Particl Review: Privacy Focused Decentralized Applications
The Particl Platform has an ambitious goal of building a decentralized economy supported by all the key elements of blockchain technology; privacy, interoperability, and security.
The project is focused on delivering 3 core features: A Particl platform, where decentralized applications meet privacy, a ‘Part Coin’ which is described as the ‘Swiss-army knife’ of Cryptocurrencies and a Particl Marketplace to revolutionize ecommerce.
Particl has been around for a little over a year, and despite the bear market conditions, they’ve managed to achieve some significant milestones, including the release of the alpha version of their Particl marketplace.
What is Particl?
Privacy is one of the most important features that any blockchain platform can offer. For Particl, it’s less of a feature and more off a core component of their entire ecosystem.
For developers trying to build their own decentralized applications, Particl’s platform offers the most advanced privacy and security parameters. This makes it easy to build a robust application that stays true to the core tenants of the blockchain, while also offering a simple design and great user experience.
Many different kinds of Dapps can be developed on Particl, but the common thread that links them all is their use of the PART coin to process transactions.
A privacy focused blockchain platform wouldn’t be complete without its own cryptocurrency. However, Particl boasts that their coin is more than just another one-dimensional token. It actually serves multiple use cases, including the ability to make anonymous transactions, use for voting and as fuel for the Particl platform.
It can also be a potential source of passive income, and can manage large transactions at the same time without getting slower or compromising the decentralization or security of the blockchain. This balance is essential to achieving network scalability and being able to handle millions of users at a time once the platform achieves mainstream adoption.
The last component of Particl’s ecosystem is their decentralized marketplace. The Particle Marketplace is the first official Dapp of the Particl platform. It allows anyone to buy and sell goods and services privately.
The use of PART coin in making transactions also ensures that fees are kept to a minimum. In future Particl hopes to implement fiat gateways, which will enable more outside users to enter the ecosystem.
These features essentially solve many of the biggest problems with ecommerce platforms today; lack of privacy, data breaches caused by poor security, lack of censorship resistance, and high transaction fees that make buying items more expensive and selling items less profitable.
All of these issues center around the need for traditional ecommerce platform to employ a middleman whose only real purpose is to monitor the platform, censor actions that are deemed to be a breach of terms of service, and extract value without really contributing much in return.
A decentralized marketplace has no overseer and therefore allows users to determine what they want to buy and sell, how much information they wish to reveal and how much of their own money they can take off the platform.
An Economy without Middlemen
Particl’s ultimate goal is to build an economy without middlemen. Achieving this goal requires Particl to utilize various cutting edge innovations in security, privacy and interoperability;
Particl’s Atomic Swaps feature allows all incoming currency transactions to be automatically converted to PART, enabling users to receive the protection of PART’s privacy features while using their favorite cryptocurrency.
Users can choose what level of confidentiality they would like to use per transaction: Public, blind, or anonymous.
- Public level transactions resemble those seen in the Bitcoin blockchain.
- Blind level: Particl uses the CT protocol to “keep the transferring amounts visible only to the transaction participants (and those they designate), while still guaranteeing the transaction’s cryptographic integrity.”
- Anonymous Level: This level hides the transaction amounts and address using Cryptonote’s ring signatures and Maxwell’s C (combined they are referred to as Ring CT). Particl charges the highest fees per transaction for this level.
Latest Bitcoin Core Codebase
PART is built from the latest Bitcoin core codebase, which allows them to benefit from the Bitcoin networks stability and security, while also allowing developers to easily fork their code if needed.
Partcl Cold Staking
In its proof of stake consensus protocol, Particl uses smart contracts to delegate staking powers to ‘staking nodes’ that contain no coins. Staking nodes are connected to the Particl blockchain and can be used to stake offline coins
PART Coin is embedded with several unique features and specifications that make it a Swiss army knife of cryptocurrencies:
- Block time: 120 seconds (5 times faster than BTC)
- Block size: 2 MB (2× larger than BTC)
- Consensus mechanism (Particl Proof-of-Stake) with quantum-resistant cold-staking
- Money Supply ≈ 9.081 million PART
- SegWit - Native support for all transactions
- Atomic Swaps - Supported with compatible Blockchains
- Multi-State Privacy (3 optional privacy levels for transactions – Public, blind and Anonymous)
- Blind transactions/Confidential Transactions - Transaction parties are visible on blockchain, but the amount is hidden
- Private transactions (RingCT) - Both transaction parties & amounts are hidden on blockchain
- Multi-Signature wallets
- Ledger hardware wallet
- Trezor hardware wallet
- Staking form hardware wallet (coins are kept safe and can be staked at the same time)
Trading PART Coin
PART coin can be stored in users private wallets and is also tradable on the following exchanges: Bittrex, Upbit, Chainex, LiteBit, Bit- Z and ChainRift. The team has purposefully chosen to make their coins tradable on centralized exchanges because they offer higher liquidity, better prices and faster trading.
