Privacy and anonymity these days are a very tricky proposition. Everyone is snooping on everyone else. Government agencies and hackers are on the prowl, how is one to keep any form of basic financial privacy and security in their life with all these mounting threats? Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies provide a layer of anonymity in that everyone looking at the public ledger of transaction can see who sent what to whom and the balances of all the accounts in the system, but you can't tell which account belongs to who. So that is a nice feature of Bitcoin, but it is not a hundred percent anonymous.
Darkcoin is a new cryptocurrency that is promising to create a fully anonymous transaction network and anonymous blockchain using "coinjoin" technology. Unlike the publicly visible transaction of the Bitcoin network where you can see who sent what to whom, this information will be hidden on the Darkcoin network. Darkcoin will be implementing a method called "coinjoin" to obfuscates the transactions in a manner that renders any tracking impossible. I will attempt to give a very crude example of how "coinjoin" works in a simple diagram, the actual cryptography that allows this transaction merging is a lot more complex.
How does "coinjoin" work?
Steve wants to send one coin from address A to address B
Bob wants to send one coin from address C to address D
Coinjoin will combine those two transaction into one and a third party looking from the outside will not be able to tell if A or C belong to Steve or to Bob!! Now imagine you have 100 transactions combined into 1, it becomes impossible to determine who sent what to whom, and that is a big improvement over the publicly visible transaction on the Bitcoin network.
Darkcoin was launched on January 18th, 2014 and since then has been growing in popularity in the cryptocurrency community. From what I have observed on the official Darkcoin forum thread, the developers are very competent and have done a lot of work on implementing the "coinjoin" technology into the blockchain. Development on the encrypted transaction network is a work in progress and the "coinjoin" technology is currently in Alpha testing with very promising results so far. If you would like to keep on top of any new developments you can visit the official Bitcointalk thread here.
If the current price of DRK/BTC is any indication of investor confidence, then the future of Darkcoin is looking very bright indeed. It seems anonymity in this day and age is extremely important and people are willing to pay good money for it. Just a few days ago the exchange rate for DRK/BTC was hoovering around the 0.0005, in just one day DRK/BTC hit a high of 0.002 on very heavy volume on the C-CEX crypto exchange. If that is not a vote of confidence, I don't know what is.