Gareth Johnson
Gareth Johnson
Updated on May 7, 2022

Cryptocurrencies have been popular investment assets for almost a decade now. Unlike traditional financial institutions, cryptocurrencies are decentralized payment systems that empower individuals rather than central authorities. The fun part is that they allow individuals or groups to create their tokens with different motives, projects, and stories.

If you are a crypto investor, you’re probably aware of the numerous altcoins created since the invention of Bitcoin (BTC). For example, Navcoin (NAV) is one of the early implementations of blockchain technology. Today, it is relatively unheard of, but it doesn’t mean it’s not worth paying attention to. Does it have a solid project behind it? Is it a good investment tool? 

After reading this article, you will find the answers to all of these questions and more.

What Is Navcoin?

Navcoin is an open-source digital currency developed by Craig MacGregor and launched in 2014. Craig MacGregor is New Zealand’s top-tier blockchain architect and engineer who has worked on many cryptocurrency projects since co-founding Navcoin. His technical expertise in API integration has helped him create a solid cryptocurrency, which is no surprise considering Navcoin’s compatibility with other blockchain networks.

3D gold and silver NAV crypto coin on white background

At the time of its release, Navcoin had no pre-mine or initial coin offering (ICO). It has a block time of 30 seconds, each block rewarding 2.5 NAV. Using Navcoin’s native wallet, you can stake NAV to earn rewards through the Proof of Stake version 3 (PoSv3) consensus protocol while helping to secure and maintain the network. PoSv3 is an incremental improvement over PoSv2 by upgrading aspects of the coin like the environmental impacts of keeping the blockchains up and running, as well as improved security, all of which puts Navcoin one step ahead of other security-based cryptocurrencies.

Like any other cryptocurrency, Nav Coin offers peer-to-peer (P2P) fast and reliable payments. But what makes Nav Coin stand out from the other altcoins is that it provides innovative technological and privacy features via its self-developed privacy protocol blsCT. 

For example, Navcoin has a native wallet that allows public and private transactions. If you choose to send a private transaction, it’s impossible to link the transaction to its sender or receiver or even reveal the amount sent.

Properties of Navcoin

Navcoin has a circulating supply of around 70 million NAV with a block reward of 2.5 NAV. It shares the decreasing inflation model that most of the crypto coins use. You can help validate transactions by staking, and whoever finds the block is rewarded 2 NAV. The remaining 0.5 NAV is sent to a decentralized treasury. This treasury works as a community fund and is used to fund initiatives that are decided among NAV holders through DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) votings. 

Navcoin is a decentralized autonomous organization that works on smart contracts. Thanks to the consultations through DAO votings, the community can implement self-funded initiatives through its treasury and act as a self-guided organization. Moreover, it makes the Nav network self-governed via DAO votings. Anyone who holds Navcoin can participate in the DAO votings by staking, and each user is granted one vote with no minimum amount required to enter. You can vote by using either one of the NavPay or the NavCore wallets, the official full node and light node wallets of the Nav ecosystem. 

Finally, Navcoin wallets are integrated with OpenAlias. OpenAlias is a standard for making public keys or addresses easier on the eye because wallet addresses initially consist of pretty long alphanumeric data.

When Navcoin first started, its market value didn’t go beyond 1 cent for several years. However, as can be seen on CoinMarketCap’s Nav Coin graphs, starting from July 2016, the coin began showing signs of appreciation against USD. From then on, Navcoin started to attract more attention from investors. On January 12th, 2018, it hit its all-time high at $4.7. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a tenfold increase of the coin’s price at the beginning of 2017, which is quite impressive even for a crypto asset.

Financial trend market graph on black background

However, soon after NAV prices hit an all-time high, the trend gradually faded in the course of 2 quarters. By June 2018, Navcoin’s market value fell back under a dollar. Its current price hovers around 1 cent.

How to Stake Navcoin?

Staking Navcoin is really not a hassle. To start staking Navcoin, the first thing you need is an official Navcoin Core wallet. Unlock your wallet for staking from the settings. Keep in mind that your computer must be turned on, and the Navcoin Core wallet must be open. Once you do this, your wallet will automatically start staking the NAV you hold in it – that’s it.

Other than staking directly on your wallet, you can also stake by using NavPool. It’s a server operated by a third party from where you can borrow technical resources in exchange for a part of your staking rewards. 

What Is blsCT?

blsCT is Navcoin’s privacy protocol that combines the Boneh-Lynn-Shacham (BLS) signature scheme with Confidential Transactions (CT). BLS enables a transaction to be made while hiding the amount and the signatures of the parties involved, and CT helps the NAV network achieve confidentiality by hiding the amount of the transaction. Thus, blsCT offers trustless, scalable, and untraceable crypto transactions.

Apart from providing private, untraceable transactions, blsCT improves the scalability of the NAV network by validating multiple transactions at once. 

In comparison, coins like Bitcoin don’t use any privacy protocols. For this reason, users need to refer to external privacy-enhancing techniques like CoinJoin. CoinJoin gathers a number of users to form a transaction, making it confusing to trace the senders and the receivers. However, it fails to hide the transaction amounts, and the observers can make assumptions about the transactions potentially linking the parties involved.

Through blsCT, xNAV doesn’t only hide the transacted amount, but it also aggregates multiple transactions to a single block, increasing the anonymity level. How does NAV do that? The blsCT protocol allows a group of transactions to be authenticated only through a single signature that is shared among the group. This way, it anonymizes the transactions in the group and the bigger the group is, the better the privacy of the network. Grouping transactions together has other benefits aside from providing private transactions, such as improving the scalability of the Navcoin blockchain as it’s a more efficient way of encrypting transactions.

