If you have been following the alt-coin community closely, you may have noticed Shadowcash (SDC) has been pumping pretty hard lately (three times it’s value in about a week or so), only to be dumped shortly after on March 17th. The reason for this hype was that a major announcement was coming on that day after months of silence from the team, and it seems like the alt-coin community was dazed and confused by what it actually was. Without beating around the bush, Shadowcash is being abandoned in favor of a new, more professional project.
Shadowcash was a privacy-centric dual token crypto platform designed to be a one-stop hub for privacy and decentralized apps, including its very own anonymous currency, encrypted chat system and upcoming marketplace. However, it now appears that the project itself is being completely abandoned and that the entire development team have moved to a new project called Particl, and they have offered to all SDC holders a 1:1 token swap to keep the same stake in the new blockchain.
What is Particl?
Just like its predecessor, Particl is a proof-of-stake dual token privacy-centric crypto platform designed to be a one-stop hub for privacy and decentralized apps. From their website,
Particl is an open source, decentralized privacy platform built for global person to person and business to person eCommerce. The native marketplace, currency tokens and suite of encrypted communication tools offer unfettered access between buyers and sellers worldwide or just down the street.
It actually is a complete, more professional and less shady rebrand of Shadowcash and runs on a brand new blockchain built on the latest Bitcoin codebase (Shadowcash was running on a 5 year old codebase, like most alt-coins). It is going to host the Particl market, which is fully decentralized, anonymous, community-governed (voting power proportional to the amount of coins being staked) and focuses on making any kind of metadata leak impossible. For more information about all the features and new implementation, please refer to this link: https://particl.io/#about .
I personally see this as a Shadowcash on steroids as it takes all the features Shadowcash had and adds a ton of new stuff!
Along with the rebrand came a crowdfund. Basically, anyone currently holding SDCs can go on Particl’s website and swap SDCs for PARTs at a 1:1 ratio. It is also possible to add a “bonus” amount of Bitcoins to your swap to get 15% more PARTs upon genesis block. These bonuses are a funding strategy the team designed to help them get involved full steam into the project. This is a mix of both an ICO and a generic coin swap.
As a matter of fact, ShadowCash used to be what some people call a “hobby coin”, meaning it was supported by a small team of voluntary developers working for free or from community donations. This means the coin’s development could not be as quick, professional and constant as larger projects which have secured large amounts of funding either through VCs, ICOs or instamine like Ethereum and Zcash, amongst others.
With this funding, the team will now be able to hire developers and be paid to work full-time on the project, pay for various consultations with experts in the field, pay for third-party code audits as well as securing marketing/PR deals with international firms. On top of that, they have formed a Swiss foundation with the mission to handle all legal matters and insure the community doesn’t get hit with bad legal news. For more information on the crowdfund structure, please refer to this link: https://particl.io/#stats and for general questions about the way forward, the team held an interesting AMA here: https://www.reddit.com/r/Particl/comments/60dpzw/ama_with_the_particl_team_rparticl_march_20th/?st=j0j12o6r&sh=d7ebc993
What Makes Particl Valuable As A Cryptocurrency?
Again, I am not going to beat around the bush, I believe this platform is poised to become one of the most valuable cryptocurrency in the field. There are many reasons for that, but it ultimately comes down to the fact that everything on this platform is thought in a way to add value to its native currency (that can of course be traded outside the platform, just like Shadowcash before). Indeed, the team is creating a cryptocurrency that gets more value by having real-word use cases rather than being solely valued through speculation. It also has a very interesting economic structure.
Before you proceed further into this article, I would highly suggest you read this guide written by a Shadowcash/Particl community member, available on Reddit:
** It is only the third part of a multi-part investor guide, and it is the most relevant to this article I am writing. I encourage you to read the other parts as well if you like it.
With the intelligent investor guide in mind, you are now ready to proceed further into this article. So what kind of value proposition Particl brings to the table, besides of course speculation?
For starters, Particl is what is called a proof-of-stake currency, as opposed to being proof-of-work.
“Unlike Proof-of-Work (PoW) based cryptocurrencies (such as bitcoin), where the algorithm rewards participants who solve complicated cryptographical puzzles in order to validate transactions and create new blocks (i.e. mining), in PoS-based cryptocurrencies the creator of the next block is chosen in a deterministic (pseudo-random) way, and the chance that an account is chosen depends on its wealth (i.e. the stake)”
Staking doesn’t require you to have a powerful machine wasting resources as it secures the network. It only requires you to have a node open as often as possible, and it will in turn give you interests based on the amount of coins that have been deposited into that staking node.
