It’s been some time since our last Community Update, and a whole lot of things have been brewing up in the background ever since the team came back from its cornerstone meeting in South Africa. This Community Update will break down everything that’s been happening as of late, so buckle up because this is going to be a big one!
Also, for the sake of not making this Community Update too long for its own good, we’ve decided to split it up into three parts so that you could jump right into the section you’re the most interested in, right from the start.
(Part 2) Development Updates: https://particl.news/community-update-12-part-2-2a35b005cb45
(Part 3) Community & Social Media Updates: https://particl.news/community-update-12-part-3-bbaf1b5bee51
Table of Content
- Can we expect in-client messaging for the main net?
- Will there be a Decentralized Exchange integration?
- Moving forward, what role will Miguel Cuneta and John Bailon play in Particl?
- Can we expect a fiat gateway integration into the Particl client?
- Does the recent SEC ruling affect Particl in any material way?
- How will atomic swaps be incorporated into Particl on a user interface-level?
- What does Lina consider to be the most exciting aspect about Particl?
- Can you give us a brief summary of your week in South Africa?
- Is there going to be a meetup in France?
- Will there be another PARTaker Hub?
- Will there be a coin weight feature enabling large holders to easily remove products (e.g. those of a competitor) from the market?
- What added value could SCI provide for Particl?
- What’s happening with the Particl/PivX alliance?
- What about the social media strategy? How will this evolve with mainnet?
- What about the vendor outreach and recruitment strategy? Has this been developed and if so how will it be implemented and what can we expect?
- Do we have an estimated date for the hardfork and the beta release and will the beta be testnet or mainnet?
- When and how do you plan to do the second fundraising?
- How much time will be needed to release a mobile version of the marketplace and when can we expect a Particl Copay wallet on iOS?
- Are you going to release a roadmap with a timeline?
- What kind of partnerships are you targeting and have you a plan to target mainstream users and nocoiners (except for Mubiz)?
- When is Particl Desktop going to be compatible with ledger?
- What is your marketing plan for 2019?
- Are we going to be added to a new big exchange soon?
- What are the other Dapps planned for Particl?
- About Particl.page, what is this website, what are their goals?
- Do we have other partners ready to handle the volatility of the escrow?
- Do you know if some distribution networks have been interested in doing their trade on the Particl marketplace?
- I think you should rename “Private Markets” in “Confidential Markets”.
- Albin has a plan to organize a Particl Hackathon in France you should contact him about that.
AMA/FAQ Livestream Summary
On the 29th of November 2018, 5 team members (Paul, Lina, Christina, Desi-Rae, and Cryptoguard) met in Toronto to attend the CryptoCamp Unconference sponsored by Deloitte. They used this opportunity to record an AMA/FAQ session to answer some of the questions that have been asked on Reddit.
Due to limited time and the unusually high amount of questions received for this AMA/FAQ, the team couldn’t answer all the questions while in Toronto but did so in the Reddit thread itself. For the purpose of this Community Update, we’ve compiled all the answers, including those answered in the video.
(3:01) Can we expect in-client messaging for the main net?
In-client messaging will be a new feature introduced into the marketplace as we work towards a fully loaded main release. We have a bunch of new features queued up on the development side, and when one of them gets ready for testing, it’ll be released as a new Release Candidate (RC). The release strategy for Beta will be different than during Alpha. Instead of working on several tasks at one, the team will start focusing on one feature at a time, allowing for more frequent and exciting Release Candidates. You can get a list of features being considered/worked on by reading the South Africa development update posted on our blog.
We do see in-client messaging integrated into the shopping experience in more ways than just buyer ←→ seller. One example of this can be seen in a gif posted on Github by our UI/UX and front-end developer, Martin Allien, that showed a way to communicate with a seller by asking questions (as well as see previous questions from other users) directly on the listing page. This is not unlike the popular Q&A format used on Amazon and is a simple but useful communications tool providing value to buyers.
Another messaging mechanism we’d like to eventually implement would be group chats, most likely integrated into private markets (or Bubbles) and also as a stand-alone. This would provide more tools for people to form sub-communities, especially niche or trading internet communities (i.e. the now banned /r/beertrade Reddit community) directly within Particl Desktop and not have to use different apps for communications. This would go a long way into making Particl even more present in your day-to-day life.
