Decentralize Today: Particl Project Update #5
NOTE: We have decided to change these updates names. Instead of being called “Community Updates”, they will now be called “Project Update” to better highlight the fact that they do not solely focus on community matters but really focus on anything Particl-related.Did you miss our last AMA/FAQ livestream on Youtube? Don’t worry, this update should keep you up to speed with all the latest developments and news surrounding the project!Yes. Though the feature is not available at the moment, it will be possible to use the project governance and marketplace governance systems even with coins that have their private keys stored on a Ledger Nano S. This feature will be part of our future Ledger integration onto Particl Desktop, but we cannot give any kind of ETA for the moment as it is not an immediate focus for any of our development team. We believe those users looking for the highest amount of security shouldn’t be penalized and taken out of the democratic process of the Particl community.Imran, our Commercial & Partner Strategy Director, is always on the lookout for new exchanges as well as regularly keeping in touch with the more popular ones. There is a lot of back and forth going on at any moment with many exchanges and are positive that the interest for the Particl project is growing within the “exchange community” as we ourselves are slowly nearing the release of the marketplace (which would be our biggest milestone to date) and putting our money where our mouth is in terms of development. We cannot and will never, however, tell anyone in advance of a listing agreement before we officially and publicly announce it.We have currently adjusted our strategy to mostly focus on the larger and more professional exchanges, those we believe are in it for the long run and have a solid legal foundation. We, of course, welcome smaller or new exchanges to list us, and we have no problem providing development support to those, but we might not go ahead and pay the listing fees anymore.As for Coinbase more specifically, we know they have started adding new coins and will work on seizing that opportunity!Both public and private listings will be governable by the community exclusively, however, as private listings do not appear on the public interface of the marketplace, they are expected to be much more unlikely to be voted out by the community unless it leaks to the public or creates a controversy.That is because listings need to reach a certain user flagging threshold to be taken out of the marketplace, and since private listings are hidden to the entire public except for those in possession of its unique key or link, this threshold should be much harder to reach.This will ensure users can still transact privately between each other and do so away from the public eye, but should the transacted content be highly inappropriate and leaked out, the community will still possess the ability to clean its marketplace from it.As for one on one private deals where the private keys never leak to any other party other than the ones involved, they simply won’t be possible to moderate out as the flagging threshold for the deletion of listings will be set too high for any or both parties to singlehandedly have enough governing influence over it.We believe there are many reasons for it. For one, we are a very young project, at least compared to some of the decentralized marketplace projects out there, having only been “live” on mainnet since the 17th of July 2017. It also could be due to our relatively smaller community size. In fact, having a smaller community, and especially one that resides mostly on instant messaging platforms such as Discord or Telegram, generates fewer discussions about the project on the web, which in turn makes us harder for the search engine algorithms to pick up.It’s also important not to forget that Particl is not merely a decentralized marketplace, but a full-blown privacy-focused decentralized application platform. This means that our community discussions are not only focused on the decentralized marketplace aspect of the project but also stretch into our many other perks and related topics such as cold staking, dApps, RingCT, privacy, security, and etc. This is in contrast with other “competitors” (quotes have been added as we strongly believe we are carving our very own niche category of blockchains) that focus exclusively on decentralized eCommerce. The fact we are building Particl to be much more than a marketplace, we believe, is one of our strongest quality and while it may result in less focused and more diversified discussions, it will ultimately allow us to reach out to a more a diverse set of users.Following a similar train of thought, we are also very cautious about not heavily promoting aspects of the project that is still in deep stages of development as delays and unforeseen issues can always arise, especially when building a platform as complex as Particl is.While this is most probably about to change as we near the completion of the first mainnet version of Particl Marketplace, the above reasons might have contributed in part to Particl being harder to find when referencing decentralized marketplace discussions. Getting better search results will require time, more updates, users, and web-based discussions. The latter, for example, is expected to dramatically improve as we are just about to release our forum. We, in fact, believe that it will help carry some of the great discussions going on over on the instant messaging platforms to an indexable and web-based platform. Please see the dedicated forum section of this update further down the page.It is true that some stable coins (or any potential third-party integration) require KYC/AML identification of users on their end to be utilized to their full potential, however, it is not going to be something that is required for the Particl platform to provide any of its critical features.For clarification purposes, this poll was meant as a fun way for us to get to know our community better. Stable