The New Privacy Protocol xNAV Got Activated on Navcoin’s Mainnet: Here’s How to Use It
It’s time for celebration in the Navcoin community!
Last weekend, at block height 4,959,360 our network upgraded successfully to support our very much awaited new privacy protocol xNAV, based on the novel self-developed cryptographic protocol blsCT, confirming Navcoin as one of the most exciting coins with privacy-enhancing features of the moment.
From that moment on, you will be able to use xNAV to transact privately when desired and thus protect the access to your financial data from external observers.
We will explain in this article how to perform some of the most basic functions which have just been enabled.
Swapping from xNAV to NAV, and vice versa
The activation of the new privacy protocol introduces a new token, xNAV, that will co-exist with NAV. You don’t need to swap between them if you don’t want to, your existing NAV will stay safe with no actions required from you. With NAV, you will maintain the ability to stake, vote in the DAO, and transact publicly.
However, if you at any point wish to keep private the amount that you hold, or the details of your transactions, you are now able to use xNAV. The amount held in your xNAV address will be hidden and will not show in the block explorer. And any transactions that you make with xNAV will not show its value, destination or the address that you are sending from.
The latest version of Navcoin Core simplifies the process to swap between NAV and xNAV as we have added a new button to the main tab of the wallet labeled “Swap NAV/xNAV”.
Clicking on this button will show a new dialog in which you will be able to choose if to swap from NAV to xNAV, or from xNAV to NAV, and in addition the amount that you wish to swap.
Checking your xNAV balance
When you have done your first swap from NAV to xNAV, the “Balance” tab of the wallet interface will update to reflect the change.
xNAV transactions are spendable only after 1 confirmation, and they will show as pending balance until confirmed by the network.
Sending and receiving xNAV
The “Send” tab has been updated to accommodate the new functionality in a very simple UI. Next to the label of “Use”, you will find a selection box where you can choose to use the public NAV or the private xNAV as input to your transaction.
You can send both NAV or xNAV directly to any NAV or xNAV address without any previous conversion. If you use an xNAV address as the destination, an “Encrypted message” text field will appear to which you can input a small text that only the receiver can read thanks to the use of public key cryptography.
When sending coins using our pair of supported tokens, it is important to be aware of the privacy-related effects depending on how the transaction is conducted:
- Sending from public NAV to public NAV: the sender, receiver and amount will be public.
- Sending from public NAV to private NAV: the sender will be public, while the receiver and amount will be private.
- Sending from private xNAV to private xNAV: the sender, receiver and amount will be private.
- Sending from private xNAV to public NAV: the sender will be private, while the receiver and the amount will be public.
If you wish to receive coins privately, you only need to go to the “Receive” tab, select “Private xNAV” and copy the shown address. Share it with your peer to receive coins on it.
How xNAV mixing works
Your wallet will work in the background offering your xNAV coins to other nodes for their use in mixes with other coins willing to transact privately. You will earn a small fee every time a node selects your coins. For this reason it is good to keep your wallet open for long periods of time to have better chances of getting selected. At the same time, your wallet is collecting coins from other nodes for using them when you wish to send xNAV.
Once you hit the “Send” button, you will be prompted to choose whether you want to mix your coins with those from others. You can choose to remember this setting so you are not asked again.
Every time your coins are mixed with coins from others, they will get a higher level of privacy, as it will be harder to track them back to their origin. You can see the amount of privacy a concrete amount of coins has and select to spend those with more rounds of mixing by using the “Coin Control” option. You can open it by clicking on “Select coins” in the “Send” tab.
Select coins coins with a higher “Mix Count” for better privacy.
You can also increase the mix count, without waiting for mixing to happen in the background, by sending coins to yourself and choose to mix with coins from others. The process is very simple and cheap!
There is much more to come.
The activation of xNAV is only the beginning. The next step in our roadmap for 2021 is the launch of a wNAV (wrapped Navcoin) bridge to enable cross-chain swaps with other DeFi-capable chains. To start with, we will release the bridge for Binance Smart Chain and Ethereum, and we plan to expand to other chains very soon after that. This will allow NAV to be listed in many Decentralized Exchanges and its use across the DeFi ecosystem.
Hold tight! We hope to be able to show you a working version of the bridge in a testing environment in the coming weeks! :)