We are proud to announce that Particl will soon be expanding its ecosystem with a brand new distributed application: BasicSwap.

BasicSwap is a cross-chain and private decentralized exchange (DEX) protocol that allows you to swap one cryptocurrency for another without any middleman or third-party being involved. It lets you make or take orders on a distributed order book and execute swaps that are safe, trustless, unrestricted, and private. To find out what makes it a one-of-a-kind DEX, keep on reading this blog post!

Mockup of BasicSwap's UI | Work-in-progress that is subject to change

Particl’s upcoming DEX is powered by the atomic swap technology and the SMSG network, making it entirely decentralized and devoid of any central operator. No KYC, no trickery, no false promises. Just pure decentralization and privacy. And yes, in case you were wondering, it is fully compatible with Monero (XMR) and will be right from the get-go! 😉

In this blog post, we will take a deep look into this new Particl distributed application. We’ll detail how it’s going to fit in as a critical component of the Particl ecosystem and, perhaps even more importantly, ensure the personal freedom and financial sovereignty of its users.

Table of Contents

The Particl Ecosystem Explained

The first step to understanding the significance of BasicSwap’s upcoming release for Particl is to get a good grasp of what the Particl ecosystem is.

Particl Marketplace, accessible through Particl Desktop

Particl is an ecosystem that gives you the ability to live completely free by cutting off middlemen entirely. It’s a platform that hosts different apps that respect your rights, freedoms, and privacy without any compromise. While it’s still under heavy development, Particl aspires to become an all-inclusive and circular economy that people can use to opt-out of the current global financial system. In other words, it’s all about personal freedom and financial sovereignty.

In many ways, the ultimate vision of the platform can be compared as a sort of “decentralized and private WeChat-like ecosystem” where you can get all the key services or products you need right at your fingertips. Alternatively, you can also see it as an OS-like platform for distributed apps. In any case, Particl is an ecosystem of distributed apps, or “dapps”, where independence from any third-party or service provider is absolute. And BasicSwap is an incredibly important step towards that vision.

In fact, as the Particl ecosystem enables you to become truly financially independent, it’s easy to understand how an equally independent, resilient, and unstoppable way to buy and sell the platform’s native currency (PART) is required. However, at the time of this writing, PART is only available through centralized exchanges or by unprotected OTC deals between two people. While centralized exchanges (i.e., Bittrex, WizardSwap) can provide many benefits and unique features, not having any decentralized option is not an option for a platform that seeks to be uncompromisingly independent. But that’s all about to change!

Now let’s dive deeper into BasicSwap and let’s see how it’s going to become a cornerstone for the entire Particl ecosystem. We'll also detail how it will become a competitive and vibrant trading platform for all cryptocurrencies that end up on it.

The BasicSwap DEX Explained

Keeping in mind that the Particl ecosystem is your gateway into a completely independent and autonomous economy, it’s vital to be able to acquire (and sell or trade) the platform’s native currency in an equally independent, safe, fast, and decentralized way. That’s precisely what the BasicSwap DEX enables you to do, but it doesn’t stop at just buying and selling PART.

Mockup of BasicSwap's UI | Work-in-progress that is subject to change

BasicSwap is a decentralized exchange (DEX) protocol. It lets you swap one cryptocurrency for another from a different chain (cross-chain). It’s also private by nature.

Swaps are made directly person-to-person, without any intermediary, using a distributed order book. Every single aspect of the BasicSwap protocol is decentralized and open-source, so you don’t have to take our word for it; you can check the code yourself!

List of Compatible Coins

  • Bitcoin
  • Monero
  • Particl
  • Litecoin
  • Namecoin

We are looking at adding various coins, including ETH and its ERC-20 tokens, shortly after the release of the Open Beta. Any Bitcoin-based and Segwit enabled cryptocurrency can get integrated with minimal effort. Other token issuing blockchains like Fantom, Solana, Avalanche, Polygon, or Binance Smart Chain may become available on BasicSwap as well, at a later stage of the integration roadmap.

Key Features

BasicSwap is a one-of-its-kind DEX in the blockchain industry. While it offers many benefits against centralized exchanges, it has three main distinguishing features that set it apart from other decentralized exchanges.

Distributed Order Books

BasicSwap’s first version will focus on trading with an order book. Instead of swapping your coins into a liquidity pool (like on Uniswap, SushiSwap, or PancakeSwap), you can either place an order on the distributed order book (maker), at the price that you want, or take an order that has already been placed on there by other swappers (taker). In many ways, this makes BasicSwap more akin to the typical centralized exchanges most people are used to trading on, but with a totally decentralized and private twist.

Note that, unlike the vast majority of DEXs that offer order books, BasicSwap’s order book system is truly distributed and doesn’t introduce any form of centralization. No funny business here; BasicSwap makes it truly impossible, by design, for any third-party to have uncalled influence on the platform, and that's provably verifiable through code! The order book is powered by Particl’s own P2P network, SMSG network, which is the same network that powers Particl Marketplace.