PART coin can also be found on the following Non-Custodial Exchanges: Changelly, CoinSwitch, Changehero, Indacoin, SimpleSwap and Xchange.me.
These exchanges offer a simpler process, higher privacy and relieve the user of the need to hold their coins on the exchange.
PART is currently ranked number 114 on the Coinmarketcap list. Like most Altcoins, it has seen a significant decline in value from its all time high of $46.68 last year. PART’s price declined down to $1.23 on November 25th, before slowly rebounding by more than 100% in the past 2 months to its current price of $3.25.
Particl is open to working with other exchanges in order to integrate support for PART into their systems. However, as illustrated in a recent interview with Paul Schmitzer, this is highly dependent on the exchange's requirements. Particl prefers not to pay "exorbitant" listing fees in order to get a listing.
One of the most unique features of the Particl platform is its proposal mechanisms. The platform basically offers several ways to submit proposals to the community, team, or Foundation. These proposals can then be voted on by the community using Particl’s decentralized governance system:
- Improvement Proposals (PIPs):
A design document providing information to the Particl community, or describing a new feature for Particl or its processes or environment.
- Opportunity Proposals (POPs):
A design document providing information to the Particl community, describing bounty opportunities, integration opportunities, or marketing opportunities.
- Request for Proposals (RFPs):
A document intended to solicit proposals for a task such as the development of a community resource (i.e: website), or creation of content pieces not specifically identified in Particl Opportunities.
Particl recently partnered with PIVX, another cryptocurrency also focused on privacy. The PIVX coin will be one of the first crypto coins to be added as a payment method on Particl’s Open Marketplace. PIVX will also be available on the ZDAX, a private decentralized exchange developed by Pivx.
According to Particl’s head of communications, both communities around PIVX and PART are close and will be leveraging each other platform to maximize their value as they continue to grow.
Particle’s team consists of 22 members who are developers, managers, designers, researchers, cryptographers and a treasurer. This team is actually quite small given the scope of the project and the amount of work that has actively been done.
The advisory team includes some notable names in the crypto space like Charlie Shrem, Miguel Cuneta, John Bailon and Micah Spruill.
Something that I found quite encouraging about the Particl project is the size and enthusiasm of their community. They have a designated community manager called "CryptoGuard" who is incredibily active on a number of different platforms and mediums.
This has lead to quite a substantial following for the project with strong community engagement. For example they have a large Twitter following and over 2,600 members who take part in their official Subreddit. Those who follow the project are also more engaged with the technology and are more focused on the long term vision.
The team also maintains their official blog where they post all important updates and announcements. The project tries to be as open as possible about the members who are working on the project and there are a number of interesting interviews that have been conducted with Particl developers on this blog.
Particl has achieved a significant number of development milestones in the past year, and still has many more that are in progress:
- March 22nd 2017 – Marketplace White Paper published
- July 4th 2017 - Non-Profit Foundation setup
- July 17th, 2017 - Blockchain genesis, SegWit, CT
- September 24th, 2017 – Atomic Swaps
- November 11th, 2017 - Quantum- Resistant Cold Staking
- March 20th, 2018 - Stealth addresses v2
- March 20th, 2018 - Support for Hardware Signing Devices
- May 31st, 2018 – Particl Marketplace (alpha)
- July 2018 - RingCT – Academic Review
- August 7th, 2018 – Ledger Wallet Integration
Indeed, if we were to take a look into the GitHub repo for the Particl project, we will get a rough idea of how much work has been done by the developers. Below we have the number of code commits from the most active repositories in the Particl GitHub.
As you can see they have been pushing code at a frenetic pace. In fact, taking a look at the number of commits of the Particl project compared to other cryptocurrencies in the space we can get a sense of just how much work is being done.
There is perhaps good reason as to why there is so much code being committed. Particl is actively working on a number of other features and updates that are laid out in their project roadmap. Below are some of these features
- Bulletproofs: Making Privacy Transactions Scalable
- iOS Copay mobile wallet
- Copay Cold Staking
- Market Listing Governance
- Particl Desktop Multi-wallets
- Particl Marketplace (beta)
- Software Development Kit (SDK)
- Community Fund Vote
Particl’s value proposition as a privacy focused blockchain platform will no doubt be important as many Blockchains have already begun to compromise privacy and security in order to achieve scalability.
Particl’s biggest obstacle moving forward will be figuring out how to standout from the various other privacy coins and deliver enough value to make up from the losses that they and most Altcoins have experienced in past year due to the bear market cycle.
The project seems to be very active and has many development updates left in the pipeline, so it will be worth keeping an eye on their progress to see if they can establish dominance in an increasingly crowded market.
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.