(3:49) Will there be a Decentralized Exchange integration?
The team hasn’t roadmapped or even met about creating a Particl DEX integration at this point in time. A lot of us in the community, as well as in the team, feel it’ll be a good complement to the marketplace so the idea definitely will get some discussion time at some point. Right now, we’re focused on marketplace integrations that usher in features that make our crypto-agnostic vision a reality. For this, we have several options we could leverage, including a Changelly or a similar third-party integration.
While a proper Particl-made DEX might not come at any point soon in time, it doesn’t mean we aren’t willing to integrate already existing DEX into the Particl platform. It may even be a more ideal path to follow, at least in the short-term, as volume is important on DEX, just like on any other exchange, and that integrating already popular solutions would help with kickstarting the volume.
As such, we are actively looking at all the DEX projects being built within the space, and when one of them gets stable enough and fits our requirements to be integrated, then we might work toward making that a reality by first getting listed on there, and then integrating it into the platform. This, of course, would be something we’d keep the community in the know about any development on that front!
(4:27) Moving forward, what role will Miguel Cuneta and John Bailon play in Particl?
All of our advisors are entrepreneurs and have many focuses, including Particl. Most of them are actual active community members, promoting Particl in their own circles, events, and towns. A good example of that can be seen in Miguel’s latest videos that have been posted on our Youtube channel as well as in Deutsche Welle’s documentary he and Lina Seiche were featured on last month.
Meeting Miguel Cuneta, Particl Advisor:
Humans of Crypto, Episode 1 — Miguel Cuneta:
To date, we haven’t necessarily engaged all of our advisors very much with agendas as we’ve been in the middle of a heavy development phase. Beginning in 2019, as we release Beta and Alpha mainnet, we’ll definitely be engaging each of our advisors more, having regular strategy meetings, more promotions on social media, and just overall leveraging their business abilities more. 2019 will be a very different year for the Particl project, especially as we enter a production phase, and so the team will have different focuses where our advisors will be of tremendous help.
With Lina being stationed in the Philippines, we’ve already started to engage more with our advisors from SCI, Miguel Cuneta and John Bailon, and you can expect them to be even more visible and involved this year.
(6:22) Can we expect a fiat gateway integration into the Particl client?
We know that in order to reach some levels of mainstream adoption which is, after all, a goal of the project, there needs to be as many payment options as possible. Accepting many cryptocurrencies is definitely a good way to achieve this, and this is one of the features that are likely to be implemented in one of our Beta release candidate, but also accepting more traditional forms of payment is a huge leap forward for the platform to be used by a more mainstream type of audience. This is the reason why fiat gateways
We need to find the right fit that doesn’t compromise Particl’s core values. We have looked at services that have fiat gateways and PART already, such as IndaCoin, but so far haven’t found one that meets the project’s standards of privacy and security.
For the time being, we know Mubiz plans on tackling that aspect for buyers, albeit for a fee, so definitely keep your eyes on them!
(7:34) Does the recent SEC ruling affect Particl in any material way?
Our legal team keeps us on the path that is straight and narrow. Regulations are constantly changing and the key to complying with current and future laws is to play by the rules from the beginning. As such, we are confident that we are fully compliant with any current regulation and are constantly having our legal team stay ahead of the curve and in the know of any change in regulations. Compliance and “doing it right” is a major focus of the project, and we fully intend on staying that way moving forward.
(8:23) How will atomic swaps be incorporated into Particl on a user interface-level?
There are mostly two UI/UX implementations we are looking into for Particl Desktop. Having atomic swaps be incorporated as part of the checkout process of the marketplace is one path. Another parallel path is having an atomic swaps dapp that is independent of the marketplace and acts as a p2p, private decentralized exchange. An implementation like this would also be very useful for future Particl Dapps since it would live independently of the marketplace.
(9:05) What does Lina consider to be the most exciting aspect about Particl?
