Thanks all for participating in our Particl AMA. We really appreciate all your support. There were really good and thoughtful questions that were asked. For those who missed our AMA, this blog post is for you
Mayank – Hello @Cryptoguard welcome to CryptoNationIN.
Cryptoguard – Hey Mayank, thanks for having the Particl project on and thanks to the Crypto Nation community!
Mayank – First of all, I congratulate to you for the 3rd anniversary of Particl 🎊 🎊 And we are very glad to have you over here.
Cryptoguard – Ehe thanks, I can only throw that back to you and congratulate you guys for the 50th AMA here on Crypto Nation 😀
Mayank – Double celebrations 🥳. Before we start, I request you to tell our community about yourself and about Particl.
Cryptoguard – Alright, so I am Cryptoguard from Particl. I manage communications for the project. Particl is a privacy-focused eCommerce platform which contains a privacy coin, PART, and a decentralized marketplace that allows anyone in the world to buy and sell anything without restriction, and without leaving a trace.
The coin uses some of the leading privacy tech in the space, namely a combination of CT and RingCT, which is the privacy protocol used by Monero, but unlike it and other clones, we’ve adapted the code to be running on top of the Bitcoin codebase which grants us more flexibility and security. This is how we are able to use our privacy coin in our decentralized marketplace’s smart-contracts.
The marketplace itself is entirely decentralized and there is no third-party intervention. It’s you, and the other party you’re transacting with only. It is currently live on mainnet as a Beta version, and we’re just about to release the V3.0 version of the marketplace which is going to be Particl’s biggest update since we launched the project. This update introduces a brand new desktop client and user interface, a ton of features, and a big boost in performance. We believe this is inching closer to a product that is ready to be adopted by a wider audience.
Mayank – When V3.0 is going to be released??
Cryptoguard – Our devs are putting the final touches to it and, since we are a project heavily focused on security (security and privacy above everything else), we also run a ton of tests prior to releasing it to ensure that is passes our high standards.
For the moment, it’s a bit hard to pinpoint an exact date because of the unpredictable nature of these tests, but as a general estimate, we are expecting it to go live by the end of this summer, on mainnet, with testnet coming a few days or weeks before that.
Mayank – Okay it’s a great thing that you are more focused on the security of your users.
Cryptoguard – This is what we are all about: privacy, security, uncompromised decentralization, and liberty. All of our devs are old school Bitcoin and crypto fans, so we were around crypto when these themes were more popular and we’ve never gave up on these very ideological values which were the foundations of Bitcoin itself. We are a true team of cypherpunks 😀
Mayank – Sounds interesting! Should we proceed with round 2: Twitter Questions?
Cryptoguard – Just before though, just forgot to mention, we also have an encrypted messaging system coming to the platform soon. This is being developed by some partners of ours, DeMarkets.io, and will be integrated into the marketplace so that people can communicate in privacy! Just one more cool thing coming soon after V3.0 :D\
Mayank – Amazing 👏🏻 👏🏻
Q1. I have downloaded and make a free test purchase on particl-desktop but I have a habit of using my phone regularly, so do the Particl team plan to ever develop them on mobile app?
Cryptoguard – Mobile marketplace is something really necessary in today’s world, where most of the internet browsing is done on mobile devices. The Particl team understands that very well, and this is one of the main aim after the release of this massive V3.0 update, which is coming this summer. This has also been one of the top request from our community of things to do after we release the long-awaited V3.0 marketplace. In fact, nowadays, “mcommerce”, which just means people shopping online with their phones, is almost as popular as eCommerce. And stats show that mcommerce will overtake ecommerce in maybe a year or two, so yep, definitely agree that mobile marketplaces are the future!
As such, the team has already done some preliminary work on that end. Although we haven’t really started communicating it heavily, as we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves and instead focus on V3.0, we have some interesting stuff cooking in that regard. So what I could say is stay tuned because we have a lot of exciting things coming for Particl around and after the release of Particl V3.0. 😉
Q2. Why do you think we need such a private marketplace? Usually people don’t have anything to hide unless it is something illegal?
Cryptoguard – That’s a question I could go on and on about with various examples from our daily lives. This answer might be a bit extensive ehe! As explained, we are cypherpunks so this goes right into why we’re doing what we’re doing.
“Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.” – Snowden
This is an important quote from one of the leading privacy advocate of our times that is at the core of our beliefs at Particl. The need for privacy in eCommerce is not necessarily because you have something to hide, but more because it is a human right. Privacy also brings a lot of benefits to everyone, such as added security and protection against personal information leaks (which, by now, is general knowledge that it is a problem with most online services). We’ve all seen data leaks and identity thefts becoming too common right? And it feels like we can’t do a thing about it? We’ve slowly come to “accept” that this is just parts and parcels of shopping online, but the truth is that it doesn’t have to be this way at all.
It can also protect your business, specifically product inventors who are now afraid to invent products and bring them to markets (due to the fact that they get copied by marketplace operators and put out of business before they can even break even on their investment). It can also protect you from these awkwardly accurate targeted ads that you get just by browsing the web.
Then, you also have more personal reasons to remain private when shopping (or selling) online, such as a 18+ adult items. Some people may not want to have order history related to that kind of stuff plastered all over their credit card bill or marketplace history. Other industries that benefit a lot from privacy is, for example, the art industry, which is typically more on the private side, especially when it involves high-priced art pieces.
There are many reasons why you would want online privacy, and we believe that having this option should always be possible for everyone that wants it. It’s a human right, and that’s why we are taking part in this humble fight that is online privacy! It’s normal to think about illegal trade first when talking about privacy, but this is actually a very, very small portion of why people would want privacy in general.
Of course, Particl offers much more than just privacy. So in a nutshell, here are a few use-cases of private, decentralized, and censorship-resistant eCommerce:
- Censored products, such as COVID-19 related items (i.e. hand sanitizers, N95 masks, etc) or Bitcoin miners on eBay (now it’s okay, but back a few years it wasn’t legal and eBay/Paypal WERE seizing money of mining gear vendors)
- Banned activities in troubled countries, for example, in Venezuela when it was illegal to bake bread and sell it. Vendors could secretly sell bread on the marketplace without fear of being shut down.
- Censored books and literature (i.e. Alen Berenson’s COVID-19 book or pro-democracy books in Hong Kong)
- Original inventions (inventing products and selling them on public marketplaces like eBay or Amazon is reckless. Especially Amazon, they now require your manufacturer’s contact information and they will copy your invention as soon as it gets trending, produce thousands, outprice you, and bring you down in the search results
- Items for which the buyer may want to remain anonymous (i.e. 18+ items and sex toys)
- To get access to cheaper prices (vendors don’t pay any sales fee, so they can lower their prices to increase their sales volume and beat their competitors
- To protect yourself from data breaches and personal information leaks
- Spend cryptocurrencies without resorting back to centralized parties (payment processors like BitPay). It keeps you private and makes you skip on potential fees and keeps the friction to a minimum. Perhaps BitPay doesn’t charge you a fee, but they do charge vendors a fee which is reflected in the retail price.
- The marketplace is deployed worldwide. It works in every country as long as you can get access to an internet connection.
- For companies and supply chains to provide supply but hide information that could be mined by competitors to better understand their situation.
- For supply chain optimization (no fee)
- For trading communities ripe with scammers (i.e. pre-owned precious metal bullion trading groups, craft beer trading groups, etc)
- For cryptocurrency physical art (free escrow)
If you want a very good example of why privacy is beneficial even though you aren’t doing illegal, read this classic and somewhat entertaining history where the giant retailer Target revealed to a father his daughter was pregnant before he even knew about it: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2012/02/16/how-target-figured-out-a-teen-girl-was-pregnant-before-her-father-did/#392d55576668.
Q3. What are the main differences between Particl marketplace and other? Why will be it better? What are the benefits of being a user of Particl marketplace?
Cryptoguard – I wouldn’t say “better”, although I believe Particl to be a great marketplace, I’d instead say “different”. Just like with traditional marketplaces, there are many that can co-exist and provide services for a particular type of transaction. For example, would you say that eBay is better thanb Amazon, or Alibaba…or Etsy? They are all marketplace giants but fill a different need for different kind of people and transactions. The same is and will be true with decentralized marketplaces. This isn’t a “winner take all” industry.
There are a few decentralized marketplaces out there, but really, there are currently none like Particl which is why Particl is poised to fill its own niche (that’s what you want in an industry with many competitors, be unique!). The most popular of them, OpenBazaar, is the ‘grandpa’ of open / decentralized marketplaces. They are the pioneers in the space and the first to have delivered a decentralized marketplace. A lot of what Particl has built is based on the challenges and solutions of OpenBazaar and we’ve dived deep into their product to see what had to be improved. In a way, we are building our own decentralized marketplace on top of the work made by previous pioneers.
