Community Update #2

in bitcoin •  4 months ago

Have you missed our last AMA/FAQ livestream? We’ve got your back with our bi-weekly community and project update! Thanks to our community member CryptoBeans for preparing most of the notes for this update!

Livestream Summary

Team Meetings

Taking a break at the end of the day!

Most of the core Particl developers met in Prague during the last week of June for a series of project meetings focused on the planning and development of the roadmap items for the second half of the year and moving forward. A particular focus was put on both the project and marketplace governance systems as well as the integration of the multi-wallet feature into Particl Desktop. Moving from Electron to Muon was also discussed during that time.To conclude this week full of meetings, Ryno Mathee, Particl’s Lead Developer, joined last week’s livestream to give a summary of what was discussed as well as an update on the status of the project and assist Paul to answer questions from the community.

Project & Marketplace Governance

Ryno gave out a lot of information about the governance systems that are going to be integrated into the platform.

  • The team has settled and specified on initial governance models for the marketplace and the project. The user flow has been completed.
  • The initial marketplace governance model is very basic and simple to begin with and will evolve with time.
  • Martin and CRZ, our two UI/UX lead developers, have started building the wireframes for the in-wallet integrations of these systems.
  • The marketplace governance system is going to be a system based on reporting as opposed to an approval model. This will make the user experience much smoother by not forcing users to execute mandatory, extra steps.
  • When a listing reaches a certain flag threshold, its data is blacklisted by the Particl Desktop client. This blacklist is then shared amongst all clients connected to the network so that the ban may be effective worldwide.
  • Listings data is hosted on SMSG, Particl’s messaging system. When a listing is blacklisted, the message on which the listing data is hosted is blacklisted by the clients. The message itself is not removed from the blockchain although it will be ignored by Particl Desktop on each client’s side.
  • When a listing is blacklisted, its listing fee is NOT refunded back to the vendor.
  • Although the initial governance model (v1) will be very simple and not necessarily based on staking weight, the second iteration of it (v2) will be. The bigger your staking weight, the more influence you have over the governance system. Note that the second iteration of the marketplace governance model is planned for the Beta.
  • Each time a listing is flagged, the votes are once again tallied so that users cannot flag listings, move their coins around and then flag the same listing again.

RingCT

There have also been a few updates about the RingCT protocol that has been under academic review for the last 6 months by assistant-professor Qiang Tang from the NJIT Department of Technology.

  • The academic review of Particl’s implementation of the RingCT privacy protocol on top of the latest Bitcoin codebase is now complete.
  • Our lead cryptographer and Particl Core developer, Tecnovert, is now in possession of the academic report and is reviewing it. Paul and Ryno will soon receive a report from Tecnovert about it, and more information will be made available at that point.
  • The NJIT intends on producing and publishing an academic paper on their research on Particl’s implementation of the RingCT privacy protocol.

WeSecureApp

  • The WSA Cyber Group will then perform a full RingCT code audit. They have been put under contract to fully audit the RingCT code. This process has already started and is estimated to require around 100 hours of work. Please note this does not constitute a deadline, only a rough estimate.
  • While bulletproofs, the protocol that is poised to reduce RingCT & CT transaction sizes by around ~80%, is part of our roadmap, it’s mainnet implementation is not an immediate priority. As we are heavily focused on not only privacy but also security, and as the bulletproofs protocol is still very new and hasn’t been tested in a live environment that much, we believe there is still a lot of research, review and audits required before it can be considered safe enough for our users.

Marketplace

As the Particl Marketplace Alpha is still being improved and tested by the community every day, there were a few questions about it as well as some comments and updates from both Paul and Ryno.

  • Paul mentioned that as he processed the orders for our free t-shirt promotion on the alpha, he realized just how much the messaging feature needs to be added to Particl Desktop and integrated into the marketplace. Note that the messaging system is already live on mainnet and is used by the marketplace to store data. It can be used by anyone to message anyone else using particl-cli but is not available in a graphical interface.
  • As our free t-shirt promotion has been a success, it is planned to make available more free goodies, including shirts with some of the designs from our t-shirt contest winners, to the Particl community as we release new marketplace alpha updates. Stay tuned!
  • Private listings live within private markets. Private markets are hidden marketplaces that can only be accessed by entering a custom link or key into Particl Desktop. They do not appear within the public interface of the marketplace.
  • The team is still discussing the best approach to have the community govern private marketplaces. It is likely these hidden marketplaces may fall into the same governance system with the extra ability to blacklist entire marketplaces (TBC).

Particl Foundation

During the same week the Particl team met for a series of meetings in Prague, a Particl Foundation meeting was held in Switzerland, which Ryno of course attended. Here are a few updates and answers to some of the community questions related to the Foundation.

  • The Foundation should release its Q2 2018 financial report during the second or third week of July. It will be available, as always, on the Particl Foundation website.
  • The primary funding round hasn’t been discussed during these meetings. It is planned for being discussed and planned the next time the team will meet, in September 2018.

Ledger

As part of our roadmap, we intend on being fully integrated onto the Ledger wallet, a hardware wallet acting as a secure cold storage option for Bitcoin as well as some other coins.

  • It is already possible to use the Ledger wallet to securely store PART, however, that process is not really user-friendly and only recommended for advanced users. There is currently no native option for PART on Ledger’s interface.
  • Particl’s integration into the Ledger interface is now complete. The Ledger team now needs to accept Particl’s pull request on Github.
  • The current Particl integration into the Ledger wallet only works with public transactions. Adding RingCT and CT capabilities to our Ledger integration is part of our roadmap but not the immediate focus.