Paraphrased from Lina:
I’m still learning every day about the project, but one of the most exciting things I find about Particl is that it is a “no non-sense project”. This is obviously something the community appreciates as well, and when you get acquainted with the team, you understand that they are really not here for the hype, or the buzzwords, or the money. They have actually been around for a while and they all work out of conviction/ideology. I believe this project is here to push good values and useful technologies like privacy and security into the cryptocurrency space.I also like that Particl does things differently from other projects, being focused on development instead of hype and promises. It is one of the few projects that have made the jump from being purely a concept to an actual product that can be shown and demoed. In the end, we can talk about revolution all we like, but unless we deliver results, we’ll always be stuck in this bad position that you have nothing that can be used, only concepts, and you find yourself with very little adoption. Particl is pioneering and delivering, and that’s very exciting to see. If next week you ask me how excited I am about the project, then I would probably tell you that I am even more excited!
Paraphrased from Paul:
Just to add on what Lina is saying, we’re here today in Toronto for demoing Particl Marketplace in a demo-focused event. We realize however that we are pretty much one of the only projects in the space with a properly working product, although currently only on testnet. Most projects in the space are still stuck on sales pitches, and I want to give props to our developers for their talent and passion making all of this a reality. We were very well received in Toronto and it was cool to show off how to people a working blockchain product.
(11:58) Can you give us a brief summary of your week in South Africa?
We have made a dedicated blog post about all the details of the South Africa development meeting. You can read it by clicking on the following link:
Aside from all the features the team has decided to explore for Beta, a lot of the meetings were about discussing ways the whole development process could be improved.
Among the couple of tweaks made to it, one of them was the new release strategy for Beta. Basically, the development of the marketplace will now be split into two branches: dev and stable. The dev branch will be the “experimental” one where new features will first be released on testnet. New features can break stuff, and having a broken build when you want to show it to people is not very helpful and can even be counter-productive. That’s where a stable branch comes in handy. This branch only gets new features added to it once they have been properly tested and fully debugged, making much more stable for demonstration and testing purposes.
Additionally, the release strategy will now be different than how it was during Alpha. Instead of focusing on several features and functions at the same time, each development team will now focus on mostly one feature at a time, ensuring more frequent and exciting releases. Each of these Release Candidates will bring for testing new features, such as various messaging mechanisms, reputation, privacy, gateways, inventory management, and more. As Alpha was all about developing the base layer for the marketplace, Beta will be about adding new features, starting with the most necessary ones. These features will be able to be added at a much faster pace than before, and so we expect the Beta phase of development to be very exciting for everyone!
We’ve also decided that, parallel to the two testnet branches, we’d also finally release Particl Marketplace Alpha on mainnet. We’re currently in the last mile before our first mainnet marketplace release which will mark a glorious milestone for the project. The team is currently entirely focused on making the current Alpha build fully stable, and is making the final touches before it goes live on mainnet. New features will start being developed only after the Alpha version of the marketplace is pushed onto mainnet.
Another topic discussed in Africa and not necessarily related to development was our decision to start attending more events, do more meetups, sponsorships, and boots-on-the-ground campaigns. Directly related to that is the announcement we’ve made in December that we’d be attending Asia Crypto Week’s flagship event, TOKEN2049.
(15:01) Is there going to be a meetup in France?
Yes, we are in the middle of preparing an event we’ll be presenting at Paris’ CoinHouse late in February. CoinHouse is the leading Bitcoin and cryptocurrency hub in France with over 100,000 customers, 35,000 of them being considered as “active”. It offers a wide array of services including educational information, investment advice (approved by France’s AMF), OTC Bitcoin purchases and sales, and more. As part of their educational mission and community-driven initiatives, they hold very popular meetups, conferences, and other types of events that can be attended by the France cryptocurrency community. The startup has also been the home of the now widely-known and popular startup Ledger, which now have a product (Ledger Nano S) that is compatible with Particl for hardware storage and cold staking. CoinHouse is also partnered with renowned Paris Universities HEC and Polytechnique and now offers blockchain classes to students.
This event is very likely to include several presentations from not only team members, but also from both community members Ben and Albin Cauderlier from Mubiz. More information about this event will follow in the next few days.
(16:52) Will there be another PARTaker Hub?
We have no immediate plan for rebooting the Partaker Hub. We are looking into several ways to increase awareness and it may make a comeback at some point in time, although under a different and improved form, but it is not a short-term goal.
(17:44) Will there be a coin weight feature enabling large holders to easily remove products (e.g. those of a competitor) from the market?
