitcoin, #NavCoin and the future of decentralised economies we're working towards at @encrypt_sierra with projects like @ValencePlatform. It's always great to talk tech with other people excited about this emerging industry! pic.twitter.com/XPnI8ly8Yj
— Craig MacGregor (@proletesseract) June 1, 2018
NavCoin has made itself one of the most easily understood coins, with one of the most beautiful interfaces. This is all thanks to the marketing and creative team, who excel at communication, style and branding. One element many projects have missed is usability, but NavCoin has taken that element very seriously, putting them far ahead of many other coins in terms of usability.
Personalized with OpenAlias
NavCoin is one of the few projects that have adopted OpenAlias to allow users to customize their wallets to create an email style address for their NAV. This is one of the usability elements that makes NavCoin stand out from other projects.
The service is built on top of the worldwide DNS service to convert a domain name into a cryptocurrency address, making sending a payment easier than ever.
NavCoin isn’t the oldest cryptocurrency, but it has been around longer than most, and it just continues chugging along, making steady progress. It has created an interesting project in the privacy space, and is looking to continually improve on privacy. One way it’s doing that is by developing the very first anonymous dApp platform.
Somehow they remain a little known privacy coin, with others like Monero and Dash easily outpacing them in terms of adoption and market cap. That could mean there is a lot of value to be found with this project, and that at some time they will catch up to their peers as they continue to improve on privacy techniques and developments on their blockchain.
Featured Image via NavCoin