The Masternode Series #3: What is PIVX?

Forked from Bitcoin and Dash in early 2016, PIVX (Private Instant Verified Transaction) is a privacy-focused cryptocurrency. The main goal of the cryptocurrency is to provide fast, anonymous, and secure transactions using advanced blockchain technology.

Unlike Bitcoin, PIVX utilizes a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism rather than proof-of-work mining. This allows PIVX transactions to confirm much faster, usually in less than one minute, while using far less electricity. PIVX also implements cutting-edge privacy protocols like Zerocoin and zk-SNARKs to fully obscure transaction origins and amounts.

The History of PIVX

PIVX was originally launched in January 2016 under the name Darknet (DNET) by two anonymous developers. The DNET blockchain was a fork of Dash, meaning it used Dash’s codebase but was intended to be an independent cryptocurrency.

In January 2017, the DNET project was officially rebranded as PIVX, which stands for Private Instant Verified Transaction. Along with the rebranding came a switch to a proof-of-stake consensus algorithm and the integration of the Zerocoin protocol for added transaction privacy.

Throughout 2017 and 2018 PIVX continued to develop rapidly, releasing improvements like SwiftX instant transactions, zk-SNARKs integration, and the PIVX masternode network. By early 2019 PIVX had become one of the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, establishing itself as a leading privacy coin. However, its ranking has now slipped to 645 based on CoinMarketCap rankings.

Recent development has focused on usability improvements like Sapling support (aka SHEILD), PIVX Cold Staking, and the PIVX Light wallet. The PIVX community remains active with over 1,700 masternodes online securing the network as of October 2023.

How PIVX Works

PIVX utilizes a cutting-edge blockchain protocol to enable fast, anonymous cryptocurrency transactions. Here are some of the key features that make PIVX work:


Unlike Bitcoin’s power-hungry proof-of-work, PIVX uses a proof-of-stake algorithm to secure its blockchain. With PoS, PIVX holders can stake their coins in specialized masternodes to earn rewards and help validate transactions. This is more efficient, eco-friendly, and allows near-instant transaction validation.

Zerocoin Protocol

PIVX integrates the Zerocoin protocol to enable fully private, untraceable transactions. When Zerocoin is enabled, PIVX tokens are converted to anonymous zerocoins that can be spent without revealing any transaction details. This provides complete payment anonymity.


PIVX also uses cutting-edge zero-knowledge proofs called zk-SNARKs to hide transaction amounts and prove validity without exposing any sensitive data. This provides an additional layer of cryptographic anonymity beyond the Zerocoin protocol.


The PIVX network is secured by over 1,700 masternodes, which are collateralized nodes that must prove ownership of 10,000 PIVX. Masternodes enable near-instant confirmation of transactions and allow participation in PIVX governance.

Cold Staking

PIVX users can now earn staking rewards on the PIVX blockchain without needing to keep their wallets online. This cold staking functionality allows users to stake through an offline wallet or hardware device for improved security.

PIVX Governance

Beyond its technology, PIVX relies on a governance model of masternodes voting each month to determine how to allocate treasury funds. This decentralized process drives the direction and priorities of the PIVX ecosystem.

The PIVX treasury receives dedicated funding from each block to budget for network development. 10% of the block reward gets distributed to the treasury fund that masternode operators then vote on how to spend. Here is how PIVX governance works:

  1. Community Proposals – Anyone can submit a funding proposal to the PIVX network for initiatives that benefit the ecosystem. Proposals include a requested budget amount from the treasury and implementation details.
  2. Masternode Voting – PIVX masternode holders anonymously vote Yes or No on treasury proposals for whether they should be funded. Votes are weighted by the number of masternodes operators’ control. For a proposal to be approved, at least 10% of masternodes must participate in voting and the outcome is determined by a simple majority. This consensus mechanism ensures broad community support.
  3. Fund Distribution – If a proposal is approved by the masternode network with a majority Yes vote, the requested funds get distributed from the treasury to complete the project.
  4. Implementation – The proposal owner carries out the funded initiative and provides progress updates to the PIVX community. The masternodes can vote to remove funding if milestones are not met.

This system allows PIVX to support a wide range of development, outreach, charity, and research initiatives each month. Treasury funding enables the growth of the ecosystem beyond just the core protocol development.


In summary, PIVX is a pioneering privacy-focused cryptocurrency that combines proof-of-stake, ZeroCoin protocol, and community governance to provide fast, untraceable, decentralized digital cash transactions. The project has continued to innovate and build out a robust ecosystem since 2016, establishing itself as a top privacy coin with masternodes securing the network. PIVX offers accessible anonymous cryptocurrency transactions to protect user privacy in everyday spending.