It shouldn’t be possible to do but never say never. The development of governance with coin weight is now finished and the mechanism is undergoing several rounds of tests. This feature will be on the next stable Alpha release and part of the first mainnet version of the marketplace. Moving the initial governance system onto mainnet is the best way to see how it holds up against abuse when real funds are on the line. Our team will constantly be monitoring how the first mainnet governance system holds up in real-life and will be ready to make any improvement deemed necessary, if any. Being among the first, if not the first, at building a truly decentralized governance model of an eCommerce is a hell of a task with very few prior examples to refer to. The first mainnet model perhaps won’t be perfect, but we have to start somewhere and then improve as we go. This, after all, is the mentality of pioneers!
(18:32)— What added value could SCI provide for Particl?
Similarly to the previous question about our advisors, we intend on leveraging the founders of SCI, Miguel Cuneta and John Bailon, good friends to the project, much more starting this year. As we shift towards a different stage of the project, one that is likely to be much more business-minded than last year, their expertise and network could become very handy.
Satoshi Citadel Industries is one of the first and biggest blockchain companies in the Philippines. They are very involved with the community and also very well reputed. They sponsor all sorts of events, frequently get TV time, and even advise the local government, banks, and financial institutions. We plan on doing lots of events and joint projects together in the Philippines, and their influence and network will undoubtedly take the project places.
What’s happening with the Particl/PivX alliance?
The biggest event to come out of this alliance is the inclusion of PART to zDEX genesis launch and zDEX being integrated onto Particl Desktop at some point in time. PART is one of 7 coins included in the initial launch of that decentralized exchange.
What about the social media strategy? How will this evolve with mainnet?
We’ve brought on Lina as our Lead Community Evangelist. She’s a social juggernaut and event planner, speaker among many things. The community will begin seeing more video shorts, graphic eye candy and other treats on Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram in 2019.
Both Particl the platform and Particl Open Marketplace will have their own social calendars and marketing missions that are independent and play off of each other. Even though at this moment the target audiences of both items are cryptocurrency users, we see the marketplace veering off into more mainstream online buyers and sellers as the year goes by and our products get the necessary features required to appeal to a more mainstream target audience.
What about the vendor outreach and recruitment strategy? Has this been developed and if so how will it be implemented and what can we expect?
Large-scale vendor recruitment won’t come until after a full Beta release containing all the planned features that define that release. It could even be later than that, after we integrate more features, especially as it relates to more “mainstream”, non-geeky vendors. The reason for an even later date than Beta to begin recruitment of more mainstream vendors is that they are used to work on web pages and/or mobile apps. Being a downloadable marketplace keeps our adoption rate low until our mobile/web interfaces are developed but rest assured, these are absolutely planned.
For this reason, we expect some of the first vendors to be those operating in niche industries, vendors facing difficulties with payment processors and/or certain regulations, as well as people looking into acquiring cryptocurrencies. In other words, as the first mainnet versions of the marketplace might be more limited in terms of features, the first vendors are likely to be those suffering the most from the centralized infrastructure of online eCommerce and that will benefit the most from the perks offered by decentralization (barely any fee, censorship-proof, privacy, etc).
As Beta Release Candidates start to be released, each of them will contain new features that are likely to grow the target audience each time they get added. Whether it be messages, improved privacy, inventory management, or reputation, each new feature makes the marketplace more attractive and user-friendly to a wider audience.
We already have a pretty good idea of the types of vendors that would highly benefit from a decentralized marketplace like ours, especially when the marketplace starts getting most of the more mainstream features in place, so these will be targeted and definitely contacted when the marketplace will be able to accommodate their businesses.
Do we have an estimated date for the hardfork and the beta release and will the beta be testnet or mainnet?
We don’t have an estimated date for the hardfork that would move RingCT onto the mainnet branch. As many of you know, we planned on having one hardfork before the end of the year, but Tecnovert, our Lead Particl Core Dev, has been working on a variety of privacy-enhancing improvements and recommends we hold off on the hardfork until Bulletproofs, as well as the privacy-enhancing modifications, can be included into the RingCT scheme we’ve had on testnet for over a year.
Regarding the next stable marketplace release, the team is in the final run to make a stable release of Alpha with governance and other features many of our testers have been helping within the community since May. So instead of releasing a Beta at the end of the year (2018), we’re terming the same product our Alpha v1.2 and it includes governance with coin weight. This 1.2 Alpha version will be the last Alpha version we release, will be fully stable, and will mark the beginning of the Beta stage of development.