The main benefit of having an order book system is that you can swap coins at the exact price that you want to swap them for. It also attracts more traditional market makers who may not want to provide liquidity to smart-contract based liquidity pools due to the risks of rug pulls and other theoretical exploits they carry.

But there’s more coming to BasicSwap! You can expect “quick swaps” to be deployed at some point in the future. As a matter of fact, this is already being looked into at the time of this writing! We will let you know more about it as soon (™) as we can!

True Cross-Chain Swaps

Particl’s upcoming DEXs is a true cross-chain trading exchange. Unlike other DEX, BasicSwap does not mimic cross-chain interoperability. You’ll exchange one native coin for another one without any unsafe trickery!

You can swap one coin (i.e., Bitcoin) for one from another blockchain (i.e., Monero). And no, we’re not just talking about swapping coins between different Ethereum forks here (i.e., ETH to BSC). Moreover, BasicSwap doesn’t require coins to be wrapped into tokens of another chain (often Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, or other similar chains).

The World’s Most Private Trading Exchange

To top it off, BasicSwap is inherently private. But what does that mean?! Well, it means a few things. For one, you won’t need to create an account, send documents, verify yourself, or limit your trading activities to arbitrary maximum daily restrictions. It’s open to all, without any restriction, and without any care about who you are or where you live.

That’s already a major improvement over centralized exchanges that have become way too curious, but you can take things even further! You can indeed massively increase your level of privacy by swapping any cryptocurrency for privacy coins like Particl or Monero, or by using them as a gateway to add a layer of privacy between two "public coins" (i.e,. Bitcoin and Litecoin).

Indeed, all Monero transactions are inherently private, and BasicSwap lets you swap PART using any of its privacy states; public, blind (ConfidentialTransactions), or anon (RingCT). We’re planning on eventually enabling more private swap options through other privacy coins as well (i.e., Firo, Veil, etc).

But there is STILL more to come in regards to privacy! As we move forward and deploy the Taproot protocol on Particl, you can expect swaps of Bitcoin-style currencies to become indistinguishable from regular transactions. In other words, it will be eventually near-impossible to tell that, for example, a Bitcoin to Particl swap has occurred just by looking at their respective blockchains. That’s a major win for your financial privacy!

Indeed, enabling Taproot support is planned for a later stage of the Open Beta. That's one of the reasons why Particl's blockchain is always kept up-to-date with Bitcoin’s latest releases. It brings battle-hardened and reliable functionalities for your day-to-day financial sovereignty!

The combination of all these privacy-related features will make BasicSwap the world’s most private and unrestricted trading exchange, and that, in turn, will make you completely financially independent. Claim your sovereignty and live free...because, well, now you can!

Other Interesting Features

There are a couple of other features that you may find interesting. As BasicSwap will become an important development focus moving forward, this list is expected to grow gradually.

  • True Monero support
  • No account, sign up, or KYC
  • Incredibly low and competitive fees
  • User-friendly interface
  • No third-party, intermediary, or middleman at any point
  • Taproot compatible
  • Lightning Network compatible (in later versions)

What About Monetization?

As BasicSwap is entirely decentralized, no single party can earn profits from swaps made on the platform. That’d be very...centralized! But rest assured, we absolutely intend on turning Particl’s upcoming DEX into the spark that will cause the Particl project to go viral. Indeed, we are strongly confident that the DEX was the missing piece all along.

Indeed, it’s likely that a very small and competitive fee will be charged for using the DEX. But instead of having a third-party collecting them, it’s the entire Particl community who will benefit from them. All fees paid for using the DEX will be either converted into PART and burned, redistributed to stakers, or used as a liquidity incentive. A combination of these three strategies is likely to be what’s going to be deployed, although we haven’t finalized the strategy just yet and are still experimenting with different approaches.

In other words, we are working towards building BasicSwap in such a way that, as more people swap coins on the platform, the more demand there will be for the PART coin, the less available supply there will be, and the more valuable your staking rewards will be. And that’s just one application out of many others on the Particl ecosystem (Particl Marketplace has a similar dynamic as well).

Keep in mind that we want BasicSwap to provide an experience that has as little friction as possible. We also want any fee charged to remain very competitive with industry standards and, obviously, legally viable.

How Does it Compare

We know we know, there are many exchanges around, both centralized and decentralized. But we’re very confident that BasicSwap stands on its own and offers something quite unique.

In the interest of making it clear how BasicSwap differentiates itself from other trading platforms, here’s a brief breakdown of the differences with some of the other solutions around.

Compared to centralized exchanges...

