Arrr there, mateys! Who needs doges when you can have pirates?

A privacy coin called PirateChain has been the hottest top 300 cryptocurrency in April, rocketing nearly thirtyfold in the past four weeks as Dogecoin’s recent price explosion showed the power of meme currencies.

The formerly obscure cryptocurrency has gone from the 563rd most valuable crypto with a market cap of $US56.5million to a top 100 project with a collective value of nearly $US2 billion.

After trading for less than US3c in early 2019 through early 2020, and under US30c as recently as February, PirateChain coins were trading this afternoon for nearly $US10. They set an all-time high of US$16.76 last week.

The bulk of the trading activity was going on on a cryptocurrency exchange called TradeOgre, where $US14 million in PirateChain had changed hands in the past 24 hours, making it the excchange’s most-highly-traded crypto.

According to Coingecko, PirateChain was the No. 75 cryptocurrency this afternoon, ahead of better-known privacy coins like Verge, Komodo and Horizen – and not that far from Dash (No. 52) and ZCash (No. 56).

For those not too familiar with cryptocurrencies, most coins including Bitcoin and Ethereum conduct their transactions on a blockchain that functions as a public ledger. While transaction data doesn’t include names, just strings of letters and numbers, it’s often possible to link those addresses back to individuals by careful analysis.

Privacy coins use a couple of methods to obscure transactions – but several including ZCash still make transfers public by default. PirateChain’s point of differentiation is that all transactions are anonymous.

The project has been boosted by Jeff Berwick, the anarcho-capitalist author of the Dollar Vigilante podcast and newsletter.

But Riccardo Spagni, the founder and lead developer of leading privacy coin Monero, has been casting some shade on the pirate project.

Indeed, a quick review of PirateChain’s Github (an online repository where the software developers work on the project) suggests that just three coders are only working occasionally on the cryptocurrency.

But backers are promising that big things are coming.