As it currently stands, Particl will offer around 2% yearly interests based on the number of coins being staked, but that is assuming that 100% of the coins on the network are staking, which is of course never going to happen. If the network hovers around 50% of all the PARTs being staked (as was the case with Shadowcash before), that means your actual interest rate is closer to 4%. That alone creates a good incentive to hold rather than trade and puts less selling pressure into the market. Note that, contrary to DASH’s masternode scheme which requires a minimum of a thousand DASH to be able to stake, it is possible to stake PARTs with any amount, making the platform a truly decentralized one. Whether you are rich or poor, you can contribute to securing the network and receive stakes.
The greatest thing with Particl is that it is a platform owned by the stakers. All fees derived from the platform itself are directly sent as staking rewards and benefit those who secure the network. That includes dual token conversion and marketplace fees, among other features.
Please understand that the estimated 2–4% staking reward was for Shadowcash, and Particl is likely to generate much bigger interest rates for its stakers, thanks to its market and other incoming privacy and decentralized apps.
There are a lot of ways stakers and holders will profit from the decentralized marketplace.
The first one, which is quite obvious, is through fees. They are necessary in any kind of decentralized system to help fight network spam. Each transactions will cost a fee which in turn will be redirected to the stakers as a reward for securing the network.
To see how this can affect staking rewards, and since the whitepaper containing precise numbers isn’t out yet, let’s take SDC’s numbers to get an approximate calculation. For the purpose of this example, 1 PART is valued at 2$ USD, 1 staking reward gives 0.27 PART and 10 rewards are earned per day (this would vary according to the amount of PARTs you are personally staking). It is quite simple to calculate your staking revenue with this simple equation: 0.27 * 10 * 2.00$ USD = 5.40$ USD per day.
Now let’s assume the marketplace generates 25,000$ of daily sales on average. Since each block is about a minute long (1440 blocks a day, in average), we can estimate how much 25,000$ of daily sales could impact staking rewards by doing the following calculation: (0.27 * 10 * 2) + (25,000 * 0.01 / 1440 * 10) = 7.14 USD. That is an increase of around 32.2% of the 5.40$ USD daily stakes that didn’t take the market into account. Note that for this example, I have assumed the market fees to amount to 1% of 25,000 USD daily sales. We do not know yet how the fees will be structured, whether they will be paid when a transaction is done, once a listing is created or both. I have assumed it would be 1% of daily sales just for the sake of the demonstration; it could be more, it could be less.
Another way the market contributes in bringing value to the currency is by effectively locking funds away from circulation through its MAD (mutually assisted destruction) escrow. In fact, Particl will offer a completely decentralized escrow system that doesn’t rely on any third-party or escrow agent. While not generating any fees because it is a trust contract between the two transacting parties, it does “lock” funds away for the duration of the transaction, including payment, processing of order, shipment, and potential resolutions which can include a reship which extends the amount of time PARTs are locked into a transaction escrow even more. Depending on the geographical distance between the two parties and the nature of the order, funds may be locked for several days, sometimes even weeks. If we are to take the same 25,000$ daily sales example as shown above, and average the time funds are locked in escrow to 14 days, that means that at any given time 350,000$ USDs are locked and unavailable for trading OR staking, or 175,000 PARTs if valued at 2$ each. This increasingly reduces the available supply as the marketplace sees more and more daily volume, and this can potentially reduce the amount of coins being staked, letting you, the staker, get away with an even bigger interest rate.
Finally, this marketplace is going to be “currency-agnostic”, meaning it accepts most popular cryptocurrencies including Monero, Ether, Bitcoin, DASH, etc. The team has indeed integrated Shapeshift into its wallet (and a native, non-shapeshift integration is planned further down the road, which will in turn probably generate even more fees for stakers since fees will not need to be directed to the Shapeshift partner), but all transactions are ultimately settled in PARTs. In other words, when comes the time checkout, it will be possible to send any cryptocurrency supported by Shapeshift to pay for your cart and it will be automatically traded into PARTs so it can be deposited into the vendor’s address. Needless to say, the attractive staking rewards will probably incentivize vendors to stake some of their sales revenue as well, making the network even more secure, decentralized and secure while rewarding its actual real users. A definite win-win scenario for literally everybody involved in this platform!
We are even looking at a potential in-wallet fiat gateway integration, as was discussed by the team but put on hold for now as they didn’t feel ready to tackle this in particular. I believe we could eventually see this become a reality somewhere down the road.