coins, like the poll’s winner Digix, possess the interesting ability to maintain some kind of stable valuation (i.e. 1 DGX = 1g of physical gold, 1 USDt = ~1 USD, and etc). This can be super useful for people wishing to opt out of the fiat system, but also avoid the volatility usually associated with the cryptocurrency market.Rest assured, any non-PART Particl Marketplace transaction still needs to, and will always need to, be settled in PART as it requires the coin’s RingCT capabilities to protect users’ privacy and also because the marketplace’s MAD escrow system is based on a Particl smart-contract that can only work using PART coins similarly to how Ether is the fuel for Ethereum-based smart-contracts and is required for them to execute.Stable coins, in the case of Particl, are very interesting because they allow users to get the best of both the fiat and crypto world: an arguably stable means to store value that can be readily be spent on anything available on the Particl Marketplace. In that sense, both the marketplace and stable coins give each other a great use-case that comes very close to an eCommerce experience regular people are used to dealing with.Note that it is possible for third-party integrations to require KYC/AML identifications, but that will always we offered as an option and will never be mandatory as that would directly go against our mission and what we stand for.Yes, the team is very aware of this often-promoted-by-PoW-advocates vulnerability of the Proof-of-Stake algorithm and has implemented PoW checkpoints to mitigate this issue. We recommend joining the Open Development channel on Discord and chat with our developer Kewde to get more in-depth insights about how we have designed the Particl blockchain to be protected against this attack precisely.Yes, both the academic report and security audit have indicated that no issue was found with our Bitcoin-based implementation of the RingCT protocol. As many of you already know, this implementation has been on testnet ever since we launched Particl on the 17th of July 2017 and thus is virtually ready for mainnet implementation.Note that, as the RingCT hardfork will be combined (subject to change) with the marketplace governance one, it will have to wait until the latter is ready for mainnet implementation. It will be announced several weeks in advance for users to be aware of it coming.Most likely. RingCT is tentatively planned on being hardforked at the same time as the marketplace governance system which is an absolute requirement for the marketplace to be released on mainnet. We have started to look into Bulletproofs, which is the RingCT/CT protocol improvement that should reduce privacy transaction sizes by about 80%, and might even add it to the hardfork.The first step to enhancing our escrow system is to put CT on it, then shifting to RingCT should be pretty easy. Ultimately, the only absolute requirement for the marketplace is the governance system, and it would be unlikely that it would release without RingCT escrow as well, instead putting CT on the marketplace for a while, but this is not out of the question neither. We will keep you updated about this as we know more.MOIN is a small hobby project which is not associated in any way with the Particl team but their lead developer is on good terms with our Lead Graphic & Branding Designer CRZ. MOIN was started as a Shadowcash fork and just like we did in the past, probably realize how outdated this codebase is getting.While we haven’t really received any information from them as of late, we did suggest to them that they increase their supply when hardforking and airdrop it to Particl holders as a token of appreciation and to cross-pollinate both communities.Particl has a lot of things going for it. One very important aspect is the fact that we have a coin which a community can rally behind. This is missing from OpenBazaar, which we believe they might start seeing the use of having one as they are planning on integrating some kind of token to their decentralized marketplace.But the most important factors which makes us much different than any of our competitors is our focus on both security, privacy, and true decentralization without compromise. In fact, in the case of Syscoin’s Blockmarket marketplace, it is moderated by the Syscoin staff itself and in the case of OpenBazaar, they employ moderators. Both of these competitors also make use of a centralized form of escrow which not only makes the platforms less scalable (more people need to be hired or moderating as the more users start using these platforms), but it also leaves the door wide open for collusion between a staff member or escrow agent and one of the parties involved.While it may seem unlikely that a third-party would collude with another party, it is actually more common than it seems. It is also possible for a third-party to make a wrong or bad decision when the participants of a marketplace transaction that’s been put in “conflict” cannot agree on any resolution or if one of them is lying to the escrow agent. There are countless examples where moderated deals can go bad, and we’d rather put 100% of the responsibility to the participating users themselves rather than a moderating party.For a more detailed breakdown of Particl’s advantages over its competitors, you can refer back to a Reddit post made by Cryptoguard here: https://www.reddit.com/r/Particl/comments/8k3kv2/what_are_the_competitive_advantages_of_particl/dz559jrAbsolutely! When we went to this year’s edition of the Consensus Conference, we noticed that we were one of the only projects with an actual product to show for, even though only on its Alpha version. This, in turn, attracted a lot of attention from the conference’s participants and we also were quite impressed by the number of people that actually knew about what we were building. This tells us that we need to have an increased presence in conferences as the sentiment we received from our short time in Consensus was quite positive.Our budget is, however, quite limited for now as we are