One of the main difference with other marketplaces is about the payment. OB, for example, uses coins like Bitcoin to make a transaction on its marketplace, which means you could trace what people are buying on there. Comparatively, Particl has its own blockchain with an anonymous cryptocurrency, which means payments are confidential and there is no possibility to retrace anything on payments.
One of the downside of several decentralized marketplaces is the ‘old fashion’ use of human escrow for sensitive transaction, while Particl use a trustless, two-party escrow with a smart contract. Old fashioned escrow systems are kind of risky on decentralized marketplaces because you never know who that third person is. For all you know, it could be the vendor itself running a second account as a moderator. Case in point, we’ve met a vendor who was doing just that in Consensus last year. And then, you run the risk of potential collusion between two parties, misjudgments, etc.
Another big advantage is what the complete privacy of the marketplace data, not just the transactions themselves. Here, we’re talking about network privacy, no metadata being generated on you at all, and every single process is designed to keep you private. That ensures you leave no trace behind, no digital footprint so to speak, and because of this, you can’t be traced back by data miners.
One other thing I’d like to add, which is one of my favorite thing about Particl, is also the fee redistribution to stakers. In fact, the Particl Marketplace charges no sales fee or commission, the only fee is a small listing fee to prevent spam. This fee is then redistributed to stakers (“miners” in a PoS blockchain). This creates the potential for some very serious network effect and can help a lot motivate the community to spread the word as they earn PART. Yes, listing fees are actually quite small, but with many listings it adds up and can create a very positive feedback loop. In other words, the more people use the marketplace, the more PART you will receive in regular dividend-like payments. Imagine if you owned a portion of eBay and received some of their profits. This is what Particl enables, and that’s the true beauty of decentralized systems. Power to the people, not some disconnected corporation!
There are a few new decentralized marketplaces popping up here and there from time to time, but Particl still has a quite unique position among those as none truly tackle the issue of privacy in eCommerce, or lack of privacy I should say. And that’s because it’s not really an easy thing to do, the challenge is HUGE. And also to mention, we have deep respect for the guys over at OpenBazaar who have paved the way and pioneered decentralized marketplaces. We are working on different approaches to decentralized marketplaces, but share our thoughts on just how much we as a society need these censorship-resistant marketplaces. I think that’ll become more obvious as time goes by!
Q4. Many people are scared of using online marketplaces because of fake, counterfeit and sub-quality products. How can PARTICL solve this problem? What decentralized features/solutions does Particl provide to prevent such from happening?
Cryptoguard – This is very true, there is a lot of counterfeit online. Our secret weapon against this type of misbehavior is the use of a unique two-party escrow system. Basically, when selling something on Particl, you need to put a security deposit equal to 100% of the value of the item you’re selling. The buyer is going to match that security deposit. Both deposits only get refunded when both users agree that the transaction was honest and completed.
That means that you could have your security deposit held against you if you misbehave, which results in a net financial loss until any issue is resolved and agreed by both parties.
So, as a scammer, would you risk losing money trying to scam people on Particl, or would you rather take a chance with a more forgiving eCommerce platform? Typically, when a user is willing to enter this kind of escrow for a transaction, it’s already a good indicator that they are going to be legit. Scammers will usually prefer trying their luck with systems that have poor moderation mechanisms in place, or none at all. And if they trade on Particl and are not honest with you, then you, as a buyer, have leverage over that vendor and can cause him to lose some funds.
Keep in mind that we do plan on adding a reputation system at some points with reviews. That’ll come later on during the roadmap, and for the moment, there is a Questions & Answers section for each listing which can help people warn each others and leave comments in case some bad actor tries to scam people.
Also to mention, counterfeits are also a big problem on traditional marketplaces. It is a problem that isn’t easy to eradicate and some companies are pouring millions of dollars into building systems that can help prevent this.
We do believe though that our escrow system, since it is tied up with potential financial losses for scammers, is pretty efficient.
Q5. In Market, there are already Number of Private Private Blockchains & Coins are available ! So, Is there any Main Reason behind Launching Special Particl Private Blockchain & Coin?
Cryptoguard – Oh yes there is. There are many coins in crypto, and many blockchains, but none of them fill all of the requirements to be able to run a decentralized marketplace focused on privacy on top of it. We are perfectionists and have a very clear cut vision with how we want Particl to be. So we needed both the chain and the coin to have the “full package”.
For the coin, no coin in the space offers the level of privacy that PART has with its level of flexibility. You have cryptocurrencies like Monero or Zcoin, for example, that are excellent at keeping your privacy. But these coins are not very flexible and cannot really be used in smart-contracts. That’s why we created the PART coin, a super private currency without any of the typical flexibility compromises. It’s also built on the Bitcoin codebase, so you get all of that security and stability, but since it is a fork, we can now introduce to it features and functions that will never make it onto Bitcon due to its resilience.
