The paper describes the state of the art in the design of receivers for chaos based digital communication over noisy channels. In the first part, an information theoretic analysis of the potential of chaos in digital communication schemes is given, underlining that there is no fundamental principle that speaks against the use of chaos in digital communications. In the second part, the design of the optimal receiver based on statistically optimal detection is shown. The channel model considered throughout the paper is that of additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN). While the optimal receiver provides the base for assessing the potential of chaos based schemes in this application, suboptimal versions thereof as presented in the paper allow efficient implementations.