in a deep development phase and more focused on hiring developers to release our product than hyping “vaporware”. Sending team members and representatives to conferences, crypto-themed, and others will definitely be part of our budget once we go through our Primary Funding Round where we aim to raise much more capital than we did during the coin swap.We would, nonetheless, support any community member desiring to present Particl in meetups or conferences. If you plan on attending or speaking to one such event, let us know and we will assist you with material and look into what you would need to make the presentation more impactful. Don’t hesitate to contact Paul Schmitzer, our Communications Manager, or Cryptoguard, our Community Manager, if you are interested.We announced on the 7th of August that Particl was finally able to be managed from Ledger Nano S hardware devices, with cold staking enabled. However, at the time of the announcement, no tutorial on how to enable hardware cold staking was available. This changed on the 17th of August when we officially published a proper tutorial on how to activate cold staking on these devices, making Particl the world’s safest Proof-of-Stake protocol. To enable your Ledger Nano S hardware device for cold staking, simply follow the steps included in this tutorial: https://particl.wiki/ledger_stakingNote: While this tutorial is pretty straight-forward, it may be reserved for the more advanced users. If you do not want to mess with the debug window or some of the more advanced features of the Particl blockchain, it is recommended that you wait for the Particl Desktop integration which will come at a later time.As mentioned a few times already, we hired a new developer in July to lead and oversee the development of our Particl Desktop client (as well as potentially working on Particl Copay), the centerpiece of the Particl platform, starting on August 1st, 2018. He has now started reviewing our entire Particl Desktop code and has even pushed his first commit, a rather large one, on Github which shows great professionalism. In fact, zaSmilingIdiot has a lot of experience working with large teams of developers and his work methodology will surely be a great asset to our project and its development pace. Consult his first PR by following this link: https://github.com/particl/particl-desktop/pull/1113It is worth noting that, whenever you log into Github and consult pull requests, Github will indicate you, upon consulting at a later time, of the new changes and updates made to the pull request since the last time you looked at it. This can be quite useful when tracking the development progress of the project.Pull Request Updates IndicatorSpeaking of development, we’ve published on the 20th of August a new Status Report showing the project’s progress. While it contains similar items as our last Status Report, several of them have been moved to the “Waiting for Review” category, meaning they’ve been completed and are undergoing the final testing phase. These items include Particl Desktop 1.2.2 (which is already available to anyone as a stable mainnet pre-release) and the long-awaited marketplace governance system (version 1.0). If all the testing goes well, we should see the governance mechanism appear in some form or the other on Particl Marketplace Alpha (can be downloaded here) in the coming weeks.One of the biggest takeaway one can get from our latest Status Report is the inclusion of staking pool related features in the “In Development” category. This is directly in relation to our commitment to offer secure but accessible options to ALL of our users and will also potentially strengthen the Particl network by incentivizing even more users to run their own node. In fact, Tecnovert, our Core Lead Developer, has started working on a cold staking pool proof-of-concept that would allow any user to stake their funds and receive constant rewards regardless of the amount they hold. As it currently stands, anyone, big or small holder, can put up their funds for staking, but those with smaller balances may find the process impractical as staking rewards are paid in ~1.24 PART increments. A user holding only 50 PART, for example, would need to wait several months in between staking rewards.With a staking pool, anyone can dedicate their staking powers to a staking pool which has the ability to send out staking reward payments in smaller increments, similarly to how proof-of-work mining pools allow multiple users to pool up their hashing powers to receive smaller but more numerous payments.More details about this feature will be given at a later time.Our governance mechanisms have seen a lot of progress being made to them in the last few weeks, and are now imminently reaching a point where they will start being integrated onto our testnet network for community testing. This will mark a very important milestone in the development of the Particl project, and can be tentatively expected for the new few weeks.We hope to get as many testers as possible as the more people test these features, the more effectively we can identify bugs, improvements to be made, and such, which in turns can result in these features hitting mainnet more quickly. These are exciting times for the project and the pieces are starting to fall into place!Today we want to give you guys a sneak peek of a blog post that will likely come out next week. Using an open-source Github activity analysis tool, we were able to produce a mindblowing video highlighting the mindblowing amount of work that our development team has put into Particl since its inception.In this video, the users moving around are blockchain developers. Those with their names written in green are Particl developers, and those with their names written in grey are Bitcoin developers. It highlights several of our development repositories (meaning repos like Particl.io, Branding, Whitepaper, and such are excluded), including Particl Core, Particl Desktop, Particl Market, OMP-Lib, and other repos instrumental to the development of the project.It is