As for launching our own blockchain instead of using one that already exists, there are a couple of reasons why. The first one is obviously because we wanted to have more control over it and be able to take our own decisions. When you use a blockchain that’s already out there, you become dependent on its development by another team. And since our project is mostly “product-based”, as in, we are building an actual product and not just a coin, it didn’t make sense to sort of “outsource” the development and maintenance of the foundation of the marketplace (the blockchain) to another team which we would have very little influence over.
Additionally, we wanted to have all the features we currently have on the blockchain, and have it also be a Proof-of-Stake blockchain. That’s because we want every marketplace user to help secure the network and receive a portion of the marketplace listing fees to help with the network effect.
And then, there is also the question of being dependent on other “Dapps” as well. Some of you perhaps remember the CryptoKitty “fiasco”. This Ethereum-based Dapp got so popular at some point that thousands of people were making transactions on the Ethereum blockchain which slowed down other Dapps as well. Now, do we really want the marketplace to “lag” because people are trading digital cats, or using any other Dapp? We wanted to have independence and that’s one of the big reason behind creating our own blockchain.
Having our own blockchain also allows us to release a bunch of features, and, since we are based on the Bitcoin codebase anyway, we can always leverage innovations and products built for Bitcoin. A good example of this is with the Copay mobile application, which was initially developed for Bitcoin but which we’ve forked and adapted for Particl. So while we are a blockchain of our own, we aren’t a weird, unheard of blockchain-type so it is kind of getting your cake and eating it too 🙂
So as you can see, we have a lot of requirements on the blockchain and coin side of things, and finding already-existing solutions with all of them, plus the independence, was an impossible task. So we built it ourselves 💪
Q6. On platforms like these,There is the risk of Data sharing & transparency ,What has Particl done to Tackle with this?
Cryptoguard – The secret sauce for Particl regarding data sharing and transparency is that the marketplace doesn’t generate any identifiable data about you in the first place. There are several security and privacy protocols in place to ensure that any data generated from the marketplace is anonymous. So if there is no data about you, then it is worthless to be shared to anyone.
Q7. Is Particl Marketplace fully decentralized & private?
Cryptoguard – The only part of Particl which isn’t private by default is the network connection, but you can easily connect your Particl application to Tor in a matter of seconds. That’s because there are some vulnerabilities in integrating Tor by default, although that is something the team plans on eventually taking care of later down the road.
Q8. On many blockchain projects, Staking seems to be popular now to encourage investors to hold tokens and make them healthy for the project ecosystem. Is $PART token also supported?
If so, What are the requirements for nodes and verifier nodes? What is APR?
Cryptoguard – Yep, Particl is PoS and allows for staking, cold staking even! There is literally no requirement to start staking except having more than 0 PART. So no minimum amount of coins required, no hardware required (unless you want to cold stake with a node at home), no masternode.
And the neat thing about it…as a staker, you will receive 100% of the marketplace listing fees. Of course, that is distributed proportionally to how many coins you own, but that adds a pretty interesting factor to staking.
We’ve actually had our staking rate go down from 3% to 2% yesterday, and that’ll stay that way forever. In reality, people are currently earning closer to 4% per year, and that would grow as more people start to use the marketplace.
Q9. Is your aim, to become the number one (leader) in the decentralized privacy platform ? and if so what will you say is your biggest strength to achieve it?
Cryptoguard – Our aim is first and foremost to provide the best and most private marketplace on the web. And for this, we believe we have the best team to do it with very talented developers and cryptographers. This is actually our biggest strength. There are other decentralized marketplaces tacking other niches, and we wish them all the best as we believe the decentralized marketplace sector to be a “winner for all”.
What I mean is that each decentralized marketplace that acquires new users…these new users are now introduced to the world of decentralized marketplace, and they may very well look around other marketplaces.
So do we want to be the number one decentralized privacy platform/marketplace? Yes, of course. We are very passionate about it and we hope more and more people understand the value of privacy as time goes by…and I believe people will!
Q10. Particl claims it has the most secure transaction system, this sounds interesting and amazing, could you tell us the methodology Particl adopts in making this actually possible in reality?
Cryptoguard – Transactions on the marketplace are a combination of Confidential Transactions (CT) and RingCT. These are technologies made popular by Monero. But unlike Monero, all these transactions go through an escrow system that protects users against scams and dishonest actors. This actually adds a tremendous level of security as you don’t need to send a transaction to someone and then pray that they will hold up their end of the agreement.