** Later this week, I will be posting an article concerning the Particl market itself and why I think it is a revolution not only in the crypto world but for mainstream use as well. Its features, accessibility and user-friendliness (mobile platform incoming, most geeky crypto stuff being done in the backend) will completely blow competitors out of the window and I genuinely believe it can make a dent in the huge global mainstream market for eCommerce currently dominated by giants like eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, Etsy, etc. I will illustrate several use cases why a decentralized marketplace is BADLY needed, even for legal items, and why its adoption may happen more quickly than most people would believe. I think this could be one of crypto’s first killer app!
Other Particl apps:
One thing that is often overlooked with both the legacy Shadowcash project and Particl is that they are privacy-centric PLATFORMS with the mission of being a hub for multiple apps, not only a marketplace (even though it will be the first major app supported by Particl). Let’s look at Shadowcash’s mission, as stated on their website:
The Shadow Project is an open source project aiming to be the core of privacy, where people will build decentralized applications.
What this means is that any app built on Particl has the potential to increase staking rewards even more, the same way the marketplace does as illustrated above. We can imagine a decentralized “Twitter” style app, where users need to pay a very small fee per message posted (or any similar payment scheme, remember fees are used only to protect the network against spam and these fees should preferably be small for adoption), a betting/casino app (as was experimented with a year or so ago), an uber-style parcel delivery apps, a decentralized file sharing app (the team is doing research in decentralized data storage), etc. Sky actually is the limit in the sense that developers can use all their creativity to make this platform grow, attract more users with different centers of interest, increase staking rewards and furthering decentralization of the platform (because more users means more stakers).
What is important here is that Particl will be a platform on which it will be very easy for developers OUTSIDE the team to come and develop apps of their own. It is not like popular cryptocurrencies like LISK or Ethereum that are much more similar to “blockchainized” coding languages, as every apps built on Ethereum are independent from each others and don’t necessarily benefit all users securing the network at once. Think of Particl has a decentralized blockchain WeChat platform, which is an extremey popular chinese app that tries to bring “everything under the same hood” (payment gateway, social media, shopping, mapping, games, etc). In the same spirit, Particl is a wallet/software in which all Particl apps are available at your fingertips, each bringing different kinds of users that can help secure the network while making good interests on their PARTs stash.
In the end, I believe Particl will be a privacy-centric platform that is going to be a very rewarding one for its users and maintainers (stakers). Privacy and decentralization are ever increasing necessities for people around the world, whether it is Big Brother spying on you, corporate entities selling your personal information and life to anyone showing money for it or for hackers looking for your data to exploit and rip you off. I really think the Particl team has found a very clever way to take this privacy/decentralization we all need and make it accessible for anyone and financially rewarding at the same time. Take the TOR network for example (which of course Particl integrates natively). There is a problem with the network where not enough users run nodes that secure and further decentralization. This is because there is absolutely no financial incentive to run an exit node, so only extremely privacy-conscious individuals help with it. This is not the case with Particl as running a node generates you interests (and when you really think about it…if it goes mainstream the interest rates could sky rocket).
I really believe this coin could be a very good investment not only financially but for your personal private life as well. Now that the team in charge has secured funds to work full-time on it and hire the proper resources to make it happen, I expect the market to be released very soon and things will snowball from then. After all, the CLI (command-line) is already completed (confirmed) and only the GUI needs tweaking and its final adjustments. If I would go out on a limb and make a wild guess, I would not even be surprised if the market was released by the time the crowdfund ends and the genesis block is activated. That, however, is purely a speculative guess, but my ultimate point is that the market is nearly done, at least in the backend it is.
How to participate in the crowdfund?
If you want to acquire some PARTs before the genesis block (being an early adopter could turn out to be profitable in the long run), you will need to first buy SDCs and then swap them on Particl’s website (https://particl.io/). Don’t forget that by sending a little BTC bonus (optional), you can even get some PARTs at an interesting discount! For more information about the swapping process, here’s a Steemit tutorial, written by user Prufarchy, that explains it in great details: https://steemit.com/crypto/@prufarchy/particl-tutorial-account-creation-and-converting-your-sdc Be sure to give him an upvote as I believe his tutorial to be very informative!
You can also join Particl’s various social hubs (Riot/IRC/Slack channels, sub-reddit, etc) by visiting their website (https://www.particl.io/) and scrolling all the way to the bottom of the page. There you will find the appropriate links!
DISCLAIMER: I am a Shadowcash/Particl investor, and have been for a couple of months. This article IS NOT meant as an investment advice, but rather as a testimony of my excitement towards this project. I encourage everyone interested by the project to do their OWN due diligence and research!