particularly interesting to not only see how relentless our developers are regardless of the overall cryptocurrency market situation but also how keeping our codebase up-to-date with the latest Bitcoin Core version positively impacts the project. In fact, while Bitcoin Core developers do not work on Particl Core at all, their work on the Bitcoin codebase is still reflected on ours, granting us all the latest performance, stability, security, and usability developments made over Bitcoin Core. More videos, including isolated repositories such as Particl Desktop, will be posted in a coming dedicated blog post. Stay tuned!We announced not too long ago that we had struck an agreement with the PIVX community to set up a vote for an alliance where they would get listed to the Particl Marketplace (as with every other coins, non-PART Particl Marketplace transactions still need to be ultimately settled in PART) and we would get listed on zDEX. Then, both marketing/social media teams would collaborate together for some cross-promotion, promoting privacy, security, and decentralization (more details here: https://forum.pivx.org/t/particl-application-for-pivx-alliance/4379).The voting round has been initiated on PIVX’s end, and it is safe to say that the proposal has been an overwhelming success! In fact, as it currently stands, the votes are 330 in favor of the alliance, and 4 are against it. We are very happy to see the PIVX community interested in joining forces with us and cooperate with a fellow privacy and decentralization-minded project! We take it as a huge stepping stone for cooperation between the two projects and maybe the start of something bigger, as in more cooperation campaigns between the two projects. As with everything-PIVX though, any further proposal will be required to be voted on by their community, but we are confident we may start seeing more joint proposals appearing in the future.To track the proposal and its voting results, please follow this link: http://18.104.22.168/~pub/DN/DN_Info.htmlRecently, most of the Particl Desktop development has been focused on the marketplace, but its wallet functions have also undergone quite a few major changes (and we fully expect the pace to pick up even more with our new Particl Desktop lead developer zaSmilingIdiot). In fact, you can download Particl Desktop 1.2.2 today in its pre-release but stable version. This new Particl Desktop version is a major update on the mainnet wallet capabilities of Particl’s main client. A majority of its user interface has been improved upon as well as made more user-friendly and a lot of bugs and fixes were implemented to make the Particl Desktop experience as smooth as it has ever been!Our official website, particl.io, is currently undergoing major changes and updates. Indeed, Martin Allien, our UI/UX Front-End Developer, is currently revamping most of its text in order to make it accessible and approachable to a wider audience as well as adding new information pages. One such page is Coin Specifications, a page entirely dedicated to giving a quick and to-the-point overview of the technical aspects of the Particl coin and blockchain.To see all the latest changes made to the website, you can follow its commits on Github here: https://github.com/particl/particl.io/commits/masterAlmost everything is ready to be released, but we are still resolving the final email issue which renders forum registration difficult. In most cases, confirmation emails (any email sent from the forum, for that matter) will either not reach the user’s inbox or directly land in the spam folder, a behavior which isn’t up to speed with what we want to offer our community.If you wish, however, to test it out before it is revealed and give us some feedback, do not hesitate to contact Cryptoguard on either Telegram or Discord and he will send you the link as well as instructions on how to receive the registration email.At the same time as we are going over some of the aspects of our website, we are also working on refreshing our BitcoinTalk opening post as it is now severely outdated. Speaking of BitcoinTalk, we do believe that it needs to be more active. In fact, every time a comment is posted in it, it bumps the thread to the top of the list, thus giving us more exposure, if only for a brief moment. We are looking into some ways to make it more active, including linking the thread to a Discord room or to a Particl forum megathread. Linking the BCT thread to some other medium is not an immediate priority but will be something we will start looking into more seriously after we officially release the forum.Did you know of Mastodon? It is an open-source and decentralized social media platform on which we have an account registered on. Make sure to give us a follow for yet another way to keep yourself up-to-date with all the latest news surrounding the project by following the link here: https://mastodon.social/@particlWe posted yesterday an interview with Miguel Cunetta, one of our key advisor, where he explains what is Satoshi Citadel Industries. If you want to know more about some of the great minds that are advising and leading us in the background, this interview is a must! Follow this link to hear it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v98l7fj7qa4&feature=youtu.beWatch Desi-Rae’s Development UpdateDesi-Rae has published her own development update summary that can be watched below! As always, she did a very good job with it! Make sure to give her a follow on her Youtube channel by following this link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCphRdyvqdktDRm0ruPqPRJAParticl Development Update: Hardware Cold Staking, Marketplace UpdatesWe wish you all a good weekend and don’t forget to follow our particl.news page to not miss any update and #BePART of our great Discord community!The Particl TeamOriginally published at particl.news on August 25, 2018.Particl Project Update #5 was originally published in Decentralize Today on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
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