So not only are transactions on the marketplace are anonymous, they are also scam-proof.
Q11. I see your marketplace doesn’t charge fees for purchasing goods, so how do you make profit? What’s your source of revenue?
Cryptoguard – Particl is a decentralized and open-source protocol. Its main aim is not to generate profit but benefit you with privacy, security, and personal freedom/liberty. This is our mission and part of why I was saying we are a team of cypherpunks.
The project is actually supported and funded by a non-profit Foundation in Switzerland, the Particl Foundation. This Foundation earns 0.2% of the inflation, or 10% of all staking rewards per year in other words. This steady stream of income allows the Foundation to build up funds and pay developers or various initiatives, and of course, this gets more valuable as more people start using the marketplace and as the price goes up. It’s a positive feedback loop, the more people use the platform, the better equipped the Particl Foundation is.
But not that a lot of us in the team have been doing this voluntarily for years before the Foundation was even formed. We are doing it for personal liberties, not to enrich ourselves 😉
Q12. Congrats on the major upgrade of Particl Marketplace. Tell us your competitive advantage over Origin Marketplace and what unique features that Particl Desktop V3.0 has, to be the GAME CHANGER for e-commerce and privacy?
Cryptoguard – Origin is a great project and we have respect for their team. They are going more after the decentralized Shopify angle, whereas we are more focused on the privacy aspect of things and protecting your personal information.
That’s what I meant earlier when I was saying multiple marketplaces can co-exist and each fill different needs for different people. Particl is all about privacy so it’s going to attract different use-cases.
The biggest “game-changer” about V3.0 is mainly two things: (1) the introduction of multi-markets, which basically allows you to create or join an infinite number of user-created markets and shops. In other words, this allows you to be a market owner on the Particl network and form your very own community around your market or shop. You can refer to my extensive answer in Part 2 of this AMA where I list some use-cases. Trading communities (i.e. /r/beertrade, which was shut down by Reddit), come to mind as for great use-cases for this. And (2), V3.0 is a complete refactor of the marketplace and the introduction of a brand new desktop application. This will significantly improve the user experience of the marketplace making it as easy as ever to use and get started with.
In other words, V3.0 is a major, major step towards a wider adoption because we’re improving and fixing some of the obstacles we’ve had with previous versions. It’s a Beta product inching closer to a full release : )
Q13. Can you tell me how Particl is resilient against government control?
Cryptoguard – It’s pretty resilient. For one, it’s entirely decentralized, so you’d have to take down the entire network of nodes for the marketplace to become offline. This should be near-impossible.
But then, you could always have government or regulations forcing the PART coin out of exchanges, which would make acquiring PART (and at the same time, using the marketplace) very hard. For this reason, our team has worked on atomic swaps and have enabled them as soon as in late 2017. Atomic swaps basically lets you exchange one cryptocurrency for another without requiring an exchange or a third-party. This, along with the decentralized nature of Particl, makes Particl super resilient against any type of interference.
You can check out a proof-of-concept for a decentralized “exchange” based on atomic swap made by Particl’s Tecnovert here: https://github.com/tecnovert/basicswap.
Q14. Will there be an option in the Marketplace where my employees can accept bids from customers in my storefront, but are not allowed to do other transactions like sending parts to their own addresses via anon transactions? If I have a lot of Parts in my balance, I don’t want my employees to easily rob me.
Cryptoguard – This is planned as part of the roadmap, yep, and V3.0 will kind of introduce the first steps towards that. You’ll in fact be able to delegate some powers to other people to let them post their listings and process them in your own market/storefront. More extensive options for market/storefront management will likely be added at a later point.
Q15. Name the 4 products that particl project offers?
Cryptoguard – Since launch, we have seen a bunch of different items such as old casascius Bitcoin coins, N95 respirators and COVID-19 related items when they were banned everywhere else, survival gear, gift cards which you can purchase anonymously, etc.
There is really no limit to what you can buy or sell, unless it is voted out by the community using the governance mechanism. It is up to vendors to decide 🙂
Q16. Can you share some Recent Big Achievements done by Particl Project in past? Also,What are the main Adoption Plans of Particl Project of 2020 Year? Which Latest announcements we can expect from Particl?
Cryptoguard – I would say, our biggest achievement itself is the release of this decentralized, privacy-focused marketplace. Releasing a decentralized marketplace is already a big job in itself, but releasing a PRIVATE decentralized marketplace is about a thousand times more complicated. This is the reason we are seeing so few of them. Even though some claim to be private…we got to be careful about marketing claims vs actual reality.