Other cryptocurrencies offer untraceable transactions like Navcoin, such as Monero (XMR) and Zcash (ZEC), but Navcoin can provide additional scalability improvements on top of the private transactions.

Red 3D NAV crypto icon on white background

It’s true that other coins such as Zcash or Pivx offer higher levels of anonymity using zkSNARKS (Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge). However, there is a catch. Those coins don’t fully operate on smart contracts, which means they rely on the trustworthiness of the developers and the operators. If they were not honest, to begin with, they would be able to create coins out of thin air. In contrast, xNAV offers a trustless network where you only need to trust in the math and its implementation.

What Is xNAV?

Contrary to general belief, cryptocurrency transactions are not anonymous unless they use a special mechanism that ensures privacy. xNAV is a privacy coin that operates on the NavTech blockchain and is the gateway to making completely private transactions on the Nav network. The process is straightforward and can be done with only a few simple clicks. By sending an xNAV transaction, you protect your private information by hiding the number of coins you sent as well as the sender and receiver addresses.

xNAV transactions work on the blsCT protocol. It’s an innovative protocol that was designed by Navcoin developers. The network simply mixes the signatures and confidential transactions to make transactions private.

On the other hand, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin require a unique signature for each transaction. A digital signature is a set of binary data used to prove that you know the private key associated with your public key without disclosing the private key. The Proof of Work (PoW) consensus mechanism uses your private key and the original transaction data to create a unique signature for every transaction. Therefore, each signature is tied to the transaction it seals, making the transaction information traceable. 

In addition to the blsCT protocol, xNAV further ensures personal privacy by using stealth addresses, public-key cryptography, and the innovative Dandelion++ protocol. Stealth addresses are private addresses that guarantee complete privacy for the receiver, while Dandelion++ is a communication mixing algorithm that separates the information of the sender and the receiver of a message. 

Navcoin core wallets send anonymous requests for coins from other nodes which communicate with the NAV network anonymously when the transaction has been broadcast, enabling the xNAV sender to randomly select several coins from the received responses, mix them together with their own coins, and then send them back to the network, disguising the sender’s information. Dandelion++ and public-key cryptography are free to use by anyone who holds xNAV in their wallet.

The privacy level of the Dandelion++ mixing protocol depends on the amount of NAV being converted to xNAV, meaning the more people adopt xNAV coin, the better it will function. For this reason, holding xNAV in your wallet is incentivised through mixing fees, which you receive whenever your coins are used to mix a private transaction.

How to Get xNAV?

In order to benefit from xNAV’s private transactions, you first need to get NAV, and then you can easily swap xNAV back and forth with NAV directly within the Navcoin wallet, at a ratio of 1:1. You can get Navcoin from centralized exchanges such as Binance and Bittrex or decentralized exchanges such as PancakeSwap.

xNAV is fully compatible with the Bitcoin script language. This means developers will be able to integrate DeFi applications and second-layer solutions, including atomic swaps or Lightning Network, while keeping the improved privacy feature. This opens up a new horizon of possibilities. For example, you can use xNAV as a gateway to offer privacy to other blockchains, such as Bitcoin, thanks to xNAV’s compatibility with it. In such a case, you would be able to swap BTC back and forth in a private manner, using xNAV’s blsCT protocol. 

Hand holding NAV crypto physical coin on black background

All the managing for NAV and xNAV is done within Navcoin wallets. There are two different products in terms of wallet services in the NAV ecosystem. If you want to operate a full node, you need to get the NavCore wallet, which is a bit more specialised. Otherwise, you can get NEXT wallet, a lightweight wallet app for NAV that is available for both desktop and mobile devices. 

What Is wNAV?

wNAV or wrapped NAV is a wrapped representation of NAV. It’s a token on the NAV blockchain that can be used in Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain networks. It’s NAV’s gateway to decentralized finance (DeFi) and thus decentralized apps (dApps) and other ecosystems. Aside from enabling NAV to be traded on margin, this allows wNAV to be used as collateral when securing loans, gaining interest on lending pools, and generating liquidity yield farming revenues. The major benefit of wNAV is that you can trade it on DEXs, eliminating the procedures that CEXs impose. 

To start using wNAV, you need to install the Metamask wallet on your browser and simply hit bridge.nav.community.

What About Navcoin DAO?

Thanks to Navcoin’s PoS protocol, you can get involved with governing the platform by staking NAV on your NAV wallet. NAV is a community-funded network that doesn’t rely on any form of central authority, thus, the community members are essential decision mechanisms for maintaining the network’s decentralized system of decision making. 

This model is not new, it’s called Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO), and many coins operate in the same way, such as Uniswap (UNI), Aave (AAVE), Maker (MKR), etc. What makes DAO coins important is that they are used for many purposes ranging from charity, fundraising, investment, creation and marketing of NFTs, and many more while giving its members full authority to maintain the protocol.

A Few Words Before You Go…

Overall, Navcoin offers a lot of critical features that enhance the coin’s potential, such as private transactions, compatibility with Bitcoin’s scrypt, and immunity to the widespread scalability problem. Plus, Navcoin’s hardworking developer team looks like they are determined to carry the coin forward. Their roadmap includes a social mining platform that rewards anyone that helps to improve the coin’s value, canceling transaction fees, dynamic block rewards, private tokens, and many more. For this, Navcoin looks like a solid project that’s determined to improve with some already impressive features.