A look back at our first year
On July 17th, 2017, one year ago today, Particl main network (mainnet) genesis block was generated, becoming one of the only pure Proof of Stake (PoS) cryptocurrencies not starting with an initial mining period — truly a rare breed.We created a nice round-up of what Particl accomplished in 2017 within our end-of-year review January 1st. Now, seven months later and 365 days since our first block on the Particl blockchain, we celebrate how far we’ve come in such a short time.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is equivalent to magic. — Arthur C. Clarke
Doesn’t that ring true in this — still very young — space made irresistibly fascinating by S. Nakamoto and their “magic internet money”?
https://youtu.be/g6iDZspbRMg | btw, Particl mentioned in there ;)
That naivety to understanding technology is a double-edged sword in the decentralized ecosystem because fancy marketing and 30 minutes spent writing an ERC20 contract can generate a lot of buzz (and money) around magical solutions to everyday problems.The question becomes, when does the tech make sense and when doesn’t it?
Setting out to create a platform for privacy-focused decentralized applications is not a challenge for the faint of heart. In fact, among the thousands of cryptocurrency projects in existence, Particl is still one of the only open-source platform being developed with privacy in its DNA.Privacy is a well-discussed topic in blockchain solutions but 99% of the time it is merely an afterthought or even by product when building on a decentralized network. Particl is private by design which makes everything our team develops multiple times harder to achieve and is why no other project is comparable when looking at the full breadth of products and features Particl already offers after 1 year.Whenever shareholders are involved and need to be kept happy, privacy becomes a marketing buzz word that is attached to data collection tools in fancy ways like “Personal Recommendations”, “Shoppers Also Liked”, “Your friends are talking about…”, “You parked here…”.
User data is a powerful metric all companies use to their advantage in order to maximize profits. A good marketing team will package it within a “privacy” wrapper to make users feel safe and cozy like warm alpaca socks, while the personal information people willingly provide helps giant internet companies build better tools to appease shareholders and make the most money possible.There is a case for privacy-focused decentralized applications in the tech industry and, at one year young, Particl is one of the only project building an open-source privacy platform that is truly private by design.
Origination & Innovation
Particl Core is the backbone of the project and is the source for a number of privacy enhancements to the underlying Bitcoin codebase this past year. All revolve around privacy and security and are industry pioneering innovations:
- Confidential Transactions (CT)
- Ring Confidential Transactions (RingCT)
- Particl Proof of Stake (PPoS) with Cold Staking
- Secure Message (SMSG)
Particl Core has averaged a new release every 3 weeks (20 releases) this year. A very impressive development pace, wouldn’t you agree? And these aren’t trivial code commits; many are industry firsts as you can see by the list above.Much of this credit goes to our Lead Core Developer, Tecnovert, and his team. Besides researching and implementing intense cryptographic standards into Particl, they are also staying current with Bitcoin Core development.Bitcoin developers have updated Bitcoin’s codebase 5* times since the launch of Particl (0.14.2). Our team merged those changes every time, after a proper testing period had passed and the code was ready for Particl mainnet.
Bitcoin code commits alone (nearly 5000) account for 1,185 changed files with 124,688 additions and 56,438 deletions.
- Bitcoin Core 0.16.1 (18.06.15) | Particl Core 0.16.1.0 (18 days later)
- Bitcoin Core 0.16.0 (18.02.26) | Particl Core 0.16.0.1 (28 days later)
- Bitcoin Core 0.15.1 (17.11.11) | Particl Core 0.15.1 (6 days later)
- Bitcoin Core 0.15.0.1 (17.09.19) | Particl Core 0.15.0.2 (10 days later)
- Bitcoin Core 0.15.0 (17.09.14) | Merged with above (15 days later)
Needless to say, copy-pasta project teams don’t care about this level of security or compatibility with Bitcoin and 99.9% of projects can’t make the above claim over the past year.*Bitcoin Core 0.16.2 is already in the pipeline: 0.16.2rc2 | Particl Core is staying in step: master_btc
We released our current roadmap in March and the progress of development can be seen on our website.If you watch our AMA livestreams every couple weeks you hopefully caught our last one with Ryno joining me to talk development and the marketplace. He mentioned in that episode we would be looking at our scrum/sprint platform plan to see if we can open the scheduling and progress wireframes up to public viewing in an effort to be more transparent. That will be something to keep an eye out for for those who want to get more details on Particl R&D.All our roadmap items are highly anticipatory because they directly tie to future products on Particl’s first-of-its-kind privacy platform. One item that is personally exciting to me is the Particl Open Market Protocol (OMP) that Kewde is working on. A library for the OMP has begun on Github that is tied to the Software Development Kit (SDK)
Particl is a testing environment by nature and all of our development is open source and runs through multiple levels of testing and refinement. We don’t close source our Desktop GUI or our Market backend. Every piece of our privacy platform is out in the open.Particl has maintained 2 active and functioning blockchains since our mainnet genesis block was generated; which all our products and applications run on in various level of development and deployment. Our Mainnet chain is what most people use to send and receive PART. Our Testnet chain is our research and development environment where new privacy features and security technology is created.