  • You control your keys at any point in time
  • You don't have to create an account or submit any document
  • You don't need to verify yourself (KYC)
  • There's no upper limit as to how much you can trade per period of time
  • You remain private every step of the way
  • There's no third-party, middleman, or intermediary involved at all
  • Compared to “quick swap” exchanges with liquidity pools…

  • You can place or take orders on a distributed order book
  • You swap your coins at the exact price that you want
  • Swaps are truly cross-chain; no wrapped token required (i.e., wBTC)
  • Providing liquidity is done in a more traditional way using order books (as opposed to liquidity pools)
  • There's no rug to pull (read more about the infamous rug pulls here)
  • Compared to the BISQ exchange...

  • The process of swapping is entirely decentralized and done between two people
  • No security deposit or escrow intermediary required
  • Fees are lower
  • Swaps are atomic by nature, you can’t be scammed or tricked by bad actors
  • Compared to the COMIT network...

  • You can place or take orders on a distributed order book
  • You swap your coins at the exact price that you want
  • You can swap a vast selection of cryptocurrencies; it’s not exclusively Monero-centric
  • Uses the SMSG network to safely execute swaps
  • All options and steps are available from a user interface
  • Why is BasicSwap Sorely Needed?

    Utility Impact on Particl

    The most obvious reason for BasicSwap to be is to provide the Particl ecosystem with an independent, autonomous, and private way to swap, buy, and sell the native currency of the platform (PART) for as many other cryptocurrencies as possible.

    Early mockup of a BasicSwap integration into Particl Desktop | Work-in-progress that is subject to change

    Relying on centralized exchanges and partners can provide useful solutions and avenues to trade PART, but it makes the entire ecosystem dependent on them which is an unbearable risk. With BasicSwap, Particl becomes resilient against any exchange delisting and ensures the longevity of the project no matter what gets thrown at it. In other words, it makes Particl permanently unstoppable!

    Promoting and Supporting Financial Sovereignty

    At this time, with all of the promises and potential that cryptocurrencies yield, speculation is still their number one use case. Every day, billions upon billions worth of dollars in cryptocurrencies are traded on exchanges, both centralized and decentralized.

    Furthermore, with the looming aggressive regulations that certain countries wish to impose on crypto, especially towards coins that protect your private life, centralized exchanges have been more and more restrictive while asking for more and more information about you and your funds. This locks several people out of trading cryptocurrencies in a practical matter and this problem is expected to accentuate as we move forward. Keep in mind, this is far from being a Particl-centric issue, but rather an industry-wide issue that’s impacting thousands if not millions of users, daily.

    With this in mind, BasicSwap is a beacon of light in an environment that grows darker by the day for those who care about their financial sovereignty. By giving anyone the ability to easily swap cryptocurrencies from one chain to another, without any sort of restriction or overreaching requirements, it allows people to remain independent and keep their financial details to themselves.

    As a matter of fact, never ever will BasicSwap ask you for any information or restrict you from using its services based on arbitrary rules such as who you are, where you live, or what your transaction history may look like; it’s entirely decentralized, autonomous, and open to all! This, alone, is bound to attract freedom lovers, giving the Particl project much deserved attention from this audience.

    Exposure for the Project

    Because of how the Particl ecosystem and its distributed apps are all interconnected, we expect a non-negligible portion of BasicSwap users to start using other Particl apps and become Particl-wide users. That’s likely to accentuate much more as soon as the DEX gets integrated into Particl Desktop. After all, there’s much more to trading crypto, you’ve got to spend your gains as well! And, lo and behold, that’s precisely what Particl Marketplace lets you do (and you STILL stay completely private when doing so).

    For this reason, BasicSwap is eventually going to become a major focus in terms of communications, marketing, PR, and outreach efforts, on the same level and as a complement to the marketplace.

    That being said, the upcoming release of BasicSwap is a golden opportunity for Particl to become viral and become successful. Remember, billions upon billions worth of cryptocurrencies are traded every day, and BasicSwap’s unique set of features is bound to capture even just a tiny fraction of that pie.

    Indeed, as the main use-case for cryptocurrencies is currently speculation, releasing a highly functional and one-of-a-kind cross-chain and private DEX is a major bid in that direction. We highly encourage you all to help us spread the good word about it to kick start its adoption. For all of us in the community, it’s sure going to bring a breath of fresh air to be able to market a new product other than the marketplace!

    Easier User Onboarding for Particl Marketplace

    All payments on Particl Marketplace are private. That's why you need to hold some PART coins in your "anon balance" to use it. The anon balance is where the coins that you own that are in the RingCT privacy state (click here to learn more) are located.

    And because all current PART exchanges (i.e., Bittrex, Probit, WizardSwap, etc.) work using public balances only, getting started with the marketplace requires new users to go through a few additional, manual steps to transfer coins from their public balance to the anon one. This has often been reported as a significant challenge to the marketplace's adoption, and BasicSwap provides a simple solution to that problem.

