Particl is a PoS blockchain/P2P hybrid dual-token privacy platform with the goal of preserving its users’ privacy in many aspects of life, such as with currency transaction, communication, online shopping and much more. While there are already a good number of privacy coins currently in production, Particl brings many new features to the table as well as a different approach than most other privacy coins.
What makes this project so innovative?
For one, Confidential Transactions (CT) are at the core of the Particl platform. With CT currently in place on mainnet, transaction amounts are kept blinded but ledger entries can still be verified.
With the combination of CT and ring signatures, Particl is developing an integration of RingCT to make the platform’s privacy even more solid. It is currently under third-party code audit by cryptographers at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and is a system which allows for currency transactions to be both unlinkable and untraceable by not only hiding the receiver and sender information but also the amount sent. RingCT is also the privacy protocol used by Monero, but they have it applied on top the Cryptonote codebase whereas Particl applies it to the Bitcoin codebase (they are currently upgrading the BTC codebase from 0.14.2 to 0.15). The decision to bring RingCT on top of the Bitcoin codebase is motivated by two reasons. The first one is ease of integration into third-party services and products. The Bitcoin codebase is the one everyone knows and is used to working with. It is much easier for third-party services to integrate coins that operate on the Bitcoin codebase than any other codebase, as proven by the abandonment of the Monero integration into the multi-currency Jaxx wallet and also the recent pessimistic letter from Coinomi on the subject of Cryptonote codebase integration. The other reason is security. Bitcoin has been running securely for several years now, making it battle-tested as it’s been a primary target for code exploiters and hackers and has stood up to these attacks as unbreakable. Building off such a secure foundation makes perfect sense and once Ring CT is in place, Particl will be the first crypto-currency to do this on the latest BTC codebase.
Once fully audited and proven to be without vulnerabilities, the RingCT protocol will be added to the platform and promises to further enhance the coin’s position in the crypto arena, especially in the privacy coin sector. It’s important to note, however, that this protocol will be offered as an option and that regular non-anonymous as well as CT transactions will still be available to the users as RingCT is more expensive in terms of fees (since the transactions contain more data).
Another strength of the Particl platform is its legal foundation, Particl Stiftung. Set up and registered in Zug, Switzerland, this not-for-profit legal entity functions by receiving, managing and disbursing all related funds (such as contracts, partnerships, fund raisers, etc.) on behalf of the project. It received the funds from the initial funding round which quickly raised $750,000 (USD) and while this seems small when compared to some recent ICO’s, the team felt it was more than sufficient to cover all expenses for the first year. A second funding round is planned once the marketplace MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is out and most critical features are released. This keeps the team incentivized to work on the project and produce a quality product and actually correlates more closely to the way traditional VC funding rounds are structured. In contrasts, non-capped ICOs can be a problem since the developing team has already made millions with their ideas. The incentive to work hard is simply not as present in these multi-million dollar ICOs, and it is one of the main reasons the Particl Foundation decided to raise money in two different crowd funds.
Particl’s total coin supply is relatively low with only 8,634,140 coins. From this, 996,000 are time-locked for the second round of funding and 513,502 are held by the Particl Foundation. To this day, the actual circulating supply is around 7,650,000 PARTs.
One of the most awaited features of the Particl platform is its upcoming decentralized and anonymous marketplace which will be inherently scalable through its use of DSNs (decentralized storage networks). It will work using a trust-less and untraceable (thanks to CT) escrow system wherein both buyer and seller will lose out if a transaction is not completed. Both parties are therefore motivated to behave appropriately. The marketplace will use Particl’s native decentralized encrypted chat which is a perfect tool for buyers and sellers to communicate in complete privacy without having to worry about third-party eavesdropping. No type of data or personal information is required or retained by the system, nor is any kind of metadata leak possible. Particl’s vision is that it is critical that users’ data cannot be viewed by others in order to prevent the culture of sales ranking which marketplace giants such as Amazon have adopted (whereby highest volume sellers get ranked higher and thus have higher search result priority). This innovative approach taken by the Particl team allows new sellers, product innovators and smaller players to be able to compete on a level playing field and not be prejudged by their apparent lack of sales volume.
By its very nature, the marketplace has no central point of control but in order to avoid criminals and the like using the platform, a system of self-governance and decentralized voting is already in place and ready to be integrated into the marketplace so the users themselves can vote on what goes and what stays. Private listings, however, will be possible and they will not be viewable on the public marketplace nor will they be possible to delete through decentralized governance. Only the vendor and those possessing a specific key to the listing will be able to access it. It is noteworthy to know that the decentralized voting system can be used by anyone. The Particl team plans on using this feature to poll users about important decisions and updates, but a vendor, for example, could easily use it as well to poll its customer base about new products or customer feedback.