Our other massive achievement was to adapt RingCT and CT to work on the Bitcoin codebase. Monero made these technologies popular, but they work on Cryptonote, which isn’t flexible at all and doesn’t allow smart-contract. So adapting the protocol to the Bitcoin codebase was actually a pre-requirement before releasing the marketplace and is a great achievement I think.
Other achievements include:
– First cold staking protocol, released in 2017
– Atomic swaps enabled in 2017
– Cold staking pools and hardware cold staking
– Particl Desktop, which is Particl’s main wallet, is a significant step forward in usability and user-friendliness compared to most wallets
Q17. How beneficial is Particl Marketplace to it’s users ? If I shop at Particl Marketplace, do I get varieties of perks such as cashback or discounts? Any promotional offers on the occasion of your 3rd anniversary?
Cryptoguard – You get privacy, and we believe that’s worth a lot. Cashbacks, rewards, and etc are great, but they come at a price which can be quite costly. Identity thefts is pretty common when submitting information online, so if you’re not protecting that, you ‘re opening up yourself to being defrauded. That alone can nullify any cashback or reward gained from these marketplaces in the first place.
Usually…for typical marketplace, YOU are the product, and they’re just throwing you a bone with some rewards. I know it sounds a bit harsh, but this has become the sad truth of the internet in 2020.
Q18. As the main value of the coin is based on the marketplace could you guaranty us the marketplace is going to remain closed source ?
Cryptoguard – Yes and no. Let me explain.
The marketplace codebase, and by that I mean the back-end code that makes the marketplace function, is all open-source. That’s for security purposes and to let people know what’s going on “behind the scene”. That will not change going into the future.
However, Particl Desktop, which is the project’s main wallet and how you actually access the marketplace, is temporarily closed-source to allow the team to protect its intellectual property. For the moment, we do not know when we will open-source it, so it is remaining closed-source for now. It’s important to understand that this is just the user interface, and it talks with the back-end. You can still verify that the marketplace is all good.
The reason we’ve started doing this is to protect the team’s work, but also protect others. We have been cloned/forked in the past by some very questionable projects who ended up modifying the code and putting in some exploits. One such project, SUBI, ended up “exit scamming” as they took all their users money out of their own wallet and dumped them on their exchanges. This resulted in a lot of people losing everything, and we don’t want to have anything to do with that kind of dishonest stuff. So we’ve decided to closed-source the user interface.
Q19. Particl leverages the Bitcoin codebase, and we all know that the bitcoin blockchain is so slow and cannot scale successfully, so why do you choose the bitcoin codebase, when there are other more Scalable and faster chains?
Cryptoguard – Ah, good question 🙂
We are based on the Bitcoin codebase, which just means we use its general structure. We have actually made a lot of modifications to the code so that it’s more scalable and faster. For example, our block time is 2 minutes instead of 10, which provides for the best stability in a PoS coin. We’ve also extended the block size to be bigger.
The biggest appeal to using Bitcoin, however, is its security aspect. As mentioned, we are all about security and privacy, so for us, Bitcoin is the most secure option as it’s been battle-tested for years now without any hiccup. The same cannot be said of new and exotic blockchains that may appear to scale better, but at the cost of security, privacy, and stability. This is a huge risk to be developing on new blockchains, and since we wanted to protect your funds as best as possible, we went with the safest option.
Of course, we’ve done some other work on scalability as well. For example, we’ve released the Lightning Network on mainnet a year or so ago. It’s not really usable at this moment, simply because we are very far from facing scalability issues, but whenever we start having trouble with that, we do have that solution around.
Additionally, the marketplace itself offloads most of the data onto SMSG, a P2P network that runs on your Particl node but that isn’t the blockchain. So images, listing descriptions, messages sent between people…that’s not on the blockchain. That’d be terrible in terms of scalability. All of these things are hosted on this external SMSG network.
Q20. Can you explain more about your tagline “The swiss-army knife of cryptocurrencies”?
Cryptoguard – This tagline is actually an old saying from years ago. Swiss-army knives are renowned to be multi-use and to be able to do a ton of things. They are a toolbox themselves.
Compared to PART, Particl’s native currency, this is pretty similar. PART is not just a coin that’s used as a cryptocurrency for monetary transactions. It’s also a voting tickets for Particl’s decentralized proposal system, it’s a moderation ticket for the marketplace’s moderation system, a way to earn passive income by staking it, a private currency, a unit that can be used to power various smart-contracts, and etc.