Additionally, many of you will be happy to learn that, because of its stability, it will be able to ultimately run on Mainnet! To begin, we’ll release the stable testnet builds to everyone and have a select and limited group of users running the mainnet version. The mainnet version of Alpha will then be opened up to everyone!
Following the Alpha v1.2 release of the Open Marketplace, the team will begin working on a development branch of the code to focus on the next marketplace release — Beta. We shifted the timeline and terminology so that we could move our Alpha proof-of-concept to mainnet.
Beta release isn’t nailed down to a specific date, but the team is shooting for March 2019 for a full Beta release to be ready. As always, this doesn’t constitute a deadline but can give a general idea. In the meantime, leading up to that full release, the team will release regular Release Candidates that will feature new tools for buyers and sellers. This is different than Alpha where the team was focused on the base of the marketplace. Beta will be more focused on popping up features at a quicker pace and should be overall a more exciting stage of development for the community than Alpha was.
You can get much more information about the planned features for Beta as well as Particl Core by reading the South Africa development meeting update posted on our blog.
When and how do you plan to do the second fundraising?
The team is going to begin taking a hands-off approach to funding questions. It is really not our place to comment on the funding plans of the Particl Foundation. Moving forward, we’ll volley all questions about the primary round to those board members, and are looking into setting up an AMA/FAQ session with the Foundation itself.
How much time will be needed to release a mobile version of the marketplace and when can we expect a Particl Copay wallet on iOS?
A mobile version of the marketplace is a future product, but we have zero input at this time as to how long that will take. That’s a team conversation to have when we’re all in the same location and have an open agenda when our current tasks near completion. What we can say is that a mobile version of the marketplace is planned for development at some point in time in the future.
On a related note, Particl Copay has a new senior developer bringing it up-to-date and adding more features, such as the ability to hold other coins on the wallet itself (i.e. Bitcoin). Another update to the mobile wallet will be to give the app cold staking abilities as well as a possible iOS integration (currently being looked into).
Are you going to release a roadmap with a timeline?
We’ll eventually release an update to the roadmap with the new work being developed as future work. Just like our last roadmap, specific dates won’t be attached, but timeframes that coincide with development workloads and schedules will be added when that information is available. We have no ETA on the release of a new roadmap for the moment.
What kind of partnerships are you targeting and have you a plan to target mainstream users and nocoiners (except for Mubiz)?
Without a user-friendly way to access the marketplace, we really can’t target mainstream users. Some will be comfortable downloading a client, but a lot won’t. Some vendors will be ok manually inputting inventory but many won’t. Some users will be ok with pseudo-anonymous transactions, many won’t. With each new feature we release, we get closer to our main goal of targeting regular online shoppers/sellers. This takes time and the team is still in the development phase of many of these features that mainstream users have come to expect. Mainstream users and “nocoiners” are definitely a target audience as we believe decentralized marketplaces to be a way of doing eCommerce that can benefit almost anyone. Reaching the point when “nocoiners” start using decentralized marketplaces will take time though, but we are confident we will get there.
It is also important to note that as Particl is being built as a fully trustless solution, it is ultimately designed to be able to operate without any third-party or partner. The well-functioning of the platform is not dependent on any partner.
When is Particl Desktop going to be compatible with ledger?
Desktop features are all taking a backseat to the marketplace as our team is currently fully focused on the last stretch. While the core wallet is currently compatible with Ledger, the Particl Desktop integration will come at a later time — possibly not until summer of 2019 or beyond.
What is your marketing plan for 2019?
Similar to our social media strategy, we are creating parallel plans for Particl Project and Particl Marketplace. They’ll play together and sometimes go in slightly different ways, but each is tailored to their target audiences.
With the current market sentiment, one thing we’ve decided on was to not increase our marketing spending immediately with Alpha coming to mainnet. We will promote it, of course, but our experience has shown that even awesome news doesn’t do much to grow the user base in this market, so we’ve decided to keep the marketing budget as is in order to divert more funds towards development.