    As mentioned earlier, BasicSwap lets you swap PART using the balance type of your choice. You can swap it against almost any other cryptocurrency, for example, Bitcoin, and use either your public, blind, or anon (marketplace-ready) balances to send or receive the PART. If you choose to swap the Bitcoin for PART using your anon balance, then as soon as the swap completes, you'll be ready to use the marketplace right away!

    Increasing Demand for PART, Decreasing Supply, and Growing Staking Rewards

    As you now know, we are looking into several monetization mechanisms to benefit the entire Particl ecosystem for the success of BasicSwap. Mind you, nothing is set in stone yet, but this includes mechanisms that would increase the demand for PART, reduce its circulating supply (burning coins), and introduce incentives for providing liquidity.

    Of course, it’s very important to keep the costs of using the DEX as low as possible so that it remains competitive with other solutions. It’s also important to keep it as frictionless as possible because the easier it is to use, the more people will use it. We'll communicate to the community what monetization strategies will be deployed as early as we can!

    When is the Open Beta Going Live?

    Currently, BasicSwap is in closed beta and has been in a testing phase for several months now. An Open Beta, on mainnet and open to the public, is now just about to launch. While we cannot yet give an estimate on its launch date, we expect it to go live before the end of the year 2021 as a nice end-of-year present to the community. Keep in mind, that is not guaranteed and should not be considered any sort of official estimate; this is however what we’re hoping for.

    What to Expect From the Open Beta?

    By any means, the Open Beta is not intended to be a finished product and will still very much be a beta product in beta phase. As such, you can expect a rough experience that isn’t all that much focused on user-friendliness. As its name implies, the “Open Beta” is intended to beta test the core features of the DEX and to ensure that the back-end works safely and as expected over a vast selection of environments and situations.

    Here are a few notes of what you can expect from the upcoming Open Beta phase.

    • Full mainnet functionality with swaps working with real coins
    • Compatibility with Bitcoin, Monero, Litecoin, Namecoin, and Particl. More coins will be added incrementally, especially around the time of the full release. We are already in touch with a few projects for integrations; the number of coins available on the DEX may grow rapidly once that becomes a bigger focus.
    • You will need to manually build the client following a set of instructions. There won’t be executables or one-click options to get started just yet, but rest assured that we have great solutions in the pipeline to simplify onboarding as much as possible.
    • A basic, barebone, and temporary user interface. The Open Beta won’t use, at least not to start with, any of the standalone or Particl Desktop mockups that we’ve shared in the past just yet. The Open Beta is for testers to test the back-end and technical features and is generally recommended for the more advanced types of users.
    • You will need to sync the blockchain of most of the coins you want to swap (excluding Monero, which you can simply sync to a public node). We plan on taking that requirement away in future versions of BasicSwap.
    • As with any beta software, you might encounter bugs or weird behaviors. Don’t worry, that’s why we’re doing an extensive Beta phase! So far, we are happy to confirm that, due to the safe and fail-proof nature of atomic swaps, we (including the closed beta group of testers) haven’t encountered any swap that failed and resulted in the loss of coins. Still, do keep in mind that it’s better to be safe than sorry and to ideally trade small amounts rather than large ones. It’s still early technology after all!

    Of course, that is not all. We have many surprises in the works which we intend on revealing soon (™). We are likely to add surprise features throughout the lifecycle of this Open Beta phase, so as we often say; stay tuned!

    What’s Left to do Before the Open Beta Goes Live?

    As we rapidly near the release of the Open Beta, we’re checking off the last few items that remain on the to-do list. In reality, there isn’t much left to do as an insane amount of work has been silently going towards BasicSwap for several months now. Here are the last items needed to be completed before the Open Beta release.

    • More testing and optimizations, notably related to the building and installation process.
    • Finish up the temporary UI for the Open Beta so that it’s easier to test.
    • Catching and fixing edge-case issues and other minor bugs.

    Once these items are completed, we’ll be ready to release the BasicSwap Open Beta to the public. We’ll clearly communicate, as soon as we can, when it will go live.

    As we’ve hopefully made clear by now, we have big plans for BasicSwap and strongly believe it can make Particl go viral and speed up the adoption and success of the entire Particl platform. Perhaps more importantly, it is a major play towards preserving everyone’s freedom and financial sovereignty. The benefits BasicSwap opens up to the cryptocurrency industry go much, much further than simply being helpful for the Particl community.

    As such, we have a lot more planned than what we’ve mentioned in this blog post, but we obviously don’t want to play all of our cards yet. After all, the infamous “soon (™)” motto has to live on! 😉

    So, most definitely keep a keen eye on Particl News and look out for any update either in blog posts dedicated to BasicSwap or in our weekly development progress reports. You’re bound to be mesmerized!

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