One big problem with decentralized systems is that spamming the network must be prevented without the intervention of a central authority. The Particl Marketplace will fight spam by way of time-limited listings. Each 48 hours, vendors need to renew their listings (or can set it up to do it automatically) with a very small listing fee. Whilst fees are very small (smaller than centralized marketplaces), a spammer looking to constantly spam the marketplace would need to continually fund his attack which would end up being quite costly over time and non-productive as the negative effects resulting from his attack would only last 48 hours. It is also quite ironic that, in the end, he would end up paying the very people he is trying to bring down, as marketplace fees are directly paid to stakers (users with an online node). This arrangement also has the added benefit of preventing out-of-date listings from slowing down the platform and ensuring that displayed listings are from active vendors.
One of the main goals of the project is to become a mainstream decentralized market and revolutionize the e-commerce industry just like eBay and Amazon did back in the early days of the internet. One of the key requirements for this to happen is to make a platform where most crypto stuff is kept in the background, and this is exactly what the team is trying to achieve. If your grand-parents can use it, only then would it really have a shot at reaching the mainstream. Also described as “currency-agnostic”, the Particl platform allows for the deposit of any other crypto-currency on its platform. All non-PART incoming transactions are done through an in-wallet integration of Shapeshift. It is important to note that this solution is temporary as the Particl team is actively working on atomic swaps enabled by the Lightning Network. An in-wallet fiat gateway is also being worked on through Changelly, which will allow a user to fund their Particl wallet with a credit card without having to deal with the hassle of buying a cryptocurrency on exchange platforms!
Another good reason to hold the Particl token is the fact that it is a proof-of-stake (PPoS, Particl’s improvement over PoSV3 which they plan on writing a whitepaper after the marketplace is out) coin which yields yearly interest that gets higher as less people stake. Holders can simply keep their wallets open and get rewarded for supporting the network. An added benefit of that mechanism is that it negates the value dillution effect of inflation by rewarding an equal or greater percentage of coins to stakers than is created on the network per year. Yearly staking interests are scheduled as follows:
Year 1: 5%
Year 2: 4%
Year 3: 3%
Year 4+: 2%
NOTE: These figures assume that 100% of the network is staking all the time. If 50% of the number of coins are put up for staking, then the yearly interest during the first year would be closer to 10%. At the time of this article’s publication, ~50–60% of the network is staking.
Unlike proof-of-work coins such as Bitcoin, staking does not require expensive equipment as the size of your rewards depends only on the number of coins you stake. It can also be used in a clever way to better support projects. In this sense, 10% of all staking rewards are sent over to a Particl Foundation wallet, making the project self-funded and independent. Staking can also be extremely profitable should the coin dramatically rise in value. That could open up a lot of opportunities for the team to make things happen faster and in a larger scale, hire more developers, deploy larger PR campaigns, etc. A very good example of this concept is DASH, where 10% of all block rewards are distributed to a development treasury fund. At today’s price of $357 per coin and with ~ 6650 stakes being sent over the fund per month, it means the DASH fund raises $2,374,050 USD per month.
The icing on the staking cake is the fact that all revenue generated from the platform’s anti-spam fees are redirected to stakers, including the marketplace fees. That means that as Particl becomes more popular and widely used, staking will become exponentially profitable.
Another great technical feature the Particl coin has is a native implementation of Segwit, which will eventually allow for a lot of awesome features like the Lightning Network and Atomic Swaps. The fact that it is a native integration (from the very beginning of the chain) means that all nodes are segwit compatible (unlike forked implementations) and that all transactions are segregated witness. Atomic swaps, on the other hand, allow parties to exchange various LN-enabled coins in a trust-less and fully decentralized fashion. This feature will be crucial for Particl as it would easily allow people to use other currencies without having to resort to using Shapeshift which, while a very useful service, is a centralized service, which we’re trying to move away from.
Currently running on a simple qt wallet, the Particl team is just about to release an Angular/Electron GUI wallet with a lot of features such as decentralized voting, multisig, messaging, etc. Looking for mainstream adoption, the team wants something which is very simple and intuitive to operate yet visually stunning at the same time. Complete with an installer and widgets, it will certainly be quick to set up yet very powerful at the same time.
With accessibility and ease-of-use in mind, a mobile wallet is also well under way and it is currently planned to have all desktop features included such as staking, fiat/crypto gateway, and of course the marketplace. The team is also working on releasing an online web portal which would allow anyone to shop on Particl directly from a website without having to download the entire chain or the wallet, making it even more accessible and similar to what online shoppers are accustomed to.
What Particl is trying to achieve is a fully decentralized and anonymous ecosystem, and in light of recent events and rulings against privacy rights, it couldn’t arrive at a better time.
Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: Many thanks to community member Commodore64 who has gone over this article and corrected grammar mistakes. If you feel generous, make sure to send him a little tip at this PART address: PvUVa1xrwKH2x9H2cgQaSK2JQdn5x4TddJ