To that end, we’re making a conscious effort to get Particl at more events and meetups. A boots on the ground strategy that directly relates to being one of the only crypto projects to have a product — not still pitching dreams, is an effective way to network and get to meet key people that could assist the project moving forward. Since the start of the bear market, most of the people that were “in it just for the money” have left the space, and so the people that remain and actually go to conferences and events are people truly interested in the tech, decentralization, and all the benefits blockchain can bring to the world. These are the people we believe can help projects move forward, and so we are working towards making these real-life connections.
Similarly, with the bear market, most blockchain teams have been laying off employees to survive under increasingly tight budgets. In the case of Particl though, we’ve only been getting stronger and bigger this year, which we hope will end up giving us a hedge in terms of real progress being made to our products.
Note that this may change pretty quickly depending on various scenarios.
Are we going to be added to a new big exchange soon?
This is something we, unfortunately, have very little control over. It’s entirely up to the exchanges we have working relationships with to list PART, but we are constantly in contact with them as well as with our legal team to ensure we have all the legal documentation that serious exchanges now require. We strongly believe moving Alpha to mainnet will help us in getting recognized as a serious project, not “just another ICO promising stuff”. With all the noise and the ICO projects out there, leaving the group of projects that are “working on something”, which is the greater majority of blockchain projects as it currently stands, and entering a much more limited group of projects with an actual live product will definitely help showcase all the efforts put into the project and the talent of our developers.
What are the other Dapps planned for Particl?
The team hasn’t officially planned out any future dapps for the moment. Each person has their own ideas, but that’s a full team discussion yet to happen in a yet-to-be-determined location at a not-yet-planned time, sometime after the Marketplace push is finished. It’s important to note that the marketplace Dapp itself will be the main focus for the foreseeable future, although, with the developer SDK as well as the Community Fund containing ~33k PART, we could start seeing new community developers get involved with the project and building their own Dapp. We also have some of our developers and team members have personal “dream Dapps” they would like to see on Particl, so, yes, definitely, there are some thoughts being put into it, but the marketplace has to be the only focus for now if we want it to release in a timely manner.
About Particl.page, what is this website, what are their goals?
It’s an awesome community run website! They now have made a cold staking pool available for their users, but as the website isn’t run by the team itself, we cannot say what other plans they have. They are somewhat active on Riot so don’t be shy asking questions directly to them! (Riot user: @particl.page:matrix.org)
Do we have other partners ready to handle the volatility of the escrow, the double deposits and which will allow mainstream users to pay in fiat using particl in the background except for Mubiz? If it is not the case what is going to be done to have a worldwide coverage of partners ready to give Particl access to mainstream users?
Nothing as of yet. This type of problem needs to be addressed but, as with everything else, at the appropriate time. It’s a good question and a problem the team is eager to solve when the time is right, which likely is going to be sometime after the marketplace push but probably before a mobile and web version of the marketplace is planned.
Do you know if some distribution networks have been interested in doing their trade on the Particl marketplace? If this is not the case, what is going to be made to make them understand their benefits to use Particl? Any qualitative and quantitative studies about a private mad escrow on competitive gains have been made already?
No studies have been performed by our team or outsourced to a third-party regarding MAD escrow usage as it relates to distribution networks. It’s a good study to have done if someone wants to lead it. We’d welcome any new involvement and can help in many ways with the right leadership in these types of analysis.
I think you should rename “Private Markets” in “Confidential Markets”.
We’re actually leaning towards “Open Marketplace” for the main marketplace and “Bubbles”, which is interestingly popular within the community, for the private markets feature set. In that sense, the Open Marketplace can be seen as a large bubble surrounded by smaller bubbles. Both are private by design, but the private markets can be tailored to sub-communities, clients, or products. We’ll probably continue testing names, so thanks for your suggestions. They are great too!
Albin has a plan to organize a Particl Hackathon in France you should contact him about that.
Sponsoring Hackathons, especially ones focused on Particl SDK, is a home run anytime anyone wants to organize one. Scheduling it after the release of the developer SDK makes the most sense though as participants would have access to the whole array of development tools specifically made for building Dapps and marketplace features on Particl.
This concludes the AMA/FAQ part of this Community Update. If you would like to continue and read the other parts of the update, please follow these links:
(Part 2) Development Updates: https://particl.news/community-update-12-part-2-2a35b005cb45
(Part 3) Community & Social Media Updates: https://particl.news/community-update-12-part-3-bbaf1b5bee51