It just means that PART can do a bunch of things all packed into one coin.
Q21. What i need to do to be considered a Seller? I need to complete any KYC? What happen if an user tries your Marketplace to scam people? How can you stop him?
Cryptoguard – No no no 🙂 No KYC here! All you need to do to get started as a seller is download Particl Desktop (https://particl.io/downloads), create a wallet like you would with any other cryptocurrency, wait for the blockchain and SMSG network to sync (that will take about 30 minutes, we sync fast!), and start listing products. No KYC, no personal information required, no login or signup. It’s just plain, unrestrictive eCommerce.
Of course, with mobile, that becomes even simpler. Download the mobile application, make your wallet, and get started. You wouldn’t even need to sync your blockchain, but as mentioned earlier, that mobile marketplace is for a bit later after V3.0. Just giving a taste of what to come.
NOTE: Due to the current Beta version of Particl Desktop, after creating you wallet, you will need to create a second wallet named “Market”. That’s all done from Particl Desktop itself. That’s just a temporary measure that is going away for V3.0, so you wont’ have to create a second wallet anymore. Your marketplace will be enabled right from the start 😀 It’s just part of the evolution of a Beta product, we are taking out all the obstacles one at a time.
Q22. Transactions on the marketplace are secured using an autonomous two-party escrow system. Can you please explain more about this TWO PARTY ESCROW SYSTEM?
Cryptoguard – Yep, so how it works is you place an item in your cart, and then you proceed to check out. Once the vendor accepts your order, you will then be required to make a security deposit equal to the value of the item you are purchasing into an escrow smart-contract. The seller will match your security deposit.
At this point, both you and the seller have a security deposit in escrow, and this deposit will be fully refunded, without fee, when both of you agree that the transaction has been completed honestly. If something goes wrong during the transaction, the other party can hold on to the payment until the other party fixes any issue. This is based on the Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) game-theory, which you can read a bit more about here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutual_assured_destruction
You can read more details about Particl’s escrow here: https://particl.news/particl-explained-double-deposit-mad-escrow-b3699dd29768.
Q23. Do you have any plans to attract non-crypto investors to #Part and how? What are the actions to increase awareness around #Part in non-crypto space?
Cryptoguard – This has to be done in stages as to not waste resources. Currently, the marketplace is still pretty much a Beta software that is still hard and weird to use for most people. I actually believe this is the case for 99% of crypto, regardless of what teams might tell you. I’d be careful about any claim by projects saying they are going after the mainstream. That might be true for projects who aren’t as decentralized as others, but for us, a fully decentralized and private marketplace, there is still some work to be done to attract non-crypto users.
Of course, we have a clear path towards that, and that’s what we are working on. Improving the UI/UX, adding some critical features and bringing the marketplace to mobile and web are huge parts of that.
Once we do have all the features we consider “essential” for non-crypto adoption, then it becomes easier to target these people. There are bunch of communities, groups, and industries and dire need of what we do, which is privacy, no-fee on a marketplace. Think about it, no sales commission, and no identifiable data. Please refer to my earlier answer in Part 2 where I list some potential use-cases.
So, yes, there is still some work that needs to be done for non-crypto adoption, we have to be honest about the state of the blockchain industry in general. But we are fully commited into bringing this product into the hands of non-crypto people 🙂 We want EVERYONE to benefit from what cryptocurrencies have to offer, and I believe we, as in the blockchain industry in general and Particl as well, will get there!
Q24. What are Confidential Transactions, and also Bulletproofs, RingCT, and stealth addresses?
Cryptoguard – They are privacy protocols that keep your payment information private.
CT: Hides the amounts being transferred between two people
RingCT: Hides the amounts, but also the identity of transacting parties. That’s a fully anonymous transactions.
Stealth Addresses: They are addresses that can’t be traced on the blockchain. Sending funds to it keeps you anonymous.
The marketplace actually uses a unique combination of all these three protocols. They all work hand in hand to protect your personal information!
Q25. Particl is a censorship-resistant eCommerce platform, in this trend of censorship in online activities, how can particl help us overcome censorship on the internet?
Cryptoguard – I agree with you…so much! Censorship on the internet right now is very bad, whether that be for political discourse, medical discourse (i.e. COVID-19), and on marketplaces as well with tons of perfectly legal products being banned.
This is a big fight we are undertaking at Particl, and it’s not a small fight. The Particl Marketplace is fully decentralized, and I mean…fully. That means there is no moderator, no staff, no company that can single-handedly come and ban users or products. That job is instead offloaded to the entire Particl community.