The first and only live version of Confidential Transactions (CT) on a Bitcoin based blockchain has been on Particl’s mainnet since launch day 1 last year. We also have the first and only cold storage staking protocol on the main chain — no matter what others may say 😜.Particl was one of the first projects to have Native Segwit as well, meaning, every transaction on Particl is a fast, low-cost, Segwit transaction.Secure Messages can be sent using our cli/Qt Core wallet builds. Particl Copay and Particl Desktop are 2 more official mobile and desktop clients (respectively) running on mainnet.
We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works. — Douglas Adams
I find this quote fitting for our flagship client, Particl Desktop. Mainstream adoption for cryptocurrencies and decentralized applications isn’t going to come down to how much is “under the hood”. Ultimately, widespread adoption will come down to how easy this or that is to use. There is no denying the level of care the CRZ and xludx lead teams have placed on usability, design and simplicity within the entire line of Particl products/apps.Most crypto project teams can create pretty pictures of what they plan to make and what they want to deliver, but very, very few can actually show you a well designed working app or even prototype until they’ve cycled through 12 to 24 months of funding.Desktop is one example of what Particl developers roadmap to build
Here is what the Particl team delivered
Particl testnet currently has the only working version of RingCT on a Bitcoin based codebase in existence. This is a really big deal, even bigger than Particl also having the only version of CT live on mainnet. RingCT is a very intense and complex privacy enhancement the Particl team implemented on our codebase and, as such, we went to great lengths to properly review and audit our design. Read more about the status of those reports further down the article.
Particl Marketplace (ALPHA)
Of course the biggest news for Particl this year has been the release of our MVP, Particl Marketplace. Our Alpha version of the marketplace is live on our testnet. We have an active community of testers debugging it and our team is occasionally placing real Particl swag on the decentralized marketplace for users to get a real experience of the early buying process the private marketplace will offer; including our 2-party trustless escrow (MAD) protocol.
Alpha is a privacy-focused decentralized shopping app within Particl Desktop. Users can download a testnet only version of Desktop that comes with Alpha Marketplace pre-loaded.
Rate of Coin Supply Reduced
The days of PART coin supply increasing 5% over the first year are now over. Today at
2018–07–17 13:00:00 the inflation rate of PART coin supply decreased 1%. By design, this inflation model is coded to move from 5% the first year to 2% the fourth year and every year thereafter.The nodes working on the Particl network providing consensus will now receive a 4% coinstake reward for the next year.The historic first 4% block staked:https://explorer.particl.io/block/cc50daf0bee9e64d413a17df4b19046715c5f389b1a881c6976960c1dc615f84
Audits and Peer Reviews
DPRatingDarpal Ratings is a blockchain auditing company focused on the digital currency sector. They began releasing a monthly Github Audit Report starting in January 2018 and Particl has consistently been one of their top 10 rated projects among over 200 audited, despite PART declining market-cap ranking over the same time period.
- January 2018 Report | Particl ranked #4 of 132 | Rating: 4.5 (of 5)
- February 2018 Report | Ranked #6 of 133 | Rating: 4.5 (of 5)
- March 2018 Report | Ranked #3 of 188 | Rating: 5 (of 5)
- April 2018 Report | Ranked #3 of 205 | Rating: 5 (of 5)
- May 2018 Report | Ranked #7 of 210 | Rating: 5 (of 5)
Speaking of audits, Particl has a couple reports coming soon surrounding our RingCT development. Per our last Community Update, we have a 6 month grant established with NJIT for a RingCT peer review that just completed. We also hired WSA to perform a RingCT code audit that is only about 2 weeks of work.
NJIT Peer Review
Our team has a copy of Professor Qiang’s paper on Particl’s Ring Confidential Transactions and are reviewing it in-house and with his research team. Ultimately Prof. Qiang has asked if they can submit the paper as an academic research paper for review among trade publications and peers. The team would fully support a submission after proper dialog between both teams is completed.
WSA Code Audit
A couple weeks ago we engaged WSA for a RingCT code audit. Ryno got word that the review is done and only 4 minor issues were found, nothing major or critical! The WSA team hinted that the report would be delivered this week so we’ll keep everyone in the loop.
The art challenges the technology, and the technology inspires the art. — John Lasseter
This quote rings true for every Pixar or Disney movie ever made. It’s easy to see beauty at the end of a project and it takes a trained eye to see it during the product’s lifecycle.Particl isn’t out to unseed Bitcoin as the one and only digital currency or Amazon as the only place to buy stuff online. The team has deep roots in privacy, security and technology and we are building a decentralized alternative — a choice — that has these roots deeply embedded in its DNA.Leveraging technology to build privacy-focused decentralized applications sparks all our team to make products that are simple, clean and enjoyable to use. We’ve only been at this for 1 year but the results so far have shown us that the tech does make sense for our privacy platform and the tools we’re creating are easy to use and understand — leading to future mainstream adoption.This is a look back at our first year.
Happy Anniversary to all our Community!