Other Questions Asked During the Livestream

There are quite a few other questions that were asked by the Particl community to both Ryno and Paul.

Ryno answering some of the Particl community questions

  • When asked where he sees Particl in a year’s time, Ryno mentioned that he does not want the marketplace to be a ghost town. As such, the team is fully committed to developing a smooth and seamless user-experience accessible to all types of users. It is also expected that as we draw closer to a mainnet release of the marketplace, a lot of efforts will be spent attracting users by clearly communicating all the advantages of a private-by-design and decentralized eCommerce environment. He also expects the team to keep growing in number, talent, and experience.
  • When asked about other dApps currently being developed on Particl, it was confirmed that nothing is in the works as it relates to the official Particl team. Paul speculated about possible alternative versions to the marketplace he would personally enjoy seeing being developed in the future such as wanted ads, penny auctions, bidding options, coin swaps, and etc.
  • Within the Particl community itself, this question had a lot of users envisioning their own wish list of private-by-design dApps built on Particl. There were a lot of good ideas being thrown around such as decentralized social media dApps, gambling/casino dApps, video streaming dApps (with one streaming dApp allegedly currently under development by an anonymous community member), and etc. One thing is for sure; the idea of private-by-design dApps is a very exciting prospect that is poised to dramatically improve several industries.
  • Ryno was asked about the nature of the delays in regards to the release of the alpha version of the marketplace. Ryno mentioned these delays caused the team to rethink parts of its organizational process and act on improving it. He mentioned that as the team rapidly grew, the scoping did not go into enough details. There is now much more documentation being made by the team so that each Particl developer can more effectively work in sync with their peers. Agile methodologies are now also being put into practice, and two new development managers (Carmen and Vivienne) have been hired. It was mentioned that the team now uses the more effective Jira software for issue tracking as opposed to Github and that bi-weekly internal reports are now also being produced. This should be reflected soon in Particl’s status reports.

Bi-Weekly Recap

There is a lot going on with Particl at the moment, and the last two weeks have been quite eventful for the project.

Particl Team is Expanding

On the 27th of June, we introduced 6 new team members including three managers and three developers. Carmen and Vivienne, our two new development managers, are going to be key assets in not only improving our organizational processes but also creating a scalable environment where new developers can easily be integrated within the project and quickly be put up to speed with our methods. Expect the team to keep growing as we move forward!During last week’s livestream, it was also announced that a new lead developer for Particl Desktop would be joining the Particl team in August of this year. This developer is yet to be introduced to the community and hasn’t been included in the 6 new team members blog post.

Partaker Hub

Top 10 Partaker Hub leaderboard, by the total of completed orders.

The Partaker Hub has been a tremendous success in building a dedicated community of contributors. Managed by one of our new team member, Particl Partaker, the Hub is now home to 117 partakers, a pretty impressive figure considering that it was launched only three weeks ago.We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the partakers who are helping in spreading the word about this project. We’d also like to give a special shoutout to encoreforreal, our top partaker, which has completed a mind-blowing total of 146 tasks.During these past three weeks, running the Hub has been a learning experience for all involved, partakers and administrators alike. We are still learning and experimenting to find the most effective strategies in spreading the Particl message through organic word-of-mouth.As such, we are currently working on setting up an official forum that will be linked to both the Partaker Hub and our Discord server. We strongly believe that using and linking these three platforms together will greatly improve the results of each partaker’s work as well as improve the options available for our community to communicate with each others. An official blog post with more details about these new developments should be coming out soon.

Community Meetup

Following the week of meetings, the Particl team held a meetup for community members to come and chat with the team around a few drinks and snacks. The meetup was hosted at Paralelni Polis, a small crypto-friendly cafe in Prague that only accepts cryptocurrencies. We had a lot of fun discussing with some of our fans and would like to give a shoutout to George Ouzounidis (JammingShirts) from TShirtPrinting, a long-time supporter of the project, for bringing some of his very own Particl-themed merchandise and offering them as gifts!

New Particl Core Update

Yesterday, we updated Particl Core to the latest Bitcoin Core codebase version (0.16.1.0). While this is a relatively minor update, it furthers our vision of always staying up-to-date with the latest version of the Bitcoin Core codebase and is an all-around good practice that ensures a secure and stable experience for our users.If you are using Particl Desktop, your Core will update automatically. You will, however, need to manually update your core if you are using Particl-qt or Particl-cli. Note that cold staking nodes do not automatically update their core but will ask you to do it the next time you input a command into it. The update can be downloaded and installed directly from the cold staking smart-contract. Not updating your core will not disable staking or put your wallet offline, but it is strongly recommended to always update to the latest version of Particl Core for security and stability reasons.Note that if upgrading from version 0.16.0.5 or below, this release will automatically reindex the blockchain the first time it’s run. Downgrading to a version before 0.16.0.6 will require a chain reindex to be manually initiated.

New Official Blog Posts

There has been a lot of news and updates being posted on our blog these past two weeks!

New CryptoRamble Videos

Desi-Rae continues her great work in producing quality videos on not only Particl but also privacy, security as well as crypto in general. Make sure to subscribe to her Youtube channel (CryptoRamble) to not miss anything!

Thanks to Paul Schmitzer.

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