In fact, people can moderate the marketplace as they see fit. The system is similar to Reddit’s upvote/downvote system. You can flag a listing as inappropriate, and it will count the number of coins you have on your wallet and give it that many downvotes. People can then disagree with you and upvote the listing. Once a listing reaches a certain number of downvotes, it is then taken off the marketplace.
We say censorship-resistant because it isn’t censorship-proof, and honestly, when you think of it, nobody wants that because it means the marketplace could be overrun with illegal content and…nasty stuff. So that’s why we wanted to have a decentralized moderation system, and why we say it is “resistant”.
Q26. Particl looks good but it confuses me that there are so many other Blockchain projects. What should I pay attention in Particl to give it the importance it deserves? What are your planning to achieve with your project?
Cryptoguard – Total personal freedom and liberty 🙂 And we don’t say it as a buzz word, they are the core values that make us who we are. We are all a bunch of early crypto cypherpunks that are somewhat not happy with how crypto has turned out to be, so we just took it upon ourselves to create a marketplace that is private, decentralized, free, and secure. We are a no bullshit project, no marketing gimmick project. We are pure crypto ideologists.
What’s the importance of Particl? It’s what I mentioned above. We want the internet to come back to what it was before, full of free expression, personal liberties, and free of censorship. This is a highly idealistic mission we are undertaking and we hope to rally as many people as possible to our humble fight. Together, we can make it happen and we can claim back the internet.
The internet was made for the people, not for giant corporations. But it unfortunately lost its way… 🙁
Q27. Is there any plan to create a website with a fiat gateway for the marketplace?
Cryptoguard – Yes, and that’s an interesting part of Particl. We are building an eCommerce protocol to be used by anyone. This protocol, just like the internet, can serve as the base layer to develop a ton of companies offering services, such as a fiat gateway.
We also have a way to integrate these services right into the marketplace, so whenever a fiat gateway for PART appears, people would be able to use it right as part of the marketplace.
This is something we’d like to look into a bit further in the roadmap, but we know there are already some independent efforts from community members to bring forward fiat gateways. We must be patient, all good things will eventually come 🙂
Q28. In your website I saw that particl achieved near-zero cost ecommerce, what is the use of incomes for fee, would it be possible in a future a zero fee ecommerce in Particl?
Cryptoguard – Why we say it is “near” zero cost is because you, as a seller, still need to pay a very small fee (most of the time…under a cent worth of PART) to list products on the marketplace. That fee is only there to fend off spammers, it’s an anti-spam measure. Without it, you could have people write scripts and just spam the marketplace without consequences, but with the fees, that can get costly quite quickly. It also serves the double purpose of making staking rewards bigger for stakers, expanding the network effect and encouraging people to promote the project (as your rewards get bigger as more people use the marketplace)
As for your second question, I have answered it a few minutes ago so you can scroll this part of the AMA to find the answer.
Q29. Why does particl employ COLD STAKING? By using cold staking, does it mean that particl doesn’t allow Validators or consensus nodes or Masternodes?
Cryptoguard – Cold staking basically allows you to stake your funds but keep your wallet offline. That’s a tremendous improvement over regular staking which requires you to keep your wallet online, but also “unlocked for staking”. The “unlock for staking” part is also a bit of a concern as the wallet has to store your wallet password into memory. This isn’t usually a problem, but a few years ago there was this heartbleed vulnerability that allowed hackers to gain access to memory. Imagine that, if your encryption password is stored on there, they could steal your coins.
So cold staking is basically a more secure way to stake coins, and a more practical one as well.
Also, it lets you delegate staking powers to another node that you own, so that means that with it you can stake on a Ledger, a Trezor, a mobile wallet, a pool, etc. It expands the staking ecosystem and makes it accessible to more people than ever.
Q30. I have understood that Particl use Nodes to COLD STORAGE, but not to store any amout of Funds, so can you tell me what is the role of these Nodes?
Cryptoguard – Follow up to the previous question, the role of these staking nodes is only to stake on the network. They are wallets containing 0 coin, but possessing the staking power of other wallets that have delegated their staking power to this node.
Q31. Which are the differences between the Particl and Particl-qt ?
Cryptoguard – Particl is the name of the network and the project, while Particl-qt is the name of one of our wallets. It’s based on the very popular and secure Bitcoin-qt wallet which has been around for years. I even believe it was the first ever GUI wallet for Bitcoin, although I could be wrong here.
Thank you to Cryptoguard and Community for participating in the AMA. Have a nice day